Should I Use Vinyl or Aluminum Gutters?

January 21, 2021

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Picture Showing Examples of Vinyl and Aluminum Gutters
Not all rain gutters look the same. A rain guttering system is meant to blend into a building's layout and each building has its own structural quirks. When it comes to custom rain gutters, you can have a say on the shapes, sizes, and materials that will be used while leaving the practical factors to the rain guttering company of your choice. Materials are one important element, not only because they must sustain your gutters for decades of climatic changes, but because they will have a lot to do with your gutter's final look. Both vinyl and aluminum are popular choices among people who value flexibility, but how well they perform will depend on your contractor's skills. Should you choose one over the other? We tell you all you need to know.

Both aluminum and vinyl are popular materials for rain gutters. On one hand, they are fairly inexpensive, and this turns them into viable options for homes and businesses alike. On the other hand, they share many of the qualities people look for their rain gutters, like flexibility and the potential to stay in perfect condition for many decades. Professionals in the industry know that both materials are in high demand just as well as they know of the benefits and drawbacks that come with each option. In general terms, this is what you need to know about aluminum and vinyl gutters:

Inside of Aluminum Rain GutterAluminum gutters: Despite being made of metal, they are surprisingly lightweight. Aluminum gutters offer a simple installation process and effectively redirect the rainwater, even in harsh climates where hail and snow are a regular occurrence.

Vinyl Gutters: Made of plastic, they are also lightweight and a common choice for DIY installations. They usually come in sections that must be snaped together during the installation process. Because they don't make noise while redirecting the water, some homeowners prefer them over their metal counterparts.

Let's expand on the pros and cons of each material while addressing some of the most important aspects of the rain gutter installation process:
  • Durability: One of the reasons why people hire professional rain gutter installers is the comfort that comes with having a long-lasting rain guttering system. This is also why some contractors opt out of working with vinyl gutters. Vinyl gutters can withstand corrosion to a certain degree, but are more easily affected by long periods of exposure to the elements, often showing cracks or bending at the seams. Aluminum gutters are known for standing through all sorts of harsh climates without bending or wearing down. On average, aluminum gutters can last for 20 to 30 years.

  • Installation: Vinyl is more accessible, so many people use this material to install rain gutters without the help of a contractor. The downside of this is that vinyl gutters tend to be a lot harder to put together. Aluminum gutters involve fewer seams and, despite appearances, are just as lightweight, helping the installation process run more smoothly.

  • Two Men Installing a Aluminum Rain Gutter System
  • Color: Vinyl gutters are easier to paint. In most cases, they don't require that extra step because there are many colors available for the material itself. Aluminum gutters also come in many different colors, but if you want to paint them, make sure to use acrylic paint and UV protectants. Aluminum gutters will probably require more paint work after their enamel coat starts to crack.

  • Custom-made gutters: Seamless aluminum gutters are usually strong enough to thrive for many years and can be tailored to the homeowner's specifications. While vinyl gutters are usually installed through pre-cut sections to save some of the hassle, they don't offer many options when it comes to a seamless design.

  • Pricing: Aluminum is slightly more expensive, and vinyl is actually the cheapest option available, but both are ultimately among the most affordable materials when it comes to rain gutters.

At the end of the day, the main purpose of a rain gutter is to carry water towards the downspouts and away from your home, and this marks an important point in favor of aluminum gutters: they are water-resistant, so they can stand comfortably on rainy climates for years without showing signs of decay. They are not impervious to dents nor as strong as other gutters made of copper or steel, but you they can be sturdy without losing versatility.

So, Which Material Should I Choose?

All this information can serve as a starting point, but it's still important to run your preferences by your contractor. If you own a small property and live in a dry climate, either option might suit your needs, especially if you'd prefer to go for a sectioned guttering system. Regardless, you can trust a seasoned rain guttering company to clear many of your doubts and simplify the selection process for you. Even if you don't want to spend money on a professional installation service, you should at least look for companies in your area and see what they have to offer in terms of materials, sizes, and designs.

If you want to learn more about the best materials for your rain gutters, don't hesitate to reach out to the specialists at Rain Gutters Solution. We have the best resources at our disposal to help you install the ideal guttering system for your home. Contact us calling (305) 270-7779 today or filling out the contact form on this website to schedule an appointment with our team. We look forward to working with you!

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