The primary purpose of a gutter system is to protect a building's facade and foundations by channelling rainwater away. The gutter also provides a means to collect rainwater for recycling.

Gutters can be made from a variety of materials such as cast iron, lead, zinc, galvanised steel, painted steel, copper, painted aluminium, PVC, concrete, stone, and wood.

Water collected by a rain gutter is fed, usually via a downspout or "downpipe" from the roof edge to the base of the building where it is either discharged or collected in a rain barrel or cistern.

Popular types

On modern commercial and industrial buildings it is most common to find a concealed galvanised steel, box gutter system which often feeds into PVC downpipes. It is not unusual for older buildings to have asbestos or concrete gutter systems.

Modern domestic buildings tend to have a PVC gutter and downspout system, although the use of cold formed aluminium or powder coated aluminium is quite common, the latter often replicating the cast iron systems still seen on heritage or listed buildings.


Clogged gutters can cause water leakage into the building as the water backs up. Clogged gutters can also cause vegetation to grow in the gutter which can often cause root infestation to the fabric of the building.

Gutters must be maintained regularly to remove leaves and other debris to keep them from clogging. Gutters that are filled with debris can overflow and also cause numerous issues with the joints and seals if the standing water is allowed to freeze in Winter. EBL Annual Maintenance Programme (AMP) is the perfect solution for all commercial and industrial gutter maintenance

Gutter protection devices include:

  • Downpipe/ outlet leaf strainers
  • snap-in metal and plastic gutter guards
  • stainless steel gutter guards
  • hinged gutter guards
  • plastic and metal gutter covers
  • gutter brushes

Regardless of the gutter guard protection used, all gutter systems should be examined for cleaning and repair twice every year.

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