Guttering Not Just For The Roof
Guttering and drainage are often things we don’t even think about until 11pm on a cold and wet night when constant dripping keeps you awake … or a large pool of water stops you from getting to the garage.
Water, water everywhere and not just where you think
Water that’s not draining away freely causes not only problems in the short term, such as an annoying drip or puddles of water, but in the long term too as over time the water may be damaging woodwork or concreting.
Water is incredibly good at getting into many different areas causing rot in wood and loss of soil in gardens. With time, so much pressure can be put on foundations that crack and major structural damage can be caused.
There are three main types of guttering/spouting- pvc plastic, metal and copper … which all do the same job with different price tags and life expectancies.
PVC gutters are easy to install and are cheaper than the other options but can be easily damaged by falling trees and over time the sun and wind damage may occur.
Copper guttering has an expensive outlay but it’s benefits are: that it does not rust and it never needs painting. It is relatively maintenance free but will still need to be cleared of leaves and build ups.
Looking after your guttering
Gutters and downpipes are a necessity for allowing water to be drained off your roof and away from the foundations of your home.
They need to be checked regularly (at least twice a year minimum) for blockages caused by leaves or dirt and cleared and cleaned to prevent build ups and over flowing.
Water needs to be able to flow freely to avoid corrosion and damage to your house.
When maintaining the guttering makes sure that there is an even fall along the entire length and that the guttering is well supported by brackets.
Leaking joints could be a sign that the sealant has lapsed and needs to be replaced.
There are also gutter guards which can be fitted to stop leaves and dirt from blocking the spouting.
Down pipes need to be connected up to an access pit, surface drainage or storm water outlet to be effective and avoid further problems with water damaging the surrounding ground.
Damp or boggy patches in a front or backyard are a sign of poor drainage especially if they are around downpipes and drains.
Make sure that the land around downpipes slopes slightly away form the house to ensure less moisture is hanging around causing issues.
Many homes have paths next to the house to make sure the water doesn’t sit near the foundations.
Planter boxes, bushes and shrubs are quite often placed close to houses foundation to conceal them, but this can cause problems.
Always be careful not to overwater your garden areas, and ensure that water from sprinklers doesn’t reach walls.
If the drainage issue is causing a lot of problems you may need to sort out channels or interception drains to divert water away from the house and other areas where water is building up. Remember away from the house never towards or under!
Look carefully at the fall of the land as to how water will leave the property. Look especially at driveways, yours and neighbours as to where water will pool. Is there sufficient drainage to resolve this problem?
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