Homeowners looking replace their worn-out/damaged rain gutters, or simply deciding what type to use on new home construction have several varieties of materials from which to choose. The most significant differences found when shopping these choices is usually the price and durability of a particular system. Care must be taken not to be too sticker-shocked by the cost of a properly installed, lifetime gutter system, for this is one area of your home’s exterior you don’t want to cheap-out on and pay dearly to have it corrected.
Aluminum vs. Vinyl Rain Gutters
Although there are other gutter material options such as steel, copper, and wood, the up-front cost of these is usually more than most homeowners can afford. This leaves vinyl and aluminum rain gutters as the most common choice due to their attractive prices and availability. They both share many of the same traits, like ease of installation and no rust to worry about, but there are several distinct differences you need to be aware of.
Vinyl Gutter Pros:
* The biggest reason to choose vinyl over aluminum is the cost, which, is easily the most affordable of all the systems on the market today.
* Owing to its lightweight construction, vinyl is easier for the DIYer to install.
* Vinyl is a very low-maintenance material, and will never rust or get dinged and dented. Any scratches that happen won’t be very obvious because the color goes all the way through the plastic.
* Longevity of vinyl is a problem, as the plastic tends to sag and crack over time. Lighter grades of vinyl plastic are susceptible to stress cracking from extreme cold and ice dam issues. After time, vinyl may likely become brittle from the UV rays of the sun.
* The seams built-in to most vinyl gutter systems are not as strong as their metal counterparts, so leak potential is quite high in these areas. Another point of weakness is the screws used to fasten vinyl gutters to the fascia boards are typically too small to reach the rafter ends, which results in less support.
Aluminum Gutter Pros:
* Aluminum systems are quite affordable, and owing to their rust-free nature, should be considered a lifetime home improvement – when properly maintained.
* Aluminum is an excellent choice for Roof gutters, for the softer metal will expand and contract freely to compensate for extreme temperatures.
* If you prefer seamless gutter systems, aluminum can be expertly extruded on site to fit any length of run, with a virtual guarantee against leaks. Seamless gutters help to ensure that water is carried away from your home eliminating issues later with your foundation or fascia.
* Aluminum gutters usually come with a painted finish, to match any shade of house siding.
* Aluminum can easily be dented by ladders, falling tree branches, Although small dents will not affect the overall performance of your gutter. Over time, the enamel paint coating may chip or fade. However, they can be repainted if need be.
* If left unpainted, homeowners in coastal areas where there is salty air should be careful when choosing this type of gutter coupled with algae-resistant roof shingles. The copper-infused runoff can lead to galvanic corrosion.
Recommended Roof Gutters
Vinyl rain gutters can be a good choice if a thicker plastic variety is used. Cheaper, thinner types will just have to be replaced sooner rather than later. When considering all essential factors such as cost, leak prevention, and durability, seamless aluminum gutters outshine vinyl. If you happen to live in Southern Oregon and need any gutter installation or maintenance work on your home’s gutters, please don’t hesitate to call or contact Gutter Done Gutters today!