Finlock guttering was introduced in the 1950s in the UK and is a guttering system made of concrete blocks joined together and then lined with a waterproof material such as mineral felt or bitumen. It was brought into use because of the steel shortage of the time and because the concrete was seen as cheap and hard-wearing.
It was gradually phased out in the 1970s and is not used on new properties anymore. They were phased out of use because they were not as durable as first thought, with a lifespan of only around thirty years. If and when the lining fails the concrete can begin to absorb water instead of draining it away. Concrete does not give a pleasing aesthetic either which contributed to its decline in popularity.
Finlock guttering can, unfortunately, cause some damage to your home through its poor design. If the lining does wear away on the guttering and the concrete starts to retain water eventually this water can get into your property. The early sign that the water is not draining away properly is your windows being difficult to close. This is because the concrete (if it’s near a window) can sag and slightly distort the window frame.
This can eventually lead to the water entering the property through the walls and causing damp. Finlock guttering can also cause thermal bridging between the bricks of the home and the blocks of the gutter because the concrete will be colder than the property walls, which can cause internal damage to your house similar to damp. Problems include wallpaper peeling off the walls. However, replacing the Finlock guttering with a more modern material will stop this from happening.
If your home has Finlock guttering you should consider replacing it with a more modern alternative unless you wish to retain the look of a historic or listed building. If you do wish to do this, the lining of the concrete can be replaced completely or in sections where it’s showing signs of damage by a company specialising in Finlock guttering.
Always enlist the help of a professional because Finlock guttering can sometimes contain asbestos. If this is the case it must be repaired/removed by a specialist, Even if you don’t need them to do the work for you they should assess the guttering for asbestos before you start. Keep in mind that when repairing the guttering many companies will only offer a ten-year guarantee on their work because of the inherent problems caused by the design of Finlock guttering.
Concrete style guttering has been mostly replaced with alternative materials including PVC, aluminium, or steel, items that will last longer and give a more pleasing aesthetic. Because of this, your property may stand out if it still retains its Finlock gutters, particularly if it is surrounded by more modern homes.
If you would like to find out more about how our gutter maintenance services, get in touch today on 01869 277 100 or head over to our contact page for more details.