Gutters exist to preserve your home. They transport rain falling off each facet of a roof and deliver it to place where it will not damage a home’s structure. Even in the most arid of zones, homes should have some type of rain gutter. However, for the most part they are a “walk by” component of the home.
Copper gutters leave the realm of utility and enter the arena of architectural detail. Most copper gutter jobs are custom, allowing plenty of room for creativity. In the right hands, downspouts and catches take the look of sculpture. With each passing year, copper reaches new levels of patina. With a quality installation, foot traffic passing a home will stop and take notice. Copper gutters can cost up to $20 a foot for basic installations. Aside from the base cost of the material, copper gutters require specialized installation skills. An experienced installer will have an ample bag of tricks and a solid understanding of the material. Copper is easy to discolor and burn during installation. Coppersmiths work with either an iron rather than a torch, depending on personal preference. Clean gloves must be worn during installation. Natural oils from the skin will show wherever the material is touched.
Any type of gutter requires a watchful eye to ensure that they are doing their job. Gutters should be cleared of leaves and animal nests before the onset of winter. Test gutters with a hose to see if there are any obstructions in the downspouts. If you have recently replaced your home’s roof, blow or sweep off all the loose grains of gravel that come off the shingles. These tiny pieces will collect in the gutter, and in the case of copper discolor the metal.
Credit: Renovate Your World