Although you may not think it, properly maintained guttering does an incredibly useful job of protecting the rest of your home. Without gutters conveying rainfall that lands on your roof to areas where it can soak away fully, you will find that your walls become excessively damp. In the worst cases, this can lead to rising damp and form a nasty odour which makes every room in the house smell musty. To avoid these problems, it is a good idea to inspect your gutters a couple of times a year and to take action when needed. What should you be looking out for?
Over the course of a typical Australian winter, all sorts of things will work their way into your gutters. Leaves are among the prime culprits for falling into gutters from nearby deciduous trees and blocking them up. Other things that you might need to remove by hand include moss, pine kernels and even old fireworks which have been fired over the top of your home. Wear a pair of gardening gloves to do work like this, and ensure you have someone to help make sure the ladder you are using is balanced securely on the ground.
Install Gutter Guards
A great way of preventing debris from falling into your guttering in the first place, which will mean there is little to remove in the future, is to fit a leaf guard or two. These devices sit over the U-shape of the gutter and allow rain to flow through but prevent things like leaves from falling in. A typical gutter guard system is relatively cheap and they usually just clip into position without any fuss or tooling needed. This is a great idea if you live close to tall trees which cause frequent blockages.
Removing any blockages from your guttering's downspouts is just as important as clearing the gutters themselves. You can do this by using a high-pressure water jet, but a simpler way is to push up drainage rods from the ground to break up any material that might be causing your downpipes to clog up.
Check Joins and Junction Pieces
All guttering systems have joins to connect one section of gutter to another. High winds and bird strikes can make these joining pieces come apart from one another which leads to excessive dripping. Equally, junction pieces, where gutters turn through right angles, for example, should be pushed together by hand to ensure they have a good, watertight seal between them.