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January 21, 2019 | by Mike Milliman

Why Metal Gutters are (Sometimes) Better than Vinyl

Depending on where you live, you may want to think twice when deciding between vinyl and metal gutters. Although vinyl gutters are quite popular in many parts of the country, due to their ease of installation, affordability, and various colors and textures, they come with a unique set of downfalls that make metal gutters superior in many different ways. Take a look at what sets vinyl and metal gutters apart:


Why People Choose Vinyl Gutters


With all the various materials available for gutters, including steel, aluminum, and copper, people still choose vinyl relatively often. Vinyl has some advantages that are difficult to deny. It comes in more colors and textures than metal, and it’s incredibly affordable at the same time. Vinyl is lightweight and easy to install, and for the most part, it does a good job withstanding the elements — at least, for a while. Most homeowners who choose vinyl gutters over metal do so for aesthetic reasons, and the low price is an added bonus.


The Main Problem with Vinyl


Vinyl can be an excellent choice for homeowners in many states — especially in areas that remain warm and humid throughout the year. Unlike steel, which can rust when exposed to rain and moisture, vinyl does not corrode. However, vinyl’s main caveat becomes apparent in places like the Midwest, where hot summers are followed by cold winters. The freeze and thaw cycle will weaken vinyl very quickly, making it brittle, and in just a couple of years, homeowners are very likely to notice cracks in their gutters. Once this happens, the only option is to replace the cracked section of gutter.


Of course, this is not the only issue homeowners report with vinyl gutters. Another common issue is fading caused by the sun, which can occur in a single season. As the sun beats down on the vinyl gutters, they slowly lose their color — especially in areas that are exposed to more sunlight throughout the year. This results in mismatched colors and very evident fading, particularly for homeowners who choose darker colors.


The Benefits of Metal


For homeowners who want to avoid cracked gutters due to the freeze and thaw cycle, as well as the possibility of significant sun fading, metal is the way to go. There are numerous options available, including traditional (and affordable) aluminum gutters that resist rust and corrosion, or paint-ready steel gutters that can be primed and painted with quality products that will keep rust at bay. These materials are far more durable than vinyl, and in many cases, aluminum gutters are even more affordable.


Before deciding on a gutter material based solely on aesthetics and price, it is always a good idea to take some time to evaluate the pros and cons associated with each material. Though vinyl may look nice, and may be incredibly affordable, it is not without its faults — and it’s not the best choice in many parts of the country. Fortunately, there are numerous other options available to suit your aesthetic wishes, and your budget.


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About the Author
Mike is managing partner at Gutter Supply Inc. and has over 20 years of experience in the industry. His expertise and vast knowledge of the industry, along with his priority on customer service, has contributed to the continued success of Gutter Supply, it’s contractor customers and homeowner DIY’s.

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