Roof guttering is an often-forgotten part of any property, until something goes wrong.
Rarely standing out, in their simplest form roof guttering acts as a visual frame for our homes. In reality, they are crucial for protecting your home and family from the elements. One could argue that the first mistake any property owner makes, outside of the main four mentioned in this article, is taking guttering for granted. In fact, home insurance policies often refuse to cover flood and other damage to the home that may have been due to improperly maintained gutters. Gutters that are regarded as in poor working order, or gradual damage that is a side effect of blocked – are often viable reasons for an insurance company to refuse payment of a claim.
Not only are your gutters important for the stability and safety of your home, but their upkeep is critical for the outcome of your insurance claim should the worst happen. In order to ensure the worst doesn’t happen, and that your properly covered if it does, it is important to avoid these four costly mistakes that property owners frequently make regarding roof guttering.
Mistake #1: Waiting for gutters to start overflowing before getting them cleaned
Most people are not aware that there may be a problem with their gutters until they start overflowing during the wetter months of the year. However, by the time your gutters are overflowing in heavy rainfall it is already too late. There is every chance that water has already found its way into your roof, eaves, and plaster boards, which can cost thousands of dollars to repair.
More importantly, clogged and overgrown gutters can be just as much of an issue in drier months as the wetter ones. Gutters filled with leaf litter and dried plant material can act as kindling for errant heat and flames during bushfire season. Increasing the chances of your home succumbing to fire damage. They are also an important tool in combating fires during bushfire season. By blocking downpipes and filling your gutters with water during a bushfire, you can help protect your home and help prevent it from going up in flames. This would be an impossible task without clear and clean gutters. As any loose plant matter or materials can dry very quickly in these extreme hot temperatures and possibly be the spark that sets your home alight.
You can be sure of protecting your investment by doing regular checks throughout the year to ensure your gutters are in good condition. As well as having a professional vacuum gutter clean every 6 months to have peace of mind that your gutters are completely clean and clear. Rain, hail, or shine – it does not matter. You need to regularly maintain your gutters.
Mistake #2: Not checking gutters after heavy storms or powerful winds
We all get busy, especially when bad weather hits. There can be a number of extra duties you need to attend to around the home. But this is exactly the time when you need to make sure your roof and guttering has held up as it should and there are no potential problems waiting to burst. After heavy storms or powerful winds, you must examine your roof or have a professional come and give you peace of mind that everything is working fine. Even if it looks ok from an outside glance, a professional is best placed with their experience and knowledge to alert you of any early warning signs for future problems, following violent and extreme weather conditions.
There is also a much higher likelihood of your gutters becoming blocked and requiring cleaning following these sorts of weather events. So, you should also check whether your gutters need to be cleaned as well as checking for any damage i.e., not leaving deposits in your gutters following storms and high winds.
Mistake #3: Hiring the lowest price company
You may be thinking of taking the cheapest option, but there are two important points you need to consider…
Point #1: The price that is offered on the website or Ad may not include all the services you want, or all the services that need to be performed. You must decide exactly what you want to accomplish before you select a company. If you simply want to get rid of some of the leaves on your roof there are many companies who will come in with a leaf blower and clean out the easy to reach blockages. If you want a deep down clean that really clears out downpipes, collects all grime and muck in those hard to reach places and provides a long lasting solution, then you need to be careful when selecting a company based on price.
Point #2: The price you are quoted may not be the price you pay. Unfortunately, though it would be nice to be able to say otherwise, there are still some unethical companies in our industry that will promote ridiculously low prices to get into your home. Then once they have started with the work, extra charges start popping up (for things that should be included anyway). When you work with a reputable company such as PorterVac, you’ll know exactly how much you will pay and exactly what services you’ll receive before one minute of work begins.
Mistake #4: Using gutter guards (covers that go over your gutter)
Many gutter guard products have entered the market over the years and there are few to none available, that can do a complete job in protecting your house from rust, corrosion and water damage. Many of the cheaper brands have large grates that capture more debris than they remove and are also not UV rated, so after a few months in the elements they begin to disintegrate. Even the more expensive systems (some very expensive), which can be difficult to install are great at keeping leaves out of your gutter, but the other 60% of dirt, grime, twigs, and debris simply slips through the cracks. Sitting at the bottom of your gutters and starting the process of breaking them down, causing rust and corrosion that you cannot see because of the guard.
One of the major problems of these gutter guards is the increased likelihood of fires starting. With gutter guards, the leaf litter and other bits of dried debris collect on the surface. This leaves a space underneath the guard that is accessible by smaller material, water, and air via the holes or serrations in the surface of the guard. Any dried material can quickly go up in flames when the heat of the material meats any oxygen flowing through the gutter under the guard and blowing through the holes into the material. The effect is similar to starting a campfire by blowing on the beginning smoke!
As professional roofing and gutter cleaning specialists, we get called out regularly to repair problems caused by gutter guards. These are frequently purchased from companies who aren’t able to back their products. In fact, many of these products require you to have your roof professionally pressure cleaned every 6 months to receive their warranty. Which can end up costing more than getting your gutters cleaned professionally in the first place. In our 17-years in the roofing industry the only gutter protection system that we can guarantee to work, is having your gutters regularly cleaned by a professional vacuum gutter cleaner.
Avoid These Costly Mistakes
You can easily avoid these costly mistakes when it comes to roof guttering by doing a few simple things.
- Schedule regular gutter cleans at times of the year when you may need them most. When and How Often to Clean Your Gutters, will depend on a few different things.
- Check your gutters for damage and blockages after heavy storms or high winds and organise for a professional inspection if you are worried that you may have missed any damage, or need your gutters cleaned.
- Research the best company for exactly what you need and make sure you don’t go for the option that seems like a steal. Read the fine print and ensure that everything you need completed, is covered in the quote price before ANY work begins. If it seems too good to be true, it usually is!
- Don’t use gutter guards! While they seem like a practical option, they are more damaging, unsafe, and costly in the long run. Just have your gutters professionally cleaned regularly, it will work out the same if not much cheaper than having gutter guards in place.
Of course you can always speak to a gutter cleaning and roofing professional, to find out more. To get your gutters cleaned or checked by thorough and reliable gutter and roof experts, call PorterVac today.