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Blocked Gutters? Signs of Clogged Guttering & DownpipesAugust 20th, 2019
When they work correctly, your gutters will go a long way towards protecting your home and minimizing water damage and leaks.
During periods of heavy rain, there is nothing more valuable than fully functioning guttering. But what might be the knock-on effects should you fail to maintain yours properly?
What if My Gutters Become Blocked?
At the Gutters London Company for Cleaning, Repair, Linning and Replacement, we know how many struggle with leaves, moss and other debris from gutters as conscientious as they should. This is normal – after all, it takes a good deal of time and effort and, if any blockage or damage is too difficult to resolve yourself, it’s likely to cost quite a lot.
However, if you cleaning your gutters without a ladder is what you do but you still fail to fix the problem, gradual clogging will build up to blocked gutters.
For this reason, it’s crucial to clean and maintain your gutters on a regular basis or at least consider the use of gutter guards.
When Was The Last Time You Checked Your Gutters?
Do you even know what size gutters are?
Gutters are designed to restrain rainwater from spilling over your house. It’s easy to neglect and eventually forget about checking for blockages. After all, gutters don’t draw much attention while they are working correctly.
However, leaving the system to clog leads to gutters eroding. Blocked gutters cause damage and damage needs professional repairs.
But that’s not the worse here. Blocked gutters lead water to overspill.
While spilling across your roof and down the side of your house, damaging brickwork followed by damp, moisture, fungi and mould. This is likely to result in serious structural damage to your property.
Damp and leaks from bad linning in need of repairs can lead to various health problems for the residents of the home. A quick check for signs of blocked gutters or any of the other common guttering problems now and then can prevent this.
At a minimum, you should inspect your gutters at least twice per year, whether they are iron, plastic or pressed steel. It’s very easy to do this – read on to find out how.
Check Gutters at Roof Level
A simple visual check is the best starting point for any gutter inspection. Walk around your house making a note of where each piece of guttering is and where it leads to. If you can see into any of your gutters from the windows of your house, this will help you even further.
Now examine them more closely. If you notice obvious gutter blockage, clear it as soon as possible.
Signs that your gutter is blocked include:
- Water flowing or dripping over the side
- Rotting wood on fascias
- Animals such as squirrels or birds in or near the gutter
- A visible wasps’ nest or other nesting insects
- Vegetation growing from the gutter
- Misshapen, bulged, or bending pipes visible
Should you notice any of the above, your gutter may be blocked, or there may be a danger of this occurring soon. It’s a sign that you must arrange for it to be cleared as soon as you can.
Ground Level Pipe Check
It’s also possible that your downpipes are blocked. While you won’t see any of the clues mentioned above in this case, there are still ways in which you can check for this problem.
Look out for:
- Splashback from pipes at ground level
- Cracks in the foundations of the house
- Damage to pointing or brickwork
- Mould, lichen or discolouration on the walls of the house
Again, if you notice any of the above, it is likely that your pipes may be blocked and should be cleaned quickly to prevent the problems getting worse.
Internal Gutter Problems
Some signs that your gutters are blocked will not be visible externally, and some possible internal issues are among the most difficult to rectify.
A leaking roof or watermarks on ceilings may be due to your guttering overflowing and sending rainwater under your roof, despite the understandably common assumptions that issues of this kind are due to problems with the roof itself or its tiles.
If you see that this is occurring, it’s definitely worth checking your guttering as a matter of urgency.
Can Blocked Gutters Cause Damp
Gutters provide the only effective escape for rainwater collecting on your roof, and if one is blocked, the water that is collected will overflow and spread down your walls and into your ceiling. Damp patches are difficult to fix and lead to health hazards and structural issues.
However, the rapid house sale experts at Property Solvers say that if you’re about to sell fast, immediate fixes are an absolute must or risk the value of your home plunging
How to Fix Damaged or Blocked Gutters
While it is possible to clear accessible guttering blockages yourself, more complex or hard to reach issues should be tackled by professionals.
The way that gutters are normally cleared is through the use of a ladder that reaches the roof, industrial-strength gloves, a hose, a long piece of stiff wire and bags or bins for the debris that is removed.
Remember: It’s important to stay away from metal scraping tools on plastic guttering as this can cause splits.
Large pieces of debris should be removed first. Downpipe blockages are cleared by using a long, thin tool to make a hole in the middle of the debris that is in the way, then, using the hose, spraying water down the pipe. The hole that was made will provide a weak point that will ensure everything inside the pipe can be broken up and washed away a little more easily.
The hose can also serve to test the integrity of the rest of your guttering. By aiming it at the top of a downpipe and above any other gutters, you’ll be able to check for leaks caused by cracks and damage.
It’s possible, repair broken joints.
If impossible, just replace your gutters.
Often, it’s as easy as removing the affected section and cleaning it. Other times, though, you may see a crack. You can use a special sealant to fix this, which works on both PVC and metal designs. You should clean the area first, then apply the sealant thoroughly, making sure you cover all gaps.
Remember, the most important thing to do is to check your gutters regularly and clear up blockages as and when they occur. This will prevent damage that will be costly to fix.
You need to take extra care of your gutters if you live near trees or woodland, as fallen leaves can create blockages that are difficult to shift. However, wherever you live, taking care of your guttering and downpipes is a vital part of ensuring that your house stays in good condition and does not fall in value.