How do I clean and maintain my PVC guttering?
Maintaining your PVC guttering and downpipes is key to keeping rainwater flowing safely away from your home, especially over the next few months.
Autumn and winter’s fallen leaves combine with moss and roof debris to create a gutter clogging mix that can soon lead to problems when heavy rain arrives.
To ensure your guttering system is clear and free flowing, remove any congesting surface matter first - for example loose leaves and moss - followed by the silt underneath which can be scooped out and flushed clear with a hose. Even if leaf guards are in place, checks to remove trapped leaves are still important to ensure complete removal of troublesome debris.
A quick wipe down and leak check
Regular – but quick! - exterior wipe downs of gutters and downpipes are recommended to maintain good condition. While you’re there, you can check for any leaking joints and if necessary, lift the gutter, clean gaskets, and re-clip the gutter (a silicone spray can help). Loose swan necks (off-set bends) or downpipe clips can also be re-secured.
Be sure that you check any ‘grey water’ water butts fed by your gutters as well, as many have a leaf trap that could also need cleaning. Bear in mind - those that don’t, may also have a layer of silt and leaf debris at the bottom, which will need scooping out and flushing through with a hose.
While you are up the ladder, why not give your fascia and soffit a clean to make your roofline look its best: Clean, soapy water will remove most dirt, whilst any stubborn areas, affected by sap from trees and built-up residue, can be gently cleaned with a non-abrasive cleaner, followed by the same soapy solution. Thoroughly rinse all areas with clean water and wipe dry.
Ventilation is extremely important to the health and safety of your roof, so this year - whilst you’re getting those Christmas decorations down from the loft - have a quick look around the roof perimeter where the rafters and tiles meet the outside wall to make sure insulation is not blocking the air-path from the vents in the soffit. You can achieve this with the insertion of rafter trays, or by simply ensuring the insulation is pulled slightly back from the roof. If your perimeter is correctly ventilated, you should be able to see a small amount of light around the soffit.
Remember, if you take the time to maintain airflow, you’ll minimise the risk of condensation in the roof-space and any subsequent issues that could arise.
Check, clean, conserve
Cleaning and maintaining your PVC guttering and downpipes, as well as regularly checking your loft insulation, will help to keep your home dry and safe – and more attractive – for many years.