Now the autumn leaves have begun to fall and the rain has returned in force, you might have noticed your gutters have become blocked or are overflowing. There may be some leaks from one or two of the gutter or pipe joints. They might not have been inspected since you had a survey.
Most of the time a blocked gutter is a quick and straightforward repair – if the roof is accessible you may be able to clear it yourself (usual ladder safety rules apply!). If you are not confident or not able to safely access the gutters, a local builder or roofer can do the job for you.
It’s important because if leaks and flooding gutters are left they can cause water to drain down the outside wall of your house. This will eventually cause internal dampness and worse – timber decay and dry rot might develop to any timbers built into or next to the damp wall. Our surveyors often find dampness internally where rain pipes have been broken or leaked.
Leaves will eventually turn to mulch if not cleared, which will provide ideal conditions for small plants to grow. This mulch can also be washed into the downpipes where it can cause more blockage, this time unseen which will mean the gutters back up and overflow.
In coastal areas like our office in Hythe, it is not uncommon to find shells, food waste and worse left behind by hungry seagulls.
Have a look now for leaf and plant blockage and get it cleared. Next time it rains, grab your umbrella, go outside and check if the joints are all sound, or if they need sealing. While you’re outside have a look at the bottom of the downpipes. If they drain into a gully, does the pipe extend all the way down or does it stop short? Has the spout become dislodged? Is the gully clear? If you are feeling really keen, have a quick look at the brackets for the pipes and gutters – are they all there? Have any broken or slipped?
Our surveyors will always check the rainwater goods as a part of our building surveys. Make it a part of your annual home maintenance strategy – £100 spent now on minor repairs can save thousands in a couple of years’ time if left to leak or overflow.
Need some help or a survey – get a free no obligation quote today.
(Originally written by Steven Way, 13 November 2016)