It’s unlikely you’ve ever heard anyone describe gutter cleaning as their favourite chore.
But while it may be a dirty, dangerous and time-consuming task, gutter cleaning is one of the only ways to stop your gutters from becoming clogged and blocked with leaves and/or debris.
Water overflowing from blocked gutters can cause a range of problems around your home, from damp and mould, to dangerous cracks in your foundations.
That’s why regular gutter cleaning is so important – or, if you want to minimise the need to clean your gutters, why you need to install the appropriate-sized gutter mesh for your property.
Below are some signs that your gutters may be blocked and need urgent attention. You should also look for these signs if you discover your gutters are blocked through other means, as early intervention is the best way to minimise any repair bills.
1. Damp & mould
Water running down the outside of your house from blocked gutters can cause mould to grow on the inside or the outside. Water overspilling from your blocked gutters can also penetrate through your walls, damaging plaster, paint and wallpaper. This can go unnoticed if it’s hidden behind furniture – especially larger furniture such as bookcases.
2. Leaky roofs & saggy ceilings
Blocked gutters can cause water to leak into your roof cavities, causing your ceilings to sag and eventually collapse. This not only damages the ceiling itself, but can also ruin internal decorations and your home’s other contents.
3. “Splash back” damage
Water that spills or leaks on the ground from a blocked gutter can splash back to damage your property. The affected area can suffer from penetrating damp, peeling paintwork, wood rot and unsightly cosmetic damage.
4. Sagging driveways
While large roots from nearby trees and vegetation can lift the concrete blocks of your driveway up from below, water from blocked gutters that pools around your driveway can break down the concrete from above. This can cause sagging or large cracks around your driveway.
5. Brickwork & pointing damage
Overflowing blocked gutters can cause water to pour down your walls, damaging brickwork and pointing and penetrating wall ties. Moss may also begin to grow up your wet walls. This compounds the problem, as moss retains water, preventing your walls from drying out.
6. Rotting wood
Water from blocked gutters can also rot wooden fascia. Water that builds up and stands stagnant for even just a few hours can cause the wood to break down and begin decomposing, in turn leading to other serious problems.
7. Cracks in the foundation
Blocked gutters can force water downwards directly onto your foundation walls. This can lead to major cracking, mould growth and rot along the surrounding fascia. Wet areas around the foot of your foundations can also cause the soil to swell and shrink, increasing the risk of termite attack and movement.
8. Ruined landscaping
Expensive landscaping can be destroyed in hours if the water exiting your blocked gutters travels with sufficient force to dig holes, resulting in unsightly dips in the topography of your yard. Even if this doesn’t occur, water overflowing from your gutters can result in over-watered plants.
9. Mosquitoes & other insects
Water pooling in your gutters can attract mosquitoes, which use this water to breed in. Twigs, leaves and other materials that collect in your gutters can also provide shelter and a food source for other insects.
These signs of blocked gutters are all pretty unpleasant. They can also lead to substantial repair bills. Because of this, we advise you to do all you can to avoid blocked gutters in the first place.
To do this, we recommend installing gutter mesh as a gutter guard over all your gutters so you can let water in, keep leaves and debris out, and minimise the need for gutter cleaning around your home.
To learn more about choosing the right gutter mesh for your property, check out our Mesh Matcher tool.