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24 Nov 2023 < Back

Gutters & downpipes - easy maintenance checks you can do

For those who have been reading our #MaintenanceWeek blogs this week, you will have picked up on the need to pay attention to our gutters and downpipes. Even small blockages can cause problems.

For our final Maintenance Week blog, as it is also 'National Gutters Day', we focus on how you can ensure gutters and downpipes are in a healthy condition, allowing for water to flow through them and away from your home easily. In most cases with the suggested tips below, it simply requires a bit of effort, a good eye and a handy ladder.

10 tips to keep your gutters and downpipes healthy

Clean your gutters:  
Now is the time to clear debris and vegetation from your gutters to allow water to drain away quickly before more bad weather occurs.  

Broken downpipes and gutters: 
This might sound obvious, but if they are broken, get them fixed. Broken downpipes and gutters can lead to other costly repairs if left for long periods of time.

Gutters that are pulling away: 
This is usually a problem with the hangers that are connected to the fascia, as fasteners may have come out of the timbers. Replacement hangers are easy to find in DIY stores and relatively easy to fix. 

Check for blocked downpipes: 
This is best achieved during a period of heavy rainfall. Look out for water from leaky joints or spilling over the top of the downpipe (where it meets your gutters) - a simple tap and checking for a hollow ringing sound can help identify areas which might be clogged. 

Look at gutter joints: 
Similar to above, it is best to do this when it is raining. Check to see if they are watertight and look for leaking joints. Typically, small holes or cracks can be filled in with gutter sealant.

Vegetation near downpipes: 
If you have plants/other vegetation running behind downpipes, either cut them back or remove them.  As plants grow, stems and branches get bigger and may cause issues in the future.

Bird & leaf traps: 
These are used to help prevent blockages and you can pick them up at your local DIY store. If you do have problems with blocked downpipes, consider installing one.

Clear gullies & drains: 
If you notice debris or vegetation blocking gullies or drains at ground level, simply clear them. This will allow water to flow away freely, preventing a build up of water and the saturation of brickwork which this may lead to. 

Cast iron gutters downpipes and gutters: 
These are not as easy to fix and replace with modern equivalents. However, by repainting these every 10 years (approximately), it will help prevent the build up of rust and corrosion.

Finally, get out in the rain
As suggested with some of the tips above, the best way to check if gutters are working correctly is to inspect them under load. This means braving the rain and watching them in action. 

Gutters and downpipes 1   Gutters and downpipes 3   Gutters and downpipes 4

There are specialists who can help you

If you don’t feel confident enough to go up ladders or fix any potential issues yourself, there are professionals who can assist you.  

You should be able to find local and qualified plumbers through the ‘Association of Plumbing & Heating Contractors’ (APHC).  Alternatively, for many of the suggested maintenance tips above, you can find a local builder to help you through the ‘Federation of Master Builders’ (FMB).

If you do discover dampness or rot issues, members of the Property Care Association who can certainly help with that. Simply go to our local search tool using the button below and search using your postcode or town.

Find local damp specialists >

More tips and advice during the week

Look out for more maintenance tips, guidance and information coming out as part of our support for #MaintenanceWeek 2023. Keep an eye on the news section of our website and our social channels for more posts to come…

View our news section >

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