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Choosing gutters

there are four main types of gutter being used on houses today.

1. cast iron gutters.

used mainly to replace existing cast iron gutters on older houses, it is very heavy and expensive.

2. cast aluminium gutters.

used as an excellent replacement for cast iron, it has all the advantages and is lighter and longer lasting

3. seamless aluminium gutters.(recommended)

These are a new type of gutter from america that is uncoiled and cut to length at the site and can be made to measure for a house.

It is powder coated in any colour, the main colours are white, black and brown but any other colour can be ordered and costs approximately 15% extra.The advantage of these gutters if fitted correctly using the correct fixings is that there are less joints to cause leaks. Even though they are called seamless there are joints at corners and at outlets.

4. upvc gutters

UPVC Gutters are the most common gutter used on standard houses, there are many types of upvc gutters on the market and we at gutterman have tried and tested most of them, Many are cheap imitations of the real thing.gutters that are light and week and joints that don't make a proper seal, Make sure you use sufficient brackets to support the gutter when it is full of snow and ice. Usually a fascia bracket every 900mm will suffice.

We at gutterman will use only one type of upvc gutter because we know that it will not leak and it is the best and strongest gutter on the market. It is the supreme gutter made by mfp in lucan and supplied by most builders providers in dublin.

I have found the most reliable gutter to be the seamless aluminium type if fitted properly using the correct fixings.

If you are selecting gutters for your house, I suggest you focus your attention on important attributes that pertain to how long the system will last. For example, how are the gutters attached to your home? All upvc gutters are attached by means of brackets usually fitted externally. the seamless aluminium gutters are fitted using two types of fixiing, One is the aluminium spike which is a 7 inch long aluminium nail and ferrule, The other is the new floating hanger. Floating hangers allow the gutter to expand and contract. Spikes and ferrules do too. But guess what? The spikes and ferrules will loosen over time as the gutters go back and forth!
What about the thickness of the gutter material? The best aluminum gutters are made using aluminum that is .032 inch thick. A thinner material may dent or crease when a branch strikes it or you set a ladder against it.
Hang ‘em High
Some seamless gutter systems and traditional gutters are available with a special hanger system. These hangers take the place of the older spikes and ferrules. Aside from being unattractive, spikes also attach to your house in the weakest possible manner. The spikes are driven into the end grain of the rafter tails. Nails driven into the end grain of wood have the lowest holding power.
Some new hangers allow you to nail down through the roof sheathing into the top of the rafter. This maximizes holding power. The hangers also allow the gutter to ‘float’. It can expand and contract without restriction as temperatures fluctuate. Expansion and contraction problems can lead to leaks. The gutter will relieve these stresses at the weakest point - usually a seam!
Traditional aluminum gutters can deal with expansion. At least one manufacturer - Alcoa - has a special expansion joint designed to relieve stress. These joints are easy to install. Expansion joints should always be installed on any gutter that extends more than 40 feet. In addition, these joints will minimize stress on mitred joints. So, if your gutters turn corners, say on a hip roof, you had better consider these wonderful devices. Expansion joints are often not available with ‘seamless’ gutters.
What About Size - 5 or 6 inch?
Aluminum gutters are available in two common sizes: 5 inch or 6 inch. Most houses have 5 inch gutters. A 6 inch gutter can handle more water before overflowing. However, a 6 inch gutter also requires some preplanning. The fascia or gutter board behind the gutter needs to be sized correctly.
Most builders install a 1x6 gutter board. This works well for 5 inch gutters. 6 inch gutter must have a 1x8 gutter board. Without it, the bottom of the gutter can actually fall below the bottom of the gutter board. This often looks very awkward.
Corrosion Problems
Aluminum will not rust. That’s a fact. But, it will corrode. Never place aluminum in contact with another metal such as steel, copper, or tin. Electrolysis will happen and the aluminum will actually disappear! Not only that, the chemicals in concrete, stucco, brick mortar, and treated lumber can cause corrosion. You need to isolate the aluminum from these materials with a sheet of rubber or heavy plastic.
Time to Decide
OK, it’s time to buy. What to do? Well, think about hangers. Think about expansion. Think about size. Above all, think about warranties and who will install your gutters. Look for a company and an installer who will be around if a problem occurs. Avoid bottom feeders! Think smart look for a company that fits all types of gutter, this way there is no conflict of interest and they will fit the gutter that suits the property and will not try to persuade you in your choice. We at gutterman supply and fit the highest quality of upvc gutters, seamless aluminium gutters and cast aluminium gutters.
Downspout Quantity and Sizing
Downspouts come in two common sizes: 2 x 3 inches and 3 x 4 inches. Downspouts depend entirely on gravity to function. Water isn’t ‘pumped’ through them. So, a 2 x 3 inch downspout will comfortably carry the average rainfall from approximately 600 square feet of roof area. A 3 x 4 inch downspout will handle the rainfall from 1,200 square feet of roof. As far as I’m concerned, you can’t have too many downspouts. Avoid trying to empty one long gutter at one end with a single downspout. Place a downspout at each end. A 2 x 3 inch downspout is made for 5 inch gutter. The 3 x 4 is for 6 inch gutter. The outlet tube configuration is what limits this fact. Don’t forget the bird cages or leak strainers! These devices prevent clogs in underground pipes.

What about using upvc gutters? upvc gutters are usually supplied in three metre lengths, so previously it would have been assumed that they would be more prone to leaking and in many cases that is still a fact, but we have discovered an excellent product that has an excellent seal at the joints, is very sturdy and attractive and we use and recommend this gutter to all our private clients that ask for upvc.