Guttering and spouting do more than take rainwater away, they are essential for a healthy, happy home. Read on to learn signs that indicate issues, and tips for resolving damage…
What damage could my guttering be causing?
- A sagging gutter will damage your home’s fascia.
- Poor drainage can create problems for your driveway.
- Water damage can cause the timber in your roof to weaken and rot.
- Water can wick its way horizontally to reach other areas of your home, causing damage to gib and timber and even leading to harmful mold.
- Water will also follow gravity to your foundations, potentially causing them to slump.
Problem gutters and spouting can cause all kinds of issues from annoying overflows to structural damage to your home. Gareth Samuel from Makara Valley Roofing in Wellington has seen gutters create catastrophic trouble: “I’ve seen gutters rusted so badly they have fallen off into power lines, causing massive headaches for the owner and power companies, not to mention the neighbourhood without power!”
How do I know if I have a problem?
How to tell if your guttering and spouting is behaving well or in need of some TLC?
A buildup of debris is the most obvious sign. Though tiny in themselves, leaves, moss and twigs block the flow of water (and are a fire hazard in dry weather).
If you can, get outside during a downpour and investigate how well they are working:
- Look for water overflowing from the gutters.
- Listen to downpipes to ensure water is flowing effectively.
- Check whether water is pooling on the ground or draining well.
Here are some other signs to watch for (that don’t require standing in the rain!):
- Sagging gutters, caused either by impact or pooling water.
- Cracks and rust spots.
- Signs of peeling or chipped paint and mould around the gutters.
- Mould on the underside can be an indication of a slow leak.
- Rodents and insects, which are attracted to standing water.
- Water not draining away effectively from your home, leading to puddles and boggy spots.
- Guttering built into the eaves, or clipped directly on to fascia, leaving no gap. (This gives overflow a route into your home.)
- Damp areas – either internally or externally – lead to mould and rot, which can create structural issues and cause respiratory issues.
What Can I Do To Fix My Guttering Problems?
Once you have identified your problem, hire the right person to help solve it. Phil Hunter from Rimu Roofing in Auckland emphasises the importance of calling in a professional: “Gutter maintenance is essential if you want to avoid damage and buildups. However, accessing your gutters can be dangerous. Cleaning your gutters from the roof should be avoided at all costs, as standing in the wrong place can damage your roofing materials. New technologies mean that gutter cleaning is now easier and safer than before for the professionals. Many have tools that can even clean 3 storey gutters from the ground.”
- Roofers and guttering specialists are able to clean and replace your guttering and downpipes, and install gutter guards.
- Drain layers will clean your drainage and lay a new surface channel if needed.
- Builders can remove and replace damaged gib and rotted timber, and repair cosmetic and structural damage.
- Arborists can trim overhanging trees. It’s a job that only takes a few hours, and they take away all the trimmings.
- A handyperson will tackle your clogged gutters for you.
Phil from Rimu Roofing checks the gutter of a home near Auckland
Will I Need To Replace All My Guttering or Just a Section?
Phil from Rimu Roofing says, “There are membrane products which will repair cracked spouting even when wet. However, replacing damaged spouting is the long term solution. If access is not an issue, sections of PVC spouting can easily be replaced by a professional. The cause of the damage should be investigated as the same issue could be developing elsewhere.”
How Can I Prolong The Life of My Gutters and Spouting?
Once your guttering and spouting is all go again, keep a maintenance schedule. To prolong the life of your guttering and keep it debris-free, Gareth from Makara Valley Roofing has this advice: “Gutters should be cleaned out frequently to avoid buildup of debris/leaves, especially if you live in an area with lots of trees. I would be checking my gutters every two months, and every two weeks during Autumn.”
Regular care and maintenance of your gutters pays off long term. It will save you money, make your home last longer, and improve your family’s health.
Thanks to our two expert tradies for sharing with us their spouting tips. You can find these and many more expert tradespeople on Builderscrack.co.nz