|One of the many problems with poorly fitted and cheap rainwater systems|
You would think that given that we live in a lovely green and fresh land that we would know that having a reliable, effective and sightly rainwater system is a good idea. But no, we have been lured by the cheapness and ubiquity of black plastic as a rainwater handling material.
In this world you tend to get what you pay for and guttering is no exception when it comes down to the basics. Plastic uPVC guttering might look cheap and cheerful, but it is anything but cheerful! Common problems with plastic are that:
It expands and contracts more than any other guttering material, so it breaks its seals, comes loose, warps and is generally rubbish.
It degrades under UV light, so it gradually becomes brittle and so can break
It is not very impact resistance, so any knock can crack or break it
But it is cheap! But is it?
The cost of the products is cheap, but replacing it when it is broken is not. So most people just don’t bother, especially if it is a private rental property. So then the rain continues to spill over, soak the wall, …. and lo and behold in a few months the house is starting to get damp, or renders start to fail etc. Getting these types of problems sorted is starting to get very expensive.
I am a great believer in saving money. So what’s on my house? Lindab Steel Guttering. Yes it was more expensive than even a ‘good’ plastic system, but it has not leaked, failed, cracked for over 10 years. It has withstood the weight of the snow without a groan, it has seen hot summer storms without creaking or warping, major deluges without overflowing and it still looks new. It is great when you can fit and forget. No worries about repair work, borrowing ladders and wobbling at the top. The lack of worry is worth half the cost on its own!
It is worth noting that some major landlords have seen the light, Cardiff Council for example only fit Lindab steel guttering. They know that it makes sense as it will save them huge amounts in the long run, both on reactive maintenance contracts, but also on planned maintenance when they have to go into repair water ingress damage etc.