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Guttering BASICS 101

Guttering 101 image - pooling water

Guttering is pretty easy right? Well, not really. If done correctly, we seldom give our gutters a second thought.....except to maybe clean them. Done badly, guttering can become our worst nightmare. Leaking gutters and overflowing water can cause serious damage to our home. So what can we do to fix it?

Getting a qualified roof plumber is probably the best place to start BUT I find that it really helps if you know a little bit about what's going on. By knowing a little bit about the terms, you will hopefully scare away any would be sharks - looking to profit off ignorance. If you want an idea on whether fixing gutters is a good idea or not check out my post Fixing Gutters.

This post is designed to be very basic. My goal is to arm you with the most common guttering terms and what they mean.


Probably the first thing to know is the fascia. Technically fascia is not guttering- it is the structure the gutter sits on. Most of the time in South Australia, fascia is made of timber. Sometimes it has a metal covering and sometimes it is metal. Generally speaking, if the gutters have had a slow leak, fascia repairs will be needed.


This is the fascia attachment which carries the water away. There are a number of profiles and sizes, so it is important to make sure that you use the correct profile for the job. Generally different profiles will not 'fit' in with each other so sometimes if your current profile is not manufactured any more, you may need to replace the entire guttering to ensure a quality job. While the names of profiles change from manufacturer to manufacturer, you can get an idea of the types of profiles HERE

Gutters also come in a variety of materials. In Adelaide the most popular material is colorbond, however aluminium, poly and zincalume gutters are also available. Each sort of guttering material has its own pros and cons. (Message me if you want any details on the different materials.)


Downpipes are the pipes which carry the water out of the gutter and to the storm water drain or the garden. Generally they are round or rectangular and range from 50mm to 100mm. The size of the downpipe will be determined by the gutter profile and the amount of water you need to clear.


Pops look a little bit like top hats without ends. They are used to connect the downpipe to the gutter. Pops can be the cause of downpipes leaking as they may rust and cause leaks at the top of the downpipe.


Years ago guttering was only mitred at the corners. This would take more time and skill to install, so now a days, cast corners are used to cover the mitre joins and help to seal the corner. (They mean you do not need to be as effective at mitring and joining corners) Cast corners are either internal or external.

guttering basics adelaide


End caps are used to close off the end of the gutter profile. Usually against a wall or on the end of a run.


Gutter straps and clips are used to fix the gutters to the fascia. Special clips can be purchased which fit on the fascia and have different height settings to allow the ‘fall’ to be easily established. Straps are used to help support the gutters. Straps should be every 1m-1.2m. They can be internal or external


Elbows are used to join downpipe lengths which are changing direction. Typically elbows are either 45 degrees or 90 degrees.

There are a number of other guttering terms and parts which are part of guttering, however the above items are the most common. Knowing what these components are , will not do the work for you but it will help plan out the job properly, ensuring you get the right parts for the job.

Guttering materials are relatively inexpensive, but sometimes to do the job right and achieve a professional finish, lots of extras are required. No part on its own is expensive, but, they can add up quickly.

If you would like any advice or assistance getting the right materials together for your job - or if you live in South Australia and what some honest advice, Let's connect

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