Plastic works great for Barbie’s dream house, and we use it extensively in our homes too. We have PVC plumbing, vinyl siding, and plasticized electrical systems. Plastic is also used to make gutters. These were introduced to the market in the plastic-fantastic decade of the 1950s. The sprawling tracts of suburbia needed quick and easy gutter systems for their mass-produced homes, so plastic gutters seemed like the perfect solution. They are quick to make and relatively easy to install. Most importantly, they are cheap.
Their low upfront cost has made plastic gutters grow in popularity over the years. A quick perusal of any hardware store will turn up a variety of ten foot lengths of plastic gutters running lower than $10 a piece. This can be substantially lower than the costs associated with their aluminum gutter counterparts.
The Problem With Plastic
We have found, however, that the apparent economic benefit of plastic gutters is, in reality, extremely short-lived. In our years of servicing Vancouver’s eavestroughs, we have seen how poorly these plastic gutters weather our climate and the costly repairs that can result.
A continuous seamless gutter system is not possible with pvc. Plastic gutters are only available in pre-cut lengths. As we have discussed in a previous post, joints in gutters are already problem spots, but this is even more so of an issue with plastic gutters.
PVC vinyl warps and bends in the warmth of our summers, causing joints to come apart or overlap. Further, the material contracts during the winter making the gutters brittle and prone to cracks. All of this spells out leaks, meaning the foundation of the home is no longer protected from moisture. The gutters are essentially failing at the one important job they are purposed for.
Finally, plastic gutters just don’t look that great. Even before they become distorted and weighed down by the elements, plastic gutters can really take a toll on a house’s curb appeal. They require more supports than other gutters and are only available in a few colors. Not a good thing from a design perspective.
After all of the problems we have seen our clients have with plastic gutters, we have decided not to work with them. Dynamic Gutters prides itself on our dependable results and always leaving our customers satisfied. We don’t think that we would be able to build that reputation with plastic gutters.