Combatting Gutter Rust and Corrosion
The Threat of Gutter Rust and Corrosion
Even though aluminum is a rust-resistant material, under extreme circumstances, rust can form and compromise the integrity of your gutter system. The components of an Asheville Seamless Gutters system, from the corner miters to the downspouts, are all susceptible to rust or corrosion under certain conditions. Once rust forms, it spreads aggressively, potentially ruining your entire gutter system.
In this article we will highlight the main causes of rust in your gutter system and what you can do about it.
Causes of Gutter Rust or Corrosion
There are several factors that can lead to rusty gutters. Here are the top four causes of rusty gutters.
Pollen’s Impact on Gutters
During spring, trees shed flowers, seed pods, and pollen rather than leaves. Some tree pollen is highly acidic and poses a significant threat to your gutters. If left unchecked, acidic tree pollen can strip the protective coating of the aluminum, exposing your gutter system to rust and corrosion. Keeping your gutters clean, especially during the pollen season, is vital to maintaining their integrity. Using a garden hose to flush the gutters can help prevent acidic pollen from corroding your aluminum gutters.
Metallic Reactions: The Danger of Mixing Metals
Gutter systems can fall victim to Galvanic Corrosion when two dissimilar metals come into contact with a conductor like water. For example, copper components should not touch aluminum or steel. To prevent corrosion, ensure your gutter contractor uses compatible materials and hardware.
Extreme Temperature Fluctuations
Rapid temperature changes can accelerate wear on your gutters. For example, a hot day followed by a cold night can weaken the structure of the aluminum, making it more susceptible to corrosion. These issues are common in mountainous or coastal regions.
General Gutter Neglect
A lack of regular gutter cleaning can accelerate rust formation when gutters clog with debris and water pools and interact with metals or acidic pollen, promoting rust development. Keeping your gutters clean and free of standing water is crucial.
Solutions to Address Gutter Rust
Sanding Away Rust
If detected early enough, you can slow or halt rust progression by sanding off the surface rust. Following sanding, applying a waterproof primer is essential to seal the now vulnerable aluminum surface.
Replacing Rusted Sections
If rust has severely compromised a section of your gutter, your gutter contractor might recommend cutting out the damaged section and replacing it with a new one. However, this creates seams that might need regular maintenance due to potential leaks.
Caulking Rust Holes
Applying a waterproof sealant or caulk over rust holes for a temporary fix can prevent water from leaking through. New holes may form as rust spreads, rendering this a short-term solution.
Opting for Galvalume Guttering Material
In coastal areas, where salty air can expedite corrosion, Galvalume Gutters may be a superior alternative to Aluminum Gutters due to their enhanced rust resistance. However, they come at a significantly higher cost.
Conclusion: Vigilance Is Key
While gutter rust is rare, it can have significant consequences for your Asheville Seamless Gutters system. Early detection is key, allowing for effective interventions like sanding and priming or partial replacement of the gutter system. When you notice signs of rust, it is essential to consult a professional gutter contractor for advice and appropriate solutions to preserve the longevity and functionality of your gutters.
No matter how big or small the project is, Asheville Seamless Gutters and Home Solutions Gutter Professionals aims to satisfy customers. Click here to book an appointment.