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The aesthetic advantage of PVC guttering

We have seen the origins of guttering and how quickly it became the must-have inclusion in housebuilding. We have also seen the evolving use of materials rise from primitive hand chiselled stone to decorative water spitting mythical creatures to massly produced aluminium.

But how can you keep the aesthetics of your home design intact when attaching essential downpipes and guttering to your home? It’s at this point that many people are guided into purchasing expensive metal-based guttering, thinking they’re needed to add some high quality to the exterior facade.

This isn’t always the case, and in some aspects cast iron guttering can actually be detrimental.

Cast iron guttering: cons

  • Traditional iron-cast metal guttering systems are incredibly heavy and can cause problems to walls if they’re not strong enough
  • Difficult to install and prone to inflicting injury to workforce due to its size and weight
  • Rusts over time, which can cause leaks through holes and loose joints
  • If pressure is applied the guttering can bend, twist or distort

Some people will always want to stick with tradition and there are a number of good reasons for this:

Cast Iron Guttering: pros

  • Handle radical temperature changes well, expanding and contracting with ease
  • Minimal damage to ultraviolet light exposure
  • It is said that cast iron gutters can last over 100 years as they are incredibly strong and durable
  • Totally recyclable

PVC is relatively new in the field of construction, only making its entrance onto the market in the late 1970’s. Even by the mid 1980’s there were still only twenty companies producing PVC, as opposed to today where PVC is the third largest-selling plastic in the world. PVC guttering quickly became popular and for a host of reasons:

PVC guttering: pros

  • PVC guttering is made from moulded plastic and as such is exceedingly strong
  • It is produced in one continuous shape and therefore has no seams
  • The plastic surface shows less scratches, marks, dents or blemishes
  • PVC is water resistant so does not freeze or corrode over time
  • PVC is highly flexible which means no loss of shape when pressure is applied.The weight of leaves, snow, ice or other debris will have less of an effect
  • PVC is less costly to produce, hence PVC guttering costs considerably less
  • PVC is lighter, therefore easier to install, with less risk of harm to workforce
  • PVC can be modified to adapt to any style and as it can be produced in any colour or shade, no painting is needed- therefore less maintenance

As with most things in life there are a few problems:

  • PVC tends to get rather brittle over time and through exposure to sunlight and extreme weather. The guttering can sometimes crack if pressure is placed upon it.

The good news is though that when your guttering reaches this stage, the cost and simplicity of installation makes it possible to replace it with brand new, made to measure, aesthetically pleasing PVC guttering. As many of the DIY specialists are advising now:  “Traditional guttering was made from lead or cast iron, but more modern materials are safer, lighter and more durable”.

No matter what design, colour or size you require Unicorn Windows can supply and fit your guttering.

[Photo by 823199]