Your gutters play an essential role in keeping your home attractive and safe from water damage. Without functioning gutters, rainwater and melting snow on your roof can erode the foundation of your home, damage your landscaping, cause windows to rot, and lead to leaks in the roof itself. As a result, you want to choose the best gutters possible.
Although you can find gutters made from many different materials, some options are better than others. Two of the most common gutter materials — vinyl and aluminum — perform very differently despite surface-level similarities. To help you make an informed decision, let’s take a closer look at vinyl vs. aluminum gutters.
Are Vinyl Gutters or Aluminum Gutters Better?
Aluminum gutters are a type of guttering made of the lightweight metal of the same name. They’ve been popular for both homes and commercial buildings for many years. Vinyl gutters are made of a lightweight plastic material. You might also know them as “PVC gutters” or “plastic gutters.” They are defined by their snap-together installation method, which led to their initial popularity in the DIY market.
Whether you choose vinyl or metal gutters depends on many factors, including which properties you value most and the unique demands of your home and climate. For most homeowners in Pennsylvania, aluminum gutters make a better choice.
If you are weighing vinyl vs. aluminum gutter options for your home, consider these factors:
Ease of Installation
It’s true that PVC gutters allow for do-it-yourself installation by snapping together, but they are actually very difficult to install compared to aluminum. Vinyl gutters have many seams, which means installation is time-consuming for even the most skilled DIY hobbyists. If you opt for professional installation, you may also struggle to find an installer who will work with vinyl gutters.
Aluminum gutters are as lightweight as vinyl and significantly easier to install. This is because aluminum gutters have fewer seams — and some are even seamless. Most gutter installation professionals prefer working with aluminum, so you can easily find someone to handle the project for you.
Performance and Durability
When comparing vinyl and aluminum gutters, perhaps the most important factor to consider is durability. Aluminum gutters offer great durability for the price. They will not bend or rust, and a typical aluminum gutter system lasts upwards of 20 years in any climate. Aluminum withstands the snow and ice as well, making aluminum gutters perfectly suited to harsh Pennsylvania winters.
Vinyl also resists rust and corrosion, but it features lower durability. Repeated exposure to heat and cold causes vinyl to become brittle and crack, and ice and snow can bend the material in the winter, decreasing performance and sometimes creating damage that is beyond repair. Although vinyl gutters may last up to 20 years in dry, mild climates, vinyl gutter systems in Pennsylvania may need replacement in just 10 years.
Many homeowners look for affordable materials when installing gutter systems. Vinyl and aluminum both have low material costs compared to other options like steel. Because vinyl tends to wear out faster than aluminum, however, you may end up paying more for plastic gutters in the long run.
While slightly more expensive than vinyl, aluminum gutters offer the best performance for the price and cost less to install than gutters made from other materials. This is partly due to aluminum’s low weight and ubiquity.
Other Reasons to Choose Aluminum Gutters Over Vinyl
When choosing vinyl vs. aluminum guttering, most Pennsylvania homeowners decide that the cost, durability, and ease of installation make aluminum the best-value option. Other reasons to choose aluminum gutters over PVC include:
- Seamless design: Unlike vinyl gutters, aluminum gutters can be made seamless. This design prevents leaking and looks nicer on a home’s exterior.
- Color options: Aluminum gutters come in a variety of colors to match the look of your home. At All Season Gutters, we offer aluminum guttering in 21 different color options, ranging from light neutrals to dark red, blue, and green.
- Widespread popularity: Aluminum gutters are tried and tested. They’re popular with many homeowners and inspire more purchasing confidence than DIY vinyl gutters. As a result, choosing aluminum can help preserve the value of your Pennsylvania home.
Let All Season Gutters Help With Gutter Installation
It’s clear that aluminum gutters provide more benefits than vinyl gutters overall. That’s why we make our seamless guttering from thick, high-quality aluminum. If you’ve decided to install new gutters for your home in Lemoyne, Camp Hill, Harrisburg, or other parts of Pennsylvania, All Season Gutters can help. With more than 13 years of experience, we can answer any questions you may have about gutter materials.