Thinking about DIY gutter installation?
Gutters look pretty simple—they are not much more than pieces of folded metal secured around the roof of your home. Surely, they couldn't be too complicated to replace and install?
Take it from us: gutters are more complicated than they first appear. Gutters are an essential piece of plumbing, and their proper function and appropriate design is vital in making sure that your home is safe from damage. Ripping them down with naive optimism is a one way ticket to a home renovation disaster! Although a DIY gutter installation may be cheaper in the short-term, it has the potential to be more costly in the long-term.
If your guttering system is not installed by a professional, the material used is may not be ideal for your particular house and your gutters will be much more prone to leaks, rust and overflowing. You also expose yourself to safety risks as well as legal and insurance issues.
When should you replace your gutters?
Sometimes, it’s obvious when gutters need replacing. Large holes and leaks are the giveaway signs of a dysfunctional gutter. At this point it’s wise to start planning how you are going to replace them before any this damage spills into your home.
Other signs of a faulty gutter are less obvious, which makes them easy to miss. Gutters will usually rust from the inside out, so when inspecting your gutters be on the lookout for evidence of rust such as blistering paint and rough surfaces. Also be on the lookout for birds hanging around your roof—they may be taking advantage of pools of water to bathe in!
Can gutters be replaced in pieces?
Although many gutter systems have been designed in pieces, often it is necessary to remove much more than just the affected piece.
The work necessary to remove just a single piece of guttering may involve taking down large sections of gutting around the house. With the time and cost of removing and refitting a new gutter section, it may be worth considering replacing the entire guttering system, especially if your gutters are more than 10 years old.
What should I consider before I replace my gutters?
Appearance. Gutters are not just functional, they also improve the look of your house! Consider what gutter shape and colour will match the look of your home.
Material. Gutters can be made of varying materials of varying quality, such as steel and aluminium. Generally speaking, the higher the quality of materials, the longer your gutters will last.
Technical Requirements. Gutters also need to do their job: diverting rain to storm water. This means that your new gutters and downpipes need to be the correct size for your roof and meet plumbing and building requirements, such as:
- Tiled roofs in Melbourne need at least one 100x50mm downpipe for every 50m2 of roofing area. However, for older homes, it may be easier to increase downpipe capacity, rather than installing new downpipes.
- All plumbing work over the value of $750 will need to be carried out by a registered plumber. This plumber will also need to issue a compliance certificate.
- Fixings need to be compatible with guttering material, and need to be galvanised or zinc plated.
Improper gutter installation can have legal and insurance ramifications. If compliance requirements are not met, insurance may be void in the event of water damage.
What are the risks of DIY gutter installation?
There are a number of risks of a DIY gutter installation, especially if you are inexperienced. As well as safety issues, a faulty guttering system can pose as a serious risk to the appearance and structural integrity of your home.
Safety risk. Installing new gutters means working at heights and using a ladder. Most people killed or injured due to ladder related injuries were doing maintenance around the home.
Faulty installation. A bad DIY gutter installation may end up costing much more than just going with a professional. Many expensive roofing faults are due to the improper installation of gutters.
Prosecution and insurance risk. Improper gutter installation can also have legal and insurance ramifications. If compliance requirements are not met, such as plumbing requirements, insurance may be void in the event of water damage.
Let’s talk guttering today
At Alcoil, we have spent over a quarter of a century installing gutters on thousands of Melbourne homes. We are an independent family company who value integrity, honesty and customer satisfaction. In addition to our own professionalism, we will only work with certified plumbers who share our values and work ethic.
With a wide choice of materials, including our speciality continuous guttering, we are certain we can find a unique guttering solution for your home. Call us on (03) 9887 5822 to speak with a guttering expert today.