Repair Your Guttering
Guttering and the roofline on your house are one of the least watched out for factors, but if they develop issues can lead to some serious problems for your roofline. Follow this advice on how to repair or replace your guttering.
What To Watch For On Gutters
Patches appearing on your walling that look like damp spots are caused when water is being constantly introduced to the wall. Condensation forms creating a mould or blackspot.
Stains, discolouration and algae on the walls, and plant growth in the actual gutters.
Deterioration to walls due to frost damage, caused by the wall constantly held to water.
Water pooling around the base of the building.
Gutter fixings or other brackets found on the ground near to the house.
Check Gutters For Damage
Check your gutters once yearly for damage. Get a ladder, climb up and visually inspect them. Looking from the ground up just won’t work as you need to see inside of it and behind it to check the brackets.
Visually inspect the guttering system is fit for purpose, start at the top of your property and follow the route the water takes when travelling down to the ground, or on rainy days check for leaks and overflows.
To prevent rainwater cascading off roofs, it’s important that the guttering is positioned correctly, and that there are sufficient downpipes to cope with a heavy downpour – at least one downpipe for every 12 metres in length.
If you suspect you have more than just a guttering problem, you notice some loose tiles, loose flashing or anything else that looks suspicious on your roof, you should reach out to a local roofing contractor.
Finding early signs on your roof of something damaged can make a huge difference if you get a roof leak and its treated fast. Untended roof leaks can quickly become a serious problem costing thousand to remedy!
It is essential that the brackets and fixings that attach the gutters to exterior walls are secure and able to withstand weather changes from snow and ice.
Guttering is supposed to have a gentle slope to help direct the water cleanly to the exit point. If there is no significant slope, the water will not flow away and a build-up of sediment may cause overflowing. Too much of a slope, however, and torrents of water will gush past and overshoot.
Gutters and downpipes that are blocked by leaves, moss and other debris cause water to spill down the face of the wall or seep into the timber behind the guttering, including the ends of the rafters and joists. Water trapped in pipes during cold weather can freeze, resulting in cracks and splits in the metalwork.
Cracked gutters and downpipes repairs can sometimes be made with joint repair tape or gutter sealant.
Joints are a potential weak point in both gutters and downpipes, so ensure they haven’t become disconnected and are leak free. Rusted or missing bolts are often the culprit, along with loose gutter brackets and downpipe fittings.
GUTTERING SOLUTIONS FOR YOUR ROOFLINE
Where a gutter is clear but water is not running away, the ‘fall’ or angle may be incorrect. A good way to test this is by pouring a bucket of water along the gutter. If the slope is insufficient the water will not flow away, whereas if it’s too steep water will overshoot.
Ensure gutter brackets are fixed to a sound surface and are capable of supporting the added weight of snow or heavy downpours – ideally one bracket per every metre length of gutter.
A rainwater system should empty into gullies and drains at the base of downpipes so the water flows clear of the building. An easy way to check the system is running freely is by tipping a bucket of water down it.
You should always aim to look after your gutter if you want to avoid problems down the road.
Wearing gloves, clear any debris from gullies or, if necessary and possible, use drain rods.
Protect gullies with easily removable grille covers, which are available in a range of styles.
Old style gutters were mostly made of cast iron, which superseded earlier lead styled box gutters. Towards the end of the 19th century there was a short-lived vogue for copper guttering among architects, but as an expensive material its use was restricted to the best quality housing.
In recent years the rainwater fittings on many period houses have been thoughtlessly replaced with cheap-looking plastic gutters, often poorly fitted in clashing styles and colours. Only where buildings are listed or located in older areas is it likely that owners will have replaced the old guttering in authentic matching materials.
If your house still has its original cast-iron rainwater fittings, the best option is to overhaul the existing system. Where replacement is necessary, new factory-painted cast-iron systems are widely available.
uPVC guttering is now the most common form of fitted gutters, soffits and fascia and also relatively light, making installation easier and quicker. You can see the types of gutter choices available here > https://aluplas.com/products. Although it doesn’t suffer from corrosion, plastic is very prone to developing leaks at joints due to expansion and contraction, and older fittings become brittle with age and degrade in sunlight.
There are two main styles – curved half-round gutters, and square line gutters, both are available in a variety of colours. Suitable for all types of residential houses, we do recommend on older buildings to go with aluminium or cast iron gutters to better suit your home.