Plastic guttering is so versatile these days it can be installed to look exactly the same as cast iron guttering. Adapters and couplings can be used to join it to existing cast iron gutters. It can be diverted to rainwater butts and different depth gutters be installed to deal with draining the most expansive roofs.
Installing or replacing a gutter is pretty straightforward as long as you remember, in the first place, to keep yourself safe and viewing our project on Ladder safety is a good idea.
Once you have the outline of your gutter planned and measured you can buy all of the necessary pipes and fittings. This project is a general guide to installing plastic gutters but some gutters require different spacing for brackets etc so its a good idea to check out the requirements for your particular choice.
As you can see from the diagram, left, this could be two semi-detached houses sharing a gutter. The union, or gutter joiner, is in the middle.
When you plan your gutter the following points should be listed.
Gutter (Fascia) brackets should never be more than 1m apart.
Gutter angles, Stop-ends, Running Outlets, Unions and other gutter fittings should have a bracket (both sides of the fitting where appropriate) within 150mm of the fitting.
A supporting pipe clip should be used on all Shoes, Branches and Bends of the down pipes where necessary and in all cases these pipe brackets should be no more than 1.8m apart.
Silicone spray lubricant should be used on all joints to allow for expansion and contraction. Hover over the images below to see what they are and then click on them to buy.
Removing Existing Guttering:
Unless the guttering is for a new building you will need to remove any old guttering. Plastic Guttering should be relatively simple to remove. Care should be taken when removing iron guttering as it would be heavy and could have sharp edges. Because of the weight we recommend that you have help whilst removing any iron guttering. There is every possibility that, if your old guttering needs replacing, then so will your fascia boards and soffit boards. New, plastic (uPVC) fascia and soffit boards can also be bought from Clicking on the links
The screws holding the old guttering, brackets or clips may be rusted into place; if this is the case you will need to saw the screws off using a mini hack saw with a thin cutting blade. If thick bolts have been used to connect the guttering you will need to use a hacksaw to saw the bolts.
Establish the position of the Outlets:
The running outlet or stop end outlets, should be fitted directly above the drain position; a plumbline should be used to ensure that the outlet is positioned accurately.
For every 20 feet of gutter you have (6.1m) it should slope half and inch (12mm) so your barckets should be fixed to this fall.
You should now fix the end fascia bracket to the fascia board, taking into account the fall. If the outlet is positioned in the middle of the gutter fix a fascias bracket at the other end.
Tie a string line from the outlet to the end fascia bracket; Use this line to establish where to fix the intermediary fascia brackets. These fascia brackets should be fixed no more than 1 metre apart.
Installing the Guttering
Having fitted the gutter brackets it is time to fit the guttering. Take the first length and clip it into the running outlet, then into the facia board brackets. Its easier to start by clipping in the back first.
Join the next length of gutter to the first with a union bracket. Clip the two ends in and fix to the facia with a suitable screw.
Measure and cut the gutters ready to fit corner pieces if appropriate.
Fit an external stop end to the end of the length of gutter and make sure the gutter sticks out from the end of the facia board by about 25mm. If you are joining to existing gutters you will need a gutter adapter.
The distance between the gutter and the wall may need to be bridged using two offset bends and an appropriate off cut of downpipe cut to size. The offset bends can be push-fit using a pipe clip, ensure a pipe clip is fitted under the socket on the pipe immediately below the offset. Ensure a 6mm gap is left at the top of the downpipe for expansion.
Guttering should use either a round or square Downpipe. To attach Round Downpipes to square gutters you must use a SQ/RD Downpipe Adaptor.
Fix the first length of downpipe with its socket uppermost into the outlet, fixing it to the wall with a pipe clip at the top holding the pipe to the wall.
Fit the rest of the downpipes using a pipe socket to connect each pipe together. At the base of the pipe, fit a Shoe secured with a Pipe Clip.
Diverted rainwater is great for your garden, slim line water butts are very useful where space is at a premium.
To ensure gutters do their job they need to remain free flowing and clear of debris. A very simple but effective solution is to fit a device to stop twigs leaves and other wind and bird borne debris building up. The hedgehog brush from Permaroof does exactly that! Consider installing this when you replace your gutters.