The Downfalls of Plastic Guttering
22 September 2016
With the winter setting in, most people turn their attention to battening down the hatches and preparing for the onset of the cold snap. Clearing up the garden, putting away the outdoor furniture, sweeping up the leaves and cleaning out the gutters.
It is at this time of the cleaning process that you finally get close up to your plastic guttering. You have seen them every day, but have never really looked at them. The once bright white has now faded slightly into a dull and dank looking brown. The years of leaves and moss from the roof have taken their toll on the gutters and the clumps of trapped leaves are blocking the down pipe, rendering the gutters useless.
The plastic gutters that were attached when the house was first built, were installed by builders and not designers. The standard PVC guttering or PVCU guttering was fitted during the initial build because it would do the job and was the most cost effective option.
The long-term plan was not part of the consideration when the PVC gutters were installed. There was no need to budget for cleaning and maintenance bills or even to worry about how long the gutters would last. Once the house had been sold, the gutters would not be their problem.
A couple of years into owning a house and the occupants will normally notice an issue with plastic guttering. Leaks might have developed in joints or at the ends of the guttering, blockages and clogs could have formed at crucial points and some serious discolouration would have started along the visible side of the gutters.
The changing of colour on a gutter might not seem like a massive problem, however once it is pointed out, it quickly becomes the first thing that is noticed every time you pull up to your house. The eyes will always be drawn up to the gutters and you will wish you had not had plastic gutters installed.
Modern gutters are made with aluminium, cast iron, copper, zinc and stainless steel. These heavy-duty materials are utilised to ensure that the guttering lasts longer and are more efficient than plastic guttering. They have been developed to ensure that the appearance lasts as long as their function. The materials will not diminish in appearance over a period of time; instead they adapt with their environment and become a part of the house.