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TOP TIPS; ... Maintain your guttering.

Guttering protects your home's exterior walls from rain by channelling it from the roof to a drain in the ground via the horizontal gutter and vertical downpipes. If the guttering becomes damaged or blocked, it may put your home at risk from water penetration and damp. Make sure you check it regularly - especially in autumn when leaves are falling from the trees.

Checking and repairing guttering usually involves working on a ladder, but this can, of course, be dangerous. Only go up the ladder if you feel safe doing so, and always take full safety precautions. Metal guttering (found on some period properties) is particularly heavy and difficult to manoeuvre, so get someone to help you if you need to replace it, or call in a professional. If you notice that water's falling sharply from one place in the gutter, this usually indicates a blockage. To clear the blockage, simply scoop out the offending object or objects with your hand or a trowel.

If your gutter is difficult to check or you don't check it very often, gutter guards are a good idea. These are grates that prevent leaves and other debris getting into your gutter and can easily be fitted by DIYers. Downpipes can also become blocked. To clear one, make a hole in the blockage with a wire coat hanger and wiggle the coat hanger to loosen it. Then put a hose pipe in the top of the downpipe and turn it on full -the flow of water through the hole should dislodge the blockage.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Huddersfield Daily Examiner (Huddersfield, England)
Date:Nov 25, 2010
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