Unfortunately, gutters and drains are another source of these inevitable and irritating problems of existence. Over time, they tend to become blocked or fall into disrepair.
Many homeowners choose to simply avoid thinking about the subject, until it becomes impossible to ignore. But just like taking care of your teeth, it’s much better to regularly clean and maintain your gutters than to let them spiral out of control.
To do otherwise is to risk paying enormous sums of money down the line for gutter (or even roof) replacements.
This is especially true in New Zealand, which suffers from notoriously cold and damp winters, long hours of withering summer sunshine, and frequent tropical cyclones with strong winds that shake everything loose.
What causes blocked gutters?
How many fallen leaves does it take to block a gutter?
The answer might surprise you. In fact, the number isn’t much higher than the number of people it takes to change a lightbulb.
Just a few oak leaves, a handful of pine needles, a couple of rotten feijoas, or a small bird’s nest can be enough to stop water flowing from your gutters into your downspouts.
And it’s not just organic debris that causes blockages. We’ve seen gutter systems blocked (and ultimately damaged) by things like stray cricket balls and dead possums!
Why clean your gutters?
Even when you realise how easily gutters can be blocked, it can be difficult to grasp the magnitude of the problem.
Surely any build-up of water will simply fill the gutter and fall harmlessly off the roof onto the ground below?
Are gutter systems even that important in the first place?
The answer is an emphatic yes – a functional drainage system is as important for your property as your veins are for your body.
Flooded gutters and downspouts create the perfect conditions for mould, which can infiltrate your building and increase the risk of airborne illness.
Water spilling down your walls causes wood sidings to rot and reduces the lifespan of windows. Water buildup can also damage your roof and cause it to leak – and if it doesn’t drain far enough from your house, it can flood your basement or crack your foundation.
In sum, cleaning your gutters regularly will save you a lot of money and anxiety in the long run.
What if my gutters are already damaged?
It’s possible that a lack of regular unblocking has already damaged your gutters, or that they’ve been compromised by things like unrelenting hot sunshine or strong winds.
Poor installation techniques and cheap materials are other problems we encounter all too often when we inspect properties in the Auckland region.
If your gutters are already damaged, you might need to arrange a replacement. Look for gutter specialists who are equipped with the expertise and equipment necessary to provide a tailored solution for your property.
How often should I clean them?
This is perhaps the most important question of all. Get it wrong, and you could experience problems down the road.
A quick internet search will yield a huge range of answers, so it’s difficult to know who to trust.
The most truthful (albeit unsatisfying) answer is: it depends. No gutter specialist worth their salt would ever claim that the same advice could apply in all situations.
A business owner in Auckland’s North Shore and a landlord in Wellington’s Aro Valley will each have very different maintenance needs.
Generally speaking, getting a drainage system inspected and cleaned twice a year is enough for the average property owner.
Your checkups may need to be more frequent than that if your property has pine trees, overhanging fruit trees, or lots of possums and other inconveniently drain-sized mammals.
Gum trees, which shed their bark all year round, are another fairly common culprit in certain parts of NZ.
The best way to be sure about your property’s needs is to have it inspected by a professional. The team at EP Services has been helping Kiwis with their gutters for more than ten years, and we pride ourselves on our dedication to preventing, not merely fixing, your drain blockages.
At no cost to you, we’ll drive anywhere in the Auckland region to inspect your property and provide you with a quote.
Contact us today to put your mind at ease.