Gutter And Roofline Components And Their Functions
The guttering system is an unobtrusive but vital piece of our home’s design that does its job quietly and effectively most days of the year. Because of that, we do not always realise just what an important role it plays in keeping our property safe from the effects of water damage.
There are a number of different pieces of a guttering system that when brought together are perfectly balanced to work as intended. To help you get a clearer understanding of each section, we have explained the various gutter and roofline components and their functions below.
Gutters are the systems attached to the side of the property that are designed to collect rainwater and divert it away from the house. From there the water goes into a drain in order to avoid it causing damage to the structure of the building.
Gutters need to be cleaned out at least twice a year to ensure the water can flow through the system without any obstructions. This means leaves, twigs, dirt and anything else which can clog up the pipes. The actual gutters themselves will usually be curved and in a semi-circle shape, which makes it easy to catch the water as it falls down from the roof or lands directly inside during wet weather.
The Lindab Steel Half Round Gutter is 3m long with 100m and is a steel variant of a standardly shaped gutter, perfect for use on domestic homes.
Connected to the gutters that run along the length of the roof are downpipes, which take the water down the side of the property and out into the drainage system. As the gutter runs from one end of the roof to the other, the downpipe is usually found attached at the corner of the building.
As with gutters, there are a number of different sizes available, depending on the amount of water it is required to carry and its frequency. For example, a domestic property will have far smaller amounts of water running through the system, while on an industrial site a larger downpipe will be required to send away any wastage being created within the facility.
This Floplast Round Downpipe is a great example.
When you are reading up about guttering, you may notice that the word downspout is occasionally used. There is no difference between a downpipe and a downspout, despite the different use of terminology. Bear this in mind when reading about downpipes so you do not become confused about what a downspout actually does in a guttering system.
Stop ends – sometimes referred to as ‘end caps’ – can be found at the end of the gutter and run along the eaves of the house. These are in place to ensure the water coming from the roof flows through the channel rather than spilling off the gutter and down onto the ground. When installing a cap end you should make sure the gutter level is falling away from the end cap. They also come with a rubber seal to ensure the joint is completely watertight.
Gutter brackets provide a function similar to most other types of brackets. They are installed onto the side of the property as support for the gutter to ensure it remains supported and securely in place over time.
During the installation process, it is important to pay attention to the measurements in-between the brackets so the entire system is evenly weighted. The standard recommendation is a gap of 1m, although this can vary depending on the size of the property. If the brackets are not measured correctly and the system becomes clogged at a later date, this could create sagging gutters due to excessive weight, which may eventually lead to it coming away from the fixings on the building.
Fascias are the boards (usually white in colour) that are attached to the meeting point between the external walls of the house and the roof, sometimes referred to as the roofline. Today, these are usually made of uPVC which stands up well to weather and lasts for a very long time.
The fascia is attached directly to the lower part of the roof trusses and once in place is able to support the lower edge of the last row of roof tiles. The fascia board is also secure and strong enough to carry the guttering and brackets.
The Homeline Reveal Liner White is a uPVC fascia that is popular with homeowners.
A soffit board is found underneath the fascia board. When looking up at the roof from ground level, the soffit board is mostly what you can see. If needed it can be ventilated to ensure the roof area has adequate levels of air flow. If ventilation is needed over the top of the fascia board this can also be installed, which is becoming the more popular option for property owners today. The ventilation is helpful as it helps prevent a build-up of condensation in the roof void and lowers the chances of timber decay developing.
Take a look at the Homeline Flat Board White which is a clean and effective soffit.
The board that is positioned at either side of the gable is called the bargeboard. Over the years the shape of barge boards have evolved so there are now a number of different designs available to make the side of the property appear more attractive and appealing. The space where the fascia meets the barge board is also referred to as the box end.
Other parts of the gutter system
We have covered most of the parts of the gutter but there are a few more smaller components that also need mentioning:
- Running outlet
This is attached to the vertical section of the guttering to connect it with the downpipe. There is no glue required to put them into place as they can simply be pushed in.
- Gutter union
You will use a gutter union to attach two sections of the guttering together. This is fixed onto the fascia board in order to support the joint.
- Downpipe shoe
Once the water has left the gutter and travels through the downpipe it reaches the downpipe shoe which is fixed into place at the bottom. This ensures the water flows directly into the drain, rather than onto the floor around the property.
The Floplast Round Downpipe Shoe gives you a clear idea of the shape and size of a downpipe shoe.