Most people don’t give their gutters more than a second thought; many don’t even give them a first thought. To most of us, gutters are just something that hangs on to the edge of the roof to direct water into the downpipe.
Which … is precisely what they are, of course. But most of us don’t understand why they are important. They just move water from one place to the another. Big deal.
But it is a big deal when that process breaks down. Blocked gutters cause water to back up and spill over the gutter edges, and there are a couple things about water that makes it dangerous when it just sticks around.
Water is corrosive, and water is heavy. Water pooling on your roof causes rust and rot on your roof. The weight of water located in just one place causes stresses on your tiles. Both of these lead to roof leaks.
The weight of the water stuck in your gutters can cause your gutter to sag and break away from the roof, and the corrosive affects of water can be felt also when the water overflowing from your gutters pools at your foundations. Erosion of the land around your foundations could cause your foundation to shift, leaving behind large cracks.
So with all these big consequences of blocked gutters, how can we know whether our gutters are blocked without resorting to a ladder, a drone, or Google Map’s satellite view?
Are your gutters overflowing?
This seems a slap-the-forehead statement. Of course, the gutters might be blocked if the water is overflowing, but we’re not just talking about overflowing during big rain events, but during normal showers.
We kind of spoiled our reveal of this tip earlier, but, yes, due to the weight of the water sitting in one place, it might cause the gutter to sag away from the roof. Gutters aren’t designed to support heavy weights for long periods of time; they are meant to move water from one place to another.
How popular are your gutters?
We’re not talking about the local cool kids here, we’re talking about how popular your gutters are to the local animal, insect and bird-life. Little rodents love the warm and safe confines of a blocked gutter to keep them hiding from predators.
Birds who are nesting see your blocked gutters as their local IKEA; they will take sticks and twigs and other vegetation back to their nests and come back again and again.
And then there are mosquitoes who just love standing pools of water as a breeding place.
Can you see plants growing from your gutters?
In primary school we were taught that plants need soil, water and sun to survive. For gutters, the sun will always be a factor, but soil and water will only exist if your gutters are blocked. So, if you see plants growing from your gutters, there has to be enough soil and water in your gutters to keep them sustained.
All it requires is for someone to come and clean your gutters of all this mess. While you could do it yourself, we would recommend you bringing in expert gutter cleaners in to do the job.