How Will I Know If My Gutters Are Clogged?

The guttering system of your house is vital to ensure that water doesn't manage to find a way inside. If you didn't have a gutter system, the areas where the roof meets the rest of the house would be prime hotspots for water damage, and anyone daring to walk underneath them during or just after a rain storm is likely to get showered. The guttering doesn’t just sort out the top of your home, though -- the roof; it also helps to stop water becoming a problem on the lower levels — basements and ground floor. If the downspout doesn’t go into a drain that directs water away from the building, or the pipe doesn’t carry water far enough away and deposit it somewhere else, it won't be long before continual water flow creeps through the foundations and makes its way in. The worst thing? It can take many days, weeks, months, and sometimes even years to even recognise that you have a problem at all. Water damage can creep on you when you least expect it, especially if you don’t perform routine inspections on all areas of the building.

How will I know if my gutters are clogged or not functioning?
It’s easy to see when the gutters aren’t working during the rain — the water will end up in all sorts of places it shouldn’t. If the gutters aren’t moving the water along fast enough, it could rise up and spill over the sides. This can also happen if moss has created a small dam in the gutter, or if leaves and other garden debris has blocked things up. If the gutters aren’t properly connected, you’ll find that water leaks out in the middle of straight-line areas. This is a common problem, cause by the guttering moving around during hot and cold weather. Sealants and patches can be used to put these right, eliminating the need to replace the entire system.

Don’t forget to check out the downspouts while you're there too, and the areas where water is released from the guttering into drains, etc. If the downspout is too close to your home and releases the water there, you could face leaks in your basement or lower levels of the building. Unfortunately, this isn’t something that will be obvious right away, and can take many months before the ‘symptoms’ of water damage are visible.

How will I know if my gutters are clogged or not functioning when it isn’t raining?
Study the guttering system and follow it all around your building. While you’re doing that, keep your eyes peeled for any of the following —
1. Large distances between fascias and guttering. This can be caused by extra weight or force being placed on the system, usually from standing water.
2. Buckled or breaking gutter systems. Again, this can be caused by a buildup of waste and debris, moss, or standing water, all causing extra weight and pressure.
3. Siding that has become discolored, has started to peel, or looks wet even when it’s dry, specifically around the gutter. If everything else is dry but that’s wet, you need to ask yourself why.
4. Puddles of water where the downspout empties, with no where for the water to safely go. You may also find that a regular beating with water has caved a ditch of sorts in these areas too.

Keep an eye out for anything that seems to be out of the ordinary as far as your roof or guttering is concerned. You will know (or should know) your building very well, especially if you have lived there or owned the property for many years. You will pick up on it when something has changed, and when you pick up on it, you should attempt to resolve it. Simple tasks, such as guttering unclogging, are relatively easy and simple to do yourself. If you’d rather not spend your weekend high up on ladders, or you think that it might be a case of something more serious than just a clog, why not give your local roofing experts a call? This is just one of the jobs that we can take control of, and we can also extend the lifespan of your roof by five or ten years in the process!

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