Saturday 10 December 2016

Unclog gutters twice every year to avoid damage

Published 27/01/2012 | 05:00

After a wet winter I'm having some issues with damp patches on my roof. It may be caused by a leak but after getting some advice my local builder has asked me to check my gutters. Would you have any advice on what to do?

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Taking the time to maintain and carry out small repairs on your gutters and downpipes is very important. This can save you a lot of money over time on repair costs. By the sounds of it you may have a leak caused by a blockage in your gutters.

Ideally you would need to inspect your downpipes and gutters about twice a year. The most important times for inspection are in early spring before the wet months. Another good time is in autumn when leaves, limbs and other debris may cause problems.

Thoroughly clean all leaves and debris from the gutters and downpipes. If there are a number of trees near your home, clean the gutters with a small brush. You may have to clean more often than twice a year.

Clogged gutters can also cause pooling of water which can cause your gutters to rust. Keeping the gutters properly cleaned will slow down any rusting process.

If your gutters have already rusted and are starting to leak you may need to replace them. You can seek professional advice from roofing and guttering specialists on www.onlinetradesmen.ie.

Have you any advice on maintaining your downpipes?

Even the best gutter system cannot function properly unless all downpipes are in working order.

Take the time to examine your downpipes at the same time you are cleaning and repairing your gutters. If the downpipes drain into an underground drain, check the point where the pipe enters the underground drain. Make sure the drain cover is fixed firmly into place and there is no backup or overflow.

You can use a plumber's or electrician's snake to clean any possible obstructions in the downpipe system. Make sure all the drain covers are free from leaves and debris. All water should be drained away from the foundation of the house.

Once you have removed all the leaves and the debris, rinse the area using your garden hose. Rinse the gutter in the direction of the downspout using the spraying attachment on the hose.

Spray the gutter until no signs of debris remain.

If the drain is clogged, you will need to clear it. The best option is to remove the drain cover and carefully remove any debris that may have filtered into the drain.

If that does not work, then you need to work a plumber's snake into the downspout to loosen the debris and draw the debris out. You can purchase a snake at your local hardware store or online at www.handyhardware.ie

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