Concrete gutters, also called Finlock gutters, were originally built on homes between 1950-1970s. Concrete was used as a substitute for other materials (like steel) that was scarce due to being used in the War effort. Finlock gutters are not particularly common, however they are still seen on homes across the UK.
When they were first used, they were thought to be sturdy and reliable, however, over time they have proven to break down and become porous. Their porousness creates a lot of issues for homeowners and results in consistent and costly repairs.
The problems with Finlock gutters
Lining failure occurs due to the expansion and contraction of the lining because of changes in the temperature. Thermal changes can lead to weaker points of the structure separating. Because of this, the heavy concrete troughs are prone to cracking, creating access points where water can enter and cause further issues. Lining failure can be incredibly problematic and should be addressed immediately as it can be costly to rectify.
This can be problematic in all weather conditions and can even affect your energy consumption and how well your home insulates. When these problems arise, it can cause the wallpaper to peel away at the tops of the wall and should be addressed immediately.
Finlock gutters act as an effective door and window opening joist. However, if there is not adequate filling or strengthening when they are fixed, they begin to sag. Sagging can also result from badly replaced windows, which can become increasingly difficult to open or close, as well as ruin the beauty of your home.
No pitch on the gutter
Modern guttering is tilted to allow rainwater to run freely down the downpipe and away from the house. Finlock gutters do not tilt and therefore, water will sit in the gutters for long periods of time. This can cause pests, mould and damp growth, and sometimes collapse.
Damp and mould
Because Finlock gutters aren’t very good at draining away water, the water remains in the gutter and can cause issues with the fabric of the building. This increases risk of mould and damp growth, which can not only affect the beauty of your home. But can also be problematic for you and your family’s health.
Damp and mould can cause serious issues for the interior of your home. The damp and mould can grow substantially causing the wallpaper to come away from the walls. As well as this, water stains and damp appear on your walls. To fix this, decorating over it is the only option. This will only be a temporary fix, as if you do not have a Finlock gutter replacement, the issues return.
As mentioned above, the only way to fix these issues is to have a Finlock gutter removal and replacement. Due to concrete gutters porousness, they will only work if they are fully waterproofed again. Because of this, no matter how many Finlock gutter repairs you have, the issues are always going to return in time, costing you a fair bit. For this reason, it is recommended to invest in a Finlock gutter replacement to make sure the gutters are brand new and reliable, and the issues no longer return.