Aluminium vs Steel Gutter Guards

Metal gutter guards are excellent property owners with aluminium gutters or steel gutters. Gutter guards reduce the need for regular gutter cleaning, help prevent blocked gutters, allow optimal water flow, optimise water tank capture and harvesting, and ember protection. Many homeowners also use gutter guards for bird proofing for gutters, valleys and roof cavities.  So, are aluminium or steel gutter guards best? It depends on the gutter guard and solution type. An aluminium gutter mesh is strong, more versatile and malleable, making it perfect for most home and commercial applications. However, steel mesh meets BAL-40 and BAL-FZ ratings and speciality installation requirements, whereas aluminium does not.  To make an informed decision about the best gutter material, you should consider multiple factors such as: 
  • Gutter guard types 
  • Gutter guard solutions 
  • Bushfire Attack Level (BAL) Rating
  • Installation Process
  • Cost of Material 
  • Maintenance Procedures
  • Durability of Material 
Continue to learn the best gutter guards for your latest project. 

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Aluminium vs Steel Gutter Guards Comparison

Aluminium Gutter Guards Steel Gutter Guards
Very malleable
More robost
Easy to install
Galvanized, Colorbond and stainless steel gutter material options
Compatible with BAL-29 rating
Compatible with BAL-40 or BAL-FZ rating
Span across wider gaps
High tensile strength
More easily dented and more prone to cracking
Multiple gutter guard product types
Naturally corrosion and rust resistant
Prone to rust and corrosion over time
More expensive

Aluminium Gutter Guards

Aluminium is corrosion-resistant, non-combustible, and flexible, making it easy to install. Aluminium deters birds, vermin, and other pests from nesting in gutters and is compatible with the BAL-29 rating. Aluminium’s versatility makes it the perfect choice for most homes in Australia. 

Many property owners choose aluminium gutter guards to avoid rust. Aluminium does, however, corrode under extreme circumstances. The most common type is galvanic corrosion – aluminium comes in contact with other metals. So, aluminium gutters would not want to use aluminium gutter protection on steel gutters unless the steel has been galvanised.

Aluminium mesh

gutter guard installation

Aluminium mesh gutter guards are weaved from aluminium into diamond shapes that expand and contract. The expansion process makes aluminium gutter mesh more flexible and malleable, giving it an expansive property that allows the gutter mesh to span across all types of gutter profiles. 

Like roofing companies, gutter guard installations that involve box gutters or require bracing may be better suited to a specialist gutter guard installation company.

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Steel Gutter Guards

Steel gutter guards are available in panels, screens or gutter mesh. Mesh panels and screens are usually made from stainless steel and are more prone to rust. Gutter mesh is preferred for professional installation. Mesh panels are rigid, do not span all gutter profiles, and allow fine debris to permeate the screen. The gutter guard creates a permeable flat surface across the gutter profile, which can cause leaves and debris build up over the panel, inhibiting the flow of water. 

steel mesh

Steel mesh

Steel mesh is made from Colorbond steel material colour-coated to increase longevity and durability. Galvanised steel mesh is also available for corrugated roof and gutter profiles but is not suitable for copper roofs as contact will lead to rapid corrosion. 

ColorBond steel is a metal gutter guard required for gutter protection in a BAL-40 and BAL-FZ-rated bushfire zone. Homes and commercial buildings in these areas are highly vulnerable to fire and ember damage; steel mesh is the only metal gutter guard safe for these gutters. 

Metal Gutter Guards Cost

So, what is the difference in price between Colorbond steel and aluminium gutter mesh? Typically, you spend around $10 per meter of aluminium mesh and $15 per meter of stainless steel mesh. Stainless steel gutter guards or mesh panels are a cheaper alternative but are prone to warp and deteriorate under extreme Australian temperatures and heavy rain


Colorbond steel gutter guard is more robust than aluminium. Aluminium is easily dented and more prone to cracking; however, aluminium is roughly one-third of the weight of steel, generally more low maintenance. So, although stainless steel is more robust, the strength-to-weight ratio of aluminium is much better. Aluminium’s lightweight property makes it much easier to work with, which is why many professional installers prefer it. 

When it comes to longevity, aluminium and steel have an approximate lifespan of 20 years if properly maintained. Steel gutter guards often require a little more maintenance keeping them clean and moisture free. Similarly, it’s essential to make regular inspections of the colorbond-coating and rust spots. 

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Metal Gutter Guard vs Plastic Gutter Guard

tuffmesh poly plastic gutter guard

Like all gutter guards, plastic gutter guards vary in a product, durability styles and sizes. Typically, plastic gutter guards are your cheaper options and should be avoided if brittle and made from inferior materials such as nylon. 

However, high-quality plastic mesh gutter guards made from polyethylene are suitable and even specified for specific projects. Plastic mesh is resistant to the extreme temperatures of summer and will retain shape and strength in strong winds or hail. 

In most cases, aluminium is the preferred choice over poly mesh applications. However, if your gutter guard material contacts galvanised steel or copper, it will cause a chemical reaction. A poly mesh is usually the preferred gutter guard solution. Poly mesh gutter guards are also the preferred choice in coastal area applications, as a high concentration of salt and weather conditions affect the longevity of metal gutter guards. 

ScreenTech is an industry leader in aluminium gutter guard solutions and wholesale supply for tradespeople, architects and construction firms. Speak with one of our team members today to learn more about our aluminium TuffMesh® and GutterMesh ranges and our SteelMesh range.

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