HOW TO FIT GUTTERING AND DOWNPIPES – The guttering and down pipes are an essential feature of your home and protects your fascia boards and exterior brickwork from water damage. Every now and then, when it’s raining, take a walk around your home and look up. Just look out for any guttering that is leaking from either the gutters or the joints of the down pipes If you do spot a problem then as soon as you get a fine dry day you need to see about fixing it. Fitting new or replacing existing gutters and down pipes is a very easy job and in this guide we provide you with step-by-step instructions that are easy to follow.
Before you start do remember that you are going to be working at heights so you will need to get an appropriate sized ladder that is suitable for the job. If you are going to be working at a height of 3m and above then it’s best if you use an extension ladder with stabilizers. Always place the ladder on level ground and if possible get a friend to hold the ladder at the bottom. If it is a very windy day then leave it until the weather is fine and calm. Using the right type of ladder and ladder safety is important and we would strongly suggest do use the right type of ladder for the job at hand.
When you get up to the guttering check that the guttering brackets are not broken, damaged or is in need of cleaning out. Cleaning out gutters is an easy job and should be done at least twice a year. If you have a lot of trees in your garden then it is wise to inspect the guttering once every couple of months and once every couple of weeks in the Autumn, due to the amount of leaves falling. If they are then take a screwdriver and unscrew the guttering brackets and then replace them with new ones. Guttering brackets are best fitted at intervals of approximately 2′ but there is no reason you can’t add more if you wish. The guttering brackets are designed to hold the guttering in place and take the weight of the guttering and water that it collects.
If part of your guttering is split or cracked you don’t have to replace all of the guttering on your home. Guttering comes in sections, so it’s easy to remove just one damage section and replace that. Start by carefully cutting the silicone sealant from one length of guttering that joins the other, with a craft or Stanley knife. Once the two joining pieces are free from one another you can unclip the damaged guttering from the guttering brackets and then discard. You can now take your new length of guttering and place and clip it into the brackets. Once the guttering is firmly in place you can now apply a bead of silicone sealant on the joints, at either end, to make a water tight seal.
If you are starting from scratch, that is you do not have any guttering or guttering brackets, the firstly fit the guttering brackets. These need to be set apart at intervals of 2′. The brackets are fitted to the fascia boards and are simply attached with screws. When buying guttering brackets make sure they come with the screws and if not then buy them, but ensure you buy and use the right type of screws – ask the staff at your local DIY Store if in doubt.
Start fitting guttering from the down pipe outlet and work your way along and snap the guttering into the guttering brackets that are screwed to the fascia boards. It is most likely that you will need to cut your guttering at the ends and this can be done with a hacksaw. After cutting the gutters sand any rough edges smooth.
Once all your guttering is in place, visit each of the joints and run a bead of silicone along both sides, of each joint, to create a water tight seal.
Fitting Down pipes
If your down pipes are leaking this could be due to one of two things. Firstly it could be just the joints that are leaking, in which case you can remove any old silicone sealant and apply a new one. If on the other hand the down pipe is cracked then this will mean you’ll have to replace it.
To remove the down pipe, start at the top where the gutter spout inserts into the down pipe. This is attached to the guttering on the outlet and is curved towards the wall. Cut away any silicone sealant with a craft or Stanley knife. Now take a hacksaw and cut through the down pipe approximately 1′ or 2′ below the guttering spout. You can now move the down pipe gently to one side and remove the section of down pipe from the guttering spout. You can now remove the down pipe from the down pipe brackets and discard the old down pipe.
If you are fitting new down pipes then the first step is to fit the down pipe brackets. To make this as secure as possible, fit each bracket at a distance of no more than 2′ apart as you work your way up the wall. You will need to drill two holes, for each of the brackets. Insert raw plugs into the holes you drilled and then fix the brackets to the wall with the screws supplied with the brackets.
Take your length of down pipe and starting from the top, fit it into the guttering down spout and then work your way down attaching each length of pipe into the brackets as you go. If you do need to cut the down pipe to fit then do this using a hacksaw and sand any rough edges smooth with a medium grade sandpaper.
At the bottom of the down pipe insert the pipe into the sewer sleeve. If the water runs to an open grate, then fit an angle bend so that any water goes directly into the drain. Place this about 6″ above the grate.
Starting from the top, take your silicone sealant and seal each of the joints as you work your way down the wall. Your down pipe should now be secured to the wall and properly sealed.
Acknowledgements: Video – ProBuildSupplies