Gutter Maintenance For The First Time Homeowner

Though most homes have gutters and down-pipes to collect rainwater and route it away from the building, in extremely heavy rainfall areas it is often not enough, having difficulty carrying the large volumes of rainwater deposited in short periods of time.

For homes with guttering and downpipes an annual inspection should be performed as a minimum, to ensure the guttering and downpipes are free of obstructions and in serviceable order.

Obstructions during periods of heavy rainfall can see household guttering retaining water rather than channeling it away, resulting in rain water running inside the house, damaging plaster walls, or become a fire hazard in summer time in bush fire prone areas.

Once comprising individual galvanized iron profiles manufactured to set lengths, today’s gutter and down-pipes are made from either continuous length Zincalume steel, Colorbond aluminium, or plastic, with the latter more prone to attack by UV rays than the first two.

Drainage Calculations

For guttering to be effective and prevent “ponding” a minimum gutter fall of 1 in 500 is recommended, with the depth and width of the channeling and profile suitable dictated by local rainfall conditions.

For standard family homeowners most building supply centers carry stock of pre-cut aluminium guttering lengths in a range of standard profiles for replacing small sections of a houses guttering, or for small extension projects, while for entire house replacement of guttering in Brisbane the entire process is generally performed onsite.

Many gutter repair companies are able to remove and replace a home’s gutters and down-pipes in less than a day, a truck onsite rolling out continuous guttering lengths of your desired profile, with one piece generally only required for each continuous, vertical surface.

Excessive Water Run Off

In areas of heavy rainfall, or where groundwater running towards the footings of a house result in excessive amounts of water, the construction of either a gutter channel or an agricultural (agi) drain, often called a soakage drain, will help prevent excessive water from damaging your foundations, and possibly leaching through to interior walls.

Ideally a drain will be about 200mm wide and 600mm to 900mm deep, with a layer of 20mm screened gravel covering to about 100mm below the ground surface. A layer of shade cloth or similar on top of the stone will help prevent soil seeping through the stone, with dirt being used to complete the backfill.

If you attempt to fix a gutter by yourself be sure to work safely. It can be very dangerous working on a ladder without using proper scaffolding or safety harness. If in doubt, it’s probably best too hire a local gutter specialist to take care any job you need done beyond your typical cleaning / maintenance work.