Best practices for gutter maintenance

Written by view.com.au in Buying on July 22, 2016

Best practices for gutter maintenance

Good gutter maintenance may not be the most exciting topic of conversation, but it is still really important.

Gutters are like Batman. A silent guardian, defending your home from unknown threats while you sleep soundly. And just like Batman, you don’t even know your gutters are saving you most of the time. But how would Batman defend Gotham City if his gear was in disrepair?

That’s why you need to take gutter cleaning and maintenance seriously. Here is a guide to the best practices for gutter care.

How often do you need to clean gutters?

There is no single answer that is correct for every home, but make sure you clean your gutters ASAP if you notice any overflowing, leaking, or water in your house that shouldn’t be there.

Gutter blockages are primarily due to fallen leaves from nearby trees. So the frequency that you need to clean your gutters will depend on the size, type, and number of trees on your property.

You may need to clean your gutters up to four times per year if you have a lot of trees near your house, or you may only need to clean your gutters twice per year if there are only a few trees nearby.

Even if there are no large trees near your house, leaves can still travel distances when it’s windy. You still need to clean your gutters at least once per year at an absolute minimum; this will help to extend the life of your gutters.

Even a small amount of leaf debris or dirt can cause water to pool in your gutters that will reduce their lifespan.

Remember to always clean your gutters when nearby trees have finished shedding their leaves in autumn.

What can go wrong?

If you don’t clean and maintain your gutters, water damage can cause you some pretty big headaches.

When leaves and muck block gutters, water can overflow and get into the structure of your home and cause significant problems. Water can pool in your foundations and cause damage, cause wooden posts and beams to rot, damage internal plastering, and more.

Not only that, but water pooling in dirty gutters will cause them to rust and degrade much sooner, and you will likely have to fix or replace them. High-quality gutters can last for decades with only a small amount of maintenance. For example, if you maintain Colorbond roofing and guttering it will typically last for over 25 years (and possibly much longer).

If you don’t regularly clean your gutters, you will likely need to pay for roof plumbing repairs much sooner. This will end up being much more expensive than using a professional, even if you clean them several times per year.

It’s also worth noting that many home insurance providers will reject a claim for water damage if they find that the gutters have not been cleaned, and that not cleaning the gutters contributed to the damage. Make sure you check your insurer’s product disclosure statement to find out what their policy is.

Gutter cleaning safety

Cleaning your own gutters is fairly straightforward if you have a ladder and a pair of gloves. However, it is still dangerous if you don’t have training to work safely on a ladder. This is especially important if your house is multiple stories tall or if it’s on a hill and the ground beneath your gutters is not flat.

The simplest way to ensure that your gutters are properly maintained is to get professional gutter cleaning services. This will cost more than doing it yourself, but it’s a whole lot less than what you would pay to repair water damage.