I've heard that recycled gutters are not as good as regular gutters. Is this true or false?

Question

I've heard that recycled gutters are not as good as regular gutters. Is this true or false?

Asked by Chris Blondal

I'm looking to put up gutters on my house. I have heard that you can get recycled aluminum gutters.

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Answers

Harold Remlinger, AIA, LEED AP, NCARB's picture

I would have to say that reused / reclaimed gutters are not as good as new gutters.

Here are the reasons why:

  • Using reused gutters will require you to install them in smaller sections, which in turn creates multiple seams. These seams are made watertight by installing a flexible caulk. Seams become a maintenance issue and must be checked and repaired yearly due to deterioration from heat.
  • Most gutters are installed with gutter nails. These nails should be installed into solid framing. If they do not align with your home's framing, you will be relying on the 3/4-inch fascia board to hold all the weight of the gutter under use. This approach of fastening is prone to sagging of the gutters, and failure.

New gutters are better because:

  • New gutters are continuous for the entire length of the fascia, reducing the number of seams.
  • Seams are located at corners only. This reduces the amount of seams in the gutter system. Corner seams are also less affected by expansion and contraction from heat than seams located at midspan.
  • New gutters are installed with a clip/stiffener, which is screwed into the fascia board and framing, making for a more secure installation.

For more information:

Read "What's the best affordable sustainable siding option? Any thoughts on roofing materials and gutters?" a Q&A answered by Carl Seville.