The Pros and Cons of Vinyl Gutters

close-up of vinyl gutters

Vinyl gutters are making waves in the gutter world. They are affordable, easy to install, and durable. If you’re considering installing vinyl gutters in your home and want to know their pros and cons, you have come to the right place. 

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What Are Vinyl Gutters?

vinyl rain gutters on a house
Photo Credit: Lex20 / Canva Pro / License

Vinyl gutters are made of PVC plastic, so they are lightweight, easy to install, and won’t rust or dent like other materials. They are affordable and are available in many colors, sizes, and shapes. 

Vinyl gutters are also easy to maintain; if a section breaks, it’s easy to replace. If properly maintained, they can last 15 years. 

Pros of Vinyl Gutters

There is a lot to like about vinyl gutters, and they can be a good option under the right circumstances. Consider that they are: 

1. Affordable

Installing vinyl gutters costs between $3 and $12 per linear foot, including fasteners, hangers, and downspouts. They are the least expensive of all gutter materials, thus the reason for their popularity. 

Since vinyl gutters are easy to install, professional installation is cheaper. Installation charges range from $2 to $7 per linear foot, depending on your home’s size and structure.  

2. Easy To Install

Vinyl gutters are lightweight and easy to install. If you want to install the gutters yourself, we recommend you purchase an all-in-one installation kit that includes connectors, corners, hangers, fasteners, and end caps to make the job much easier. 

You should hang and pitch your gutters correctly to ensure smooth water flow. If you don’t have experience working with gutters, we recommend you hire a professional installer. 

3. Low Maintenance

Since vinyl gutters are made of PVC, you don’t have to worry about tree branches denting your gutter system, although heavy impacts can break them. Vinyl gutters also don’t scratch easily. Even if they scratch, they are easy to repaint.  

If you don’t like the “ding” and “ping” noises that metal gutters create, vinyl gutters are your go-to option because the materials softens the noise of rainfall. 

4. Resistant to Corrosion

Steel gutters are highly durable and look fantastic on any home but rust easily. If you don’t want to deal with rusting, vinyl gutters are a great option. Since PVC naturally resists rust, you don’t have to apply an anti-rusting coating. 

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Cons of Vinyl Gutters

1. Short Lifespan

Vinyl gutters last 15 years, which is less than other gutter materials. Vinyl gutters are about 25% cheaper than aluminum but generally have a lifespan 10 years shorter. So, when factoring in the lifespan of gutters, vinyl is more expensive. 

2. Structural Weakness

Vinyl gutters can’t support heavy weight. The seams will pull apart, or the entire gutter system may break when there’s excess water, snow or ice. So, if you live in a rainy region, avoid vinyl gutters. 

If you live in an extremely hot or cold region, avoid vinyl gutters as they warp in the heat and become brittle in the cold. 

Cost of Vinyl Gutters

worker measuring and installing rain gutters on a house
Photo Credit: MyrKu / Canva Pro / License

Vinyl gutters cost $9 per linear foot on average. This price includes everything from downspouts to fasteners to hangers. Vinyl gutters are your go-to choice if you’re on a tight budget. 

If your home needs 200 linear square feet of vinyl gutters, it’ll cost you $1,800. If you hire a contractor, expect to pay $1,200 extra for installation. 

Gutter Accessories

We recommend you install gutter guards to minimize debris buildup and protect your gutters from pest infestations. New gutter guards typically cost about $3.42 to $11.07 per linear foot and can increase the lifespan of your gutters by at least a year. 

If you live in a snowy region, the water in your gutters will freeze, causing them to expand and break. To avoid this, install a de-icing system, which costs $2,000. De-icing cables also prevent vinyl gutters from becoming brittle in extreme cold. 

Other Options To Consider

A house with newly installed seamless aluminium rain gutters
Photo Credit: Andy Dean Photography / Canva Pro / License

Having seen the pros and cons of vinyl gutters, let’s now see their alternatives. 

  • Copper gutters last over 80 years, the longest of all gutter materials. They are attractive and can handle extreme weather conditions, too. Copper gutters will cost you about $30 per linear foot.
  • Aluminum gutters are the most popular choice for seamed and seamless gutters. They are lightweight, rust-proof, and can last over 25 years. Aluminum gutters cost about $15 per linear foot. 
  • Stainless steel gutters. Galvanized steel gutters rust, but that’s not the case with stainless steel ones. They cost about $25 per linear foot and can handle harsh weather. Stainless steel gutters are heavy, so DIY installation is very difficult. 
  • Zinc gutters are durable and look attractive. But they are difficult to install and cost about $20 per linear foot.  

FAQs

What is better, seamed or seamless vinyl gutters?

Seamless vinyl gutters are better since they support more weight and are easier to maintain. 

How often should you clean vinyl gutters?

Clean vinyl gutters twice a year, during early spring and late fall. If you grow many trees in your yard, you may have to clean your gutters more often to prevent debris buildup. Vinyl gutters can’t handle a lot of weight, so if there’s too much stagnant water, the gutters may break. 

Which is better, DIY or professional gutter installation?

Professional gutter installation costs more, but it’s risk and stress-free. If you have experience working with gutters, you can install them yourself. But be safe when using ladders

The Final Word

Vinyl gutters are affordable, easy to install, and rust-resistant. But they look cheap and aren’t durable. If you’re on a tight budget, close your eyes and go for vinyl gutters. They do their job well!

If you live in an area with harsh temperatures, vinyl gutters won’t be a good option as they become brittle in extreme cold and warp in high temperatures. Also, the PVC plastic material of vinyl gutters doesn’t support heavy weight and will break if there’s too much water on it. 

We recommend aluminum gutters over vinyl. They are slightly more expensive but last longer and are more durable.

If you need help with gutter repair, replacement, or installation, get in touch with MyGutterGnome gutter pros.

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Main Photo Credit: milosradinovic / Canva Pro / License

Abdul Wadood

Abdul Wadood understands that gutters aren't something to be compromised with. He informs homeowners about the importance of installing a gutter system and helps them maintain it in good shape. When free, you can find him exploring the world.