What Gutter Should You Choose? Aluminum, Zinc, or Vinyl?
As a homeowner there are so many unexpected costs and things around the home that need to be consistently maintained. Don’t let your rain gutters become a problem; neglected gutters can lead to costly repairs! They are one of your homes most important protections against the elements. Besides cleaning them out and preventing blockages, sometimes they need to be replaced completely. If you want to install new gutters or if you are just looking to replace your existing gutters, the question is what type is the best? The most common materials to choose from are aluminum gutters, zinc gutters and vinyl gutters. Let’s look at some pros and cons of each material.
Aluminum gutters can be customized on-site into seamless gutters that fit perfectly on your home. Their life expectancy is well over twenty years and they do not rust or thin over time. They come in many colors and styles making your home visually appealing and highly protected against mother nature. The price does vary depending on whether or not you want something thicker and more durable. Some of the drawbacks to aluminum gutters are they are easily dented/damaged and the paint will need to be reapplied after time due to the weather and elements wearing away at the enamel. What also makes it a positive can be considered a negative too since seamless gutters are custom fitted to your home this can increase the cost too.
According to the website Rain Gutter Guide, zinc gutters and copper gutters are similar in that they are usually unpainted and will develop a protective patina that protects the gutters from weathering and corrosion. Zinc gutters cost more than aluminum gutters initially, but they have over twice the lifespan (up to thirty to fifty years), require no paint and very little maintenance. Zinc gutters are considered a premium gutter, and usually have more care taken in the installation, which ultimately leads to less leaks and water damage. Keep in mind that zinc gutters are vulnerable to acidic runoff from cedar-shingled roofs and seawater proximity is also a factor. Zinc is the more expensive option but because of it’s strength and durability it remains a popular choice.
Many homeowners are drawn to vinyl gutters because gutter installation is easy and can be very cheap too. Plastic doesn’t rust or corrode like other materials and can’t be dented or dinged like aluminium. However, you pay for what you get and the longevity of vinyl gutters are much less than both aluminum and zinc. Even only after a few years they can begin to sag, crack, and wear out depending on if you live in a climate with lots of rain or snow. Most plastic is also susceptible to the cold so your new gutters can crack the very same year if you experience a particularly cold winter. Lastly, vinyl gutters come with seams so they are also more likely to leak. You may want to put in the extra money for a more durable material like zinc or aluminum and save yourself the hassle in the long run.
If you are looking for brand new gutters or find that you need to replace the gutters on your home there are a lot of materials and options to consider. You may want to talk to a professional before moving forward so that they can take all of your home and climate factors into consideration. Find a reputable company in your area with the expertise and experience needed to help you find the perfect gutter for your home.
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