As we have already explained before, insurance companies urge their customers to maintain their homes, this is so you can get a successful claim.
An issue which arises often is maintaining gutters and drains. These are an essential system which protect your home from water damage, so if these are not in good working order, your insurance company will probably not agree to cover the costs if you sustain water damage.
Proper guttering helps protect doors, basements and windows from water damage, but how do you actually clean and maintain them?
Most people aren't comfortable with jumping on a ladder and clearing the drains, but there are very safe ways to do this yourself.
Very often, rain gutters get full of leaves, grime and debris, preventing them from doing their job properly. If they are full of leaves, rainwater will get trapped and flow over the edges and the weight of this water can pull the gutters loose.
There is always the option of hiring somebody to come and clear the gutters if you are not comfortable doing this yourself, however they will probably need doing at least twice a year to work effectively. This can depend on where you are living, further up North with wetter weather may have more of a problem with this and if you’re a Landlord of a block of flats, you will most probably have a tradesman or hired staff for these kinds of jobs.
If you still want to give it a go yourself, here you go.
You will of course need a reliable ladder and a second pair of hands if possible. Make sure you have a level base beneath the ladder for safety. Don’t try to carry out the work if the weather is wet or icy, this should be a Summer time job, also it isn’t as messy.
Wear protective gloves, such as gardening gloves. There might be sharp objects attached to the pipes or sharp leaves caught up in the guttering. You will need a bucket to collect all of the debris you clear.
You don’t want the gutters filling up as soon as you’ve cleared, so make sure you use a rake to remove any vines and leaves still sitting on the roof that will wash straight back into the gutter when it rains again.
A good tool to use is a trowel, this is perfect for getting out the brunt of the much in the gutter and putting it into the bucket.
Once you have the majority of the leaves removed, it is best to blast out the remaining bits with a hose pipe. A high pressure nozzle will be ideal for loosening any stubborn debris. You don’t want to splash any mud or dirt onto your home and its windows, so you might want to use a stiff brush to scrub of the worst of this while it’s still dry. Run the high pressure nozzle down the drain pipe to loosen debris.
Now, that may have been a tough job, so what do you do to stop it happening again?
Just twice a year, loosen up any building debris to stop it getting really bad again. It’s best to do this is in Spring and Autumn. After the Winter the drains may have taken a battering from the rain, and at the end of Autumn, clear out those leaves before they clog up for the Winter rain.
If you’re constantly having problems with your gutters, it may be because you need to re-position their angle so that the water flows better down them.
You could always get in an expert to assess your home and be sure you have the correct system in place to protect your home. There are lots of other ways to advance your guttering if you are having further problems.