Guttering not only looks good, but it guards your home from erosion.
Because the roof keeps sun and rain out of your home, it appears to be the most important piece of protection for your house. However, it is important to remember that guttering and downpipes are incredibly important because they help keep the foundations of the building solid.
If we did not have guttering on buildings, water would flow off the roof, down the walls, causing erosion beside and underneath the house. How and where the water flows off your roof is therefore important and so guttering is not just about giving your roof a finishing touch, but an integral part of the whole thing.
As well as having this extremely practical purpose, the style and colour could also be important because guttering is often more visible from the street than the roofline unless your roof has a steep pitch. Having guttering that is in good condition and suits your home, can therefore add to its value. Rusted gutters, or a modern style on an old Queenslander can do the opposite.
How often should I need to re-gutter my house?
If quality guttering is installed correctly, it should last 30 – 50 years. In 2015, Russell replaced some OG guttering that had been installed in 1888!
What makes guttering last?
- · High quality materials used to make the guttering
- Skillful installation
- Good fall of the guttering so that water does not pool
- Limited exposure to corrosive pollutants (e.g. cement dust, chlorine vapours, or salt spray)
The profile of guttering refers to the shape, depth and width. Carefully choosing a profile is important because this will affect how well it works to carry water away from your roof as well as the way it looks on your home.
When working out a guttering quote, Russell from Stark Roofing is likely to discuss with you these points when you are choosing your guttering profile:
- The type of house you are wanting to put it on. Some gutter profiles suit older style homes, while others suit the more modern house
- The type of guttering being replaced
- Whether you are in the Brisbane storm belt or not. In 2018 Suncorp and NRMA Insurance companies advised what Brisbane roofing contractors have known for years: some suburbs experience more storms than others
- How many and what types of trees are in the immediate vicinity of the house
- What sort of support your house frame can provide for the gutter brackets
There are many different gutter profiles to choose from, and the following are most commonly used in the Brisbane region today:
Quad gutter originally installed in the type of house usually referred to as a ‘Queenslander’, so if you want to restore the traditional appearance, Quad guttering is normally recommended.
Quad gutter is not only well-suited to this style of house due to its generous shape and size that suits the expansive Queenslander, but this type of guttering can move a lot of water, making it handy if your suburb tends towards the deluge-type downpours.
The back of Quad gutter is higher than the front, which reduces the likelihood of water overflowing into the soffits or eaves, where it can flow down the exterior wall onto the ground below. In regions that experience very heavy rain, Quad guttering with slots in the front can be purchased, further reducing this potential problem.
Squareline gutter is often used on the modern house because it gives a precise, straight line to walls. Squareline has a higher front than Quad gutter that hides the bottom of the roof, which gives a smart, neat look. This is especially important if you have a tiled roof and you want to hide the bottom of your tiles.
To cater for the potential overflow problem that having a higher front has, Squareline gutter has slots built into the front to allow excessive water to run through, well away from the house walls.
Because Squareline is installed with internal brackets, it is not recommended if you have trees on your property, or on neighbouring sites, that drop their leaves above your roofline. This is because leaves tend to get caught on the brackets and block the gutter.
Old Gothic (OG or OGee) Guttering
As its name implies, Old Gothic (OG or OGee) is a colonial-styled gutter and so it suits the older home. The style comes with or without slots in the front of it to cater for extremely heavy rainfall. However, it is generally more expensive to install than Quad or Squareline for two reasons:
- OG looks wonderful on Queenslanders, but because is less popular than Quad gutter, less is manufactured and so it is more expensive to buy
- It takes more tradesmanship to install it and so labour costs are higher
Half Round Gutter
Half Round gutter is not the cheapest type of gutter to buy or install either. The brackets are more expensive and there is a supply and demand issue that is similar to OG.
Because the gutter is supported by external brackets, half round guttering provides a good flow of water, making it suitable for Brisbane conditions, and its unique appearance is appealing to those who are after a certain type of look. Buildings that have a rounded roof, for instance, look particularly attractive when half round gutter is installed.
C-Square or Commercial Square guttering is another profile that has large water-carrying capacity. It is primarily designed for commercial buildings, car ports or verandas as it is attached directly the edge of the roof, rather than the fascia.
If you have a different guttering profile in mind, talk to Russell about it when he gives you a quote so that you understand the positives and negatives for your home.
Box gutter: even though you may frequently hear the term ‘box gutter’ when talking to a metal roofer, do not expect to see one on the fascia or eaves of a house.
A box gutter refers to a special type of gutter flashing that is usually almost hidden by the roofing materials. A box gutter is used primarily where two roofs that are on different angles meet. Due to the pitch of these sections of roof, large volumes of water converge at the angle join and the water needs to be rapidly moved off the roof to avoid flooding the ceiling cavity.
The job of the box gutter is to move water away from where the roofs join to a downpipe so that the house remains dry.
Gutters are fixed to the fascia with brackets, which come in two fundamental types:
Please note: Spike brackets are only used with Quad or OG gutter profiles, and they can only be used with timber fascias and rafters.
Around 7.5cm of steel is hammered into rafters when spike brackets are used, making them very strong (they can support the weight of a person). As well as giving strength to a gutter, spike brackets do not impede the flow of water or leaves that fall into the guttering.
Spike brackets are usually driven into every second rafter and are painted the same colour as the gutter, so while they are clearly visible because the gutter sits on top of them, they also blend in.
Concealed brackets give a clean line to gutters because they are virtually invisible from the ground. They are screwed into the fascia and clip inside the gutter..
For suburbs that ordinarily do not have a lot of heavy rainfall, concealed brackets are a perfect choice. Because they cannot hold as much weight as a spike bracket, concealed brackets are placed closer together to provide safe and stable support to guttering.
However, iif you or your neighbours have trees that drop lots of leaves, concealed brackets may cause extra maintenance because leaves tend to catch on concealed brackets, and when leaves or other debris bank up, gutters can become blocked and overflow.
Pop rivets rivets are normally used to join two pieces of metal together in roofing, guttering and the installation of metal downpipes. The joint is then sealed with special silicone to make it waterproof. The silicone used by Stark Roofing is designed for roofing and guttering. It is UV-resistant, flexible and durable, making its life expectancy at least twenty years.
When PVC downpipes are joined, special glue welds them together and silicone is not required.
Choosing the correct colour of your guttering can make the roofline flow seamlessly into the walls of your home, or it can create a total break across the colour scheme.
Choosing the colour depends therefore on what you want to do with the appearance of your home. For instance, if your house has lots of rooms or awnings that jut out, instead of four long walls, the right guttering can really jazz it up for you.
As a rule, choose the same colour, or one very close to the colour of your roof if you want the guttering to blend, and a bright contrasting colour if you want to make a feature of your gutter.
Another consideration is potential colour-fading. If you don’t want to re-paint in a few years to keep the colour looking fresh, then perhaps choose a lighter shade and avoid reds or blues, as these are more likely to fade than other colours.
Installing leaf guards into guttering sounds like a brilliant idea – a length of mesh, for instance, is clipped into the top of the guttering to allow water to flow from the roof into the gutter but leaves from nearby trees simply fall off onto the ground.
Like many good ideas, leaf guards seldom work as well in practice as they do in theory. If you have trees that drop large leaves onto your roof, then leaf guards seem to work well, but a problem occurs if you have small leaves and seeds as well. Some of the problems we have noticed over the years are:
- If you have a problem with small leaves, you need a fine mesh. Unfortunately, tiny seeds block fine mesh, making a blanket that causes water to wash over the side instead of into the guttering
- Tiny leaves, like pine needles, or those from leopard, silk or poinciana trees, frequently work their way through the mesh where they get stuck on the leaf guard clips, causing blockages
- If you have a roof with a high rib profile, leaf matter builds up where the leaf guard joins the roof and can cause corrosion of the roof sheeting due to the acidity of the leaf matter
- Larger leaves can get their ends caught in the mesh, which can result in a matted mess after a while
It is important to remember that leaf guards make cleaning gutters easier, but they still need cleaning. In bush fire prone areas, this is vital because the leaf matter can catch fire.
When debris builds up in guttering, it is the perfect place for trees or ferns to grow. If a strangler fig, for instance, gets a toe hold in your gutter, the weight can eventually pull the guttering off the fascia. And sometimes, it will pull the fascia off as well.
The Stark Roofing Gutter Process
There are three parts to the process Stark Roofing applies to guttering:
- The quote
Unless an arrangement has been made with you, the owner, we always telephone to book a time for the quote to take place and we endeavour to keep this appointment so that you are not inconvenienced.
We are sometimes asked if it is possible to provide a quote on guttering repairs or replacement without the house being eye-balled. If it is a repair, the short answer to this is “Probably not” because the building needs to be seen in order to determine which parts of the guttering need replacing.
With a total re-gutter, it is possible to get an approximation of house size, how many corners there are etc. off Google Maps. This enables Russell to have a better idea on calculating how much guttering is required.
However, the price of replacing or repairing guttering is not just a matter of calculating how many metres you need and how many corners there are. Other factors include:
- Height of your house
- Whether the fascia needs repairing
- If downpipes need to be moved
- Number of and location of trees
- Access to your property for material delivery
- How easy it is to install and move scaffolding around the property
For you to receive an accurate quote, it is better for the contractor to look at your home first.
Once the quote has been accepted, you will be advised of the following points:
- What type of scaffolding will be used in the installation of your new gutter, or your gutter repair.
- How many people are likely to be involved with the installation of the gutter.
- How long it is likely to take to replace or repair the gutter.
- Proposed start date.
- Expected delivery date of materials
- A site-specific safety plan that is designed to provide protection for the people who live in the house and their pets.
No payment is required until the work is completed.
A six and a half year labour warranty is provided on all new or replacement work, but not for gutter repairs
All materials used by Stark Roofing carry a manufacturer warranty.
Free, no-obligation quotes in Brisbane. If you want it to last, ring Russell Stark!