What’s the Difference Between Vinyl And Aluminum Gutters for a House?

In order for gutters to work properly and protect your home from water damage, it is important that they are built with durable materials. The difference between vinyl and aluminum gutters is the durability of each. Aluminum gutter systems will last longer than vinyl because of their ability to withstand high winds and exposure to harsh weather conditions like snow or salt.

The “what is better vinyl or aluminum gutters” is a question that has been asked many times throughout the years. There are pros and cons of both materials, so it’s best to ask your contractor what he prefers.

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Guts seem to be the last thing on anyone’s mind. Part of this is because you don’t notice them if they’re performing their job. When gutters are performing their job, they protect your home from water damage caused by rain. If gutters come to mind, you may ponder which is better: vinyl or aluminum.

Both vinyl and metal gutters have benefits and drawbacks. Vinyl gutters are comprised of a plastic-like substance. Metal is used to make aluminum gutters. Both are fairly powerful, but there are a few key distinctions between them.

Depending on your budget and where you reside, either aluminum or vinyl gutters have benefits, but metal gutters are the best option. Read on to discover the distinctions between vinyl and aluminum gutters, as well as why aluminum gutters are the best choice for a home.



Contents Table of Contents

  • What are the functions of vinyl and aluminum gutters?
  • What Are the Differences Between Vinyl and Aluminum?
  • Durability of Vinyl vs. Aluminum
  • Appearance of Vinyl vs. Aluminum
  • Installation of Vinyl vs. Aluminum
  • Vinyl vs. Aluminum: What’s the difference in price?
  • Conclusion: The Whole Picture


What are the functions of vinyl and aluminum gutters?

Before getting into the point of durability, as well as the other advantages and disadvantages, it’s vital to understand why homes have gutters in the first place. If you want to comprehend the significance of a product lasting a long time, you must first comprehend the harm that might occur throughout that time.

Gutters are installed on houses to avoid water damage to certain portions of the house. This is the form of water penetration that, over time, may degrade structural components. Rot to the following items is an example of this kind of damage:

  • Foundations
  • Sills for windows
  • Roofing materials and eaves

If houses did not have gutters, water would roll over the roofs and pool against Foundations. In the case of raised Foundations, this water could leak into the crawlspace or the basement and cause rot damage to the posts supporting the house. Heavy amounts of water can also splash against Sills for windows causing leaks and rot.

If the gutters do not drain correctly after installation, they may back up, causing water damage and decay to the eaves and roofing components. As a result, when it comes to gutters, durability is crucial. You want gutters that function effectively and last a long time.


What Are the Differences Between Vinyl and Aluminum?

Vinyl gutters are constructed of plastic, while aluminum gutters are made of metal. Both gutters are durable to a degree, but the material they are made of has an influence on how they react to the environment and other factors that may damage them.

Despite the fact that vinyl gutters are made of plastic, they are quite durable and, surprisingly, light. This makes it simple to carry while also allowing it to withstand heavy rain or dents caused by a misplaced ladder.

Because aluminum is a metal, the gutters are substantially heavier than vinyl gutters. Ironically, when exposed to the force of a ladder with a person on it, they dent more easily.

At first glance, vinyl gutters seem to be the winner. However, only a lengthy period of time can fully compare durability.

Durability of Vinyl vs. Aluminum

Which is more durable, vinyl gutters or aluminum gutters, when it comes to durability? In the short-term, day-to-day category, vinyl and aluminum are neck and neck, with vinyl doing well against rain and being a sturdy material.

Vinyl gutters, on the other hand, are not as long-lasting as metal gutters. Vinyl shrinks in the cold and expands in the heat since it is made of plastic. This degrades the material over time, making it brittle and susceptible to cracking.

Because aluminum is a metal, it does not have this issue. Aluminum gutters are the only option in climates with hard winters and scorching summers. Aluminum also does not rust. If exposed to salt and moisture over an extended length of time, it will corrode.

If you live in a moderate, dry area, vinyl is a viable alternative, but not if you reside somewhere with cold weather. Although aluminum is the finest all-around option, it may corrode in coastal places.

Appearance of Vinyl vs. Aluminum

Vinyl seems to be cleaner, shinier, and more smooth than metal. Aluminum, on the other hand, seems to be rough and drab in appearance.

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In fact, aluminum triumphs once again in this area. But first, let’s look at the advantages of vinyl. Vinyl provides the following advantages:

  • When fitted, it has a fresh, clean appearance.
  • You won’t have to paint it or do anything else to it after you’ve purchased it in your preferred color.

Vinyl, on the other hand, does not get off scot-free in this area. Some of the disadvantages of vinyl gutters include:

  • You only have around a dozen color options.
  • Over time, long exposure to the sun causes the lighter hues to become yellowish.
  • You’re stuck with the color you choose after you’ve installed it.
  • Home colors in the future must match the gutters, or the gutters will need to be redone to match the house.

In contrast to the smooth, glossy appearance of vinyl, aluminum will always seem like metal. However, once installed and painted, they may seem just as clean and crisp. This brings the color to life. Aluminum gutters may be painted to match the color scheme of the home. If you alter the color of your home, all you have to do is change the gutter color to match.

Painting vinyl gutters is never a smart idea since they don’t accept paint well. While vinyl gutters may seem to be a smart option in the short term, they might have long-term consequences.

Installation of Vinyl vs. Aluminum

Vinyl has an obvious advantage here. Because of their relative simplicity of installation, vinyl gutters are popular among DIY enthusiasts. Vinyl gutters are available in a variety of lengths that may be snapped into the roof hangers you’ve already installed. The seams must then be connected in order to continue installation.

Aluminum gutters, on the other hand, are normally installed by a professional since they are considerably more difficult to connect to the eaves and seam together. If you choose seamless metal gutters (which are a wonderful alternative), the contractor will need to size and build them on the spot.

However, there is one thing to remember while installing vinyl gutters. You may not be able to seek aid from a professional if you get stuck installing vinyl gutters (which can happen since they are more difficult to seam than first seems). Vinyl gutters are a no-no for many contractors.

Vinyl vs. Aluminum: What’s the difference in price?

The last consideration in the vinyl vs. aluminum gutters debate is price. Not only are vinyl gutters (theoretically) simpler to install. They are less expensive. Installing aluminum gutters, on the other hand, is more costly.

The following is a breakdown of the costs:

  • Vinyl gutters cost between $5 and $10 each section.
  • Aluminum gutters cost between $9 and $14 each piece.

As you can see, they’re only comparable when vinyl costs the most and aluminum costs the least.

Conclusion: The Whole Picture

For many individuals, the budget will be the decisive deciding factor. Of course, you must take into account all cost aspects. Vinyl gutters will need to be updated more often than metal gutters. They may be less expensive to purchase in the short term, but you will have to replace them more often, which will cost you more money in the long run.

Furthermore, if you live in a location with severe winters and scorching summers, vinyl is simply not a wise investment since, owing to their material durability, you may need to replace them as soon as 10 years after installation. While both materials have advantages and disadvantages, aluminum gutters are clearly the better choice. 

Cleaning gutters may be a pain and hazardous, so read up on how to clean them safely from the ground and consider leaf guards to keep them clean.

If you do need to clear your gutters from a ladder, here are some of our favorite telescopic and extension ladders.


Aluminum gutters are a type of metal that is used to construct the gutter system on a house. Aluminum is a very durable material, which means it can last for many years without any signs of damage. The vinyl gutters, on the other hand, have a more delicate surface and can be damaged with just one or two years of use. Reference: how long do aluminum gutters last.

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