Wednesday, 13 October 2010

genie lift clears gutters

The Genie lift platform was delivered last Thursday and a team of repair staff from our usual repair contractors spent most of the day going over the gutters with it on the whole of the building.
It was summarised to me that the original problem with the drainpipe and guttering by the bay window had not been finished the first time (a few weeks ago) because there was another tennis ball, and a plastic drinks bottle half full of water, wedged half way down it, and the contractors had to get the pipe apart in order to remove these obstructions. This is now cleared. The problem I was having on the other side of the building, summarised in my email to the company (personal data deleted for privacy purposes) shows how annoyed I was starting to get:

re. message sent on Saturday 2nd October:
Could you let me know if there has been any progress on checking the guttering and drainpipe as detailed below.
I have heard nothing back from xxxxxx
It is not acceptable that these problems relating to our homes being weatherproof  are not promptly dealt with, I would also like to  find out what job reference number has been assigned to this issue and why there has been a delay in informing me of the plan of action.
Please contact me by email , visit or telephone (not text message as I cannot receive them).
The tenants at xxxxx  have had many visits from xxxx over  the years about damp problems in our homes and a number of repairs have been carried out inside the properties due to damp damage.
I do not understand why the guttering and drainpipe is not maintained, as a priority, as leaking guttering is one of the main causes of damp in homes.
Checking and maintaining guttering and blocked drainpipes would save money in the long run because expensive damp related repairs would not have to be done and flats would not be left void due to no one wanting to live in them.

----- Forwarded Message ----Sent: Sat, 2 October, 2010 10:21:42
Subject: Leaking Guttering NExxxx

Re. Guttering and drainpipe on  xxxxx

There is  a blockage or leak in the guttering on the outside of the 3 storey block  between the kitchen and  the bedroom window, on the north east side of the building.
It has caused the brickwork  underneath over one foot from the ground to go green and black with damp. The paving stone underneath is also affected. 
It is pouring off down the wall in a stream when it rains and when it is not raining it is constantly dripping from rainwater left in the gutter.
Recently I noticed a lot of damp rot under my carpet and I believe the water is seeping under the building because the guttering is not working in so many places.
The drainpipe of the same  gutter which runs down beside beside xxxx, some yards along from where I have got the leak, may be blocked at the bottom, this may need checking as well.
If you could send someone to check this out and if possible fix it I would be grateful. It is all on the outside of the building.
I have been in touch with xxx xxx about the guttering maintenance contracts in general because I don't think xxx staff can clear or repair  guttering on a 3 storey building due to health and safety issues.
Thank you,


I am fairly happy with the work which has been carried out.
Apparently there was a broken part on the gutter above the kitchen. This had been causing the gutter to  leakon that side. That has been fixed.
Except that the gutters are "misaligned" (actual quote) and so are bowing and causing the rainwater to stand in them, which will leak and run off them when the rain is heavy.
This is a structural problem which needs  to be reassessed by the company. It would need fixing by putting up scaffolding and doing a lot more work on the gutters.
However I have been told there does  not seem to be anything wrong with the gutter or drainpipe on the north east side of the building by the boys' bedrooms. The drainpipe directly fits into the drain, which leads me to suspect that what is happening when it rains heavily is that the drain and  sewer into which it flows, are not draining away properly, so we are getting water backing up the drainpipe and causing it to cascade off the roof.
We are going to look into this possibility, maybe we will need to see hat happens next time we get heavy rainfall.
Apparently sewers built before 1937 (which ours almost certainly was) remain the property and responsibility of Northumbrian Water.


Jeff took me to Argos and I now have an Ebac dehumidifier, which is removing the excess  moisture from the air quite well.

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