How to Guide For Installing Gutters
Gutters are really important in moving wastewater away from the building. Leaks cause damage and it is important that the gutter installation is carried properly. For this reason, there are certain steps you must take before completing any gutter installations. Thankfully, it is not the hardest DIY job you can undertake. If you are not sure in any way then The Concrete Gutter Specialists are just a call away.
What do you need before attempting a gutter installation?
First of all, you will need certain tools to complete the job. Removing concrete gutters and replacing them with uPVC does require any specialist equipment and but we are here to guide you on exactly what will be required. You will need the following:
- Scaffolding or Easi-dec equipment. This should be set 1 metre below the gutter line depending on your height and have safety rails to ensure it is compliant with HSE requirements. You can get a hefty fine, or even worse; injure yourself if you don’t use these
- A chisel if your gutters have been previously lined with aluminium
- A lump hammer to help get your chisel underneath failed linings
- PPE including safety gloves, protective eyewear, and a face mask to stop you from inhaling concrete dust
- High spec angle grinder with a diamond-tipped blade
- Handheld electric drill with bits to screw holes into wood, uPVC and concrete and bits to tighten screws
- Electric Drill
- Electric jigsaw
- Extension cable or generator so you have access to electricity
- Some string
- Bag/ skip for waste. Suspected asbestos will need to be wrapped, bagged and removed by specialists.
- Long-handled brush
- Dustpan and brush
Working at Height- Safely
In any environment where you need to interact without reach components, you may be inclined to reach for your set of ladders. You will soon find that this is not feasible with this job but, more importantly, it’s not safe. When using a ladder, you must be diligent and aware of the dangers that are associated with it. Falling from a ladder can cause serious injury or could even be fatal. Don’t start the job by attempting to cost cut on your own health and safety.
Now, that’s not to say that to get up the access equipment you won’t need a ladder. So make sure that you complete a full inspection of the ladder first of all; look for cracks, dents or separations from joints. Also, check the feet and the grip from the feet. If the plastic or rubber is poor and heavily worn, there will be much less grip. Hopefully, you will have someone holding the ladder but if you don’t, then the friction between the ladder and the ground may be all that supports you. You should make sure that the ladder is well footed.
So, you have got all your tools, you have got your ladder in place. Now you need to make sure you have got your materials.
- Guttering, in the style and shape of your choice. You should get at least the length of the section that you are replacing.
- Running outlet; to match the style of guttering you chose
- Fascia board, again this can be the colour of your choice but you should get at least the length of the section that you are replacing.
- Soffit, this should match the fascia in colour and length
- Brackets; the clips that fix the guttering to the fascia board.
- Union piece; joins two pieces together
- External stop-end; the cap at the end
- Downpipes to replace any that you are removing
- Downpipe brackets
- Guttering shoe
- Eaves protection boards, you should keep in mind that when installed correctly these often overlap meaning that you will need more than the length of the section you are replacing
- Gutter bends (optional); for non-standard roofs that require the drainage to bend around a corner.
- Fixing Agent
- Screw caps
- Fixing nails
How should concrete gutters be removed and uPVC gutters be installed?
As with any DIY project, before starting anything, plan exactly where everything is going. Line everything up where you intend it to go down to the gutter outlet with the drain location and the brackets to support your new guttering system. Remember the golden rule for any DIY project; “Measure twice, cut once”. Make sure you have bought enough materials before you start the project.
Time to get dirty
Now, it’s time to inspect your old gutters up close and personal. Have a look for any hairline cracks going back into the lintel as this may be a symptom of a bigger problem and keep an eye out for this throughout the project.
As concrete gutters were installed completely level they never drained particularly well and so will have accumulated approximately fifty years of dirt, leaves, grime and stagnant water. All this needs to come out before you can proceed so grab your scoop and bucket. Using your scoop, get it all to one end, then scoop it out (you are probably going to get some on yourself) and put it in the bucket. Any waste can go in the waste vestibule you chose.
Now use that chisel and lump hammer to remove any linings. If you haven’t chosen to put your safety gloves on already by this point, then you might want to now to avoid any sharp edges.
Now, push the first row of roof tiles back and put the EPS in making sure there are absolutely no gaps. You will have made a mental note of where the roof beams are so you can screw into those to make sure the EPS stays down.
This next step is a step that you do not want to mess up. Mess it up and you could, essentially, ruin your home. Remember, measure twice, cut once. You need to cut the concrete gutters away but so when you add the timber plus the fascia and install the gutter, the rainwater flows smoothly from your roof tiles into your new gutters. If in doubt cut less as its always easier to fix a job where there is too much concrete left, then where too much concrete has been removed.
Now that you have removed your concrete gutters it is time to install your brand-new uPVC gutters in their place.
First, though, you want to make sure you affix the treated tanalised timber. Use your drill bit to screw holes into the concrete so that you can easily fix the wooden board to the lintel
Now you can fix your fascia board to the front of the timber and the soffit to the underside using your screws, covered by screw caps. If there are any windows directly underneath the gutter line, then you will need to cut this soffit to shape. This can be finickity but if you do not do it then your windows will not open. Fix this in place using your nails.
Now you want to install the gutters with approximately a 3mm fall over the length of seven metres. You can use string to make a plumb line a spirit level to show you how level you are. You do not want them dead straight. That is how your concrete gutters were set, and it did not work out so well for them.
With your plumb line in place use this to fix the gutter brackets. Once you have done this you can put the gutter in and then replace your downpipes along with and stop ends, unions, outlets and shoes.
Now just use your primer, fixing agent and Fibreflex to join to the neighbour/ existing guttering if that is the case with your project. You will want to give this time to dry before water testing it but, in the meantime, you can pull those tiles from earlier back down into place.
You should now be left with a house that looks like it has had a complete makeover and been transformed into a more modern-day and age.
If you have any troubles or are not quite sure if your DIY levels are at a point that you could be throwing money down the drain if you mess it up, then give The Concrete Gutter Specialists a call or drop us an e-mail. We will get back to you as promptly as possible at whatever time of day you contact us, whatever day of the week.