Now that winter is drawing closer it is time to prepare our roof and drainage system for the onslaught of those wet and blistery days.
A checklist would be a handy item to have so here is one:
A) Clear all gutters of debris
Clear all gutters of debris that is leaves and even build up of dirt collected over the years, as all those particles can firstly clog up the downpipe pipe entry and cause a build up of water in the gutter and secondly when the gutter dries out debris will hinder the drying process allowing rust to form in suspect areas.
Also check to see if the gutter has been backplated (see diagram) if not then overflow of water into the eaves, under the conditions mentioned above is very likely. This can be rectified by replacing the removed portion of metal from the gutter, efficiency of the gutter is reduced by 50-60 percent if the back of the gutter is not reinstated.
Sometimes downpipes can also get blocked, it is wise to flush them out especially if they are connected to soakwells. Never seal the join between the down pipe and the shoe where it runs into a soakwell, because if the soakwell ever loses its capacity then it can overflow at ground level at the join and not at gutter level.
For gutters to last longer the inside cam be painted with a bituminous paint which will effectively double the life of the gutter.
B) Valley gutters flashing and other protrusions
It is also wise to check that all protrusions are still water tight, that is the seal between lead flashings and the pipes (vents & Flues) are still water tight if not seal them with a bead of paintable Silicone. All metal components should always be protected to slow down the deterioration process and all Lead components should be painted so as not to cause accelerated rusting to the galvanised metal components on a roof such as gutters and downpipes.
Valley gutters should also be kept free of leaves and debris which can quite ,easily get caught especially if the free valley space is less that 100mm (4”). The water as it rushes down from the tiles onto the valley will get caught up in the leaves and debris and soon it will act as a dam and tend to overflow along the sides especially as over a period of time the LIPPED VALLEY ENDS (see “End on View” diagram) of the valley gutter have been clogged with dirt, crimped down by the weight of the tile or flattened down by holding down nails, it is very time consuming to carry out and rectify this but is well worth it if water ingress is a problem along valley lines.
Another problem is that valleys can overflow due to the sheer rush and volume of water deposited during a storm on steeply pitched roofs. Fitting baffles will redirect the flow of water and eliminate this problem.
So that we all understand what we are talking about enclosed is also a part cross sectional diagram of a typical roof and eaves.