Is your gutter system ready for the season ahead?
With huge parts of Queensland and New South Wales currently in clean-up mode courtesy of ex-Tropical Cyclone Debbie, thousands of people are still stunned by the widespread damage caused by unexpected deluges. While the devastating impact of massive weather systems such as cyclones and storm fronts are difficult to predict, the first step to protecting your home and property from inclement weather starts with a robust gutter system.
Your gutters perform a simple function yet play a pivotal role in protecting the structural integrity of your home. Damaged or blocked gutters prevent rainwater from draining to your downpipes and into your water tank or storm water. This can result in water overflow, leaks and water damage to your home and property. Like our physical health, neglect in addressing these issues can have long-term and costly consequences.
Water damage is destructive to the foundation of your home
Rain gutters are designed to protect your home from water damage. When gutters are filled with leaves and debris, rainwater is unable to flow causing gutters to fill and overflow. Water overflow can result in roof damage and ceiling leaks. Left unnoticed, a ceiling leak can eventually lead to its collapse. This is not only costly to fix or replace, it can be dangerous and places those inside at risk of being hurt.
Cracked and leaking gutters create excess moisture around your home footings and external walls. Water pooling around the perimeter of your home can lead to a change in soil conditions and increase the risk of foundation movement and structural damage. During the winter months when heavy or prolonged rain is more likely, rainwater penetration into building elements can also result in long-term, unwanted dampness and decay. And, don’t think the warmer months will relieve such issues – humidity during the summer months can exacerbate the problem.
If you have a water tank installed but your gutters aren’t doing their job, it’s money down the drain, not water. Poorly maintained gutters impact tank water quality, limit catchment, and result in water pooling around your home. Your plants love a little water, but they don’t like to drown in it. Landscaping is not a cheap exercise and whilst your local nursery will love that you keep returning to buy more replacements, regular gutter maintenance may prove less costly and time consuming.
Excess moisture presents a serious health hazard to your family
Excess moisture resulting from an impaired gutter system not only causes damage to your home structure – it presents serious health concerns for those who live inside: your family.
Dampness affects air quality, attracts dust mites and allows various bacteria, fungi, and mould to grow. Exposure to these airborne growths can increase the risk of infection and can be a serious health hazard if you suffer with respiratory ailments such as asthma.
Stagnant water attracts unwanted visitors – send pests on their way
Poorly maintained gutters filled with decaying leaves, debris, and stagnant water create a dark, damp haven and breeding ground for pests including spiders, rodents and disease spreading insects. Pest infestations can be costly to remove. They can be a safety risk to your family, particularly young children and may limit the use of your outdoor space if not exterminated. Regular gutter maintenance will send these nasties on their way and there’ll be no need for costly pest control.
Damage may not be covered by insurance
Insurance companies know all too well the damage and expense that can result from blocked gutters. Unfortunately, many homeowners do not. Repair and replacement of walls, ceilings, roofing, and foundations are expensive, but can be avoided by simply maintaining your gutter system. Insurance companies don’t look too fondly on neglected gutters and like to avoid expensive payouts on this basis. Your product disclosure statement (PDS) outlines the details of your policy, and you should refer to this for specific inclusions and exclusions when it comes to water damage to your home.
There’s value in leaving it to an expert
As a homeowner, it can be difficult to keep up with home maintenance. We’re time poor, budget tight and, unfortunately, gutter cleaning tends to be one of those jobs often overlooked. With the cost of poor gutter maintenance so high you can’t afford not to place it on the schedule. Hiring a professional gutter clean and repair service can save you time, money and multiple trips to the hardware store for equipment you didn’t think you’d need.
If you don’t like the idea of spending your weekend on a ladder and in the company of critters with more than two legs, call a roof plumbing service to tick this job off your list.