Autumn is in full swing and winter is coming (as they say in the movies!) so it is time to finish up the DIY jobs around the house that will save you from a nasty job when disaster strikes in the coldest days and darkest nights. One of those unpleasant surprises can be blocked guttering which, naturally enough, only fails you when you need it the most, just as it starts to pour with rain!
Why is well maintained guttering important?
Guttering, the simple half pip troughs that are fixed to the walls of your house where they meet with your roof, do a vital job of protecting not only you from water cascading off your tiles and on to your head, but also your walls, stopping a relentless stream of water seeping into mortar and bricks, eventually causing damp and damage. They can be made of a variety of materials, from plastic to steel to old fashioned iron. The first two types are easy to maintain while the third will be painted – and will therefore require repainting at times to keep them in tip top condition. Keeping them clear of blockages is essential to make sure they do the job they are designed for and will also prolong the life span of the guttering, particularly in the case of PVC pipes, which are prone to cracking and sagging.
Over time, leaves, dirt and general debris is likely to build up in the guttering, making it less effective at doing the job it needs to do and protecting your home. The great news is that it is a simple enough DIY job. You’ll need a ladder, a head for heights and a trowel to scope out the muck. Make sure you take all necessary precautions such as having someone hold the ladder for you so you can really give it some elbow grease. If there is a blockage in one of the downpipes, you’ll need drainage rods to clear it out, which can be trickier and more time consuming.
Stop the Block!
A handy product that can stop the bunged up down-pipe problem is a Hedgehog Gutter Brush. Looking a little like a cross between the animal itself and an old-fashioned chimney sweep brush, it sits neatly into most sizes of guttering and prevents debris from building up. The water can flow through but the leaves, dirt and occasional dead animals can’t settle into the trough itself, making it much less likely that immovable bits and pieces will accumulate in the down-pipe. They are really easy to fit, mostly held in by the size and shape of the guttering and roof itself or occasionally with clips to secure them.
Of course, you may not want to get up near the roof and do this job yourself, especially if, like me, you have no head for heights or don’t own a ladder. (Or possibly ignored our advice and it is now late January and very wet and cold!) If so, we have a handy list of people in our local area who will be more than happy to do the job for you. All the following people are trade clients of ours that we know and trust to do a good job for you.
Disclaimer: This article is for advice only and we cannot take responsibility for any issues arising from following it or employing a professional recommended by us. Your safety comes first and remains your own responsibility.