Keep your guttering free of debris
One of the most important home maintenance jobs that needs to be done is the checking and clearing of your guttering (recommended by industry experts as twice yearly).
Gutters and downspouts have the important function of steering rainwater away from the home. If this system becomes blocked or damaged the water flows wherever gravity takes it, meaning it will most probably end up seeping into cracks in the roof, eventually causing water damage and corrosion and causing your home to become damp and mouldy.
While it is not the most pleasant of jobs, it should not take too long to check and clear your guttering of leaves and debris.
Many homeowners will be able to manage this task themselves but if not, or you would prefer not to, there are professionals available to hire who will be happy to take care of this for you.
Getting Started If you have decided to undertake the task yourself, you will need a few pieces of basic equipment including: a ladder bucket gutter scoop heavy duty bristle brush a good pair of gloves and a garden hose Before starting to clean your gutters, take proper precautions and ensure your ladder is set up correctly.
To prevent debris from going into the downpipes and potentially blocking them, use a large rag and block the downpipe at the top where it attaches to the gutter, making sure the rag is secure and will not go down the downpipe.
You can then start to carefully remove dirt, leaves and rubbish into the bucket using a gutter scoop. Work your way around the house, emptying the bucket frequently, and when you have finished remove the rag(s) from the downpipes and sluice out the gutters using your garden hose. The water should run freely through the gutters. If it runs slowly, or not at all, then you most likely have a blocked downpipe.
Try to unblock pipes using the garden hose, a long piece of wood or strong wire. If this is not successful, you may need to dismantle that section of pipe and work from there – it may be necessary to hire a drain snake from a local hire centre.
Preventing The Problem
While you will never be able to completely stop debris and dirt from making its’ way into your guttering, installing gutter guards will help reduce the risk of gutters and downpipes becoming blocked.
The mesh guards are designed to work as a filter to help prevent leaves and other debris falling into the guttering although it is still best to check your gutters yearly to pick up any potential problems.
Trees, branches and bushes that overhang your roof and guttering should also be trimmed or cut away so that their leaves, fruit, needles or cones don’t fall directly into your gutters and cause problems or damage.
Looking after guttering will protect your house from water damage.