How To Install Guttering
Installing guttering onto the outside of your home is a relatively straightforward job. uPVC and steel guttering are by far the most popular materials used due to the many benefits they provide, including cost efficiency and longevity. As with any DIY job, safety is of the utmost importance, no matter how experienced you may be. Always put your safety ahead of cutting corners to finish a job quickly. Below we go into more detail about how to install guttering on your property.
Tools required for installation
The most important thing to remember when installing guttering is paying close attention to the measurements and ensuring the slope gradient retains the correct ratio. The tools you’ll require are:
- Spirit level
- Secure ladder
- Wall plugs
- Roll of string
- Measuring tape
- Hacksaw/fine tooth saw
- The first support bracket should be fixed into place high up on the fascia board. This will sit under the roof covering, with the running outlet at the opposite end of the fascia.
- Move across to where the running outlet is positioned at the other end of the gutter run and install the second bracket into position. The bracket should be lower than the first, so for every 3.5cm in the width, a drop of 1cm is created.
- Now that both brackets have been positioned into place, secure a length of string between them. Make sure this is taut and does not have any slack.
- Using a spirit level, check the line is running in a slope from one bracket to the other. The bubble in the spirit level should be slightly off centre.
- You can now move on to secure additional brackets into place, each at intervals of 1m. On longer runs that require gutter lengths to be joined together, standard support brackets will also have to be installed. This will enable you to create a watertight joint if necessary and ensure a longer gutter length has the appropriate support where needed.
- As described, place a new bracket 1m away from the first one installed. Make sure the taut string line is in light contact with the internal edge of the bracket.
- Secure the bracket into position while checking it remains vertical and that the string line continues touching the inside of the bracket.
- If you are in possession of a long spirit level, place it between each of the brackets to check the downhill gradient is being maintained each time a new one is installed. Repeat the process of installing each bracket 1m from each other until they are fixed into place along the length of the roof.
- The gutting is now ready to be fixed into place. Measure the length of the gutter run you require and mark the cut off section on the guttering itself. The running outlet should be placed next to the lowest bracket. The guideline inside the running outline should be market ‘insert to here’ which indicates the end of the gutter run. Moving across to the other side, leave enough space so any overhang can be taken into account.
- You can use a fine-tooth hand saw or hacksaw to cut through uPVC guttering. Before cutting begins, file away any rough edges on the tool so you get a clean cut.
- Clip the guttering lengths into the brackets and running outlet. A stop end should be fitted into the open end and if the guttering is too long, simply trim and reposition.
- Offset bends have to be installed at the running outlet. This directs the downpipe towards any wall that exists above the drain or gulley. This is the place where water will run away from the property.
- The downpipe can then be cut to the appropriate length. Position brackets at the top and bottom, with any extras fixed at 1.8m intervals in between. If required, you can install a downpipe shoe at the base of the downpipe.
- With everything in place you should test the flow of the water to ensure it is in working order. This can be simply done by slowly pouring a bucket of water at the high end of the guttering. You should see the water drain easily through the entire system without hindrance. Any joint brackets that have been installed should be checked for leaks. If you do find a leak, remove it and check the rubber gaskets are in their correct position. Installing a leaf guard may also be a good idea to prevent future blockages.
What is the correct fall for guttering?
Gutting is installed to ensure any water falling from the roof is safely collected and deposited away from the property. This means the gutter run has to include a downward slope to allow the water to run effectively through the system. The correct downward gradient is either 1cm in every 3.5m, or 1:350.
How far apart should gutter brackets be?
Precise measuring is required when fitting new guttering to ensure you get the right spacing for the brackets. If this is done incorrectly it could lead to gutter sag. If too much water, snow or ice builds up over time the extra weight might mean the system falls away from the house completely.
There are a number of different types of guttering available, each one with different spacing requirements upon installation.
- 1M - Square, Deepflow, Half Round and Mini Gutters
- 80cm – Ogee Gutters
- 60cm – XtraFlo Industrial Gutters
How to measuring guttering
There are four steps involved in measuring guttering:
- Gutters are usually purchased in standard 13cm or 15cm sizes, and are either ‘half-round’ or ‘K-style.’ Using a sturdy and secure ladder, climb up to measure the width of the gutter opening. You’ll notice that half-round gutters have a round underside, with a lip on the outside edge. K-style gutters are L-shaped at the rear, with step-style increments at the front.
- To measure the length of the gutter run, take the measurement from one side of the run to the other. You will probably need to make a removable mark of some kind on the guttering as you will not be able to measure in one go. This will allow you to move the ladder and complete the measurements at the other end. In most cases, downpipes and gutters can be purchased at lengths of 3m.
- The downpipe is the next part to be measured. Measure from the upper to lower end of the downpipe and add approximately 1.2m to each one. This will take into account the angled extension positioned at the bottom.
- All corners and end caps should also be counted. Make note of whether the end caps are left or right ends. There should be three elbow pieces on each downspout, which should also be noted.