You can now buy Zinc Box profile gutters on the Rainclear Systems website rainclear.co.uk.
The Quartz Zinc rainwater system is also available in a half round profile with simple to install fittings for the average domestic project. But the two systems are aimed at different projects and skills sets. The Box profile system is more suited to a large house with a high-pitched roof or small commercial buildings, where a high capacity gutter is required, and is designed to be soldered where the gutter lengths and corners join (and to insert patch outlets - you cut out the hole for the spigot using a hole cutter of 75mm or 92mm diameter depending on the diameter of downpipe being fitted). Therefore, this system requires a slightly higher skill set, and the 120mm wide fascia brackets are far stronger (recommended spaced at 400mm intervals) to support a greater weight of water or snow load.
If you are unsure which size gutter best suits your project, please contact us on 0800 644 44 26. We can make a flow calculation to ensure that the gutters will cope with run off in the worst of the British weather. We’ll need to ask for dimensions of the roof area, roof pitch/slope and the geographic location of the project.
Timber you should not use Zinc Gutters with
- Cedar (red or white)
- Douglas Pine
- All wood with pH < 5
- Fir (red or white)
Also avoid contact with copper or water run-off from areas of copper (like copper roofs) to prevent the possibility of electrolytic corrosion.
Zinc is in plentiful supply throughout the earth’s crust and mined globally. It is considered to be one of the most sustainable metals used in construction because its low melting point requires less energy to convert it into recyclable material, and each recycling process takes away none of the mechanical and chemical properties that make it such a high-quality material (30% of world production comes from recycled material). Just one of the reasons it has become a popular choice compared to other types of metals and materials like plastic.
With everyone rightly focusing on environmentally friendly products, zinc is a great choice being abundant, 100% recyclable, and so durable that its long-life span means it is cost effective both for your wallet and for the environment. In rural areas (where pollution is low) its serviceable life can be well in excess of a hundred years (The average rate of corrosion of VMZINC rolled zinc is 1μm per year. With an initial thickness of 0.7mm, a simple calculation demonstrates that the estimated life span of rolled zinc is over a hundred years).
The unique appearance of the Quartz Zinc finish makes it the perfect choice of guttering if you’re looking to make a statement. Pre-weathered like the Quartz Zinc is, it is a similar colour to lead, so it can be used on stone or period properties that are being refurbished and can also look great on contemporary style new builds.
Zinc is unaffected by weather conditions. It does not corrode, but instead builds up a patina, which is a layer that protects the metal, meaning the gutters do not require any painting or coating for protection. As the patina continues to build-up, it hides imperfections such as scratches, so there’s very little maintenance necessary to keep it looking good.
The pre-weathered zinc used to manufacture the Quartz Zinc rainwater system will not discolour, distort or become brittle over time. Cut edges (you cut final lengths with a hacksaw) will not corrode as the natural self-protecting patina develops over time.
Zinc is poisonous to moss and algae, meaning that there is little build-up of plant materials over time which would otherwise contribute to blockages in the guttering. This reduces the need for maintenance and gutter clearing, apart from periodical removal of leaves and other debris as and when required (annually). And it is great for collecting and storing rainwater.
- Lightweight and durable
- Minimal expansion and creaking
- Low maintenance
- Self-protecting natural patina – will not corrode
- Fully recyclable
- Soldered gutter joints, gutter angles (you can buy preformed corners, but they need to be soldered to the gutter lengths) and patch outlets (added flexibility – cut the hole/drop anywhere along the length of the gutter that it is required)
- Lasts more than 50 years
Although one of the benefits of zinc listed above is its minimal expansion, soldered gutters must allow for some thermal movement. Traditional high point movement joints* can be used as can the soldered expansion joints. These should be installed between fixed points (i.e. the patch outlet/drops) with a max distance of 8m between expansion joints.
* Notes- Traditional high point movement joint:
What exactly is an expansion joint? Simply stated, a box gutter is terminated with an end cap as if the gutter has ended. Then, a space of an inch or two separates that section of gutter from the next, which begins with another end cap. The space between the pair of end caps is covered with a clamped cap to prevent water entry and to allow the separate sections of gutter to move back and forth with temperature changes (see below). Because an expansion joint consists of two terminations in the gutter system, it creates a dam in the system, preventing the flow of water across the joint. An expansion joint, therefore, should be located at a high point in the gutter, as water will then flow away from the expansion joint rather than try to flow through it. [http://www.traditionalroofing.com/TR6_expansion_joints.html Accessed 22/08/19]