Installing PVC Fascia / Soffit & PVC Guttering
This entry was posted on May 15, 2015.
Are you living in a house where there is the constant sound of dripping water outside and you need to know how to replace soffits and fascias or guttering system? We are here to help! If you need some help with installing any of these systems please follow our step-by-step guide. Before fitting anything you must think about your safety first!
As with any type of DIY project you need to ensure that you put your safety first. It may be worth getting a friend or family member to help you along the way especially when you are using a ladder.
When using a ladder, the bottom should be a quarter of the ladders total height away from the wall of the building with both ends flat on the ground. Ask your friend or family member to hold the bottom so that it doesn’t move whilst you are working from the ladder; don’t lean any further than an arm’s length away as you may lose your balance.
Wear flat shoes and tight clothing so that it doesn’t get caught on something and cause an accident.
Fascia and Soffit Board Components
Before fitting guttering or downpipes, you should inspect your fascia & soffit system and if required replace this in the first instance.
Replacement Fascia boards:
At 16mm thick these are to be fixed directly to the timber rafter ends. These replacement boards are used on new builds to replace rotten or damaged timber fascias.
The soffit board is 10mm thick and either plain or pre vented. It is used for the underside element of the roofline. They provide a clean horizontal line on the project and a sturdy edge for the fascia board to fit over.
How to fit PVC Fascia and Soffit
Firstly, remove the existing guttering and the first row of tiles from the roof. After these have been removed you will need to take down any existing rotten fascias or soffits.
Repair the timber rafter feet so they are ready for the replacement PVC fascias and soffits. Soffits are the underside element of this roofline project so once the rafter feet are repaired and clean, ensure the soffits are horizontally fitted up to the brick of the house. The soffit will give the project a neat finish and provide a sturdy edge for the fascia to sit against.
Next it is time to fit the fascia boards. Ensure you buy plastic headed nails that will not rust over time - 50mm or 65mm nails are required for full replacement fascia boards. It is suggested that you fix two nails per rafter end to ensure maximum hold.
Guttering and downpipe components
Half Round/Square Gutters: Half round gutters are available in PVC, cast iron, steel and aluminium. PVC gutters are the most popular type of guttering in the UK and one of the above materials will be suitable for your project. The most popular PVC half round gutter measures 112mm x 52mm x 4m in length.
Union Bracket - Joining Piece: Union brackets connect two parts of the guttering together. The bracket has 3 fixing points and has lubricated compressible seals to stop any leaking and help with installation.
112 Degree Offset Bend: Adding an offset to the downpipe avoids any chance of stagnant water and also reduces any build-up of debris. It is used extensively to allow a downpipe to ‘kick back’ into the building providing an ‘S’ shape where a fascia & soffit roofline system have been installed.
There are other parts for guttering and downpipes including the plinth offset and access pipe however the above fittings and lengths are the most popular.
How to install PVC guttering
If you want to save yourself some money then DIY is the best way to do it, however, you must make sure you research best practice for installing your guttering if not it could mean spending even more money than you had originally planned.
When planning out your guttering you must allow some room for expansion that can take place in warm weather so plan out a gutter insertion depth mark. Use this depth mark as a guide to allow at least 5mm on each gutter length joint.
Begin with fitting the outlet to the guttering so you can connect it to the downpipe. The outlet will be positioned directly on top of the downpipe.
Depending on the positioning of your drainage points you may have stop ends at the end of each gutter run with a running outlet placed centrally or stop end outlets at either end with the high point of your gutter run in the middle.
Fit a fascia bracket to the fascia board at the opposite end to the stop end and put it near the top of the fascia board (don’t forget to leave room for expansion).
DON’T FORGET: The guttering needs a ‘fall’ or ‘slope’ to enable the water to flow. The fall should be 10mm for every 6metre length of gutter.
Mark out & fit the outlet using a plumb line, holding it directly over the drainage point. This must be no further than 50mm out from the roof tiles.
Once these two parts are in place you can draw a straight line (or use a string line) from outlet point to stop end as a guideline for the other fascia brackets.
Mark out the positioning for the other fascia brackets. Space them out leaving no more than 1m between them or no more than 150mm from any other fitting or union.
Your outlet may be in the middle of the gutter so repeat the above steps on either side, not forgetting the fall or slope of the gutter run.
Fit the other fascia brackets along the line and add the stop ends to the first piece of guttering.
Clip the first gutter length in the fascia brackets.
Connect a union bracket to the other end of the first gutter (opposite end to the stop end) then attach the next length to this and carry on the above process until you connect the guttering to the outlet and downpipe length. Use a stop end after the outlet to complete the gutter run.
If the last length is too long then use a hacksaw to cut it to the correct length.
Then move on to install the downpipes.
How to install PVC downpipes
This installation process is similar to the guttering however it is fitted vertically.
Using a spirit level, draw or mark out a vertical line with string from your outlet to the drain.
Measure the points for the downpipe clips and mark with a pencil no more than 1m apart all the way down the wall.
Drill a hole where you have made the markings and insert wall plugs in the holes.
Begin with fitting your first length of downpipe starting at the top where the outlet is (leave a 10mm gap between the outlet and socket for expansion in hot weather).
Once the first downpipe is connected to the running outlet, screw the downpipe clip into the wall plugs to hold securely in place.
If you require your downpipe to curve around a soffit board will need to use two 112 degree offset bends, attach the first bend to the outlet pointing downwards and then attach a piece of downpipe cut to the desired length) which will connect to the other offset bend. Attach the bend so it returns the downpipe vertically and into the next downpipe section, forming an S shape.
Carry on attaching downpipe lengths and attaching them with clips down the wall until you reach the bottom.
You may need to cut the last length if it is too long.
Connect a shoe to the last downpipe to send the water in the right direction into an open gully securing it with a downpipe clip.
Maintaining and cleaning your gutters/downpipes
If you don’t clean and maintain your guttering you could end up with clogged or damaged gutters which can create problems for your home. If water gets into your home due to a broken gutter or downpipe you could develop mould, condensation, damp which can be costly and disruptive to repair.
Clearing a blocked gutter
It is pretty easy! All you need is a garden trowel or even a piece of wood to clean your gutters. Simply use the tool to scrape any debris or leaves from the guttering to allow water to flow again. Use a bucket of water to check that the water flow is back to normal.
Clearing a blocked downpipe
The downpipe is slightly more complicated as you will need to buy a ‘plumbers snake’ or drain rod to clear the blockage. Use the tool to push any debris towards the bottom of the downpipe and put a bucket at the bottom to collect the debris. Do not let it go into the drain!
Check your gutters and downpipes every few months just to ensure there are no blockages. It will be easier for you if you catch the blockage early!
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