Industrial and commercial guttering challenges
When it comes to industrial and commercial guttering, these systems are under constant pressure from weather conditions. As a result, this poses many challenges for businesses from both a cost and maintenance perspective.
Industrial roof gutters
Many gutter systems used on industrial buildings tend to be made from heavy-duty materials, such as galvanised steel and aluminium. These types of gutters have a typical lifespan of around 20 years. For older buildings and factories, it’s common to find guttering made of cast iron, concrete or asbestos cement. Each substrate has its own set of challenges in terms of corrosion or being susceptible to cracking.
The cost of replacing an industrial guttering system can be high and will depend on the material and building size. As an example, aluminium guttering costs around £25 per metre, while steel is around £30 per metre. Therefore, the cost of replacing an entire guttering system on a 10,000 square metre building could run into tens of thousands of pounds.
Commercial roof gutters
When it comes to commercial gutters used on office roofs, modern buildings may have similar systems as residential homes. Typically, this type of guttering would be made of PVC with a lifespan of around 20 years. But in the UK, many offices are found in older buildings, where heavy-duty cast iron gutters are present.
If an office is in a listed building, any replacement guttering would need to be like-for-like, in line with the relating conservation guidelines. Cast iron gutters can costs as much as £65 per metre, which can be a considerable outlay for a business expense.
Where offices form part of industrial units, similar costs for replacing commercial guttering might apply, such as galvanised steel or aluminium. As a guttering material and asides from PVC, aluminium is the lightest material and the easiest to install.
Climate change is posing greater challenges for commercial and industrial gutters. Heavy downpours of rain are placing huge pressure on guttering. Pooling water can build up quickly after a storm, along with any debris that has been brought onto rooftops by high winds. The force of water and objects can add weight to gutters, causing damage to weaker systems. Downpipes can also overflow, placing pressure on areas around the roofline and below.
Another cause for concern is extreme heat during the summer months. Hot conditions can damage guttering, causing it to expand and sometimes crack. UV rays can weaken the surface of the guttering and existing coatings, affecting the integrity of the gutter system. Therefore, guttering systems need protection to combat the effects of climate change.
Inspecting gutter systems
Whether you’re inspecting industrial or commercial guttering, a similar maintenance approach is required.
Below are a few tips for carrying out maintenance checks:
- Inspect guttering after heavy rain or stormy conditions. Debris such as fallen leaves, twigs and branches can quickly accumulate and cause blockages. This puts a strain on guttering and downpipes, which can overflow onto cladding. Water can penetrate any weak spots in corroded cut edges of the roof and the building walls.
- Where buildings are surrounded by trees, more regular inspections may be needed. Aim to cut trees back by around a metre from the roofline to ensure a clear gap between guttering systems. Some gutters have snowguards and cages to protect against fallen debris, bird nests and adverse weather conditions.
- Check guttering for any micro roots such as moss, algae and lichen. Organic matter can grow quickly, leading to blockages. Remove using a fungicidal wash and clean thoroughly with water, while observing the correct jet washer pressures for the substrate. A water flow test is a good way to assess whether the gutter system is flowing correctly.
- Carry out repairs as soon as possible to preserve the longevity of the guttering system. Giromax® Guttercoat is a moisture tolerant formula, which can be used to repair and encapsulate the surface, creating a protective barrier. This innovative solution helps to protect gutters from weather conditions and extreme temperatures.
When it comes to industrial or commercial guttering, the key is to perform regular maintenance. Use a drone to carry out cost-effective roof inspections, and repair or replace any damaged guttering to ensure the integrity of the building. By using a protective gutter coating, you can help to extend the life of your roof gutter.
Giromax® Guttercoat can be used on a variety of different substrates, including galvanised steel, aluminium, cast iron, copper, asbestos cement and concrete. This flexible formula provides a permanent elastomeric coating, which is vapour breathable and guaranteed for 15 years. Highly durable with laminar flake, anti-corrosion technology, our product enables contractors to carry out cost-effective repairs without costly replacements.
The Giromax technical team continually test our gutter coatings in QUV cabinets and real-weather conditions. We test formula durability in both pooling and frozen water to ensure the product can withstand extreme conditions, such as UV rays, rain, snow and ice.
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