Should You Choose Plastic Rain Gutters?
Gutters are a must for most homes to protect against flooding and other damage. Gutters typically consist of simple designs and can be made from various materials. In the past, most gutter systems were made out of aluminum or steel due to their durability. Today, however, more homeowners are choosing vinyl or plastic rain gutters.
Vinyl is growing in popularity and offers a lot of benefits. If you’re in the market for a gutter replacement, should you choose plastic for your home? Check out some of the benefits as well as a few of the drawbacks of this material.
Pros and Cons of Plastic Rain Gutters
Plastic rain gutters offer various benefits, such as the following:
- Inexpensive. Plastic gutters cost around $3-$5 per linear foot. This is cheap compared to other materials, which can set you back up to $40 per square foot.
- Easy to install. Plastic rain gutters are a favorite for DIYers because they are easy to install. They are lightweight and easily snap together.
- Not prone to rust. While vinyl gutters may not be the most durable option, they are resistant to rust and corrosion. Plus, they won’t get damaged by salty air, so they’re great for those who live by the beach.
While the benefits are pretty great, there are a few disadvantages to consider:
- Not very durable. Vinyl is considered to be the least durable of all gutter materials. Structurally, they are not as strong as other options. If you live in a mild climate, you may be able to get 20 years of use out of them.
- Prone to fading. If you live in an area with a lot of sunlight, vinyl gutters may fade quickly.
- Prone to cracking. If your area is cold, plastic rain gutters can become brittle. They can also crack if you hit something against them, such as a ladder.
Installing Plastic Rain Gutters
Installing plastic rain gutters is easy if you wish to do it yourself. First, you’ll need to determine how you want to direct the water flow so you know which gutter connectors you’ll need. Next, measure your roof to see how much material you’ll need.
Once you have your gutters, measure down 1/2 inch from the end, away from the downspout location, and make a mark. Do the same with the downspout end, ensuring the marks are level with each other.
At the downspout end, find your mark. Measure down 5/8 inch for every 10 feet and make a mark. Make a chalk line between the two marks at the opposite ends. This will be your reference line for installing the gutter components.
Start installing the mounting brackets and other components. For the drop outlet, install the elbows to the bottom, then the downspout to the base. Finally, make sure it is all securely fastened.