Concrete guttering was used after the Second World War because concrete was much more plentiful than steel (which was the traditional guttering material). Concrete gutters were meant to be maintenance free. However, leaks, water absorption, and poor drainage are wreaking havoc on the buildings that still retain these systems.
Concrete blocks were fastened together using mortar and situated along the span of the roofline. The problem with mortar is that it eventually absorbs water. Leaks will enter the internal and external cavity walls, often through a mortar joint, and the damp and moisture can cause thousands of pounds worth of damage before the problem is even spotted.
If dry rot (or Serpula lacrymans) occurs, it will take serious chemicals and heavy deconstruction of your home to remedy the issue. Leaks in concrete guttering can also lead to leaking basements and roofs, sagging windows, fungal growth, rotting wood, and exterior cosmetic damage. These are all costly consequences. Is it any wonder that we use PVC guttering?
Concrete Gutters Are Horizontal
Concrete guttering is perfectly horizontal, or level, which leads the water to stagnate instead of flow. In any drainage system, a perfectly level trough will not drain water effectively.
Insects are drawn to moist gutters such as earwigs, mosquitos, carpenter ants, and termites which can infest and ravage your home. Stagnant water also freezes and expands tiny cracks within the existing mortar. This causes movement in the concrete blocks which further compromises the integrity of the guttering system.
Why Not Just Repair A Concrete Gutter?
It is extremely difficult to find a singular source of leakage in a concrete guttering system. Because the guttering is just centimetres from the ceiling, any infiltration can cause significant damage. Also, concrete gutters that are merely repaired will still eventually need to be replaced.
We’d love to help you with your concrete guttering problems. For more information on our guttering solutions, contact Summit Cladding today.