Movement of gutter and unions causing leaks.

8 May 2007
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United Kingdom
My guttering is driving me crazy. Two years ago I had uPVC fascias fitted along with new half-round plastic rain water guttering. Some months ago when it rained I saw water pouring down past one of my windows. Investigation showed that a length of gutter had moved completely out of one of the union joints allowing water to pour out instead of running along to the downpipe. I pushed the length of gutter back in and managed to unseat another length in another union further along. I've spent many months repeatedly patching these with gutter sealant but they always eventually move and leak again.

It rained yesterday for the first time in weeks and I discovered the same thing has now happened to the gutter on the back of my house. When I look up I can see daylight between the end of a length of gutter and the union it is supposed to be seated in.

I want to fix this once and for all but don't know why this is happening. Is it because the guttering fitted is poor quality and the only solution is to replace it with something that doesn't expand/contract and come away from the unions ? Does such a type of guttering exist ? Or is it because it has not been fitted correctly in the first place and so getting someone to refix it would solve the movement problem ?

I never had any problems with the plastic guttering I had before my new fascias and guttering were fitted.

Any experience of this and advise appreciated.
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Is it black by any chance? Black gutter does expand and shrink quite a bit.

I think the problem is the fitters just simply haven't cut the lengths properly, maybe they just had enough gutter just to cover the rubber seals when really the gutter should go right into the unions up to the 'insert gutter here' line. :?:
Hello there

This is not uncommon at all, i've been called to jobs like this even with white guttering -true it does expand and contract even as much 2 inches each end!! There isn't really a 'cure' to prevent this from happening you can only have it fitted by a reputable company which provide a guarantee, and use quality materials. Usually gutter lengths are 3-4m so you can measure them yourself and see how much they have shrunk, if not- then as mw roofline says, the fitters have probably cut a corner somewhere and stretched the joints excessively. If you replace them use a quality supplier such as omnico who specialise in plastic guttering and dont head toward places like b&q! Good luck
Yes this is a typical result of using poxy 'trades' men. And I see a lot of these within 6 months of a gypsy camp moving on

The gutter has been cut too short.

You could see if it clips back in, but often you will need to move the gutter union over slightly and replace a length of gutter (the shortest or cut piece) with one a bit longer
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Many thanks to each of you for you speedy responses. The gutter is black and I was up a ladder in the pouring rain this morning having yet another closer look and trying to clip it together in a vain attempt to stop my small back garden from flooding. I didn't have any knowledge of how guttering should be fitted but from what I saw this morning and what you have all said I think you have all 'hit the nail on head'. The gutter has not been pushed up to the stop point in the union joints. I suspect that the builder who fitted the gutter found that 3 full lengths of gutter properly fitted were about 6 inches shorter than he needed. So instead of cutting more gutter and using another union joint he simply slipped the gutter back out of each end of the unions by an inch so that it was in line with the end of the fascia. As you all say, this has allowed the gutter to expand and contract and eventually move up to the stop point in one end of the union while coming completely out of the other end.

As you suggest, I think I need another couple of unions and a length of gutter so that I can add a union to front and back of house and push all the joints fully in with an extra couple of feet of gutter. Not too expensive apart from the fact that I am a nervous wreck when I'm up a ladder and so I think I'll have to get someone in to do it.

Many thanks again, what you have said makes perfect sense with what I have seen this morning, I've still got the problem but at least I now understand why.
^woody^ said:
Yes this is a typical result of using poxy 'trades' men. And I see a lot of these within 6 months of a *gypsy* camp moving on
You can`t say that :eek: :eek: must call them ....itinerant :LOL: ;)

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