Gutters tend to go unnoticed while they do their job properly, but once they fail, they’re tough to ignore. Every downpour leads to overflowing water and damp walls. Your gutter system is exposed to all the elements all year round, and over time it’s only natural that it will start to fail, and you will need to replace your guttering. However, as with all maintenance and repairs, it is a good idea to be pre-emptive and not wait until your guttering entirely fails, as this could damage your walls – both while they are failing and before you can get it fixed or replaced.
Signs That Your Gutter System Needs to be Replaced
The material that gutters are made from will start to fail over time, breaking and forming cracks. Of course, physical damage after a storm can also cause this problem. However, cracks in the pipework, seals, and so on will only get bigger over time. So you might see small cracks that only let water droplets fall through, but this will widen to be a much bigger problem and probably sooner than you think. If the cracks have formed due to age, it may be time to replace your whole system.
Sagging or pulling gutters are commonly caused by poor installation and can lead to standing water in areas next to your building. In this case, the best thing to do is hire a professional company to reinstall the system. Sagging gutters can also be caused by heavy dirt build-up, so if your gutters start to sag, you will need to make sure you are cleaning them more regularly to avoid similar problems in the future. Roof gutter maintenance with a professional company can ensure this type of problem is avoided in the future.
Fascia boards are long boards that run along the roof line. They are typically where the gutter system has been attached to a building and is one of the first places to show damage if any gutter repair is needed. If the gutters have water overflowing in a particular spot because of a system failure, this will cause water damage on the fascia board – normally visible as peeling paint. This might only need the section of damaged guttering replaced, but a professional company will be able to advise you.
You can expand the life of your rainwater systems and drainage systems by regularly cleaning your gutters. If you keep on top of this maintenance, you will be able to keep an eye on problems that appear and prevent damage from affecting them. If you want to cut down on the amount of gutter cleaning you do – either for cost or health and safety reasons- consider installing a gutter guard. There are many different types in standard sizes, and their purpose is to prevent debris from entering the gutter system in the first place.
As a final word, here are a few safety tips if you are thinking of caring for your gutters yourself:
- Ladder safety – follow careful ladder safety practice, ensure you are always working with a partner, and do not try to speed the job up by taking risks.
- Roof hatches – you must make sure that you close any roof access hatches behind you. It is far too easy to forget they are open and fall through.