It might surprise you to know that here at Oates Roofing Maintenance, we love a bit of gutter talk. In fact we can talk about gutters and downpipes for hours. And for good reason.
Because it doesn’t matter how good your roof is, whether the tiles or metal sheets are in pristine condition and all flashings and seals are perfect, if your gutters and downpipes are falling apart or aren’t working correctly, your home will get rain damage.
In this blog we’ll look at common issues with gutters and downpipes that can cause rain damage. We’ll also provide you advice on what to do if gutter or downpipe replacement is on the cards for your home.
Common gutter and downpipe issues
Issues with gutters and downpipes are not as irregular as you might think. In fact, one of Australia’s leading insurance providers, AAMI, says, “Blocked or rusted gutters and downpipes are common culprits behind many home insurance claims.”
So, it’s important to get on top of any issues as soon as you can:
- The number one issue with gutters and downpipes – which doesn’t require replacement – is simply blockages. Leaves, sticks, dirt and sludge can collect in your gutters and downpipes and eventually lead to blockages. We’ve even found items like balls and rodents causing blockages! Regular cleaning of your gutters can prevent blockages and ensure your gutters and downpipes work as they should, diverting rain to the stormwater system.
- While vertical gardens and now commonplace, allowing plants to grow your gutters is never a good idea. Take a walk in any Melbourne neighbourhood and you’ll soon see plants and weeds growing in gutters. Like leaves and other debris, plants need to be removed from gutters regularly to prevent blockages.
- While rusting and corrosion of gutters and downpipes are less common with modern metal materials, it can still happen over time. Particularly if regular cleaning hasn’t been performed. Rusting will cause holes and cracks to appear in your gutters and downpipes, which can be fixed if you get on to them quickly. However, if left, significant damage will result and gutter replacement or downpipe replacement will be required.
- Sometimes the issue is to do with the design or installation. For example, inadequate guttering can cause regular overflowing, as can gutters that haven’t been designed to slope down slightly to the downpipes. Incorrect downpipe positioning or not enough downpipes can also cause overflowing.
- Sagging gutters can also be caused by poor installation, usually when gutter support brackets have been placed too far apart. Sagging can also result from broken support brackets.
- The above points are only the tip of the iceberg, as there are other ways your gutters and downpipes can be compromised. For example, a branch may have fallen, damaging a section of guttering or a downpipe. Or you may have used a ladder and put too much pressure on a section of gutter.
As we mentioned above, the most common issue with gutters and downpipes is blockages caused by leaves, sticks and other debris, which eventually turns to sludge.
How often should you clean your gutters? Oates recommends at least two times a year. A good approach can be to undertake gutter maintenance on your Melbourne home in autumn after any deciduous leaves have fallen and before winter rain. Plus, an additional clean in spring, once the bulk of the winter rains have finished.
An alternative to cleaning twice yearly is to install mesh gutter guards to divert debris away for your gutters and downpipes. We recommend getting your gutter guards professionally supplied and installed as the ones you can purchase in hardware stores are often be more of a nuisance than a help.
Gutter and downpipe replace in Melbourne – Oates the team to rely on
Gutters and downpipes don’t last for ever, no matter how well you maintain them, and there will come a time when you need replacement. It’s not a cheap job, particularly if you need all your gutters and downpipes replaced, but it’s something you shouldn’t put off as it can lead to far more costly damage to your home.
Whether your Melbourne gutters or downpipes need replacement, if they need fixing or you simply need help with getting them cleaned, Oates Roofing Maintenance can help. Oates carries out a whole host of roofing services, including gutter cleaning and maintenance, downpipe replacement and gutter replacement. We service all parts of Melbourne and surrounds, and we provide free quotes.
To find out more about how we can help you and your home’s gutters and downpipes, give us a call on 0435 695 466.
Note: A key message to take from this post is not to simply forget about your gutters and downpipes. Clean them and inspect them regularly and get any issues fixed promptly. Do this and they’ll reward you with many years and decades and hassle free service.