Guttering is a part of your roofing system and they require regular maintenance to keep them working at their full capacity to keep your home looking nice and to help prevent damage from the elements. By directing rainwater away from the perimeter of your home, gutters are the first line of defence against water ingress into your house. So if your gutters are clogged with leaves and debris or are not in a working order, they will not function properly, potentially resulting in water damage to your property.
Cleaning your gutters is one of the most important projects on the to-do list yet it’s too often overlooked. Unfortunately, many of us wait until late into the Autumn season when the very last leaf falls before we decide to get it done. This delay exposes our homes to potential damage.
If you do it a couple of times a year, in the Autumn and spring, cleaning gutters is easy. Just once, or not at all, and it can become a potential hazard for water ingress.
The problem with clogged gutters is more than just those annoying waterfalls that pour off the roof on rainy days, or the pretty icicles that hang around in the winter. This excess water wreaks havoc on the integrity of your home’s structure. The gutter system of a house is designed to move water down from the roof and away from the home and it’s foundation for proper drainage. Water that gets dammed up in the gutters finds the path of least resistance when it tries to drain and this often means it works right into the walls and ceilings of your house.
The first and most obvious issue with gutters filled to the brim with leaves, twigs, and other debris is simply a weight problem. When that debris gets wet it absorbs the rain water like a sponge and becomes extremely heavy. This burden puts stress on the gutters and their hanging brackets, and can pull the gutters off the house. Falling gutters are costly enough to replace on their own, not to mention any lights or windows they smash as they come crashing down.
Overflowing water from the gutters can also damage the paintwork and brickwork on a home, but unsightly water marks down the side of the house pale in comparison with what happens if the water get inside of a wall. Wet wood rots and loses its integrity, and this can go unseen until it is too late.
Ice-damming is another major issue with clogged gutters. Blocked water can freeze when it backs up in the gutters, pushing up against the roof structure and working its way under the roof coverings and destroying the wood, causing even more leaks.
Even flooded basements and cracking foundations are other symptoms of clogged gutters. If water isn’t drained away from the house and it pools around the foundation it will expand when frozen and cause cracks which lead to floods in your basement or crawl space.
If you are ambitious, you can attempt to clean the gutters yourself especially the gutters at single story level. We would however advise that guttering at a level of two storeys and above be cleaned by a specialist like ourselves. With all jobs at height Health and Safety is paramount.
If you require an estimate for gutter cleaning, roof repair, new roof or flat roof in London or North London please feel free to get in touch.