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Allcoast Gutter Guard

Protecting a home from bushfire attack is an ongoing concern for many Australian families. For existing, established dwellings the responsibility falls on the owner or occupier to prepare their properties for the onset of a bushfire. The importance of keeping the roof guttering system clear and free of leaf litter has long been recognised and is still one of the first recommendations that the NSW Rural Fire Services lists when discussing the best ways to prepare for bushfire attack.

“Clean leaves from the roof, gutters and downpipes and fit quality metal leaf guards
 NSW RFS “Bushfire Survival Plan” 2013

 

In the late 1990’s, regions which were identified to be at an increased level of risk of bushfire attack were deemed to be “Bushfire Prone Areas”.  Recommendations were heard regarding the potential benefits of addressing bushfires at a construction and design level and in 1999 The Australian Standard for building in bushfire prone areas (AS3959-1999) was released. This standard indentified five (5) risk levels of bushfire attack and included 3 separate construction levels. These construction levels placed specific requirements on the building products to be used in the construction of any new dwelling (or major renovation of an existing dwelling). The only reference to gutter guard in this standard stated;

“Any device used to stop leaves collecting in the gutters shall have a flammability index of not greater than 5 when tested in accordance with AS 1530.2.”

 

In March of 2009 a third edition of AS3959 was released and superseded AS3959-1999. AS3959-2009 incorporates a few changes including the method of determining the Bushfire Attack Level (BAL) for a site, and now comprises six categories, namely BAL-LOW, BAL-12.5, BAL-19, BAL-29, BAL-40 and BAL-FZ (flame zone).

 

The Australian Standard for building in a bushfire prone area (AS3959-2009) places only one restriction on the type of material which can be used as a gutter guard regardless of the Bushfire Attack Level (BAL). (see extract below)

“If installed, gutter and valley leaf guards shall be non-combustible”
(AS3959-2009)

 

BAL-12.5 BAL-19 BAL-29 BAL-40 BAL-FZ

5.6.7    Gutters and downpipes

This Standard does not provide material requirements for—

gutters, with the exception of box gutters; and

downpipes.

If installed, gutter and valley leaf guards shall be non-combustible.

Box gutters shall be non-combustible and flashed at the junction with the roof with non-combustible material.

6.6.7    Gutters and downpipes

This Standard does not provide material requirements for—

gutters, with the exception of box gutters; and

downpipes.

If installed, gutter and valley leaf guards shall be non-combustible.

Box gutters shall be non-combustible and flashed at the junction with the roof with non-combustible material.

7.6.7   Gutters and downpipes

This Standard does not provide construction-specific material requirements for downpipes.

If installed, gutter and valley leaf guards shall be non-combustible.

With the exception of box gutters, gutters shall be metal or PVC-U.

Box gutters shall be non-combustible and flashed at the junction with the roof, with non‑combustible materials.

8.6.7    Gutters and downpipes

This Standard does not provide construction-specific material requirements for downpipes.

If installed, gutter and valley leaf guards shall be non-combustible.

Gutters shall be non-combustible.

Box gutters shall be non-combustible and flashed at the junction with the roof with non-combustible materials.

9.6.5   Gutters and downpipes

 

This Standard does not provide construction-specific material requirements for downpipes.

If installed, gutter and valley leaf guards shall be non-combustible.

Gutters shall be non-combustible.

Box gutters shall be non-combustible and flashed at the junction with the roof with non-combustible materials.

 

To determine if a material is non-combustible it must be tested in accordance with AS 1530.1. However any product which has a paint coating over a metal base would not pass AS 1530.1, as that small amount of combustible material would be enough to fail the test. There is a clause in the Building Code of Australia (BCA) that allows finishes of less than 1 mm thickness over metal substrates, provided the finished product achieves a ‘Spread of Flame index’ not greater than 0 when tested to AS/NZS 1530.3.

Our aluminium guttermesh has been tested in accordance with AS 1530.3 and achieved a spread of flame index of 0 (test result attached) and for the purpose of compliance therefore deemed “non combustible”

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Allcoast Gutterguard Central Coast can supply and fit a gutter guard in aluminium or plastic from Sydney to Newcastle NSW.
Tapex Leaf Guard offers total leaf protection so call for installation information today.

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