Gutters collect rainwater from your roof and help prevent multiple possible damage problems that water can cause to the whole house structure.
Aluminum and vinyl gutters are two of the most popular material choices in the market right now.
You could save yourself the hassle and cost of maintenance by reading through this rundown of their benefits and disadvantages right now!
We’ll even tell you which one will work best for your home depending on different cases and climate conditions, so let’s get started.
Table of Contents
Aluminum vs Vinyl Gutters: An Overview
Your home deserves nothing but the best materials to ENSURE build quality and personal protection.
Let’s get to know the products before we get to the nitty-gritty part of this review. Our comparisons will make a lot more sense after this!
Aluminum gutters are the most popular type of gutters in the market right now.
Commonly used in gutter systems around the world are either primary grade or recycled grade aluminum.
What makes an aluminum gutter a reliable option is its durability in harsh weather conditions. In terms of durability, it offers a middle-ground option between plastic (vinyl) and solid steel.
House gutters are a part of the puzzle in protecting your house foundation from water damage, mold, moisture in basements etc.
THAT’S NOT ALL.
Its thickness and rust-resistant properties can last your house decades WITHOUT replacement!
Aluminum gutters are also highly customizable contrary to common knowledge. Aluminum gutters could come in various styles, shapes, and sizes, and are flexible as you make them out to be.
These are some of the advantages and disadvantages of using aluminum gutters for your homes:
- Weather durability
- Rust and rot-resistant
- Custom colors
- Not easily bendable
- Dents under heavy snow
- Not suitable for DIY installation
- Necessary repainting due to coat enamel
- Noise when redirecting rainwater
Vinyl gutters are made from PVC plastic material. This is what SETS THEM APART from other gutters.
The PVC material allows vinyl gutters to be extremely light and easy to install for an AFFORDABLE PRICE.
It’s even an industry thing to say that with vinyl gutters, all you’ll ever need is a ladder. No other tools needed at all!
These are perfect for homeowners who prefer to DIY their homes. Life doesn’t get any simpler than having a gutter system with an easy installation process, right?
The simple snap-together installation technique of these gutters is what makes them so popular in the DIY market. They are naturally corrosion resistant and scratch proof too since vinyl gutters are made from plastic!
What’s more, is that these gutters come in a variety of colors to provide you a wide array of choices for selection.
- One of the lightest gutter systems
- Cheapest gutter material to buy
- Easy installation
- Rust and rot-resistant
- Custom colors
- Prone to breaking under extreme weather conditions.
- Cannot sustain heavy weights from rain, debris and snow.
- Fading caused by the sun.
- The freeze and thaw cycle in temperatures will weaken vinyl very quickly.
Vinyl vs Aluminum Gutters: Product Comparison
Why choose one over the other? Here we assess the two products by looking at four of the main factors you should consider for your home.
Find out the better option for you now!
Ease of Installation
Winner: Aluminum Gutters
Let’s start by addressing a common misconception: aluminum gutters are easier to install than DIY-friendly vinyl gutters.
The main difference comes from the fact that vinyl gutters have more seams than aluminum gutters.
Many seams result in longer installation times especially if you plan to DIY it. This is why most people would often still hire installation professionals.
To be clear, the DIY option is still vinyl.
Vinyl gutters may have beginner-friendly snap mechanisms with their brackets, BUT aluminum gutters simply just need to be aligned onto your roofs properly to be installed.
Aluminum is already lightweight as it is anyway, just slightly heavier than vinyl. Metal gutters are also even sometimes seamless which further gives them the edge for ease of installation.
Performance and Durability
Winner: Aluminum Gutters
Aluminum gutters offer GREAT DURABILITY for their price.
An aluminum metal gutter system could last your house decades of harsh weather and erosion. The aluminum gutter material also assures you of MINIMAL BENDING and RUST.
It’s reliable enough to withstand layers of snow during the winter and debris from other sources.
Don’t worry because vinyl gutters are reliable, too! They also resist rust but generally offer LOWER durability when compared to aluminum metal types.
How is this possible?
This is because the plastic material makes the system still susceptible to cracking and becoming brittle.
In simpler words…
The performance of vinyl just tends to decrease and create damage that is harder to address than those from aluminum types.
Bending is also a serious issue that needs to be addressed. Vinyl’s plastic nature DOESN’T allow it to sustain heavy amounts of snow and erosion.
Homeowners should also take note that gutters serve to protect not just the roof of the home, but also the windows and the whole foundation. Any damage or possible water leaks should be considered to assess the area your gutters would encompass.
Aluminum CLEARLY demonstrates it’s the better option as far as durability and performance go.
However, we would also highly recommend vinyl gutters if you live in an area with a drier climate area and milder weather area conditions.
Winner: Vinyl Gutters
Vinyl gutters cost less, making it one of the MOST AFFORDABLE options in the market right now.
The PVC material allows for its lightweight feature for easy installation at just around $3-5 per 10-foot section. The material itself is also a lot cheaper because of its plasticity or ability to be molded accordingly.
However, this also comes with the disclaimer that this cost assumption will only hold true if you live in an area with a dry climate area!
Yes, vinyl does not corrode like aluminum does, but a WET CLIMATE AREA will make vinyl under-perform because of sagging and cracking.
Aluminum gutters offer you a BETTER PERFORMANCE in the long run otherwise. Its high durability feature makes this possible.
Whether you live in a dry or wet climate area, aluminum gutters are reliable options.
Regardless, we’re still sticking with vinyl gutters for the material cost option because it is cheaper than aluminum gutters.
Aluminum gutters cost more than vinyl, but at the same time are less expensive than copper, galvanized steel, and stainless steel gutters.
Vinyl types can still last your home decades when in the right type of climate area and when they are properly maintained.
Constantly check for damaged parts, water leaks, and breaks in your lines regardless.
Material cost is only the tip of the iceberg so catching issues early on for repairs will save you a whole lot more than a full replacement!
Both vinyl and aluminum gutters offer a wide variety of parts, colors, and design.
Vinyl gutters are readily available in the usual brown and white colors. The color is embedded in the material as opposed to painted or coated layers on gutter materials such as aluminum and steel.
Homeowners can thank the popularity of aluminum gutters because manufacturers have started to provide MORE VARIETIES of the product.
These are especially customizable because you can paint on them to match your home!
Aluminum Gutters: Our Overall Winner
Aluminum gutters are simply a better and more all-around option than vinyl gutters.
We’ll summarize the features that prove our choice of winner:
- Seamless Design. For ease of installation and prevention of leakage.
- Durability. For being more reliable and having less maintenance in the long run.
- Anti-Rust and Corrosion. For increased durability.
- For house strength and less maintenance cost.
- Climate Area Adaptability. For flexibility of use.
- Widespread popularity. For its reliability and customizability.
Both aluminum and vinyl gutters are great options for your homes. Aluminum gutters simply come with everything that vinyl gutters feature without the disadvantages.
Remember: your choice of gutters should serve their purpose optimally. DO NOT EVER settle for aesthetics at the expense of usability.
What’s especially great about this golden rule is that aluminum gutters won’t have you sacrificing anything for quality! This is why an aluminum gutter is our overall winner.
If anything, only consider choosing vinyl gutters if you live in a mild climate. Aluminum gutters outshine the former in every other aspect, so make sense of that as you will.
The price of materials and your budget will ultimately be the final determinant anyway — where steel gutters are just more expensive at the start, they make up for durability and longevity.
How to Choose Your Gutter System
What this vinyl vs aluminum gutter discussion proves is that there are a variety of benefits for each one.
Both aluminum and vinyl gutters have a great installation experience. Just remember that your choice of gutter materials is only the first step of assessing the longevity and durability of your gutters.
Here’s a short list of other often overlooked factors you should highly consider when choosing your gutters for your home:
- Why do you need your gutters? You should answer this question before you go on and choose your materials and settle on a price.
- Aluminum gutters are reliable for any type of climate area. Choose vinyl gutters only if you’re living in a dry climate area.
- Don’t spend more than what you can. But spending more now wouldn’t hurt so long as it means that you’ll be spending less in the future.
- Choose according to the style of your home. Our personal advice is to not let this be the foundation of your choice.
- Seam or Seamless. More than the aesthetic, this also affects the ease of installation. Homeowners, you should take note because there are obvious benefits for vinyl vs aluminum gutters.
- Gutter Protection. Assessing your rain gutters? A rain gutter should always be free of debris so make sure you get a reliable one. This is to avoid leaks to your roofs and windows.
You may also consider the DIY compatibility of your gutter system:
- Are you a homeowner who prefers to tinker with home materials?
- Or would you rather just call professionals or contractors over to help with your needs?
Take all these factors into consideration to give you a clearer idea of which gutter material is best for your home.
If you’re after immediate compatibility, go for vinyl gutters.
If you’re after customizability and better maintenance, go for aluminum gutters.
Either way, you’re getting yourself a good deal. Just maybe only consider vinyl gutters when you’re in a dry climate area.
Have you tried any of these options? Have anything to add to the vinyl vs aluminum gutter discussions? Share it with us in the comments section below!
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