Rainwater Goods & Drainage
Rainwater goods (gutters, downpipes, valleys and flashing) remove water from the roof area and prevent water penetration. All should be kept clear to prevent water over-spill into the walls and onto the face of the building. It is vital that they are kept in good order with annual inspections, including during periods of rainfall to most easily identify overflow issues or leaks.
Equally important is to check where your gutters, and downpipes are draining to. Keep drains clear to direct water away from the base of the building, and clear of the foundations. External ground level can build up over time. Ground level should be below ventilation grilles where grilles are present. If there are no grilles ground level should be below the junction of the wall and foundation course. Hard landscaped ground surfaces such as concrete or tarmac, adjacent to the building, may result in splash back and are better avoided where possible. Ground surfaces should be designed or sloped to direct water away from, not towards, the base of the building.
Make sure to check that gutters and downpipes are securely fixed to the building. Damp patches, staining or areas of algae or vegetation on the walls may indicate failure of roof drainage. If trees are located near to a building it may be beneficial to fit drain covers and wire coverings to downpipes in order to prevent future blockages. However, these do not exclude all debris and growth and can make maintenance more difficult in the longer term. Grass and other plant growth must also be removed at the earliest opportunity.
Cast iron rainwater goods can often be repaired. This avoids unnecessary removal of original features and replacement with inappropriate alternatives. Repair methods should always be explored before considering the removal of any original features. Cast iron is readily available in a range of traditional sizes and profiles and can easily be fitted by skilled workmen, if replacement is the only option.