Without proper guttering, your home may be vulnerable to a host of potentially serious issues related to water damage. Rising damp, foundation and even interior damage can be avoided through the proper installation and maintenance of guttering, but the multiple options in terms of material can make it difficult for the average homeowner to make the right choice. Making an informed decision will require a bit of basic information regarding the two most commonly available choices, vinyl guttering and metal guttering.
Metal Guttering: Pros and Cons Metal guttering options are typically comprised of galvanised steel, aluminum or aluminum alloy. There are several reasons why homeowners choose to install metal guttering over vinyl, but there are also some inherent drawbacks which bear consideration.
- Pros: Both aluminum and aluminum alloy guttering options are completely rust-proof . Lightweight aluminum and aluminum alloy is offered in a variety of powder-coated finishes to complement most exterior color schemes, while galvanised steel can easily be painted for a more precise match. Galvanised steel is also one of the most cost effective options in many cases. Metal guttering is also well suited to many climates, and will not become brittle in climates where colder temperatures can be expected.
- Cons: Though aluminum is a bit easier to install than galvanised steel, neither offer the ease of installation associated with vinyl guttering. Corrosion and rust are possibilities with galvanised steel guttering. While galvanised steel does offer a higher measure of durability than aluminum and aluminum alloy, dents and misshapen areas are possible with either option.
Vinyl Guttering: Pros and Cons Vinyl guttering is a newer option in comparison to metal guttering, but is rapidly growing in popularity. For homeowners considering gutter replacement or new construction, it’s important to consider the benefits and drawbacks associated with vinyl guttering against those associated with metal options to make the best and most informed choice.
- Pros: Vinyl guttering is among the easiest to install, will never be susceptible to rust or corrosion and is one of the least expensive choices on the market. They’re available in a wide range of colors to match a home’s exterior, and won’t become dented like metal guttering choices. Because the color of the vinyl is the same throughout the material, any scratches are much more difficult to see than they would be on painted metal.
- Cons: Though vinyl guttering is one of the least expensive options, extremely cheap and low-quality vinyl is more likely to sag due to its thinness. It should also be noted by homeowners in climates where temperatures can drop that extreme cold can cause even higher-quality vinyl to become brittle and prone to breakage. As a result of this quality, vinyl guttering is generally best suited to mild climates, where extreme cold a less likely possibility. Unlike metal guttering options, vinyl guttering is very difficult to paint after installation. Changing the color to reflect a new paint job on your home’s exterior will most likely require full replacement, as the paint is not likely to adhere well to a vinyl surface.
Regardless of which option you ultimately choose, it’s always wise to remember that all guttering materials will require routine maintenance and inspection to perform properly. Neglected guttering can lead to water damage which causes significant structural issues, so it’s wise to work with a professional building inspector if you suspect that the gutters on your home, or a home you’re thinking of purchasing, aren’t functioning properly.
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