Source: Belfast Telegraph
Publication date: May 20, 2009
TOP TIPS FOR... checking guttering
THE purpose of guttering is to protect your home's exterior walls from rain by channelling it from the roof to a drain in the ground via the gutter and downpipes. If the guttering becomes damaged or blocked, it may put your home at risk from water penetration or damp, so make sure you check it regularly, especially in autumn when leaves are falling and at this time of year when trees are shedding their blossoms.
Checking and repairing guttering and downpipes usually involves working on a ladder, but this can, of course, be dangerous. Only go up a ladder if you feel safe, and always take full safety precautions. Iron guttering (found on some period properties) is particularly heavy and difficult to manoeuvre, so get someone to help you if you need to replace it, or get a professional in.
If you notice that water is falling sharply from one place, this usually indicates a blockage in the gutter. Simply scoop out the offending object with your hand or a trowel.
If your gutter is difficult to check or you don't check it very often, consider investing in gutter guards. These are grates designed to prevent leaves and other debris getting into your gutter, and can be fitted easily by most DIYers.
Downpipes can also become blocked. To clear one, make a hole in the blockage with a wire coat-hanger and wiggle the coat-hanger to loosen the blockage.
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