Find a Vinyl Gutter Contractor Near Me
If your rain gutters have seen better days, and you’re on a budget, vinyl sectional gutters might be a good option for you. Lightweight and easy to install, vinyl gutters come in a wide variety of colors guaranteed to match most homes. Vinyl gutters don’t rust or corrode, and they resist dents and scratches well. They are perfect for climates that don’t see extreme weather but aren’t necessarily recommended for areas that experience heavy rain and snow or excessive heat.
It’s important that vinyl gutters are installed and repaired by a reliable, licensed contractor as they are connected in sections that can easily leak if not joined and sealed correctly. If they are maintained properly and are installed in the right climate, vinyl gutters can last for decades. To find licensed, insured vinyl gutter contractors in your area, visit Spout Gutter Pros and get a free quote in just minutes!
What Are Vinyl Gutters?
Vinyl rain gutters are made of lightweight PVC plastic that is sold in pre-cut sections that snap together at the joints. They are exceptionally affordable, widely available, and come in an extensive variety of colors and styles that match most homes. Plastic does not corrode, dent or scratch easily, making vinyl gutters a highly popular choice with homeowners. But vinyl does not do well in extreme weather like heavy rain or excessive heat which can cause it to crack or break. Vinyl gutters must be well-maintained, with leaves and debris being cleared out, or they can sag or bow out.
Vinyl Gutters vs. Aluminum Gutters
If you’ve made the decision to replace your gutters, you’ll find there are many types on the market to choose from. Two of the most popular are vinyl and aluminum. Following, we’ll take a look at the pros and cons of both so you can decide which works better for you:
- Cost: Vinyl and aluminum gutters are highly affordable and similar in price. Vinyl gutters average $4-$8 per foot, while aluminum gutters average about $5-$9. Aluminum comes in two varieties: primary (thickest) and secondary (recycled and less consistent). Both vinyl and aluminum are less expensive than other gutter materials such as steel, copper, or even zinc.
- Materials: Vinyl gutters are made of lightweight PVC plastic which doesn’t dent or corrode like metal and doesn’t need to be painted. If they scratch, you won’t notice the scratches as much as you might with other materials. Aluminum gutters are made of lightweight aluminum metal that is sturdy and inexpensive. The quality of the metal can vary, and there are two main types: primary and secondary. Primary aluminum is made directly from the material and is more uniform in thickness throughout. Secondary is made from recycled aluminum and can vary in thickness and uniformity.
- Manufacturing: Vinyl gutters are made from a molded plastic which can be made to different thicknesses, affecting its longevity. Vinyl gutters usually have seams, as well as joints where the sections are joined, leaving them susceptible to leakage. Aluminum also comes in a variety of thicknesses and is typically used more in seamless gutters, providing the strength and durability that vinyl may not necessarily offer.
- Installation: Both vinyl and aluminum are relatively light materials, making gutter installation easier and less time-consuming than other, heavier metals. Whether you’re investing in sectional or seamless gutters, it’s important that you hire a professional contractor to do the work as even the smallest of mistakes can cause expensive damage down the road.
- Maintenance & Durability: It’s important to determine what type of material is best for your climate and how much maintenance needs to be performed before you make the decision whether to purchase vinyl or aluminum gutters. If you do your homework and look for heavier-weight vinyl gutters, they can last more than 10 years. Aluminum is a long-lasting material and with proper maintenance can last 10-20 years. To make sure you get the most out of your new gutters, regardless of material, you’ll want to make sure you clean out the gutters at least twice a year (especially around fall and spring), don’t dent the gutters by leaning a ladder against them, clean with non-abrasive chemicals and re-seal the joints (if you have sectional gutters) and corners every five years or so.
- Leakage: Sectional gutters of either material must be joined perfectly as the joints and downspouts or leakage can occur, causing extensive damage to your walls and foundation. Seamless are popular as the chance of leakage, regardless of material, is much less.
Pros and Cons of Vinyl Gutters
Homeowners like vinyl rain gutters for many reasons, most particularly their affordability. They are made of plastic which is rust- and dent-resistant, unlike many of their metal counterparts. They are also lightweight and easy to install, which cuts down on costs and time. But property owners should be sure to do their homework before buying so they are aware of all the pros and cons of vinyl rain gutters. Following, we’ll outline the many benefits and drawbacks of vinyl gutters:
- Inexpensive: Vinyl gutters are manufactured out of PVC plastic in sections that are joined together during installation. They are also available in seamless gutters which are fabricated in long, continuous strips at the job site. The material is very inexpensive, costing anywhere from $4-$8 per foot, depending on thickness. Even with the expense of add-ons like hangers and downspouts, vinyl is still a cheaper option than metal gutters which can cost quite a bit more.
- Won’t rust: One of the biggest advantages to vinyl gutters is that plastic doesn’t rust or corrode, unlike metal. They also don’t dent if a ladder is placed on them by accident. If they’re installed and maintained properly, vinyl gutters can last a long time.
- The same color throughout: Vinyl gutters can be purchased in a wide range of colors and powder-coated finishes, matching most homes’ exteriors. The color is the same throughout, so you won’t see scratches and abrasions as easily as you might with another material.
- Lightweight & easy to install: Vinyl is a lightweight material that is easy to handle and can be installed by professionals with minimum effort. Most vinyl gutters are sectional that can be quickly pieced together and installed within a short amount of time, cutting down on installation costs. It is important to remember, however, that they have to be hung and sloped properly to work with your home, so always utilize the services of a professional installer.
- Easier to attach: Because vinyl gutters are lightweight, it’s easier to position the materials and attach them to your home. The brackets do not need to be as strong and won’t need to have as stringent weight-bearing requirements for the mounting structure. This is easier on your fascia and on the installers!
- Low maintenance: Vinyl gutters come with color already baked in and a protective coating added. You will not need to paint them and if they are damaged, they’re fairly easy to repair. The only maintenance you will need to perform is clearing out debris once or twice a year.
- Quality: Vinyl comes in a variety of qualities and weights, so you have to be careful in making your buying decision. Cheaper versions are thinner which may save you money initially but will definitely cost you more in repairs over time. Thin plastic is more prone to sagging when filled with debris or snow.
- Can crack: Because they’re made of plastic, inclement or extreme weather conditions can cause vinyl to become brittle, crack or sag. It’s hard to tell the difference in quality sometimes, so you’ll want to get expert advice. Climates that see a lot of snow and frigid rain will definitely require heavier-weight vinyl than those that are most temperate. And places that get constant heat and sunshine will also not be ideal for thinner vinyl weights, as the heat tends to cause the material to dry out and warp.
- Leakage: Unlike seamless gutters, sectional vinyl gutters have seams and joints where they snap together. While metal gutters’ joints can be soldered together, vinyl is more prone to wear and tear which can cause leakage over time. Once you have leaks, holes, or cracks, you’ll need to fix your vinyl gutters with patches and caulking. Or if the damage is extreme, you’ll need to replace the entire damaged section.
- Aesthetics: Many people consider vinyl rain gutters to look less expensive than metal, making them visually unappealing to discerning homeowners. If you’re looking for an elegant look that blends into your home’s exterior more impeccably, you might want to consider metal gutters instead.
- Can fade: In addition to becoming brittle, the sun can also fade vinyl gutters. The color that once matched your home so nicely may fade quickly—sometimes even in one season. This occurs most often in regions that see consistent sunlight throughout the year. Homeowners may find themselves with obvious fading and mismatched colors which is disappointing when you’ve made such an important investment in the functionality and appearance of your home’s exterior.
- Bad for the environment: Vinyl gutters are made of PVC plastic which stands for polyvinyl chloride. Chlorine is added to the plastic to make it more durable, but it also becomes harmful to the environment. PVC is not biodegradable and discarded gutters may leach dangerous chemicals into your local water source.
How Much Do Vinyl Gutters Cost?
The average cost of vinyl gutters is about $3 a foot for materials. Downspouts cost in the neighborhood of $11 each with accessories such as anchors and hardware adding another $38 each. Labor costs will vary depending on where you live, but you can expect labor to run you about $35-$35/hr. The overall cost to install vinyl gutters on an average 1-story house with about 150 feet of gutters is around $1500. Note that taxes and permits are not included in this estimate, and it will cost more if you have a 2-story house or want extras like leaf guards.
Factors That Affect the Cost of Vinyl Gutters
While vinyl gutters are generally less expensive to install than metal, there are several factors that may influence the cost. Spout Gutter Pros explains some of these considerations:
- Gutter replacement: If you’re replacing an existing gutter system, you will need to remove and dispose of the gutters that are currently on your home. This has to be done carefully to avoid damaging the roof and eaves so it’s important to hire an expert, rather than trying to remove them yourself.
- Roof configuration: If your roof is flat, it’s easier to install a gutter system than if it’s high up, has an angular slope, or sharp pitch. Many of these factors require additional safety equipment and insurance. You might also incur extra fees for equipment like ladders and/or scaffolding, depending on the number of stories on your house.
- Amount of guttering: If you have a particularly large home, installing a gutter system will cost more as gutter materials are priced out by the foot. There will also be more drainage areas and downspouts that add to the overall cost.
- Other components: Installing gutters includes many other materials in addition to the gutters themselves, such as gutter hangers, downspout extensions, flashing, splash blocks, and drains. You should make sure your contractor includes all materials in their estimate.
- Leaf or gutter guard system: If maintenance isn’t your thing, you may choose to add a leaf or gutter guard system. These will also add to the overall installation expense.
Vinyl Gutter Installation
Professionally installing a vinyl rain gutter system is relatively easy and inexpensive and can potentially save you thousands of dollars over time. Nice-looking, durable and effective, vinyl gutters will ensure that rainwater is diverted away from your walls and foundation, protecting your home from rot, decay, and other damage.
Can You DIY Vinyl Gutters?
Many experienced DIYers feel as though installing vinyl gutters is a project they can take on themselves, but it’s important that they hire a professional instead. Vinyl gutters that aren’t joined or attached to the roofing properly can end up causing much larger problems that will be much more expensive later. Leaves and other debris can become caught on poorly connected pieces, causing backups and leaks. Water can then end up flowing down your walls, into the foundation, leaving you with much larger problems to solve. And if vinyl gutters aren’t well-affixed, they can end up sagging or pulling away.
How to Install Vinyl Gutters
Following are the typical steps service professionals take to install vinyl gutter systems to your home:
- Where is the water going? First, you have to decide where you want the water from rain runoff to go. Is it flowing into a drainage system, or are you gathering it into rain barrels? Typically, you’ll want the downspouts to direct the water about 10 feet away from the foundation of your home. You also want to make sure that the area where the water is flowing to isn’t near a slope that will drain back towards the home.
- Measuring: Next, your gutter installer will measure out the gutter runs. If you’re going with sectionals, they’ll need to figure out how many gutter sections and accessories to buy to complete the job. If you’re purchasing seamless, you’ll want to make sure the contractor is up on a ladder, precisely measuring the house from end to end to ensure the gutters fit perfectly when fabricated onsite.
- Installation: Once you have an installation plan, the next step is to mount the downspouts to the edges of the home. The gutters will attach to them directly, so they’ll act as a guide. Then, the gutter hangers are attached to the fascia boards, about an inch away from the roof’s edge. Corners that don’t have downspouts will have gutter corners affixed, directing the water to the downspouts.
- Hanging the Gutters: After all of the brackets and hangers are installed, it’s time to hang the gutters. These are slid into place in pieces if they’re sectional, or all in one long run if they’re seamless. Sectionals are snapped together and joined. Seamless are lifted in one long piece, the length of that side of the house. Everything is then screwed in tightly to make sure the gutters don’t sag or pull away from the home.
- Drainpipes: The downspout outlet is affixed to the gutter. Downspout elbows are connected to the outlet and drainpipe sections are fit between the elbows. These are attached to the wall with the same brackets as the gutters.
- Gutter guards: Finally, if you’ve opted to add a gutter guard system to your gutters to keep out leaves and other debris, these will be fit over the vinyl gutters. Whether you’ve chosen wire screens or mesh, this final step will ensure you’ll have few clogs and the water will continue along its way without interruption.
Vinyl Gutter Repair, Replacement & Maintenance
To get the most out of your vinyl gutter investment, perform regular maintenance at least twice a year: once in the spring and once in the fall. First, you’ll want to get up on a ladder (do NOT lean against the gutters) and manually remove all of the leaves and other debris that might have collected, impeding the water’s flow.
Then, you’ll want to clean out the downspouts as well. Leaves and twigs get stuck there, preventing the water from exiting. Finally, take a hose and flush out the entire system, clearing out any remaining detritus. This will also help you identify areas that might have developed cracks or holes over the preceding months.
Repair costs can vary depending on the size of the issue and how much time/effort it will take to fix it, but when hiring a professional you can expect to pay anywhere from $100-$500. Following are some common vinyl gutter repair and maintenance issues, along with the average cost to fix:
- Cleaning: If you aren’t up to cleaning gutters yourself, you can hire professional gutter cleaners at a rate of about $100-$200.
- Leaking: If a leak is small, the hole or crack can most likely be patched with plastic roofing cement. Larger leaks are usually fixed with a strip of flashing applied with roofing cement. Material costs for repair are usually calculated by the linear foot and can range from $5-$10 per leak. A handyman can usually handle this type of repair for $20-$50/hr.
- Joint separation: Sealing leaking connections between gutter pieces is also performed by caulking loose pieces together. Material costs are about $5-$10 per spot and repairs can be done by a handyman.
- Gutter slope: To fix gutter slopes, you need to pull the gutter down a few inches, apply a screw behind to adjust the pitch, and then re-install the brackets at the correct pitch. This job is best performed by a professional who will charge between $4-$30/hr per foot for labor.
- Warping/Sagging: Gutters can sag over time because the material they’re made from has warped due to the climate. Or it can be the brackets: they were either placed too far apart originally or have come loose from the wall. In either case, you’re going to want to hire a contractor who will replace the damaged gutter section or reaffix it properly. Labor costs should run between $4-$30/hr per foot.
Find pros you can trust to install, repair, clean or maintain vinyl rain gutters in your area. Let Spout Gutter Pros compare companies for you and provide a free quote from licensed vinyl gutter contractors in just minutes!