How to keep your guttering in good condition

Keeping your guttering in good condition is important because gutters are expensive to replace, but annual maintenance isn’t.

Plastic gutters are around £35 per linear metre, while cast iron gutters are around £60 per linear metre. The average cost of replacing and installing new guttering is usually in the neighbourhood of £450 to £700. Compare that to the cost of gutter cleaning (around £100) and it doesn’t take a genius to work out the financial incentive.

Your gutters carry rainwater from your roof to your drainpipes. For this process to run smoothly, the water needs a straight and true path.

In the same way water will run around an obstacle in a stream, the rainwater in your gutters will too. Too many obstacles, such as muck and leaves, will prevent water from leaving the gutters and it can cause overflow.

Overflow is the main cause of drips and can cause structural problems too. For instance, your gutters might sag because of the increased weight, or standing water may corrode the joints if your gutters are made from cast iron.

So, keeping your gutters in good condition is important. Here’s what you should be doing to ensure they stay in tip top shape.

Get them cleaned after every autumn

Autumn is many people’s favourite time of the year. The beautiful colours and fresh mornings are to die for.

Not so for gutters. Heavy rainfall through autumn means all the dirt on your roof will run down into your gutters, and all the leaves from trees will be in the air. These will find their way into your gutters. Come winter, your gutters will be in desperate need of a clear out so get them cleaned without delay.

You’d be surprised by how much nasty stuff is in there. When we clean gutters after autumn, it’s not uncommon to have a bucket full of muck afterwards. The good news is once it’s gone, it’s gone, at least for another year.

Clear any blockage fast

If you do have a blockage you should get it cleared fast. This can be done in any weather, providing the wind isn’t deadly. The most effective way to clear a blockage and create a nice clear path is to push a rod across the length of the gutter, although you should always seal off the entry to the drainage pipe beforehand.

Check for sagging periodically

Sagging can be caused by a number of things. The most common cause is too much weight, caused by debris in the gutter. Clearing the gutters should solve the issue.

Another cause of sagging is inadequate support. Gutter hangers provide support and strength to your gutters. They are what stop your gutters from falling to the ground. If one of these hangers breaks or fails your gutters will sag at that point. Gutters can also sag if the hangers are improperly spaced.

Leaking joints

If your gutters are drip, drip, dripping at a point where they meet each other, it’s because there isn’t adequate bonding between them.

Cast iron gutters perish over time and the joints can separate. Even 0.2mm of movement can be enough to cause a drip. The solution is to put in a new bolt and pull the two gutter lengths together. It is also good practice to use a modern epoxy or suitable adhesive to give the joint further reinforcement for years to come.

With plastic gutters the commonest cause of a leaking or dripping joint is sagging. This can cause water to work its way under one joint. Have your roofer check the level of your gutters to see if this is the case. If your plastic gutter leaks at the joint, another common cause is gasket (seal) damage. If so, this is replaceable.

If you are having gutter issues or you want them cleaning, we provide a fast and effective service. Call us on 0113 293 4038.

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