Comparing Gutter Material: Steel, Vinyl, & Aluminum

Comparing Gutter Material: Steel, Vinyl, & Aluminum - Image 1


Gutter systems are made to guide rainwater out and away from the home's foundation to prevent flooding. Without a proper gutter system, water damage will amplify. Keep reading to learn more about different gutter materials and what might be best for you!


Benefits of an effective gutter system

  • Doesn't clog 
  • Protects home, landscaping, and foundation from water damage
  • Maximizes water flow 
  • Keeps debris out
  • Doesn't sag or pull over time

How do you know which gutter material is suitable for your home?

There are three common types of gutter material offered; steel, vinyl, and aluminum. Each option has both advantages and disadvantages.  


Steel Gutters 

Steel gutters can be coated in either zinc (galvanized), zinc-aluminum alloy (galvalume), or chrome (stainless steel). This option can take on harsh weather and still perform flawlessly.  

  • Galvanized: The process of coating steel in protective layers of zinc 
  • Galvalume: Like galvanized, this coating contains zinc, aluminum, and silicone to protect steel from any oxidation.
  • Soldering: Joining two or more pieces together by using different types of metal filter

Pros of steel gutters

  • Available in seamless and seamed (seams are soldered, making them less likely to leak) models
  • Available in galvanized and stainless steel versions 
  • Can be used with any shingle without the added risk of corrosion 
  • Can stand up to snow, hail, and heat
  • Strong and secure 
  • Can be painted 

Cons of steel gutters

  • Expands and contracts with heat
  • Installation costs are higher than vinyl or aluminum gutters
  • Some installers do not work with steel so finding a professional may be difficult
  • Available in a small variety of colors and styles 
  • Prone to rust 
  • Heavy

Vinyl (PVC) Gutters

Vinyl is the least expensive of the three favored gutter materials.  Color choices are limited, but they can be painted to match the style and shade of any home.  Homeowners in a dry climate can expect 20 years with this option, and residents in a more wet climate can expect around 10 years. 


Pros of vinyl gutters 

  • A popular choice due to low pricing and weight
  • Sections snap together - not requiring joints 
  • Low maintenance
  • No rust or corrosion 
  • Color is embedded in the material; scratches are less noticeable

 Cons of vinyl gutters 

  • Won't hold up in climates with lots of rain, wind, and snow (best suited for mild to dry climates) 
  • Prone to cracking and sagging 
  • Only available in traditional section models (more seams = more likely to leak) 

Aluminum Gutters

Aluminum is the most durable and reliable gutter material on the market. This low-cost metal comes in a wide selection of colors. However, it is important to note that not all aluminum gutters are created equal. Some gutter companies use thin, cheap aluminum which can be more susceptible to damage. If you get aluminum gutters installed, make sure they're made from 0.032' premium-grade aluminum. That is the strongest and thickest aluminum available and will help prevent distortion and deliver a clean, laser-straight product. Aluminum gutters are usually either 5 inches in width or 6 inches in width.  6" aluminum gutters, however, can hold 20% more water than the industry standard, 5" gutters. Aluminum also won't rust! Aluminum gutters are available in seamless and seamed sections. 


Pros of aluminum gutters

  • It's lighter, which means it won't sag and is easier to handle
  • Popular and accessible 
  • You can paint it the desired color if it is not available 

Cons of aluminum gutters

  • If dented, can interfere with the flow of water

It is never too late to contact Gutter Shutter by Woodford Bros. for a free estimate for the Gutter Shutter system. Get started today by calling to find your true gutter match!

our service area

We serve the following areas

  • Afton
  • Alpine
  • Apalachin
  • Aurora
  • Bainbridge
  • Barton
  • Bellona
  • Berkshire
  • Bible School Park
  • Binghamton
  • Blodgett Mills
  • Bradford
  • Branchport
  • Brooktondale
  • Burdett
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  • Cortland
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  • Endwell
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  • Freeville
  • Genoa
  • Glen Aubrey
  • Greene
  • Groton
  • Guilford
  • Harford
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  • Honeoye
  • Interlaken
  • Ithaca
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  • Johnson City
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  • Lansing
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  • Maine
  • Marathon
  • Masonville
  • Mc Donough
  • Mc Graw
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  • Mecklenburg
  • Middlesex
  • Montour Falls
  • Mount Upton
  • Naples
  • Newark Valley
  • Newfield
  • Nichols
  • Nineveh
  • Odessa
  • Ouaquaga
  • Ovid
  • Owego
  • Oxford
  • Penn Yan
  • Poplar Ridge
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  • Reading Center
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  • Romulus
  • Rushville
  • Sidney
  • Slaterville Springs
  • Smithboro
  • Smithville Flats
  • Tioga Center
  • Trumansburg
  • Tunnel
  • Tyrone
  • Unadilla
  • Vestal
  • Watkins Glen
  • Wayne
  • Wells Bridge
  • Whitney Point
  • Willard
  • Willet
  • Willseyville
  • Windsor
Our Locations:

Gutter Shutter by Woodford Bros.
2424 Route 11
Lafayette, NY 13084
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