Much like many components of our homes, our guttering and stormwater drainage systems are hardly noticed until there is a problem. This often-overlooked part of a home is one of the key elements to keeping the building watertight. With this in mind, how can homeowners go about maintaining their stormwater systems, and what is involved with gutter repair?
Clearing the rainwater from your roof
Before looking at what causes gutters to fail and need repairing, we need to take a look at the different types of gutters in and around our homes. While each type will have the same general purpose, redirecting water from the roof into the stormwater drains, they each have their own construction methods and maintenance issues.
- Fascia gutters are fixed to the roof’s rafters, taking the place of a metal or timber fascia. Fascia gutters are normally seen fitted to gabled roofs, and they tend to be the highest point of contact for rainwater.
- Quad gutters are among the most commonly seen gutters, being mounted to the perimeter of most roofs in Australia. Some styles of quad guttering can have slots that are designed to prevent the gutter from overflowing.
- Box gutters are very rarely seen unless you are on the roof, and are designed to effectively carry rainwater from the roof while being concealed. Fitted with emergency overflows, the box gutter can be designed to divert water if it is blocked.
Regardless of the types of gutters on our homes, they are all susceptible to the same issues and can invariably fail. This can lead to water damage to the eaves, water entering the walls and erosion of the foundation. Each of these problems can have drastic effects on the structural integrity of our homes and should be rectified immediately.
Keeping our gutters going
The following items below are common causes of failing gutters, and how to minimise the chances of them occurring:
- Incorrect installation – Whether it’s using poorer materials, poor workmanship or using the wrong sized gutters for the home, incorrectly installed gutters will readily fail. Given the costs that can be associated with repairing water damaged elements of our homes, getting the right materials fitted correctly needs to be a priority.
- Age – There is no escaping time, but that doesn’t mean we can’t slow down it’s effects. Regular cleaning of our gutters will remove any dirt and grime that can break down the protective coating, leading to rust. Likewise, keeping our gutters clear of leaves will prevent them from becoming blocked or overflowing into our homes. By engaging a plumbing professional to conduct routine maintenance on a home’s gutters, not only will you get the maximum life out of your home’s stormwater system, but any potential issues can be detected early.
- Storm damage – While we may think all is well after a heavy storm, the gutters may be damaged in ways that aren’t immediately visible. Severe winds may cause sections to bend or crack, leading to areas where rust can develop, and grime can accumulate. In addition, flexion of the gutters can potentially damage the flashing and waterproofing seals that form a part of the system. Unless this is rectified, there is a high chance that water will enter into the home through these avenues.
By being mindful of the effects storms can have on a home’s stormwater drainage system, combined with routine maintenance, Australian homeowners can be assured that they will get the most out of their gutters. With regular inspections by plumbing professionals, problems can be detected and rectified before they become major issues.
If your gutters are in need of repair, or you’d like some more info on maintaining them, give the friendly team at JEDI Plumbing a call today on 0411 774 381.