We all know what gutters are, but why would you want to repair or replace one?
Over time, guttering deteriorates and starts to crack and break. Even if they are made from plastic, cast iron or asbestos cement (yes, you’ll still find gutters on older houses made from asbestos).
Gutters are usually in exposed positions and open to movement from storms and wind or affected by ultraviolet light. Therefore, if they start to crack or leak then it’s time to replace and renew your old ones. If you don’t, you’ll have rainwater running down the wall or into the loft space and creating further damage to your home.
How Much Does Gutter Replacement Cost?
This obviously depends on the size of your home and the type and style of guttering you choose. But, remember that you’ll need to cost in the price of scaffolding and the costs involved in removing and getting rid of the old gutters. Furthermore, if the old ones contain asbestos, this may attract higher costs because you’ll need specialist waste handlers at the very least. So, it’s best to ask for a specialist quotation for extras like this.
For now, let’s have a look at the cost of replacing the guttering on a terraced house, and see if it’s more or less than you thought.
For an average two–storey terraced house of length 5m, the average cost to install new guttering will be about £500 to £700. Out of this, the cost of materials will be about £200, the cost of waste removal about £50 while labour costs will be about £250 plus. Also, the total duration will be about one day.
Further detailed costs
For more detail look at the table below. Here, we’ve outlined the common guttering tasks that a handyman, roofer or general builder will generally do.
|Guttering Job||Cost||Duration||Total estimated cost|
|Replacing PVC gutter (4m length)||£35 per metre||1 day||£350|
|Replacing cast iron gutter||£60 per metre||2 days||£600|
|Replacing gutter support bracket (1 per 800mm)||£15 per item||0.5hr each||£180|
|New leaf guard cost to fit (2m length)||£15 per length||1 hr per length||£75|
|New stop end||£15 per item||0.25hr each||£60|
|Replace gutter joint (1 per 4m length)||£50 to £130 each||0.25hr each||£100|
|Rejoining gutter to a downpipe||£50 to £130||0.5hr each||£50|
|Clean out guttering||£5 per metre||3hrs||£50|
Usually, it’s difficult to access the roof and not every job can be done from a ladder. Therefore, you might need to hire scaffolding, which will result in higher prices. Because of this, it’s vital to ask the professional to assess the job properly and to do everything that needs to be done while the scaffold is in place. It might even be worth replacing the fascia boards if they are rotten or painted if they look tatty. Also, ask the handyman to refix any loose roof tiles while he works on the gutter.
Remember that the gutter cleaning costs and gutter repair costs will vary depending on the area of the country in which you live. Generally, any work done in London will always cost more than the remainder of the country.
Tips to reduce costs in future
If you leave gutters alone without having a regular inspection regime, you’ll end up with serious problems. At first, they’ll seem minor, but over time they’ll escalate into serious situations that require major repairs or in extremes, replacement. So, let’s have a look at these.
- Cleaning gutters that are clogged with leaves, soil, moss and other debris.
- Gutters can sag or lean away from the eaves resulting in water pooling and overflowing or gutters just not doing their job. Replace fixing brackets.
- Badly located and installed gutters can cause problems with incorrect slope.
- Storms, high winds and poor fixing techniques result in gutter sections collapsing falling away from the house.
- Over time, age and poor maintenance cause holes, leaks and poorly fitting joints.
- Don’t forget downpipe replacement. The brackets can work loose when the screws corrode.
Roof gutter cleaning cost
To reduce rain gutter cleaning prices, keep the debris found in gutters to a minimum by pruning overhanging trees or foliage. Also, don’t allow the debris inside the gutters to build up, as it’s far easier to remove a little bit at more frequent intervals.
Rain gutter repair costs
You must maintain guttering regularly. After all, rain gutters cost far less to clean and repair than the total purchase and fitting costs of new gutters.
Depending on the architectural style of the building rain gutters may be:
- An integral trough formed along the lower edge of a roof and made from a combination of roof materials and flashing such as lead or copper. You often find these in roof valleys.
- A separate trough of metal, plastic or other water–impervious material, supported under the lower edge of the roof.
- An integral part of the wall beneath the lower edge of the roof, made from masonry.
Manufacturers make gutters from many different materials, but they have one thing in common. They all cleanly and safely divert rainwater to a disposal place away from the building.
But, why must we get rid of this water? The two main reasons are:
- To prevent water from falling in a heavy torrent close to the walls. This normally washes the foundations away and causes structural subsidence.
- To prevent water from running down and soaking through the walls causing damp in the house.
We find there’s always a problem with rainwater. But, if we keep the inside of the gutters clean and prevent the water from overflowing, we can dispose of it safely.
You might decide to repair or replace parts of your guttering rather than replace the entire system. If so, remember that depending on their age, they may have different specifications to those available now. For example, the most obvious differences can be:
- Measurements. Old gutters might use imperial measurements, rather than the metric system.
- Profiles. Some gutter cross–sections might have been fashionable for a limited time and no longer available.
- Material. Common materials are uPVC, aluminium, cast iron, lead and masonry. Up until the 1960s, many gutters contained asbestos cement. Now, these are considered a health risk and no longer sold. However, if they are in relatively good condition and aren’t producing dust, asbestos doesn’t need replacing. Even so, there are many safe repair products on the market to help seal and waterproof asbestos cement. If the gutters are too far gone only a qualified professional can remove them. Then, you must replace with modern materials. When dealing with the other types, it is often almost impossible to mix materials when replacing gutter components. This is mainly because of the different joining methods, fixtures and profiles common to each material.
Using gutter guards
Rain gutter guards also known as gutter covers, or leaf guard gutters prevent debris from entering the gutters. Most gutter guards work well in autumn when large leaves and twigs are the main problems. But, these are almost useless in the spring when smaller buds, petals and small leaves go through the mesh and cause blockages. If you intend installing a gutter guard costing many hundreds of pounds, do some research and choose the best gutter guards you can find. These are usually made from micromesh and clip onto the open trough. They then provide small openings through which the rain can go, while leaving debris on the surface.
Should I repair or replace gutters?
That depends on the overall deterioration of your rainwater system. If you have old-style asbestos cement gutters, you can repair minor damage to a degree. But, if there are breaks, then you might have to replace the entire system with modern materials. You will also find that old plastic guttering won’t have the strength of modern uPVC and might have turned brittle through exposure to UV light. If this is the case you will have to replace. If however, you can still buy the same profile of the existing gutters then you can safely repair the broken parts.
Is gutter installation difficult?
Yes and no. Not very helpful am I? To be honest, as long as you can safely work at height from scaffolding and are reasonably good at DIY, it is easy. However, there are some things you must be certain about.
- Align the gutter outlet above the surface water drain gulley, using a plumb bob.
- Fix the running outlet at this location.
- Space out the fixing brackets at the correct distance. This will be between 600mm and 1m apart depending on the style and material. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Make sure you have the correct slope on the gutter trough. This is about 20mm for every 5m of guttering.
- Make sure the free edge of roofing felt falls into the gutter to protect the fascia from any windblown rain.
Do you install gutters under drip edge?
Yes. The drip edge of the roof tiles should overhang the gutter so that all the rainwater falls into the trough. Similarly, the free edge of roofing felt should also rest in the gutter. The felt also protects the fascia from wind–driven rain. As a general rule, the top edge of the gutter should be about 20mm below the roof tile protruding edge.
Should roofing felt go into the gutter?
Definitely. The bottom course of roofing felt (sarking felt) must drape into the gutter trough. It then ensures that all rainwater falls into the gutter trough and protects the fascia boards from any wind–driven rain.
Why is water dripping between gutter and fascia?
Probably the roof tile isn’t overhanging the gutter enough. You will probably find that new facia boards cover over old ones. This will have the effect of moving the gutter about 10 to 15mm further away from the roof tile edge. You can fix this quite simply by installing plastic eaves protectors to help divert the rainwater into the gutter.
Get your guttering fixed. It’s important.
You should be able to see by now that it’s very important to keep your rainwater guttering in good condition. Have it regularly cleaned, repaired or if the damage is severe, have it replaced. It is possible to do the job yourself but it’s far easier to ask a professional to do it for you.
Fill out the form on this page and you will receive 3 or 4 quotes from reliable and professional tradesmen in your area.
It’s worth it.