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Why you should never Neglect Gutter Repairs

As a Galway roofing company that’s been offering a variety of roofing repairs for years, one of the major questions we get asked is “How do I maintain my roof”. The answer we give oftentimes surprises people. The answer is surprising because it’s so simple. If you want to protect the integrity of your roof then you need to maintain your gutters.

Yes, it is that simple. Everything from roof leaks to moss growth to the degrading of sealant can oftentimes be traced back to poor gutter maintenance.  Broken gutters, cracked gutters or blocked gutters can lead to issues with pooling water, the growth of weeds, leaks, rotting structural timber, electrical system damage, soggy waterlogged gardens – from overflowing gutters – and even damage to a building's foundation. Water that isn’t directed away, can seep down to the foundation and begin to erode the concrete. As you would expect these issues can lead to costly repairs. On the bright side, almost all of these issues can be avoided by undertaking some simple and regular gutter maintenance.

Before we outline a plan for simple gutter maintenance, let’s take some time to discuss the features of a property’s gutters.

Elements that make Up a Gutter

Broadly speaking gutters are made up of five distinctive elements. The actual gutters, e.g. the tube that runs parallel to your roof.

A downpipe. This is the pipe that directs water from the gutters to a drain on the ground.

Fascia and Soffit. The fascia is the board mounted underneath the gutter – at the point, the roof meets the outer wall of the house. Tucked underneath the fascia board is the soffit board. This board connects the house to the roof overhang. The soffit board is what’s mostly seen when standing underneath the property.

Gutters can be manufactured in a range of materials including zinc, steel and copper. These gutter types are not particularly common in Ireland. The most common gutters on Galway properties is PVC gutters. As a material, PVC is strong, robust and able to stand up to the demands of the unpredictable Irish weather. Most Galway Gutters are manufactured from PVC.

Why does my house need gutters?

For the layman, it’s not always clear why homes need gutters. Don't they just create more problems than they solve? After all, no gutters means no maintenance. And if there aren’t any gutters to get clogged won’t that solve the problem of pooling water?

As touched upon in the opening paragraph, gutters do more than just protect your roof. They protect your entire property. Without gutters, rainwater will simply fall off the roof, causing massive erosion around your building. More and more soil will get washed away after each downpour. This erosion will eventually lead to water being unable to run away from your property and instead the surrounding area will become waterlogged. Water will then seep down to the foundation and eventually cause massive damage. It’s for this same reason that blocked gutters should be cleared as soon as possible to avoid surrounding landscape erosion.

Water that’s allowed to run freely off the roof will always have a detrimental effect on a property’s walls. Water carries dirt and debris. The dirt will get transferred to your walls leaving extremely unsightly black marks that can be difficult to clean.

Gutter maintenance

Now we’ve discussed what gutters are and why their important to a roof and the structural integrity of a building let’s discuss how best to maintain your gutters.

-        Regular inspections.

If it’s safe to do so we always recommend visually inspecting your gutters at least once every couple of months. The places where you should be checking are where the gutters connect to the downpipe. Here is where the majority of blockages will occur. Debris like leaves that get stuck in a gutter will be directed to the downpipe. This can lead to a build-up and eventually a blockage. By checking where the downpipe connects to the gutter, you’ll be able to see a fallen leave build-up. With a pair of sturdy gloves, it’s easy to pick out the leaves to ensure water is running off your roof correctly.

-        Drooping Gutters

After a particularly heavy downpour, parts of the gutter can become disconnected from the roof. You can see this from the ground, as the gutter will be drooping. This is not something that should be ignored. If you see a drooping gutter call our Guttering Galway repair service as soon as possible. Even if only a small part of the gutter is drooping, the pressure this puts on the rest of the structure will lead to the rest of the gutter becoming loose. This will also lead to damage to both the fascia and soffit.

-        Check for Leaks

Sometimes a crack or a leak in a gutter can be difficult to see. One tip is to use a hose to pour water through the gutters. This way you’ll be able to identify cracks and leaks. Most PVC gutters can be replaced in portions, so you won’t have to replace the entire gutter just the broken piece in question.

-        Clean Gutters

The downpipes aren’t the only place a gutter can get blocked. We highly recommend cleaning the entire length of the gutter, making sure to remove all debris.

Conclusion

Due to the importance of gutters, a homeowner should never attempt minor repairs on their own. Good maintenance will help extend the life of gutters but when a repair is required, please call our team of Galway gutter repair experts. We offer fast repair services at competitive rates. Our service is available to address issues with Agricultural Guttering, domestic guttering and commercial guttering problems.

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