There are very few materials that maintain their technical function and shape over time as well as copper does which makes it an outstanding choice for tough jobs like gutter systems and rainwater collection. Copper gutters are great for historical restorations or for adding an architectural, yet functional element to dress up any home or building.
Copper gutters aren’t something you just buy off the shelf – they require special expertise to measure and install properly. As such copper gutters are usually more expensive than gutters made from more traditional materials such as aluminum.
But when they are installed correctly few things will add “splash” to an exterior like they do. Add the fact that copper gutters will provide you with years of low maintenance service and the investment begins to make great sense.
Leader or Conductor Heads
As with any gutter system, copper gutters connect to downspouts which collect rainwater from the roof and direct it away from the building through the downspouts or drainage system. However copper gutter systems often employ an ornamental element called a conductor head or leader head. This is a large box-shaped element which attaches to the exterior wall just below the top of the gutters.
Copper Gutter Maintenance
Copper is considered a low maintenance natural material great for exterior use. It does not require painting or sealing nor will it rust so it holds up very well as a choice for gutters. Also because copper is such a strong metal you will generally get a stronger gutter screen (leaf guard) mesh to protect unwanted objects from making their way into your system.
If your copper gutters are properly sized and pitched the maintenance should be similar to those of regular vinyl gutters. This means that a regular schedule of cleaning the filters of debris to allow for a clean flow of water should be sufficient to keep them working at best effort.
Why copper turns green and develops patina
When exposed to normal weather patterns, copper develops a blue-green color which occurs from the copper oxidizing to protect itself. This process is known as “patina” and may include different shades and colors as your copper ages – especially depending on where you live.
Generally speaking copper will turn from shiny, penny-colored copper to a dark brown within the first year and will gradually fade towards green over the next few years. Around 4-5 years you can expect the copper to begin taking on green shades and after 10 years to begin to display a finish closer to a green-blue.
This patina process is one of the reasons that copper is such a great choice for outdoor items like gutters. The patina coating protects and encases the copper thus giving it greater durability than comparable natural metals.
Other reasons to like copper gutters:
Copper gutters add to the functional and aesthetic value of your home. Seldom can you make a single choice that represents an efficient and practical option, yet also brings distinct style and details. Copper gutters present just such a perfect option, said from rain gutter contractors.