Archive for October, 2014

The Maintenance of Rainwater Goods and Drainages.

Friday, October 31st, 2014

Autumn in Belfast is a wash of beautiful golds, reds and browns as our trees give a last flush of colour before retiring for the winter. The likely sight around gardens in Belfast at this time of year is the last lawn cut and the labour of sweeping leaves from paths, gardens and driveways. But don’t forget to clear your rainwater goods of leaves and debris.The rainwater goods include the gutters and downpipes which are instrumental in the long-term survival of any building. Together with a watertight roof, they ensure that rainwater is directed safely away from the building. As water is one of the greatest causes of damage to buildings, their interiors and contents it is vital to keep these elements well maintained
Blocked gutters will overflow and may leak onto the walls, causing damage to the masonry and any interior decoration. Excess water may also saturate the ground below and undermine the wall or encourage rising damp in the walls. Any water ingress, caused by blocked and overflowing rainwater goods or leaks in the roof, could lead to fungal and insect infestationsTo ensure the rainwater goods are in working order it is highly recommended that regular inspections and maintenance are undertaken. Especially at this time when the leaves are falling from the trees and other debris is blown around by the wind. This can collect in our gullies and gutters.
At least twice a year, the gutters, valleys, rainwater heads, dry areas, channels, downpipes and gullies need to be cleared out and the drains rodded. This is a crucial part of the overall house maintenance. A routine maintenance schedule for the cleaning of all rainwater goods in November and May of each year is recommended. The gutters should be cleaned both during and after the autumn fall of leaves. This is particularly important in the case of houses near trees.Above ground rainwater goods are only as effective at removing rainwater as the below ground drainage to which they connect. If the drainage system does not direct the rainwater away from the building it will lead to severe problems causing the instability of foundations and rising damp. Below ground drainage includes rainwater gullies and gratings, manholes, pipework, soakaways, septic tanks and land drains.
In order to ensure their working order, it is recommended that gullies are cleaned regularly and at least twice a year, missing and broken grates are replaced, any manholes are inspected annually (if necessary by qualified contractors) and all drains to be jetted every five years. If you observe any drainage blockages you should ask a specialist for advice.

Whilst Belfast is decorated by the colourful autumn canvases, keeping a check on leaves blocking our rainwater goods is a not so glorious necessity needing done now.