When it rains, faults in gutters and downpipes will quickly lead to saturation of adjacent areas of wall causing damp problems.
In most listed buildings gutters and downpipes are made from cast iron. This is a very resilient material and will clean up well and be reusable. If part or all of the system needs to be replaced, it is essential that heavy duty cast metal, preferably cast iron, is used.
Plastic gutters and downpipes and most modern lightweight metal alternatives, as well as being out of place historically, will not last and can be prone to damage by ladders.
It is also important that when replacing gutters care should be taken not to alter the eaves detail, for instance by introducing a wooden fascia where there wasn’t one before.
For additional technical guidance please visit the Historic Environment Toolkit.