Rainwater Drainage Gutters – A Lifeline for Your RWH System

Drainage gutter is an important component of any rainwater harvesting system, to have a good water harvest. There are some facets to be considered while adding the frame of the drainage gutters to your rooftops or other catchment areas; their build-up material, right size and maintenance requirements. This blog includes a brief discussion on these aspects. 

Rainwater harvesting is becoming a prominent method of investment to conserve water and recharging groundwater aquifers. The good quality and quantity of rainwater harvest are dependent on factors such as average rainfall of the place, the appropriateness of the methods used, proper maintenance of the system, soil quality, etc. Among these, the proper installation and care of drainage gutters is also an invincible factor.

Drainage gutters are meant to carry the runoff water securely before it is transferred to a downpipe, via which the water would reach the storage unit. The word gutter is derived from the Latin word “gutta” which means “a drop, spot or mark”. The water is channelized through these gutters to prevent water ingress into the fabric of the building. Otherwise, water flowing over the exterior walls and their foundations can lead to dampness, which will further weaken the structure and provide a favourable environment for the growth of molds and fungi.

Finding the right-sized drainage gutters

It involves complex arithmetic calculations to figure out the right-sized drainage gutters. The professionals can determine the perfectly fitted drainage gutters after considering the size & slope of the roof and the average maximum rainfall expected at the place. However, the required discharge outfall capacity in litres/sec can be calculated by multiplying the area of the roof in meters and rainfall in litres/sec. Ideally, the roof must be sloped towards a downspout as a ½ inch for every 10 feet to ensure proper drainage from the gutters. For gutters longer than 40 feet, they must be pitched from the middle or from each end, towards a single downspout.

Structuring a drainage gutter

The design of the roof or any catchment area must be designed to provide a suitable fall to allow the discharge of rainwater. A rain gutter can be installed in any of the following manners.

  • Along the lower edge of the roof slope, forming roof integral trough.
  • Suspension beyond the roof edge and below the slope, using a discrete trough of metal, or other material.
  • Beneath the roof edge as a wall integral structure.

The drainage gutters are supported by brackets from the bottom.

Types of drainage gutters

There are two basic shaped drainage gutters, being referred to the shape of their cross-section:

  1. K-style gutters – they have flat bottoms and backs, with a decoratively-shaped front side.
  2. Half-round gutters – they are made as half-round tubes, as seen in older & historic homes.

Based on the material used in their crafting, the following kinds are available:

  • Aluminium
  • Copper
  • Seamless Aluminium
  • Steel
  • Vinyl
  • Zinc
  • FRP (Fibre-reinforced plastic)

Maintenance tips for drainage gutters

The drainage gutters are exposed to all types of external factors which can affect the ease and quality of the water being transported through them. The frequency of the maintenance of gutter increases if the building is located near dense vegetation. There are more reasons to regularly monitor and clean the drainage gutters. The water might get stagnant in the clogged gutters, leading mosquitoes to breed and spread deadly diseases.

Here are some tips to maintain their health:

  • Foremostly, always cover rain gutters with gutter screens, micro-mesh screens, louvers or solid hoods to keep away the debris that might accompany the runoff water. The amount of debris collection is more during fall and before the arrival of the spring season.

Following categories of gutter guards are available in the market.

  • Brush gutter guards – they look like pipe cleaners. They are easy to install but are less effective in reducing smaller debris.
  • Foam gutter guards – they resemble Styrofoam. They are ineffective to prevent algae and plant growth.
  • Reverse curve or surface tension guards -they make the opening of the gutters narrower, which prevents big debris from entering the gutters. Though sound an effective solution, it makes cleaning and maintenance of gutters a bit difficult.
  • Screen gutter guards – it is a most common gutter guard. They are made up of metal or plastic and can be mounted. Micromesh gutter guards are found most effective in keeping small as well as large debris at the bay.
  • Gutters usually get damaged at berms and ditches. Any loose connection must be sealed asap.
  • Keep track of the slope dimensions. Improve the slope to match the dimensions of the gutter, if the slope is weathered due to wind or extreme climatic conditions.
  • Use a leaf blower to blow out dry debris. Do not forget to wear safety goggles or mask to avoid any piece from going into your eyes or mouth.
  • Clean even the slightest dirt or mud with the use of an on-off high-pressure hose nozzle or with the stiff scrub brush.
  • Smelling is usually not a problem of rainwater; the connection with the public collection of domestic sewage might be the cause though. If positive, you may have to change the position of either of the drainage systems.

The cost of installing the drainage gutters is fixed as per meter area of the roof. The expenses incurred would be for the materials used and the labour. PVC and vinyl gutters are the least expensive while the copper ones are most expensive.


High-Quality Roof Rainwater Drainage Gutters at Chaitanya

Fibre-reinforced plastic (FRP) is the most popular construction material in aerospace, automotive, marine, construction industries, and ballistic armor. Using FRP for the construction of rainwater drainage gutters has a long-lasting advantage.

To provide customized FRP roof rainwater drainage gutters, Chaitanya Systems offers designing, manufacturing, supplying, installing and commissioning solutions. The gutters along with MS support brackets are available in various sizes and grades with respect to the type of industry. It is advantageous to use them as they are light in weight, has lesser effect of corrosion, customizable, hole-free length and can handle the heavy load of the people while maintenance activities.


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