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Finlock Gutters reline or remove?

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098Joe

from United Kingdom

Joined: 04 Jun 2008
Posts: 9
Location: Northamptonshire,
United Kingdom

PostPosted: Wed Feb 25, 2009 1:13 pm Reply with quote

Can anybody offer advice on finlock guttering? We have got mould in patches in bedrooms at the top of the the walls apparently caused by the gutters leaking. We have been quoted approx 1800 by Trent Valley Fascias to cut the gutters of flush with walls and fit conventional guttering etc.
As this would would change the syle of the house we prefer the idea of seamless aluminium liners, as long as they are as good as or better than the other option Has anyone experienced or can recommend one method over the other?

Any advice appreciated
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stuart45

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 25, 2009 1:27 pm Reply with quote

Because these gutters are concrete they can cause condensation problems just below the ceiling level. This often happens after CWI has been installed. Mould is often a sign of condensation.
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landmark

from United Kingdom

Joined: 12 Mar 2009
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Location: Oxford,
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 12, 2009 11:47 am Reply with quote

I also have the same dilemma. Most people are saying that to seal with a bitumous paint will not be sufficient as this may fail again quigte quickly. I heard that complete removal is really the only option, provided you can find a contractor which will guarantee their work and not cause damage to the structure when carrying out the removal. They are pretty unsightly, I would prefer normal gutters personally, but my main aim is to do the right job.

If you discover more, please share with me.

Regards
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SurreyRoofingEstimator

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 12, 2009 4:25 pm Reply with quote

It may be worth looking into a lining as made by HD Sharman called Rubberised Plygene Gutterline. just do a google search for the company and I'm sure they can point you in the direction of a contractor local to you that carries it out.

Another option worth looking at would be a liquid applied coating such as Sealoflex or Liquid Rubber
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stuart45

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 13, 2009 6:26 pm Reply with quote

Having them re-lined won't cure a condensation problem that these gutters sometimes cause.
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SurreyRoofingEstimator

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 14, 2009 9:28 am Reply with quote

If it's a condensation problem you could of course get some tile / slate vents placed at low level within the slope which shouldn't cost too much
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oxfordite

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Joined: 27 Oct 2009
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Location: Oxford,
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 27, 2009 10:54 am Reply with quote

Relining finlock gutters is money down the drain.
They comprise concrete blocks closing the top of house cavity walls with 10"-12" of solid wall + overhanging 'gutter' profile.

Finlock gutter maintenance presents opportunities due to inherent problems in the design - they were only used post war due to the shortage of Steel for guttering, NOT because they were better than normal construction techniques:

1. mortar joints every 8-10 inches & horizontal 'gutter' !?! no really.
Mortar becomes moisture permeable over time drawing moisture from rain in to building (cavity and top 10" of upstairs walls) - relining does not solve this, the entire exposed finlock blocks must be sealed with elastomeric paint, which is expensive.
Since Finlock gutters sit atop the house walls, which should properly have been built perfectly horizontal, course by course, the gutter is horizontal too; obviously this does not drain water properly - gutters need to have some fall...
2. cold bridging
The finlock blocks are continuous from outside to the inside, if it is cold on the outside, that cold is transferred to the top of the upstairs walls.
Being horizontal some water sits in the gutter all of the time, and in winter, ice or snow sit in the gutter - freezing cold until thawed, worsening the cold transfer: Condensation can result, especially after cavity insulation which increases the temperature differential between the insulated cavity wall and the solid finlock 10" of wall.
Modern calculations show that 1m of insulation is justified for energy and cost saving - it will forseably pay for itself, so 75mm cavity insulation is just the start, later we will see lots of external wall insulation+cladding; the finlock needs to be insulated internally with insulated plasterboard (ranging from 22mm, 30mm, upwards, including plasterboard). Dot and dab bonding + screw fixings, and likely that means doing the whole interior wall to avoid it looking a pigs ear.
3. sagging above windows
The original post war windows were fitted before the finlock gutters! The steel frame helped to support the finlock concrete blocks.
But with so much of the profile overhanging outside, and the soft mortar joints, the blocks are unstable - there is a likelihood of sagging outwards generally, and sagging above windows specifically.
4. Hidden problems
Where there is damp penetration how can you discover the source?
Moisture penetrating through a crack in the gutter, or the gutter liner, or the gutter sealing paint/bitumen (the latter being insufficient) can track along the guttering and come in to the house/cavity via a mortar joint further along. There is limited hope of finding the specific weakness - relining the whole gutter or repainting ... this is a disaster waiting to happen to you.

Of 3. & 4. the solution of having the gutter profile cut off (diamond cutter), barge boards attached, fascia boards and continuous gutters attached to the barge boards ... and the edge roof tiles realligned to suitably carry rain water in to the gutters is most helpful, just as it is with 1. & 2. above.
It lightens the weight, especially the overhanging weight.
It permanently removes the opportunity for water ingress (assuming your roof tiles are suitably maintained.
It partially insulated the outside of the finlock blocks (the modern aerated plastic fascia boards.
It removes needs of further maintenance - assuming that the finlock does not fail above a window and collapse; e.g. when replacing windows (the finlock blocks being temporarily unsupported.

Ideally, short of the likely uneconomic job of entirely removing the finlock blocks and extending the cavity with bricks and fitting modern insulated window lintels, one would have the finlock gutter cut off tight against the house wall and have that outside facing surface insulated with circa 25mm PIR insulation prior to fitting of barge boards + fascia boards + gutters.

TLG Gutters did our gutters efficiently and used some proprietory (read: patented) touches - the new gutter profile remains continuous with the neighbours (semi-detached houses) allowing rain to continue draining in so far as the neighbours horizontal gutter allows: Our new gutters drain and the neighbour is not complaining.
Ideally semi-detached homes should be de-finlocked at the same time.
I am not certain that sagging above windows is entirely stopped, but less weight and no overhang must help.

If you have a heart, put up a few sparrow nest boxes after the gutter removal - Finlock gutters provide habitat for Sparrows and they are no bad thing.
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Indysurveyor (30 Jan 2011)
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sussie

from United Kingdom

Joined: 31 Dec 2009
Posts: 4
Location: United Kingdom

PostPosted: Thu Dec 31, 2009 10:47 am Reply with quote

098Joe wrote:
Can anybody offer advice on finlock guttering? We have got mould in patches in bedrooms at the top of the the walls apparently caused by the gutters leaking. We have been quoted approx 1800 by Trent Valley Fascias to cut the gutters of flush with walls and fit conventional guttering etc.
As this would would change the syle of the house we prefer the idea of seamless aluminium liners, as long as they are as good as or better than the other option Has anyone experienced or can recommend one method over the other?

Any advice appreciated[/quote)

Did you have any joy with your finlock gutters? We are experiencing terrible problems with our bungalow. We did have them lead lined about ten years ago but the joints (with the bad weather) have opened up and water is seeping through. I wonder if it is possible to remove these gutters as they are load-bearing? Any advice from anyone would be appreciated. Many thanks,
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sussie

from United Kingdom

Joined: 31 Dec 2009
Posts: 4
Location: United Kingdom

PostPosted: Thu Dec 31, 2009 11:39 am Reply with quote

landmark wrote:
I also have the same dilemma. Most people are saying that to seal with a bitumous paint will not be sufficient as this may fail again quigte quickly. I heard that complete removal is really the only option, provided you can find a contractor which will guarantee their work and not cause damage to the structure when carrying out the removal. They are pretty unsightly, I would prefer normal gutters personally, but my main aim is to do the right job.

If you discover more, please share with me.

Regards


Have you found your Finlock gutter solution as we are experiencing the same problem. Please advise. Regards,
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sussie

from United Kingdom

Joined: 31 Dec 2009
Posts: 4
Location: United Kingdom

PostPosted: Thu Dec 31, 2009 11:48 am Reply with quote

oxfordite wrote:
Relining finlock gutters is money down the drain.
They comprise concrete blocks closing the top of house cavity walls with 10"-12" of solid wall + overhanging 'gutter' profile.

Finlock gutter maintenance presents opportunities due to inherent problems in the design - they were only used post war due to the shortage of Steel for guttering, NOT because they were better than normal construction techniques:

1. mortar joints every 8-10 inches & horizontal 'gutter' !?! no really.
Mortar becomes moisture permeable over time drawing moisture from rain in to building (cavity and top 10" of upstairs walls) - relining does not solve this, the entire exposed finlock blocks must be sealed with elastomeric paint, which is expensive.
Since Finlock gutters sit atop the house walls, which should properly have been built perfectly horizontal, course by course, the gutter is horizontal too; obviously this does not drain water properly - gutters need to have some fall...
2. cold bridging
The finlock blocks are continuous from outside to the inside, if it is cold on the outside, that cold is transferred to the top of the upstairs walls.
Being horizontal some water sits in the gutter all of the time, and in winter, ice or snow sit in the gutter - freezing cold until thawed, worsening the cold transfer: Condensation can result, especially after cavity insulation which increases the temperature differential between the insulated cavity wall and the solid finlock 10" of wall.
Modern calculations show that 1m of insulation is justified for energy and cost saving - it will forseably pay for itself, so 75mm cavity insulation is just the start, later we will see lots of external wall insulation+cladding; the finlock needs to be insulated internally with insulated plasterboard (ranging from 22mm, 30mm, upwards, including plasterboard). Dot and dab bonding + screw fixings, and likely that means doing the whole interior wall to avoid it looking a pigs ear.
3. sagging above windows
The original post war windows were fitted before the finlock gutters! The steel frame helped to support the finlock concrete blocks.
But with so much of the profile overhanging outside, and the soft mortar joints, the blocks are unstable - there is a likelihood of sagging outwards generally, and sagging above windows specifically.
4. Hidden problems
Where there is damp penetration how can you discover the source?
Moisture penetrating through a crack in the gutter, or the gutter liner, or the gutter sealing paint/bitumen (the latter being insufficient) can track along the guttering and come in to the house/cavity via a mortar joint further along. There is limited hope of finding the specific weakness - relining the whole gutter or repainting ... this is a disaster waiting to happen to you.

Of 3. & 4. the solution of having the gutter profile cut off (diamond cutter), barge boards attached, fascia boards and continuous gutters attached to the barge boards ... and the edge roof tiles realligned to suitably carry rain water in to the gutters is most helpful, just as it is with 1. & 2. above.
It lightens the weight, especially the overhanging weight.
It permanently removes the opportunity for water ingress (assuming your roof tiles are suitably maintained.
It partially insulated the outside of the finlock blocks (the modern aerated plastic fascia boards.
It removes needs of further maintenance - assuming that the finlock does not fail above a window and collapse; e.g. when replacing windows (the finlock blocks being temporarily unsupported.

Ideally, short of the likely uneconomic job of entirely removing the finlock blocks and extending the cavity with bricks and fitting modern insulated window lintels, one would have the finlock gutter cut off tight against the house wall and have that outside facing surface insulated with circa 25mm PIR insulation prior to fitting of barge boards + fascia boards + gutters.

TLG Gutters did our gutters efficiently and used some proprietory (read: patented) touches - the new gutter profile remains continuous with the neighbours (semi-detached houses) allowing rain to continue draining in so far as the neighbours horizontal gutter allows: Our new gutters drain and the neighbour is not complaining.
Ideally semi-detached homes should be de-finlocked at the same time.
I am not certain that sagging above windows is entirely stopped, but less weight and no overhang must help.

If you have a heart, put up a few sparrow nest boxes after the gutter removal - Finlock gutters provide habitat for Sparrows and they are no bad thing.


Hello there, You mention in your Finlock Gutter quote that removal is the best option. Would you know if this is an option for me as our Finlock Gutters are on a bungalow and are built in directly above window frames so are load bearing. Wouldn't cutting them off flush with the bungalow wall cause a balance problem? Any help/advice from anyone with this problem would be greatly appreciated as we are experiencing damp in the bedroom and porch. Regards,
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sussie

from United Kingdom

Joined: 31 Dec 2009
Posts: 4
Location: United Kingdom

PostPosted: Thu Dec 31, 2009 11:49 am Reply with quote

098Joe wrote:
Can anybody offer advice on finlock guttering? We have got mould in patches in bedrooms at the top of the the walls apparently caused by the gutters leaking. We have been quoted approx 1800 by Trent Valley Fascias to cut the gutters of flush with walls and fit conventional guttering etc.
As this would would change the syle of the house we prefer the idea of seamless aluminium liners, as long as they are as good as or better than the other option Has anyone experienced or can recommend one method over the other?

Any advice appreciated


Could you please advise if you had this work carried out and, if so, has it been successful as we too have a problem with the gutters leaking. Our property is a bungalow and I think the gutters are supporting the roof.

Regards,
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dilly

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Joined: 08 Mar 2007
Posts: 304
Location: United Kingdom
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 31, 2009 12:03 pm Reply with quote

hi try these guys they may have a contractor in your area its called polyroof if you google i am sure you will find them
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oxfordite

from United Kingdom

Joined: 27 Oct 2009
Posts: 6
Location: Oxford,
United Kingdom
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 31, 2009 5:02 pm Reply with quote

Hi Sussie, and Landmark
Sorry to hear you are experiencing the problems that often arise with Finlock gutters.

I already wrote it 'as it is' - finlock gutters were a crude post-war solution to providing 'guttering' when steel was in short supply. They tend to leak - down on to the building walls, into the cavity, even draw moisture in to the property through the mortar joints, and, via cold bridging, provide a perfect cold surface at top of bedroom walls to create a condensation problem - this due to these 'gutters' being moreorless horizonal yet being totally without adjustment (some water usually sits in them, freezes in them, allows a bird bath in them, until it dries up) and due to their being very many vertical mortar joints that go from outside all the way to the inside of your bedroom/other walls.

If you can afford to waste money, then one solution is to turn up the heating and open the windows - but this is a waste of money and not the right thing to do.
Or maintain the gutter linings, AND paint the exterior side/underside of the gutter using elastomeric paint (far far better and far far more expensive than bituminous paint)

In answer to your questions:
1. YES. You can cut off the over hang even on bungalows.
The finlock blocks, including the poured lintel within the blocks above your walls is load bearing, but the over hanging 'gutter profile' is NOT load bearing. It can be carefully removed, reasonably close to the walls and modern fascia fitted.

TLG do a very nice job using virtually maintenance free extruded aluminium guttering, and use patented parts to join our new aluminium gutter to your neighbours finlock, seamlessly, if your bungalow is not detached.
2. Is your mould problem the result of water ingress or of condensation?
Difficult to be certain - it could be a bit of both.

In my house, the final solution:
... both to eliminate all further maintenance of the finlock gutters, remove the cold bridge they create, and never again suffer moisture ingress, was to have them cut off, modern fascia fitted, continuous aluminium guttering fitted, and, at significant extra effort, remove the plaster on the inside wall (though this step is optional) and insulate inside with 25mm celotex (or equivalent PIR board), over boarding with either plasterboard or fermacell (I used the latter), both across the wall and within the window recess - cheaper if you have someone handy in the family to do it, as it is a fiddle taking a little time and effort.
Now the walls are very well insulated, with scarcely any temperature gradient between the cavity wall and the finlock blocks at the top of the wall in each bedroom. We still need to ventilate to avoid condensation, but the cold surface is gone, and our heating bills are likely to be low, our comfort levels in winter and in summer, likely to be much improved.
3. finlock linings: if you are lucky and your finlocks are in good condition, with good mortar joints, and they have been maintained well over the last 50 years, with a good coat of well applied sealing paint, and your property did not suffer through combination of poor mortar pointing and bad weather exposure, then they might be worth maintaining, but I doubt it - the cold bridging increases your heating bill, makes condensation more likely, and reduces comfort by increasing cold drafts. Why fix a bad 'bodge' of a solution when you can add value to your property, reduce your heating bill and, short of the finlock blocks disintegrating, permanently eliminate the main problems?

Yes, if one of your finlocks are on the verge of collapse above a window then this will need some separate attention to resolve - during good weather, prop support roof, remove section of finlock, fit insulated lintel and brick/blockwork to correct height to match finlock on either side. The new guttering can be fitted to this on the outside. But I believe that the finlocks do not commonly collapse - they have a poured concrete lintel within them, and unless very badly maintained they are usually good for some more years. The fitting of modern fascia also provides some strengthening - barge boards are screwed at intervals to the finlock blocks.

I do not like the appearance nor maintenance likely in normal plastic gutters - they tend to look an eyesore compared to the finlock gutters nearby, though this is still better than keeping finlock gutters with their myriad short-comings. Continuous aluminium gutters must be a better bet.

If you know that there is a significant sagging of a finlock gutter above a window, whether this is outwards (which is common due to the unsupported overhang that provides the 'gutter profile') or simply downwards towards the middle of a window, then this may require remedial attention, perhaps from a builder fitting a steel lintel and a row of blockwork, prior to commencing the gutter work - but speak to the gutter company before you act, they will know the correct approach.

Initial solution to damp? turn the heating up and increase ventilation, esp. late evening and early morning. Finlock blocks are condensation prone, esp. if you have had double glazing fitted, years ago before they had ventilation strips fitted: if you have slip vents, use them! If not, then upgrade your ventilation to modern building standards in bathrooms and the kitchen, and stop drying your laundry in the house! (if you must, do it in one room, with door closed, radiator on high, and a window kept ajar.

Upgrade your bathroom and kitchen with extractor fans and use them - getting rid of excess steam really matters - it will condence on the non-cavity, finlock part of your walls if they are not insulated. Removal decreases this problem.

Roof insulation carried out carelessly also greatly reduces ventilation - the moisture has to go somewhere! with finlock gutters the coldest part of the wall is at the top, and this will get full weight of moisture from the air condensing. Get the finlocks cut off and never look back!

TLG did fine for me, but you get what you pay for: aluminium gutters cost more than plastic, and TLG neatly join new gutters with neighbours finlocks using patented parts ... so no falling out with neighbours!

Good luck.
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cementfreeturkeyhouse (8 Jan 2010)
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LIFERRBRAND

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Location: Derby,
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 22, 2010 7:31 pm Reply with quote

I have this problem has well, and as i am a first time buyer i can't afford to have the concrete guttering replaced, but i was thinking i could fiberglass it all the away across and then floatcoat it (gel) do you think this would work? icon_rolleyes.gif
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oxfordite

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Location: Oxford,
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 23, 2010 12:05 am Reply with quote

Finlock gutters have a multitude of inherent maintenance, cold bridging, damp penetration and structural issues, long term, for which the main solution is cutting off.

There are a multitude of gutter lining techniques, of these the continuous liners can solve most of the vertical water penetration trouble and should have a long life.

The floatcoat gel you speak of looks to be designed for coating and protecting metal, and aside from this lack of designed suitability, it may have issues of run-off during application of later, causing staining or other damage to your house walls. It looks messy and unsuited to me.

The proper exterior sealant solution is (very expensive) elastomeric paint.
This has a reasonable maintenance interval, and helps prevent moisture penetration over the remaining finlock surfaces.

It is cheaper than the permanent solution of cutting off the finlocks, etc. described previously, but it means the cold bridging continues and you must maintain this coating long term.

When do you think the gutter will be dry enough to both have new linings fitted AND apply the sealing paint?
If you have uninsulated cavity walls, remember to allow 5 or 6 months after your finlock works, for the cavity to dry out, before considering cavity insulation.
When you insulate them, consider EPS instead of PUR foam or fibre insuation, as it has both better breathing/drainage characteristics, and, if water does penetrate the finlocks in future this will help prevent immediate moisture penetration at the top of your house walls.
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