If you are experiencing problems with your gutter every time it rains and you are looking either to replace or repair it, this guttering replacement/repair guide will give your useful repair and maintenance advice.
House guttering is intended to protect your home from the many problems that can be caused by damp and excess water. Gutters are an important part of your home because they collect rainwater and redirect it away from the roof and the sides of your house to the nearest drain.
Gutters can also channel rain water into storage tanks – a useful source of water for the garden without taxing your primary water supply, among other uses. It is when gutters become blocked with leaves or other rubbish that they need to be cleaned. A gutter that is left blocked may become damaged, causing further problems as well as the cost of repairing it.
Advantages and disadvantages of gutter guard
- Installing gutter guards can prevent gutters from clogging with leaves, water and debris.
- Gutter guards can also decrease the frequency of gutter cleaning and prevent stagnant water from pooling in your gutters.
- The are also several heating gutters available in the market that can heat small areas and even the entire gutter run.
- Gutter guards some times more expensive than hiring a gutter cleaning company.
- Not all gutter guards on the market are equally effective, so you need to do proper research before purchasing.
Gutter maintenance advice
- Regular gutter maintenance can prevent or delay repair or replacement in the future and save money.
- You should regularly check your guttering is clear from blockages, particularly during winter or any months with heavy rainfall.
- This is particularly important if your house is surrounded by trees which will drop dead foliage into the gutter, quickly blocking it.
- It is recommended that you clear and clean your gutters twice a year, or even more regularly if there are trees or plants overhanging your roof that could cause leaves to build up in your gutters more quickly.
Poorly maintained guttering can wreak havoc with a building.
- When a gutter is blocked it can cause water to pool at the bottom of the house, saturating the soil and leading to rising damp problems.
- Rising damp, whereby moisture moves up through the bricks, floors and walls of your home, can cause significant damage to the structure of your property.
- Water may also pool near the roof which causes problems with penetrating damp.
- Blocked gutters also can result into water running down the side of the house, causing the moss and mold growth on the exterior of the building.
- Moss or grass that is growing in the gutter will also need to be removed in order to ensure the guttering is working efficiently.
- If water is flowing freely from the down-pipe and into the drain, then there is a good chance your guttering is working.
- Check the remainder of the guttering for leaks – joints between pieces of guttering must be securely fastened and tight.
- Metal guttering needs to be repainted roughly every five years in order to prevent rusting which you may find to be unsightly.
- In one-and two-storey buildings the gutters can be accessed with a ladder and sometimes with scaffolding.
- Debris can be removed from the gutters by using a trowel – but wear gardening gloves to prevent blisters and splinters or other injury.
Gutter cleaning cost
If your gutters are two or more storeys high, it is highly advisable that you hire professionals to do the cleaning and maintenance, as the risk of injury at those heights is great.
The average gutter cleaning cost per m2 is £5 – £8 per m2 but there might be an extra charge for unusually shaped roofs or external features.
Average cost of cleaning gutters is : £150
Gutter Repair & Maintenance Advice
Fixing minor problems as they arise will be more cost effective than undergoing a major repair at a later stage.
It is possible to patch up minor leaks with gutter sealant, but such patches seldom last very long. If there are a number of these little leaks throughout the guttering, it’s best to simply replace the gutters.
Sagging: If your gutters are sagging, extra supports should be added so that the entire length is fully supported and fits flush to the walls. These supports are usually attached to the fascia boards, and if the fascia is rotted, broken, or uneven, that may need to be replaced as well.
Slope : Guttering needs to have a constant 1:40 slope to the outlet in order to ensure proper drainage. Sometimes support brackets may have to be adjusted to ensure that this requirement is met.
Guttering Materials : Guttering is manufactured from many different materials, such as cast iron, PVCu, aluminium, lead, zinc, steel (galvanised or painted), copper, and more. The material from which your gutters are made will determine the best methods for repair, as well as influencing the cost of such repairs.
PVCu guttering: This type of guttering does tend to develop leaks at the joints due to perishing of the rubberised gaskets that are used to join the lengths. It is also susceptible to damage from ladders that are leaned against it and to warping and sagging caused by insufficient support or broken gutter brackets.
In addition, period homes might already be fitted with older metal guttering that should be matched when being repaired or replaced. PVCu is the most commonly used material for guttering today. Unlike the metal guttering used in the past PVCu guttering will not rust or corrode. It’s also lighter and cheaper than the older metal gutters.
Aesthetics : Many conservation officers recommend cast iron or cast aluminium guttering (pdf), which is in keeping with the period fittings of older houses. Cast aluminium is lighter than cast iron and more resistant to corrosion, while still being very similar in appearance. For a more modern house, extruded aluminium, zinc, or stainless steel are also viable options.
Downpipes: If you have cleared your gutters of all leaves and debris and repaired other defects, but find that your gutters are still leaking, it may be necessary to install new downpipes. In terraced houses, there is often an insufficient number of downpipes to start off with. The ideal number of downpipes is one per three small terraced houses, although one per two is even better.
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How to know if you need new gutters?
- If there are a number of problems with your gutters, or the damage sustained is too substantial for repairs, it will become necessary to replace portions or perhaps even all your guttering.
- The first consideration is once again the material that your gutters are made from. The cost implications of gutter replacement depend largely on this factor.
- There are also design and architectural differences in the ways that PVCu and cast iron (for example) gutters are attached to the house and how they integrate with the downpipes.
- If you want to replace your cast iron guttering with PVCu guttering, it will also be necessary to replace the downpipes as well.
- When replacing guttering on terraced houses, the guttering will to be matched and married to the guttering of the houses on either side, and the correct adaptor must be used for this purpose so that there are not leaks at this point.
- If you are only going to replace one section of guttering it should be possible to find guttering that matches the existing gutters, but it is vital that you double check the profile and diameter to make sure that it is an exact match.
Gutter replacement cost
The average cost of replacing an old gutter with a new one in the UK ranges from £480 to £720. The cost of replacing guttering depends on the material you choose, the condition of the fascias, how accessible is the roofline and the type of property you live in.
On average the cost of replacing or refitting a gutter comes around to £32 per linear metre. For cast iron gutters the cost increases to approximately £57 per metre. PVCu gutter replacement starts from £35 per metre and downpipe replacement with a new cast iron pipe costs from £75 per metre. Expect to pay 20% – 30% more if you live in London as the cost of living is higher there.
The table below outlines the estimated average costs for common repairs and gutter replacement. As an example, to replace all the gutters on a semi-detached house where the gutters are easily accessible would cost in the region of about £550 for 20 meter gutter. Adding extra down-pipes would cost extra £100 per pipe.
Guttering replacement costs per metre (price estimates)
|Works||Labour and material cost (including VAT)|
|Supply and fit of a leaf guard to an existing gutter||£25 – £30/m|
|Replacing a gutter support bracket||£18 -£20/m|
|Taking off and refixing an existing PVCu gutter||£35 – £50/m|
|Taking off and refixing an existing cast iron gutter||£57 – 60 /m|
|Supply and fix stop end to PVCu gutter||£15 – £20/m|
|Gutter realignment||£15 – £25/m|
|Take down existing and replace with new PVCu gutter (including all fixings)||£35 – 40/m|
|Take down existing and replace with new cast iron gutter (including all fixings)||£70 – 75/m|
|Take down a downpipe and replace with a new PVCu pipe (including all fixings)||£35 – 40/m|
|Take down a downpipe and replace with a new cast iron pipe (including all fixings)||£75 – 80/m|
Roof gutter repair and roof gutter replacement is normally carried out by roofers. They are experienced and equipped to work at roof height, and know how to integrate the guttering into the roof structure. Different contractors are likely to charge differently, so it is recommended that you shop around for the best quote.
Several companies offer multiple services, such as fascia and eave overhauls in addition to guttering replacement. Don’t let cost be the determining factor! Choosing an experienced contractor with a proven track record could save you having to redo a shoddy or incomplete job done by the company with the cheapest quote.
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Down-pipe Maintenance and Repair
Sometimes the leaks or other problems are not in the guttering itself, but rather in the downpipes. These could become dislodged or cracked, or have sprung a leak at a joint. Downpipes are also susceptible to blockages. If a sudden temperature drop occurs, the water frozen inside the pipe is likely to split the pipe and, after thawing, will spill water onto the supporting wall.
If there is a blockage in the pipe, pushing a long, stiff pole down the pipe should dislodge it. Before doing so, cover up the drain below the pipe so that the debris cannot enter the drainage system.
Damaged pipes must be replaced. PVCu pipes are joined by brackets every 1.8m, so removing a section and replacing it is fairly straightforward. However, old cast iron pipes were fitted to walls by long metals spikes, and removing these can cause serious damage to your brickwork.
What material should you choose?
|Life Expectancy||20 years +||Lifetime||15~20 years||Lifetime||50 years|
|Price||Very Low||Low||Lower||Very High||High|
Ideal for DIY
Quietly redirects water
Various colour to choose
Can be customised seamless gutter
|Resistant to rust|
Stronger resisting to damage
Can be customised seamless gutter
Beautiful material will last long
Can be customised seamless gutter
|Resistant to Rust (for coastal area)|
Very strong material
Can be customised seamless gutter
Leaks between sections
Additional cost for installation
|Easy dents & damage|
Expand & contract with temperature
Need to be repainted for maintenance
|Protective layer will wear Off|
Hard to inspect the rusted area
Heavier metal, difficult to install
|Most expensive material|
Higher labor cost for installation
Fading into Patina Colour, will Lose its shine
Higher cost for installation
Heavier metal, making installation difficult
When you dig deeper, it becomes clear that the cost of guttering depends on the type of material you decide to use. In case you are up for UPVC, which remains very well-embraced option for guttering due to the low cost and simple installation process, you should be pretty fine.
If you want a lightweight long-lasting metal which is not prone to rusting, Aluminium is your best choice by far. However, if it comes down to robustness, nothing can beat the option of steel. It is a fact that steel guttering costs more than other types, however, the maintenance cost is low if you go with this option. The following data should represent the costs clearly:
Example prices for gutters
Estimated cost of UPVC-type guttering: A half round gutter with dimensions 52 x 112 x 4000mm will cost around £8.99 if you buy it from HomeBase. In that same store, rainwater pipe having a size of 2.9cm x 2m will cost you £8.49
Estimated cost of aluminium-type guttering: If aluminium gutter is the option, the price will come to be about £27.99 for Victorian Ogee variety having dimensions of 102mm x 54mm x 1.83m. If you go for the 102mm x 76mm x 1.83m dimensioned Ogee instead, the amount you are required to pay is £41. The costs given are based on the popular online store called GMD Pennine
Estimated cost of steel-type guttering: From the online store Rainwater Products, purchasing a gutter made of cast iron with a length of 115mm will cost £27 on your part, whereas, for a steel variety of 125mm, you will need to spend £19.50
In case you decide to get a professional for performing the installation process, you should collect at least 3 different quotes before settling on one. In addition, make sure that the professional you work with is insured as well as trusted.
Dealing with Damp
Even after the guttering has been repaired or replaced, there is still the aftermath of the damage caused by leaking or overflowing gutters. The first sign of damp is a musty smell, followed by damp patches on the walls evidenced by staining and peeling and bubbling paint or wallpaper.
Damp proofing can be achieved by the application of a paint-on damp proofing product. This can protect your walls and floors and prevent damage to wood and timber in the home. However, this can also negatively affect the breathability of the surfaces, preventing the existing damp from evaporating or drying out. Using lime-based plaster and concrete will allow for better evaporation. In severe cases the damaged plaster will have to be chipped out, sanded down, and replaced using a lime-based plaster to maximise breathability.
It is also necessary to deal with surface run off and prevent water pooling around the base of your house and exacerbating the damp problem within. This surface water can erode and undermine your foundations, which makes removing it vital.
So that this water is not added to the waste water and overwhelming the sewage drainage systems, it is necessary to channel it into a soakaway situated at least 5m away from the house. Underground pipes carry the water into a pit measuring 1m x 1m x 1.2m, filled with hardcore and topped 50mm of concrete on a polythene sheet and a 25mm layer of sand blinding. Setting up this soakaway will cost you about £250.
Preventing damp in basements
In basements, the earth around the walls allows moisture to come into direct contact with the structure and this can cause serious damp problems. One way to deal with this is the aforementioned waterproof coating. This does not, however, remove the damp – it simply prevents it from coming inside. A membrane system can also be installed to allow drainage.
This systems relies on the installation of a studded membrane between the wall and the wall covering, creating a gap that will allow water to run down to the floor, which is also fitted with the same membrane, and into a drainage system. Often a sump pump is required to handle the drainage of this water.
Damp solutions for basements depend on the specific construction of the structure, as well as its intended purpose. If a contractor is hired to solve the problem, they should be able to advise you on the best method for dealing with your particular situation.
Repairing gutters – https://www.homebuilding.co.uk/repairing-gutters/
How to replace your guttering – http://www.diy.com/help-ideas/how-to-replace-your-guttering/CC_npci_100117.art
How to install guttering and gutter maintenance – http://www.homebase.co.uk/en/static/how-to-maintain-your-guttering
How to install gutters – http://www.familyhandyman.com/roof/gutter-repair/how-to-install-gutters/view-all
What kind of damp is affecting my home – http://www.which.co.uk/reviews/damp/article/dealing-with-damp/what-kind-of-damp-is-affecting-my-home
Before you buy gutter guards, review these pros & cons of installing gutter covers – https://household-tips.thefuntimesguide.com/2012/05/gutter-guards.php
General Inspection And Maintenance Of Gutters And Downspouts – http://www.gsa.gov/portal/content/112054