Why Should I Replace My Finlock Concrete Gutters?
- Finlock concrete gutters are not the most common form of gutter, and in some parts of the UK can hardly be found at all. However, some areas of the UK will still have it. Put simply, Finlock guttering is concrete guttering.
- Finlock guttering is mostly found on homes built between the 1950’s-1970’s and was used mainly due to scarcity of other materials.
- Finlock gutters, when they were built, were a great way to use materials that were not in demand at the time. However, now, they have proven to be more problematic. Finlock gutters present a lot of issues and need a lot of work to fix, always resulting in Finlock gutter removal.
Common Problems of Finlock Concrete Gutters
The main cause for this kind of failure results from the expansion and contraction of the lining as a result of changes in temperatures. However, there are many other causes to this problem: the thermal changes can lead to the separation of weak points or at the junctions. As a result of this, the heavy inflexible troughs of concrete often crack. This creates access points through which water can enter and cause detrimental effects. This kind of failure is particularly problematic and should be addressed immediately as it can be very expensive to rectify.
Cold/ Thermal Bridging
Cold bridging is when cold materials meet warmer ones, resulting in the cooling down of the warmer material. Modern guttering is installed outside the walls of your home; however, this was not the case for concrete guttering. The inside of the block will form the top of the outside walls of your home. The outside is exposed to the elements. If it’s cold, the risk of condensation inside your home increases. This would not occur with modern guttering – no part of which would be inside your home.
Cold/thermal bridging can be identified by horizontal grey bands at high levels of the perimeter walls. When there is such a problem, the wallpaper can begin to peel away at the top of your wall. Alternatively, if the wall is tiled, the tiles could start to become slightly raised and potentially need redoing.
Sagging and Uneven Gutters
Finlock gutters act as door and window opening lintels. However, without adequate filling or strengthening when they’re fixed, they can sag slightly. Sagging can also result from poorly replaced windows, such windows become difficult to close or open. Additionally, sometimes windows cannot handle the weight of the gutters, which also result in sagging, ruining the beauty of your home.
The Guttering Has No Pitch
Modern guttering is tilted to allow rainwater to flow towards the downpipe to be carried away into the drains. However, Finlock guttering was installed on top of level walls. This means the water will sit in the guttering, thereby causing more damage over time. In some cases, rainwater can collect and potentially cause the gutter to collapse in sections.
Failing Mortar Joints
As mentioned above, this allows water to seep through into your brickwork. Over time, it can cause serious damage.
Damp and Mould Inside Your Home
When water seeps through the guttering instead of being carried away from your property, it will affect the fabric of the building. This increases the risk of damp and mould inside your home and associated health risks.
Damage to Interior Décor
Wallpaper can come away from the walls, water stains and damp can be seen, and paint finishes can be ruined. However, redecorating is a waste of time as the problem will return to ruin new décor unless the gutters are replaced entirely.
As there are so many issues with Finlock guttering, resulting in both interior and exterior issues, as well as damaging the beauty of your home, the best solution is the complete removal of the Finlock guttering and replace it with something more friendly: such as uPVC.
Repair The Gutter or Replace Entirely?
Repairing Finlock concrete gutters is cheaper than replacing them. However, Finlock gutter problems are common, and cannot be resolved unless you take them out and replace them with something else entirely. For example, you can put fresh mortar in the joints, between the guttering blocks. However, this will only postpone replacement in the future as problems will come back. Fresh mortar may prevent water seepage to a degree, but it will not resolve your problems and should be avoided. Repairs cannot resolve most of the problems in the above list.
You will possibly have read about getting your concrete gutters lined. This is cheaper than replacement too. However, it does not add a gradient to your guttering, and therefore it will not encourage rainwater to drain away from your home. Again, it is a short-term solution that may help reduce some of the issues but will not resolve the cold bridging problem mentioned above.
Are uPVC Gutters a Better Alternative?
The only course of action that will resolve all the issues mentioned above is complete Finlock gutter removal. Regardless of the type of repairs undertaken, Finlock gutter problems will always be there: damp will continue to be an issue inside your home and as a result, your health may be at risk. Additionally, your guttering may continue to fail, gradually losing strength and causing more problems.
The only practical solution to fixing the issues presented by Finlock guttering is to hire guttering experts to replace your concrete gutter blocks with uPVC guttering. The blocks form part of your property where the walls meet the roof, the overhanging portion of the gutters will then be removed. A new fascia and soffit will then be installed, and new uPVC guttering will be added. This will perform all the correct functions of modern guttering: channelling water away from the property and into the downpipe.
Replacing the Finlock gutters is the only real solution that will resolve all the above issues homeowners experience with Finlock gutter blocks. In turn, the best Finlock guttering solution is to replace them entirely.
If you’d like to inquire for a free quote or any additional information regarding Finlock gutter removal, do not hesitate to contact us.