Finlock Follies

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Well. I guess it's time for another finlock thread.

Here's the situation. I live in a small block of flats which has finlock gutters. There are various issues with it - damp (or possibly condenstaion) in one flat's bedrooms, seems to be sagging in some places and overflowing during heavy rain. It also doesn't seem to have been ever lined. Some of us would like cavity wall insulation - but not if the gutters are going to leak into it and cause massive damp issues.

But really, this is less about my problem specifically. In this quest I have done a lot of research - on this forum and elsewhere online.

The problem is there seems to be a few tribes of roofers in the world of finlock guttering:

1. Seal it with a flat-roof resin (Flexi-tec 20/20 was mentioned) and seal them. Don't cut them off, that will compromise the structural integrity of your walls!

2. Line it with aluminium/rubber. It's got a guaruntee of 2 million years and you'll never have a problem ever again!!11

3. Completely cut them off, it's the only way - everything else is a waste of time! Replace it with some nice squeaky new uPVC gutters, they're much better and drain properly and you won't get cold-bridging

Now ... as someone who just wants to solve a problem, this is all very confusing. I get that people have bought into their own idea of the solution and want to profit from their choices - but it's genuinely difficult to know what's best.

Some people in the "don't cut it off!!!111" tribe say that removal of these gutters is ILLEGAL and against planning permission and building regulations. As far as I can tell, this is nonsense - generally planning permission is not required for functional gutter maintainence in normal circumstances, and there are no building regulations specifically for concrete guttering (only guttering in general), and as far as roof loading is concerned the part which bears the load (and not the gutter) would be treated in the same way as a component of an exterior load bearing wall.

But other than regulatory mumbo-jumbo - does removing them actually compromise the structural integrity of the wall? Because that seems like the best way to eliminate as many problems at once. Just not if it makes my roof collapse.

Is it true that installing a lining, however watertight, still carries the risk of thermal bridging (and condensation at the top of the walls)?

Are there any benefits of lining over removal?

From all the quotes I've seen so far, all the approaches seem to be around the same cost - so really it's more about understanding the approaches and picking the most appropriate one.
 
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my choice would be to remove them completely and re-do the eaves and fascia etc. unless the building is listed or similar then there should be no "legal" or constructional problems removing them?
Done during any roof work would fit-in best and cheapest.
But you really need a builder's eyes on site or maybe even a RICS survey?
Damp and CWI are different issues.
 
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Nope, not listed - no legal issues.

The trouble is that I've had multiple people out to do a site survey (or look at it from Streetview) and they have very different opinions on the right solution. I'm always wary when I get multiple trades that disagree so fundementally about the approach to take, and discrediting the other person's approach. That sends up red flags for me.
 
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I'm a long time building trade worker &, FWIW, the only jobs worth doing are the ones where there's no chance of being called back. Do it properly.
It has to be seen & video'ed up close from a ladder, and visited from inside the loft to have any chance of an informed opinion/quote.
If you get free views then you mostly get what you pay for.
 
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These gutters can be successfully lined, together with other suitable work the the eaves and treatment to the concrete front and soffit, and it will be a long lasting job if done properly.

There is absolutely no need to go through a significant structural alteration and the mess and cost that involves.
 
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Nope, not listed - no legal issues.

The trouble is that I've had multiple people out to do a site survey (or look at it from Streetview) and they have very different opinions on the right solution. I'm always wary when I get multiple trades that disagree so fundementally about the approach to take, and discrediting the other person's approach. That sends up red flags for me.
The problem is that most firms have bought into a particular system, so they tend to rubbish their competitor's system as "inferior". You get the same thing with flat roofers.

Any lining product will be fine. A coating product will only be suitable if the concrete sections are stable.

There may be issues with falls and capacity if the sections have moved
 
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As are your colleagues Ree Vinn and Bobasd. You must have amassed decades of experience between you.:notworthy:
It must be a gang of 8 or 9 by now and every so often a new one joins!

They must surely make a formidable pub-quiz team
 
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Don't see many round my area but if these gutters span the cavity like the old stone gutters is the wall plate not sat on the back of the concrete guttering?
 
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Well I think if you want to eliminate cold bridging then they need to be removed.
 

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