Thinking of replacing your gutter system with a new one? If so, you’ll soon learn that there are several options to choose from in terms of material, style, quality, and more. One of the options that you can find are the wooden gutters. Although it was a staple a hundred years ago, today, this type of setup is mostly seen in very old homes.

On the other hand, there are modern methods of using wood for a gutter system, and it is common for contractors to use these systems when restoring historic properties. But before you decide on a natural material like wood for your new gutters, make sure you consider all the facts. You may decide that wood is not the best option for your home. Read on to learn what you need to know about wood gutter systems.

Maintenance and Longevity

When searching for major exterior components of a home, such as gutters, your top priority is usually to find a durable product that requires little maintenance and lasts a long time. Unfortunately, wooden gutters do not fit this description. Because wood is a natural element, it is more prone to damage from natural wear and tear, inclement weather, precipitation, humidity, heat, sun, nuisance wildlife, pest infestations and plus. With good care, a wood system can last 15 to 30 years or more, but it takes a lot of work.

If you’re looking for a low-maintenance system that will last for decades, turn your attention to alternative materials, such as galvanized steel, aluminum, or even vinyl. These materials are the most popular and recommended in the market for residential and commercial gutters.

Cost and Installation

Alternative gutter materials not only require less maintenance and last longer, they are cheaper and easier to install compared to wood. Wood is heavy and naturally occurring, so it makes sense that it would be more expensive to buy, more expensive to install, and more difficult to install. When wood gutters are the only option for your personal preference, you need to be prepared to pay more, implement a higher standard of care, and recognize that you may need to replace them at some point.

types of wood

If you decide to look at wood gutters, your best bet is to choose a wood that is stronger and more durable than others, such as redwood or red cedar heartwood. These are the preferred options for historic renovations and wood gutters because both contain natural oils that work well to repel water, reducing mold, mildew, and fungal growth, as well as water leaks. Also, these natural oils work well against drying out (cracking and cracking), which is another common problem for wood gutters.

If you need a cheaper option that will still get the job done, Douglas fir is acceptable. Although it is cheaper than redwoods and red cedar heartwood, it will not last as long or withstand outdoor elements. Routine painting and the application of mineral oil (don’t use linseed or tung oil) can help prevent these problems and increase the life of the wood.

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