Keeping your guttering well maintained and clutter-free is important year-round, but essential when it comes to the colder winter months.
With more rain, falling leaves and a higher chance of storms, keeping your gutters clear is vital for helping rainwater travel from the roof and into the downpipe effectively.
In this article, we explore the importance of maintaining good gutters, tips on how to protect your guttering and how to know when you need to replace your gutters.
Fixing Damaged Guttering
It is easy to think that your guttering needs replacing when rainwater pours out of the wrong place, but chances are a thorough cleanout of the mulch and leaves that collects in there will do the trick.
If you don’t want to, or you’re unable to, you can hire in someone for general gutter repairs. However, if you want to fix the situation yourself, here are some things to look out for:
- Cracks, holes or rusted areas
- Broken fasteners
- Separated gutter joints
Gutters can sometimes be hard to spot in the early signs of damage because it will require you to climb a ladder and thoroughly inspect the surroundings. However, if you do spot an above tell-tale signs then you could try fixing the issue before replacing.
The type of guttering that experiences rust build up over time are cast iron gutters. To fix them, you can start by smoothing off rust using a wire brush. You can also replace small holes with glass-fibre filler and paint using a metal primer and gloss paint.
Blockages and overflowing
Overflowing hopper heads indicate that there is a blockage causing the water to fill up. Safely scale a ladder and start scooping leaves and debris out. If the blockage appears further down, try using a drain rod.
The most efficient way to fix leaks is using a roof and gutter sealant, or replace the gaskets along the gutter pipe. If the fixture is loose from the masonry holding the guttering in place, then you may need to re-screw the wall plug. Unless you are confident and experienced on a ladder, we recommend hiring a professional to do this for you.
If your downpipe leaks during heavy rainfall, it may indicate that a section of the pipe is blocked, causing an obstruction, whereby the heavy water pushes through. You can fix this either by using repair tape or sealant — both of which can be bought at your local DIY store.
How to Prevent Damage to Gutters
To prevent a build-up of debris in your gutters, leading to damage or the collapse of your gutter and drainpipe, you can install a gutter guard. A gutter guard, sometimes referred to as a gutter cover, or leaf guard/filter, is a piece of material that attaches to the rain gutter system of your house, blocking leaves and debris from entering — and subsequently — blocking or damaging the guttering.
These are handy to prevent long-term damage to the gutters but it’s important to be aware that you will still need to have your gutters checked before the autumn/winter season to ensure they’re fit to withstand the upcoming poor weather as this can take its toll of masonry and guttering. As well as this, you will still need to clear around the gutter guard for any debris that sits on the guard itself.
Ultimately, if any weight is left on the guttering long-term, it can cause the gutters to collapse or break.
How do I Know if My Guttering Needs Replacing?
If you’ve tried to fix your guttering but you’re still having issues, then it may be time to replace them.
Tip! Replace your guttering before autumn/winter so it can withstand the harsher weather conditions.
The changes to look out for are much the same as if you need to repair broken guttering, but when the damage becomes more extreme then the following could be the signs to look out for.
- Sagging, bulging, or gutters pulling away from the roof
- Pooling water
- Water damage on exterior paint
- Overflowing water
If your gutters have changed shape, look warped or have pulled away from your house (more than replacing a fastener can fix) then it’s highly likely that you would need to replace your gutters, or at least part of your guttering system.
When to Hire in Professional Help
Guttering, downpipe, and roofing projects can be overwhelming for novice DIYers as well as unsafe for someone who isn’t trained in this area, so hiring in a recommended tradesperson to complete the job for you can not only ease the load of the task but can offer peace of mind that your project is being taken care of by a professional.
We have a selection of local gutter specialists and top-rated roofers who you can review. Each tradesperson is verified and insured and has a portfolio for you to review ahead of booking them.
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