Why keep your gutters clean?
It’s easy to neglect your gutters. They’re hidden away out of sight; the idea of clambering up onto your roof to check for debris is daunting; and anyway, what’s the worst that could happen? The rainwater would just spill harmlessly over the side of the roof, right?
Unfortunately, that’s not how it works. All it takes is a few rotting leaves, a bunch of old pine needles, or a stray cricket ball to block the flow of water through your gutter system. Once that happens, you’ll be prey to a multitude of serious problems.
Water buildup from blocked gutters encourages mould and mildew growth on your roof, and increases the likelihood that disease-causing spores will penetrate into your home. Stagnant water can eventually cause permanent damage to your gutter system and cause your roof itself to leak. If it spills off the side of the roof rather than being cleared by downpipes, it can flood your basement or cause your foundation to crack.
When should you clean your gutters?
As a general rule, most properties should get their gutters cleaned at least once a year. But the ideal gutter cleaning schedule depends on a few things. The most important ones are:
Where you live.
Do you live near a park? On a hill that’s subject to a lot of wind? In the open countryside? Do you get hailstorms? Any of these things can increase the amount of debris that settles on your roof.
What kind of roof you have.
Larger and more complex roofs are more vulnerable to debris buildup. On top of this, many types of roof tiles and shingles experience a degree of erosion over time, causing a buildup of silt in your gutters.
This silt has similar properties to soil, so it encourages the growth of small weeds and grass. Because plant growth mainly occurs in Spring, you could consider getting your gutters cleaned at the beginning of the season to nip them all in the bud, as it were.
What kind of debris you’re exposed to.
The silt buildup and subsequent plant growth mentioned above is a far more common cause of gutter blockages than most people think. Fallen leaves and pine needles also have a big impact in New Zealand.
If you know what type of debris your property is prone to, you can create a cleaning schedule that effectively matches the problem. Plant growth is best combatted in early Spring, whereas leaf fall should be dealt with at the end of Autumn. Pines and eucalypts can cause problems all year round.
How many trees are nearby.
Understandably, the number and proximity of trees is a huge factor in debris buildup. If you have a lot of tall trees on your property or on your street, you might need to think about getting your gutters cleaned at least twice a year. (Be warned: wind can carry leaves further than you’d expect.)
What’s the next step?
The most reliable way to find out the ideal gutter cleaning schedule for your property is to get it assessed by a specialist. At EP Services, we’ll drive anywhere in Auckland to give you a free, no-obligation assessment and quote. We’ll tell you exactly what sort of debris your gutters are prone to, and what’s the best time of year for you to get them cleaned.
If you’d like to find out more, get in touch with one of our experts today!