One of the most critical elements of being ready for the rainy season is to make sure your gutters are good to go. What does that mean? Read on…..
What your gutters actually do
Gutters are probably the most central and important part of the drainage system of your property. They are responsible for quickly capturing water from the roof and redirecting it to the base of the house through downpipes. As downpipes are connected to stormwater drains, this also protects the lower floor and foundations of your home. Damaged gutters can create massive and very expensive problems down the track including:
- Roof and ceiling damage (and resulting internal damage if not repaired quickly)
- Water damage to interior and exterior walls, causing stains and eventually cracks
- Water entering into lower living areas and affecting floors and walls
- Increased risk of termite infestation through wet timbers internally and externally
- Water affecting the foundations of the property leading to weakening of overall structural integrity
How to maintain your gutters
All roofing and guttering will deteriorate in time and therefore, maintaining your gutters is really important. In particular, keep an eye on any metal surfaces as they can deteriorate very quickly (in as little as six months), if they’re not looked after.
The single most effective thing you can do to make sure your gutters are in good nick is to remove debris that has gathered in them. By doing so you’ll ensure that rainwater flows freely from your gutters to storm water drains on your property. If your gutters are full with rubbish, they will fill up and overflow, sending the rainwater into the eaves of your house. This will affect the structural timbers of your property and could even wet internal walls. However, before you get up on your roof, make sure you have all the right safety gear. Have a chat to experts like www.safeatheightsqld.com.au who can sort you out with products and advice to ensure you inspect your roof safely.
Cut back trees
Also consider cutting back overhanging trees as they will fill your gutters up more quickly. If you have pine trees near your home, keep a close eye on the pine needles as they create an acidic environment inside your gutters that accelerates rusting. You may even want to consider installing one of the many new products on the market, such as a mesh system, that act as guards for your gutter by blocking airborne debris. Even with these systems, you’ll still need to clean out your gutters as leaves sitting on top of the guards will breakdown into smaller particles over time and drop through the barrier.
Make sure you physically get up and inspect your roofs and gutters regularly, particularly after significant weather events such as storms, hail and heavy rain. Storms and high winds can lead to rapid deterioration of weakened roofs and gutters, so visually check these areas regularly to spot and prevent problems early on.
Replace damage gutters
If you have tried unsuccessfully to repair your gutters, you probably need to replace them. While galvanised iron has been used traditionally for gutters, there is a much wider range of products now available including steel coated with zinc and aluminium (Zincalume), aluminium eaves gutters and even PVC gutters. These products vary in price as well as their resistance to corrosion. Whichever product you choose, make sure that when you replace or repair sheet metal roofing or gutters, that materials are compatible.
Storms come and go quickly but their impact on our homes and communities can last for months afterwards. By getting your gutters in tip-top condition, you’ll significantly increase your homes’chances of coming out unscathed.