If you can’t remember when you last had your gutters cleaned out, this is definitely a good time to have it done. Even though they are probably a part of your home that you don’t really notice, don’t let it become a case of out of sight, out of mind – as your guttering plays a crucial role in the structural integrity of your house. If you don’t keep your gutters clean, your home could end up needing costly repairwork.
The gutter’s job is to take rainwater from your roof and channel it into the drain. If the gutter gets blocked or breaks, your home can suffer serious consequences – damp causing health issues to home occupants or even the house ending up with structural damage.
Whether you have plastic, cast iron or steel gutters, they must be cleaned regularly – at least once a year – to ensure they perform correctly and to avoid the need for repairs.
What causes blocked gutters?
The main cause of problems for householders is blockages in either the gutter or in the downpipes – debris such as leaves, moss or even dead birds. An easy way to determine whether your gutter is blocked is to step outside when it’s raining heavily… if water’s pouring down the side of your house, there is likely to be a problem!
Caught up debris or general wear and tear can cause leaking joints. If your property is damp, have the gutters checked before you do anything else.
Look out for sagging gutters; this can occur if they are weighed down by standing water or debris or if the brackets and screws are faulty. Regular gutter cleaning can bring these problems to light before they cause more serious issues.
Types of property
Every type of property that has guttering must have it cleaned regularly. It’s as simple as that! Whether you have an average residential property or a stately home, it’s vital to make sure the gutters are cleaned.
Historic buildings commonly use internal gutters or box gutters, as they don’t affect the property’s appearance. They were originally made of wood but then it became standard to make them metal-lined. Gargoyles and similar devices enabled the rain water to exit the gutter, until advances in technology saw the introduction of downspouts to the system.
Gutter cleaning is particularly important in historic or older properties since they may be more prone to damp anyway – plus the costs of repairing historic or stately homes in the event of damage from a faulty gutter will far exceed the costs of having the gutter cleaned in the first place.
Fixing blocked or damaged gutters
The best way to fix or clean guttering is to call out the professionals. It can be an arduous job for an amateur as the equipment alone, in particular a ladder to reach the roof and tools to scoop out the debris, can be hazardous if you don’t know what you’re doing. If your gutter is made from a synthetic material like PVC, you can easily damage it if you use a metal scraping tool.
Once a blockage is identified, it can be cleared. By first removing any large pieces of debris from the gutter itself or from the downpipe using a wire, water from a hose can then be inserted in the hole to begin washing the debris out. If you want to avoid causing more damage, this isn’t something that is easily done by an amateur!
If your gutters need cleaning, get it done as soon as possible!