Gutter maintenance. Not the most exciting topic around, but a necessary one to maximise the performance and life of your home's gutters. Why is this important?
Well, maintaining your home's gutters can offer you the following benefits:
Ensure water flows freely the way it is meant to from your roof
Prevent rust and degradation of your guttering
Save money that would otherwise be spent on guttering repairs
Peace of mind when it comes to insurance claims
What can happen if I don't regularly maintain my gutters?
- Leaves, debris, dust, pollutants and other organic growth can block gutters causing water to pool and/or overflow.
- Pooled water can cause leaking, rot and/ or internal building damage
- Water pooling in dirty gutters can cause rust and deterioration sooner than expected where you will likely need to pay for repairs or replacement
- You may encounter difficulties with your insurance provider if your gutters have not been cleaned and maintained regularly, and this has contributed to the damage
OK I'm sold on gutter maintenance, so how often should it be done?
There is no one size fits all here. Generally, gutters are most frequently blocked due to fallen leaves from nearby trees. How often you clean your gutters will depend on:
- The number of trees on your property
- How close they are to your gutters
- What type of trees you have
Frequency may vary from once a month to once a year. We recommend not going any longer than one year between having your gutters (and dowpipes etc) cleaned.
It would also be recommended to have them checked (and possibly cleaned) if you experience any leaks, overflowing, or water damage to your home.
I'm fit, healthy and not afraid of ladders, how do I clean my gutters myself?
Firstly, it is important to note that that if you have any doubts, any ill health, lack appropriate equipment, or your building is multiple stories high, it is advised that you call a professional to clean your gutters rather than attempting to do this yourself.
Step 1: Assess
Taking a walk around the outside of your house and visually assessing the gutters will help you to understand what you may be looking for: cracks, overflowing leaves or leaks. If you spot major damage,(e.g., the gutter is broken) we recommend you call a professional before climbing on the ladder to further assess the damage. The gutter may be unstable and your safety could potentially be in danger.
Step 2: Collect tools
You will need:
- A sturdy ladder. A large step ladder will provide greater stability than an extension ladder.
- Protective gloves, hat, long sleeve shirt, and sunglasses
- Small stiff, soft bristled brush
- A hose that will reach to wash the inside of the gutters
Step 3: Getting safely prepared
Before climbing the ladder:
- Check that your ladder is sturdy, safe and will take your body weight. Ensure the ground surface is even and solid under the ladder.
- Ensure there is person on stand by in case you need assistance
- Check weather conditions are clear, apply sunscreen and wear a hat, long sleeves and sunglasses
- Ensure you are well aware from electrical power lines
- Wear protective gloves
Step 4: Cleaning
i) Remove leaves, debris, etc from the gutter area and place in a bin on the ground.
ii) Carefully step down and move your ladder along the gutter to clean each area
iii)Take note of any rust, holes or damage to the gutter or surrounding areas. These will need to be reported to a professional to repair.
iv) Clear any blockages at downpipe entries if within reach and safe to do so
v) Use the hose to wash out the gutters
vi) If there is staining or build up from organic matter or dirt/mud, sweep with the brush to dislodge the debris (Avoid using metal tools in the gutters to sweep away debris as they may cause damage to the gutter material).
vii) Rinse gutters again with the hose to wash the debris away.
Congratulations, enjoy your beautifully cleaned gutters!
Step 5: Regular maintenance and inspections
To ensure all your hard work is not undone, book regular gutter cleans and inspections to prolong the life and performance of your gutters for many years to come!
We hope you have found this article beneficial, and should you require new guttering to your property, enquire here for a FREE quote!
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