Keeping the gutters on your house clear of blockages and properly working is one of the most important home maintenance jobs.
Clogged gutters can cause damage to the walls and roof, or even lead to leaks inside your house.
Together with building validation specialists MA Group Property Claims, we’ve put together some tips on how to keep your gutters in good shape.
EASY AS HACK
If you need a quick way to check for any holes in your gutters, just run your garden hose into it and watch for any leaks.
AT A GLANCE
1. Clean your gutters at least twice a year
2. Replace broken sections of guttering as they get worn
3. Check and clean the downspouts
Clean your gutters at least twice a year
If you’re able to reach them safely, you can clean your gutters yourself. Aim to do this in late spring and late autumn, as a minimum. If you live in a wooded area, and your gutters easily fill up with leaves and other debris, then you’ll need to give them a clean more often.
It can help to use a plastic scoop, like one you might use for measuring out pet food, to shovel out leaves and other debris.
You’ll likely need to use a ladder, so remember to always be careful and follow the manufacturer’s safety instructions. Be sure to work from a ladder that's tall enough to let you reach the gutters comfortably.
After cleaning out all the loose debris, flush the gutters with a hose. While you’re up there, check your roof for loose tiles or holes where rainwater can seep in.
If you don’t feel safe or confident reaching your gutters, then get help from a professional.
Inspect your gutters
Once your freshly cleaned gutters have dried completely, inspect them for signs of damage, including rust, leaks, or holes. You’re most likely to see these at the gutter joints, where metal edges were welded together. Rust spots and holes can be mended with scrap wire screening and asphalt roof cement, which you can buy in DIY stores.
If you don’t feel comfortable attempting to repair your gutters yourself, it’s best to hire a professional to do the job for you.
Replace broken sections
If the gutters look particularly dented, rusty, or have started to dip, then consider replacing them. You can either call in a professional to help with this or do the job yourself if you can do it safely.
Check this out: How to replace guttering
Check and clean the downspouts
A downspout, or downpipe, is a vertical pipe that carries rainwater from the gutters.
Alongside the gutters, these are also an essential part of your home drainage, so inspect them for rust, leaks, holes, or corroded joints the same way you did for the gutters. Again, repair any problems or fit replacement pipes if you need to.
Whether you do it yourself, or seek help, regularly giving some attention to your gutters is an essential part of home maintenance and can help you keep your home safe, even on rainy days.
Original article written 24th November 2021, updated 19th October 2023