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Building? Here’s why you should install gutters

rain on roof resize

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

rain in down pipe

Wanna harvest that rain water instead? Click the pic to find out how

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.

Why your neighbour’s storm water is your problem

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.

Box gutter

This is a purpose-made gutter which is between two parallel roofs or between a roof and a wall.

Try not to use this design at all in your house, because it could be the reason for future roof leaks, especially if it is not done correctly. box gutter

Next time: Know what kind of ceiling insulation to install

For more, and to order your copy of The Proud Home Owner, click here, or visit Gauteng Home Inspections if you’re building, buying or doing maintenance


David A Steynberg, managing editor and director of HomeTimes, has more than 10 years of experience as both a journalist and editor, having headed up Business Day’s HomeFront supplement, SAPOA’s range of four printed titles, digimags Asset in Africa and the South African Planning Institute’s official title, Planning Africa, as well as B2B titles, Building Africa and Water, Sewage & Effluent magazines. He began his career at Farmer’s Weekly magazine before moving on to People Magazine where he was awarded two Excellence Awards for Best Real Life feature as well as Writer of the Year runner-up. He is also a past fellow of the International Women’s Media Foundation.

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