Your home’s gutter drains play an extremely important role when it comes to keeping you and your family protected from wet weather — whether that be from a severe rainstorm or from dripping, melting snow. Gutters keep the foundation of your home safe, which is why choosing the right type of gutter drains material is more important than you might think. Ranging from copper to aluminum to vinyl, each material type for gutter drains as its advantages and disadvantages.  

At Iron Horse GutterWorks, our team of gutter professionals strives to keep your home safe by installing high-quality, efficient gutter drains in the Syracuse, New York area. We provide top-notch customer service and take pride in our work — contact us today!

In this blog post, we’ve compiled a list of commonly used gutter materials and we explain the pros and cons of each material. If you still are unsure about what material type for your home’s gutter drains will be most beneficial, reach out to our gutter experts today!


Copper is a naturally beautiful material used for gutter drains and is best known for it ultimate resistance to rusting and paint touch-ups. It is a little pricier of an option for gutter material, costing homeowners anywhere between $11 and $18 per foot, but its aesthetic appeal makes it a go-to gutter drains material option for upper-scale residences and historic restorations.

Fun fact: Copper material can last up to 100 years in any climate and is available in seamless or sectional options.


Aluminum is the most widely used material for gutter drains across the nation, thanks to its lightweight, easy-to-install material and relatively low cost — anywhere between $1.50 to $8 per foot. It is also resistant to rust, comes in a variety of colors and can keep functionality in cold climates. Aluminum is typically available in seamless options or can be held together in sections with screws and caulk.

A disadvantage of aluminum gutter drains is that they aren’t as structurally strong as other gutter materials, making them prone to bends and breaks.


Steel is a strong type of material that can be used for your home’s gutter drains. This heavy material comes in many color options or can be painted over, and gutters can come in galvanized steel materials or stainless steel materials. Steel can go for anywhere between $2 and $8 per foot for galvanized or between $4 and $12 for stainless.

A disadvantage of galvanized steel is that it is prone to rust, usually starting to rust after about five to 15 years. If longevity is important to you, we’d suggest either stainless steel or a different type of gutter drains material.


If affordability and easy installation are features at the top of your priority list, vinyl material is probably your best bet for your home’s gutter drains. This type of lightweight material is popular among homeowners because it never rusts or corrodes, and it typically costs anywhere between $1 and $2 per foot.

Some disadvantages of vinyl gutters: they can easily become brittle and they easily crack over time, especially in colder climates like Syracuse. They also aren’t very resistant to sunlight, which can cause them to deteriorate over time. Vinyl also isn’t the most durable material, so you’ll have to be extra wary when cleaning the exterior of your home.


Lastly, zinc gutter drains are durable, resistant to rusting and boast long lifespans — between 30 and 50 years, according to many gutter experts. We don’t recommend painting this material type, as zinc naturally develops a patina over time that is very visually appealing.

This pricey material, when taking into consideration materials and labor costs, can cost homeowners between $10 and $25 per foot.

Choose Iron Horse GutterWorks For Your Gutter Drains

Our team of reliable gutter experts at Iron Horse GutterWorks have been working in the gutter industry for decades, which is why we know the ins-and-outs better than anyone else in the Syracuse area. If you are in need of any gutter reparation or installation, we can help find you the best gutter system for your home. We provide LeafLock, SnapLock and seamless gutter installation, as well as drainage and gutter cleaning services. Call us today at (315) 512-2424 or fill out our online form for a free gutter quote. We look forward to sharing our gutter knowledge with you!