Concrete gutters are not especially common but can still be found on thousands of homes across the UK. Concrete gutters, which are also known as Finlock gutters, can be found on homes built between 1950-1970s. They were originally built as a cost-effective solution to the steel shortages and were initially considered a sturdy and robust guttering solution.
Unfortunately, over time, Finlock gutters become porous and lead to several concrete gutter issues. This results in Finlock gutter’s leaking and often costly repairs. The problems with Finlock gutters will always end up returning unless a concrete gutter replacement is performed. The issues with Finlock gutters are listed below.
The main cause for this kind of failure results from the expansion and contraction of the lining. 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 crack and cause separation in the structure, leading to leaks.
Cold/ Thermal Bridging
Cold bridging is when cold materials meet warmer ones, resulting in the cooling down of the warmer material. The outside of the gutters is exposed to the elements, meaning 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.
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 attention after your gutters have been replaced.
Sagging and Uneven Gutters
Sagging and uneven gutters can be caused from poorly fitted gutters and water sitting in the gutters for extended periods of time. Sagging gutters can lead to collapse.
The Guttering Has No Pitch
Modern guttering is tilted to allow rainwater to escape through the downpipe to be carried away. Concrete guttering was installed on top of level walls, meaning the water will sit in the guttering for extended periods of time, causing more damage over time. In some cases, rainwater can collect and potentially cause the gutter to collapse in sections.
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.
To resolve these issues, the best course of action is to have a concrete gutter replacement. Choosing to repair the issues will only fix the problem for a time, but due to the porousness of the gutters, the problems will always return.
A Finlock gutter replacement ensures that the problematic concrete gutters are completely removed and replaced with a more functional alternative, such as Upvc. This will lead to functional gutters that are no longer porous. Replacing your Finlock gutters will eradicate the above issues and leave your home looking better and performing correctly.
• Improved energy efficiency
• No more expensive repair costs
• Higher chance of home sale
• Improved aesthetic
• Cheapest long-term solution
• Functional, reliable gutters
Process of replacing concrete gutters
1) The first step is to prepare the work area. This is done by pushing back the first/first two rows of tiles. Next, our fitters can evaluate the extent of the work needed and access if there are any issues with the lower roof.
2) The next step is removing any lining that may be used in the gutters. If the gutters do have lining, the fitters will remove as much as possible to make the concrete easier to cut.
3) Next, if you have square gutters, the faceplates will need to be removed.
4) If your property has an external soil pipe running through the concrete guttering, we will cut the pipe around a foot below the concrete gutters. After this, we will fit the pipe with a ventilation cap, or extend the pipe around the newly fitted uPVC guttering.
5) For some properties, the downpipe may be made of asbestos and will need to be removed. If this is the case for your property, our trained and licensed fitters know how to dispose of the waste correctly. Asbestos that has been removed will be bagged securely and it will be arranged for a licensed asbestos carrier to remove them.
6) The next step is to remove the concrete gutters. Our expert fitters use expert, diamond tipped tools such as an angle grinder to cut the gutters away. Once the gutters have been cut away, the surface beneath is cleaned thoroughly. The gutter cutting process produces a lot of dust and will need to be cleaned and prepped before continuing to the next step.
7) The next step is installing treated timber face plate. This is an important step and is often overlooked by other companies. Installing the faceplate provides a smooth surface to attach the fascia board to. It also allows for expansion and contraction of the remaining concrete blocks.
8) Once the timber face plate is installed, the Upvc fascia and soffit boards can be installed.
9) The next step is the EPS installation. This is a vital part of the process. EPS is a rigid plastic board that is designed to fit underneath the existing felt along the lowest section of the roof. Once it is fitted it ensures that moisture is directed into the gutter. EPS also works to make sure the loft space of your home receives adequate ventilation, drying out any damp that may be there already.
The EPS step is often overlooked by other companies but is a pivotal step in our installation process, used for the best results.
10) Once we have fitted the gutters, a string line is used to position them. We will position the gutters with a small gradient, ensuring any water travels in the right direction on the minimum slope.
11) This is a crucial step to avoid damages and leaks from other gutters affecting your new gutters. Our fitters will install a stop plate at the point where the gutters meet. The first 12 inches of the adjoining gutter will be thoroughly cleaned and dried out.
Next, your uPVC gutter will be firmly screwed to a template, cut into the stop plate. Primer will be applied to the uPVC and the first few inches of the adjoining guttering. A fixing agent will then be applied to the guttering, and once the fixing agent is set, it will be painted with a coating of fibreflex, creating a waterproof double layer that offers durable protection for years to come.
12) Once the installation is complete, our team will clean away all debris, waste, and mess, leaving your property in excellent condition. All waste will be bagged correctly and picked up for correct and safe disposal.