1. Gutters should be seen as part of any properties routine maintenance, and there are a variety of reasons why. Probably one of the most important aspects of gutter cleaning in Fife is that if they are poorly maintained this can be reflected in a home report and building survey. The home report was introduced to Scotland in 2008 by the Scottish Government, with one of the three main aims being to ‘provide the buyer with a clearer picture of the buildings condition’.
A buyer can request a copy of the home report at any point, and the single survey part of the report is used as a ranking system to highlight areas of property maintenance, that may or may not need addressed. If any readers have ever seen the electronic home report, they will know how very specific these reposts can be. If gutter cleaning is neglected not only is this easily identified visually but may well lead to further inspection of the homes structure.
2. Gutters are thought of as exterior components of the home, but they connect all the exterior drainage to the drains of the home. This doesn’t necessarily mean they are fully external, because especially on flat roofs we often find gutter down pipes that begin on the flat roof and go through the homes internal walls; before exiting through the exterior walls and down the side of the home. If there is any damage to these gutters, then internal dampness is a real cause for concern. This can be seen most noticeably where there are large discoloured patches on the outside of the wall near the gutters or also on the inside of the home.
If gutter down pipes are blocked mid-section, this can be one sure way that leads to dampness; all the way up the gutter down pipe. Water will find the smallest of holes to escape from and unfortunately this may be through the interior walls of the home.
3 Gutters that are full of water or debris weigh a lot! A gallon of water weighs 8 pounds and so a five inch gutter can hold around 5 pounds of water per foot. If you have 25 foot of guttering with a 5 inch gutter, that’s an enormous 130 pounds of weight being held up. When we consider that gutters are often held in place by small plastic rivets spaced up to 4 metres apart, that is a lot of weight being held up by minimum support. Hiring a gutter cleaner in Fife eliminates the risk of collapsing gutters, and when you consider the cost of structural repairs to walls/gutters it is not a big expense to have gutters cleaned out once a year. Look at this image we have, from the ground you would not even see how full this gutter line is-but the weight will be substantial.
*If you note sagging gutters then this is often due to there being a rivet broken, or the gutters are at maximum capacity and absolutely full. Please call us for a quotation.
4 Gutter cleaning is an opportunity for inspection. It is almost impossible to see any structural defects from the ground; you may see the symptom in a leak, but what is causing it? Is it a broken gutter joint, is the water coming over the sides of a full gutter or have you actually got roof damage instead? When gutter cleaning in Fife, we always carry out an assessment on the structural safety of the gutters themselves; which includes showing the home owners any visual damage.
5 Gutters are a natural habitat for not only bacteria but also the colonisation of insects and also the nesting of birds. While we are always mindful not to remove nesting animals, we can do so when the nest is empty. The risks of having such nests in your guttering is; blocked down pipes, a constant noise of birds chirping, excess mess on the ground nearby and also the chance that they will return year after year.
6 Gutters that have poor drainage can cause water to pool either on your driveway/patio or also under the ground. This can clearly discolour your exterior surfaces and can kill plant life nearby. A constant splash on the ground near exterior walls can also lead to structural damage, where small cracks and holes in the walls are exposed by the constant splash of water. Exterior walls are built to withstand water damage but when this is a constant and daily issue, apart from the walls discolouring-they will eventually be penetrated. This image shows the extent of water damage damaged gutters can cause, note the discolouration beginning at the top of the gutter. We actually soft washed this wall since then, but that was an added bill that didn’t need to be the case.
Often we see modern homes with plastic down pipes that run down the side of the house and stop where the drain is. These are poorly designed because all debris build up at the bottom of the down pipe and no water can then pass into the drain. We have cut a few inches off these down pipes before, and this enables water to flow freely and the home owner can sweep up any excess debris.
Please see our home page www.fifewindowcleaningservices.co.uk for a list of all services we offer