Clear gutters and downpipes


Clear gutters and downpipes of branches and leaves.

Gutter cleaning is an essential part of protection your roof and property from extreme weather, debris build up and pest infestation. Unchecked gutters and downpipes can create expensive problems. Your body corporate should schedule regular maintenance in order to avoid unexpected damages. Taking the time to maintain and repair gutters and downpipes can double the life of your roof drainage system and save you money on repair costs. To maintain a free-flowing roof-drainage system, clean out the gutters and downpipes every three months, before the summer storm season and during autumn, when most trees lose their leaves.

Remove the leaves and branches that have blown onto your roof, as gutters rust very quickly when leaves accumulate and then decompose creating a pond. If you have overhanging trees and shrub, keep these well trimmed to reduce the debris that accumulates in the gutters. Wear gloves when digging into gutters, as you could encounter rusty nails and dangerous 'creepy crawlies'. Many companies provide gutter and roof cleaning services - simply check the Yellow Pages or search online for a local business.

Rusted gutters break and you then risk overflow into the ceiling. Install leaf guards (wire mesh) if your roof drainage system is exposed to falling leaves to stop leaves clogging pipes. But some say that gutter guards is not a permanent solution, but simply delay the inevitable. Leaves get caught in the mesh instead of the gutters, eventually decompose, filter through the mesh holes and end up in the gutters.

You can either patch leaks in gutters or replace the damaged section. Aluminium and plastic gutters last longer than galvanized steel. Overlap the patch material in the direction of the water flow and cement the edges together securely.

The eaves linings and soffits should be checked regularly for deterioration because animals can peck and chew their way through these seeking shelter in your roof cavity. Leaking roofs and overflowing gutters are other causes of deterioration. 

Take care when scaling onto rooves, as they can be very slippery. Make sure someone is there to hold the ladder when you get off the roof. Don't be tempted to pain a tile or metal roof to suit a new house colour scheme, as hail will cut through paint on roofs in no time.

During a hailstorm, gutters are even more susceptible to blockage and overflow because hail can't drain away like rainwater, although it will melt over time. Ensure a reputable professional, has installed your gutter, in accordance with Australian Building Codes AS3500. Gutters should be installed so that if they do overflow due to accumulated hail, the overflow is away from the property and not back into the eaves of the property.

Under most insurance policies, property owners are responsible for ensuring that their roof and gutters are correctly maintained. A failure to maintain these critical parts of your house, or repairing any deterioration over time, will allow damage to occur during a storm and may jeopardise your insurance claim, in the event of storm damage.

You can a Queensland plumber who is a member of the Master Plumbers Association by searching online.

Master Plumbers Association of Queensland