Roof drainage system


Roof drainage system

The gutter system for the roof allows you to collect and divert rainfall in an organized manner. What engineering solutions exist and how to choose a gutter system for the roof, we will tell you together with an expert
Roof drainage system
Roof drainage system. Photo:

In previous years, drains were often made, as they say, handicraft. Home craftsmen were looking for pipes, rolled metal, armed with a grinder and sculpted the system. Of course, there was no talk of high build quality. Now many large enterprises produce ready-made solutions in the format of a gutter-constructor from various materials, and some industries make gutter systems to order.

Useful information about roof gutters

There are different types of gutter materials available on the market. Below is a brief description of each type.

Type of drain Price category Strength and service life
PVC low and medium depends on raw material quality, 10-20 years
Copper maximum high, 50-100 years old
Zinc-titanium high high, 50-100 years old
Steel coated with aluzinc average high, up to 30 years
Cink Steel low and medium depends on raw material quality, 10-25 years
Aluminum above average medium, 50-100 years

There are no “good” and “bad” options for drainage systems (provided that production technologies and installation technologies are not violated). Each type of gutter has its own distinctive features, and the choice is based on both financial and aesthetic considerations.

Type of drain Basic properties
PVC The best balance of price / quality, widespread on the market, easy installation
Copper Premium solution, the most expensive type of drainage, almost forever
Zinc-titanium Another expensive option, for those who don’t like copper.
Steel coated with aluzinc Rarely found, better than the well-known galvanization due to the best anti-corrosion properties and increased strength
Cink Steel Common, for any wallet, stronger than PVC, but more complex installation.
Aluminum Rare on the market, suitable only for warm regions, since aluminum is more easily deformed when large volumes of water solidify, it is possible to make a structure without seams.

Rating of drainage systems by material of manufacture

1. PVC gutters

PVC gutters.  Photo:
PVC gutters. Photo:

Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) is commonly referred to as plastic. Modern PVC is durable and frost-resistant, and also lightweight, although there is still an opinion among the people that this is not the best material for an engineering system that is constantly under stress. However, there is no real basis for such claims.

PVC guttering is one of the most common types of gutter systems on the market today. Polyvinyl chloride, unlike steel, is not subject to corrosion (rust).

Key Features

  • The principle of the designer: you buy from one manufacturer the number of components you need — gutters, pipes, fasteners and connections.
  • They can be of different colors, matte and glossy.
  • Service life from 10 to 50 years and even more — the manufacturer indicates this information in the technical documentation.
  • Fast assembly and installation.
  • Wide range and choice of manufacturers of such drains. Including niche solutions, for example, for flat roofs or installation flush with the end of the house.
  • Choice of rectangular and round sections of gutters and pipes.

Pros and cons

Light weight of the structure, the possibility of self-assembly by one master, the possibility of prompt repair even in winter, if you buy a gutter system of a large brand, in which case you will quickly find the missing or failed components in construction markets, it does not make noise during heavy rains, it is not subject to corrosion , a large selection of colors, as well as the ability to order any color from the palette in some companies, the price is lower compared to analogues made of metal
Poor-quality plastic can burn out in the sun in a couple of seasons, so if you buy budget drains, choose light shades; plastic burns, although manufacturers are constantly improving technology to increase the fire safety of the material, however, it is not absolute


The average price tag for PVC gutter components is as follows:

Component Price
Gutter (3 m) 400 rub.
Gutter hook (bracket) 50 — 150 rubles.
Gutter connector 150 rub.
Funnel gutter 280 rub.
Downpipe (3 m) 400 — 500 rubles.
Gutter Angle 500 rub.
pipe clamp 150 rub.
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2. Copper gutters

Copper drains.  Photo:
Copper drains. Photo:

The easiest way to characterize them is the modern adage «expensive-rich.» Such a drainage system is chosen by owners who are not constrained by money, who pay increased attention to the exterior of the house.

This material can be called the most durable: a number of companies claim a service life of up to 300 years. We are unlikely to be able to verify this, but some manufacturers give a guarantee of 50 — 70 years, which is an important marker of service life.

Key Features

  • You can buy ready-made components or order an individual project.
  • Over time, patination occurs — an «artistic» darkening of the material, which has its fans.
  • Flexible metal, which in skillful hands can be adapted to complex types of roofing and even add artistry.

Pros and cons

Durability (a number of manufacturers have a guarantee of 50-70 years), the least susceptible to corrosion, non-combustible, goes well with natural materials (stone, wood) and brick
Over time, copper coatings lose their luster, these are the most expensive gutters among analogues made of other materials, often production work is done to order, which affects the timing, the material gets very hot in the sun, installation will be expensive, since an increased degree of accuracy is required from the team, during installation, soldering is used, which fastens different components, so in the event of a breakdown, you are unlikely to be able to repair it yourself


On average, 1 linear meter of a copper drain will cost you from 8,000 rubles, including installation. Here are the prices for individual components.

Component Price
Gutter (3 m) 20 000 rub.
Downpipe (1 m) 7000 rub.
Gutter Angle 5000 — 7000 rubles.
Gutter hook (bracket) 2500 — 4500 rubles.
Gutter connector 2500 rub.
Funnel gutter 4000 rub.
Pipe fasteners 2600 rub.

3. Zinc-titanium gutters

Zinc-titanium gutters.  Photo:
Zinc-titanium gutters. Photo:

Zinc-titanium has become widespread in roofing. Contrary to the name, both metals in the composition are not in equal proportions, otherwise such a drain would literally cost like a “Boeing wing”, because titanium is used in the aircraft industry.

In the case of drains, everything is simpler. Zinc is taken as the basis and titanium and copper are added to it at 0.1 — 0.2% each, so that the material becomes more durable and resistant to corrosion. This process is called doping.

These drains are also durable — some companies claim that the structure will last up to 100 years.

Key Features

  • A plastic material that can be made to order.
  • The material is distinguished by a noble gray color that will look organically in high-tech style projects.
  • For production, thick sheet metal 0.6 — 0.7 mm is used.
  • Production under the order or from ready elements.
  • The cross section of the pipe and gutters is rectangular or round.

Pros and cons

Long service life, uniform color of all elements, does not require special care, non-combustible material, withstands higher loads than galvanized steel and PVC
Over time, a patina forms on the material — a “plaque”, which, on the one hand, protects the metal from corrosion, but deprives the drain of its former brilliance, installation and repair of the drain should be done only at positive air temperatures, cheaper than copper drains, but still expensive compared to other materials , you need to avoid contact with copper and iron elements — this leads to corrosion of zinc-titanium, there are not many companies on the market that work with this material, so you will have to look for a contractor outside of Central Russia


On average, 1 linear meter of a zinc-titanium drain will cost you from 6,000 rubles, including installation. Here are the prices for individual components.

Component Price
Gutter (3 m) 18 500 rub.
Downpipe (1 m) 5700 rub.
Gutter Angle 5000 — 6500 rubles.
Gutter hook (bracket) 350 rub.
Gutter connector 2500 rub.
Funnel gutter 3000 rub.
Pipe fasteners 500 rub.

4. Aluzinc (aluzinc) gutters

Aluminum gutters.  Photo:
Aluminum gutters. Photo:

The full name of the material is «aluminum zinc», but in everyday life there is also an abbreviated version of «aluzinc».

Aluzinc is an alloy of aluminum and zinc (almost in equal proportions) with a small addition of silicon (about 1.5%). Please note that aluzinc is not the material of the entire gutter system, but an additional coating of steel. It does not heat up in the open sun, thanks to the addition of aluminum, it resists rust better than “galvanizing”. The service life of the material is about 30 years.

Key Features

  • Lightweight and durable material.
  • It looks more solid, better quality than galvanized steel, and even surpasses it in terms of characteristics: it is least susceptible to corrosion and has higher strength.
  • There are only frosted pipes and gutters.
  • Can be coated with polyurethane for added protection and color matching.

Pros and cons

Does not heat up in the sun, resists rust well, service life is about 30 years, with a polyurethane layer, you can choose colors
Weak prevalence: there are not so many large companies that work with such material


The table shows the average prices for individual components of aluminum-zinc gutters.

Component Price
Gutter (3 m) 450 rub.
Downpipe (1 m) 300 rub.
Gutter Angle 500 rub.
Gutter hook (bracket) 130 rub.
Gutter connector 200 rub.
Funnel gutter 450 rub.
Pipe fasteners 140 rub.

5. Steel gutters (galvanized steel gutters)

Steel gutters.  Photo:
Steel gutters. Photo:

In everyday life, the name “steel gutters” is accepted, but it is more correct to call them gutters made of galvanized steel.

If you are just starting construction and have little idea what material it looks like, then look at the gutters of old high-rise buildings — they are just made of galvanized sheet. The truth before your eyes, probably, will appear not the best sample — battered by time (crumpled) and hastily mounted by public utilities. But modern drainage systems for private housing construction look very nice.

«Galvanization» is distinguished by an affordable price. And there are plenty of companies on the market that work with this material. The best brands offer galvanized steel with an additional polymer coating. For such drains, you can choose colors from the catalog.

The weak point of such a drainage system is the welds, which can disperse when the frozen water expands.

Key Features

  • Steel thickness — 0.5 — 0.6 mm.
  • The cut is round or rectangular.
  • Together with PVC, it is included in the top of the most common materials for gutters.
  • Can be coated with polyurethane or pural, a thin layer of polymer that resists corrosion and adds color.
  • Service life 25 — 30 years.

Pros and cons

The main advantages of steel gutters are:

Affordable price, there are many companies that work with this material, you can choose colors and even order from a palette catalog if there is a coating, it is not afraid of fire, when water freezes inside the metal can deform, but not crack (if we are talking about high-quality drainage), galvanized steel does not change color over time
It makes noise in the rain, if the steel is coated with a polymer, the latter can fade in the sun, the installation should be carried out by a team of professionals; welds can burst when frozen water expands, if the metal is scratched, then corrosion will begin at the defect site


Here are the average prices for steel gutters in Russia. For convenience, we indicate the breakdown into components.

Component Price
Gutter (3 m) 800 — 1300 rubles.
Downpipe (1 m) 350 — 700 rubles.
Gutter Angle 1000 — 1500 rubles.
Gutter hook (bracket) 100 — 250 rubles.
Gutter connector 300 — 600 rubles.
Funnel gutter 500 rub.
Pipe fasteners 180 rub.

6. Aluminum gutters

Aluminum gutters.  Photo:
Aluminum gutters. Photo:

A rare guest on the domestic market of drainage systems. Only a few manufacturers and suppliers in the Russian market deal with them. The reason for this is an indefinite price category (more expensive than «galvanization» and PVC, but cheaper than copper and cyclo-titanium), which also poorly correlates with the strength of aluminum.

In other words, aluminum drainage systems are more expensive than galvanized steel and plastic solutions, but their strength in conditions of frequent temperature changes and taking into account the freezing of gutters and pipes is lower. Therefore, businesses rarely work with this material.

Key Features

  • Use aluminum with a thickness of 0.7 — 1.2 mm.
  • Possibility of creating a drain using seamless technology.
  • Coating with a colored protective layer is possible.
  • The service life of the material declared by the manufacturers is up to 100 years.

Pros and cons

High anti-corrosion properties of the material, non-combustible material, the ability to produce a structure using seamless technology, which means it will have fewer potential vulnerabilities, with an additional polymeric decorative layer, you can choose a color
Only professional installation is required, high coefficient of linear expansion, therefore not suitable for regions with extremely low temperatures, there are few suppliers and manufacturers of such drainage systems


The average prices for individual elements of aluminum gutters are as follows:

Component Price
Gutter (3 m) 500 — 2500 rubles.
Downpipe (1 m) 800 rub.
Gutter Angle 1000 — 2000 rubles.
Gutter hook (bracket) 350 rub.
Gutter connector 500 rub.
Funnel gutter 500 rub.
Pipe fasteners 350 — 500 rubles.

How to choose a roof drainage system

Without a drainage system, water will break the blind area around the house and its basement. In addition, moisture can get on the walls, which is especially critical for private low-rise construction — mold, high humidity, rotting and other troubles.

And if you are a prudent owner or adhere to the idea of ​​​​reasonable consumption, you can equip the drainage system so that it collects precipitation, for example, in a barrel or even in a special tank. This water can be used for irrigation and other household needs.

Steel gutter or plastic

Not a single spear was broken in the discussions of the master installers on this topic. From which we can conclude that the answer to the question lies in the subjective plane. The main argument against plastic is that it can crack due to temperature changes or due to the expansion of frozen water. But the metal can also be deformed and disperse at the junction. There is only one truth in this matter: competent installation and high-quality materials are the key to the perfect functioning of the drain.

Standard sizes of drainage systems

No less attention should be paid to the diameter of gutters, pipes and funnels. In fact, this determines the throughput of the entire system. The pattern is simple: the larger the diameter of the elements, the greater the snow and rain load they can withstand, the larger the roof area such a system can serve.

The average dimensions of gutters and pipes for a drainage system for private housing construction in Russia:

  • 120 — 125 mm gutter diameter or about 150 mm for large houses with a roof area of ​​100 m² and one drainage funnel.
  • 80 — 100 mm pipe diameter.

It will be useful to study the document “SP 20.13330.2016. Loads and impacts»one. It contains a map «Zoning the territory of the Russian Federation by the weight of the snow cover.» There is no direct correlation between these data and the standard sizes of the drain, but given that eight «snow» zones are distinguished in our country, you can roughly understand how high the snow load is in your region.

Drains according to GOST

Now in Russia there are no existing GOSTs for drainage systems. Companies can obtain a voluntary certificate of compliance of their production standards with regulatory documents.

Sometimes domestic companies refer to the European analogues of our guests — DIN and BS EN ISO. DIN EN 612-2005 describes standards for metal drainage systems, BS EN ISO 6259-1:2001 0 is relevant for plastic pipes.

Clean and protect gutters

During the season, a lot of small and large debris collects on the roof of the house. The greatest threat to the drain is leaves and fragments of branches. Saved from them:

  • protective gratings for gutters;
  • embossed coating inside the gutter that prevents sticking.

However, these protective measures are not exhaustive. Make it a rule to manually clean the drain at least once a year. Otherwise, in a couple of seasons, it can become so clogged with soil that moss, grass will sprout in it, and even trees can begin to sprout.

If the roof is flat

For this, you can also equip a cornice drainage, but the most modern solution is a funnel or an internal drain (these are synonyms). The funnel is mounted vertically in the roof itself or in the roof parapet (if any).


Brackets for the gutter are long and short. Long — an option for those who mount the roof and the gutter system at the same time. Since, due to their dimensions, they cannot be fixed after the arrangement of the roof. Short hooks are the most common solution on the market. Such fasteners can be installed both on a new roof and when updating the drainage system on an old house.

When installing hooks, be sure to observe the distance — a step of 50 or 60 cm. The exact instructions are given by the system manufacturer. If there are no instructions or you ordered everything from private masters, then stop at a step of 50 cm.

Popular questions and answers

Andrey Golovanov, the manager for the development of the Plastics product line of the TECHNONICOL company, answers the questions.

Which gutter system is better — plastic or metal?

Both options are good — it’s more a matter of taste preferences. There are people who will never buy PVC despite its many benefits.

In addition, many manufacturers for both plastic and metal systems produce metal brackets.

However, for coastal areas, plastic is more preferable, as metal can begin to rust faster. For northern regions with severe frosts, it is probably more appropriate to choose metal.

How can you save on the purchase and installation of a drainage system?

It is almost impossible to save money on the purchase of a drainage system, since it is made as a constructor. You cannot, for example, remove any part from the car without consequences. So in the case of the drainage system: if you save on something, you simply will not collect it.

The only savings options here are self-delivery, installation on your own, and tracking promotions from sellers and manufacturers.

How to correctly calculate the diameter of downpipes?

This is a common question, but it is worded incorrectly. The throughput of the drain is measured by the diameter of the gutter, since the pipes will let through almost any amount of water from the gutter they are designed with.

Attention to the diameter of the pipes has been preserved with us since the times of the USSR, since the SNIPs that set the standards for drainage systems were drawn up for high-rise buildings with flat roofs. That is, gutters were not placed on them, so the diameter of the pipes was really crucial.

But for a pitched roof, which is most common in low-rise or individual housing construction, this approach is not applicable. You are unlikely to calculate the required gutter diameter on your own, and this is not necessary. It is necessary to focus on the manufacturer’s data, which indicates for which area of ​​u200bu200bthe roof this or that product is suitable.

What to do if the plastic drain is cracked?

Replacement required, repair not possible. Replacement is easy: you need to buy a part of a pipe or gutter from the same manufacturer, remove the damaged fragment and replace it with a new one. But it is always necessary to find out why the breakdown occurred, otherwise it will be repeated endlessly.

Do I need additional coating of PVC or metal pipes?

No need. Once you have applied any coating to the product, you void the warranty.

How do you know if the gutter material is compatible with the roof material?

The roofing material and the gutter material do not influence each other. Yes, there is an opinion that PVC gutter systems should be installed on a soft roof, and a gutter made of the same material should be installed on a metal roof. But in fact, this is a complete fallacy.

What to pay attention to when accepting work on the installation of a drain?

1. Distance between brackets. It should not exceed 60 cm. Near each connecting element there should also be brackets on both sides at a distance of no more than 10 cm from the connection.

2. To install the gutter relative to the roof plane. The gutter should be installed lower by 10-20 cm from the roof line.

3. Distance from the ground to the bottom of downpipes. It is recommended to maintain a distance of 20-25 cm, otherwise water will accumulate and freeze in the pipes.

4. For the absence of sealant in the joints. It is forbidden to use it with PVC gutters, since the plastic expands in the sun, and narrows in the cold, and the sealant “fetters” this process, which can lead to damage to the drain.