Your rainwater system is the only barrier between your walls and any rain, snow or hail that falls on your roof. Made of cast iron, PVS or pressed steel, gutters protect your exterior walls by quickly diverting water from the roof straight down to a drain. A crack or leak, slowing down or preventing the channelling of water, could result in water passing through the exterior to the interior wall and this can cause a very serious damp problem.
Maintaining your exterior pipes isn’t difficult but it is important that you remember to do it every few months, particularly in the autumn and winter months. It will make your life much easier and potentially save you money if you do regular inspections, instead of leaving it until a serious problem occurs. So, how should you go about inspecting and protecting your drainage system?
Begin by checking the outside of the tubing for any cracks or holes where water could escape. Then, using a ladder, check the inside for rust or blockages to the flow of water such as leaves or rubbish. Any obstructions should be carefully cleared using a small brush or trowel.
For those not able or happy to regularly climb a ladder, it is possible to take preventative measures to stop the blockages occurring. The two options are gutter guards or hedgehogs, the former being a grate that stops falling debris but still allows water to get through and the latter being a long brush designed to sit inside the pipe so that leaves either simply bounce off or get stuck in the bristles as opposed to a small spiky creature. There is of course a cost involved in purchasing and having these measures installed, but if you are not able to carry out you own maintenance, you should certainly consider them, as simply ignoring your drainage system is not an option.
The motto to remember is that prevention is better than a cure. To protect your home and its value it is crucial to regularly check your drainage system and remove all blockages or to install preventative measures, both of which will prevent major problems before they arise.