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How to join marquees using a gutter

What is a marquee gutter?: In marquee terms gutters are strips of PVC with eyelets down each side and usually 30-60cm wide. It is essential that the gutter is longer than the join of the marquee by at least 1 metre, having it much longer can be very useful to avoid the ground becoming boggy under the marquee.

marquee gutter

You cannot join two gutters to make one longer join, for example you could not use two 8m long gutters to weather the join between two 6x12m marquees without using professional PVC welding equipment - this is how we make our marquee gutters.

Guttering is attached to the marquee using cable ties. You should not use bungee loops for any form of guttering, if you do the weight of the water will pull the gutter down allowing more water in and potentially disastrous results at your event. If you have bought a gutter and been supplied with bungee loops then seriously question the knowledge and competency of your supplier.

Note: conversely never use cable ties to connect exterior PVC (roof and side panels), the bungees allow a little give to the material in strong winds and reduce the strain on the eyelets.

Key points when fitting a marquee gutter:

  • Ensure the gutter has no kinks in it (more on that below)
  • Ensure there is a fall over the length of the marquee with no dips anywhere
  • Always test the guttering with a hosepipe (on to the roof of one marquee), the water should pour out the end and not sit anywhere along the gutter

Steps on guttering two marquees:

  1. Erect the two marquees ensuring the legs are upright and leave around a 10cm gap between the two. Do not fit any flooring, lining or lighting until you know the marquee join is completely weatherproof.
  2. Unroll the gutter and thread it between the pairs of legs along the length of the join leaving an equal amount over at each end.
  3. Starting in the middle of one marquee cable tie the gutter up to the eave rail. Pull the gutter tightly towards one side and cable tie in place, continue all the way to the end of the marquee and then repeat for the other end so all of one marquee is completed before stepping round to do the second marquee. If the ground is level you can allow the water to exit the gutter from either end so tighten the cable ties slightly less and less the further you get to each end. If the ground is sloped then simply tighten all cable ties and let the fall of the marquee guide all of the water out of the lower end.
  4. Now repeat for the second marquee again starting in the middle and working towards each side pulling the gutter tightly as you go - this method prevents any kinks forming in the gutter.
  5. Now test by pointing a hosepipe on to the roof of one marquee. Ensure water makes its way out of the end of the gutter and doesn't sit anywhere.
joining two marquees

Other considerations:

  • The above method applies to marquees positioned side by side. If you have to weather the end of one marquee to the side of another you have the problem of no eave rail at the end of a marquee. Create your own eave rail by tying a rope across tightly but then (very importantly) tying a second rope from the middle of the first rope up to the apex - this stops the rope from sagging under the weight of the gutter.
  • If you have two marquees end to end then do not use the method above. Simply butt the marquees up as tightly as possible (strap the legs tightly together), throw the gutter over the top of the join and tension it down on both sides - this just stops any water coming down the join.
  • A common place for the gutter to kink is at the end as it changes angle from the marquee down to the ground. A little tuck removes the kink and a rope pulling the gutter tightly should ensure it stays in place.

Weathering marquees together can be a little intimidating the first time but once you have down it a few times it becomes common sense.

We are always happy to offer more customised advice for your event, please contact us giving a few details of the event you are planning (type of event, space available, number of guests and diagrams/photographs of the site if possible) and we will be more than happy to advise on your options.

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