There is no user manual for all aspects of homeownership, from moving, to taking occupation and to maintaining and understanding common and uncommon defects. Albert van Wyk has more than 38 years’ worth of building experience and has put all he has learned into a concise, easy-to-use reference book entitled, The Proud Home Owner. He has granted HomeTimes exclusive access to republish portions of his book to help homeowners make better decisions around buying and selling, as well as maintaining their properties.
Gutters and down pipes
I am in favour of the installation of gutters and down pipes to a house. Gutters will enable you to control the water from the roof better and it will not stream down from the roof like a waterfall without control.
While the gutters are being installed it is the right time to plan the storm water management of the site, including water to and from the neighbours as well as rain water harvesting.
It is a requirement that a concrete, or paved apron of about 1m wide be laid around the eave sides of the house when there are no gutters. This will help to keep water away from the foundation.
Use your own discretion about the position and number of down pipes that are installed.
Make sure that the shoe (bottom part of the down pipe) faces in the right direction for the water to drain to the lowest point of the stand.
The gutter must not be level but slope in the direction of the down pipes.
Water next to the house
Keep water away from the foundation of the house. Do not create a garden next to the building. Rather have a pathway between the house and the garden. Do not allow the irrigation system to spray onto the walls. The reason for all of this is to keep the soil stable around and under the foundation.
This is a purpose-made gutter which is between two parallel roofs or between a roof and a wall.
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