Blocked gutters can cause major issues in Adelaide. Unfortunately too many home owners leave them until they are down right frightening. Hey, don't get me wrong here, I am not trying blame the home owner, gutter cleaning can be a scary job and in today's society, we are often all too busy to get to them - until of course we are forced to - such as when water is getting into the house, usually at night when it is bucketing rain.
So why don't we get out and clean them more often. Well there are a number of reasons I often hear
1) They are out of sight and out of mind
2) It is a simple job we don't want to pay someone to do (but never get around to doing)
3) Until they are overflowing, no damage is really being done anyway - right??
I can certainly empathize with most home owners on the first two points. Until something happens, I often don't think about doing the job and when it does need to be done, i am often not happy about forking out a few hundred bucks or more for a job which i can easily do myself but just haven't got the time.
The third point is simply incorrect. There are a number of problems caused by blocked gutters, including - roof damage, damage to the outside fixtures of homes and pathways, damage to fascia boards, damage to landscaping and the increased danger of slippages.
Water running over the front of the gutter will most always be causing damage to landscaping, pathways, doorways, windows and creating potential slip hazards. Hidden dangers have usually already started from water seeping behind the gutter into fascia boards and eaves and fittings in the eaves. Often water is even seeping into the roof space via gullies or valleys which are also blocked.
There is also another real concern when it comes to cleaning gutters - the real danger that ladder safety poses for home owners. Research identifies accidents from ladders as the number one cause of DIY related emergency hospital visits in Australia. The statistics these research studies show are truly frightening, but that is for another post.
So what can we do about it. Well, you could set a regular home gutter maintenance schedule and build the required discipline required to carry it out (unlikely). You could spend some time and energy finding a reliable and honest gutter cleaner and hope that he is around for a long time, (which if they are good is probably not going to be the case and if they are still around, just watch the price creep up clean after clean). Or you could just stop the leaves getting into the gutter in the first place. For more information check out my post: The 3 Best Ways to Clean your Gutters.
Let's face it, we all know prevention is better than cure and despite what some misguided people try to claim, Gutter Guards really work. Sure, you need to make sure that you purchase a gutter guard which fully covers the gutter, creating a ski-slope for debris to slide off and you definitely need to make sure that you get it installed by a quality installer who will create a means of maintenance. (Never trust a gutter guard company who claims to have maintenance free solution). In my opinion, the time you spend looking for a good gutter cleaning person should be spent looking for a quality gutter guard installer. It may cost a little more to begin with but it will save you thousands of dollars in the long run. As usual, if you live in Adelaide and want some honest advice, I am always happy to help.