Zinc or plastic gutter? How to choose ? Advantages disadvantages

The gutter plays an important role in draining water from the roofs of carports, garden sheds or even terraces. It prevents the accumulation of water, its stagnation and allows rainwater to drain properly. Different materials are available to you when choosing your gutter. Zinc and plastic models are particularly popular. Here is a closer look at the special characteristics of each of these two materials and their advantages and disadvantages.

How to choose the right gutter?

How do you choose the right gutter in terms of size, material and shape for your building project? Many people in the process of building their homes are affected by this issue. It is a question of measuring the area of ​​its roof, the amount of precipitation in order to be able to calculate the runoff of river water. Sometimes you even have to enter a runoff coefficient.

There are calculators online to calculate the correct size for your gutter.

The shapes of gutters are variable. It is above all an aesthetic question. The semi-circular shape is certainly the most used, it ensures the fastest possible drainage of water and the best self-cleaning.

Once you have determined the length and shape of your gutter, you will have to consider the question of the material to select: rather metal like zinc or rather plastic? Of course, metal gutters are the ones that will have the longest life. There is not only zinc, you can also find gutters in galvanized sheet steel, aluminum, titanium, stainless steel or even copper. Your most important decision criteria should be price, appearance, and shelf life. Zinc and titanium are the most commonly used metals and arguably those which present the most extensive range of accessories. The cheapest is bare aluminum, but it has some drawbacks. Stainless steel and copper gutters are premium products. They therefore have a very high price, a very long lifespan and an attractive appearance.

When installing your gutter, it is worth paying attention to the fittings and joints, as dripping gutters can not only be annoying, but also damage your facade. Below you will find an overview of the properties but also the advantages and disadvantages of a zinc gutter and a plastic gutter.

Zinc gutter

Zinc is perhaps the most common material used for gutters. The main reason for this is the excellent price-performance ratio. Zinc aligners are relatively inexpensive and often last for decades. After zinc gutters have been exposed to the elements for a period of time, they can be painted in any color you want. If you do without it, a patina will form on the surface. The environmental compatibility of zinc should also be emphasized. The zinc recycling rate is 95%. This means that you can change your aligner at the end of its life with a clear conscience. The only drawback of zinc gutters is their somewhat complex assembly. The gutters are welded and therefore shaped with precision. This requires the hand of a specialist.


  • You can choose the color of your gutter.
  • The zinc gutter is one of the cheapest to buy.
  • It is expected to last a long time.
  • It is in fact possible to tailor it.


  • If you want to accessorize your zinc gutter, make it a full object of your decoration, it is better to have it installed by a professional.
  • If you live by the sea, give up a zinc gutter because iodized air oxidizes this metal very quickly.

Plastic gutter

If you want to install your gutter yourself, a plastic model is the best choice. The individual parts are particularly light and can usually be simply put together. Special installation skills are therefore not required. Plus, plastic gutters are quite inexpensive and come in a variety of colors. A disadvantage of this gutter material is the not so noble impression it gives. In addition, plastic tends to have flaws from an ecological point of view.


  • Simple assembly possible.
  • Not expensive to buy.
  • Wide variety of colors
  • Low gutter weight


  • Poor visual quality
  • Ecological incompatibility