Home > Integral gutters and downpipes for canopies: What are the advantages?
Blue apex canopy at Baylis Court School with integral gutters and downpipes for drainage

Integral gutters and downpipes for canopies: What are the advantages?

By: Oli Birch Category: External Solutions

As a contractor or facilities manager, you’ll be aware of the plethora of choice when it comes to canopies for schools and public buildings.

Whilst at first glance most look to be equal in terms of price, composition and functionality, there are often a host of areas to consider when deciding on the right type of canopy.

One feature to consider is the type of drainage the canopy has, and whether the gutters and downpipes are integral or surface mounted.

In this blog, we explain the difference between the two and discuss the advantages to the former.

What do we mean by integral gutters and downpipes?

Integral gutters and downpipes are canopy drainage features concealed within the frame itself, as shown below, as opposed to plastic guttering mounted on the outside of the frame.

Close up shot of the integral downpipe on a green canopy

Advantages of integral gutters and downpipes

The first thing to point out is any canopy with an integral gutter is typically made from aluminium rather than steel. This means the inherent strength of the canopy will never be affected by contact with water.

Furthermore, integral gutters and downpipes improve the aesthetics of a canopy. Surface mounted gutters and downpipes on canopies often become damaged, lose their colour or become faulty over time, and multiple fixing brackets can detract from the finish.

By contrast, a canopy with an integral gutter collects rain water inside the front canopy frame. A downpipe is hidden inside the front posts and can either be connected to existing sub-terrain drainage or exits the post just above ground level. This creates a clean, sleek look which compliments any building design whether modern or traditional.

Integral gutter and downpipe on a blue canopy at Baylis Court School

The other major difference is the fact that an integral gutter reduces ongoing maintenance and the risk of damage.

Particularly in schools, canopies with surface mounted gutters are prone to damage from ball games and exposure to the elements. Meanwhile,  an integral gutter is shielded within its own aluminium frame. Bracket fixings on surface mounted gutter penetrate any powder coat finish leaving the structure even more vulnerable to rusting, while this issue does not impact canopies with integral drainage.

For contractors, this means fewer snags and defects and for schools facilities managers fewer leaks and repairs, and a canopy that is built to withstand the elements.

If you’d like to discuss a canopy installation for your project, please contact our team here.

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