At the Top: From the Roof Down to the Gulleys
Wellington Mansions has a flat roof consisting of a timber decking nailed to the roof joists and covered with layers of bitument roofing felt. This kind of felt is a form of waterproof sheeting with bitumen coming from the distillation of crude oil that has been either mixed with sand or crushed limestone. It is very durable and can be further strengthened by using a layer of proprietary chipping compound, such as limestone, gravel or granite in order for the surface to reflect (but not absorb) sunlight. It is also durable during the wetter months. Any materials that cover a flat roof should allow the water to run off freely from a very slight inclination.
Flat roofs do however have a major weakness in that subsequent works done to them can produce a crack or puncture in the surface leading to leaks. This must have been what happened over the years as various landlords did their own ‘repairs’. As a result the surface became uneven, buckled and cracked in some areas. with dips and puddles and possibly indicating that the deck or the structural joists having deteriorated or perished. Fortunately we did not need to use scaffold boards to spread a persons weight.
So, this is the roof we inherited!
As if the roof wasn’t bad enough, these were the water tanks!
Clearing the roof and carrying out patch repairs was all we could do in the early days, which was like trying to plug holes in a great big sieve!
After a considerable amount of time, this is how the roof and the water tanks were fully repaired and they ended up looking like this!
Although there have been no problems with the roof for some years now we did have to replace a water tank more recently because it had split and water was leaking into one of the flats beneath.
Guttering is used to efficiently drain water from the roof and prevent problems with damp. Depending on the ground bearing capacity of certain types of ground under the foundations, if these become blocked this can cause severe problems such as subsidence.
Our block had cast iron guttering but the most common type is that of UPVC as it is lighter than the other materials, making it relatively easy to manoeuvre into position.It also requires very little maintenance.
Note: Other types of gutterins are cast aluminium/rolled sheet aluminium.
All our cast iron gutters were replace by UPVC.
Downpipes and Hoppers
Gradually the lead down-pipes were replaced with round plastic pipes fixed to the wall with pipe clips and 2-part brackets. One part fits around the pipe while the other part is fixed to the wall. The separate parts are joined together with a nut and bolt. A shoe fits onto the bottom of the downpipe to direct the water away from the wall and into the drain. Hoppers have also been replaced due to many of the them having split.
We had a number of gulleys that needed repairing. Unfortunately there wasn’t much we could do about some of the shoddy pipework entering into them as they were carried out by individual landlords!
These are the repaired gulleys.