Gutters have a rather lengthy lifespan, even though they’re in frequent contact with water and other environmental elements.
Both galvanized steel and aluminum gutters can last nearly two decades before replacement is necessary. But if you’ve noticed that the time has come to replace them on either your home or business, don’t worry. You can recycle them!
What Recyclable Materials Are Gutters Made of?
Your gutters are probably made of one of these materials:
- Galvanized Steel
While Cohen accepts all of these materials for recycling, some entities don’t accept vinyl. So make sure your local recycler accepts it before you spend time strapping it down in the back of your truck and hauling it into town.
How Can I Tell If My Gutters Need Replacing?
Look for these issues:
- Rust- While aluminum won’t rust, galvanized steel gutters will. Once you notice the orange or brown color of oxidation, you’ll need to think about replacing them to prevent any further damage.
- Cuts / Splitting / Cracks / Holes- Take note of cuts, cracks, holes, or splitting in your gutters. Freezing weather can open up these cracks, and it can interrupt water flow through the gutters.
- Peeling Paint- The peeling of the paint isn’t necessarily the issue here. However, peeling paint means that more water is in contact with your gutters. This means that it’s more likely to rust and deteriorate over time.
- Sagging / Drooping- When gutters get too heavy or full, they’ll begin to sag. This is what happens when you don’t spend the time to clean the leaves and sticks that pile up and prevent proper water flow.
- Foundational Pools- The primary function of gutters is to displace and channel water to appropriate areas. If you notice that water has begun to pool near the gutter spout, that’s a sign that they aren’t working as intended. While you can typically connect aftermarket extensions to the problem areas, that’s only a temporary fix.
Sometimes it’s difficult to tell whether or not your gutters need replacing when there’s no precipitation. So be sure to double-check for malfunctions when it’s raining outside. With precipitation, there’s a much better chance that you’ll notice holes and splitting in the gutters.
How Do I Prevent My Gutters From Deteriorating?
Clean them at least once every six months.
While you don’t need to scrub them, simply removing anything that’s preventing the water from running will help increase longevity.
For example: Leaves will clog the downspouts, and if the rain is acidic, it will eat away at the lining of the steel.
How Much Money Can I Get For Recycling My Gutters?
There are two factors that determine the value of your gutter scrap:
1.) The metal
2.) The amount you bring
Remember, everyone’s house is a different size, and everyone will most likely get a different amount of money in return for their pile of scrap.
By recycling our gutters, we’re taking steps to reduce our carbon footprint, preventing the deterioration of the ozone layer, and promoting a healthier environment for us all.