What to do about leaky guttering

Guttering is a vitally important part of a building because it takes water safely away from the fabric of the building. It also makes water available for collection and re-use via water butts or SUDS (sustainable urban drainage systems).

Gutters can leak, this can be due to a number of factors including:

  • Build up of leaf litter / dirt in the guttering

  • Blockage in the downpipes

  • Cracked or damaged guttering

  • Poor seals between guttering lengths

  • Misaligned runs

Plastic guttering is especially prone to these problems because:

1. They expand and contract to a huge degree and this means that the joints are not stable and hence they frequently lose the seal and leak.

2. They are undersized most of the time (as these are the cheapest sizes) and so they get blocked with leaves etc very quickly in areas under / by trees. They also cannot cope with large storms when their capacity is just over loaded. This leads to them overflowing and pouring water down the wall and potentially into the cavity of solid wall structure.

3. They are nasty to fit and so people tend to have the attitude of allowing it to make-do when fitting. This can lead to leaks even before the expansion and contraction hits in.

4. They are quite brittle and easy to break under impact.

5. They are weak and so can break under the weight of snow.

Leaking gutters can be a real hazard for buildings as it allows water to get into the fabric of the building. This can cause damp and structural problems and therefore any leakage / blockage should be dealt with as a priority.


Keep your guttering clear from debris by having them cleared every couple of years (or more often if you have overhanging trees).

Use a more stable and longer lasting guttering material. There are options available like steel, aluminium, cast iron and copper. At Eco Home Centre we recommend Lindabguttering because it is relatively inexpensive, easy to fit, well designed, stable, long lasting, easy to fit and can be incorporated into SUDS or other water collection systems.

For more advice and products please call the Eco Home Centre on 02920373094.


Rounded Developments Enterprises Ltd have endeavoured to ensure that the information contained in this report is accurate. However, Rounded Developments Enterprises Ltd. accepts no liability for the use of this information.

Statement of Vested Interest

Rounded Developments Enterprises Ltd are a well-recognised supplier of a range of sustainable building products and as such have a commercial interest in some of the recommendations contained within the report. In some cases, cost estimates have been given on the basis of current quotations for similar equipment supplied by Rounded Developments Enterprises Ltd, and may not be the only equipment available. However, it is our opinion that the study offers an appropriate level of detail in view of the resources available and information provided. The authors have no expectation of any order being placed with them and would welcome questioning of the choice and costs of any equipment.