Summary: Learn how to install UPVC guttering, fit UPVC guttering, attach UPVC guttering to a building and fit a UPVC downpipe.
Although one person can assemble UPVC guttering due to its lightweight structure, you may find it easier to have a helper because any job that involves working from a ladder can be hazardous.
Before starting you will need to calculate the length of guttering required. By drawing a simple diagram of the property and using the lengths of the walls as a guide, you will be able to work out how many sections of guttering you will need plus the number of lengths that will have to be cut.
- The first step to assembling the guttering is to start at the opposite end to where you will have the running outlet, which will be above a drain.
- Screw in a gutter support clip high up on the fascia board. You may find that a smaller manual screwdriver is more effective than a power drill driver due to its small size and easier manoeuvrability.
- The main idea at this stage is to establish the gradient at which you want the guttering to operate at. By positioning another clip at the other end of the fascia board, but at a lower height, you will have the angle necessary for run-off.
- To keep the guttering at that angle, you need to have a guide so you know where to put up the other supports. The best way of doing this is to tie a piece of string between the two clips, but make sure it’s taut and if the string is going round a corner, make sure it’s not snagged on anything that would prevent it staying at the correct level.
- You can check the gradient of the string by using a spirit level. If it’s not at the required level, you can adjust the lower bracket accordingly.
- When you are happy with the level, you can fix a third clip onto the board at a distance of 1m (3ft 3in) from the first clip, making sure the string is just touching the top edge of the new bracket.
- Another 1m (3ft 3in) on from the third clip attach a union bracket used to join two lengths of guttering. Then continue the pattern of alternate clips and union brackets until you reach within 1m (3ft 3in) of the running outlet.
- At this stage you can remove the string and fit the running outlet into the lowest support clip. Now you should be ready to fit the guttering.
Fitting the guttering
- Fit the first section into the first and highest clip on the fascia. Put a stopper onto that end of guttering and then moving the ladder along (do not over stretch when working from a ladder), fit the guttering into the next clip along before fitting the end into the first union bracket.
- Continue fixing the lengths of guttering until you reach near the end. You may need to cut the last piece to length. Do this by marking on the guttering where you want to cut, then using an off-cut as a template, cut through the guttering using a panel saw and then smooth the cut end with a file.
- You can now position the last piece of guttering onto the running outlet and put a stopper into that end if necessary. However, if the roof extends quite a distance from the house, you might need to fit a short length of guttering onto the other side of the running outlet. But make sure it’s angled into the outlet so it drains effectively.
The down pipe
- Now you need to fit a downpipe onto the bottom of the running outlet. You do this by joining two offset bends with a short piece of down pipe so the pipe is brought closer to the wall.
- Connect the down pipe to the lower end of the offset bend and using a spirit level make sure it is vertical, and aligned to the drain at ground level.
- The downpipe must now be fixed to the wall using support brackets. The best way to do this is to position a bracket towards the top of the downpipe and mark where the drill holes are to go.
- Drill the holes using a masonry bit, insert wallplugs and screw the bracket over the down pipe and into the wall.
- Continue to fix brackets every 1m (3ft 3in) down the pipe.
Rust should be treated as soon as possible.
- When removing rust always wear safety goggles to protect your eyes from rust particles.
- Rust can be removed from small areas using emery cloth, while larger areas of rust can be removed with a wire brush or wire brush wheel attachment fitted to an electric drill.
- Once all the rust has been removed apply rust-neutralizing primer to the affected area.
- At the same time check for any small cracks and fill them with roof-and-gutter sealant. Larger cracks and even holes can be repaired with the same glass-fibre filler used for repairing damage to the bodywork of cars. Smooth the filler thoroughly to ensure silt or water will not be trapped by any roughness.
- Apply black bitumen paint or gloss paint. When the first coat has dried apply a second coat.
Leaking metal gutters
Corrosion can make removing the nuts and bolts on a metal gutter difficult. Therefore it’s best to try and repair the leak without dismantling the gutter.
- Scrape the joint with a screwdriver or paint scraper to clean away all dirt and debris. Wear thick gloves to protect the hands from rough metal edges.
- Using a hot-air gun dry the cleaned joint thoroughly, then using a sealant dispenser apply roof-and-gutter sealant to the joint.
- If this does not resolve the problem, unscrew the nut holding the bolt to the joint section. If this is impossible because of corrosion you will have to saw off the head of the bolt with a hacksaw. Then use a hammer and nail punch to knock the shank of the bolt loose.
- Tap the joint section with a hammer to detach it from the guttering.
- Use an old wood chisel to scrape away the putty and a wire brush to remove the rust from the joint area. Wear safety goggles for this part of the job.
- Apply metal primer to the ends of the gutter and the joint section and let it dry thoroughly.
- Apply roof-and-gutter sealant to the joint section and position the guttering back in place. Secure the joint section to the guttering with a new nut and bolt.
- Extending ladder
- String line
- Spirit level
- Panel saw
- Masonry bit
- UPVC guttering
- UPVC downpipe
- Gutter support clips
- Union brackets
- End stoppers
- Offset bends
- Joining pipes
- Removing an air lock in a water pipe
- Tap repairs
- Burst pipe
- Self cutting taps
- How to cut pipe
- Covering a flat roof
- Fitting a roof window
- Flashing repairs
- Downpipe repairs