As the summer storm season sets in across Brisbane, overflowing gutters are becoming a common problem. Every storm brings a deluge of rain, and if your roof’s gutters are blocked, it can lead to significant issues. If you notice your gutters flooding even during a modest burst of rain, it’s a clear sign that you need professional gutter clearing. Fortunately, most problems with blocked downpipes and gutters are easy to fix and prevent. Here’s a simple guide on what to do if you suspect a blockage in your gutters or downpipes.
Why is Clearing Your Roof Gutters Important?
To understand the importance of clearing your roof gutters, let’s first delve into your roof’s anatomy. The main purpose of your roof’s gutters is to channel water off the roof. However, as leaves and debris collect on your roof, wind and rain drive this material into the gutters, causing blockages to build up over time. These blockages can impede the water drainage from your roof and result in water seeping into your roof or walls. Stagnant water in your gutters can also become a breeding ground for mosquitoes, insects, and unwanted plants. This can lead to various issues, including damage, leaks, and even fire risks. Maintaining clear and well-functioning gutters is essential for protecting your home from these potential problems. Neglecting gutter maintenance can lead to extensive repairs and repainting of your roof, which can be costly. Seeking professional unclogging services is an affordable solution to prevent such damage.
How to Identify a Blocked Downpipe
Often, people only notice their blocked gutters and downpipes when their roof starts flooding or when blockages cause stress on other drains, resulting in overflow and leakage around the house. Here are some signs to help you identify if your downpipe is blocked:
If the blockage is in your roof gutter:
Accumulated debris in your gutters: Over the course of time, it is common to discover a collection of foliage, branches, sediment, soil, and plant matter gradually.
Pests: The buildup of debris can attract birds, bird mites, wasps, mosquitoes, possums, rats, mice, and snakes. These pests can leave behind messes, germs, parasites, and allergens that can harm your family’s health.
Water flow issues: If water flows or drips over the sides of your gutters, it indicates that water cannot pass through or flow past the debris.
Leaks: Water leaking into your home often leaves large puddle marks, usually brown in color, on your ceiling.
Corrosion: Pooling water and excessive moisture can lead to corrosion in your gutters. Rust can develop in clogged gutters with bird nests and leaf debris.
Rot: Moisture, combined with a lack of sunlight, promotes the growth of mold and mildew, leading to wood rot in your fascia.
Loose gutter straps: Loose straps should be re-nailed or replaced promptly.
How Often Should You Check Your Gutters for Debris?
If you live in an area surrounded by trees with frequent strong winds and storms, it is advisable to check your roof gutters at least once every two months.
If the blockage is in your downpipe:
Splashback from the pipes: Water gushes out from the ground-level pipes, creating a splashing spectacle.
Cracks in the house’s foundations: Cracks can form if your downpipes are not connected to soak wells.
Mold or lichen growth: Fungi growing on the walls of your house.
How to Unblock Your Roof Gutters
If you suspect a blockage in your gutters, follow these steps to address the issue:
Safely climb a ladder to inspect your gutters.
Check if the water is draining properly and use a flashlight to identify the cause of the blockage.
If you can’t clean the gutters using a ladder and water hose, consider using a gutter vacuum that can clean them from the ground.
It is highly recommended to hire a professional who can thoroughly clear the blockage using tools such as a water hose, drain snake, pipe brush, pressure water machine, or high-power suction machine.
How to Unblock Your Downpipes
To address a blocked downpipe, follow these steps:
Please determine the location where debris is collecting: either within the shoe (the slanted segment at the base of the downpipe) or in the swan neck (the upper part where the downpipe curves to pass beneath the roof’s eaves).
Position a ladder to get a view inside the blocked downpipe.
If you can’t see the blockage, use a sturdy wire or thin piece of timber to probe the pipe until you hit the blockage.
Once you’ve located the blockage, detach the shoe or swan neck and clean it out.
Reattach the section, and run water through the downpipe to ensure it flows smoothly.
Why Seek Professional Help?
Unclogging roof gutters or downpipes can be challenging without professional tools and expertise. Ineffective unclogging methods can cause damage to your pipes and lead to flooding in other drains and toilets. Therefore, it is advisable to seek assistance from a reliable roofing professional who can identify and solve the problem.
If you suspect that your roof gutters or downpipes are blocked, don’t hesitate to get in touch with a professional service provider today. They can help you keep your gutters and downpipes clear, ensuring the protection and longevity of your home.