During the winter, many of us rarely venture into our gardens, unless it’s to build a snowman. For this reason, we rarely get chance to have a look at our guttering during this part of the year, especially if we leave and return to our homes in darkness.
However, out of sight should never mean out of mind when it comes to your drainage system – and in fact they may need the most attention at this time of the year. Clogged gutters can cause water to backup in the house, leading to problems with damp or even wall and ceiling damage.
For this reason, it’s a good idea to set aside some time aside one weekend as winter sets in to give your guttering a going-over to ensure you don’t encourage any drainage disasters.
Autumn and winter brings more wet and cold weather – and plenty of leaves and other debris which can block guttering. Therefore, you should get in a routine of regularly going up to check that water can drain through the pipes.
This starts with getting out a ladder and climbing up to look at the outer part of your guttering. Make sure you’re wearing thick workman’s gloves, as you’ll need to manually remove anything which could block the pipes by hand. It’s a good idea to have your garden waste bin set up next to the ladder, where you can drop in any leaves or sludge as you go along. A stiff brush and trowel will come in useful for removing excess dirt.
To ensure the guttering is as clean and debris-free as possible, finish up by giving the pipes a good spray with the hosepipe, ensuring that the nozzle is set to the highest pressure possible for the best cleaning results.
If you think there’s a blockage downpipe, you may need to invest in some DIY tools to get the job done. One option is to use a wire coat hanger, which can fed into the pipe to loosen any trapped articles.
Some could decide that installing a gutter guard is the best way forward – this is a piece of wire mesh metal that can reduce the amount of debris that collects in your guttering. It’s important to note, however, that putting this onto your gutters won’t mean you never have to clean them again – it may just reduce how often you need to carry out this job.
If you fail to carry out these simple jobs, you can be left gutted if your Christmas money ends up being spent on putting a drainage disaster right – so make sure it’s pencilled into your DIY diary this winter.