Keeping your gutters healthy

Guttering on a house is a system of troughs used for the purpose of collecting rainwater that runs off a roof. They act to channel the rainwater into downspouts and away from your roof, windows and foundations. Most common are open gutters which can regularly collect environmental debris, causing them to become blocked. For them to function correctly, they need regular clearing out and maintenance.

The job of guttering is to collect rainwater to protect the property but inevitably things collect in them such as leaves, moss and even birds can nest in them. This clogs the access to the downspouts or the gutter itself, leading to a number of problems. The blockages can cause an overflow of rainwater, potential water damage to your property and even be a fire hazard.

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One solution is to install a gutter guard or cover which can keep debris out. These can greatly reduce or eliminate the build-up of debris, lengthening the life of your guttering system. Depending on how you’ve maintained your gutters, you can expect them to have a life expectancy of about 20 years. This also depends on how you treat them, and the weather conditions of the area in which you live. If you have significant problems that have not been addressed, then it may be time to think about replacing the system. For UPVC Fascia and Soffits, visit a trusted company for top quality guttering supplies.

Here are examples of the problems caused by blocked gutters:

A build-up of debris

  • Anything like leaves, moss or grass will soon start to decompose and as it gets damp, it will form a solid mat and become compressed. This will completely block your guttering.
  • Matted clogged up material is a fire risk and causes damage to your roof by leaving backed up water under the shingles.
  • Such a firm blockage can result in water cascading over the edges of your guttering, meaning no control over where that water is going.

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Potential damage includes:

  • Cellar flooding
  • Cracks appearing in the foundations
  • Dry-rot on wooden fascia boards, soffit, and roof
  • Damage to paintwork
  • Damage to windows and doorways
  • Increased potential for mould accumulation

Common reasons gutters get damaged

  • Placing ladders against the guttering
  • Seams splitting
  • Build-up of ice
  • Pest problems such as birds or squirrels
  • Stains caused by constant overflowing
  • Storm and tree damage

Ideally, regardless of what type of gutters you have, they should be cleaned out twice a year at least. This may need to increase if you live very close to trees that shed leaves, berries, seed pods or flowers. Often a simple brush with a broom or even a leaf blower will be enough to instantly clear loose debris.

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