Best Gutters for Cold Climates

That grand old American statesman, Benjamin Franklin, said the bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten. Nowhere could this be truer than in Calgary, where out-of-townees descend after winter storms and leave shoddy work behind.

Cheap eaves trough systems are a case in point. They are ‘up there’ at the top of ladders, sooner than the average customer can check the details. And vinyl ones look mighty fine for the first couple years too. But it’s a different matter when they start to twist and warp from shifting temperatures. Or a plummeting hailstone strikes right through them.

The Case for Vinyl Gutters

Vinyl eaves troughs and down pipes are popular because they are a cheap alternative. They are also first choice for many DIY specialists that don’t mind balancing on tall ladders. That’s because vinyl gutters are also lightweight, and then don’t need special tools to extrude them.

Vinyl is also low on maintenance because the material cannot rust and stands up well to light impacts from storm-driven debris. However, white gutters need cleaning regularly, and that means getting out the tall ladders out again. But no worries, you could always paint them.

However, vinyl gutters don’t have good thermal properties, because the material is pliable and thin. Sharp differences between summer and winter temperatures can distort them. When they fill with snow and ice they can twist and bulge permanently. Moreover, the seams in straight runs can fail and start to drip-leak after a couple of years.

The Case for Aluminum Gutters

Aluminum gutters are more expensive, and there’s a special machine required to extrude sections to the right lengths. However, the material cannot rust or corrode. And their rigid profiles make sagging, warping, bulging, and twisting almost impossible.

That said, heavy snow, hail, and wind can dent, and even damage aluminum gutters, although they can still be good for twenty years. But, there’s one ‘beware the buyer’ before you reach for the phone and place your order.

Copper flashing, or copper granules in algae-resistant shingles, can cause aluminum to corrode faster due to electro-chemical differences. And that’s another good reason to consult a Calgary eaves trough specialist before you sign the order .


When Gutters Catch More Than Rainwater

Low-Carbon Rainwater Harvesting

Sagging Plastic Eaves Trough (Image Kolforn BY CC 4.0)