Gutters are important elements of a roof drainage system. They collect rainwater from the roof and direct it down to the downspouts for drainage. Therefore, the material you choose for residential guttering can determine the efficiency of your roof drainage system. Metal and plastic (PVC) are two popular materials for seamless gutters. However, the two materials differ in performance and durability. Here are a few factors to help you compare the two materials and select the best one for your roof gutters.
Ease of Installation
A complex guttering project can significantly increase installation costs. Seamless gutters are cut on-site. Therefore, if the material is difficult to cut and install, you will pay more to install it. Plastic is a lightweight material that is easy to cut and shape. Therefore, plastic gutters are relatively easy to install, which translates into low upfront costs. Conversely, metals such as steel and copper are heavy, which complicates the installation process. If you want to lower the cost of metal gutters, opt for aluminum, as it is a lightweight material that is easy to cut and install.
Performance During Heavy Rainfall
The primary role of gutters is to collect rainwater from the roof. Therefore, if you live in an area with heavy rainfall, your new gutters should be able to withstand the weight of the water without sagging or overflowing. Although plastic gutters are efficient, they aren't suitable for heavy-rainfall areas. Plastic can sag from the weight of the water, causing the gutters to leak. Aluminum, copper, and galvanized steel gutters are the best choices for areas with heavy rainfall. All you need to do is correctly secure the gutter hangers to the fascia board.
Durability and Resistance to Damage
Seamless plastic gutters are easily malleable; therefore, cracks are less likely to occur in the material. However, plastic has a higher rate of thermal expansion than metals. It expands and contracts with changing temperatures, which can cause the gutters to become deformed. Conversely, metals can expand and contract while retaining their shape. This makes metal gutters sturdier and more durable than plastic ones.
Resistance to Corrosion
Plastic gutters do not rust; therefore, they are ideal for coastal areas. However, aluminum is a better alternative to PVC. Aluminum forms an oxide layer on the surface to protect the metal from rust. Copper and galvanized steel are also great alternatives to aluminum, as they can hold up well in saline environments. However, although these metals don't rust, they can corrode because of old age and poor maintenance.
Metal gutters are evidently sturdier, more durable, and more efficient than plastic gutters. However, PVC is cheaper, which makes it an attractive option for low-budget projects. Whichever material you choose, contact a company such as BK Roofing & Seamless Gutters for professional installation services.