Common Signs of Blocked Gutters

Why It’s Important to Clean Gutters Regularly
September 30, 2016

Common Signs of Blocked Gutters

 

Your gutters are the Trojan protectors of your home. When bad weather hits, they are there getting the deluge of water away from your home with speed. However, they need to be tended to in order to do their job effectively. A blocked gutter causes hassle and cost, and problems far bigger and more expensive than you might realise. So, how to spot a blocked gutter?

 

Look Up – Visual Gutter Check

Your starting point is to have a wander around your house looking at the gutters and downpipes. Even better, if you can see any of your gutters from an upstairs window then look from there too. There are certain tell-tale signs that your gutter is blocked. Answer these questions:

  • Can I see any obvious gutter blockage?
  • Is there water flowing over one point of the gutter?
  • Are there any drips coming from any point in the gutter?
  • Can I spot any rotting wood on the fascias?
  • Have I seen any animals, such as squirrels, in the gutter?
  • Have I seen any birds landing nearby?
  • Do I suspect I might have a wasp nest, or other nesting insects?
  • Can I see any vegetation growing from the gutter?
  • Can I see any misshapen, bulged, or bending pipes?

 

If you answer ‘yes’ to any of these questions then the chances are you’ve got a blocked gutter and it’s time for some gutter cleaning before real problems strike.

 

Look Down – Visual Ground Level Check

Even if you haven’t spotted any of the above problems it doesn’t mean your gutters are free from blockages. If the blockage is within the pipe then this presents slightly differently. Ask yourself:

  • Is there any splashback happening at ground level?
  • Are there cracks in the foundations?
  • Do I have any pointing or brickwork damage?
  • Is the exterior wall green, discoloured, or mouldy?

 

It is essential that if you have answered ‘yes’ to any of these questions that you must get your blocked gutters cleaned as soon as possible. These are all warning signs of ongoing damage to your home caused by the blocked gutters. In order to prevent the damage becoming costly you need to solve the problem now.

 

Look Inside – Hidden Gutter Problems

Finally, don’t assume that because you haven’t got any of the external signs that your gutters are blocked that you haven’t got blocked gutters. Unfortunately, some of the worst insidious damage caused by blocked gutters happens within the home.

 

If you have got a leaky roof, or water marks appearing on the ceilings, don’t assume that tiling or the roof itself is automatically at fault. A common problem with blocked gutters is that the rainwater has nowhere to go so backs up under the roof causing internal problems with leaks and mould. If you’ve got these home problems then get your gutters checked for a blockage as this will likely be your simplest solution.

 

Prevention is Better than Cure

Despite these tips for spotting blocked gutters, it should be remembered that prevention is better than cure. Spotting blocked gutters is not always easy and often the damage has already happened. Regularly getting your gutters cleaned prevents such problems. In the UK with our weather and deciduous trees, gutters need regular cleaning.