Plastic Gutters Maintenance Tips
One clear benefit of a prolonged rainy spell is that it shows up any leaks in the guttering system of houses and commercial buildings. It is an unfortunate irony that most gutters are ignored, with little or no maintenance carried out, until heavy rainfall shows up a faulty system. By then, the damage is done and water is spilling out all over the base of the walls at an alarming rate. There are a few simple, preventive steps that can be taken to avoid such a scenario.
Remove Debris from the Gutter
Gutters should be cleaned out roughly twice a year, more often if the system is exposed to heavy leaf fall from nearby trees. All dead leaves and twigs should be removed, either by hand or using a trowel or scoop. Try to ensure that all debris is carefully removed from the outlet areas (the section which joins the gutter to the downpipe) without allowing anything to fall into the downpipe itself. To make this job simpler in future, fit a leaf guard in the neck of the outlet. A leaf guard is a round plastic grid, invisible from ground level, which sits snugly inside the outlet and traps any leaves, moss and twigs that would normally be swept into the pipe.
If any gutter seals are leaking, remove the gutter by unclipping it from the brackets, and remove the offending fitting. Whilst replacement seals are available it is generally easier to replace the whole fitting as it shouldn't cost more than a few pounds. All fittings will have the manufacturers' name stamped upon them, so check with your guttering supplier that their system is compatible with yours. Most Half Round Gutter systems fit each other, and so do a number of square systems, but it is always safest to check.
Unblock the Drainpipes
Once the gutters are clear, turn your attention to any blocked rainwater pipes. It is very rare for a rainwater pipe to block completely, but if it does it should be removed and either cleaned out or replaced. Most blockages in pipes however are found at the foot of the drop, in the rainwater shoe or the drainage gully. PVC rainwater shoes can be removed by pulling them off (they are rarely glued on) and the blockage cleared. Most PVC drainage gullies have an insert that can be removed for cleaning, but old style clay gullies on older properties will have to be cleaned out by hand or by the use of drain rods.
Gutter Spring Cleaning
PVC Guttering is easy to keep clean. All that is required is a twice yearly wipe down with a soft cloth and soapy water, or a proprietary PVC cleaner. Take care though as abrasive household cleaners will damage the surface of material and cause scratches which will retain dirt and look unsightly.
Watch our latest video on how to spring clean your PVC gutters so they look and work as new.