Guttering is a crucial and integral part of the structure of any roof, and as such it is very important to ensure that it is kept in a clean and functional condition. There are various types of gutters on the market, from traditional cast iron to modern and sleek-looking PVC systems, but essentially they all serve the same core purpose – guttering is used to catch the rainwater that falls from a roof, and divert it into a soakaway or drainage system.
Why are gutters so important?
Without gutters, the fabric of the building in the UK climate would soon be affected by water ingress, both at the roof and ground levels. At roof level, capillary action would draw water into the roof timbers, degrading their strength and quickly undermining the roof structure. At ground level the foundations of the house would become saturated, creating a potential for land heave and possible subsidence. Pooling water could also lead to water bridging the damp proof course membrane, causing damage to the internal finishes of the house. It is therefore essential to ensure that gutters are kept clear from blockages at all times.
What are the main causes of gutters becoming blocked?
Most blocked gutters are caused by fallen leaves, moss, twigs and dirt washed down from the roof covering. Whilst it is impossible to prevent nature from creating these conditions, we can at least take preventive actions to minimise their disruptions. The simplest way is to fit a leaf guard into the outlet of the gutter, where it joins the downpipe. This simple, inexpensive fitting stops pipes from becoming blocked by catching the leaves and moss before they are swept into the pipe. All that is required to maintain this fitting is the removal of leaves from around the guard a couple of times a year.
How to prevent your gutters from becoming blocked?
A more comprehensive solution is the fitting of a mesh system or one of the new generation of gutter brushes. Both of these products work in a more proactive way by actually stopping leaves and dirt from being washed into the gutters in the first place. Mesh systems clip on the top of the gutters, whilst gutter brushes are long lengths of nylon bristles fixed to a central wire that actually fits inside the gutter profile, filling the void whilst still allowing water to flow through the system. Either of these solutions is a very effective way of keeping guttering free from debris.
Finally, to keep gutters looking as good as new, washing them down a couple of times a year with a damp cloth and either soapy water or a proprietary PVC cleaner is recommended. Regularly maintained, they will add a touch of class to your eaves!
Find out more tips and systems to help maintain your gutters in perfect condition at www.guttersupplies.co.uk. If you found ‘Why Maintain Your Guttering’ useful, please share it on your social networking sites. Thank you.