Which drain is better: plastic or metal

The drainage system is an integral part of the roof of any building. On the device, it is internal and external. Structurally, it includes pipes, gutters, funnels, elbows, elbows and other components.

Different materials are used for the manufacture of these elements. It is difficult to choose the appropriate type of drain among the offered range, but you don’t want to overpay at all? Let's work out together which drain is better - plastic or metal, for which we thoroughly compare within this article all the characteristics of the systems offered in the market.

And also we give recommendations to potential buyers on the choice of the optimal drainage system, providing the material with video tips and photo illustrations.

The content of the article:

  • What is better: plastic vs metal?
  • Features of metal systems
    • Material # 1: Galvanized
    • Material # 2: Aluminum Zinc (galvium)
    • Material # 3: Zinc Titanium
    • Material # 4: Aluminum
    • Material # 5: Copper
  • Specificity of plastic structures
  • How should I choose gutters?
  • Conclusions and useful video on the topic

What is better: plastic vs metal?

By definition, it is impossible to get rid of rain and melt water. Residential and non-residential buildings must somehow be protected from their impact, otherwise the walls, roof and foundation will not last long.

If there is no drainage system on the roof, then not only the exterior finish, but also its supporting structures will quickly begin to collapse. Better to spend and make an effective drainrather than thorough repair the entire building.

Functions of the drainage system

If the drainage system is designed unprofessionally, then the facade, walls, blind areas and the foundation will suffer from the water flowing from the roof.

All elements of the drain on the material can be divided into two groups:

  • metal;
  • plastic.

The first group includes products from steel, copper, zinc and aluminum, and the second - from PVC, polypropylene and polyethylene. And each of these materials has its merits.

Briefly, steel, galvanized or coated with polymers, unlike plastic, does not change its geometry in the sun and does not burst from the ice that is frozen inside. Copper and zinc drainage elements will last the longest, but they are also the most expensive. Plastic drains differ in variety of color schemes and low cost.

However, the choice of material for the manufacture of the roofing spillway system strongly depends on the roof configuration, the amount of precipitation and the average annual temperature in the region where the building is constructed.

Before you go to the store to buy a drain, it is necessary to examine all the nuances of the proposed options. In some cases, you can get inexpensive plastic, while in others it is better to take something from the metal.

Image Gallery

A photo of

Cattle Roof Drain System

Water drainage system is constructed to protect the walls and foundation of a low-rise house with a sloping roof from liquid precipitation

Standard gutter system

The main elements of the drainage system responsible for collecting rainwater from the pitched roof are gutters - long products made of metal or plastic, made in the form of cut along half round or square in pipe section

The drainage funnel is connected to the chute.

Gutters are installed with a slight slope to the catchment area. Rainwater should spontaneously drain into it.

Drainpipe - Vertical riser

A drainpipe is connected to the funnel, which with the help of its knees is given a slightly curved shape to go around the eaves and join the wall

Discharge of water from the drainpipe into the stormwater

Rainwater collected by an organized drainage system is discharged into the storm sewer system, which diverts water to the place of discharge.

Drainable roof gutter system

Duplex roofs are equipped with two independent gutters, each of which is connected to its own funnel and drainpipe

Drain for hip and hip roof

Hip and tent roofs are equipped with a drainage system covering the entire perimeter. Drain pipes stand at each slope or install two pipes depending on the length of the pitched plane

Drainage system structurally complex roof

For structurally complex roofs, including several variants of truss structures, drainage systems are constructed for each component.

Cattle Roof Drain System

Cattle Roof Drain System

Standard gutter system

Standard gutter system

The drainage funnel is connected to the chute.

The drainage funnel is connected to the chute.

Drainpipe - Vertical riser

Drainpipe - Vertical riser

Discharge of water from the drainpipe into the stormwater

Discharge of water from the drainpipe into the stormwater

Drainable roof gutter system

Drainable roof gutter system

Drain for hip and hip roof

Drain for hip and hip roof

Drainage system structurally complex roof

Drainage system structurally complex roof

Features of metal systems

Previously, drains were made of zinc and copper. However, the first metal was too susceptible to corrosion and short-lived, and the second - very expensive. Zinc, if used now, is only in the form of an alloy with titanium. More often it is used simply for galvanizing steel.

It is galvanized steel gutters and pipes, most of which are offered by sellers when the buyer asks for a metal drain.

Image Gallery

A photo of

Multi-level metal drain

A weighty advantage of the metal drainage system is its relative stability. In hot weather, the metal does not actually change the size, unlike plastic

Copper gutter system

Metal drainage systems are made of galvanized roofing tin, copper, aluminum and various metal alloys. Products from copper and aluminum belong to elite products, its service life is estimated from 50 to 100 years.

Resistance to external influences

The metal drain will not burst in cold weather, will calmly withstand the weight of ice and snow accumulated in the gutter. In case of deformation metal parts can be straightened.

Polymeric protective and decorative shell

A significant disadvantage of metal systems is the tendency to rust and oxidation, from which galvanization temporarily protects. Now over a zinc put polymeric protective and decorative color layer

Multi-level metal drain

Multi-level metal drain

Copper gutter system

Copper gutter system

Resistance to external influences

Resistance to external influences

Polymeric protective and decorative shell

Polymeric protective and decorative shell

Material # 1: Galvanized

Steel products - this is the most affordable version of the drain of metal. They are made of cold-rolled steel, which is covered with a layer of zinc.

Such eastern systems are distinguished by a long service life (if the zinc coating is not damaged), resistance to UV and temperature differences. They easily withstand large volumes of snow, without breaking through the winter.

Steel gutter

A significant drawback of the steel drain is the large weight of the system in the assembly - it is necessary to mount the gutters with a small step between the suspensions, which increases the complexity of installation

To make the gutter design more presentable and increase the life of the galvanized coating of polymers:

  • Pural (PUR);
  • plastisol (PVC, PVC);
  • polyester (PE or MPE).

Pural coating is resistant to mechanical damage, ultraviolet and refers to the average price segment. Steel drain with him without replacement will last 30-35 years.

Plastisol (polyvinyl chloride) has a wide range of colors and low cost. However, under the influence of UV rays, it softens and deforms. Its service life is up to half a century, but not in the southern regions with high insolation.

Plain polyester (PE) is cheap, tolerates ultraviolet radiation, but is easily scratched even with ice. This coverage will last 10–15 years. Then the protection will disappear and moisture will begin to destroy the steel base. He has a stronger analog with the addition of Teflon - MPE. However, unlike PE, this option is limited in color only to shades of gray.

Polymer coated

In fact, all such drains with a polymer coating are a direct analogue of metal tiles; they are made using the same technology.

If the roof is metal-tiled, then the elements of the eastern system are best chosen from a similar material with an identical multilayer structure. So they will have a common service life before the repair, the replacement of the roof and drains can be made later together at the same time.

Material # 2: Aluminum Zinc (galvium)

Galvium refers to steel coated with an alloy of aluminum and zinc (Al + Zn) with the addition of silicon. This material is superior to ordinary galvanization by several times in heat resistance, coating strength and its corrosion resistance. He is not afraid of acid rain and ultraviolet light.

And in order for a scratch to appear on it, you have to try hard. Snow and ice are not able to harm him.

Galvalum gutter

Galvium drain will last three times longer than that made from galvanized - aluminum oxide film provides reliable protection for the steel base, and zinc only strengthens it

Zinc has a higher electrochemical potential compared to iron. As a result, it gradually “dissolves”, leveling off just starting to form oxides on steel. Corrosion simply cannot reach the base metal through such a protective layer.

Material # 3: Zinc Titanium

This alloy also has high rates of corrosion resistance and strength. It consists of titanium, copper and zinc. The first metal is responsible for reducing the susceptibility to corrosion, the second for plasticity, and the third serves as the base.

These metal gutters can be mounted on the roofs of any shape, they bend without problems without breaking.

Zinc Alloy with Titanium

Titanium-zinc products are durable (100–120 years of operation), but they are 4–5 times more expensive than metal-plastic counterparts

Titanium-zinc is not terrible water, it is an ideal alloy for the device of drains. Its main problem is susceptibility to electrocorrosion. Contacting with copper or iron, it begins to inevitably collapse. And practically nothing can be done with this. It remains only to exclude such a contact. If the roof is covered with copper sheets, then the drain is better to take from another metal.

Material # 4: Aluminum

In comparison with steel, aluminum gutters are lighter and less susceptible to corrosion processes. The lightness of the metal allows the walls of pipes and gutters to be made thicker. At the same time, such a gutter system does not overload the fasteners, but is able to withstand significant loads from snow, ice and water.

Aluminum drain

An oxide film is naturally formed on the aluminum surface, which protects the metal from corrosion, and when damaged, it is restored by itself.

Aluminum quietly transfers frosts, the sun and shock and mechanical influences. It is durable, but noisy and relatively expensive. If the cottage is poor sound insulation, then every drop of rain falling into a similar water outflow will be perfectly audible inside.

Often, manufacturers of aluminum gutters covered with polymer paint. This enhances the corrosion protection and allows the product to be painted in the color from the RAL catalog. For the roof of the house, you can choose aluminum elements of the drainage system as a noble silver shade, and with any other color. In this respect, aluminum wins over many metallic competitors.

Material # 5: Copper

Copper drain is a fusion of luxury and aesthetics in the exterior of a private house. It will cost a round sum, but with proper installation will serve as much as the building itself will stand. Copper is durable, durable and does not deform in heat or cold. Scratches and natural patina give it only elegance. And to ultraviolet, it is completely indifferent.

Copper drain

Copper and corrosion are incompatible concepts; over time, the surface of a copper drain will only oxidize and slightly become covered with a patina of noble greenish or reddish color.

The metal drainage system made of copper reflects the refined taste of the owner of the cottage, as well as its financial viability. It is such a drain a lot of money. No wonder all products from this metal belong to the elite class. But the copper drain on the roof will certainly last for more than a hundred years.

Have you decided to buy metal gutters for the roof of your house? In this case, we recommend you detailed instructions on their own installation.

Specificity of plastic structures

Modern plastic products are resistant to damage and moisture, do not discolor in the sun for a long time and are extremely simple to install on the roof. Plastic drainage systems are cheaper than metal. But in terms of durability and service life of 10–15 years, the former strongly lose to the latter.

In the shops you can find plastic drains from:

  • polyvinyl chloride (PVC);
  • polypropylene;
  • polyethylene.

The most popular option is PVC. It transfers air temperature within the range of -15... + 60 ° С without any problems. In the southern regions, it is a worthy competitor to this or that metal. But for the roofs of buildings in the North, it is better not to take a drain from polyvinyl chloride. The other two polymers become fragile during frosts and crack due to minimal external exposure.

Polypropylene and polyethylene drainpipes

Polypropylene and polyethylene drains are designed for installation both inside and outside buildings. When choosing plastic structures for outdoor installation, you should consider the range of operating temperatures of the system.

Russian climatic conditions do not shine with moderation and temperature warmth. Low frost resistance for plastic drains is a huge minus. According to reviews, even PVC downpipes in the middle lane often in winter break from inside with ice. In this regard, the plastic behind the metal can not keep up.

Plastic troughs often break in spring under a load of snow and ice. And in summer, in heat, they sag because PVC softens and “floats”.

To avoid these problems, it is necessary to install mounts with a small step and lay heating cable. This is an additional cost, but in the case of plastic drain otherwise nothing.

Image Gallery

A photo of

Plastic drainage system

The drainage system made of plastic is constructively similar to the metal equivalent. It consists of gutters, drainage funnels and drainpipes

Expansion compensated connectors

The assembly of plastic systems is carried out taking into account its ability to lengthen when heated. Connections must have a gap to compensate for linear motion of the system.

Installation of polymer structures in the shade

It is better to install a polymer drain where it is not exposed to direct sunlight or reduced due to a small number of sunny days.

Drainage construction on the brick facade

Plastic “coexists well” with any type of building and finishing materials, indifferent to water and fungus, but does not tolerate frosts.

Plastic drainage system

Plastic drainage system

Expansion compensated connectors

Expansion compensated connectors

Installation of polymer structures in the shade

Installation of polymer structures in the shade

Drainage construction on the brick facade

Drainage construction on the brick facade

However, plastic drainage systems have a lot of positive aspects:

  1. Good noise absorption.
  2. Easy installation.
  3. Possibility of installation with any type of roofing.
  4. Excellent anti-corrosion properties.
  5. Low cost - 2-3 times cheaper than metal galvanizing competitor.
  6. Smooth surface that does not trap foliage and other debris.
  7. Extensive product range in color.

On the basis of the characteristics of the plastic drain a little metal. But if you need an inexpensive design for Build your own handsthen PVC pipes, gutters and funnels are best suited. But we must remember, in case of breakage, the element of the drainage system of plastic will have to be completely replaced, it is impossible to repair it.

How should I choose gutters?

The choice between plastic and metal is due to many factors. The drainage system is not something independent. It must match the roofing material and the shape of the roof.

Choosing a drainage system, you need to focus on:

  • roof slope area;
  • financial opportunities;
  • climatic conditions (volumes of rain and snow, air temperature during the year);
  • building facade design;
  • laid roofing material.

If there is a possibility of ice formation, then it is best to opt for a metal drain. This also applies to the situation with heavy rainfall and severe frosts. Plastic in this case should be immediately put aside.

Roof and drain copper

If the roof is made of copper, then the gutters are better to choose copper for the roof - cheap plastic structures in such a neighborhood will look too poor

If the house is covered with metal tile or corrugated flooring, then the best choice would be a metal drain from galvanized steel with polymer coating to match the color of the roofing material.

And for the made of shingles or other soft roof more suitable option of plastic. Under the slate is also worth taking a plastic construction.

Much when choosing a drain depends on the possibilities in terms of finances. First you need to perform the calculation of the required number of typical elements for the assembly of drains. How to do this we considered in next article.

If, due to lack of funds to cover the roof, cheap materials were chosen, then it is not enough to spend money on drainage from copper. This is impractical and will look ridiculous.

It is better in such a situation to mount plastic pipes and gutters, and next year to invest in the new roof and drains to the full.

Conclusions and useful video on the topic

The videos below are sure to help you figure out how to properly select the elements of the water drainage system from the roof. There are quite a few nuances in this topic, it is better to eliminate mistakes in advance.

Comparison of metal and plastic gutters:

An example of drainage systems - the choice between plastic and metal construction:

An example of the manufacture of homemade gutters in the following video:

Without a drainage system, the house is doomed to destruction. Uncontrolled water flows from the roof will ruin the facade, and then destroy the foundation.

When choosing a metal or plastic drain, you should carefully look at what plastic or metal it is made of. In both groups there are lots of options with different characteristics. In some cases, zinc or aluminum will be optimal, and in others, it will be better to purchase PVC.

Have practical experience in the selection and installation of drainage systems and want to share it with other users? Maybe you do not agree with the theoretical information specified in the article? Or do you have a different opinion on this? Describe your view on this question - leave your comments under our article, add a photo of your drain.

Stormwater Cleaning Technology: Method Overview

Stormwater Cleaning Technology: Method OverviewStorm Sewerage

The owners of country houses and country houses know firsthand how important it is to equip storm sewers so that thawed and rainwater do not spoil the finish and flood the foundation. But it’s not...

Read More
Storm sewage system with your own hands: system device diagrams

Storm sewage system with your own hands: system device diagramsStorm Sewerage

Sometimes for the summer resident the long-awaited rain at the height of the season becomes a real natural disaster. As a result of the prolonged summer rainfall, as well as during the spring floo...

Read More
Which drain is better: plastic or metal

Which drain is better: plastic or metalStorm Sewerage

The drainage system is an integral part of the roof of any building. On the device, it is internal and external. Structurally, it includes pipes, gutters, funnels, elbows, elbows and other compone...

Read More