Plastic Gutters, The Pros and Cons

When it comes time to either install or replace the gutters and downspouts on your home there are options with the material the gutter is made from. Gutters in Annapolis MD can be made from rolled steel, stainless steel, aluminum or plastic, most often PVC. The plastic gutters are not rolled as are metal gutters, they are produced as an extrusion and the various fittings that are used are molded.

Plastic gutters in Annapolis are very easy to install, they are lightweight, inexpensive and rust proof. There is another side to the coin though, they can be quite flimsy and should a tree branch or ladder smack against them, they can easily shatter. As well as this shortcoming, the plastic material has a tendency to deteriorate after long exposure to the sun’s rays or very cold environments.

Due to the light weight of a plastic gutter section, they are quite easy to install, far easier than metal gutters for sure. It is not difficult to carry the section up a ladder and most systems snap together with purpose made joints. Often, metal gutters have to be joined by riveting or soldering, both methods are considerably more difficult than simply snapping the plastic sections together.

Metal gutters can easily cost twice as much as plastic gutters; if the metal chosen is copper the price differential will be far greater. The costs depend a great deal on the manufacturer; some use thinner gauge material which lowers the cost but also lessens the life expectancy.

Metal gutters are subject to rust, plastic gutters will never rust. Although there are pre-finished metal gutter systems available, over time they will require maintenance. The problem with metal gutters is not so much water flowing through them, it is water, much and leaf litter standing in the bottom that is detrimental. This standing muck can eat a hole through a metal gutter.

The issues with plastic gutters are twofold; they can easily break under impact and they age from the UV rays. As the UV exposure increases over time, the material weakens and begins to deteriorate. Plastic gutters also are not a good choice in a cold part of the country as the can crack as they expand and contract.


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