Practical tips for residential property owners and tenants.
Basic gutter maintenance is not the most exciting topic of conversation for homeowners. Roof gutters, however, are a critical area in roof maintenance because they are one of the most vital pieces of roofing yet often the most neglected.
Whether you are a homeowner or a tenant, it’s crucial to prepare your gutters and give them the protection they deserve. Doing so will save you a lot of money and spare you from further inconvenience down the line. In this article, we list down some tips to follow to help preserve the general health of your gutters.
Roof Gutter Maintenance for Residential Property Owners and Tenants
Before going up and working on your roof and guttering, ensure the safety of the entire process. Bring all the right equipment and climb slowly. Many of these tips won’t be effective if you don’t practice appropriate safety protocols.
Always use a ladder going up and watch your step. If you’re not sure how to go about gutter maintenance, it’s best to hire roof specialists instead of risking your life. Plus, some roofing experts offer sound advice on keeping your gutter in tiptop shape according to your local conditions.
1. Start with a gutter inspection.
Visual inspection is crucial to plan out your course of action throughout the maintenance process. Use a maintenance checklist if you have one and look out for any issues that may pose a bigger problem in the future.
Note any trouble spots you see and actively look for mould growth, rust, or deformation. Look for troublesome areas on your gutter that give you a hard time to clean.
Basic maintenance doesn’t entail deep cleaning and parts replacement; however, it needs a good eye to catch growing issues on your gutter. Common gutter problems include:
- Leaks and holes
- Improper pitching
- Downspout problems
- Joint separations
- Improper slopes
Many of these problems can be addressed with basic cleaning and draining. Others, such as joint separations, are better resolved by gutter and roofing experts. If you notice any developing issues, it’s best to ask advice from your local roofing expert.
2. Keep the gutters clean.
You need to keep your gutters clean to have effective water drainage on your roof. Clearing out any dirt and debris from your roof and gutters at the outset can help prevent blockages. These are especially important during the rainy season.
Australian summers are both the hottest and wettest periods in the country. November to April often bring a lot of wind and rain, and more rain means more activity for your roof and fewer chances to clean up. It’s best to clean your gutters during spring and fall. Early preparation can save you a lot of grief once bad weather conditions start.
Gutter blockages happen more often if you live in an area rich with trees. So, adjust your cleaning frequency depending on the size, number, and expanse of bush in your locale. Routine gutter maintenance can happen as often as four times a year, once at the end of every season. If your budget is limited, cleaning twice a year during spring and fall would work will also work wonders for your roofing.
3. Wash and clear your downpipes.
Your next move is to check your gutter’s downpipes. The downpipes are the plumbing that drain water away from your gutters. These move water into the drains and prevent it from collecting on your roof or in your gutters.
Confirm that they are working by getting a hose and running water through your downpipes. It’s best to do so at the maximum setting when possible. If debris is stopping the flow of water, you need to clean the pipes.
If you have access to a pressure washer, use it to carefully spray the insides of the gutter. Using a big bucket of hot water can also force out any debris and blockages inside.
When doing this step, make sure that you have someone to assist you in basic gutter maintenance. Two extra hands keeping the ladder steady mean a whole world of safety for you.
4. Look out for rusty gutters.
Another common issue in many Australian roofs is frequent rusting. Rust is typical where rain and heat are commonplace. The salt air in the beachside suburbs also accelerates oxidation of roofs.
Gutters made of galvanised steel or aluminium are strong and durable but can be prone to rust. These systems have protective zinc coating, but rusted gutters can be an issue once that wears out or is damaged.
If you find minor rusting during your gutter inspection, scrub it carefully with a wire brush. Keep the general area clean and free from dust, wash it off, and let dry. Once it’s dry, find a metal primer that helps inhibit rust.
Weatherguard paints and zinc-rich coatings can help keep your gutters healthy for a while. If you’re not sure how to do the job, ask roofing experts that can point you to the right supplies. Tell them about your situation and get free advice on what you can use.
5. Install a gutter mesh.
A gutter mesh can help reduce the residue in your gutter by preventing leaves from falling into the actual gutter. By installing gutter mesh, you can cut your basic gutter maintenance by at least half.
However, even the best gutter mesh has limits to what it can do. Every make and model will allow some soot and silt to pass through. Too much dirt can result in the growth of weeds and grass in your gutter.
With the right gutter mesh, you can reduce gutter cleaning to once a year. In many cases, some excellent gutter mesh can cut cleaning every five years. Once a year, give your gutters a quick inspection for any potential issues.
Basic Gutter Maintenance is More Important than You Think
Basic gutter maintenance is a matter of persistence and consistency. Getting lazy and skipping a season or two of care can mean more repair expenses in the long run. However, not everyone has the right tools and roofing equipment to do the job. In this case, your best option is to hire a Sydney roofing specialist to help take care of your gutters periodically.
Sydney Roof & Building Supplies is your one-stop-shop for all your roofing and building supplies. We offer a wide selection of roof tiles, gutter mesh, and roof paints. If you’re unsure of what you need, SRBS has expert staff to guide you through the right decision.
Save yourself some money and get expert advice with no added cost. Talk to a roofing specialist in Sydney today.