What are High Front Gutters?

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Weep holes on high front gutters
Guttering weep holes are recommended by the Fair Trading enquiry into High Front gutters. This allows water to seep out over the edge during a ‘worst case’ scenario where everything is blocked up.

What Are High Front Gutters?

Gutters play a crucial role in protecting homes from water damage by directing rainwater away from the roof and foundations. Among the different types of gutters available in Australia, high front gutters have been a popular choice for homeowners throughout the years. In fact, most Australian roofs have had them installed for decades.

But what exactly are high front gutters, why might they be the right choice for your home, and what kind of considerations and concerns may arise when installing them on your home? In this article, we will cover all this and more.

High front gutters on corrugated roof
A good example of a high fronted gutter up close. Because the roof edge is well below the high fronted outer edge, water is less likely to gush over in heavy rain.

What are high fronted gutters?

High front gutters, also known as high fronted gutters or fascia gutters, are a specific type of guttering system where the front edge of the gutter is higher than the back. The intended main function of these gutters is much the same as any: to direct the flow of water away from the home through the guttering system. In addition, the high fronted design doubles as a way of improving the aesthetic appearance of the gutter and home by hiding the lower edge of the roof tiles and the ends of the roof sheets.

Low fronted gutters
These are low fronted gutters; despite looking up from the ground we can still see under the roof edges.

What are low front gutters?

In contrast to high front gutters, low front gutters have a front edge that is lower than or level with the back edge. This design is less effective at keeping water in the guttering system during heavy rainfall periods, opening up the home to the risk of erosion and foundational damage. Most low front gutters also fail to conceal the roof’s edge, which might be a consideration for homeowners concerned with the aesthetic appeal of their home.

What do high front gutters do?

As mentioned briefly above, the main purpose of high front gutters is to effectively manage rainwater. By having a higher front edge, these gutters can prevent water from splashing over during heavy rainfall, keeping the water contained within the gutter system and directing it towards downpipes. Without the higher front, the fast flow of water down the roofs service would squirt over the gutter edge and onto the ground. The high front is necessary to stop water from just gushing over the gutters. But are these high front gutters truly a good option, or do they raise new concerns for homeowners considering installing them on their homes?

Are there any concerns around high fronted guttering?

The design of high front gutters has raised some concerns among both homeowners and professionals, with some people claiming it does not comply with regulatory requirements. These concerns centre around their ability to perform during heavy rainfall. The main worry is that the high front edge could become a barrier that causes water to slosh back into the gutter and overflow into the roof cavity, leading to potential water damage.

High Front Guttering Advisory Committee findings

To address these concerns, the NSW government established the High Front Guttering Advisory Committee in 2010. According to the findings in their inquiry, while high front gutters can hold and direct water effectively under normal conditions, there is a potential risk during extreme weather events. Though this is a potential drawback, the committee did not recommend stopping the usage of high front gutters (fascia gutters). Instead, their advice was that high front gutters should be equipped with overflow measures like small slots in the sides or weep holes to allow excess water to escape safely, preventing water from backing up and entering the roof space. They also suggested that not enough downpipes were being installed on homes to adequately handle the volume of rainwater in severe weather events. You can find more information on this inquiry via the Fair Trading website.

Can I install gutter guard on high front gutters?

Yes, gutter guards are an excellent addition to high front gutters. In fact, many gutter guards are designed with high front gutters being their only suitable fit. Installing gutter guards on high front gutters is not only possible, but highly recommended. Because all high front gutters have the outside edge roll bead, installation of gutter guards to this edge is made easier. See the Triple-G gutter guard diagram below.

Triple-G install on High Front gutter
Diagram of Triple-G gutter guard mesh installed on a High Front gutter.

Benefits of installing gutter guards on high front gutters

Prevent blockages and damage to your home

Gutter guards prevent leaves and debris from clogging gutters, ensuring that rainwater can flow smoothly to the downpipes, and reducing the risk of blockages that can cause serious damage (and costly repairs) to your home.

Reduce the need for frequent maintenance

With gutter guards in place, the need for frequent gutter cleaning is significantly reduced, saving money if you do it yourself, or time and elbow grease if you hire a team of gutter cleaners to do it for you.

Prolong the life of your high front gutters

By preventing blockages and reducing the risk of rust and corrosion caused by stagnant water, gutter guards can extend the lifespan of your high front gutters immensely.

Improve safety around your home

Installing gutter guards minimises the need to climb ladders for gutter cleaning, reducing the risk of accidents.

Gutter guard installation on high front gutters

When installing gutter guards on high front gutters, it’s important to choose the right guards that are compatible with the specific design of your gutters. Professional installation ensures that the gutter guards are securely fitted and functioning correctly. At Grayson’s Gutter Guard, our gutter technicians are true experts when it comes to advising on and installing gutter guards for any home. We offer a range of gutter guard solutions, including guards that easily screw tightly onto high front gutters for a clean look and optimal performance.

All things considered, high front gutters certainly are an effective and aesthetically pleasing choice for managing rainwater around your home. While there have been some concerns about their performance during heavy rainfall, the High Front Guttering Advisory Committee inquiry found that with proper installation and the inclusion of overflow features, those concerns shouldn’t be a worry.

For homeowners in Victoria looking to install or upgrade their gutter guards, our experienced team here at Grayson’s offers professional advice and high-quality installation services for all types of gutter systems, including fascia gutters. We can help you choose the best gutter guard solution to protect your home from water damage and give you peace of mind.

Get in touch today for expert guidance and to receive a quote on your gutter guard installation or repair.

Clogged high front gutter sagging under weight of debris and rain
DON’T let your gutters get like this. Even high front gutters will fall downwards exposing the roof edges if they are left unattended. This gutter is sagging away from the roof due to the weight build up of the blockage.