05 Oct 5 reasons to maintain your facility’s roof gutters
Why you need to ensure high quality maintenance for your building
As we head into spring, with storm season just around the corner, it’s a good time to assess the state of your gutters and roof in general, and put an appropriate maintenance plan in place.
A common cause of roof leaks and property damage, blocked gutters are a problem that’s regularly encountered by facilities managers.
And it isn’t just roof damage that can be caused by faulty gutters. Leaking gutters also expose your building to potentially devastating effects, ranging from rotting fascia boards to foundation damage.
In this post the R&BS team look at 5 of the serious problems that can be caused by leaking or blocked gutters – and more importantly, what you can do about them to safeguard both your building and your business.
1) Roof leaks
Perhaps the most obvious problem caused by faulty guttering, roof leaks can have a devastating impact on your facility.
Gutters are designed to divert water away from your property, and prevent it from pooling and placing increased pressure upon the roof. When gutters are blocked and water is no longer being diverted, it will collect at points on the roof – including within gutters – and be redirected into any available space.
Unfortunately, this will sometimes mean water is redirected into the building’s roof itself, which can cause recurring leaks to appear inside your property. Regular inspections and clearing of gutters will help to avoid this problem.
2) Damage to fascia boards
The fascia boards which connect the guttering to a facility are generally made of timber. When gutters are full or overflowing with water for extended periods, the timber fascia boards may be exposed to water, causing them to rot and deteriorate over time.
If the deterioration becomes serious enough it may lead to the fascia board – and the gutters themselves – detaching from the facility completely. Deteriorating fascia boards will eventually require replacement, meaning additional time and expense for the property owner.
3) Gutters detaching from the building
Gutters are not designed to bear heavy weight for extended periods. So when leaves, dirt, water and general debris are left to accumulate in gutters, this continual additional weight can easily result in gutters that sag or even become completely detached from the roof.
Again, this can cause many negative outcomes, from a poor appearance for your business to safety issues for employees, customers, or the general public.
4) Damage to building foundations
Although you might (understandably) think ‘roof’ when you hear the term ‘gutters’, that’s not the end of the story. Many people don’t realise that overflowing gutters can lead to foundation damage in many properties.
One of the primary roles of a gutter is to divert water from your property. If your gutters are blocked, water can easily drain directly towards the building’s foundations, causing damage through ground saturation and flooding.
5) Blocked downpipes
Problems that begin with your building’s gutters can rapidly develop into problems with its downpipes. Loose debris in gutters can easily be washed into downpipes during periods of rain, resulting in a constant flow of material that will eventually cause a blockage. In turn, these blocked drainpipes lead to potential overflowing and flooding – so take the time to ensure they’re clear!
6) Building damage or destruction from bushfires
While most gutter issues are related to excess water and potential water ingress, there’s one more serious risk to be aware of.
In Australia over the summer months (and beyond), bushfires can pose a severe threat to buildings and facilities.
When carried on the breeze, embers from bushfires may travel up to 1km from their source. Gutters are often an excellent source of tinder during dry periods – and that’s particularly the case if they contain pine needles, a highly combustible material.
As a Facilities Manager you can appreciate how critical it is for at-risk facilities to obtain gutter inspections during both wet and dry periods to avoid this serious risk of fire damage or destruction.
How should facilities managers proceed with gutter maintenance?
As a building owner or Facilities Manager responsible for large commercial buildings, you’ll no doubt be keenly aware of the pressing requirement for regular gutter maintenance. Yet while this need is critical to the integrity of your building, it’s definitely easy to overlook.
You’ll probably also find that it is simply unrealistic for you to clean all your facility’s gutters personally, or to ask your maintenance employees to dedicate extensive time and resources to the job when they have so many other pressing tasks competing for their attention.
That’s why it can be best to arrange for recurring professional gutter maintenance, as part of a proactive maintenance plan from a reputable contractor.
An ongoing maintenance schedule will give you peace-of-mind by ensuring regular checks and cleaning, as well as the ability to catch any deterioration of gutters or fascia boards early in the process – before greater building damage is caused.
Arrange an expert inspection of your building’s gutters and roof
For best results, R&BS’s roof maintenance experts recommend an annual check of gutters for most facilities. If your building stands in close proximity to pine trees, a schedule of 6-monthly checks may be appropriate.
The expert R&BS consultancy team can inspect your roof and gutters, and provide you with an up-to-date roof condition report for your facility.
For a complimentary, no-obligation 30 minute consultation with our experienced roof maintenance consultants, call R&BS now on 1800 550 037 or fill out the contact form below for a fast response.