Steel Guttering - Features And Benefits
Having long been the favoured choice of guttering material in Europe, Steel is now becoming more and more in demand on both new and refurbishment projects in the UK. Once difficult to source, this material is now readily available from true guttering specialists in a variety of sizes and colours. There a number of reasons why homeowners and developers make this choice and we have outlined the most common considerations below.
Steel in an alloy made from two tough elements – carbon and iron. When carbon is added to iron it reduces its ductility (the ability of a material to be stretched into a wire). Thus the addition of carbon stabilises the iron and improves its hardness and tensile strength, making the resulting steel alloy an ideal material for use in construction.
Furthermore when steel is galvanised (a process involving coating with Zinc) it becomes resistant to most types of corrosion. Our Galeco Steel gutters are all made from Galvanised Steel and each piece incorporates four layers of material – the Galvanised Steel base layer, a special passivation layer for further corrosion protection, a primer layer and the final organic paint layer. The process enables us to offer a market-leading 35 year guarantee against mechanical defects and a 15 year guarantee on the finish.
Resistance to Expansion
Unlike PVC, the expansion of steel gutter systems is negligible. This means that provided it is correctly installed, steel guttering will never move, making it ideal for installation in climates like ours where there is a great variation in temperature. This is one of the main reasons that steel is popular in continental Europe.
The capacity of a steel gutter system is greater than the like-for-like equivalent PVC gutter. This is because it is generally deeper in profile than the PVC system and wider across the top of the gutter, enabling it to carry more water away. Downpipes are generally larger than the PVC versions too, with 90mm diameter pipes coming as standard.
As steel is so tough and durable most items produced from it commonly have a long life cycle, and steel gutters are no different. At the end of this cycle steel can be totally recycled, endearing it to developers and planning departments everywhere.
Steel gutters add interest and kerb appeal to any style of building, acting as both a decorative feature and a real differentiator. The popular galvanised finish is futuristic in appearance whilst the obvious metallic look shouts strength and functionality, making it suitable for both modern and traditional buildings. Whilst the black choice is readily available, other colours not found amongst PVC gutter systems are also stocked – colours such as the eye-catching Copper Effect and the quietly distinctive Graphite Grey.
Ease of Handling
Whilst it is heavier than PVC guttering, Steel gutters are much lighter than Cast Iron, which are also still very popular in the UK. This makes each length simple to manoeuvre and much easier to install than cast iron – the 3m gutter and pipe lengths also reduce installation time, as due to weight restrictions all cast iron gutters and downpipes are manufactured in 1.8m lengths.