It is very important that the guttering of your home is checked on a regular basis, especially at autumn time, in order to prevent expensive water damage to your property. If the gutters have not been checked on for a while, there is the possibility they have developed faults and will naturally need to be repaired
Repairing and cleaning gutters does not have to be expensive or even all that time consuming. Below are the steps you will need to take in order maintain your gutters, along with required tools.
Required tools for cleaning your gutters
- Suitable ladder
- Sturdy, waterproof gloves
- Trowel / plastic milk bottle with bottom cut off
- Rubbish bags
- Garden hose
- Cloth / rag
Steps for cleaning the gutters
- Attach rubbish bag to the top of the ladder. This makes it easier to collect leaves and debris and removes the need to throw it to the ground, creating more mess.
- If gutter guards are in place, remove these before trying anything else.
- Start clearing the gutters from the end that is closer to the downpipe. A trowel or milk bottle with the bottom removed make great scoops. The same check applies for any copings your property has.
- A garden hose works well in getting rid of smaller pieces of dirt and cleaning out the downpipe. Also use the hose to check for obstructions in the downpipe.
Should any part of your guttering need repairs, you may need the following
- Putty knife
- Gutter caulk / roofing cement
- Replacement screws, bolts, brackets
- Cordless drill
- Plumber’s snake
Steps for the inspection and repair of the gutters
With the gutters now clean and free from blockages, you now need to check the brackets, gutters and downpipes for damage. Brackets need to be especially checked for their angle, so that there is a sufficient slope for water to run off rather than pool.
- If brackets are not positioned correctly, remove them along with the gutter and use string and chalk to mark out a line to the downpipe. The line should allow enough slope for water to run off. Using the chalk line as a guide, reposition the brackets and gutter.
- With gutters freshly secured, check everything for leaks and cracks. When doing this, be sure to check areas where gutter sections connect, end caps and where the downpipe connects.
- If you find leaks, clean the area using a putty knife to remove dirt, caulk and dry the area properly before applying fresh caulk.
- Ensure the downpipe is properly connected and is free from obstruction. If it is blocked, use a pressure hose to clear the blockage. If you don’t have a pressure hose then a plumber’s snake will do the job just as well, followed by a sluicing from a regular hose to properly clear the pipe.
- Make sure that the bottom of the downpipe is low enough to the drain to allow water to hit the drain without first splashing the walls of your home.
With everything properly cleaned and repaired, if required, your gutters should last a good long while before they need to be examined again. Aluminium gutters could be an alternative option to purchase as they avoid leaks being seamless. They are also extremely strong.