For many years there have been problems with dampness and mould in some of the houses in Silverstream and Tyndale. It is an issue I have written to the Housing Executive about many times and they have generally come back with the answer that it was a problem of condensation.
Finlock gutters, also known as concrete gutters, were built on most new-build properties in the 1950s and 1960s. Due to a lack of steel and surplus of concrete in post war Britain, the government started using Finlock gutters on houses. Finlock gutters are made of concrete blocks which can range from 8 inches to 12 inches and are joined using mortar. Finlock gutters were designed to be a maintenance free system; however Finlock gutters are now starting to deteriorate due to concrete being an unsuitable material for guttering.Main problems include
- Interior damp (which can then lead to mould)
- External or internal leaks
- External mould patches
- Water not flowing properly through the gutter
- The gutters starting to fall apart
The only permanent solution is to have the external part of the concrete gutters cut away and replaced with a more suitable guttering system.
Having got the Housing Executive to admit the cause of the problem the next thing was to get them to address it and they carried out a pilot on two houses in Silverstream. This involved sawing off the old concrete gutters and replacing them with ordinary gutters. However the work involves more than that as the roof has to be extended down somewhat.
- They now admit what the problem is - that is progress.
- They have a method of dealing with the problem - that is progress.
- They have proved that it works - that is progress.
- They are about to start work on the first phase of the houses - that is progress.
Someone from the Housing Executive is going door to door about this to talk to residents but if you have a particular concern and want to speak to me about it please contact my office and make an appointment to see me.