Why Gutter Maintenance is Important
When was the last time you thought about your gutters? It probably doesn't happen that often, not unless there's a problem with them. But that's exactly why you should think about your gutters more often; you need to take care of cleaning and maintenance issues before there's a problem.
If you haven't thought about your gutters recently, now is the time to take a look and make sure they're clear and leak-free.
The risks of clogged or leaky gutters
It doesn't take much in the way of leaves or debris to start causing damage to your gutters. Even a small amount of leaves can cause water to pool in gutters which can cause them to rust and age prematurely. It may take some years to cause you bigger problems, but you will likely need to replace or repair your gutters sooner if you let leaves build up.
If enough material builds up in your gutters to block them and cause them to overflow, then you may have big problems very quickly. Blocked gutters can cause water to enter the roof and walls of your home. This can cause damage to your roof rafters, plastering and even structural damage.
To make matters worse, if your home gets damaged and you haven't kept your gutters properly cleaned, your home insurance may not cover the damages. Some insurers will not water damage from leaking gutters if the damage occurs gradually and you could reasonably be expected to be aware of it.
How often do you need to clean your gutters?
There isn't one answer to this question that will be true for every home. If there are tall trees on or around your property, you will likely need to clean your gutters more often than someone without adjacent tall trees.
Don't be fooled into thinking that you're safe from leaves if there are no tall trees around your home; you'd be surprised how far leaves, dirt, and dust can travel in high winds.
If there aren't many trees near your home, you may only need to clean your gutters twice per year. If there are a lot of trees nearby, you may need to clean them four times per year. If you're not comfortable getting up on a ladder or your don't the equipment you'll need, you can consider getting a professional gutter cleaning service.
What if your gutters or roof are damaged?
If you notice any signs of leaking or overflowing from your gutters, or any signs of water damage inside your home, you need to get them looked at immediately.
Depending on the scale of the damage, you may need to have your gutters repaired or replaced. You may also need to roof flashing installed in the eaves of your home to prevent water from overflowing gutters travelling back into the building structure.
You will need to have professional roof plumbers complete any roofing or guttering work for your home. Licensed plumbers are required for these types of jobs in order to achieve compliance with Australian building regulations.
Water damage can be very costly, so it's in your best interests to prevent it from happening, or at the very least, fix it as soon as the problem arises.