You may not think much about a gutter’s role in keeping your home damage-free, but it actually does play an important part. While you’re kicking back comfortably on the couch, throwing together the family’s dinner, or snoozing away in your bedroom at night, your gutters protect your house by controlling the flow of rainwater from the roofing to the ground. This function also essentially prevents soil in your property from eroding and keeps your landscaping from washing away.
But while the gutter’s job appears simple enough, problems can easily arise and prevent this feature from working properly. Leaves, twigs and other debris can build up in it over time. Squirrels and other small animals may damage the gutter or manage to pull them away from the fascia boards. Clogged and damaged gutters can create issues that quickly snowball into devastating damage to your home:
Foundations become cracked. If excess water from leaky gutters remains against the foundation wall, the footing can weaken and develop cracks.
Wood rots. Backed up water from gutters exposes wooden fascia and other components to moisture, which causes speedy damage and rot. Also, damp and rotting wood will attract termites and other insects.
Roofs and basements suffer leaks. Clogged gutters cause water on the roof to back up into the house, which can destroy ceilings and walls. Likewise, water can overflow, accumulate by the foundation, and seep into basements.
Cracked and slippery sidewalks and driveways. Overflowing gutters, along with misdirected spouts, can cause water to flow over high-foot traffic areas and create slipping hazards. Constant water flow over driveways will also trigger cracks and premature sagging or cracking.
There are simple things you can do to prevent your gutters from being a problem. If you have Colorbond guttering installed on your home, don’t let it go to waste by failing to observe proper care and maintenance. Protect your investment by making it a habit to work on these:
- Clean out your gutters at least twice a year. If you can work safely at heights from a ladder, roll up your sleeves, put on safety goggles and gloves, and scoop out loose debris into a bucket. Others prefer to use a leaf blower to blow out the debris. Begin work at a drain outlet, at a gutter’s low end.
- Use a hose to wash out each length of gutter, and use a stiff brush to scrub at encrusted dirt.
- Next, check for and remove any obstructions in the downpipes. You’ll know there are clogs if water won’t drain freely. You can opt to use a hose to flush out the clog, or use a snake (a plumber’s auger) to pull or push out any debris from the drainpipes.
- If there are any holes along the gutters, roofing cement can be used to patch them up and prevent water from running where it shouldn’t.
- Gutters that are loose and pull away from their mounting can be hammered more securely into place. The old fasteners and gutter clips can also be replaced with longer ones for more grip, or the fasteners can be moved to a stronger area.