Introduction to Rainwater Drainage…

Posted by judy


If you live in Britain then you will not be in the least bit surprised to learn that heavy rain is considered to be a ‘common occurrence’ in the UK. Indeed, it is estimated that the UK experiences an average rainfall of 750mm every year.

Of course, heavy rain can cause significant damage to properties which aren’t adequately maintained. So, if you live in an area where heavy rainfall is likely to be an issue, it is vital that you don’t just have good hands-on knowledge of your home’s rainwater drainage, guttering and downpipes, but that you are also able to identify problems when they occur.
So what kind of things should you know about?
Read on to find out.

Guttering and Downpipes

Your guttering is arguably the most important aspect of your rainwater drainage system as it is your home’s first line of defence against rainfall. This simple yet vital system works by catching water as it drains off your roof and then directing it through downpipes away from your home.

It is important that you take the time to regularly check your guttering and downpipes (naturally, you should carry out more frequent checks when it has been raining heavily). If water begins leaking over the edge of your guttering or at the joint where two pieces of guttering connect then you may well have a blockage in your drainage system. It is important to remove blockages as soon as you can as a blockage that is left in place will inevitably end up causing some kind of damage to your guttering or downpipes.

Gutter Outlets and Drainage Gullies

The gutter outlet is responsible for channelling rainwater directly into your downpipes. Most gutter outlets are straight, although homes with overhanging eaves may require variants with double bends (known as ‘swan necks’).

The gully is a ground-level drain into which rainwater from your downpipes is channelled. Most gullies these days have underground u-bends to help stop unwelcome odours from escaping up the downpipe. It’s very common for gullies to get blocked with leaves and debris in the colder months. Therefore, you should make sure your gullies are inspected and cleaned on a regular basis.


Most new-build houses are fitted with PVCu guttering, although many older homes still have cast iron gutters. Both these materials use similar components and are constructed in the same basic way (utilising sections of guttering, a gutter outlet and a downpipe). In general, cast iron guttering requires more maintenance than PVCu; however, it is fair to say that cast iron components often look more appropriate on older properties.

Aluminium guttering is also an option. Whilst aluminium is more expensive than PVCu and cast iron, it is very hardwearing and requires very little in the way of maintenance.

Of course, we here at Alumasc are able to provide drainage systems to suit all properties. To find out more and view our offerings in greater detail, simply take a few moments to browse our pages further.

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