Vinyl Gutters: Pros and Cons
Vinyl Gutters: Pros and Cons
Vinyl gutters have been steadily gaining in popularity amongst DIY homeowners for some time now. They aren’t for everyone, however, and some people still feel that metal gutters are the answer. Learn more about the pros and cons of vinyl gutters to make the best decision for your home.
Vinyl Gutter Pros
The number one reason that most people like to use vinyl gutters on their homes is how inexpensive they are. You can find lengths of vinyl gutters at most home improvement centers for less than $3 a length. Because they are so easy to install, you can either put them up yourself, or if you hire a contractor, you also end up paying less for the installation than you would for aluminum or steel gutters.
The other biggest advantage to using vinyl gutters is how low maintenance they are. They don’t dent or ding the way that metal gutters do, and they never corrode. They also don’t require painting, and if they do scratch the color of the material goes all the way through so the scratches aren’t as noticeable on them as they would be on a powder-coated metal gutter.
Finally, vinyl gutters are also extremely lightweight. This is a big advantage for homeowners that want to try their hand at installing their gutters themselves.
Vinyl Gutter Cons
Like all materials, vinyl gutters also have their drawbacks. Their biggest is their longevity. These gutters are actually made from PVC plastic, and over time they can begin to sag, crack, and wear out, particularly if you get the thinner variety. It can be difficult to tell with some brands what type may last longer, and homeowners looking to save money may find that their gutters wear out after just a few years, particularly in climates that get a lot of rain and snow. Most plastic is also susceptible to the cold, so if you live in a climate that gets extremely frigid winters, or you opt for lighter grades of vinyl, you could find your gutters cracking in the middle of winter just due to the cold.
Vinyl gutters also come with seams, which gives them a lot of potential areas where they could wear out or begin to leak. While other gutters may be seamed as well, metal has the advantage of being able to be soldered at the joints, strengthening them. Vinyl doesn’t have this option, so there’s no way to help increase their longevity in these areas.
Choose Your Gutters Carefully
If you do your homework and look for heavy weight vinyl gutters that are made from thicker plastic, it is possible to get vinyl gutters that are both inexpensive and easy to install and that last for years. Be careful, though, not to fall for the price trap of cheaper gutters that merely have to be replaced again in just a few years time.
Vinyl gutters can be a good choice for DIY homeowners and those looking for a low maintenance gutter option that doesn’t cost too much money. Make your choice carefully to get the best product for your home.
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