With Spring, Summer and Autumn over, the chances are that your gutters have captured a considerable amount of silt and debris, increasing the chance of gutter blockage. Winter is the season to sort out your gutters, take 5 minutes to learn about the dangers of not keeping your gutters maintained.
Why do we need gutters?
Gutters have just one important and simple job to do and that’s to collect all the rain water from your roof, send it to a storm water system via downpipes to your gulleys and divert it away from your property.
If you have a 2000-square-foot property, then every inch of rain translates to more than 1200 gallons of water pouring off your roof. A well maintained storm water system is essential to prevent potential structural damages and will effortlessly divert that water away from your property.
A clogged gutter will do the opposite, allowing water to flow down the side of your property towards your property’s foundations and over time would form small rivers and pooling that will erode the ground beneath, causing foundation cracks and settling leading to huge structural consequences.
Problems caused by blocked or broken gutters can be seriously expensive to fix, but so relatively cheap to prevent.
What would happen if i don’t clean and maintain my guttering?
Wood Rot: As virtually all guttering is fixed to a fascia board that is then fixed to the roofs rafters, any water overflow that spills over the inside of the gutter will seep its way into the roofs rafters via these fixings, causing eventual wood rot and gutter fixing failures.
Broken and Sagging Gutters: When your gutters are clogged, the water they collect has no place to go. Instead, it fills your gutters to the brim and with each gallon of water weighing about 8 pounds, all that extra weight coupled with corroded fixings and rotten wood will be more than enough for the support brackets/fixings to fail.
Pest Control: Pests breeding in the stagnant water in your gutters can expose your family to nasty germs and parasites. Nobody likes mosquitoes in their backyard. But pooling water in your gutters and warm summer conditions is the perfect breeding ground for them. Damp mud and leaves can also be an inviting place for bees and wasps to build their nests.
Wet basement: If you have a basement and it isn’t waterproofed, the water pouring down into your foundation will inevitably lead to a damp basement.
Aesthetics: A neglected gutter system just looks ugly, plain and simple. Vegetation growing out you gutters and mass and algae on the surface is a tell tale sign of neglect. Overflowing gutters will cause a stripey looking stain known as ‘Tiger Striping’ which, if left too long can be near impossible to remove completely.
What causes gutters to become blocked?
Your roof is your main line of defence from mother nature and everything she can throw at it. It’s under constant bombardment from;
airborne dust and debris, especially during the dryer seasons
mosses and funghi in damper months
leaves and berries at the end of Autumn
Bird droppings etc
And all of this eventually makes its way down and away from your property, through your storm water system.
But due to the very small and slow gradient of most gutters, (ave.1:500) a fine nutritious silt layer accumulates after each and every rain shower, creating a perfect base for the growth of vegetation and grasses.
Without regular maintenance, this process will eventually lead to blocked gutters and as you’re now aware, blocked gutters will lead to more serious and costly repairs.
In the last 2 images to the right we see the typical standard aluminium guttering that’s so common here in Ireland. Fixed with the use of aluminium nails along the top through the aluminium fascia and into the wooden fascia backing board. The nails are ribbed and should never have failed as they have, under normal circumstances.
This particular section of guttering is at the back of garage and is simply a case of ‘out of sight, out of mind’.
The water that was blocked in the gutter has seeped along the nail and rotted the fascia backing board resulting in the inevitable gutter failure.
To put this right will involve the removal and replacement of the rotten fascia backing board and a completely new aluminium Gutter, Fascia and Soffit fitted.
An expense that could’ve and should’ve been avoided with the adoption of simple gutter maintenance schedule.
Do i need a professional to clean and maintain my gutter system
The simple answer is No.
If you feel you’re OK to climb a ladder and get your hands dirty then you’re good to go but i would recommend you do not try this work without a proper set of ladders with stabilisation to the top and bottom.
Other than that, a bin liner bag, a pair of protective gloves, a small hand brush to clean the inside and outside and a hose to rinse off is all you need to get the job done. Oh, I nearly forgot, and a tiny bit of elbow grease.
Alternatively you can hire a professional Gutter Cleaning company like BioWash to do the work for you, hassle free, quick and easy and out of your hair in a matter of hours.
Price Guide: For an average 3 bed Semi-Detached house;
€60.00 to Clean Inside Gutters
€110.00 to Clean Outside Gutters + Fascia, Soffit and Downpipes
€155.00 for 1. and 2. when bundled together
Fact; Your Gutter system will eventually cause major structural issues and heavy financial expense if it is not able to divert all the roof water away from your property, you must have a system in place to maintain your gutters on a regular basis to prevent this from happening.
Contact us today for a Free quote without obligation