Full or blocked gutters can go undetected by homeowners, and if not cleared correctly, can cause a lot of damage to a home.
Here at Kidderminster Roofing Supplies ltd, after over 30 years’ experience in roofing, we have identified a number of reasons why it is important to keep gutters clear in preventing irreversible damage to a home.
What causes a gutter to become blocked?
A gutter or downpipe can become blocked for a number of reasons, including:
- Falling leaves – Falling leaves from nearby trees can blow into gutters, where they begin to decompose and become blocked in a gutter or downpipe.
- Moss build up– Moss build up on tiles or slates can slip down from the rooftop into the gutter where I can continue to grow and block the gutter or downpipe.
- Animal waste – Animal waste such as bird excrement or even deceased birds, rodents or insects can often be the cause of a blockage in a gutter or downpipe.
- Nesting birds – A common reason a gutters can block may be the result of nesting birds, however care must be taken to ensure nests are unoccupied before attempts are made to remove the nest as all bird nest are protected by the Wildlife & Countryside Act 1981.
What are the risks of a blocked gutter?
A blocked gutter increases risks of leaks and water damage – When a gutter and downpipe becomes blocked the rainwater can no longer drain properly from the rooftop, causing water to overflow and even re-route, which may cause interior as well as exterior damage to a home.
Damage to the foundations – If water is unable to drain from the rooftop correctly and forced to re-route, it may find its way into the foundations of a home and become trapped. Overtime this trapped water can expand and freeze during cold weather causing cracks to appear in the foundations of the building which can cause a lot of structural issues to the home.
Risk of rot – Wherever there is a risk of water damage to a roof, there is a risk to the structural timbers to the roof which if they become damp, risk rotting. Timbers damaged by rot cannot be repaired, and may result in a full replacement which will cost a homeowner a lot of money.
Unwanted guests -Blocked gutters make an ideal home for many animals such as a variety of birds, rodents or insects which can cause an unpleasant infestation on a home if not rectified early.
The gutter twisting and losing it’s shape – When a gutter becomes full, water can become trapped in the pipe. During cold weather this trapped water can freeze ans expand causing the gutter to change its shape becoming twisted. Once the gutter has been twisted, the damage is impossible to rectify and water draining from the rooftop will become re-routed and will likely cause water damage to the property. In this case, the gutter would need to be replaced.
Risk of falling – An overloaded gutter can become heavy, and in some cases detach itself from the roof if can no longer handle the weight. A falling gutter could cause a significant amount of damage to property in its path, but could also risk hitting a bystander. A falling gutter can also become costly to a home owner as it will require re-fitting, or if the gutter becomes damaged in the fall, require a new gutter to be fitted.
Send in the professionals
A homeowner should always ensure their gutters are checked and cleared every spring and autumn to reduce the risk of blockages which left untreated can cause significant damage to their home.
Not only should a home owner ensure the interior of the gutter is cleared, however it is also important to make sure the exterior of the gutter is cleaned regularly to prevent moss from breaking down the gutter’s protective coating causing a discoloration to the gutter.
How can we help?
If you have a client in need of gutter repair or cleaning, we can help! Here at Kidderminster Roofing Supplies ltd, we can provide a free no obligation quotation for roofing materials and tools you need. Contact us today to see how we can help you!
Tel: 01562 748270
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