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  • Copper Gutter


October 8, 2015

Gutters are a small and seemingly insignificant part of your build. But don’t be deceived. They play a key role in how robust your building will be over time. And adding gutters to your design is often not as simple as it sounds because you need to consider both form and function. Settling on the right solution for you should be a key consideration for your designer or architect.

To better understand what he needs to weigh up, let’s look at how gutters work.

The main purpose of the gutter is to catch water off the roof, and channel it away from the building (through downpipes and rainheads). It’s not only maintaining the watertightness of the building, but also protecting the landscape around the foundation of the building, where water might otherwise cause considerable erosion damage.

While gutters seem quite simple, there’s many variables which must be considered when installing them:

  • The aesthetics of the house – will they be roof-integral, wall integral or hidden?
  • How much rainfall will it need to cope with?
  • What’s the surface area of the roof?
  • What’s the pitch and contours of the roof, and where drainage go?
  • What protection or consideration needs to be given to other objects that may collect on the roof (leaves, branches, snow, etc), and
  • Where will you position the downpipes, and where will the drainage go to?

All of these must be carefully factored into your roofing formula to come up with the perfect solution. And then there’s other considerations, like:

  • Does it drain effectively? The last thing you want is stagnant water collecting in your eaves – that’s a magnet for mosquitos and insects, creates damp spots which can permeate the skin, and significantly accelerates corrosion.
  • Do I need gutter guards? These allow water in, but not solid objects like leaves.
  • Do I need Strainers? Where leaves are less of a problem, but you don’t want them in your waste water system, strainers might suffice. But they will require more frequent cleaning.
  • Can I reach the bottlenecks easily when it’s time to clean?

Gutters come in a variety of colours and styles, and many brands of roofing have prefabricated matching gutters. But many more structures need bespoke materials or special designs and finishing to reflect the individuality of the building.

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