Will Having Concrete Finlock Gutters Affect The Sale Of My House?

 The housing market seems to be forever going up and down. Since the huge spike in house prices in 2020-21, when buyers took advantage of the temporary holiday on stamp duty, there has been a definite fall in the market. The impacts of Brexit, COVID-19 and the war in Ukraine, as well as the current cost of living crisis and the rise in interest rates, has meant that the number of those looking for new houses has fallen.

Prices seem likely to continue to fall in 2024 but as a gradual decline rather than the crash that was first predicted. As house owners reach the end of their fixed-price mortgages and are hit by higher rates, it may force many to sell if they can’t afford their payments.  

However, people sell their houses for all sorts of reasons – relocating for work or family reasons, downsizing with an ‘empty nest’ situation or needing more space for a growing family. Whatever the reason, you may be contemplating selling your home, there are some things you can do to help make the sale quicker and more stress-free.  

Concrete guttering, also known as Finlock guttering, was a system of guttering that was very popular on houses constructed between the 1950s and the 1970s.

In post-war Britain, there was a shortage of cast iron for pipes, and concrete seemed a logical option as it was available, durable and low-cost. As residential building practices had also begun introducing cavity walls, concrete guttering was also a handy solution for closing the top of the cavity at the roof line.

A Finlock gutter consists of two troughs, one of which closes the cavity and another which serves as the gutter system. They are connected using steel reinforcing rods and mortar. Often, the outside was lined with bitumen to further weatherproof the guttering.

What’s the problem with Finlock gutters?

Finlock gutters were designed to last a long time, but houses built in the 50s, 60s and 70s are long past the date they were intended to last until, so the systems are failing and even falling apart.

While concrete, bitumen and other materials commonly used in Finlock systems are durable materials, they are subject to deterioration over time. The deterioration creates dampness and leaks which leads to further problems such as rot and mould which are harmful to health.

The dampness can cause crumbling plaster, sagging and even the collapse of guttering onto driveways, gardens and vehicles and, if left untended to, even cracks in the building’s foundations. 

Should I change my Finlock gutters to help sell my house?

There are several reasons why changing your Finlock guttering could help you sell your house, not least because if there are visible issues caused by them – such as patches of damp or cracks on the outside or mould inside – it will put off potential buyers. Some of the biggest reasons for sorting out your Finlock guttering before putting it on the market are:

Kerb appeal

The clean, modern materials of new uPVC or metal guttering can enhance the visual aesthetic as potential buyers pull up to view your property. That might just be enough to tip the balance in favour of them making an offer or not, as it will reassure them about having to deal with potential major issues straight after moving in. It also gives the impression to a potential purchaser that the house has been cared for and updated, and can make it stand out in comparison to your neighbours’ houses.  

Insulation

Finlock guttering generally causes thermal bridging, which means it conducts heat out of the house. This leads to increased heating costs and potential cold spots on internal walls. In the current cost of living crisis, having guttering that helps the house retain its heat is a great selling point for any potential buyer.  

Water leakage, damp and mould

The biggest problem with failing Finlock guttering is water leakage. Over time in the Great British climate, the concrete becomes porous, joints between sections fail and water begins to seep into the building. This causes damp patches on walls and ceilings which, in turn, is conducive to mould growth. Whilst it is possible to try and patch up evidence of damp and mould, a savvy purchaser will spot them instantly and it will put them off making an offer.  

Return on investment

Many people consider investing in a new kitchen or bathroom before putting their house on the market as they believe it will make it more appealing and lead to a better offer. Changing leaking and sagging guttering is an investment well worth considering as it will reassure potential buyers that it’s not a job they’ll have to do immediately after moving in. Most buyers will prefer to choose their own interior fittings anyway, so why spend money on aesthetics that they will probably change? 

What can I do with my Finlock gutters to help the sale of my house?

There are two solutions for dealing with your Finlock guttering. The first is gutter lining and the second is replacement.

Gutter replacement

Gutter replacement is the complete removal of the old concrete Finlock guttering and then its replacement with new uPVC guttering. Our expert team will install the uPVC in your chosen shape and colour to ensure your home is the smartest on the street. We use high-quality tools and materials,  bring our own Easi-Dec access platforms and send only the most skilled engineers in the business. When the job is completed, we ensure that debris and rubbish are all removed, leaving your property clean, tidy and ready for potential viewers.

Gutter lining

This does what it says on the tin. The first row of tiles is removed to expose the edge of the guttering, and all old lining is cut out before the area is thoroughly cleaned and then painted with quick-drying, waterproof fibreglass. Then an EPS (eaves protection system) is installed to angle water away from your home and into the gutter. When the EPS trays are joined, they are then covered with flashform and finally, the tiles are replaced. This lining and repair solution to Finlock guttering is a cheaper option, although it will eventually need to be redone as it isn’t a long-term fix.  

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