Choosing the right gutter system for your property
This entry was posted on May 31, 2016.
Gutters come in all sorts of shapes, sizes and materials, and Drain Depot sell them all. The only decision you have to make is selecting the correct one for your property. The question is, how do you know which is the right choice?
First of all, you need to remember why we have guttering in the first place, as this could be a deciding factor for you. Guttering is there to protect the fabric of your property. It’s there to collect the rainwater which falls onto your roof, and carry it away to safety, whether that’s a drain, water storage tank, or soakaway. As long as the gutter stops the rainwater from damaging your foundations, it’s doing its job.
When it comes to choosing your gutter system, aesthetics plays a large part. Clearly, a new build with white render would look peculiar with black plastic guttering, as would a historic house. The other factor is your budget. What you’re prepared to spend will affect your choices.
The most cost effective solution is PVC, or plastic. Affordable, and suited to almost all modern properties, PVC is a popular selection. Easy to install and join pieces together, it’s really versatile. Of course, PVC is cheaper than other options for a reason. PVC is the weakest form of guttering systems, with the UV from the sun causing the material to become brittle and shortening its lifespan.
If you have a little more money to spend, look into glass reinforced plastic, which is stronger than PVC, and can be moulded to look like cast iron, making it a fantastic choice for older properties where it can be substituted for iron guttering at a fraction of the price of metal. Its light weight makes it a hit with installers, and unlike PVC, it’s UV stable, so you should get around 25 years of service from it. It’s a “best of both worlds” solution for your guttering.
Purchasing any sort of metal guttering is an investment in your property. The most modern and recently introduced choice, aluminium guttering, is lightweight, strong, resistant to rust, and can be protected with a powder coat of polyester which can even change its colour to fit in with your property. You’ll easily get 25 years of service from it with minimal maintenance, and thanks to its changeable appearance, you can find a style which works on your property no matter which style it’s built in.
Slightly more affordable is steel guttering. It offers many of the benefits of aluminium guttering, but as you’d expect from steel, can be prone to rusting if not properly maintained. You’ll often see steel guttering on new build homes, and it has the same 25 year lifespan as aluminium – as long as you look after it. It’s up to you, or maybe your budget, whether the higher maintenance regime which steel requires is enough to justify saving money by choosing steel over aluminium.
Period homes, and those which are listed, may limit you to cast iron guttering. Don’t be put off though. This age-old material has been around for years, and has perfected itself to the point of being a premium product. Strong, with a very long life span, it looks great on old and new properties. As a result, you should expect it to come with the biggest price tag, but this high quality guttering system will last you for the longest period of time, and you won’t be buying twice.
As you’d expect from cast iron, it weighs a lot more than its plastic counterparts, so can be trickier to install on your home. Allow extra time for installation. You’ll also find that it needs regular maintenance. Experts recommend a fresh coat of bituminous paint around every five years after installation. While this may seem like a bit of a chore, the advantages of cast iron guttering tend to outweigh the negatives. Well maintained cast iron won’t be affected by the UV rays, making it a more stable product than any plastic guttering system.
Whichever gutter option you choose, you will still need to make sure that you inspect gutters and downpipes regularly. Even the most expensive guttering system can’t do its job if it’s compromised. Any sort of blockage, such as leaves, moss and bird debris, can stop your guttering from working efficiently, and allow water to permeate your home, resulting in damp inside the home.
Make the right choice, and purchase your guttering system from the experts at Drain Depot.
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