Repairing Roofing and Guttering
It essential to undertake regular maintenance on gutters and down pipes in your home to remove blockages so that rainwater does not flow down the side of your walls causing possible penetrating damp into the interior of the property. Gutters and down pipes will continually collect leaves, dirt and birds nests and other loose debris throughout the year. This has to be cleared away to ensure the free flying movement of rainwater into your homes drainage system. It’s a simple job and one in which can be achieved through everyday domestic tools and a ladder. It is also one of those jobs that is tempting to put off for a different day for those who are sometimes lazy or don’t have enough time for DIY. However insurance companies are generally unlikely to pay out for home insurance claims as a result of damage caused by damp from leaking gutters and down pipes. So regular maintenance of this area of your property is entirely in your own financial interest.
To clear debris away simply use an ordinary garden trowel to clear out out the mess from gutters. Needless to say you should secure your ladder in place and ideally ask the assistance of a second person to hold it steady to minimise the risk of a fall. If there is a crack or a break in the plastic covering it is sensible to replace that element of the guttering with an identical brand to minimise the impact of unwanted rainwater runoff on the walls. Down pipe blockages can be a bit more tricky and it may be necessary to use drainage rods or other long devices to extend down the pipe to push through a pullout the offending blockage.
Many older listed properties may still have old-fashioned cast-iron guttering and down pipes which can cause problems particularly if homeowners are prevented from replacing them with modern plastic guttering due to listed building laws. Maintaining cast-iron train returns additional problems of rust built up which must be dealt with before rusting cracks appear causing unwanted leaks. For minor rust repairs proper preparation and repainting using appropriate exterior metal finish paint will maintain the life of the down pipe. Once holes have appeared in the down pipe they must be repaired using putty sealing joints.
It is sensible to also paint the inside of the guttering with the bituminous paint to seal up any leaks. Invest extra time preparing the surface by using a wire brush and make sure any loose debris is removed before painting commences. If the nature of the leak means removing the entire down pipe then be very careful when removing any cast-iron pipes as they may break if dropped. You may need to saw off any remaining screws collecting the cast-iron gutter to the wooden fascia board. Holes can then be repaired with a glass fibre repair sheeting and resin filler. Remember to wear protective gloves when dealing with the glass fibre repair kit. This is the same principle as cleaning and applying an ordinary sticking plaster for minor cuts and injuries. If there are minor leaks occurring between the joints of the gutters one option is to use a repair sealant gun to stop the leak.
Repairing cuts and splits in plastic guttering is much simpler than cast-iron down pipes and guttering. However as replacement pipes and joints can be purchased from local DIY stores at very low cost it is hardly worth bothering repairing these plastic guttering parts when the cost of replacement is so cheap. Holes and cuts can be sealed with self adhesive red tape. Don’t forget to check the connecting screws to wooden fascias which overtime sometimes become loose and will need to be tightened up again.