Cleaning your guttering may not be on the top of your to-do list, until something goes wrong, that is. When gutters aren’t cleaned on a regular basis, it significantly increases the chances of your property being damaged. Despite being a relatively simple job, millions of homeowners incur high repair costs when overflowing gutters cause extensive damage. If you’re still not convinced, take a look at these top 5 reasons why you need to clean your gutters sooner, rather than later:
- Protect your drains
Before starting with the task, make sure you have everything you need for cleaning your gutter. Have your ladder, tools, and products ready at hand to avoid going back and forth when you need something. Place tools in a caddy or in a utility belt for easy access. Always wear sturdy, puncture-resistant nitrile gloves to avoid injury, infection, and irritation when picking up mess from your gutter. Wear goggles for eye protection as well. Finally, use nonslip footwear when climbing the ladder to avoid accidents.
Gutters are designed to flow into external drains so that wastewater can be disposed of. A glance at the exterior of your property will confirm that every gutter is connected to a vertical pipe, which then deposits rainwater into an exterior sewer drain.
As these systems are designed to facilitate the flow of water, any debris that accumulates can prevent the flow of water. Leaves, twigs and even small branches can easily cause a build-up, which may mean you need professional drain unblocking services. If debris damages the structure of the pipe itself, you could even need to remove and replace the affected drains.
- Prevent flooding
If your gutters become blocked, rainwater won’t be able to flow through them at all. In a relatively short space of time, water will overflow and be deposited on the adjoining area. In many cases, this means water will sit on flat roofs, fascias and roof tiles. As well as causing mould and mildew to form, the presence of sitting water means it could easily soak into the timbers or migrate to the interior of your property.
If you notice damp patches on interior ceilings or walls, it’s possible that blocked gutters outside could be the root cause. With routine gutter cleaning, you can avoid the need for costly and time-consuming redecoration and ensure your home remains free from damp.
- Stop pests setting up home
Untouched gutters are a haven for pests, so this is one reason you really do want to clear gutters on a regular basis. Mice, rats and even squirrels will block gutters by storing natural materials, such as twigs and leaves, in them. You may even find that birds decide to build their nests in your neglected guttering.
As well as causing potentially irreversible damage to your gutters, leaving pests undisturbed can be a health hazard. In addition to them being present in your garden and on the exterior of your property, it increases the likelihood of them finding their way into your home. By maintaining your gutters, you can prevent this from happening and ensure that your property remains pest-free.
- Avoid damage to the foundations
When water can’t flow through guttering, it will simply overflow. This means rainwater will pour down the exterior walls of your property. As masonry isn’t designed to cope with the constant presence of water, it will likely succumb to water damage. If you notice cracks appearing in the exterior of your property, this is a likely cause and should be investigated as soon as possible.
Repairing damage to the foundations of your property can be a source of financial, practical and emotional stress. Given the ease with which your gutters can be maintained, you’ll certainly want to avoid the alternative property damage that could occur.
- Enhance home safety
When your gutters aren’t functioning properly, an excess of water builds up in them before spilling over. This means that gutters are holding more weight than they’re really designed to. Of course, this can overpower the fittings that hold your gutters in place and increases the risk of them falling off or becoming dislodged.
If you don’t rectify the issue, someone could easily sustain a serious injury when the gutter inevitably collapses or becomes separated from the property. To avoid a catastrophe, make sure gutters are cleaned out regularly and functioning optimally at all times.
Checking Your Gutters and Drains
If you want to check that your gutters are working well, it’s worth taking a walk around your property the next time it rains. You might be surprised to find that gutters are overflowing in numerous places, thus signifying a particular issue.
However, the only way to effectively assess your guttering is to conduct a visual inspection. With specialist CCTV equipment and extensive experience, a professional gutter cleaning service or drain expert can undertake this task quickly and efficiently. Furthermore, asking professionals to assess your guttering means you’ll find it easy to access cleaning, unblocking or repair services, if you need them.