Vinyl Gutters: Pros and Cons
Plastic gutters are growing in popularity for a number of reasons. They are made of PVC plastic, making them dent and corrosion resistant, which is a big plus for the gutter material. They are also lightweight, which makes them relatively easy to install. And finally, they are quite a bit cheaper than most other gutter materials out there. Of course, they don't come without a downside, so be sure to inform yourself about the pros and cons of vinyl rain gutters before you choose them for your house.
Advantages of The Plastic
As already mentioned, there's a number of good reasons to install vinyl gutters, with durability leading the charge. As vinyl is manufactured from PVC plastic, it won't rust or corrode like other materials and can't be dented by poorly placed ladders. The other big plus of plastic is that these gutters are the same color inside and out, which means scratches and scrapes won't be visible.
Purchase The Product Carefully
Be certain you are buying quality materials. The big danger with the vinyl gutter lies mostly with cheaper versions of the product. Cheap vinyl rain gutters are thinner, making them susceptible to sagging and more prone to growing brittle with age. Cheap materials are also damaged easily by extreme cold, which is the other noted enemy of plastic products. Usually, the better and thicker the plastic, the less likely is for these issues to occur.
Plastic is Easy to Install
Another great benefit of PVC gutters is how lightweight they are compared to other materials, and how easily they snap together. This makes them easy for contractors to install, cutting down on time and reducing the final cost. In fact, the ease with which it can be put up has made it a favorite for DIYers. But keep in mind that because gutters need to be hung and sloped properly in order to function, it's recommended you hire a pro to ensure the job is done right. Plastic is also easy to clean by hand, with a specialized wet vacuum gutter cleaning machine or even with a jet wash.
Many residents are drawn to vinyl rain gutters because of its cheap cost in comparison to other materials. Ten foot sections can be found for $3 to $5, but don't let the price fool you. With the added expense of hangers, couplings and downspouts, you could get a final cost in the $3 to $5 per linear foot range. Still, compared to other gutter materials, which range from anywhere between $5 and $40 per linear foot, vinyl is still one of the most cost effective materials on the market.
Like all other materials, the vinyl gutters also have their drawbacks, with the biggest one - their longevity. As they are actually made of PVC plastic, over time they can begin to crack, sag and wear out, especially if you buy the thinner ones. And it can be very difficult with some brands to tell which type will last longer. Many residents looking to cut some costs may find their vinyl gutters wear out after just a couple of years, especially in climates that get a lot of rain and snow. Plastic is very susceptible to cold, so if it gets extremely frigid and you choose the lighter versions, you may have cracking gutters right in the middle of the winter just due to cold.
Better Find a Gutter Installer
When you're interested in plastic gutters, speak with an experienced contractor about getting the right gutter for you. If you're willing to pay a little more for higher end PVC materials, you'll end up with a properly installed, functional and cost effective solution to all of your gutter needs.
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