Take the 2-minute tour ×
Home Improvement Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for contractors and serious DIYers. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I am originally from Europe and you do see a lot of PVC gutters in my country, especially in construction that is done on a tight budget. It seems to me PVC would be a legit material to make cheap and durable gutters. How come you don't get to see (m)any here in the States?

share|improve this question
1  
I don't know why the do vote occurred exactly, but this doesn't seem like it's phrased well. Maybe more like, "What are advantages and disadvantages of PVC gutters?" –  geerlingguy Mar 8 '13 at 2:55
    
The person who answered why PVC in uncommon in the States made a very good point - the thermal expansion of PVC is well suited to the moderate, for the most part, climate of most of Europe. The range on temperatures experienced in climates such as Oregon's would Be unsuitable for PVC guttering especially at the joints. –  user14257 Jul 30 '13 at 11:43
    
I see a lot of it in the States. It's a big country, so I imagine it's going to be big in certain regions and not others. A lot of people find PVC ugly (be it gutters or siding) so that's why you seem some folks avoiding it. –  DA01 Jul 30 '13 at 14:41
add comment

1 Answer 1

up vote 11 down vote accepted

If you use PVC gutter stock, it needs to be solvent welded at all the joints. Don't bother with any of the clip-together DIY grade junk that's out there. Having tried two different manufacturers, here's the basic results on the clip-together stuff:

Vinyl's high expansion rate means that it grows mightily when hot and then contracts in cold weather, straining all the joints. No matter now much movement the brackets are made to allow, they allow ratcheting during summer heat, causing the gutter system to pull itself apart when cold weather hits. if you are using the common DIY clip-together stuff. Nothing makes you so angry as being on top a slippery 15ft. ladder in a typical winter Oregon downpour with the full gutter flow shooting out the gap, through your collar and down inside your raincoat. Various neighbors around here have tried it, cursed and thrown it away. If you're going to install it, the first hint of fall should be followed by a full inspection which means pulling the gutter stock back through the brackets so they fully seat in the connection and downspout joints.

Solvent welded vinyl gutter still has the same expansion rates, hopefully the support systems take that into account, I didn't bother wasting any more money on vinyl, but went with continuous construction aluminum gutters.

With continuous aluminum, you have no joints, it's one single run from gable to gable, the finish is baked on and it's held up over the 5 years it has been in operation much better than vinyl and hasn't got the rust problems that galvanized sheet iron has. It has been worth the money spent on it.

share|improve this answer
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.