Did you know? 

The most common method of rainwater disposal on traditional buildings is cast iron gutters and downpipes.  Cast iron was introduced in the 19th century.  Many earlier buildings did not have gutters, and in Georgian buildings it was common to hide downpipes internally and use a parapet gutter lined in lead.

What to look for

  1. Blocked gutters
    A build-up of leaves, silt and slate debris often leading to vegetation growth.
  2. Blocked downpipes
    Water backing up into the gutter, the gutter overflowing or water forced out of downpipe joints in heavy rain.  Water trapped in blocked downpipes can freeze causing the cast iron to split open.
  3. Blocked gulleys
    Ensure any open gulley traps at ground level are free from debris, plant growth and gravel.  There are no blockages in the underground drainage system.
  4. Gutter brackets
    Broken or loose brackets, possibly putting the gutter out of alignment.
  5. Downpipe brackets
    Broken, loose or missing brackets possibly causing downpipes to disconnect at the joints. Look for water staining and algae growth on the wall behind joints and down the pipe.
  6. Condition
    Look for chipped, spilt, flaking paint finishes or rust on cast iron.  Look for small holes, tears and thinning of the surface in lead gutters. Problem areas to look out for are the back of gutters where they are tight against the wall or tucked under slates and behind downpipes and at the joints.

What to do?

Keep all items clear of blockages allowing water to run freely and quickly from the roof.  Keep cast iron in good condition by painting regularly.  Have lead gutters checked by a skilled person.

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