These popular additions to living spaces come in many shapes and forms. Some very well designed and constructed others almost certainly not.
Many older conservatories were not so much designed as ‘living space’ but more a glorified ‘greenhouse’. Sadly these are probably all beyond their useful life and beyond any sort of repair.
The next level of conservatory, those actually designed as such, but probably not with a great deal of care in either the design or construction – frequently a ‘lean to’ type. Earlier versions were probably built with poor foundations and damp proofing where conservatory meets house. The general construction may have been of poor materials particularly the roof.
While repairs to these may well be possible, they could be quite extensive, particularly in the time required to identify the cause of any particular problem and thence finding a suitable solution.
More recent conservatories built in the last 5-10 years ought to be more satisfactory, with the inclusion of new regulations. However that still does not mean it will be without it’s own design and construction faults.
The most common area of design fault is the provision for rainwater dispersal. This is especially prevalent where ‘valley’ gutters are used. That is where two sections of roof run into one gutter, often between house and conservatory. It is essential that these are both wide and deep enough to accommodate the heaviest of possible rainfall. Not only this, but they must have sufficient fall leading to ample downpipe capacity. If these points are not met, water will overflow into the conservatory.
Even where a valley gutter is not required; attention needs to be paid to the rainwater capacity. It may be that a downpipe from the house gutter is diverted into the conservatory gutter. It is unlikely that the designer of the conservatory will have allowed for this in the standard design. This can result in water cascading over any windows and doors and possibly leaking through the eves/fascia.
The next area of common fault, is damp proofing, not purely at ground level, but where the conservatory joins the existing building – walls and roof. The point of the house external wall where the conservatory joins, thus becomes an internal wall. If a damp proof membrane is not installed along these joints, then moisture in the brickwork externally will pass into the conservatory resulting in damp walls and/or leaks along the roof joint.
NONE of the above are easy to solve after the event.
Other common problems are general leaks around roof panels, from the ridge and in particular around skylight vents. Roof panels can move (due to expansion and contraction as the roof heats up and cools down) causing gaps to open up.
Aftercare have gained wide experience of dealing with a large number of conservatory problems, and can inspect your conservatory and advise what can be done to alleviate or cure problems wherever possible. Unfortunately, due to the nature of leaks, it is virtually impossible to give a finite quotation for remedial work, nor is it possible to guarantee the results.
We will usually advise a price to come and carry out initial inspection and carry out minor repairs where practical, and/or advise of further actions required and likely costs.