Ten Reasons Why Architects Should Specify Aluminium Gutters

Ten Reasons Why Architects Should Specify Aluminium Gutters
  1. Maintenance free. Almost no ongoing maintenance required. Aluminium is the ultimate fit and forget material for gutters. No painting or rust removal like cast iron. No cracking, juddering or pinking like plastic. Aluminium will last 40 years or more and still look as good as the day it was put up. If mill finish aluminium gutters should get damaged, it will oxidise at the point of damage to produce its own built-in protection.
  2. Better for the planet. Aluminium is one of the most widely available elements in the world with incredibly low embodied carbon: it is non-corrosive, long lasting and requires little maintenance. It can be easily and efficiently 100% recycled once it reaches the end of its useful life unlike the plastic alternatives. When looking to achieve a reduced carbon impact changing from plastic guttering to aluminium, on capital works and reactive maintenance programs, provides a quick win for the planet.
  3. Whole life costs reduced: yes a single length of plastic guttering might look like great value. But what about fittings, brackets, and all the extra fittings needed, especially when compared with a seamless aluminium system. And that doesn’t even take into account the replacement costs when the plastic guttering reaches the end of its natural life.
  4. Maintenance costs eliminated: in most situations, plastic gutters will require the joints to be replaced approximately every 5-7 years and the system will last around 15-20 years. The cost, according to The National Schedule of Rates 2019(NSR Management), of stripping out and repairing a 101mm gutter connector is £17.57 or £21.71 for 131mm for every gutter joint. Add in scaffolding and labour costs and that starts to mount up.
  5. Lighter, easier, safer: aluminium is light and easy to install. Quicker too!
  6. Performance materials: if a plastic gutter joint fails, the whole system fails. Even a falling branch is unlikely to cause an aluminium guttering any problems.
  7. It simply looks better: whether you select the raw aluminium that is so fashionable now, or polyester powder coated to match a RAL or BS colour, aluminium gutter simply looks a cut above any other like-for-like priced material.
  8. No more ‘take make dispose’. Aluminium as a building product is the ultimate material for the circular economy, eliminating waste, the continual use of resources, regenerated by recycling not contributing to landfill.
  9. Colour-fast for life: most plastic guttering installed in the UK is black. Or at least it is black when it is installed. But what colour is it now? uPVC gutters are susceptible to fading in UV sunlight, a process known as ‘pinking’. After a number of years, the clips, pipes and gutters – often made from different materials – are all different shades of the original colour.
  10. Aluminium guttering won’t leak! Surely that’s a basic performance standard for a rainwater system. Plastic is highly susceptible to changes in temperature and will expand and contract according to the weather conditions. Most leaking plastic guttering is caused by this process: if a system is incorrectly installed, or doesn’t allow for this movement, it will either buckle, if the product expands, or joints will separate when the product shrinks. In contrast, aluminium has a much lower expansion coefficient, it will not move enough to cause leakage problems.