- Importance of gutters
- Cleaning gutters
- Replacing gutters
- Fibreglass gutters
- How to choose
Importance of gutters
If you didn’t have gutters, water would continually run alongside your home causing damage.
Gutters and downspouts work together to ensure that your roofing is working to the best
of its ability. Always ensure your gutters are properly working and free from debris
that could cause water to clog up and not flow freely. Keep gutters clean.
The best way to make certain that your gutters stay clean is to hire a roofing contractor and
have them professionally cleaned. Ensure your roof and gutters are cleaned during fall and springtime.
Best to let a professional handle cleaning gutters for the safety concern involved.
Professionals are trained in handling aspects involving roofs and they also have equipment that makes
cleaning gutters easy. Homeowners often do not have the resources available to ensure that they are
maintaining their gutters and downspouts as effectively as a professional can.
If your gutters need to be replaced, it is best to discuss your options with a professional
guttering company. If you are in the process of replacing your roof, it is a good idea to also
explore your options in regards to the gutter system currently in place. If you need to upgrade,
repair or replace your gutter system, it is best to do it at the same time that you are having
your roof done.
There are many new materials on the market that offer a wide variety of choices for those looking
for new gutters. PVC, Aluminum, and Galvanized gutters are popular choices. Each has its own advantages
Discussing your home’s roofing and guttering needs with your roofing contractor is the best way to ensure
that you choose the materials best for your situation.
Gutters come in a variety of materials yet the four most popular are the following:-
3. Steel and
Copper is without doubt beautiful, granted, anyone fitting copper gutters will increase the value of their
property. Copper gutters are durable, resistant to rust and rot, require little maintenance and are long lasting.
Over time though your gutters will turn green which may be attractive on a centuries old building, but won’t be
quite so lovely on a suburban new build.
Before you consider copper as an option, bear in mind that copper is not well suited to our South African weather.
Our harsh climate makes copper susceptible to oxidation. Besides all the advantages and disadvantages, copper is
a personal choice, and one that comes with a pretty hefty price tag..
Aluminium gutters on the other hand are tend to be the more popular choice due to their ability to resist rust,
require no painting and come in a vast array of colours. However, they are susceptible to dents and tearing.
Aluminium is also well suited to the South Africa climate, especially if they are power coated or painted first.
Vinyl gutters offer you altogether different properties, vinyl is lighter than other materials, easier to install,
easy to cut to size, are great for the DIY installer, are completely rust resistant, maintain their colour well
and will not dent. However, in our parts of South Africa where we experience extreme heat fluctuations they are
liable to warp.
Steel or galvanised gutters on the other hand are the most durable but they do have a limited life span as they
are prone to the weather. Their advantages though are that they won’t warp in extreme temperatures, are highly
resistant to damage such as denting and tearing which makes them a great choice for our storm prone areas.
They have a tensile strength of around 50,000 psi (aluminium’s psi is around 22,000) and are available in a
variety of colours. Steel gutters are however not recommended for DIY enthusiasts.
Let’s start with Sectional gutters. Sectional gutters are sold in pre-cut pieces in a range of lengths.
This type of gutter is most usually constructed from either vinyl or aluminium and each section or joint
is joined to each other by means of special connectors and sealants. However, the process actually lends
itself to the threat of potential leaks as the joins can be aggravated by weather conditions. People
consider this type of gutter as rather unsightly though and their known flaws and limitations may affect
the value of a property. In fact, many professional fitters no longer use these types’ gutters, but
the fact is that they remain the popular choice for DIY fitters because of the fact that they can easily
be “bought off the shelf” and transported home.
Seamless gutters are perhaps the most popular choice for gutters. Usually constructed from aluminium,
they are also made from steel and even copper. Fitters need to use a special machine in order to get their
measurements exact and this machine is both expensive and heavy, so the result is that seamless gutters
are not a good choice for DIY fitters. They also need to be delivered on site from the supplier.
On the upside, seamless gutters don’t have any leaky seams along their length, which is their biggest advantage.
Fibreglass. Glass Reinforced Plastic is a composite material made out of plastic that has been intertwined
and reinforced with very thin glass fibres. It is so versatile, strong and lightweight as well as weather
resistant that is actually makes a very good choice for gutters. They certainly won’t last as long as copper,
steel or aluminium but they are highly inexpensive and easy to maintain and even replace.
There are those who will tell you that fibreglass gutters aren’t attractive, but with today’s wide range of
colour choices available, this needn’t be the case.
How to choose
Firstly, you need to decide which type of gutter is best suited to your home in terms of style and looks.
Budget needs to be taken in to account, how old our home is and your own personal style and taste. Most
homeowners choose guttering that will compliment their home, gutters that can be painted to match, accent
or blend tend to be more popular.
Apart from the aesthetic value, guttering can lend to a home they are an element of home building essential
for the prevention of water damage to the exterior. For this reason, guttering has to go the distance in
terms of years, if not decades without or at least with minimum issues and maintenance requirements.
Excess water needs to find an outlet down from the roof. If it doesn’t the water will eventually cause damage
to a home’s foundations as it pools around the base. Best-case scenario is rising damp, worse case......
Rain gutters are an often-overlooked aspect of a home, yet they are essential if not vital and when properly
chosen and installed their intended function will help reduce your overall home maintenance, time and costs.
Once you have chosen the right size, material and colour to fit your home, you need to have your gutter fitted
A properly fitted gutter will channel water runoff from your home leaving your foundations safe from rising damp.