Types of Deterioration, Decay and Corrosion

Cast iron corrodes and degrades in ways that wrought iron does not. Because it is brittle, it can only withstand a limited degree of pressure or movement before breaking. As previously stated, if wrought ironwork bends, cast ironwork fractures or shatters.

Cast iron is prone to failure owing to rusting, which occurs when the metal is exposed to both air and moisture. Cast iron rusts the most when exposed to excessive humidity.

Contributing Factors to Deterioration

Factors that can contribute to cast iron gutter failure include:

  • Rainwater systems are frequently disregarded due to their difficulty of access so can easily fall into disrepair due to general neglect.
  • Growth of vegetation can cause gutter obstructions, which can lead to flooding and perhaps also damp.
  • Gutters are especially vulnerable to edge damage when things are pushed against them, such as ladders, etc.
  • When gutters are crooked, they lose their effectiveness. Typically, this is caused by drain pipe fittings getting loose or going missing.
  • Joints that are not properly sealed are prone to increased corrosion, freezing, and damage.

Care and Maintenance

With proper care and attention, there is no reason why cast iron gutters cannot last. As is always the case, prevention is preferable to treatment and adopting a regular maintenance regimen is the most effective approach to increase the lifespan of your gutters. A decent maintenance schedule should include bi-annual checks of all gutters, especially after the autumn season and again in the spring.
Excess water might encourage plant growth, complicating your guttering system even further. So, gutter cleaning should be done on a regular basis to remove plants, leaves, and waste.

Snow should be cleared from gutters to prevent moisture seeping through and fittings are best checked for leaks and systems for overflow in heavy rain where issues are most likely to be spotted.
Leaf guards can be fitted to gutters to help reduce blockages occurring. Though these should also be checked regularly for blockages.

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