How Do Rainwater Drainage Systems Work?

For anyone living in a region with a damp climate such as the UK, a rainwater drainage system is essential. Providing valuable protection against heavy rainfall, a rainwater system that is properly installed can save thousands of pounds worth of damage being done and ensure the comfort and safety of the homeowner and their family.

The rainwater drainage system is made up of a number of important parts, each contributing a valuable role that ensures the optimal functioning of the entire system. So, what are these parts and how do they ensure the protection of a property in heavy weather?

As many may be able to imagine, guttering is one of the key parts of an effective rainwater drainage system. When rain falls on a property, guttering is the first in line to catch water and channel it safely away as it falls on your roof.

The guttering directs water to downpipes, which are the next essential part of the rainwater drainage system. These channel water down and away from the home making way for the next volume of water that the guttering collects.

The part that delivers collected rainwater into the downpipe is called a gutter outlet, and this is usually straight in shape. However, homes with over hanging eaves sometimes need the installation of a special double bend gutter outlet known as a swan neck.

It is important for every homeowner to check on a regular basis that the guttering and downpipes are working effectively. If water is spilling over the sides of guttering or leaking from a downpipe, this may be a sign of a blockage somewhere in the system. Clearing this blockage will make sure that the entire rainwater drainage system will start functioning as normal again.

The standard size of guttering that any home should have is at least 100mm wide. This size is normally sufficient to handle atypical heavy downpour of rain. On the other hand, property owners in areas that suffer with particular heavy rainstorms may consider investing in a high capacity rain water system to better meet their needs.

High capacity guttering and downpipes are larger in diameter and will be better able to cope with the increased volumes of water they need to carry. A professional will be best placed to advise you on the particular needs of your property in order to ensure maximum protection of your home in heavy weather.

After the water has travelled through the guttering, gutter outlets and downpipes, it is disposed of via a gully. This part of the rainwater drainage system is a drain at ground level which delivers water into underground drainage pipes.

Gullies can unfortunately suffer from blockages as much as guttering and downpipes; this is usually a seasonal occurrence caused by falling leaves in the autumn or other debris blown there by the wind. Similarly to other parts of the rainwater drainage system, gullies should be checked regularly for blockages and measures taken to unblock them if necessary.

There are a few materials that are commonly used to manufacture a rainwater drainage system. The most common material is PVCu, which is a relatively inexpensive and efficient option for the typical homeowner. Older properties may have cast iron rainwater drainage systems, and although these can be more attractive, they usually require more maintenance.

Another option is installing an aluminium rainwater system. This is considered the most efficient choice due to its durable and low-maintenance nature, although it is more expensive making it possibly unnecessary for homeowners with smaller budgets.

These are the basics of any rainwater drainage system. With a few main components that work efficiently together, and available in a variety of materials, the rainwater drainage system is an essential solution for protecting your home against the worst of bad weather conditions.