A significant problem is brewing throughout autumn and the damp winter months when leaves and debris find their way into guttering to cause blockages. Many homeowners, however, are unaware of the risk this issue presents.
Guttering collects rainwater and transfers it by gravity to stormwater drains. If any part of the guttering system is blocked, the water is inhibited and overflows instead. It can seep into the roof cavity or onto the surrounding ground, where it can cause harm.
The obvious risk is costly maintenance. The weight of debris can cause the gutter to buckle and crack. And overflowing water may cause damage to fascia, roofing, basements, footpaths or grounds. But even more alarming is the significant health risk.
How do blocked gutters affect your health?
As rainwater builds up in a blocked drain, it has no option but to overflow into an area where it shouldn’t be. If it runs high, it will seep into the roof or fascia and stagnate. The resulting moisture will grow harmful mould and mildew over time. The spores from this can travel through crevices to pollute the adjacent living spaces. Moulds produce allergens, irritants and sometimes toxic substances.
Inhabitants who inhale mould spores and are prone to allergies may react with sneezing, a runny nose, red eyes or skin rashes. They may even suffer an asthma attack. However, people living with dampness and mould are more likely to have respiratory problems than those living in dry houses. Babies and elderly people are particularly at risk.
But even if the runaway rainwater stays outside, it can still cause harm. When a build-up of water falls onto surrounding areas, mainly when shaded from the sun, the resulting dampness can make paths slippery or erode them until they become a hazard. It can also create muddy wet ground that will attract mosquitos.
Look for tell-tale signs that your gutters are blocked
Under the threat of costly maintenance and health risks, it pays to keep a vigilant eye on the condition of your guttering. There are few tell-tale signs to help with this.
With a quick visual inspection from the ground, you can see an apparent leak or staining on the building exterior that suggests water is overflowing when it rains. Look for vegetation sprouting or sections of buckled gutters. These are sure signs that there is a build-up of debris. If there seems to be an excess of birds fluttering around the guttering, or if you spot a possum or a mouse running along the guttering, it will probably be full of leaves, twigs and dirt combined to provide birds and pests with the ideal home.
And while you’re at it- the house does need washing
Speaking of rain, it’s easy to imagine that the frequent downpours in our island nation keep our houses clean enough. But experts advise that it’s necessary to pressure wash the exterior of your house at least annually. This maintains the appearance of paint finishes, but more importantly, it removes harmful contaminants like bird droppings and mould that build up and interact with the surface coating. Regular house washing can extend the life of the paint by five years and prevent costly maintenance.
At Angel Property, we exclusively use ProWaterblasting in Auckland, Tauranga, Hamilton, and Rotorua. ProWaterblasting has invested in top-grade equipment so you can access the benefits of having a clean property at a fraction of the cost.
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