Updated: Dec 4, 2018
Benefits of Aluminium Rainwater Systems
Aluminium is a lightweight metal with an approximate weight of 2.7g/cm3, roughly a third of the density of steel and cast iron. The installation of an aluminium gutter system is easier and safer than a cast iron system due to the weight difference. A square cast iron downpipe can weigh over 30kg vs a square aluminium downpipe weighing less than 5kg.
2. Impact Resistance
Despite its low weight, aluminium is extremely strong. For example, an aluminium downpipe dents on impact, but the force of the impact is absorbed by the deformation. A cast iron or plastic downpipe would crack under impact and require immediate replacement. The aluminium downpipe may be dented, but it won't need replacing.
3. Corrosion Resistance
Aluminium naturally generates a protective oxide coating and is highly corrosion resistant. Powder coating further improves this property giving a lifespan of around 30 years with minimal maintenance.
4. UV Radiation Resistance
Aluminium is resistant to the exposure of UV radiation from the sun. Over time, plastic gutters and downpipes become brittle from exposure to the sun and can also suffer from colour fading.
5. Temperature and Fire Resistance
The properties of aluminium remain constant with a temperature range of -80°C to +150°C. In extreme cold the hardness of aluminium increases which makes it tougher. Aluminium does not burn and is classed as a non-combustible construction material. Aluminium will melt at around 600- 650°C, but without releasing harmful gases. In freezing conditions plastic becomes brittle. In the event of a fire, plastic will quickly melt and burn allowing the fire to spread while releasing toxic gasses into the air.
6. Minimal Maintenance
A powder coated aluminium rainwater system requires very little maintenance. Keep the gutters free from leaves and debris and keep surfaces clean with warm soapy water once per year to enjoy a lifespan of decades. Cast iron requires repainting every 5-7 years to keep rust at bay which is a costly and time consuming exercise.
Aluminium is 100% recyclable with no degradation of its qualities. The re-melting of aluminium only requires about 5 percent of the energy needed in the initial production of the metal making an aluminium rainwater system the greener choice.