Cleaning Your Gutters

In the last 10 years Melbourne has had 7 major storms, 2 of which were referred to as freak storms and the remaining 5 severe storms resulting flash flooding, large hail, extremely heavy rainfall, thunderstorms and even reports of tornadoes, all causing widespread damage.   These events  have not been isolated to just Victoria.  Queensland, New South Wales and Western Australia have really suffered with cyclones and floods in recent months.  Prevent water damage by ensuring your gutters are cleaned regularly.

Prevention is the Key

Prevention and maintenance can abolish most common causes of clogged and overflowing gutters. Consistent cleaning, as well as regular trimming of trees that overhang your gutters and roof are critical. Lastly, gutter guards are a valuable investment in densely-treed areas.

Gutter cleaning is imperative as part of home maintenance. If you do not keep your gutters clean, they will soon pile up with leaves and other debris that will not permit water to appropriately drain from your roof. This can lead to many problems, like rotting wood, sagging gutters, pest infestations, and much more. That’s why it’s a good idea to clean out your gutters a minimum of twice a year.

There could be any number of reasons why your gutters are overflowing. Here are our resolutions for solving this common household problem.

clogged-guttersBlockages

They may be blocked, it could be a problem with the slope to the downpipe, the downpipe itself might be clogged or in the case of older and recently-renovated properties the roof drainage system may not be up to the job at hand any more.water_damage

Water Damage

The water may have already caused some damage by the time you notice you have a problem, especially if it has flooded under the roof, so the first thing to do when you notice a congested gutter is to check the roof and ceilings nearby for any water damage. This can be costly and difficult to repair if it travels too far. However, the good news is if the water has not entered the roof, you can fix your overflowing gutters quickly and easily.

Downpipes

An overworked roof drainage system commonly caused by an inadequate number of downpipes for the roof size can be amended by adding more downpipes. You might want to consult a professional if you have to go down this road, as they will assist you in calculating important factors such as slope, load and positioning.

If your downpipe seems to be blocked or clogged, you may be able to clear the blockage using a high-pressure washer or by dismantling part of the pipe and retrieving the blockage that way.

If the angle of your gutters to the downpipes is not steep enough to allow the water to move freely then you will need to reposition them higher at the end furthest away.

blocked downpipe

Cleaning Your Gutters

Gutter Guards

Gutter guards are basically caps that go over your gutters to minimise debris clogging. There are slight slits in the guards that let water pass through so you can still direct the water where you want it to go. The caps will stop leaves, nuts, branches, and other nuisances from piling up in your guttering. This will minimise the work you have to do later on. If you have a rather new guttering or you plan on installing new gutters in the future, go the extra mile and get some gutter guards for your home.

Power Wash Your Gutters

If your gutters are still in good shape structurally, you should be able to power wash them for cleaning. This will involve you to getting a generator that converts your garden hose into a high-pressure water system, also known as a gurney. Power washing will save you from having to pull out debris by hand, but it is not wise to try on older gutters that are weak and bent. The pressure from the water may cause the gutters to fall if they are not fortified well.

If you choose to power wash your gutters, circumvent forcing all of the debris down the downpipe. As an alternative, try to push it over the edge of the gutters and onto the grass for you to rake up later. This may seem like more work, but a cluttered downpipe can be a giant headache to mess with. Try to avoid that if possible.

Pull out Debris by Hand

If power washing is not an possibility or you have too much clutter in your gutters to efficiently power wash, you will need to pull out the debris by hand. It would be sensible to wear thick work gloves or rubber gloves when you do this in case there are sharp objects or harmful insects in your gutters. Put all of the debris you pull out into a green waste bin so you do not have to clean it up from the ground.

Rinse the Gutters with a Hose

Once the bulk of the debris is out of your gutters, you should be able to wash it out with a hose. Watch how the water flows once you put it in there and make sure it comes out of the downpipe. If not, you may have to use a small brush on a wire to push out whatever may be clogging the system.

Rinsing your gutters will also let you see if there are any areas where the water may pool up rather than drain. If you see that, you may want to replace that section of your guttering because it will cause problems later on.

And of course, not everyone wants to clean their own gutters – it can be very dangerous and we all know someone who has taken a nasty fall off a ladder, with nasty consequences.  Don’t hesitate to call Jim’s Mowing on 131 546 or book a free quote online and we’ll happily clean the gutters for you!

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