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Vinyl vs. Galvanized


Vinyl and galvanized steel rain gutters are two completely different materials that offer distinct advantages and benefits. While do-it-yourselfers and those who are looking to save money commonly choose vinyl, galvanized steel is used as a sturdier alternative to aluminum. Durability and ease of installation are two of the biggest differences between these materials, and most homeowners will consider these two factors above all others when choosing vinyl or galvanized steel.

Both vinyl and galvanized steel rain gutters can be found in any shape. However, due to the nature of it’s applications, galvanized steel gutters are most commonly found in box or half-round styles, where vinyl will be easy to find in box or K-style .


Vinyl Rain Gutters


  • Vinyl is resistant to both rotting and rusting, which makes overall maintenance much easier.
  • Vinyl rain gutters are very simple to install, which is why many do-it-yourselfers like them. This will also reduce installation costs if you have someone else install the gutters.
  • This material will quietly move water away from your house, but steel is fairly loud and sometimes annoying.


  • Vinyl lasts for 20 years in moderate climates, but it’s terrible in extreme climates with heavy snows, rains and rapid temperature changes.
  • Though vinyl gutters are often made from thick plastic sheets, it can bend if there is a lot of rain or snow.


Galvanized Steel Rain Gutters


  • Steel should consistently last for 20 years in nearly any environment with proper maintenance.
  • This material is great at resisting thermal damage and warping. Vinyl can bend or crack in very hot climates, but steel will retain its shape. The same is true for climates with rapidly changing temperatures.
  • Galvanized steel is one of the most durable and sturdy materials for rain gutters. It can take a lot of abuse, and it won’t bend, dent or break from hail, snow or extreme storms.


  • Galvanized steel resists rust, but only because it’s coated in zinc. You must constantly check and reapply the zinc to keep the steel from rusting. Another issue is that it can be difficult to know if the zinc is compromised.
  • This is one of the heaviest materials, which makes it hard to work with. Most do-it-yourselfers won’t be able to install it without some help, and this can increase the installation costs.

Want to know more?

Please see our Rain Gutter Material Comparison page for more information


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