How to Choose the Right Guttering for Your Home

Jamie Knight, Marketing Team

When it comes to guttering, there is certainly a lot of choice. There are a number of things you need to consider when choosing a rainwater system; size, material, shape and placement of the gutter are all factors which must be considered. You can opt for a metal guttering system, like steel, aluminium and cast iron, or a PVC guttering system.

With all the choice, it can be difficult to find the best rainwater system for your property, particularly if you live in an area exposed to harsh weather conditions, like parts of north England or the South coast. This blog aims to break down the different rainwater systems, looking at their respective strengths and weaknesses.

If you’re looking to buy metal guttering, or simply would like a quotation, please don’t hesitate to get in touch: [email protected]. We supply the full range of aluminium, cast iron and steel rainwater goods, with our popular colours available for next day delivery.

The rainwater components

Gutters are installed along the eaves of a house and collect the rainwater that runs down the roof. There are several different volumes and depths of gutter to choose from, depending on the amount of rainfall your area receives. It’s important to note that your gutter’s capacity must be large enough to carry the maximum expected flow of water at any point in the system. Get in touch with us for more details about calculating flow capacity.

As a general rule of thumb, 100mm wide guttering is suitable for a reasonably heavy downpour of rain. These are usually paired with 75mm-wide downpipes. Below shows the full range of components you would expect to find in a traditional rainwater system (metal and PVCu):

Zambelli Galvanised Steel Components (left), PVCu components (right)

Please note that stop ends are used at the end of the gutter run and the union joins two sections of gutter together. Two offset bends are also used with a small offcut of downpipe to make a swan neck shape that returns the downpipe form the eaves back to the wall. We can help you gather your shopping list! Just drop our friendly team an email at [email protected] or call the office on 0208 037 6020.

What material should I choose?

It might go without saying, but we recommend choosing a material that matches the look and feel of your dwelling’s exterior.

Installing white Victorian Ogee aluminium gutters against a contemporary black façade is going to look strange. Here at Gutter Warehouse, we can supply the full range of RAL colours to match almost any exterior. We can even offer guttering which is custom made to suit your property.

Plastic guttering

If you have a limited budget, then plastic guttering is a popular choice. It can look good on contemporary properties, and is lightweight & easy to install. Most components snap together very easily.

However, that said, PVC guttering has a short lifespan and can split when exposed to sunlight for long periods. This is caused by the sun’s powerful UV rays.

Plastic guttering can also be damaged easily – it’s not uncommon for a ladder to knock the guttering and cause a dent or break.

We strongly advise getting a professional to do the rainwater installation, as gutters which are not joined properly can leak.

uPVC guttering UK

Plastic guttering (uPVC) installed on a property in the UK

Aluminium guttering

Aluminium gutters and downpipes have become a popular choice in recent months, particularly with growing concerns about the UK’s carbon footprint. Aluminium is an eco-conscious choice because it is recyclable and has a long lifespan of 30+ years (if maintained correctly). It is much more eco friendly than plastic, and is equally as lightweight!

Aluminium guttering also will not shatter or crack when exposed to temperature changes. The material itself has not joints, which prevents leaks, and apart from leaves & debris collecting in the gutters, there is usually little to no maintenance required. We supply a range of guttering accessories to support the maintenance of your rainwater system.

What is the Difference Between Cast and Extruded Aluminium Gutters?

Traditional cast aluminium gutters are more expensive than extruded aluminium gutters, offering more of a ‘heritage’ look.

The extruded ranges are designed and manufactured to provide the architectural features associated with contemporary properties. Our SnapIt half round matt black and Anthracite Grey finishes look fantastic against modern architecture.  We are currently offering 25% off on all products for a limited time only!

Aluminium Guttering Components

Cast Aluminium Guttering (row 1), Extruded Aluminium Guttering (row 2)

Cast iron guttering

Cast iron is the most expensive of the metal ranges, but offers the greatest lifespan when compared with aluminium and steel guttering products. It is a very popular choice on heritage or listed properties, primarily because of its beautiful textured appearance, which compliments traditional brickwork.

This rainwater system should last 50+ years with good maintenance, making it an eco-friendly choice. Did you know that when iron oxidises over time, it gives off carbon based ashes which promote growth of plants and planktonic life? Recent research has shown that adding iron dust to the oceans can have a positive effect on their health and reduce greenhouse gases. Our eco systems are under serious threat as a result of climate change, which is why we must do our bit to support the environment. Gutter Warehouse strives to be as eco conscious as possible in all operations. 

The primary disadvantage of cast iron guttering is that it’s a heavy system, often requiring 2 experienced (and strong!) roofers to carry and install it. For this reason, you need to make sure that your walls are strong enough, particularly on older buildings where foundations may be weaker or under stress. Our full cast iron installation guide can be used to make the process hassle free.

We supply both primed and pre-painted cast iron, with textured black available for next working day delivery (if ordered before 11am). If you would like a quotation for your project, please get in touch with our technical team: [email protected].

Cast iron Metal guttering 2

Cast Iron on a residential property in the UK

Steel Guttering

Steel is the most cost effective metal rainwater system, and compliments both traditional and contemporary-style properties in the UK. It is stronger than plastic and the galvanised range will not expand when exposed to high temperatures, providing greater joint integrity.

This is ideal in northern locations like Glasgow where winter months bring periods of intense rainfall. Our galvanised steel range is also much deeper than PVC, offering better holding capacity and flow rates. Having a system that comes in 3m gutter length also ensures swift installation for you or your building team.

The steel range has a 15 year warranty and maintenance is minimal. One downside of steel is that painting & extra maintenance may be required if the protective coating is scratched or chipped.

We can supply a range of RAL colours to suit your roof or façade, although lead time on custom painted gutters and downpipes is 3-4 weeks.

The galvanised and Anthracite ranges are available for next working day delivery (if ordered by 11am). Please email our team on [email protected] for a quotation or with any queries relating to steel guttering.

Galvanised Steel Coatings Image

Image shows the different coatings on Zambelli Galvanised steel

What is the Difference Between half round and Box Gutters?

Box guttering is square on all sides, unlike round gutters which have the appearance of a tube that’s been ‘cut in half.’

One advantage of half round gutters is that they don’t stand out too much against luxury homes with unique architecture.

This ensures that the eye focuses on the property itself, rather than the guttering. In addition, from a technical perspective, half round gutters have a smooth interior round shape, meaning there is fewer places for water to build up and cause corrosion.

This shape also makes it easier to clean, as it is difficult for leaves and debris to get caught on boxy edges. Our new hedgehog gutter cleaning scoop is a great product to help you do this. It is currently on sale at 30% off.

Half round guttering is mostly used on properties constructed pre-1950. Most properties don’t use box guttering, although it has gained popularity in recent months, particularly on heritage properties where half round would look out of place.

Thus, you should use a rainwater system that best suits the property you are installing it on.

We supply the full range of half round and box gutters in a range of materials. Simply get in touch using the enquiry form below to get a quotation.

So that’s it! Our top tips for choosing a guttering system on your property. There’s a lot of information to digest, and we don’t expect to have answered all of your questions. So, if you need any help, please get in touch with us on [email protected] or use the form below. We’d be glad to help!

 

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Please call the office on 0208 810 0120 to place any order while we update the prices on our website. Thank you.