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Is your guttering ready for winter?

Summer is officially over. The sunloungers are packed away, the draught excluders are eager to be released from the cupboard and the roof and guttering need some TLC. It may seem like winter is a long way off, but this is the perfect time to check for any repairs that may need doing. Better to do it now than to be up a ladder in a force 9 gale! Being prepared for the long harsh months ahead could save time and money. All homeowners should look out for the following this winter:


Without a good solid roof your guttering will have nothing to hang onto and you are in trouble. A very simple (inside and out) roof inspection can prevent further problems occurring culminating in expensive, time consuming repairs.

Check for the following either by walking around with binoculars or for those not afraid of heights, up on a ladder:


  • Check the ground for moss that has fallen from the roof. This may indicate missing tiles.
  • Check the chimney flashing for wear and tear and repair even the minutest of holes (as these prevent melted ice and snow from entering your house).
  • Check around skylights and vents or loose or torn flashing.
  • Replace any missing shingles.
  • Look for any dents and make a mental note to keep an eye on them before they turn into holes.


  • Inspect the loft for signs of damp patches, leaks or stains. If any areas show possible signs of weakness check them again after heavy rainfall.
  • If required add extra insulation to the loft as this will help to prevent ice dams forming on the roof.

Guttering is easy to forget about, but don’t! Faulty or worn guttering can cause a myriad of problems and aggravate many others. To prevent major damage, do the following:

  • Check that the gutters are allowing water to drain freely from the rooftop.
  • Inspect plastic or PVC gutters for signs of bending or cracking.
  • Inspect iron guttering for signs or rust or distortion.
  • Inspect all brackets and joints for signs of loosening, cracking or breaking.
  • Inspect all guttering for blockages through leaves and debris.

Once inspections are completed it’s wise to perform some maintenance which will stand the roof and guttering in good stead against the upcoming harsh weather:

  • After leaves and debris have been removed from guttering use a hose to flush out remaining dirt from the trough and downpipes.
  • Power wash or brush the roof to rid it of moss and plant growth.
  • Replace or install leaf guards on the gutters to prevent those autumn leaves from undoing all your hard work.
  • Install or replace extensions to your guttering downspouts to expel the melting snow and ice farther away from the base of your home.

Although the start of winter is an essential time to check those gutters and roofs, it’s not a bad idea to maintain vigilance all year round. As we have previously seen, the importance of good guttering can not be overstated, and if the roof is falling below par then there’s a good chance the guttering is too.

Don’t waste time and money for the sake of a simple check and fix list. Make sure you are prepared for winter by doing an inspection now.

[Photo by stux]