A Helpful Guide to Gutter Maintenance
All you need to know about gutter maintenance
When it comes to gutter maintenance, the fact is that now a lot of home-owners don’t even consider their guttering. Why? There are a number of reasons, one being it’s a tricky job to do yourself with no prior knowledge. Another is of course, the fact that it isn’t a problem until it’s a problem. That said, you can prevent such problems by keeping your gutters clear and well-maintained.
What happens if your guttering is compromised?
Through bad weather or just wear and tear, guttering can become damaged and inefficient, which can spell disaster for your home. Gutters are built to take rainwater away from the places it can do damage, like roofs, walls, fascia and exterior facades. They also prevent water getting inside your home, including around the foundations. What happens if it does get in? Wood rots, mould grows, damp rises, and brick breaks down. These are all big no-nos, and can be easily avoided by good guttering maintenance.
Why would it be compromised?
If you live in an area with lots of trees, leaves and other debris can cause blockages in the gutters or downpipe, meaning water cannot flow down and away. If your home has been ravaged by bad weather, or your guttering is just old, damaged joints or holes can cause leaks.
What do do if it is
There’s method to the madness with clearing gutters. Always work away from downpipes; that way blockages don’t get pushed further down and in. To clear the actual gutters of debris, just get a small piece of wood or some other solid object and scrape along it, lifting out and disposing of debris as you go. To check the flow is good, pour some water into it. If it flows away you are good to go. If the issue is a blockage in the downpipe, buy a plumber’s snake at any hardware store, and push it down the pipe. This will knock out blockages which can be gathered at the bottom.
If you have unreachable gutters, or are just worried about a fall, you can get professional help. These experts will do it in half the time with twice the competency, and it’s worth paying for the peace of mind. Things like sagging gutters can mean problems with the brackets, which are a little trickier to fix. You should take a look at your gutters every couple of months, more frequently in autumn, to make sure leaves aren’t causing them problems.
PRO TIP – Fit iron mesh at the downpipe mouth. This lets water flow, but traps debris, making them easier to catch before they cause problems.