Keep your gut­ter­ing free of de­bris

Waitaki Herald - - ADVERTISING FEATURE -

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.

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