Gutters – They Can Play a Large Role in the Health of Our Buildings
Gutters collect the water that come off the roof.
The roof is like a rain hat of our home.
I have been to so many homes that have water damage and mould because of poorly maintained gutters – and this is easy enough to avoid.
What happens when gutters are not maintained?
Generally, they overflow.
But not always.
In some cases, the water can run towards the house and end up in wall cavities! This is one cause of “hidden mould” and it can still affect your health – even if you can’t see or smell it.
This is situation where it is often hard to detect what the problem is. Often there are no obvious signs – to an unskilled eye.
So, what to do?
Simple – create a regular maintenance schedule.
How frequently this needs doing will depend on where you live.
Factors such as the amount and type of trees, how close they are, do they drop their leaves each autumn, and so on can all help to determine how often you should be cleaning the gutters.
I recommend starting with a quarterly/seasonal clean… and then during autumn/fall more often.
How Can I Tell If My Gutters Need Cleaning?
The most reliable way is to get up on a ladder and have a look.
Another way is to look for any signs of plant growth… I call this the “gutter garden.” When there is enough dirt and debris in the gutters, plants will begin to grow. It is pretty severely blocked at this point.
One final way is to observe what happens when it rains. Do you see water cascading over the sides? This shows that your gutters aren't coping with the rain. Often this will occur when they are blocked. It can also occur in extremely heavy rain, especially when there is hail.
So keep an eye out. Observing is a wonderful skill.