Gutters are a bit like your nose; they’re always in sight, but you don’t notice them unless you zero in on them. The most basic gutters are usually white. These may blend in with a white or pastel-colored home. However, they don’t necessarily add to the curb appeal. Homes that are constructed with brick, shakes or darker tones may benefit from the sleek, architectural style of black gutters. But you might wonder whether black gutters will retain their visual attractiveness or fade over time.
Black Gutters Have the Potential to Fade
If you have a dark roof and shutters, black gutters might look more elegant than white ones. But will they still look sophisticated if they fade?
Like your roof, gutters are exposed to direct sunlight throughout the day. White gutters reflect a lot of that light. Black gutters absorb it. They are more prone to expansion and contraction from temperature changes than white gutters. Therefore, black gutters deteriorate faster than white ones.
UV rays will also cause any dark surface to fade over time. The gutters that are exposed to the most sunlight will fade the most quickly.
Certain materials are more prone to fading than others. Many homeowners choose vinyl gutters for their low price tag and versatility. Plus, vinyl gutters come in a wide variety of colors. But vinyl is more likely to fade quickly than metal gutters. This material can lose its color in one sunny season. It will lighten more in areas of bright sunlight, resulting in mismatched gutters throughout the home.
An excellent alternative to vinyl gutters is aluminum. Metal gutters do have the potential for corrosion. However, they are usually coated with heavy-duty paint and coatings that safeguard the dark color.
Benefits of Black Gutters
While it’s true that black gutters can fade, they offer plenty of benefits that outweigh the disadvantages.
Disguise Dirt and Stains
White gutters are prone to darkening in spots where the paint becomes damaged or scraped off. Mold, mildew, algae and dirt can create shadowy stains on white gutters. You won’t see these blemishes on black gutters, and as a result, won’t have to clean them quite as often.
However, mildew might be more prevalent on black gutters than white ones. That’s because black gutters stay warmer longer than white ones. They create the perfect environment for fungal growth.
Look Great When Wet
Even if they’re somewhat faded, black gutters look sharp in wet weather. A coating of rain makes them shine, and it darkens the hue. If you live in a rainy area, black gutters can enhance your home’s style. Plus, you don’t have to worry about fading if the gutters don’t see a lot of sunlight.
How to Prevent Black Gutters From Fading
The fact that black gutters can fade shouldn’t prevent you from installing them if their aesthetic is perfect for your home. Take the following steps to prevent your black gutters from fading:
- Choose a high-quality brand – High-quality gutters are typically made with superior materials. Look for a brand that uses UV-resistant paints or coatings to help them last longer.
- Check for UV testing – Before deciding on a gutter brand, find out whether the manufacturer tests them for UV damage. This will give you a good idea of what to expect from the gutters over time.
- Inspect them regularly – Organic growth can eat away at the coating on a gutter. So can deposits of pollen, pollutants, tree sap and other grime. Because these stains might not be obvious from the ground, inspect the gutters routinely to identify and remove buildup.
- Clean them gently – Avoid using abrasive cleaning products on your gutters. These can scratch the surface and impair the UV-resistant coating.
- Paint them – Consider restoring faded gutters by painting them. This job needs to be done properly to achieve good results. A professional can help you prepare the surface and select the right paint product for the task. If you don’t use the appropriate techniques and products, your gutters can peel or fade even more.
Are Black Gutters Appropriate for Your Home?
If you’re thinking of installing new gutters, you get to choose a color that complements your architecture. Dark gutters usually look great with a dark roof and trim. If you have lots of obvious light-colored trim, however, you might want to choose a lighter color. Houses with minimal or subdued trim can be updated with light or dark gutters.
Once you have decided on the aesthetic, consider the weather in your area. Black gutters are ideal for rainy climates. They don’t last as long in arid, sun-soaked regions.
Homeowners who are concerned about their black gutters fading might want to choose a lighter shade. You don’t have to go with white; you can choose charcoal, brown or gray. Fading won’t be as evident, and you may get more life out of the gutters.
Contact a roofing professional with gutter experience if you need help deciding what color gutters to choose. At Presidio Roofing, we understand what works best for clients in our area. Let us help you protect your home and enhance its appearance with the right gutters.