Install PVC gutters

Install PVC gutters

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What gutter?

PVC profiles (gray or sand) are economical and easier to install than traditional zinc gutters, since it suffices to glue them - or to nest them for jointed models. You can also opt, especially in renovation, for copper or zinc gutters that can be welded, or be assembled without welding, with joints. Finally, you will find gutters in lacquered aluminum and in composite material (polyester resins and additives), with high impact and weather resistance.


It is perfectly within the reach of the amateur, who finds at his disposal all the types of hooks, fittings for outgoing and entering angles, births and descents that he needs. However, serious precautions must be taken. Do not hesitate to rent scaffolding, and mount it correctly on firm ground: you will work more conveniently and more surely.

PVC gutter

Profile and section

The main characteristic of a gutter (whether it has a rounded or square section) is its evacuation capacity. Of course, the rain regime varies from region to region, but the gutter must be able to evacuate the runoff on the roof of a large prolonged thunderstorm. Each model therefore corresponds to a maximum roof area, and this must be taken into account when purchasing. Likewise, each profile corresponds to a specific section for the descent. In a borderline case, you can also give a flow slope of 6 to 8 mm per linear meter. Each gutter profile is designated by a reference - 25 in general for individual houses.

Types of gutters


Channels and gutters

The channels are channels located at the end of a roof section but integrated into the shell. Originally, they were made of stone or terracotta; subsequently, they were covered with lead. Evacuation was by gargoyles or lead descents. When cast iron and zinc replaced lead (during the 19th century), the oak became a simple channel independent of the main structure, that is to say a gutter. This is sometimes fixed on the very edge of the roofing (Le Havre gutter), but most often it is a hanging gutter, fixed by hooks on the roof strip or on the ends of the rafters.

No twist

To assemble two parts, in particular the downspouts, simply fit them together, without twisting the male or female parts. Glue the two parts and wipe off the burrs immediately after assembly. It is not necessary to wait for drying to continue. Note that the rigid PVC glue is flammable and that its minimum processing temperature is 8 ° C.

The hooks

There is a wide range of hooks to choose from depending on the material to which they are attached. The most common are the models for headbands (visible or invisible). You will also find stems, that is to say legs that are fixed on the face (and not on the end) of the rafters, hooks with adjustable chevrons (which facilitate adjustment), hooks with point , which we drive into the wood, and also stirrups to fix the gutter directly on the corrugated sheet.


Rainwater can be led, leaving the dolphin (bottom of the descent), to a drainage channel or to a siphon in the yard, to the storm or sanitary sewer, or to a natural drainage (stream). In the case of a small rainwater in a tank to be used for watering the garden (the overflow being connected to a drain). In the countryside, when there is no natural evacuation and the land lends itself to it, build a sump (lost well) but remember that only the rainwater pipe can be connected to it, to the 'exclusion from the waters of sluice gates due to the risks of pollution of groundwater. A real sump is a masonry work (brick, concrete block, concrete) whose walls, in the lower part, are provided with barbacans allowing the evacuation. It is covered with a hatch allowing cleaning.

How to buy ?

The elements (PVC, zinc or copper) are generally sold in a length of 2 or 4 m. However, some manufacturers of polyester or lacquered aluminum gutters offer lengths of 6 or 9 m, or even on request. Take precise measurements (length of the strip for the gutter itself and height of the descent) and make a diagram, mentioning the location of the fittings, joints, hooks, births, connection sleeves, dolphins, junctions or jambons, so as not to forget anything.

Tools and materials

• Scaffolding
Tracer line
Mesureing tape
Mesureing tape
Pickaxe and shovel
Edge plank
Wood protection product
Trumpet screw
PVC glue
Cleats Savoir faire faire © La maison rustique - éditions Flammarion, 2005