5 Reasons to Avoid Exposed Gutters and Downpipes on School Canopies

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Very often when contractors are comparing quotes for school canopies and walkway canopies it is usually the case that the lower prices will be using canopy systems that utilise exposed gutters and downpipes for the rainwater drainage.

There are two key reasons behind for this. Firstly school canopies that are constructed of wood or steel are difficult to build with integral rainwater drainage and secondly price. To simply build a structure and then add on a rainwater system made from traditional plastic of steel is cheap and easy – however there is a flip side to taking this route. Here’s why exposed gutters and drainpipes


As more new schools are built and refurbished, architects are becoming increasing keen to colour match and blend the canopy in with the building to give a more integrated look. When the gutters and downpipes are visible this effect is spoilt due to unsightly fixing points, and  plastics become faded and warped with time. In contrast to this, a Spaceshade aluminium school canopy system has the front gutter as part of the inherent structure of  the canopy, with the downpipes hidden within the supporting posts.

Protection from outdoor play activities

‘Exposed’ gutters and downpipes are just that, ‘exposed’ to flying objects such as footballs, rugby balls and such like. A well aimed shot could easily snap off a plastic downpipe bracket or break a vital gutter seal. This simply cannot happen with modular aluminium school canopies, where all of these items are integral to the system; making them resistant to the hardest of strikes.

Spaceshade Built in Gutter

Safety First!

Any surface mounted rainwater drainage system will be held in place using either metal or plastic bracket which immediately poses safety concerns in a busy playground, there will always be sharp bolt heads and bracket edges that the children could potentially catch themselves on, modular aluminium school canopy systems have all of this covered using internal rainwater drainage.

Increased Maintenance

With exposed gutters and downpipes there will be significant downtime and cost if any of the components are shattered by a football strike, not only in labour but in materials, if a gutter is smashed in the middle of a long canopy run then the chances are a whole section will need to be replaced. By contrast modular aluminium school canopy systems like Spaceshade (with integral drainage)  have no risk of this happening – and are also easily cleaned.

High Carbon Footprint

School canopies with exposed gutters and downpipes will require multiple suppliers to provide all the parts, ie steel stockists to steel fabricators and plastics suppliers resulting in higher carbon emissions to get all goods to site. Whereas with modular aluminium school canopy systems like Spaceshade, all parts are delivered from a single source, thus reducing road transport considerably.

Spaceshade Canopy systemSpaceshade School Canopies


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