Winter building maintenance tips

Here at Gilston Building Services, we know how important it is that your home stays watertight and weatherproof over the winter. While snow and freezing temperatures can be a big problem for your brickwork, rain can be an issue for your guttering. As a result, it is a good idea to check over your building to make sure its in top condition, before the cold really sets in. These are our winter building maintenance tips.

  • Check your guttering isnt blocked- if your gutters are full of leaves and debris they cant really get rid of the water effectively. In addition, during heavy rain, they may carry this debris down into your down pipe. If this is the case, your down pipe may leak water and stain your brickwork leading to future damage.
  • Check your guttering is sitting right- if your guttering is sagging, or facing the wrong way, you could have a problem. Guttering that is sloping can cause water to cascade over your walls and this will lead to water damage in the future. If your gutters need repairing, do it now before the cold spells, and use the same material as the existing framework.
  • Check your drains- drains that are blocked with leaves and twigs cannot function properly. So if you have a heavy rain spell, the drain will quickly overflow causing flooding and damage.
  • Have a look at your brickwork-if your exterior brickwork is looking a little warn, and the mortar is wearing off, you might want to do some repairs. This is because over the winter, any small imperfection will become much larger and cause much bigger problems.
  • Fill in any cracks- if there are any cracks, either in your guttering, your brickwork, or the cladding of your home, get them filled in. Over the winter, if ice freezes in these cracks, they will become bigger and bigger, exposing more of your home to the elements, and the damage that can bring.

For more information or advice, get in touch with the experts today, here at Gilston Building Services.

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Autumnal Damp

Now that the leaves are falling, it is a great time to check for damp around your property. Once winter hits, damp will become a lot more noticeable, and will create a lot more problems. As a result, autumn is the perfect time to make sure your home is free of damp. But how can you spot damp, and what types of damp are there? Well, here at Gilston Building services, we are damp experts. This is our guide to autumnal damp.

What is damp?

Damp is a common occurrence in all homes, no matter what they are made of and no matter how old they are. Damp can make homes feel cold, increasing the moisture in the air and walls, and causing ugly patches of moisture. Damp can also cause water damage, and this can decrease the value of your home.

Damp types

There are different types of damp, and these will need to be treated in different ways.

Damp types include:

Condensation- If there is too much condensation in your home, water damage can occur. Condensation usually occurs when there is not enough ventilation in a room of your home, which cause water to collect on cold walls and windows, and run into pools. This causes damp patches to form and can lead to unsightly mould.
Penetrating- Penetrating damp is caused by problems with the exterior of your property. Leaks or roof issues can lead to gaps through which water can penetrate your home. Alternatively, broken guttering and down-pipes can cause water damage to the exterior, which will eventually permeate your home. Because penetrating damp has a obvious cause, your damp issue can easily be rectified by fixing the initial problem.
Rising- Finally, Rising damp is an issue that can occur from moisture rising from ground level, up through the brickwork.

Treating damp

Any type of damp will need the attention of a building professional. Here at Gilston Building Services, we are experts when it comes to damp. For professional advice and support, get in touch today.

Autumn maintenance checks

Now that Autumn has officially arrived, and the weather is getting colder, its time to prepare your home for the worse of the weather yet to come. After all, surely its better to tackle these issues early, rather experience the consequences during the winter. As a result, this is our guide to Autumn maintenance checks, here at Gilston Building Services.

1. Check your brickwork for stains or discolouration

If you notice any stained brickwork, then its time to call a building expert. Staining on your brickwork is usually caused by leaking downpipes. Don’t believe us? Just wait till it rains and then inspect your downpipes. If they are the source of the discolouration, you will see water leaking from the joints. Over time, if this continues, it can lead to damp. So dont wait until the winter hits, make sure you fix it early.

2. Check your gutters

The next thing to do is to see if your gutters are carrying water away from your walls. Any sagging or gaps can lead to serious issues. Make sure you replace any damaged or broken sections as soon as possible, before more rain. If you are not sure how, contact a building expert to take a look.

3. Check your brickwork for signs of frost damage

Moisture that gets trapped in gaps in your brickwork, can freeze. As it freezes it will also expand, and shatter the brickwork surrounding it. This will lead to holes being left in the brickwork, and then with the next frost, these will just keep increasing in size. As a result, now is a good time to check for frost damage, and get in touch with the professionals to find out how to deal with this.

For more information or advice about how to tackle any of the issues listed above, get in touch with the experts today, here at Gilston Building Services.

 

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Advantages of professional brickwork

Here at Gilston Building Services, we offer a huge range of professional building services. One of the most popular of these services is brickwork. Professional brickwork is something that we excel at, and there are a range of advantages of professional brickwork, when compared to DIY brickwork. This is our guide to those advantages.

Safety

Brickwork structures can pose a danger, especially if they are not sturdy or strong, or well maintained. In fact, brickwork structures might not even show any signs of being unsafe or un-sturdy, until they suddenly collapse onto an unknowing bystander. The only way to guarantee that your brickwork structure is safe is to hire a professional and qualified bricklayer or builder. Otherwise you could be taking a risk with your own, or your families safety.

Style

While DIY brickwork might look effective, it will not compare in style or aesthetics to a professionally created structure. Here at Gilston Building Services, we have years of experience when it comes to creating brickwork structures that look incredible. So if style is something that matters to you, make sure you hire a professional.

Time

Building or repairing brickwork is a task that requires a lot of heavy lifting. If you work full time and are planning on building that retaining wall in your spare time, you might have bitten off more than you can chew. Laying bricks is not an easy task. In fact it is physically demanding, and will take up a lot of your time. For your own comfort, to prevent injury to yourself, and to leave you enjoying your free time, hire a professional team.

Here at Gilston Building Services, we are brickwork experts. Contact us today for more information about how we can help you.

Guide to felt roofing

Here at Gilston Building Services we offer a variety of high quality roofing services. This includes built up felt roofing, and high performance felt roofing. As a result, we are often asked a lot of questions about felt, including the different types of felt. So this is our guide to felt roofing.

Firstly, what is felt?

Felt is a mat of fibres which are coated on both sides with a bituminous coating. This makes it an incredibly waterproof material that can be used as roofing, to keep out the rain and withstand all weather conditions. The felt is generally finished off with a light sand or grit.

Felt can be bought in a range of lengths from 8 metres, up to 20 metres, with the width always remaining at around 1 metre.

Different types of felt?

There are a huge variety of felt types which are used for a number of different reasons and purposes. Each different felt type will be made from a different fibrous mat, and will have a different finish.

When it comes to felt roofing, you will need a glass fibre mat or, if you opt for high performance felt, a polyester mat. Either of these will be finished off with sand or slate to give increased protection from the sun.

What is built up felt roofing?

Built up felt roofing is essentially what it says on the tin. It is a method of creating a water proof roof by building up layers of felt. Each of the layers added will be bonded to the next, and this will create a water tight, weather proof and durable roof. It is often seen on flat roofs.

The layers of felt will be finished off with a layer of chippings to protect from the sun, or a mineral cap sheet.

Should I use high performance felt?

If you are considering using high performance felt, you are making the right choice. While a standard, good quality, felt roof will last around 15 years, a high performance felt roof can last up to 30 years. This makes high performance felt extremely cost effective.

If you have any more questions, or if you are looking for a building company you can trust, contact us today at Gilston Building Services.

Guide to green roofs

Here at Gilston Building Services, we take roofing seriously. From repairing tiles and flashing, to building an entirely new roof, we have the experience and the expertise to help get the job done. But what about a green roof? Are these practical? As one of the most popular roofing trends, we have produced this guide to green roofs.

What is a green roof?

A green roof, or a garden roof, is a specially designed roof which creates an area of green space. Usually this entails a layer of soil, a layer of turf and some wildflowers mixed in. No weeding this garden! Not only do these look really cool, they also provide a place for our wildlife to enjoy. And you’re in good company. In 2020 BC Mesopotamia, ancient roof gardens were installed and enjoyed!

Green roofs in commercial properties

Often built with flat, asphalt roofs, commercial properties make the perfect roof space for a green roof. The layer of greenery can help to reduce the internal temperature of the building, reducing reliance on fans, air-con, and other fuel sucking, money costing, methods of keeping cool. This education in temperature is also great for your roof itself, and can help extend its life.

Domestic green roofs

The most common use for domestic green roofs is currently over an orangery or home extension. This is because a slightly pitched or flat roof makes for the best surface for a green roof, helping all the layers to balance.

In addition, a green roof over your home extension can actually be the perfect way to finish it off. After all, an orangery looking to bring the outdoors in, can now also support a further area of green space, perfect for bird watching.

Increase your rental potential

Furthermore, a green roof space can be a massive selling point for a flat, or a property with no other outdoor space. This is because it provides a great alternative to the traditional roof terrace, and gives your tenants some space outside. In cities where outdoor space is limited, a green roof can really increase your rental potential.

Potential disadvantages

When it comes to a green roof, there are also some potential disadvantages. These include:
The weight of the green roof can be upwards of 25 pound per sq ft when wet. This means that your roof may not be able to support this weight, or there may be an additional cost for you to reinforce the roof.

The roof will be colder in winter. As a result of the greenery preventing the roof from absorbing heat, you could end up spending more money on heating your home during the winter.

In summary

A green roof can be a fantastic investment if your property meets the criteria. If you would like more information, contact us at Gilston Building Services today.

 

3 reasons to hire a professional plasterer

3 Reasons to Hire a Professional Plasterer

Here at Gilston Building Services, we offer a range of services from brickwork to roofing, and everything in between. This includes plastering, and we are often employed to fix up other peoples “dodgy” plastering. As a result, we have produced this guide to the 3 reasons to hire a professional plasterer.

1. Getting the job right

You’ll never get a better plastered wall than you do when you hire a professional. Plasterers with experience rarely make mistakes. And if they do, they know how to put them right. However, this isn’t because plastering is an easy job. On the contrary, there are a number of ways that plastering can go wrong. These include:

Using the wrong amount of plaster
Learning to mix and apply plaster is more difficult than the average Joe might give credit for. If you use too little plaster, it can end up being thin and uneven. If you use too much plaster, it can become lumpy and cause bumps. The right amount of plaster will give the perfect finish, and a professional plasterer can provide this.
Time to dry
One of the most common plastering mistakes is not leaving enough time for the plaster to dry. The drying times can alter depending on the wall materials and the variety of plaster. As a result, improper drying is a common issue, and leaves walls looking unpleasant and uneven. This can be avoided by hiring a professional plasterer.

2.Health and Safety

Although plastering may seem like a simple and straightforward job, there are actually some health and safety risks involved. A professional plasterer will have dealt with many of these risks previously, and know just what to do, safely. However, a “cowboy” builder or an unqualified handyman could put themselves and your property in danger. Risks can stem from:

  • exposed wiring
  • improper footwear
  • working from heights
  • spillages

As a result, it is always a better option to employ a professional builder.

3. Long term costs

Hiring a professional plasterer may not seem like its worth the money when a friend will do it on the cheap. But unless they know what they are doing, you can end up shelling out a lot more in the long run. This is because improperly applied plaster can simply crumble and fall off. As a result, you’ll have to call in a professional to rectify the faulty plastering. This means you may end up shelling out twice. Not to mention the inconvenience and loss of time.

If you need a professional plastering service you can trust, contact us at Gilston Building Services, Southport’s favourite professionals.

Brickwork Benefits

Now that Spring is in full swing, the damage of winter is evident. Weathering, blown down fences and chipped paintwork are some of the common issues that arise from a British winter. So when it comes to replacing or repairing damaged structures, should you opt for brickwork? Here at Gilston Building Services, we believe the answer is a resounding yes. Whether it’s a small garden retainer, or a brand new porch, brickwork should be the first choice. To back this up, we have produced this guide to brickwork benefits.

Durable

Brickwork is strong, hardy, and durable. As a result, brickwork structures are less likely to experience damage, and more capable of withstanding winter weather than any other material. The fact that brickwork is so durable means that your new garden retainer will still be there, standing firm, for decades!

Fire Resistant

Brickwork is fire resistant. Now this might not be the first thing you think about when it comes to adding to your home, but it is certainly an important consideration. Wood, PVC, and other materials may catch fire, or release toxic fumes. So if you are thinking of adding a porch or home extension, consider the fire resistant nature of bricks.

Low maintenance

Brickwork doesn’t need looking after. Bricks are built to withstand the elements and they don’t need weatherproofing or maintenance. As a result, brickwork can save on costs, and time.

Visually appealing

Brickwork is visually appealing. New brickwork always looks elegant and timeless, offering a stylish option that other materials just don’t seem to bring. A garden wall, or a new extension, will visually benefit from brickwork.

Holistic

Brickwork fits in everywhere. Whether you live in a city or the countryside, or anywhere in between, brickwork structures will fit in nicely. The same can’t be said for other building materials available. This is especially important for issues like planning permission, where your building work has to fit in with the existing architecture.

In summary

There are many brickwork benefits. These include durability, fire resistance, low maintenance, and the holistic nature of bricks. If you are looking for a professional and qualified team, to help bring your brickwork structure to life, contact us at Gilston Building Services today.

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Weather proof your home

Although the coldest months should by now be out of the way, Spring is a tricky time for buildings. The warmer weather allows brickwork to heat up and expand. But when a cold spell returns, the brickwork can become damaged. Rain also brings potential property issues. So how can you help weather proof your home? Here at Gilston Building Services, we are expert builders. As a result, we have produced this guide to help you weather proof your home.

Check downpipes

Brickwork that has become stained or discoloured, may indicate water damage. This is often caused by a leaking downpipe. As a result, your home may suffer from penetrating damp. Spring is renowned for heavy downpours, which only make matters worse. Check your downpipes while it is raining, to make sure they aren’t damaged or blocked. If they are, water will see from the joints.

Check the guttering

Guttering is often overlooked, but it is actually essential. It is responsible for carrying water away from your walls. During winter, the bad weather can cause guttering to bough, slit or tilt. As a result, your home can suffer from water damage. The best time to check your gutters is Spring, before heavy rainfall. Replace any damaged guttering and pipes to protect your home.

Check the windows

Windows in your home need to be secure and safe. Sealant or caulk can wear away over time. As a result, the windows can begin to become loose and insecure. This is something that should be addressed during Spring, when the temperature rises and falls sharply. During these temperature changes, your bricks will expand and contract. Consequently, your insecure window will become even more insecure.

In summary

Weatherproofing your home at all times of the year is important. However, many people overlook the damage that can be caused during Spring. For a professional opinion or advice, or for any maintenance or repairs, contact us at Gilston Building Services today.

Damp Types

Damp in homes is a common occurrence. Making the room feel cold, and causing unsightly patches, moisture in the home is a real nuisance. For home owners,water damage can seriously affect the value of the property. So if you notice moisture in your home, what can you do about it? Here at Gilston Building Services, we are experts in all aspects of building services, including damp proofing. These are our tips to help you recognise damp types, and deal with this common problem.

Types of damp

Firstly, the type of damp you have needs to be identified. There are different ways to treat damp types. Due to this, an accurate identification is necessary before any treatment begins. The three types include:

  • Condensation
  • Penetrating
  • Rising

Condensation

An excess of condensation causes water damage. This can occur when there is not enough ventilation. As a result of condensation, pools of water can collect, leaving damp patches. One of the tell tale signs of this happening in your kitchen or bathroom is mould, usually caused by a lack of ventilation.

Penetrating

This is caused by exterior property problems, including leaks and roof issues. A leak from a boiler pipe may leave water marks and stains, while a faulty roof causes rain damage. Notably, if penetrating damp is the issue, this can be solved easily.

Rising

A common issue, rising damp occurs when moisture rises up from the ground through porous material, such as bricks.

How to prevent damp

This can be prevented from reoccurring by:

  • regularly checking the roof and gutters
  • using extractor fans in the kitchen and bathroom to increase ventilation
  • implementing a damp proof course

How to treat damp

Damp is an issue that requires professional attention. Here at Gilston Building Services we are available for expert advice and support. Our trained and qualified professionals are on hand to identify and treat any damp issues, quickly and efficiently.