With shorter days and cooler nights already here, it’s time to turn your thoughts to the maintenance needed to protect your home over the cold, wet autumn and winter months.
It’s easy to take your roof and, more specifically, your guttering, for granted.
Our gutters can suffer from neglect, leading to costly repair bills if left too long.
Today we’re looking at ways to maintain your home’s guttering so it can withstand the worst of the cold, wet weather on its way.
Use a sturdy ladder to do an initial inspection of your gutters. A pair of binoculars or the zoom function on your phone camera can help you identify areas of concern.
If you spot an issue, make a decision as to whether you have the right equipment and expertise to deal with it. Standing or walking on your roof can be dangerous if you are not sure of its condition or of any potential safety concerns.
When inspecting your home’s guttering, you may encounter the following issues:
- Areas of guttering which are sagging or coming away from the roof
- Spots of rust or areas which have completely rusted through and are now leaking
- Signs of rust, buckling or other damage to downpipes
- Loose nails and screws
- Moisture or water pooling on the ground at the base of gutters and downpipes. Signs of erosion may indicate a problem with drainage – water should be directed away from your property foundations.
DIY Tips for Gutter Maintenance
Trim back trees regularly to make sure branches are not dropping leaves and debris into your gutters.
With a sturdy ladder, check gutters for a build-up of leaves and debris Clear regularly to avoid a build-up which can lead to other problems and potentially expensive repairs down the track.
Clearing and Cleaning Your Gutters
Your gutters should be cleaned at least once a year – every six months if trees overhang your roof. Gutters are prone to clogging where the downspouts join the gutter system – check these areas particularly.
Ensure you have a steady ladder, one that reaches above the height of your gutters, so you can see what you’re doing.
Have a plan for disposal of the debris as you clean – lay down tarpaulins or place plastic containers along the ground to catch the debris as it drops.
Wear a thick, long-sleeved shirt or water-proof jacket to protect you while you’re cleaning.
Scoop leaves and debris from gutters with a sand-scoop, gutter scoop, garden trowel or simply your hands if you are wearing sturdy, water-proof gloves.
When your gutters are clear of debris, flush them with a garden hose. This will identify any leaks and rusted patches.
Gutter cleaning is a service offered by many home maintenance companies. The cost ranges from under $100, to a few hundred dollars, depending on the size and height of your home.
Simple gutter repairs can be a DIY job provided you have the right equipment. After clearing out the debris, make sure your gutters and clean and dry.
Examine your gutters for rust or holes. Gutter rust usually forms along the seams of the joints as well as the places where rainwater drops from your roof. Remove any rust using a wire brush.
Repair holes with gutter sealant or roof adhesive, and re-align gutter joints. Apply gutter sealant to seal holes that still form.Tighten hangers to fix gutter sagging.
If your gutters continue to sag or leak, consider replacing the affected panels. Guttering panels, equipement and accessories can be bought from most hardware chains.
Some people use gutter guards or covers to limit the amount of dirt and debris that falls into gutters. This can be an expensive option, with more maintenance required for the guards themselves.
Examples of Gutter Issues
See below for a gallery of issues that our inspections have identified for our clients:
A building inspection from The Home Inspection Hub will check for a range of issues and defects in the exterior and interior of your home, including your roof and gutters.
Call us today on 1300 071 283 to book an inspection with one of our experienced and reliable inspectors.