To preserve the longevity of a building and avoid leaks and ingress points, it is essential to consider how rainwater runs off and its drainage network. First of all, it must comply with the health standards in force. Even with a private property, you cannot do everything yourself and must comply with the regulations. Some councils have very strict regulations on this point. To find out more, you must ask your local town planning department.
There are several options when it comes to a solution. You can have rainwater run off into an urban drainage network, use it to water your garden or collect it in a water tank or sump. From there, you can use it either for your home water supply or to water your plants. Be aware that you can only recover water from the roof, not from the ground. The last solution is the most economical and ecological. But it has to be easy to implement!
Creating a rainwater drainage network
The rainwater drainage system is crucial when designing a home. It is done on two levels, the roof and the foundations.
When rain falls on the roof, the water slides down towards the gutters or gently sloping channels and runs off down the walls. At the bottom of each down pipe, this water is collected in a butt.
The rainwater is then routed to a standalone or separate drainage network, distributed in the garden or on a public road (if there is a separate network) or stored in a rainwater tank.
It is also essential to install drains around the house for rainwater to run off. Drains are simply pipes with holes that are used to recover water from soil drainage.
They are placed about 60 cm deep around the foundations and covered with a geotextile membrane. The membrane is designed to prevent the grooves from clogging with mud or anything else in the ground. They are then covered and collect the absorbed water in a well.
These two elements are the main components of the rainwater drainage network.
Gutters designed to run off rainwater
By law, your house must have gutters for the rainwater to run off. Indeed, the law stipulates that rainwater must be channelled on your land and not on your neighbour's. Otherwise, it will quickly become a source of conflict with your neighbours and usually requires a substantial amount of work. Make sure this does not happen.
There are two types of gutter: hanging and seamless.
A hanging gutter is a generally a half-pipe gutter located under the lower part of a sloping roof. A seamless gutter is flatter and positioned on a cornice or directly on the rafters of the roof.
Rainwater gutters come in all kinds of materials, each with their own advantages and disadvantages.
PVC has the big advantage of being cheap and very easy to install and maintain. It also adapts well to different types of construction. But be careful, as it is sensitive to temperature variations.
Zinc is probably the most classic and most commonly used material. Its appearance is discreet and suitable for old houses, with a proven level of resistance. Hanging these gutters is quite technical and you will have to make sure that whoever does the work is well qualified.
Solid, aesthetic and light, galvanised steel is fairly economical and easy to install, it also suits large gutters better.
Copper is very resistant but weathers over time. Although expensive, this malleable material has the advantage of adapting to complex shapes.
Choose your material according to budget but also to suit the architecture of the house. Indeed, some materials are more suited to old buildings while others are more at home on modern constructions.
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To preserve the longevity of a building and avoid leaks and ingress points, it is essential to consider how rainwater runs off and its drainage network. First of all, it must comply with the health standards in force. Even with a private property, you cannot do everything yourself and must comply with the regulations.
How to protect your guttering ?
Gutter maintenance is not the easiest of jobs but it needs to be done to ensure that rainwater drains effectively. Plant debris such as leaves, twigs or even moss tend to collect in and block the gutter. And because of its weight, snow can damage it too. To stop the gutter from getting blocked and to avoid damage to the building, a number of gutter protection systems, such as leaf guards, prevent the accumulation of solid debris and promote the flow of water. Protecting your gutter is therefore the best way to maintain it.