Here’s a few tips for a bet­ter gut­ter

Gut­ter­ing is de­signed to pro­tect your home’s ex­te­rior walls from rain by channelling wa­ter from the roof to a drain in the ground via the gutters and down­pipes. Homes & Liv­ing found some gut­ter­ing tips to keep your rain­wa­ter trick­ling freely.

Kentish Gazette Canterbury & District - East Kent Property - - DIYLIVING -

Clean up be­fore start­ing to paint with the new Black and Decker Dust­buster with Cy­clonic Ac­tion (£54.56, ama­ Also great for gen­eral clean­ing, this recharge­able hand­held vac­uum cleaner (two up­right ver­sions are avail­able) has an ex­tend­able crevice tool for ex­tra reach, a re­mov­able and wash­able dust bowl for easy clean­ing and an In­tel­li­gent Boost mode that’s bril­liant when you need ex­tra suc­tion. There’s a com­pressed lithium-ion bat­tery, which is 40% lighter (com­pared to a bat­tery of equiv­a­lent to­tal en­ergy) and helps to make the Dust­buster light­weight and com­pact. The bat­tery sen­sor shows you how much charge is left, while the fil­ter sen­sor de­tects when the fil­ter be­comes clogged and needs to be cleaned. Most gutters and down­pipes are plas­tic these days, which are cheaper, lighter and eas­ier to work with than metal ones, but many pe­riod prop­er­ties still have the orig­i­nal cast-iron gut­ter­ing.

Over time, these can rust and even­tu­ally start to dis­in­te­grate.

When do­ing build­ing work, you of­ten have to re­place cast-iron soil pipes and the waste pipes go­ing into them, so you can get rid of waste from kitchens and bath­rooms, or change the lay­out of these rooms.

While plas­tic gut­ter­ing is of­ten a bet­ter op­tion, if you live in a listed build­ing and it has cast-iron gut­ter­ing, you’ll prob­a­bly have to re­place it like­for-like – con­sult your lo­cal coun­cil’s con­ser­va­tion of­fice first, as you may need listed build­ing con­sent.

Plan­ning per­mis­sion may some­times be needed to re­place gut­ter­ing if, for ex­am­ple, your home’s per­mit­ted de­vel­op­ment rights have been re­moved – ask your lo­cal coun­cil if in doubt.

To stop gutters get­ting blocked, con­sider fit­ting gut­ter guards (try the Wickes Black Gut­ter Leaf Guard, £5.69 for 4m). These are grates that block de­bris but still al­low rain­wa­ter to get through.

Al­ter­na­tively, try the Hedge­hog Gut­ter Brush (www.hedge­hoggut­ter­brush. com), which is a hedge­hog-like brush that sits in the gut­ter and keeps out leaves and other de­bris be­cause they are de­flected by it or get stuck on the ‘spines’.

If you don’t have some­thing like this fit­ted, it’s ad­vis­able to make reg­u­lar checks for block­ages, es­pe­cially when the leaves are fall­ing.

Leaves are one of the main cul­prits when it comes to blocked gutters, but you can find all kinds of things in them, in­clud­ing plants hap­pily grow­ing away. If you no­tice that wa­ter is drip­ping or fall­ing sharply from one place when it’s rain­ing, or drip­ping even af­ter the rain has stopped, this is usu­ally where the block­age – or an­other prob­lem, such as a faulty seal – is.

Use a wa­ter­ing can to fill the gut­ter with wa­ter if you think there’s a prob­lem, but it’s not rain­ing, to make it eas­ier to spot.

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