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How To Fix Common Gutter Problems

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Gutters quietly protect your property from water damage all year round but are often only thought of when problems arise.

Unnoticed gutter troubles can cause continuous water damage that simple maintenance tasks could have prevented. Spotting and fixing issues early is much cheaper than replacing your entire gutter system.

Maintaining your gutters isn’t just about keeping up appearances; it’s crucial for safeguarding the integrity of your roof, walls, and even your home’s foundation.

When gutters work as they should, they expertly direct rainwater away from your house, preventing many issues like damp walls, foundation damage, and dangerous pests.

Insufficient gutter capacity or having sagging, leaky, clogged gutters is a different story. Improper drainage causes gutters to overflow and allows water to seep into all the wrong places, potentially causing structural damage and leading to expensive repairs.

The good news? Many common gutter problems are preventable with some basic knowledge and proper maintenance. Regular gutter cleaning isn’t strictly necessary, but debris removal and spot checks after bad weather can go a long way.

This article will guide you through identifying and troubleshooting the most typical gutter issues without needing a busy maintenance schedule.

So, let’s roll up our sleeves and dive into the world of gutters, ensuring your home stays dry and damage-free!


Understanding Your Gutter System

Before diving into troubleshooting, let’s get familiar with the different types of guttering systems and their components.


uPVC Gutters

Plastic, or uPVC gutters, are common due to the affordability and the wide availability of components. These types of gutters are cost-effective and relatively simple to install, making them popular throughout the UK.

Gutter problems homeowners should be aware of include the tendency of uPVC to become brittle and crack under cold weather conditions. Modern uPVC systems have better flexibility to withstand freezing temperatures, reducing the likelihood of splitting.


Concrete Finlock Gutters

Finlock gutters are concrete gutters commonly found in houses built in the 1950s and 1960s.

With a shortage of timber and metal materials after the Second World War and concrete readily available, the finlock guttering system was rolled out across Britain from 1950-1970.

Because finlock gutters can contain asbestos, we recommend using a specialist to repair or replace them.


Cast Iron Gutters

Known for their traditional look, cast iron gutters are incredibly durable and can last 50-70 years with maintenance, with some systems thought to have lasted for over a century.

One of the best-known metal materials, cast iron guttering is perfect for period properties or those seeking a classic aesthetic.


Aluminium Gutters

Lightweight like uPVC but more robust, aluminium gutters are corrosion-resistant and can be painted to match your home’s exterior. Various aluminium gutter types are available, from cast iron alternatives for period homes to contemporary profiles for modern buildings and seamless gutter systems.


Steel Gutters

Steel gutters are incredibly durable and withstand heavy rainfall and severe weather conditions. They’re an excellent long-term investment for any home.

Galvanised guttering is popular and looks equally good on homes and commercial buildings. Coloured steel gutters and downpipes look great, too, giving you a metal guttering system that won’t need regular maintenance.


Copper Gutters

Copper offers a distinctive look that ages to a beautiful patina over time. Copper gutters are highly durable and long-lasting, though they come at a higher price point.


Guttering Components

Now, let’s break down the basic components of a rainwater drainage system:



Rain gutters are the channels that collect rainwater from the roof. Gutters come in various shapes, styles, sizes and materials. Major gutter manufacturers use standard sizes to make gutter replacement possible.



Downpipes are the pipes that carry water from the gutters to the ground or drainage system.


Gutter brackets

Gutter brackets secure the gutters to your home, often using fascia brackets. Without fascia boards, rafter brackets are used in their place, securing the gutter to the rafter. Metal gutter brackets can be supplied uncoated or with a galvanised or colour finish to match the rest of your rainwater system.


Stop ends

A small but vital piece, gutter stop ends are fitted at the ends of gutters to prevent water from spilling out.



Unions connect two lengths of gutter or a gutter length with a corner, providing a watertight seal.

Unions are also referred to as union connectors, gutter joints and couplers.


Rainwater hoppers

Also referred to as hopper heads, rainwater hoppers have been used for centuries and were often decorated with ornate motifs or initials.

Hopper heads can increase the water capacity of your guttering system during heavy rainfall, preventing gutter overflow.


Gutter outlet

An outlet connects a gutter to a downpipe, allowing water to flow through the system.


Offsets / Bends / Elbows

Offsets are bent pipes that direct water flow in downpipes, carrying water away from the property and into the drainage system. Two offset bends are often connected to either end of a small piece of downpipe to create a swan neck.



A downpipe collects water from the gutters and sends it down, usually into a drainage system.


Rainwater Diverter

As the name suggests, a rainwater diverter connects to the downpipe and diverts water, usually to a water butt or a rainwater storage tank.

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