Vinyl vs Aluminum Gutters: What’s the Best Choice for Your Home?

Looking to replace the gutters on your home? Many times, you’ll be offered at least two options for gutter materials, with two of the most common gutter types are aluminum gutters and vinyl gutters. Although both materials are used for the same purpose, which is to prevent rainwater from damaging your home, there are major differences in terms of durability, maintenance, cost, etc.  

Which is the best option for a gutter replacement on your home? At Schmidt Roofing, we recommend aluminum gutters. While vinyl gutters exist on the market, their quality and longevity leave a lot to be desired, and it’s hard for us to recommend them, especially in the Midwest. Severe winters with cold temperatures can leave vinyl gutters damaged due to how brittle they are. Vinyl gutters will quickly break and need to be replaced. 

Let’s talk about the differences between vinyl gutters and aluminum gutters. 

What are Vinyl Gutters?

Vinyl gutters are manufactured from polyvinyl chloride and PVC, which is a plastic component. One of the reasons why it has gained popularity among homeowners who want something more cost-effective than their gutters is that it’s lightweight and cheap. They are also simple to connect because they come in measured lengths and can be attached with snap-on fittings. The greatest limitation of vinyl gutters is that they come in only a few colors and styles. They are mostly basic white or brown hues, and they tend to be simple and plain. 

What Are Aluminum Gutters?

Aluminum gutters are constructed from aluminum, which is a type of metal. This significantly increases their life span as compared to that of vinyl gutters. They also vary in color and design, thus increasing the options for homeowners. The aluminum gutters also do not rust, and they last even when exposed to harsh weather conditions. 

Differences in Appearance 

Vinyl gutters are quite common and uniform. They should be concealed on the outside of a house. Contrastingly, aluminum gutters have an advantage of beauty that can be adjusted in a manner that fits perfectly to resemble any house. The homeowners have a range of colors and designs to choose from that will blend with their outside. 

Maintenance and Durability

Vinyl gutters are almost maintenance-free since there is no chance of rusting or corrosion. Yet, they are prone to brittleness under high temperatures. In areas where temperature changes are common, vinyl gutters would need to be replaced more often. However, aluminum gutters are famous for their longevity and, with slight maintenance, can even last up to a decade. Although they do occasionally need cleaning and fixing, in general terms, these are a more long-lasting alternative. 

Cost Comparison

The main advantage for which most homeowners prefer vinyl gutters is their cost-effectiveness. But in the long term, they may seem to be more expensive. This is because they are most likely prone to wear out and may need replacing before aluminum gutters. Even though aluminum gutters are initially more costly, their long lifespan and low maintenance make them more cost effective over the years. 

Withstanding Harsh Weather

Vinyl gutters are more susceptible to cracking and warping when exposed to extreme temperatures. Hence, they are only used in areas with few temperature fluctuations. They are also less sturdy when compared to aluminum gutters and can be damaged by heavy snow or strong winds. They are less durable than aluminum gutters since they can become damaged in harsh weather. 


Aluminum gutters are considered a more environmentally friendly gutter option because aluminum can be recycled, while PVC cannot. If you’re interested in making your home more “green,” choose aluminum gutters over vinyl options. 


Need gutter replacement for your home? We’re happy to help! Get in touch with us today for a free quote!


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