3 easy ways to ensure your gutters are always in top condition

Unless you are a diehard home maintenance fanatic your gutters are probably not front of mind every weekend. And that’s totally ok. However, this time of year it’s important to do a small amount of gutter maintenance to make sure they are in the best condition to work effectively when it rains.

The myriad of problems that can develop when absolutely no thought is put into your guttering all year can be very costly. Just a few of these include:

  • Fire hazards – The dry build-up of leaf litter in gutters can increase the risk of fire. Flying embers from outdoor fireplaces, nearby burning off, or BBQs can quickly catch in the dried out garden debris.
  • Mould & mildew growth – The dampness caused by gutters backing up, sometimes seeping into the roof or walls, creates a perfect environment for mould and mildew to grow throughout your home.
  • Water damage – If rainwater is not quickly diverted off the roof and into the stormwater drains it can overflow leading to water damage inside and outside your home. Problems can also develop with the house foundation if stormwater is allowed to accumulate and sit for extended periods around the slab or footings.
  • Vermin and pests – just in case you still needed convincing, pests and vermin like roaches, termites, rats, mice, mosquitoes, and birds just looove damp, leaf-filled gutters to build their homes or breed unhindered.

This all sounds very serious but avoiding all these issues is actually quite easy, and only involves a smidgen of simple gutter maintenance a couple of times a year. Most of which require minimal effort.

Autumn leaves

1. Regular gutter cleaning

The gorgeous Autumn colours on the trees this time of year result in lots of leaf litter, a lot of which ends up on the roof. Give your gutters a good clean out this month to remove leaf debris before it can cause problems.

If you can’t easily and safely reach the gutters, get in a gutter cleaning professional who has all the right equipment and can get the job done for you. If you have lots of trees in your garden or close to the house we recommend at least quarterly gutter cleaning, and less often for homes with minimal trees.

If you have a gutter guard product fitted to your gutters, don’t think you’re off the hook, you still need to clear the leaf debris that builds on the roof.

Rain in gutters

2. Check for leaks when it rains

Next time you get a good downpour check the full length of the gutters around the house to see if water is escaping over the edge or through cracks. Likewise, take note of the downpipes, ensuring that there are no leaks and that the stormwater flows away from the building efficiently once it reaches the ground.

3. Inspect guttering for misalignment or damage

Put your eyeballs to work by visually checking the guttering (when it’s not raining) for sagging sections, damaged brackets, and misaligned downpipes. If the gutters are hanging off the roof or the downpipes don’t line up chances are the water is not going where it should be going, this can cause all sorts of problems (see above).

It’s essential to get on to any issues as soon as you notice them. Don’t put off getting gutter repairs carried out, you never know when the next big storm will hit.