Maintaining Your Gutters | Dominion Roofing

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    Reasons for Keeping Gutters Well-Maintained

    Most people understand the need to look after their roofs. But many do not pay much attention to things like their fascia, gutters or eavestrough. This is not a good idea. Gutters or eavestroughs play as important a role in keeping your home safe from rain or flood water as your shingles do.

    Without solid gutters, the rain will run down your walls. Over time, it will start to erode the ground around the walls and eventually undermine the foundations. Potentially threatening the structural integrity of your home.

    Water that is not properly redirected can damage your plants and landscaping. It can also find its way into the structure of your building through small cracks in the walls.

    If well-maintained, eavestroughs and gutters can last between 20 and 40 years. But that is only if the right materials have been used and they have been installed properly.

    Guide to Maintaining Your Gutters

    Maintaining your eavestroughs and gutters is not that difficult. You just need to know what equipment to use and how to tackle the task.

    Every year, you should clean your gutters and eavestroughs. We explain how to decide how often to do it, below.

    To maintain your guttering properly you will need to:

    • Use a safe and reliable ladder
    • Only attempt the job if you are confident about working at height
    • Wear sturdy footwear that supports your ankles properly
    • Ask someone to hold the ladder for you
    • Check the weather forecast before you start cleaning
    • Allow plenty of time to complete the job in good light conditions
    • Wear tough gloves that still allow you sufficient freedom of movement
    • Use of spatula, scoop, or hose to help you dislodge dirt and debris
    • Test the water flow before and after cleaning to make sure that you have done the job properly
    • If the gutter or downspout is clogged use a plumber’s snake or drain auger to deal with the blockage
    • Get rid of any moss and mould and treat it so that it does not come back

    Mould and moss are issues that a lot of people ignore. It looks small and innocuous but can do a surprising amount of damage and be a sign of far bigger underlying issues. So, you must treat it and keep it away. As well as investigate why it has started to grow in your eavestroughs or gutters.

    Cleaning your gutters regularly and keeping the water flowing will usually solve the issue. It is particularly important to deal with mould and moss if members of your family have respiratory issues. Mould spores can spread a long way. So, they can be blown into your home when you have upstairs windows open. When they are breathed in, they can make even a healthy person ill.

    At least twice a year you should carry out a structural check-up:

    • Check that the gutter is still sloping properly towards the downspout – the weight of snow, ice or heavy rain can lead to the fall angle of your gutters changing
    • Check for cracks and holes – the sooner you find cracks and get them repaired the better, if you leave a small crack for a couple of months it will turn into a far bigger one
    • Check that all spikes and hangars are properly fastened and secure – if they are not when it rains heavily the gutter could come away from the side of your building
    • Check that the soffit and fascia is in a good state of repair – often the guttering hangs off of these structures, if they fail, your guttering will fall down

    There are several good reasons to maintain and clean your guttering regularly. These are the most important ones:

    • A well-maintained gutter eliminates standing water – the absence of which discourages the growth of mould
    • Reduces the risk of leaks in the future
    • Ensures that standing water cannot build up – this can damage the covering on a flat roof or shingles on a pitched roof, eventually, that leads to leaks
    • Helps to ward off bugs and animals by washing away their nests and food sources

    It is particularly important not to let bugs set up home on your roof. They soon turn into a food source for larger animals who can do a lot of damage. If they find a small gap, they could make it bigger and set up home in your roof space.

    Frequency of Gutter Maintenance

    How often you clean and check your eavestroughs and gutters is a matter of personal choice. Here are some pointers:

    • For most homes and buildings cleaning your gutters once every spring and fall is sufficient
    • If your house is located near trees, it is best practice to clean your gutters three or four times every year
    • In areas where heavy snow and ice build-up are issues, it is a good idea to check everything as soon as the melt begins, often you will pick up on where the weaknesses are

    Don’t underestimate the importance of gutter or eavestrough maintenance. Talk to our roofing experts today to learn more tips.

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    PRO TIP :

    “Most gutter leaks develop at the joints — make sure you don’t miss those spots when you do your maintenance.”

    FAQ’s on Maintenance of Gutters

    How do I stop birds from building a nest in my roof gutter?

    Gutter guards and bird spikes are a good way to stop birds building a nest in your roof guttering. Decoys shaped like snakes, birds of prey and owls can all be effective. But most birds get used to them and will start to ignore them. Moving your decoys each time you clean your gutters can help to stop that from happening. Your local roofing contractor will know what methods work the best for the birds that live in your area.

    What happens if I don’t clean my gutter regularly?

    If you don’t clean your gutters regularly the water will not drain away properly. That will lead to your home being damaged. If water gets into the roof space it will spread throughout the structure of your home. Or, enter cracks in your walls and maybe even leak into your foundations. Over time, the weight of the debris will become too much for your guttering and it will break up completely. If you cannot do the job yourself, hire a professional roofer.

    Do I need gutter guards for my roof gutter?

    If you have problems with birds nesting in your gutters, you may need gutter guards. They can also reduce the rate at which leaf debris builds up and blocks your eavestroughs. But you will still have to clean these structures because eventually, the leaves will build-up to the point where they completely cover the gutter guard.

     

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