Rain will pour down on the roof and to the ground. If your home does not have a proper guttering system, the water will just flow down the roof in random patterns, and into the house — and this can pose a danger to people and the immediate surrounding landscaping and buildings.
An excellent gutter system will prevent house leaks and reduce erosion by minimising water exposure. Indeed, having the right gutter system properly installed in your home is very important.
A Guide to Choosing the Right Gutter
Determine which type of gutter best suits your property – You can choose from half round gutters, square fronted gutters, quad gutters, and box gutters. Say, for instance, you have a modern-style home; your best option would be the half round gutters since they have a high
capacity and do not easily collect debris. But if you want to hide your gutters, then it’s best to opt for the boxed type.
Determine what colour is right for your home – Your gutters will be visible, so you must choose the right colour. Apart from picking a hue that matches the colour of your roof, it is also a great idea to find a colour that complements your door and windows well. This will definitely be visually appealing.
Check what the gutter is made of – Gutters can be made of zincalume, steel, copper, zinc aluminium alloys, PVC and Colorbond. Of course, you must opt for a gutter that is compatible with your roofing.
Consider the annual expected amount of rainfall in your area – In Adelaide, for instance, residents can expect an average of 540mm of rainfall every year. During the months of June and July, residents can expect high rainfall totals. The more rainfall you get, the bigger your gutters must be.
Seamless System Vs. Sectional System
Which provides more value to your money, a seamless system or a sectional system? Seamless gutters are often installed by professionals and are pre-cut to size. These are actually the top choice on the market nowadays. And since these have fewer sections, there will be fewer chances of springing a leak or a broken seam.
On the other hand, sectional gutters vary in lengths, which are patched together on site or upon installation.
If you are still confused as to which of the many gutter systems is best for your home, you can get expert help. A reliable gutter installer or supplier can assist you in making the right decision. For you to get an objective opinion, you need to go for a guttering service that offering all guttering types and has been in the business for decades.
Dirt build-up in the gutter system causes a myriad of problems when neglected. Not only does it cause roof and gutter damage, but it also leads to serious structural damage. This is why it is essential to have the gutter system cleared up at least twice a year.
Gutter cleaning and maintenance will help prevent significant damage to your home. Whether or not you have to spend to have your gutters regularly cleaned, in the long run, it actually helps prevent the need to spend on more expensive repair and renovation tasks. In addition, proper gutter maintenance done regularly is your ticket, should you need to claim your insurance.
Home insurance, also known as homeowner’s insurance, is a type of property insurance that aims to protect an individual’s house and other related assets against unwanted incidents. While most homeowners are aware of the extent of coverage of their insurance, some are just not well informed.
One of the most commonly asked questions about home insurance is, “Does it cover damages caused by blocked gutters?” The simple answer is yes. However, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you are covered when you make a claim.
Hence, it is important that when you decide to pay for a homeowner’s insurance, make sure to go through and understand your policy’s Product Disclosure Statement. This document contains the details of your policy, inclusions, and exclusions.
The Extent of Coverage
Up to what extent do insurance providers cover damages caused by clogged gutters? They cover loss or damages that are outside your control. This means that any damage that could have been prevented through regular maintenance will not be covered.
If you have been regularly cleaning or maintaining your gutters and a loss or damage is incurred, then it will be easier for you to make a claim and get paid. But if your insurance provider finds that you have not been doing maintenance work, they can decide to reject your claim.
Protect Yourself and Your Investment
The best way to protect yourself and your investment is with regular gutter cleaning. If you are familiar or experienced with this kind of work, then this is something that you can do yourself. On the other hand, if this is something that you cannot do, it is always best to hire professionals to the job for you. They are trained and have the right tools to accomplish the job. The important thing is that your gutter system is regularly cleaned up and maintained.
Performing periodic maintenance on your roof is a required task for every homeowner. Where you live is a great factor in determining how often you should check and clean the gutter.
If you are in an urban area where there are few or no trees at all, once a year will do. And the best time to do that is in autumn, right before the winter comes.
If you live in the suburbs or areas where trees are moderate, on the other hand, you should inspect your roof at least twice a year. Frequent checking and cleaning is highly required if you live in a heavily treed area. During the autumn, you must check it at least once or even twice each week.
Aside from doing occasional checkups and cleaning, how else do you ensure that your gutters won’t get clogged?
- Cover the gutter.
The easiest way to protect your gutter from leaf buildups and collecting debris is to cover it. Nowadays, there are gutter covers that are designed for easy installation. If you are not the DIY type, you can always have them installed by your trusted dealers.
While there are no gutter coverings that will absolutely make your roof debris-free, installing one will definitely help save you from having to frequently check and clean it.
- Check for proper flow.
Apart from installing gutter guards, make sure water is flowing properly. To do this, you have to flush the gutter with water.
Check that the outlets are unobstructed. If you live in heavily wooded areas, it is advisable to install an outlet that is quite bigger or wider than the standard. This allows any kind of debris to flow through and prevents unspotted build up that often causes gutter blockage.
- Make sure water is properly drained into the downspouts.
Make cleaning easy and convenient with removable downspouts or leaders. Blocked downspouts can be very challenging. For one, they are difficult to clean, particularly when you have a big house. With removable downspouts, you will be able to take them down safely on the ground, check them conveniently for obstructions, and clean them easily without ladders.
- Fix gutter problems immediately.
The primary cause of clogged gutters is that they are often ignored until leaks or holes associated with them become a major problem. Gutter problems must be corrected as soon as you have spotted them. Patch holes even if they are tiny. If the hole is quite big, then it might require replacing. Install additional gutter support like spikes or ferrules if needed.
No matter how leak-proof the roof is or how debris-proofed the gutters are, you still need to climb up there and do regular inspections, most especially in the spring and autumn. While you may have the best gutter protection installed up there, home experts still recommend inspecting the gutters and clearing out all leaves and debris.
The bushfire season of 2015-2016 is said to have been the most destructive in recent years. Statistics showed that 408 residential properties and at least 500 non-residential ones were lost or damaged during this season, costing locals millions of dollars. There were also a number of reported injuries and human fatalities. The states that suffered the most from the last bushfire season included Victoria, Queensland, New South Wales, and Western Australia.
Keeping Your Home Safe From Bushfires
Although bushfires can be hard to prevent, you should still take the right steps to protect your home from being a statistic of this year’s bushfire season. This is especially true if you live in a place that is surrounded by a forest or vegetation including paddocks, bush, and grasslands.
The particular area of your home that you should pay attention to is your gutter system.
One of the main reasons why bushfires are so destructive is because they quickly escalate. As the fire moves or spreads, burning leaves and twigs are carried by the wind and get fresh oxygen for combustion. Because of this, embers and other burning materials can spread to dangerous and unpredictable lengths.
Embers can easily land on gutters. If your gutter is clogged with fallen leaves, twigs, and other types of debris, they can easily ignite if embers land on them. If this isn’t discovered and stopped immediately, the resulting fire can burn your house to the ground.
To prevent this dangerous situation from happening in your home, follow the useful tips below:
- Install a gutter protection system that is fire-proof or has zero-flammability features. The right gutter guard product can effectively reduce the risk of embers starting spot fires around your home. Gutter guards will also ensure that flammable leaves do not remain on your roof and start a potential fire.
- Getting a gutter protection system is just a start; proper installation is just as important, too. Aside from the gutters, the valleys must be covered with a non-combustible material as well. In addition, the gutter guards must be securely fixed with materials that can withstand extreme heat.
- In case you do not opt to have gutter guards installed, make sure you clean the gutters thoroughly and regularly. Remove all debris completely so that embers won’t have anything to ignite if they land on the gutters.
- Lastly, make sure your lawn, including all paths on the sides of your house, are free from flammable materials including dead branches, dry leaves, and twigs. If there are tree branches that are really close to your home or roof, have them removed or trimmed immediately.
Gutters are important features that help control water flow from the roof during the rainy season. But during bushfire season, they can easily become the part of your home where fire can ignite. By taking the necessary precautionary steps, you can reduce the risk of fire happening in your home.
Just when you thought you have done enough of house cleaning and maintenance work, the rain pours and you realise you haven’t cleaned your gutters in a while. Removing leaves and other debris from the gutter should be on every homeowner’s maintenance list.
A lot of homeowners know the importance of regular gutter cleaning, and yet they avoid doing it when they can. But why wait until you see the damage before you start climbing up that ladder and removing dirt and debris from your gutter?
While cleaning gutters can be considered as one of the most dreaded chores, it is not an arduous task to do. Being the handyman that you are, you could make use of some helpful products and tools to unclog your gutters. In addition, employing a certain technique or following a step-by-step guide will make it easier and safer for you to do.
Simple techniques to making gutter cleaning safe and successful
- Gather all your equipment and safety gear. Make sure you have everything you need. The most common tools needed are a sturdy ladder to ensure safety when going up and down, a pair of gloves to protect your hands, and a scoop or spatula to remove the debris.
- Always put safety first. Avoid going up and down the ladder when you can. Use safety equipment such as gloves and a harness if possible, and wear non-slip shoes.
- Save time. Spare yourself additional work by using a bucket or container to dump the debris in instead of dumping the dirt on your lawn or on the ground below. Before you start cleaning the gutter, you should first rake or sweep the leaves off the roof as the wind and rain will wash these down the gutter, filling it up again.
- Use the right tools. You may use your gloved hand to pull out the larger debris and a scoop or spatula to remove the smaller ones. A scraper can be used for hard-to-remove dirt.
- Flush the gutters. Once you have removed all the debris, sweep the bottom of the gutter with a brush. Flush the gutters and downspouts with water to clear them of any dirt left behind.
However, for the not-so-handy homeowners, it would of course be best to ask help from experts. Schedule regular gutter cleaning services to keep your home protected and to save you from spending on expensive renovation and repair. Always remember, prevention is better than cure.
Most property owners do not exactly understand the important role that gutters play in their home. Without this feature, your roof (and home) won’t be fully protected from all kinds of damage that can come with rain and snow. And in addition, gutters can add to the overall appeal of your house.
Unfortunately, not many homeowners pay attention to their gutters. Once they are installed, they completely forget about this feature. They simply leave these alone even when they are old, sagging, discoloured and have holes. Of course, they won’t function properly when they are not regularly cleaned and maintained. When they are discoloured and look so old and worn, they will significantly detract from a house’s appeal and beauty.
If you’re looking to replace your old gutters with new ones, to best prepare for this project, you need to know the cost that will come with this undertaking. So what goes into the total cost of a new gutter system installation? These are the key elements:
- The gutter system’s material. Most gutters today are made of vinyl or PVC, aluminium or Zincalume guttering, galvanised steel, and Colorbond. In general, these materials are durable, long-lasting, and affordable. When choosing which material is best for your home, consider your house’s roofing material. And to get the most out of your investment for your new gutters, make sure the system or product you choose complies with the appropriate Australian Standard and Building Code.
- The width of the gutters. The gutter installation company may offer you various gutter widths (usually between .127 and .152 metres). Bear in mind that the wider the gutters and the bigger your roof is, the more expensive they will be simply because more materials will be used for the project.
- Your choice of downspouts. Downspouts collect the water from the roof and lead them away from the gutters. They work hand in hand with gutters. The size and number of downspouts will affect the total cost of new gutter installation. Just like with the gutters, the more material used for downspout, the higher the price. If you also choose to invest in other accessories or features such as rain chains or funnels, the cost for the whole job will increase as well.
- Fastening system to be used during installation. Most gutter installation contractors use a fastening system that usually consists of spikes or hangers. You have to take note of the materials the installation crew will use. The best quality fastening systems will prevent water infiltration caused by clogs when the top of the gutter is closed. They also serve both installation and protection purposes since they can effectively reduce gutter maintenance.
The quality of your new gutter system and its installation process will have a big impact on its durability, longevity, and overall appeal. As such, with this kind of home improvement project, you will get what you pay for. If you want the best system, be prepared for the cost that comes with it.
A building’s gutters may not exactly be eye-catching, but these certainly perform a vital role.
What role is this?
The primary purpose of gutters is to move rainwater away from the roof and from the main structure. When water is allowed to fall closely to the main structure, the soil around it may erode. Eventually, the foundation can become compromised and this can lead to structural issues, especially if the building has a basement.
Apart from that, the rainwater can wind its way into your home via windows and doors. The risk for this issue is high if your roof does not have sufficient clearance.
Gutters use gravity to direct rainwater away from the roof and your home toward the downspout.
But just like any other part of a house, the gutters need to be cleaned and maintained in order to ensure their optimal performance. Over time, leaves, twigs and small branches, and other types of debris can collect in the gutters.
What are the consequences of not cleaning your gutters?
One of the first signs that means the gutters need to be cleaned is a leak. Leaking gutters can easily be discovered through a visual inspection of the roof and can be remedied with a simple cleanup. However, if the issue is left unchecked, it can lead to other woes.
Blocked, dirty gutters can also cause leaks on the roof. When the gutters are blocked, the rainwater cannot fall to the ground and will instead accumulate on portions of the roof. Eventually, this can lead to damage, especially when the water turns into ice.
Rainwater can also leak into the basement if the gutters are not cleaned and therefore cannot function optimally. The excess water can get to the basement and lead to various problems like gas leaks and electrical shocks.
When rainwater gets inside your home, moulds can invade your home. Mould spores float freely in the air and can grow inside a home when there is moisture present. Keep in mind that apart from being difficult to remove and being unsightly, moulds can also cause different health issues.
Insects and vermin are attracted to gutters filled with debris. For example, the water pooled inside the gutters and on the roof serve as a perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes. Vermin that are attracted to the debris on the gutters can eventually invade your home.
It can take just a few weeks before gutters become damaged due to rotting. Nearby wooden structures like fascia can rot as well. And if the gutters continue to accumulate dirt and debris, these become too heavy and can get distorted and even fall off.
Damage to the landscape
Finally, when rainwater lands on sidewalks and driveways, it can make these slippery. Worse, rainwater can actually do damage to these. Apart from that, the plants in your garden can be drowned.
Gutters play an important role in maintaining the structural integrity and longevity of roofs. They collect water that lands on the roofs from rains or storms and direct the collected water away from the house. A gutter system is crucial to help reduce water and moisture damage to one’s home.
Protecting Your Gutters
An easy way to provide protection to your gutter and to keep them intact and functional for a long time is to invest in gutter guards.
Gutter guards, also known as gutter protection systems, permit rain water to enter your gutter and, at the same time, keep leaves, pests, and other unwanted debris out. Without sufficient protection, leaves and debris can create a blockage I your gutter and, eventually, the downpipes.
To remove these blockages and prevent further damage on your gutter, you will need to clean them regularly as well. The right type of gutter guards can help you avoid these issues.
Gutter guards offer the following specific benefits:
- They effectively keep out leaves, twigs, seeds, and other types of debris that fall from the trees.
- They help prevent the fascias from rotting and the paint on your gutter from peeling.
- They reduce the risk of mould and mildew growth, particularly in cities that have the highest average number of rainfall such as Darwin, Sydney, and Brisbane.
- They protect your gutter and home from small pests such as rodents, birds, and even snakes that can nest in the gutter system.
- They can provide protection to your home from bushfires – something that occurs regularly throughout Australia.
Another noteworthy reason why you should consider having gutter guards is to avoid the difficult chore of cleaning your gutter system. The need to clean gutters can often put your safety in serious jeopardy. Each year, hundreds of people fall from ladders while trying to clean their gutters. Unfortunately, some of these falls are fatal.
Choosing the Best Gutter Protection System for Your Home
Gutter guards come in different types. In terms of materials, they can be made of plastic or polyethylene, aluminium, stainless steel, and Colorbond.
To make sure you invest in the right gutter guard system, you have to consider some important factors.
First, consider your roof material, the type of structure or building you have, the roof’s design, and your location.
You should then make sure the system you will choose is effective – it should keep unwanted debris and pests out yet still allow water to flow through the roof’s channel efficiently.
Gutter guards have to be cleaned regularly as well. Make sure you choose a system that is easy to clean or maintenance-free.
Lastly, consider its price. It has to be one that suits your needs and budget.
Most gutter-related issues and types of damage occur during autumn and winter. As such, autumn is the best season for you to get ahead of your gutter maintenance.
To prepare and protect your gutters from the detrimental effects of autumn, here are some steps and tips to follow:
Clean your gutters.
To have an effective water drainage system on your home, make sure your gutters remain clear throughout autumn. Debris such as fallen leaves, seeds, and dust can accumulate on your gutters and block the guttering system. This, in turn, will prevent the rainwater from flowing freely.
In addition, by making sure your gutters are clean, you effectively decrease the chances of mould growth and pest infestations. If you want to do this chore, make sure you observe important safety cleaning precautions. You can also make sure you thoroughly clean your gutters by flushing it using a garden hose after removing all the debris and gunk. This is also a good way for you spot leaks on your gutters.
Conduct an inspection and repairs, where needed.
While cleaning the gutters, check for leaks, loose brackets and screws, uneven sections, and any form of excessive wear and tear. If there are loose brackets and screws, buy new ones, replace the old ones, and secure them where needed. If you discovered leaks, determine if it is possible to patch them. If yes, apply plastic roofing cement over the holes. If the holes are too big, apply a strip of aluminium flashing to the area and seal the edges with cement.
Invest in a gutter guard.
If you want to make sure that leaves and debris don’t accumulate on your gutter, and to save yourself the effort of regularly cleaning it, consider investing in a gutter guard system. This completely seals open gutters to reduce or prevent the autumn debris build-up on your roof which can cause permanent damage. With the right gutter guard screening system, debris can just slide or blow off the roof; in most cases, you will have a maintenance-free gutter.
Protect your gutter from pests.
Finally, aside from falling leaves and rainfall, autumn is also the time that pushes pests to start invading roofs and gutters. Rodents and birds are the number one culprits. Residents in NSW, for instance, constantly wage war against sparrows since they love nesting in gutters, causing this system to become blocked. You can avoid this problem by using a humane pest repellent product. Alternatively, if you decide to invest in a gutter guard, choose one that can effectively keep out both creeping and flying vermin, too.
There is nothing easy about preparing your gutter for the autumn season. If this appears to be too much work for you, then you can certainly consider getting help from professional contractors.
Gutter cleaning is one of the most important tasks included in roof maintenance. Keeping those gutters free from dust build-up and other debris can do so much in preserving the structural and functional aspects of your roof. It also helps to prevent interior damage to your home and reducing the potential for pest infestation. Needless to say, gutter cleaning is truly a must.
You can take care of this vital task yourself, but experts strongly recommend hiring the pros for the job.
Why? They claim that it would be a more advantageous arrangement. Plus, there are the dangers of DIY gutter cleaning that you have to consider. It may seem like a simple task, but a lot of DIY-ers actually get overwhelmed by how challenging it is. Accidents can happen, especially if you don’t have a complete set of equipment. You will need a harness to secure you as you navigate your roof to get to your gutters. If you have a big house and you have steeply slanted roofs, for sure, you won’t easily be able to reach your gutters and clean them thoroughly. Plus, it’s not just equipment that you will need to ensure the safe and proper execution of the task; you will need skills as well.
On the other hand, professional roof cleaners know the structural make-up of the roofing system and can thus strategically navigate it so that cleaning those gutters can be done safely and thoroughly. It’s also worth mentioning that most of them developed physical skills to be able to clean gutters no matter how high they may be.
Another danger that can come with DIY gutter cleaning efforts is that if you don’t have the sufficient know-how for going about the task, you may actually end up damaging your gutters. So, from just needing a clean-up (which is a simpler and more affordable service), you may end up needing repair or replacement instead.
Meanwhile, the pros have an established system of performing the task; you can be sure that no matter how thorough they are with cleaning, your roof and your gutters will not sustain any damage. Plus, they will even provide you the advantage of inspecting your gutters for issues. As they clean the gutters, they will also keep an eye out for signs of wear and tear, corrosion, holes, loose attachments, et cetera. Therefore, before these flaws become even bigger problems to address, they’ll inform you about their presence, their impact on the whole structure, and what actually needs to be done about them.
While you may be able to save some money by taking the DIY route, gutter cleaning is not as easy as it seems. So, if you want the task done right, it’s best to leave the task up to highly experienced professionals who’ll do a fast and fine job of it.