Is your guttering and spouting done in? Refresh the look of your home and add years to its lifespan with new guttering.
Most of New Zealand receives 600 to 1600mm of rainfall per year, so in order to protect your property, you need sturdy, reliable rainwater management. In this article, we look at the various options of guttering and downpipes available in New Zealand.
What do Downpipes, Gutters and Spouting do?
The guttering, also often called spouting, collects the rainwater which runs off your roof. They are slightly angled so that the water can flow to the downpipes, which take this water into your ground drainage pipes or water collection tanks.
The downpipes are sized to suit the roof area as well as the roof pitch so that they are able to handle both the volume of rainwater and the speed. This is because high rainfall areas, large houses or steep roofs may require larger spouting and/or more downpipes.
How Often Should Gutters Be Replaced?
Phil Hunter from Rimu Roofing in Auckland suggests “Gutters should be replaced when they can no longer be maintained – actual lifespan will vary. If there are trees on your property your gutters will require more frequent cleaning and may have a shorter lifespan. Your gutters will be functional for much longer if they are regularly cleaned and have preventative action such as gutter guards and an occasional moss and mould treatment.”
What types of guttering or spouting are available?
Styles of guttering:
- K-Style Guttering – A flat bottom and back, with a decorative front which looks similar to crown moulding. A durable style common on New Zealand homes.
- Half Round Guttering – A traditional, elegant style, its smoother shape is less prone to corrosion and clogging. More expensive than square or k-style.
- Square or Box Guttering – With clean, bold lines and a high face, it is often seen on newer homes.
Jason White from White Roofing in North Shore, says, “All these styles of spouting are very similar in cost and efficacy.”
Seamless vs. non-seamless:
Seamless guttering is less likely to leak and require maintenance but is more expensive. Not every brand or manufacturer can provide seamless guttering.
- Rectangular: new and designer homes are more likely to utilise rectangular downpipes.
- Circular: most often found on older and heritage homes.
Choosing the Best Downpipe and Spouting For Your Home
Take the exposure your home faces into consideration when selecting guttering. If you are close to the shore, or in an area of high wind and/or intense rainfall, it may affect your options on size and material.
Metal fares better on homes in extreme weather, such as strong sun and snow, as it is more resilient than plastic to temperature changes and environmental factors.
In New Zealand, spouting and downpipes come in 4 main materials:
- PVC – A cheaper option, PVC is low maintenance, impact resistant, UV safe, won’t rust or corrode and safe for water collection. However, PVC can become brittle over time, meaning it will more easily crack, and may need replacing sooner than other options. Best suited to moderate climates with light rainfall.
- Coated Steel – Steel is the strongest option for areas of heavy rainfall. Though prone to rust, galvanised and zinc alloy steel will keep its shine, and painted steel comes in a variety of colours to suit your home. Steel is recyclable.
- Copper –Most commonly seen on period homes, copper resists rust and is very sturdy in extreme weather conditions. It is recyclable and also prevents bacterial growth, making it suitable for rainwater collection systems. Due to the rising price of copper, it is the most expensive option and can be a target for thieves.
- Pre-Painted Aluminium – More durable than steel, and more expensive, aluminium is a weatherproof option. Like steel, it comes in an array of colours to complement your home.
Jason from White Roofing says, “With colour steel, the only issue is that they do rust over time. PVC spoutings are cost effective, long lasting and easy to replace and repair.”
A roofer or guttering specialist can discuss with you the best products for your home and region. Many thanks to our two expert tradies for sharing with us their spouting tips. You can find them and many more expert tradespeople on Builderscrack.co.nz.