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Types of Gutters: Vinyl

An essential component of most roofs, rain gutters come in a number of materials. Vinyl gutters are popular among many homeowners as they are relatively inexpensive and easy to install - even by do-it-yourself enthusiasts. They hold up for years because they aren't subject to rust or rot from collected debris. Unlike their metal counterparts, they won't chip or dent either. They usually come in 10-foot sections and are easily cut. Hangers, downspouts, and other components for building your system are also available in vinyl.

Vinyl has been around for over 80 years and is used in numerous everyday products. Depending on the chemistry applied, vinyl can be stiff or flexible and comes in various thicknesses. Durability and weather resistance makes vinyl a good choice for rain gutter systems. Vinyl products are sometimes referred to as polyvinyl chloride (PVC).

Before committing to a vinyl rain gutter system, find out if it is appropriate for your climate. Although quite durable, extreme weather conditions will harm vinyl systems. Vinyl expands and contracts depending on the temperature but sometimes cracks in intense cold. Generally speaking however, the flexibility prevents bending or warping.

How Long do Vinyl Gutters Last?

Vinyl gutters last for many years and don't require extensive maintenance. All rain gutter systems must be kept clear of debris so they won't clog, but vinyl systems don't corrode or rot. Before you purchase vinyl rain gutters, carefully read the warranty. It should be for a minimum of 20 years.

Popular Vinyl Gutter Brands

Two brands readily available for purchase are:

However, you may also learn more about manufacturers from a roofing contractor, a home improvement store, or a gutter installer.

Installation

If you want to hire someone to install your vinyl rain gutters, talk to family and friends for recommendations and check your local yellow pages. Select two or three choices and request bids. Also check their references, ask how long they've been in business, and ask to see some of their finished projects. Any contractor should also carry insurance that covers the installation warranties in case the installer goes out of business.