Winter Waterproofing Tips

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Now that winter is definitely on the way, and we have still got a relatively warm and dry spell, you should be taking advantage and doing those repairs to the places on the outside of your properties that are most likely to cause more damage due to water penetration. Phenomenal amounts of water pour off our roofs and all of it has to find it’s way to the storm drains. Over the long term, water damage can cause damp and various forms of rot and mold. So today I thought I would share some tips for quick cheap repairs that will save you thousands in the long run if they are dealt with in the early stages.

Check Guttering

Go across the road from your property and check that the level of your guttering is running straight along the roof line. Make sure to look at the corners. If you spot any kind of dipping then you may well have a corner that has come away from it’s clip. Very simple and cheap to fix, but can cause water to fall off the gutter and hit the brickwork or woodwork. Over time this will weaken the bricks and mortar and you will get water seeping inside.

Check that your guttering does not have any rust or cracks if its the old metal type. If it does you will need to use some sealer, weld it or even replace that part. Often its cheaper to replace the whole run with plastic, depending on the size of the repair required.

Inspect your guttering to make sure it’s free from debris that may create blockages so that rainwater runs cleanly down the drainpipe too. This extra weight from debris can also cause the gutter to come away from its clips as described above.

Drains & Downpipes

Much of our old Victorian housing stock has drains running through the front garden which are generally buried fairly close to the surface. These drains are usually about 3″ in diameter and again will be made of cast iron or sometimes clay pipe. They become blocked very easily over time due to the corrosion of the pipe. It’s an easy job to get a drain rod into the pipe from the street drain, and by using a circular motion, to clear any blocks. If they do become blocked it can cause damp to back up into bay window brickwork which in turn will need a much more expensive damp proof repair later on.

You may also have old cast iron downpipes that have been half repaired with plastic. This never works long term because the old and new sizes are different, making it hard to get a good seal. If the cast iron is corroded and letting water out its better to replace the whole run with plastic than try to bodge a repair. If you own a heritage property, then check local salvage yards for reclaimed pipes that are in good condition and reusable.

While you are up the ladder check that the brickwork at the top of your house is in good condition and that there are no obvious problems on the roof.

Displaced roofing tile repairs are normally quite cheap. The last one we did only cost about £100, which is a lot cheaper than a major roof repair 😉

Is there anything you do before winter sets in to keep your house damp free? Please share your thoughts in our comments section below.

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