The right way to install COLORBOND® steel eaves gutters
When designing their home, one of the last things people consider is their guttering system. In fact, some people don’t even know that there’s a large selection of gutter choices available.
Regardless of the style you select, you’ll need to make sure that your guttering system can handle your region’s major storms and weather events. To help you with this, let’s take a closer look at the right way to install COLORBOND® steel eaves gutters.
What components make up your guttering system?
First, let’s consider the distinct components that work together to create a safe and effective guttering system:
- Fascia, a board made from timber or steel covering the ends of the rafters that the guttering is connected and installed onto
- Gutter, a shallow trough fixed beneath the edge of a roof for carrying rainwater to the downpipes
- Gutter brackets, brackets fixed to fascia to support the gutter
- Dropper, the outlet that transitions water from the gutter into the downpipe
- Downpipe, sealed pipework that transitions water from the guttering into the stormwater or water tanks
- Stormwater drain, the underground water drainage system that removes water from the roof and yard drains and takes it away from the property
Australian standards for guttering systems
Guttering systems are generically designed to meet, but not exceed, Australian standards. On a residential property, the stormwater pipes in the ground are 100mm round, though the most common downpipes installed are 90mm. This is a cost-saving technique that has become the norm and is seen on almost every new home built.
Standards have been designed as a minimum requirement and not as an optimum standard. When corners are cut, the homeowner may be left with maintenance issues, such as:
- Rainwater overflowing onto the ground
- Long distances between downpipes with minimal fall that will cause stress on the gutter when full of water
- Leaves blocking up gutters and downpipes
- Water ingress back into the eaves
- Sediment building up on the base of the guttering
Top considerations when designing your guttering system
When designing your guttering system, it’s vital to take into account the following key factors:
- How large is the roofing area that feeds the guttering?
- How many drops and downpipes can you manage to fit without it being distasteful or detracting from the building vision?
- Is there any reason you cannot enlarge the downpipes to 100mm?
- Are there trees in the vicinity that will drop foliage onto the roof?
- What style of gutter will work best for moving water away?
- How easy is it to access and maintain your guttering safely?
- What’s more important: budget or style?
Let’s take a look at the above factors in more detail to help you achieve a leak-free gutter with minimum maintenance.
How large is the roofing area that feeds the guttering?
For every 28m2, a single 90mm downpipe is required. For every 40m2, a 100mm downpipe is required. For example, you might have a 250m2 roof that requires 9 x 90mm downpipes or 7 x 100mm downpipes. However, the 100mm will be more efficient at dealing with the general rain and most storms in comparison to the 90mm pipes. We recommend you take a look at your house and determine if there are enough downpipes for the m2 of roof.
How many drops and downpipes can you fit?
The more downpipes you can install, the more water you will remove from the roof quickly. The purpose of a guttering system is to take water from the roof and into the stormwater or water tank. The faster this can be done the better the system will perform.
Is there any reason you cannot enlarge the downpipes to 100mm?
Some people don’t like downpipes. We’ve had to learn to deal with that over the years. However, we do not believe that there is a good enough reason to not put 100mm droppers and downpipes in. The difference it makes for the very small amount of cost is substantial for the life of the guttering system.
Are there trees in the vicinity that will drop foliage onto the roof?
Trees can be the cause of the shortened life and improper performance of a guttering system. Always install a top-quality leaf guard (aluminium is our suggestion @ $30 including GST per lineal metre).
Leaf guards will drastically reduce maintenance requirements and will keep the gutters free from debris, allowing the system to work to its peak performance. Other options would be to install leaf guard catches part the way down the downpipe.
What style of gutter will work best for moving water away?
You can get gutters with internal or external brackets. Internal brackets are good for areas without leaves. External bracketed gutters are good for cleaning, because they don’t have brackets that get in the way.
How easy is it to access and maintain your guttering safely?
If your gutters are hard to reach, we recommend that you have the gutters installed with maximum fall. And, if there are trees nearby, you should consider gutter guard options. The harder things are to maintain, the less likely they will be maintained properly. If they are easy to reach and maintenance is not an issue, you may be able to get away with basic guttering.
What’s more important: budget or style?
Regardless of your budget, you can get a high performing gutter that suits your needs. Please don’t think that you can only have what your builder has allowed. There are so many options that will not only make your guttering system purr, but can also make your home stand out from all your neighbours without breaking the bank.
Get help with your gutters
Guttering is a significant investment and one of the key components of your home. Be sure to ask your builder, building designer, architect, or roofer how they can assist in enhancing your gutter’s performance.
Here at MyCladders, we create bespoke guttering systems made from folded aluminium, 316 1.2mm stainless steel, copper, COLORBOND® steel eaves gutters, and Zincalume® steel. Let us know how we can help or assist.