Tips for Looking after your Gutters in Winter
December 18, 2018 - by Tony Earnshaw
During the winter months it is more important than ever to look after your gutters. When gutters work well, they do a fine job of carrying rainwater and melted snow down the drainpipes and away from your home. However, over autumn and winter falling leaves, debris and ice can get stuck in the gutters, which can create blockages that need to be removed.
Why Are Blocked Gutters Dangerous?
Left unchecked, blocked gutters can damage your house and lead to damp and mould, which are unpleasant and costly to repair and can cause health problems. Water stagnating in gutters can lead to corrosion, which can damage the structure of the guttering and mean more repair costs.
Prevention is always better than cure when it comes to gutter damage. This is especially important if you have a flat roof on your home, shed or out-building. Flat roofs take longer to clear water than pitched roofs, so gutters that work well will stop water stagnating on the roof and prevent flooding or structural damage.
If you see icicles hanging from your roof in the winter months, this could be a sign that your gutters are blocked. The icicles form because the water cannot drain away, so it freezes and forms ice blockages and icicles. This ice can cause damage to roof tiles, which again could mean costly repairs.
How to Clean Gutters
The best way to clean gutters is to call the professionals, who can unblock the drainpipes, fix any leaks and test gutters. They use specialist cleaning apparatus, including powerful vacuum pumps, and inspect the whole system to ensure everything is in good order.
If you want to try cleaning gutters yourself, use a strong extendible ladder with stabilizers, which stop the ladder damaging the gutter. Use a plastic scoop to remove the blockages and place the contents in a plastic bowl or tarp – not on your lawn. After cleaning, flush the gutters out with a garden hose.