It’s important that you keep your gutters clean so they can do the job they’re meant to do, namely, guide rainwater off your roof and down the drain. A lot of the time gutters are forgotten about, however, neglecting them can cause structural damage and a lot of costly repair bills.
What Are the Signs of Blocked Gutters?
It’s not that hard to detect that your gutters are blocked. If it’s raining and water is gushing over the side of your roof or running down the side of your house, then it’s pretty safe to say you have a gutter problem. Gutters can become clogged with debris, sag with the added weight of water or gutter joints can leak. Another common gutter issue is blockages in the downpipes which can be caused by leaves, twigs, dead animals and general wear and tear.
Water that can’t be channeled away builds up rapidly in your gutters and eventually overflows, causing:
- Run over onto the ground under gutters and erosion of garden beds
- Run over onto your roof and into your ceiling and eaves
- Water to pool along the walls of your house, saturating foundations
- Structural damage over time to the exterior walls and foundations
Water that collects in a blocked gutter because of debris causes the gutter to sag, and if it’s held on by rusty screws or faulty brackets, the whole gutter system will eventually buckle and break away from the roof. This not only causes damage to your house but is a safety hazard waiting to happen.
Debris such as leaves and twigs from surrounding trees or bird nests fill up gutters and if left for long periods attract a variety of pests like insects, spiders and mosquito larvae. It’s a fire hazard too, especially in the summer months. Leaf matter also rots down and produces mould that isn’t good for your health.
Fixing Blocked or Damaged Gutters
If you suspect a blockage then clearing gutters of debris is relatively simple with a high-pressure hose. But if you don’t fancy the thought of being up a ladder, then there are professionals who will do it for you. If gutters are cracked or broken then, you’ll definitely need to call the professionals to make sure the job is done right. A DIY job with sealant might save you money in the short term but cause more problems in the long run.
You should clean your gutters on a regular basis as part of your home maintenance to prevent blockage and damage. It’s recommended to do this at least once or twice a year. The beginning of winter and beginning of spring are good times to check guttering. Consider gutter guards if you’re in a neighbourhood with lots of trees, to stop larger pieces of debris entering your gutters, and for bird proofing.