November 2019

A Stitch in Time (Gutters & Downpipes)

It’s not sexy or exciting but routine maintenance of gutters and downpipes is an essential part of property management.  Unfortunately, as you can’t generally see what is going on at such a high level, gutters tend to get forgotten.  Often it isn’t until you have a major maintenance issue that you realise there is problem.  And with the changes in weather patterns that give us torrential rains for long periods of time, it is more important than ever that gutters and downpipes are well maintained.

What are gutters and downpipes?

Gutters are channels or small troughs put around the edge of roofs in order to collect rain water. These troughs then channel the gathered rain water to a downpipe from where it flows into a drain.

Gutter & downpipe

What can go wrong with gutters?

Gutters can easily fill up with moss, leaves, small bits of broken tile or cement that fall off the roof, crisp packets and plant growth.  Once gutters are full of debris, they cannot do their job of carrying water into the down pipe and away from the building.  If any of this debris then gets stuck in the downpipe, the problem is compounded by the blockage. 

Blocked gutter

In a rented property who is responsible for cleaning the gutters?

Many tenancy agreements put the responsibility of cleaning gutters and downpipes onto the Tenant.  Some companies like Piccolo Property Services, carry out this function as part of routine maintenance so check with your Landlord or Letting Agent.

dirty gutters

What happens if gutters aren’t regularly cleaned and checked?

When a gutter becomes blocked the water builds up and overflows, running down the walls and windows.  This constant flow of water in wet weather damages the bricks and mortar on your outside walls. In time it will seep through the bricks causing damage to your household furnishings and paintwork.  Poorly maintained gutters can also seriously damage wooden fascias causing the wood to rot and deteriorate.

Gutters & rotting fascia

Sometimes joints become disconnected or if a bracket breaks the gutter can become ‘wonky’ and so the rainwater does not flow properly.   

As the saying goes “A stitch in time saves nine”.  Replacement parts are cheap and easy to fit and regular gutter cleaning and a maintenance check is the best way to prevent serious damage leading to costly repairs and re-decoration. We are fortunate in Salisbury that we have Salisbury Guttering Services who provide us with an excellent service.

New gutters

Lou Fletcher, Owner, Piccolo Property Services

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