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I know – it sounds like a trick, doesn’t it? No one wants to go out in the rain, even armed with an umbrella. But there is a good reason why I’ve suggested it, even though it may not be apparent to start with.

Guttering has a vital job to do, but you cannot easily tell if it is doing what is required of it in good weather. It may look fine, but until it rains you have no real idea whether it is working or not. So, grab a raincoat and an umbrella and head outside the next time it rains to see what is going on.

Look for leaks

When it rains, any portions of your guttering that leak will become apparent. You can then note where they are or mark them. If they are leaking around a bracket joining two sections together, you may only need to get the bracket replaced. In some instances, a leak simply means the bracket hasn’t been fitted properly.

Are your gutters big enough to cope with excess rainwater?

Thankfully, we don’t get very heavy rain that often. However, when it does occur, it is worth checking to see if your guttering is able to cope with it.

A good example would be a house with an extension, where the rainwater from the main house roof is directed onto the sloped extension roof and down into that guttering. In this instance, the stretch of guttering along the extension must handle a lot of rainwater in a short time.

This might make it worthwhile to add deeper guttering, so the water does not spill over the sides. It will ensure the rainwater doesn’t get the chance to leak out and affect the walls of your property. If it does, it could cause damp to get in.

Check them following heavy snow too

Most of us have seen heavy snow in recent weeks. In many cases, the snow brought by the Beast from the East was heavier than we’d seen in many years. Some areas woke to find their cars had been almost buried in severe snowdrifts.

It is no major surprise then to realise our gutters had to cope with a lot too. Snow melting on roofs and then freezing overnight as temperatures dropped led to large blocks of ice sitting in guttering. We’ve seen quite a few properties with sagging guttering struggling to cope under the weight of this unusual amount of ice. After all, much of the guttering isn’t designed to cope with heavy weight like this.

There isn’t much you can do when this occurs, unless it is safe to stand on a ladder and remove as much of the heavy ice as you can. However, once the snow has melted, you should check whether the guttering is still able to do its job. If not, and the weight of the ice has damaged it, it might be time to get replacement guttering installed.

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