If there’s one popular notion about water, it’s the fact that it behaves in a sneaky way. Water tends to seep in even when you least expect it. Gutters are designed to direct water away from the foundation of your property because that’s where water is most dangerous. It can erode soil, facilitate mould growth and damage the structural integrity of a building, thereby creating a high-risk situation.
It is therefore vital to understand how water affects building structures to prevent damage to your home. Check your gutters regularly for leaks and ensure that they are working properly for the safety of your home.
Maintain your gutters
It is common for gutters to be clogged by leaves, dirt and other debris. Over time, materials like stones can erode the gutter surface and cause leaks. Maintain your gutters at least twice a year- fall and spring- by cleaning them to prevent leaks.
Test your gutters
Once you have removed the debris from your gutter, test them to identify any leakages and make repairs where necessary.
- Choose a position
Place a ladder at a vantage position of your home where you can climb and access the gutters.
- Run a hose
Using the garden hose, switch on the tap and train it along the gutter channel. You may need an ‘assistant’ to hold the hose for you.
- Walk the perimeter
Walk around the house perimeter and check for water leaks. You’ll identify them from water draining down unsuitable sides of the gutter. Move the hose around other sides of the house to check for more leakages. In some dark crevices, you may be required to use a flashlight for more visibility. Endeavour to carry out a thorough swoosh of the gutters.
- Note down the affected areas
After covering the whole length of the roof, take note of those places you observed undesirable water leaks. You will need to repair them immediately.
What to do when you observe leaks
It’s not good news to have leaking gutters, but it’s a good thing to discover them early. Most leaks can be easily mended. However, if the broken gutter is beyond repair, you can replace that section. There are many causes of gutter leaks, from natural causes such as rust to holes caused by heavy rainfall.
You can easily patch small fissures with roofing cement or a DIY metal repair kit. Aluminium gutters can be filled out using aluminium flashes. Where patching proves ineffective, detach the damaged area of the gutter and replace it with a new piece. Gutter repair kits are readily available at home improvement stores.
Keeping your gutters in proper shape
You can maintain a functional gutter by checking it regularly. Test for leakage and fix them as quickly as possible. Leaky gutters channel water into parts of the foundation that should be protected from erosion.
A healthy gutter system is necessary for proper drainage and safety of your home. It is therefore important to identify leaks on time so that you can follow up immediately with repairs. When you leave small issues unattended, they escalate into dangerous and more expensive problems.