A guttering system is an essential part of any building, commercial, utilitarian, or residential, performing a vital role in protecting your property. Without gutters, rainwater would not be diverted into the drains and our homes and properties would be prone to damage, damp, decay, leaks, and flooding. When your guttering fails or needs repairing, Checkaroof is here to ensure that you find the right people for the job.
Checkaroof is an organisation that believes in roofing excellence. We strive to ensure that work is carried out to the highest standards and that the materials used are of the best quality. No homeowner should have to settle for poor workmanship or second-rate materials.
All roofs should be able to withstand the elements, wherever they are located within the UK and whatever the local weather conditions may be like.
This includes your rain gutters and downpipes, which play an important role in protecting your property and extending the lifespan of your roof.
The first thing to acknowledge is that gutter installation will always take place at height. This means that a ladder or ladders will be used, and maybe even scaffolding in some cases, depending on the size of the job and how accessible the roof area is.
Whether work takes place on a bungalow, house, apartment, or warehouse, health and safety regulations regarding working at height must always be observed. Checkaroof ensures that all contractors are trained in safety procedures and that they maintain vigilance at all stages of the job, for the protection of employees and anyone in and around the worksite.
Secondly, we need to look at the tools required for the job:
Many of these are tools that are commonly found in most home tool kits, but professional roofers and guttering experts will replace these frequently and always perform safety checks on items such as ladders. It's always worth double-checking any equipment before starting the job, as well as keeping spares handy.
As 99% of all guttering installed in the UK is made from uPVC, we'll focus on the installation of this type. Plastic guttering is lightweight and easy to handle and install, and it also comes in a range of colours and styles, which is why it is so popular.
Before proceeding with the job, all the guttering parts should be checked to make sure everything is present:
In most cases, half-round guttering is used as this can cope with most situations. In areas with excessively heavy rainfall, a high-capacity gutter should be used. Also, if you have a lot of trees surrounding the property, you might want to install a leaf protection guard to stop leaves from blocking the gutter.
The first step involves the removal and disposal of the existing guttering. If the old guttering is plastic, then it shouldn't be a problem as it will be lightweight. However, if old cast iron guttering is being removed then extra care must be taken as this will be heavy.
Before starting work, a careful plan of the work should be drawn up, using a diagram of the components which will act as a guide and make the process go more smoothly. A professional guttering expert will always work to a detailed plan and will refer to it often to make sure that all is as it should be.
The position of the stop end gutter outlet is established by hanging the plumb bob directly over the drain below. This is marked, along with the fixing holes, on the fascia board using a pencil, ensuring that it doesn't come any more than 50mm below the level of the roof tiles.
Small pilot holes are drilled into the fascia board, then the stop end gutter outlet is fixed in place with screws. It is important that these are not over-tightened, as they may break the clip.
A fascia bracket (or support bracket) is fixed at the other end of the fascia board, at least 100mm from the end. This should be placed higher than the stop end outlet to allow the correct fall. The fall should be 3mm per metre to ensure that water flows down the gutter runs towards the outlet. If the outlet and downpipe are situated in the centre of the fascia board, then this process needs to be done at either end.
Using a spirit level and a straight edge, such as a string line, the positions of the remaining brackets are marked out and fitted carefully, with the end bracket serving as a guide. Once all the brackets are in place, this is a good opportunity to make sure that the gutter has the correct angle to allow water to drain away through the running outlet hole. Each bracket should just touch the string line, no more than 1 metre apart and no more than 150mm from the stop ends or any angles.
Gutter seals are sprayed with silicone lubricant to make installation easier as they will slide into place without requiring too much pressure. The silicone spray also helps the guttering to cope with contraction and expansion due to fluctuating temperatures.
The first length of gutter is fixed into place, starting at the downspout outlet and working towards the highest point at the opposite end of the fascia. It should be a simple case of tilting it into the fascia bracket and pushing it firmly down to click it into place.
A gutter bracket/union bracket is fixed in place at the end of the first length using screws.
The second gutter section is slotted into the gutter bracket, making sure to follow the markings that show the angle of the gutter run. It doesn't hurt to re-check the angle at this stage using the spirit level.
The remaining lengths are put into place, and the last piece is cut to size using the hacksaw. Any rough edges are smoothed down using a file or medium sandpaper. The end of the gutter is capped with an external stop end (end cap) to complete the gutter run.
This completes the horizontal section of the guttering, so now we need to look at the installation of the downpipe.
A plumb line is used to mark out the position of the downpipe in several places on the wall in a vertical line. These are joined up using a straight edge and a pencil, and fixing holes are marked out, making sure that the clips are not more than 1.8 metres apart. Fixing holes are then drilled and fitted with appropriate wall plugs.
Depending on the width of the eaves, offset bends are used to join the running outlet to the downpipe. This either uses two offset bends or an adjustable offset bend.
The downpipes are then fitted in place, starting at the running outlet. A pipe socket and pipe clip are used to join lengths of pipe together.
The first pipe clip is fixed into place directly below the offset bend. The remaining pipe clips are then fixed in place.
It may be necessary to use a downpipe shoe to direct the flow of water into the drain, and this is added at this final stage.
Checkaroof-approved contractors are fully trained and qualified to undertake this work and complete it to the high standards that you expect and deserve.
Provided that you are fit and healthy and that you ensure that you follow safety advice at all times, then there is no real reason why you can't fit guttering by yourself. After all, it is understandable that you want to keep costs down.
However, most people prefer to allow a trained professional to do the job as the results are generally much better. It is also a process that usually requires more than one person. It is never a good idea to work alone at height without proper training.
Also, a professional roofer will assess whether the fascia boards and soffits need replacing, which is frequently the case when guttering has failed. A qualified roofer or gutter specialist will complete the job on time and will be sure to install it at the correct angle to allow water to flow properly.
In the end, it's a question of saving you time and having it installed safely, precisely, and without any fuss.
Checkaroof understands that you want to save money, and will always connect you with a guttering specialist who will provide a cost-effective solution.
Collecting rainwater is an excellent way of lowering your water bill and reducing your impact on the environment. You can use the stored water for your garden or for a variety of other tasks, and it is essentially free. Rainwater generally has a lower pH value than tap water, so it is better for your plants.
Harvesting rainwater also helps to lower the volume of water heading into local drains, which can often become overwhelmed which can contribute to local flooding. You can help to reduce erosion, as well as the impact of heavy rain on your downpipe spout.
When you reduce the amount of water you consume, it eases pressure on the local supply. This is important, as water resources are under a lot of strain due to climate change and the rising population. It takes an enormous amount of energy to treat the mains water that comes into our homes. Harvesting rainwater will help to reduce your carbon footprint.
With a good amount of stored water, you can avoid hosepipe bans and keep your garden looking healthy in the warmer months.
Although it's usually free from chlorine or fluoride, rainwater that is harvested from your gutter is not safe to drink, cook with, or bathe in. To do so, you would need to filter or distil the water, which involves extra cost.
The water flowing from your roof will wash all kinds of things along with it, including dirt, bird faeces, and other pollutants. Although the quantities are low, they can still make you ill. Plants don't need pure water, so it is safe to use this for the garden. The only exception would be if you have a lead roof and you were using the harvested water for vegetable crops for consumption, as lead particles can accumulate in the plants.
The cost of harvesting rainwater varies drastically. For around £50 0r £60, you can buy a simple water-diversion kit, including a connector that fits to your downpipe, and a water butt.
Alternatively, you can get complete rainwater harvesting systems that cost between £1,000 and £2,000 or slightly more. These include pumps, pipework and a large water butt that stores the rainwater (either above or below ground) for various uses around the home.
Checkaroof encourages responsible water use and will always recommend reputable roofing companies who will provide the very best advice about rainwater collection, and will fit an appropriate and cost-effective system that suits your needs.
The cost of new guttering will depend on the size of your property and the type of material you choose. For example, you can have zinc, aluminium, copper, or cast iron guttering, which will cost more than uPVC.
The cost will also depend on the type of house, whether it is terraced, semi-detached, detached, and so on. For example, plastic guttering (uPVC) for a garage or flat will cost between £240 and £360, while a terraced or a semi-detached house will cost between £400 and £500. The same guttering would be between £500 and £700 for a detached property.
As a further guide, let's look at the difference in price between some of the alternatives to plastic guttering, using a semi-detached house as an example:
These prices are approximate and will vary according to market conditions and your location.
Your contractor may suggest extras, such as leaf guards, if there are trees close by, especially if they rise above your roofline. Dead leaves can be washed into the gutter where they rot, causing blockages. No matter how new your guttering, if it's blocked up with leaves then water will overflow. This will eventually leak into the loft space and rot the soffits and fascia boards.
Your gutters need cleaning and maintenance to stop dirt from building up. As well as leaves, moss and other plants will start to grow if gutters aren't cleaned fairly regularly. Seeds that have been dropped by birds will quickly grow in this ideal environment, which adds to the problem as these mini-gardens attract other wildlife such as mice, rats, and squirrels. All of these carry their own risks and hazards, potentially breaking the gutter, chewing through electrical wiring, or damaging the insulation.
It's a good idea to check your gutters regularly to make sure that they are working well and that there are no cracks or that isn't sagging.
Always do this safely, making sure to position your ladder (if you use one) correctly. Ideally, you should ask a professional roofer to check the gutters when they perform a roof inspection.
Your guttering system plays a major role in protecting your home, working in conjunction with your roof to keep you, and the contents of your home, warm and dry.
When either fails, it can cause a great deal of damage. Black mould, rising damp, wet/dry rot are common problems that homeowners can do without. Sadly, these issues often remain undiscovered until serious damage occurs. Wooden structural components within the property can become compromised and need replacing, which becomes a costly project. In severe cases, these can destabilise the roof structure, making it unsafe.
Proper installation, repair and maintenance of your roof are absolutely essential if you want to avoid excessive costs, damage, and risk to your health.
This is why Checkaroof has set out on a mission to ensure roofing excellence. We strongly believe that all roof repairs and installations, including the gutters, should be of the highest quality, using the best materials.
Your roof should be able to withstand whatever nature throws at it, however harsh the local environmental factors.
To achieve this, Checkaroof works together with the best in the business to bring you peace of mind. We help you find trusted, reliable, reputable local contractors who will offer, free, no-obligation advice, written quotes, competitive prices, and work of the highest standard.
If you need a gutter specialist that you can trust, or simply want advice, then get in touch with Checkaroof today.
Aluminium guttering is the best option, but this can be more expensive but for what they do it can be worth the investment. Vinyl is another obvious choice because they also perform well but are easier to obtain.
Domestic guttering in the UK is most commonly 112mm half-round. A more modern house may use 114mm square shape or a 115mm deep flow type.
Square guttering can get dirt and debris lodged in them more often so half round and deep guttering are better for the flow of water in most cases.
Guttering fabricated within the last 10 years and installed correctly should last around 30 years because of the improved formula of materials and technology. Guttering in brackets above that period could very well need replacing.
The most common are white and black but you can also get anthracite grey, leather brown, caramel and cast-iron black.