4 Easy Tips to Unblocking Gutters and Downpipes

Not only can blocked gutters and downpipes look unattractive on a home, they can also put the stability of your home in danger if they are not cleaned regularly. You could certainly hire a service to handle this task for you, but if you have the do-it-yourself attitude, you can also handle it on your own.

Regular Cleaning and Inspection:

Ideally, your gutters should be inspected every six months to ensure they remain unblocked and in good working condition. During the fall; however, you may find it beneficial to inspect your gutters more frequently, as leaves are often blown into the gutters more frequently, resulting in a faster buildup. During the inspection, make sure that the connection pipes are completely solid and that the gutters are not beginning to bow. If you note that your gutters have begun to sag, it is likely due to brackets that are either loose or worn. The good news is that this situation can be remedied by replacing the brackets entirely or simply tightening the screws that hold them in place.

Identifying the Problem:

If after inspecting your gutters, you find that they appear to be blocked on a frequent basis, it could be due to low overhanging trees or shrubbery. Not only can this present a fire hazard during bushfire season, it can also lead to a continual blocking of your gutters. Trimming back nearby trees and shrubbery can go a long way toward keeping your gutters clear.

Effectively Cleaning Gutters and Downpipes:

When you are ready to actually clean your gutters and downpipes, it is important to make sure you have a solid, sturdy ladder in place. Alternately, you can also use scaffolding to reach the gutters on your home, if you are nervous about the idea of working on a ladder. It is also a good idea to wear protective gloves while you are working on your gutters. Begin by removing any blockages. Using a hand-held trowel is often a good way to do this. In the event that the downpipe is clogged, you may need to use a drainage rod to clear the blockage. For angled pipes, a piece of wire can often be used to push out the blockage. Keep in mind while you are working that it is important to ensure that you do not overstretch while you are on the ladder. It is always much safer to move the base of the ladder. This may take a few additional minutes, but the effort is much better than the alternative, which could involve a nasty fall and potential injuries.

Be proactive rather than reactive:

These days, there are products called ‘gutter guards’ that can help protect your gutters from the build up of tree foliage and other material. They allow water to flow into the drain and downpipes while blocking leaves, sticks and other debris from entering. You can buy these gutter guards from most hardware stores and they come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Some of them can be quite simple to install and will go a long way in keeping your gutters and downpipes clog free.

Finishing Up:

While it is not actually complicated to clear the gutters and downpipes of your home, the prospect can seem somewhat daunting. Following the above tips can assist you in getting the job done quickly and easily. Of course, if you still feel somewhat overwhelmed at the prospect of cleaning your gutters and downpipes, it may be a good idea to contact a local professional roofing company who can assist you with ensuring that your gutters are in good working order.

Thanks for reading,
Russell Steel
(02) 9660 5937