Leading rural insurer NFU Mutual is warning homeowners not to let gutters drain their resources this National Gutters Day; Friday 27th November 2015.
The insurer revealed that, from 2013 to 2014, it paid out over £1.1 million in claims for guttering and associated buildings damage caused by storms.
Guttering which has been weakened by age and lack of maintenance can fail in high winds, heavy rainfall and snow, but repairing minor damage such as small cracks, broken brackets and leaking joints can save further damage to your property and a lot of money in the long run.
Older and listed buildings suffer from blocked valley gutters which can cause rainwater to backflow under the tiles and result in water escaping into the building. Gutters that are neglected and leaking water for a long period of time also have the potential to damage the foundations of your property, which can lead to costly and major reconstruction works being required.
Blustery days can also cause roof moss, leaves, twigs and even bird’s nests to fall into gutters and block downpipes, which can lead to problems for homeowners such as rotten window sills and damp patches on property walls, which is why, before winter sets in, it is important to ensure your home is well-maintained.
National Gutters Day is an initiative led by The Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings (SPAB), and marks the end of National Maintenance Week.
Chloe Drinkwater, High Value Home Specialist at NFU Mutual said: “Whether your home is old or new, checking your gutters can save a lot of money in the long run. A few moments spent safely clearing debris or mending a leak will see your property through the harsher winter months.”
NFU Mutual’s top tips for keeping your gutters in order are:
- From the ground, check if your gutters have any cracks, broken brackets or leaks and are correctly positioned to drain water to down pipes
- Ask a professional company to clean your gutters and advise on any repairs required to the roofing in general
- Have a gutter guard fitted to prevent them being clogged with debris if tree leaf shedding causes blockages and ensure that the guards are cleaned on a regular basis
- Check that downpipes are free from blockages and are running freely and that ground drains and associated gullies are clear