In this part of the world, we’re never short of rainfall and our guttering gets a lot of good use to say the least. Guttering is such a key part of a property’s drainage system. When in perfect condition, guttering channels rainwater from roofs directly down drainpipes – keeping our roofline healthy and our indoors dry in the process. Furthermore, this drainage keeps water from dripping down into the foundations of the property where it could cause some real long-term water damage.
Cleaning out your guttering might seem like something you want to put off for as long as possible. But neglected, clogged and dirty gutters can wreak havoc on your roofline and have a knock-on effect on the rest of your property! Taking good care of your guttering will help it last longer – saving you money and the faff of getting it fully replaced. Dripping water can damage your fascia which would make for another preventable and costly repair. Putting a little time into maintaining your guttering now will save you time and money in the future.
So, we’ve put together a few tips and things to look out for when caring for your guttering…
Check for dripping and proper drainage
A rainstorm isn’t a particularly fun time to be outside, but it can be a great time to check if your roofline drainage is working. It’s good practice to routinely check around your guttering to observe any areas that aren’t draining properly. Dripping can be a sign that your guttering is blocked by debris or may be damaged – and we’ll discuss what to do about this later on.
If you notice standing water in your guttering, it means that the guttering isn’t at the right angle for drainage and needs to be altered slightly to allow gravity to do its work and let the water flow towards the downspout and down the drainpipe. It may have been installed wrong – but it’s more likely it’s been knocked off-kilter by a bird or strong wind. If you’re handy with your tools, this is something you can fix yourself – but if not, call a professional to give you a hand.
Say goodbye to dead leaves
Leaves clogging up drainpipes is probably the most commonly associated issue with guttering. Dead leaves can quickly accumulate in our gutters (especially during the autumn) and create nasty, soggy, mouldy clumps that stop rainwater in its tracks. Heavy clumps of dead leaves can also cause your gutter to sag or pull away from the roofline, again preventing proper drainage.
While there’s no hard and fast rule about how often you should empty dead leaves from your guttering, an easy rule of thumb would be once or twice a year at least – especially after all the autumn leaves have fallen. If you live somewhere with lots of nearby trees, you might want to empty them more often than that. If you can see leaves piling up or, worse yet, if you can see water dripping or overflowing your guttering caused by a bunch of leaves, it’s definitely time to get cracking and clear out that gutter.
Our top tip would be to see if a few days of dry weather are coming up. After a couple of dry days, the leaves will be crispier (and a lot less mushy) and therefore easier to remove from your gutter. Always wear a pair of thick work gloves to protect your hands and use a bag, bucket, or sheet to collect your leaves and debris. If you can’t wait for a dry day (let’s face it, we don’t have many here in the UK) and you find yourself handling wet leaves, consider waterproof gloves. You may also need a tool, such as a trowel, to help with clumps of debris.
Also, if you don’t have a sturdy ladder or the even and level space on which to rest it to allow you to safely and comfortably tackle your guttering yourself, hire a professional for help and don’t put yourself at unnecessary risk.
Repaint your gutter
After you’ve given your gutter a good cleaning, it’s a great time to see what’s really going on with your roofline. You may have noticed areas of damage (which we’ll tackle in the next section) or areas that need repainting. Repainting your metal guttering is a great way to help protect it and make it last longer; repainting helps create a smooth finish that will allow water to easily pass along without snagging any debris the water carries.
Of course, if you have plastic guttering, you won’t need to worry about this particular issue. This is one of the reasons we recommend plastic guttering – it never needs repainting so will take a good deal of work off your hands. They also last just as long, if not longer than alternatives! You can find out more about the features and benefits of uPVC for your roofline, including uPVC guttering, in our blog.
Check if your guttering needs repairing or replacing
If you’ve observed any cracks or splits on any part of the gutter, this will need some attention. You might find it’s just a simple matter of replacing a single section of the gutter. Don’t delay in getting this sorted though, it’s super easy to do and (as we’ve said before) you might save yourself a pretty penny in the future by nipping this one in the bud.
Sometimes things may have gotten a little bit worse than a small crack or two and it’s time to replace all of your guttering. If you notice any part of your fascia that’s rotting, it means your guttering hasn’t been doing its job and won’t be keeping your roofline clear of water. Also, if you see your guttering sagging or separating from the roofline, it’s time to act. As we’ve previously mentioned, faulty guttering can lead to further problems with your roofline and water damage to the foundations of your house, so don’t wait. If your fascia isn’t already rotting, without your action it soon may be.
A replacement gutter can enhance your roofline!
It might be time to get your guttering (and maybe other parts of your roofline like the fascia and soffits) fully replaced! This is a great time to find a colour and style that really complements your property. A fresh roofline can really elevate a property, so seize this opportunity to invest in a roofline that looks great while keeping your property safe from water damage.
At Roofline Design, we specialise in uPVC guttering – a great, long-lasting, hard-wearing, easy-to-maintain material available in a dynamic range of colours and designs to suit your taste and needs. We’re so confident in our quality products and installations that all our guttering (as with all our great products) comes with a 20-year guarantee!
Find out more about our classic and decorative guttering for homes and businesses.
If you’re interested in new guttering, get in touch with us or fill out our easy quote form for a free, no-obligation quote today! We’re currently running a special offer on fascia, soffit and guttering replacement so catch it while you can.