Gutter Cleaning

How Can I Tell If My Gutters Are Blocked?

Think about the last time you thought about your gutters? I’ll just wait right here while you think.

If you’re like most people, you probably can’t remember. Gutters are just … there. Most of the time they just seem ornamental. They attach to the roof and really, that’s it. I mean, why know why they exist: they allow for water to get off the roof and flow into the drains, but really, they just seem so simple that they just blend into obscurity.

But blocked gutters can cause very expensive problems. When water can’t get off your property through the drainage system as it is supposed to, it can cause major issues to the structural integrity of your home. Just remember what water does to metal and wood.

And what is your roof made out of? That’s right. Metal and wood.

If your gutters are blocked, the water will pool, and one of the places it will pool, is your roof. So if you don’t want rot and rust causing roof leaks, here are some ways of determining whether you have a problem with your gutters before it hopefully is a problem:

Check your gutters to see if they are overflowing during normal rain events.

There is a limit to the amount of water a gutter can divert off the roof at any one time, so overflowing gutters can happen during strong rain events. But if they happen during normal to low rain events, then you might have a problem. The water’s clearly not able to flow into the downpipes, which means it could be pooling on your roof, or overflowing down your walls, which is an issue we’ll talk about soon.

Do you notice your gutters drooping from your roof?

Water is actually quite heavy, surprisingly heavy. When it falls like rain, the weight of the water doesn’t matter, as long as it flows off the roof, along the gutters and down the drainpipe. But when a blocked gutter causes water to pool, the accumulation of the water becomes quite heavy. Gutters are not designed to support excessive weight for long periods of time, so they may begin to droop and sag away from your roofs if the water-logged weight of the blockage is too much.

Do you notice insects, birds and rodents spending a lot of time around your gutters?

Blocked gutters usually consist of a handful of things; water, soil and vegetation (e.g. sticks, twigs, leaves etc). Standing water attracts insects, like mosquitoes. The sticks and twigs attract birds who are nesting, as they are good nesting material. And the warm seclusions and protection of a blocked gutters provides safety to small rodents from predators. If you notice these animals and insects spending excessive amounts of time around your gutters, it’s because something is attracting them, and that something might be a blockage of water, soil and vegetation.

Speaking of vegetation, do you notice plants actually growing in your gutters?

As we said in the previous section, blocked gutters usually consist at least of water, soil and vegetation. And what do plants need to grow? Water, soil and sunlight. If your gutters are blocked with water and soil, they are a great place for plants to grow as the third thing they need, sunlight, is in ready supply.

So, if you’ve already noticed any of these things already happening, bringing in the professionals, like these gutter cleaners in Brisbane, may just be the best money you can spend.

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Thinking of cleaning out your gutters yourself? Beware!

Gutters can become blocked with all manner of stuff; usually it is vegetation and dirt, but sometimes they can become blocked with wasp or bee hives, dead birds and animals, tree branches and the like. Sometimes it’s difficult to determine whether or not your gutters are blocked. From you angle on the ground, you can’t see inside the gutters themselves. But other times, it is a lot easier. Water overflows the gutters in even normal rain showers, or there are plants and grass actually growing out of the gutters.

Whatever reasons might cause you to suspect your gutter is blocked, you might decide that it is time to give the gutter a good, old fashioned, cleanout. You also might decide that you should just do it yourself. It will save you money, and really, how hard can it be? You just climb a ladder, and dig around in the gutters a bit.

That is where we say, whoa, hold you horses. Perhaps gutter cleaning is not as safe and easy as you think, and perhaps it is best to leave the gutter cleaning to the professionals. Here are some reasons why you might reconsider doing the gutter cleaning yourself:

Working at heights is dangerous if you’re not used to it.

It only takes one wrong movement, one moment of lapsed concentration, and before you realise it, you’ve overbalanced and taken a fall. Cleaning gutters requires you to get off the ground, sometimes it might only be a few feet, sometimes it might be a few metres. But even a fall from a few feet can cause you a serious injury, if you land badly, and a fall from a few metres can easily be fatal.

Professional gutter cleaners are used to working at heights. It is their job, it is what they are trained to do, and sometimes it just makes sense to let the professionals do what they are trained to do.

Working from ladders is dangerous if you’re not used to them.

You look at ladders, and they look easy enough to climb. They have footholds, handholds, everything you need.

But things are different when you are at the other end of the ladder, when you’re high in the air, and your only means of support is the ladder on which you stand.

So, first thing you need to do is look at your ladder. Is it really something you would trust your life with. Is it old and rusty? Is it even tall enough? Is the base secure enough?

Now, look at the land on which the base will be placed? Is it level? Is it bumpy? Might the ladder move while you are climbing it?

Now, look at where you are going to place the ladder? When cleaning a gutter, the most obvious structure that you will place the ladder against is the gutter itself. But the thing about cleaning blocked gutters is the fact that you are cleaning a gutter that is blocked. By this, we mean, this is a gutter that is being blocked with vegetation and mud and all manner of stuff. By the very nature of the fact that it is blocked, water has probably not been able to flow down the drain, therefore the blocked will likely be water-sodden. Water is heavy, and drains are not designed to support heavy weights for long periods of time.

The water laden blockage could be causing your gutters to sag and come loose from the roof. And now you want to place a ladder against it and risk your life and well-being on something that might be compromised?

Unless you really know what you are doing, or you are a professional, these are just a few more reasons why you shouldn’t do the cleaning yourself.

What’s in the gutters might be dangerous.

You don’t know what’s in your gutters. The vegetation and dirt that is blocking your gutters are very inviting to all manner of animals, such as snakes and vermin. Standing pools of water attract disease carrying mosquitos. Birds like gutters as well, and the gutters could be full of bird poop. The likelihood is that there are many things in that gutter that you don’t want to put your hands anywhere near.

So, just leave it up to the professionals, like Perth gutter cleaning.

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