Cast Iron Effect - Features & Benefits
Cast Iron Effect Guttering is a decorative type of PVC Gutter that first appeared early in the 21stCentury. Unlike all other PVC gutters, which have a smooth glossy finish, Cast Iron Effect has a mottled, satin finish that resembles real cast iron. The fittings have also been styled to mimic the real thing, with downpipe fittings in particularly cleverly moulded to look very different from normal PVC and much more like their Victorian predecessors. Cast Iron Effect is a specialist item than is rarely stocked by general Builders Merchants.
It is more expensive than standard PVC guttering but is cheaper than genuine cast iron. Most UK gutter manufacturers now supply a Cast Effect gutter in their portfolio as standard.
Choice of Cast Iron Effect Gutter Styles
Half Round is probably the closest in appearance to the original cast iron, although Victorian Ogee was popular on grander properties. The Ogee version also has the largest capacity of the three, although the Deep Flow system, which is a semi-oval shape, also has a much greater capacity than Half Round.
The downpipe system that is most popular is the circular one, with moulded “ears” on the clips, sockets and shoes. Square downpipes are also available in cast iron effect; this is sometimes used in conjunction with the Ogee system. A Soil and Vent pipe system is available to match – this looks very effective on external soil stack installations. All of the above choices are held in stock in large quantities at Gutter Supplies.
Cast Iron Effect has a satin black mottled textured finish. It is very difficult to tell it apart from real metal at any distance other than very close up. For those wishing to match up to other finishes the exact colour if RAL 9055.
Floplast “Cast Iron” Guarantee
The cast iron effect finish on these products is guaranteed by Floplast to last for 20 years – the longest guarantee on any PVC system currently offered in the UK.
Installation & Maintenance
As this is a PVC gutter system, Cast Iron effect guttering is simple to install. The process is exactly the same as for normal PVC except that on the downpipe fittings, where fixing points are visible, special cast iron effect fixings are used. These have textured heads to exactly match the finish on the fittings. The other main difference with cast iron effect is that rainwater pipes come in 2.5m lengths as standard- this is to more closely match the original metal pipes, which because of their heavy weight were (and still are) only available in 6ft lengths. All gutter fittings are supplied with pre-lubricated rubber seals and retaining clips for ease of installation.
In terms of maintenance, the system is no different to other PVC systems in that it needs to be washed down once or twice a year externally with soapy water to maintain its appearance. The inside of the gutter should be cleaned out at the same time, removing all leaves, moss and sediment that have been washed down off of the roof.
We also recommend that a leaf guard system is installed – this is really a must for any type of domestic guttering. Either a gutter brush which sits inside the gutter or a mesh gutter guard which clips onto the top will do the job; we would also suggest the fitting balloon type outlet guards into the neck of each downpipe is an excellent investment as a preventative measure.
Best Suited To?
Initially after its launch, Cast Iron effect was mostly installed on period style properties. As it has grown in popularity it is now regularly found on all manner of buildings, from barn conversions to terraced houses. As it adds a degree of differentiation to the aesthetics of a property it has become popular with planning officers and architects, so it is now quite common to find it specified on a new build or refurbishment project.
Ornamental styled rainwater hoppers and decorative motifs such as Lions Heads and Fleur-de-Lys are available as a standard part of the range. Whilst these add a touch of class to any installation they are also commonly used for other purposes, such as decorative plant holders!