Gutters are necessary to prevent basement flooding, siding damage, roof leak, foundation problems and many other problems associated with poor drainage of roof water. There are several materials suitable for gutters. Here is a comparison of four such materials:

Vinyl

Vinyl is a synthetic plastic. It is mainly popular because of the ease of installation and aesthetic value; they come in a variety of colors that do not fade easily. Another plus factor to vinyl gutters is their cost; they average $3 to $5 per linear foot.

It's not all roses with vinyl gutters, however, because the material is susceptible to extreme temperature damage. For example, it becomes brittle when exposed to very low temperatures, and it can easily crack under such weather. Therefore, it's wise to look for alternative gutter materials if your region tends to be extremely cold.

Aluminum

Just like vinyl, aluminum is another easy-to-install gutter material. It isn't terribly expensive, however, because you will use anything between $4 and $9 per linear foot for its installation. The similarities of their advantages do not end there because it also has a good curb appeal. Unlike vinyl, aluminum isn't easily affected by weather. The major drawback of the material is that it easily dents under physical impact. Therefore, things like hail and flying debris can damage your aluminum gutters.

Stainless Steel

This metal isn't popular as a gutter material, but some people use it all the same. This should be your material of choice if your main concern is the durability of your gutters; you don't even have to worry about the effects of weather on your gutter. However, many people still shy away from stainless steel because it's relatively expensive (the average is average $20 a foot), may rust, and doesn't have such a strong curb appeal.

Wood

The selection of gutter materials aren't confined to metal and vinyl; even wood can be used. The major advantage of wood gutters is their exceptionally high curb appeal. Other than that, wood is troublesome because it deteriorates when exposed to moisture, something you cannot avoid because gutters are meant to drain away roof water. It isn't cheap either; expect to pay anything between $12 and $20 a foot for the material. You will have to carry out constant maintenance practices to maintain your wood gutter.

Whichever gutter material you choose, ensure it is professionally installed. Poor installation may result in inefficient drainage, for example, if the slope isn't enough to drain water into the downspouts. Also, keep your gutters debris-free by regularly cleaning them. Contact a local roofer, like ACE Roofing, for more advice.

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