Gutters are an often-neglected aspect of home maintenance, positioned out of sight and out of mind. Their job is vital, however – to collect and guide rainwater down the drain to prevent leaks and roof damage.
As a homeowner, it’s your job to clean gutters as and when the system becomes clogged. Without doing so, structural damage and damp can set in, leaving you with costly repair jobs in the future.
Blocked gutters are most commonly caused by fallen leaves and various other debris such as twigs, moss and even bird nests in some cases.
If water is running down the side of your property, it’s likely some sort of blockage has occurred. Any other overflow or leaks are further warning signs, no matter how small. Sagging gutters are also likely to indicate a build-up of standing water in one area.
We recommend cleaning gutters annually, or perhaps biannually if your property is in the vicinity of large trees. Here’s a run through of some ways you can get stuck into the job, helping safeguard your home from roof damage.
How to Clean Your Gutters
Minor blockages can be alleviated with a relatively simple DIY job. All you’ll need is a stable ladder, some gloves, and a bit of elbow grease to get going.
Move along the line of the gutter slowly, collecting any build-up of debris with your hands or trowel, and either place it into a garbage bag or throw it to the ground. This can be cleaned up later.
Another method is to use a leaf blower, which is sometimes possible from ground level for low-sloped roofs. It’s advised to wear goggles and perhaps a dust mask when doing so, however.
You can rinse the clean gutter with a high-pressure hose pipe if preferred, although be careful not to damage the gutter lining.
A word about safety; make sure to place the ladder on a firm and level base. Never stand on the top two rungs and be careful not to damage the gutter itself, especially if it’s made from a PVC plastic material.
If home maintenance isn’t your thing, it will be easier to call in a professional gutter cleaning service. Depending on the job in hand, their prices can range from around £100 to £200.
Gutter guards are widely accessible both from the high street and online, acting as a filter to prevent larger chunks of debris passing through. Although useful, they aren’t a permanent solution to blocked gutters and human interaction may still be needed from time to time.
If you’re planning an extension, drainage is something to take into consideration. A conversion specialist will be able to link the old system with the new one, ensuring your gutters maintain the flow of rainwater sufficiently. Measures can also be taken to supply gutters the same style and colour as the existing model to maintain the property aesthetic.
For more information on what maintenance tasks you’ll need to consider, take a look at our Spring Checklist for Maintaining Your House.
If you’d like advice on drainage and guttering for an extension you’re planning, get in touch for a chat.