Gutter maintenance: Leave it to the experts

It was interesting to read this week that The Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings (SPAB) are running a National Maintenance Week campaign, promoting the need to look after buildings, ancient and modern.

Ignoring maintenance can lead to problems

As a British manufacturer of rainwater systems, we are all too aware of the impact that storms, heavy snowfall, wide swings in temperature, falling leaves and the next door neighbour’s tennis ball can have on our gutters and downpipes.

Ignoring maintenance can lead to some common problems such as damp and unsightly staining on external brickwork, but anyone planning to just get up there to sort it out needs to seriously think again. People who don’t know what they are doing have a tendancy to over-reach; hold items without using a tool belt and work at height for extended periods with DIY equipment often in poor condition.

Whilst it’s great to encourage good maintenance practice as we go into autumn, it’s equally important to avoid taking risks in order to save a few pounds on maintenance costs.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) have produced this superb guide to working safely with ladders. The best advice we can give is read this and, if you’re not confident you can work to their recommendations, then don’t, call in someone who can.

Learn more about our roof drainage range

By collecting rainwater from roofs and road surfaces, you help minimise the risk of flooding and water damage. Wavin offers rainwater management solutions for large commercial buildings, car parks and roads. Learn more

Did you find this article helpful?
  
  • John Beattie

    DIY question. What is the normally used figure for the expansion of a length of black plastic guttering over normal UK operating temperatures (-5 to +40?)?

  • John Beattie

    DIY question. What is the normally used figure for the expansion of a length of black plastic guttering over normal UK operating temperatures (-5 to +40?)?

  • Liam Tullberg

    Hi John,

    Thank you for your enquiry.

    Temperatures in the UK can and do reach lower than -5° and it’s highly unusual to go higher than 30°. If we take a 40° range (i.e. from -10° to 30°), the linear expansion of a 4m length of PVC gutter will be 10mm. If you go to the extreme high which you have suggested and we extend the calculation to a 50 range (-10° to 40°), the linear expansion of a 4m length of PVC gutter will be 12mm.

    To reduce the risk of the gutter expanding out of a fitting seal, it is important to choose a rainwater system which has a generous expansion gap between the seal and gutter stop.

    I hope this helps, but please let us know if you have any further questions

  • Liam Tullberg

    Hi John,

    Thank you for your enquiry.

    Temperatures in the UK can and do reach lower that -5° and it’s highly unusual to go higher than 30°. If we take a 40° range (i.e. from -10° to 30°), the linear expansion of a 4m length of PVC gutter will be 10mm. If you go to the extreme high which you have suggested and we extend the calculation to a 50 range (-10° to 40°), the linear expansion of a 4m length of PVC gutter will be 12mm.

    To reduce the risk of the gutter expanding out of a fitting seal, it is important to choose a rainwater system which has a generous expansion gap between the seal and gutter stop.

    I hope this helps, but please let us know if you have any further questions

About the author

Steve Skeldon

Steve is the Above Ground Product Manager for Wavin. He joined the business in 2004 and is responsible for managing the Osma soil, waste and rainwater systems and specialist above ground ranges for commercial markets.

Subscribe to our newsletter