Galvanized vs. Stainless Steel
Since they are both different types of steel, you would expect galvanized steel and stainless steel gutters to be similar. This is far from the truth. While they both share some similarities, such as being very durable and resistant to rust, they are different when it comes to price, function, longevity and appearance. Galvanized steel is much more common than stainless steel, but common doesn’t mean better. Consider the pros and cons to see which type of steel is best for your home.
Galvanized Steel Rain Gutters
- Galvanized steel gutters are much less expensive than stainless steel ones. Stainless steel is often two to three times more expensive than galvanized steel because it’s more labor-intensive to make.
- These gutters can be cleaned much easier than stainless steel. Chlorine-based bleaches will destroy the oxide layer on stainless steel, but it’s fine for galvanized steel.
- Both types of steel are relatively easy to install, but galvanized steel is somewhat easier to work with because it weighs less and is easier to cut.
- Though galvanized steel is resistant to rust, it’s not nearly as resistant as stainless steel. This is especially true if you are near the ocean or any saltwater because the salt will destroy the galvanized steel’s zinc layer.
- Galvanized steel only lasts about 15 to 20 years, but stainless steel should last much longer.
Stainless Steel Rain Gutters
- Stainless steel gutters won’t dull or change colors like galvanized steel. You can keep these gutters nice and shiny for a number of years with some basic cleaning and polishing.
- You don’t have to actively watch and maintain the zinc layer. If you don’t maintain the zinc layer on galvanized steel, then the gutters will be prone to rusting.
- This material lasts much longer, which can be a good investment.
- Stainless steel is significantly more expensive, which is why it isn’t used as often as galvanized steel.
- Though durable, stainless steel is bad when it comes to friction. If anything actively causes friction, then it can fuse to the gutters.
Want to know more?
Please see our Rain Gutter Material Comparison page for more information