Why Contractors Won’t Recommend Vinyl Gutters
Vinyl gutters are seen fairly commonly on homes and you may think that the ones on yours have done well over the years and are perfectly fine.
However, contractors will usually tell you that there are better options out there because there absolutely are. For the few benefits that vinyl gutters give you, there are some very important disadvantages as well.
For this post, we will go over exactly what vinyl gutters are, why people have chosen to use them before and why professionals will tell you not to use them. Finally, you’ll see types of gutters that contractors do recommend and will likely perform better than a vinyl gutter system.
What are Vinyl Gutters?
So let’s start with, what do gutters do? Gutters are made to keep your roof, walls and siding from getting damaged by lots of water from storms and other types of water damage.
Vinyl gutters are actually made of PVC plastic and are very popular as a cheap alternative to other kinds of gutters. They are seen on many homes and are also fairly well liked by those who install it because it is rather easy to put in.
To put it simply, vinyl gutters are just another kind of gutter on the market that comes in all different lengths, sizes, and shapes. What differentiates it from others is, of course, that PVC plastic used to make it.
Pros of Vinyl Gutters
- Easy Installation
Vinyl gutters are lightweight and are popular amongst those who have little experience with gutter installation and want to give it a try.
Also, for those that do not want to pay someone to install their gutters for them, the easy-to-install vinyl gutters are a particularly appealing option. Which leads us to the next pro for these types of gutters:
Probably the most popular reason people will turn to using vinyl gutters for their home is the low price. It is possible to find these gutters at many home improvement stores for something around $3.00 a length or less.
Also, because they are very easy to install, you will end up paying less for a contractor to put them in for you. Alternatively, you could always put them in yourself and not even have to bother paying a professional to do it.
- Low Maintenance
Vinyl gutters hardly require any maintenance while they’re operational. They will never ding or dent like metal gutters could and, because they’re made of plastic, they never corrode.
There’s no need to paint vinyl gutters and even if they get scratched, the material’s color goes completely through so the scratch is hardly noticeable. Again, this is a problem with metal gutters that people will sometimes be the reason people choose vinyl gutters.
Cons of Vinyl Gutters
- Don’t Last Long
Vinyl gutters will usually last you around 8-10 years if installed correctly. However, it depends on how thick the plastic is to see if they will last longer or shorter than that.
Other gutters will last you much longer than this and, while vinyl gutters are easy to install, you will be doing this job a lot more than if you simply get a better gutter system.
- Not as Structurally Sound
The PVC plastic that vinyl gutters are made out of can’t support heavier weights over long time periods. This makes vinyl gutters a particularly bad idea for homes that see a lot of heavy rains.
Vinyl gutter’s seams are also absolutely a weakness that can cause big problems with excessive weight. If too much water or other material weighs down on the gutter, the seams can pull apart and cause leaks. At worst, the gutter can completely break apart at one of these seams and become unusable.
There are seamless vinyl gutters that are certainly the better of the two, but the material itself is still structurally weak and suffers the same problems. Metal is much better in this regard because the joints are soldered and can handle much more weight than their vinyl counterparts.
Gutters That Contractors Do Recommend
- Steel Gutters
If you live in an area that is prone to rough storms or long rains, steel gutters will last a long time and are much stronger than cheap vinyl gutters. You can go with galvanized or stainless steel gutters and each have their own benefits.
Galvanized steel typically will not corrode for up to 25 years and stainless steel will not rust whatsoever. These types of gutters are more on the expensive side but, if your home needs it, they are well worth the investment.
- Copper Gutters
Copper gutters will succeed in just about any climate you can think of. These types of gutters are arguably the best rain gutters on the market and for good reason.
They last for a long time, are durable even through harsh weather conditions, and also make your home look pretty good while doing it. Of course, these are usually the most expensive gutters out there, but they are certainly worth the price if you can afford it.
- Aluminum Gutters
Aluminum gutters are another inexpensive option for those looking for gutters on a budget and don’t want to settle for vinyl. Aluminum is lightweight, will not rust at all, and is pretty durable itself too.
They are nice gutters except that they can very easily get dented by falling branches, hail and other things that could impact the gutter. If you live in a place that blows a lot of branches around or gets hail, you may want to go for a different option.
Vinyl gutters have their benefits but just about any contractor will tell you that there are better options available to you. Vinyl may be cheap and easy to put in but it is cheap for a reason.
Keep in mind the other options you have when looking for gutters and only install vinyl gutters if you are okay with replacing them frequently and know they won’t get damaged by too much rainwater weight.