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Pros and cons of PVC gutter systems

In order for rainwater to be effectively drained from the roof of a building, it is necessary to install a tight gutter system. One of the most popular materials used to make guttering is high-impact PVC. Let’s familiarise ourselves with the construction, properties, advantages and disadvantages of the PVC gutter systems.

PVC gutter systems – key information

Plastic gutters are manufactured from high-impact PVC. This plastic can be coloured as a mass, therefore, the PVC guttering is available in various colours. Plastic gutter systems are usually installed when the roofing is already laid. However, this rule is not set in stone and is often skipped.

The most important elements of a plastic gutter system are gutters and downpipes. The former are installed horizontally (but at a certain gradient). The latter are usually installed in a vertical position. However, sometimes, they are placed in a horizontal position (at a gradient) or at a slant if the shape of the building requires it. The water is carried to the sewage system through the downpipes. These elements are always made of high-impact PVC. PVC gutter system components are also elbows, muffs, etc., which form the connection between the individual gutters and downpipes. Not all elements of PVC gutter systems are made of plastics. For example, elements for mounting gutters (hangers or brackets) can be manufactured from plastic-coated or painted metal. Clamps are also often made of plastic-coated metal.

Advantages of PVC gutter systems

The advantages of PVC gutter systems:

  • very high resistance to impact or scratches, e.g. from branches during gusty winds,

  • availability of PVC guttering in many colours – this provides many design possibilities – they can be matched to the elevation, roofing and small garden architecture,

  • very high smoothness – the coefficient of roughness is 0.007 mm and is the lowest of all the gutter materials,

  • high smoothness makes the water flow easily and quickly through the gutters made of PVC,

  • internal smoothness of PVC gutters prevents leaves, small twigs and dirt from settling inside the gutters,

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  • high-impact PVC is a material 100% resistant to corrosion,

  • installation of PVC guttering systems is relatively easy and quick,

  • plastic gutter systems are a relatively cheap solution.



Disadvantages of PVC gutter systems

PVC gutter systems also have disadvantages. These include:

  • high thermal expansion of PVC – if there is a temperature difference of 20°C, a 10 m plastic gutter can change its dimensions by up to 16 mm,

  • coloured gutters made of PVC may fade under the influence of sunlight,

  • as plastic guttering is a relatively new solution (they are commonly used only for about 20 years), their actual durability is unknown (manufacturers declare durability of 30 to 50 years).


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