Vinyl Gutters are the cheaper option, but are they the best choice? When it comes to gutters, vinyl gutters and metal are the two main options out there. A lot of folks initially want to go for vinyl because they are cheaper upfront but we always steer people towards metal gutters instead. Here's why:
Vinyl gutters don't tend to hold up well in the long run. After just 10-15 years, they get brittle from the sun and start cracking at the seams. All that expanding and contracting through seasons of hot and cold makes the cracks worse over time too. We've replaced way too many vinyl gutter systems that just crumbled from age.
A good metal gutter, installed right, will easily last you 50 years or more. The key is proper maintenance - making sure you keep them clean and clear of debris buildup. But metal is much more durable overall. It takes all that temperature swinging and weather beating year after year without failing on you.
And vinyl gets sticky and grabs onto all kinds of debris. Come fall, it's a magnet for leaves and gunk to clog it up. But metal gutters stay nice and smooth so the debris washes clear out. Keeping metal gutter cleanups to a minimum.
When vinyl does get damaged, it's a pain to repair. Often you have to replace full sections. But with metal, it’s not too tricky to patch or mend small problem areas as needed.
Anyway, you get the idea. Vinyl gutters might cost less money initially. But quality metal gutters will save you cash over the long haul. And you’ll avoid the hassle of replacing flimsy vinyl gutters every decade or so. I always recommend going metal over vinyl. You’ll thank us later!
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The Drawbacks of Vinyl Gutters
- Prone to Cracking
- Only available as sectional gutters, not as seamless gutters
- Not durable
- Prone to debris cause a clog
- Difficult to maintain
- Sag Easily under weight of debris, as they age and get weathered.
- Easily warp and twist
- No curb appeal
- Negative impact on home resale value compared to metal gutters
The Benefits of Metal Gutters
In contrast to vinyl gutters, metal gutters have many advantages:
- Long-lasting Durability - With proper maintenance, metal gutters easily last 50 years or more without needing replacement. Metal stands up to weather fluctuations and seasonal debris far better than vinyl over decades.
- Strength and Rigidity - Metal gutters are structurally sound. They are rigid enough to resist sagging, maintaining the correct pitch to move water efficiently. Metal's rigidity also allows for seamless gutter designs.
- Improved Aesthetics - Whether you prefer a soft, dark bronze or the bold shine of copper, metal's beauty boosts curb appeal. Even neutral aluminum or galvanized steel look better than vinyl.
- Easier to Maintain - Metal gutters hold their shape and detach/reattach easier than vinyl, making debris removal, repairs and modifications simpler.
- Weather Resistance - Metal handles hail, wind, snow loads, temperature swings and other weather better than vinyl. Lifetime weather performance is no match.
- Fire Safety - Metal gutters offer more fire resistance than vinyl. This is especially important for homes in wildfire-prone areas.
- Customizable Options - Metal gutters can be formed into custom shapes, sizes and colors to fit the unique architecture of your home. Finding vinyl gutter styles to match custom home profiles is difficult.
- Can Handle Snow and Ice - The strength of metal gutters allows them to bear weight from heavy snow or ice dams without warping or twisting out of shape. Vinyl gutters fail under heavy snow loads.
- Value Added - Quality metal gutters boost resale value, while vinyl gutters detract value. Smart homeowners choose metal!
Vinyl gutters may cost less upfront, but their numerous drawbacks make them a poor investment compared to metal gutters. For superior durability, performance, aesthetics and added value over the lifetime of your home, metal is the clear winner. Contact the gutter installation pros at Gutter Builders today to learn more about our quality copper, aluminum and steel gutter options. We provide free estimates for seamless gutter systems that are built to last.