To help keep conservatories in perfect condition Wavin Plastics, has put together some tips and useful advice to ensure that people are making the most of their conservatory.
Plastic guttering systems such as Wavin’s OSMA system are ideal for use on conservatories. They are easy to fit, cost effective and available in a range of colours, black, white, grey or brown. It is important to check the guttering is in good working order. These simple maintenance measures will ensure that the guttering perform year on year.
If gutters become blocked, unsightly water and rubbish will overflow, dirtying the glass and causing damp, sludgy areas around the outside of your conservatories. Leaves, moss and other debris are the most common cause of blockages but because conservatories tend to get forgotten about over the winter months, who knows what surprises are up there!
Scoop out the rubbish from the guttering using a trowel. Once the majority of the rubbish is removed, flush the guttering with water.
If the down-pipe starts to fill, backing-up into the guttering it is probably blocked and that is the next job! If there is a hopper in the downpipe, over flowing at the hopper will indicate a blockage below it.
Be careful when unblocking a downpipe. Pushing the rubbish down may compress it, making it even harder to remove. Try and free the blockage by using a piece of stiff wire to create a small hole working the wire back and forth, dislodged debris will be carried away by the flow of water. As it clears feed the hosepipe (with the water running) down the pipe. If all else fails the downpipe will have to be dismantled and the individual lengths cleared.
One way of preventing this happening is to fit a leaf guard – this will make the job much easier next year.
If there is a pool of water over 25mm deep along one length of the guttering, the section will need to be re-positioned to ensure the original gentle slope. Adding additional brackets and spacer clips, such as the Wavin’s StormLine gutter hanging brackets may help prevent this problem in future.
Cast iron and steel systems will need to be checked for signs of rust and cleaned back with a wire brush, any bare metal areas must be treated with rust killer. Rust killer can also be used to fill hairline cracks but deep cracks will need to be fixed with a piece of aluminium.
On the other hand, one of the major advantages of a plastic system is that if you find a crack, replacement sections are readily available and are cheap and easy to fit. Simply unclip the old piece, check the new section is the correct length and clip in. Plastic guttering is much lighter than metal guttering, maintenance is low and there is no need to paint it.
Another area that people do not always give due attention to is heating. While a great deal of heat will come free of charge via solar gain a heating system can improve and extend the time you spend in a conservatory.
Conservatories lose heat at a much greater rate than a normal room. Even after the revision of Part L of Building Regulations that came into effect in April this year, the rate of heat loss through windows and glazing remains approximately six-times greater than through external walls of the same area.
A good heating system is particularly pertinent if you have a north-facing conservatory, which receives less sun. In addition heating can open up the conservatory for use in the evening as well as turn into a room that can be enjoyed all year round.
Underfloor heating, such as the OSMA range, is ideal for conservatories. Free of unsightly radiators that would be visible outside through the glass, it is easy to install, takes up no space and is more efficient than conventional heating methods.
An added advantage for asthmatic allergy sufferers is that because under floor heating isn’t reliant on convection to heat the room it doesn’t stir up dust it is an ideal form of clean heat.