Gutters are an integral part of a property’s roofline, so you must ensure they’re well-maintained. Not only will this help your roof’s water drainage system to remain sound but it can also sustain your roofing for longer too, reducing the need for repairs.
Here are some key facts about how gutter cleaning can help maintain your roof.
How Do Gutters Become Blocked?
While gutters are designed to transport rainwater, that doesn’t mean other items can’t work their way into the system. High winds can carry small stones, debris can fall from your roof, and bird droppings can land in this spot. Leaves, dirt, twigs and moss can also jam tightly into both the gutters and downpipes. This causes several issues, including increased weight in the guttering (which could cause structural damage), more pressure on your fascias (which support roof tiles) and cracks to form if backed-up water freezes. It also creates a plug, stopping water from flowing freely.
One of the reasons gutter maintenance is so essential to your roofing is due to the potential effects of blocked gutters. If there’s debris packed tightly in any part of the structure, including the downpipes, it could force water to become backed up. If water starts to overflow, the water may find a way into your roofing, such as through the fascias which hold the guttering. Even if some water enters through a small crack or hole, it could result in moisture damage to the roofing timbers, mould growing or even property leaks elsewhere.
Gutters are one of the main methods by which rainwater is carried away from roofing, whether it’s a flat or pitched structure. So, if gutters become clogged, this reduces the effectiveness of the system, so the water will find somewhere else go. If you have a flat roof, it may also cause water pooling on the top, increasing the weight the roofing needs to support. In older flat roofs, this could even bring the roofing to the end of its lifespan if tears or bowing occurs. If you’ve noticed this happening, call a roofer as a matter of urgency.
How Often Should Gutters Be Cleaned?
Those keen to maintain their roof via clearing gutters should do so twice a year. It’s often a good idea to do this before the bad weather hits in Autumn and Winter so that any debris that lands in the system won’t have a significant effect. Equally, any build-up can be cleaned out in the Spring.
Never attempt to clean your gutters yourself unless it’s safe to do so. Removing debris from the downspout is difficult without equipment, so a professional company can do this for you safely and effectively. You could also consider roof guards to block debris such as leaves from getting into the guttering without stopping the passage of water.
Need gutter maintenance or repairs? At South Thames Roofing, our experienced team offers roofing services across South London and Surrey areas, including Esher, Thames Ditton and Chessington. Call now on 0208 397 2900 for a free consultation and quote.