Gutters and downspouts are an important part of your house. They are there to move water away from the house and into the ground, and let me tell you, here in Liverpool we get a lot of rain. It is therefore important to have them inspected and maintained on a regular basis but it is essential when you are doing work to your roof or siding. By regularly maintaining the roof drainage system, you can save yourself a lot of time and money. If you don’t feel confident in carrying out this work yourself, why not contact JT Gutter Cleaning Liverpool for a helping hand. I’ve used them several times in the past and I have always found them to be friendly and professional.
Inspecting the Gutters
Alternatively, if you are looking to inspect the gutters and downspouts yourself, I would recommend you ascertain a thin screwdriver and a scraping knife. These are great tools for testing weaknesses in both metal and fascia boards. There are a few things to look out for and they are:
- Debris clogging the gutters and/or downspouts
- Flaking or peeling paint
- Cracks in any of the connecting seams
- Holes or rust spots in the metal
- Sagging gutters due to lose fastening
- Downspouts with loosened straps
- Soft spots in any of the fascia boards which could indicate dry rot
Another smart thing to do is to use a spirit level to make sure that the gutters slope away from valleys and towards the downspouts, leading the water away from the roof. This should be done at about 1 inch for every 20 feet.
Unclogging the Gutters and Downspouts
Start out by putting on some protective gloves before removing leaves, twigs and other debris from all gutter troughs. Continue by using a stiff brush and a garden hose to loosen any dirt that is caked on the inside of the gutters. If you notice a blockage in any of the downspouts, try to flush it out with the hose on full force. If that does not work, try feeding a plumber’s snake into it and then flushing it again. You could prevent new litter and debris from accumulating by covering the troughs with mesh screens. The screens will then protect the troughs from leaves, twigs and other debris by deflecting it over the gutter edges. There are also strainers that can be used to protect the downspouts from debris whilst at the same time allowing water to escape.
If you notice any dry rot in the fascia boards, it would be advisable to deal with the fascia repairs before tackling any other repair jobs. Depending on the extent of the dry rot, you might have to remove some of the guttering to get to the damaged wood.