Common Gutter and Downpipe Problems on Old Commercial and Industrial Buildings

12 June 2020

Commercial and industrial buildings that were designed from the past, particularly from the late 18th century to the mid-19th century, share a very similar material when it comes to their overall design. One design visible to the mentioned buildings is the use of cast iron on some of their parts, which include the gutters and downpipes.

In the construction industry, cast iron is typically used in building bridges, markets, warehouses, balconies, and fences as it has great compressive strength. For commercial and industrial buildings, the use of cast iron gutters and downpipes has helped them combat roof-related problems such as the accumulation of rainwater, debris, and other materials.

However, the brittleness and low tensile strength of cast iron make it vulnerable to damages. As time goes by, old commercial and industrial buildings with cast iron gutters and downpipes can naturally encounter the following problems:

Deterioration of Cast Iron

While the construction industry has favoured cast iron in the past, some of its properties had led the industry to find another material in fabricating gutters and downpipes. Cast iron is known for its poor impact resistance and poor tensile strength. It is also prone to rust, which is not promising especially when you use it for building parts that are exposed to various outdoor elements. With cast iron gutters and downpipes, you may encounter some chipped, flaking paint finishes or rust on the back of gutters. Your lead gutters may also have some small holes and tears.

Blocked Gutters and Downpipes

No matter how old or new your buildings are, the occurrence of blocked gutters and downpipes can happen to any commercial and industrial buildings. For your gutters, any blockages that will occur may be caused by the accumulation of leaves, silt, and slate debris. Any vegetation growth can deliberately obstruct your gutter’s pathway for water. Downpipes, on the other hand, may experience some overflowing due to the presence of trapped water. And once this trapped water freezes, your cast iron downpipe may split open thanks to its low tensile strength.

Broken or Missing Brackets

The main purpose of brackets is to make sure that gutters and downpipes are secured and well-supported. Without proper maintenance of these brackets, expect your gutters and downpipes to hang loose or get water damages in the long run. With old commercial and industrial buildings, you must check for any broken, loose, or missing gutter and downpipe brackets. Remember, having broken or loose gutter brackets may result in the misalignment of your gutter. Alternatively, a loose or broken downpipe bracket can cause separation of downpipes at the joints and growth of algae.

Determining and identifying these common gutter and downpipe problems on your old commercial and industrial building can help you solve them quickly. If you need help with the maintenance of your gutter and downpipes, then give us a call now at All Safe Roofing. We are the best in the Australian market and we will ensure that your roof is also the best. ​We also provide a long-lasting solution, using the best metal materials and designs we will ensure that your gutter meets Australian standards and does what is intended to do.

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