Keeping your guttering well maintained

If you don’t think your property needs well maintained gutters – then picture the following scenario. It’s raining heavily and the forecast is for more rain. You’d like to leave the house but there is a cascade of water running down your windows and doors, meaning your family are trapped inside. Then, after a few weeks or months of wet weather, nasty damp conditions seep in and cause havoc to roof tiles, interior decorating and the internal structure of your home – which will take thousands of pounds to put right. If this sounds like a nightmare then you’ll be pleased to know that good, solid and effective guttering can prevent all this happening, with very little time and money from you. As well as everything you need to know about getting or replacing gutters, we have tons of handy tips that will easily maintain the effectiveness of your guttering, whatever kind you have, meaning you can keep a tight ship at home whenever it rains!

What are gutters?

Gutters are channels or small troughs put around the edge of roofs in order to collect rain water. These troughs then dispose the gathered rain water to a downpipe where it is eventually deposited into a drain. Gutters are generally made of simple half-piping that are then positioned just underneath the edges of your roof to allow the water to easily collect as it runs off your roof. As it is an open pipe, one of the main problems with guttering is that they can become blocked by leaves and other debris which, if left un-cleared, can cause major problems to your home. When a gutter becomes blocked the water builds up and overflows from the gutter, damaging bricks and mortar on your outside walls. It can also seep through the bricks causing damage to your household furnishings and paintwork. One other common problem caused by the build up of leaves and rubbish in a gutter is that it can often provide a home for windblown seeds to lay root, meaning that weeds start to grow naturally in your gutter. This also leads to a blockage.

What types of gutters are there?

Cast iron gutters

If your house is quite old, the chances are it has cast iron gutters and downpipes. You will be able to tell if your gutters are cast iron if they are painted on the outside, as plastic or PVC gutters are not painted. Cast iron gutters can last an extremely long time provided they are maintained properly. This involves painting them regularly, preferably with a bituminous paint, which will prevent against moisture and corrosive erosion or rust. Cast iron gutters are also extremely heavy so their fastenings need to be checked regularly so that they have not come loose. If they have come loose they need to be securely fastened otherwise they may become irreparably damaged.

PVC gutters

PVC gutters are the most common type of guttering found on any new houses or structures built today. Generally, they are grey or black and are made from un-plasticised polyvinyl chloride. The reason they have become more popular than their cast-iron counterparts is that they are cheaper, lighter, easy to attach to your roof and do not require painting.

Pressed steel gutters

Pressed steel gutters are rarer than PVC or cast iron gutters, but can still be found occasionally. They are lighter and stronger than cast iron ones and usually come galvanised or primed ready for painting.