It’s here! The day you have all been waiting for….The Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings’ (SPAB) National Gutters Day!
Britain’s oldest heritage charity, SPAB, is urging property owners to inspect their cast iron gutters and cast iron rainwater system to avoid structural damage.
Leading supplier of cast iron products, Metal & Glass together with SPAB are urging homeowners to get behind the scheme in order to help preserve and maintaining their cast iron rainwater system. In doing so they will upkeep the external appearance of their property and help to maintain the building’s architectural heritage.
Paul Trace, Director of Metal & Glass said: “Most homeowners tend to forget their rainwater system but this is an area of your property which needs regular inspection. A blocked or leaking pipe can cause major structural damage if water isn’t channelled away correctly. Original historical sections such as hopper heads may date right back to the early 19thcentury and deserve to be maintained.”
Metal & Glass and SPAB offer the following advice for homeowners:
The SPAB top ten tips for National Maintenance Week:
- Look for blocked downpipes (best done during heavy rain to see water coming from any leaky joints – in dry weather look for stained brickwork)
- Check ground level gullies and drains to make sure they are clear of debris like and have them cleaned out if necessary
- Every autumn, clear any plants, leaves and silt from gutters, hopperheads, flat roofs and drainage channels. It’s a good idea to do this in spring too to deal with anything that might have found its way into the wrong place
- Remove potentially damaging vegetation from behind downpipes by cutting back or removing the plant altogether
- Use a hand mirror to look behind rainwater pipes as splits and cracks in old cast iron and aluminium often occur here and are not easily noticed
- Fit bird/leaf guards to the tops of soil pipes and rainwater outlets to prevent blockages
- Have gutters refixed if they are sloping the wrong way or discharging water onto the wall
- If sections are beyond repair, make sure that replacements are made of the same material as the originals (on older houses, this is sometimes lead, but more usually cast iron)
- Regular painting of cast iron is essential to prevent rust
- Don’t undertake routine maintenance work at high level unless you are accompanied and have suitable equipment. If in doubt always seek help from a professional
National Gutters Day is part of SPABs National Maintenance Week.
For more information about National Gutters Day visit: https://www.spab.org.uk/campaigning/national-maintenance-week