What is a Copper Downspout?

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  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: Kristen Osborne
  • Last Modified Date: 07 November 2019
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A copper downspout is a downspout manufactured from copper. Downspouts drain the water collected in the gutters away, routing it to the street or an area of low-lying ground to keep water from pooling around the foundations of a structure. There are a number of advantages to using copper as a material for gutters and downspouts, although it is a less common building material than it once was due to expense and theft. Home supply and construction stores usually carry copper gutters and downspouts and can order them by request. People can also hire a construction firm to install new downspouts and gutters, in which case the firm will usually supply materials for the job.

Copper naturally resists corrosion. It develops a patina over time on exposure to the elements. This makes it a good choice for gutters and downspouts, as it will not break down, develop holes, or come apart with time. This metal is also very sturdy, and as long as it is fastened well, it should thrive for the life of the house. It is important to keep gutters and downspouts clear to avoid buildups of material that can cause the gutters to overflow.


The disadvantages to using copper is that it is an expensive metal. This adds to the cost of installation for something like a copper downspout, and can also expose people to the risk of theft. In addition, special skills are needed to install copper gutters and downspouts, because the metal needs to be handled carefully to avoid leaving marks and the materials must be soldered together at installation. Hiring people with the right skills can increase the price of a copper downspout and gutter installation.

People typically choose to use copper for gutters and downspouts when they are in the process of restoring historic homes or building new custom homes. Some people like the look and feel of copper, especially once the metal starts to patina, and it will weather well over the life of the structure. For people who plan on hiring a contractor for installation, it is advisable to get quotes from several companies and to compare quotes on other downspout and gutter materials. This will help people reach a decision about the materials they want to use on their homes.

A copper downspout should be periodically checked for blockages. It is also important to confirm that downspouts are draining away from the house. Over time, pieces of a copper downspout system can be knocked out of alignment, causing water to build up around the foundations. This can lead to structural damage.



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