Why cleaning your gutters should be on the top of your to-do list
Leaf-blocked gutters may not seem like a big deal but ensuring this part of your home is in good working order has far reaching benefits.
Gutters essentially manage the flow of rain water away from your home during a downpour or storm. If they’re blocked, the water can pool in the wrong place and even flow back into your house and damage your home inside and outside.
That’s why ensuring your gutters are free from leaves, sticks and other debris is an important part of your regular maintenance and a vital risk mitigation step, says QBE’s Arron Mann, Head of Short Tail Claims.
“It’s good practice to clean out your gutters regularly, but it’s a particularly good time to do so as we enter spring.
“Gutters fill with leaves and other debris over the winter and if you haven’t cleaned them out by the time those big spring and summer storms hit, the uncontrolled water flow can have a devastating effect on your home.
“The water comes down into your gutter, but if it’s filled with leaves, the water doesn’t just flow off over the top, instead it flows back to the house and into your eaves and can eventually get into your wall cavities and cause widespread damage.”
Roof damage and water damage can have a devastating effect on your home.
Clearing and cleaning gutters before the onset of extreme summer weather is also a good idea if you live in a bushfire prone area to reduce the likelihood of spot fires and flying embers close to your home.
Getting the right help
It’s always wise to call in the experts with risky home maintenance jobs like gutter cleaning, especially if you’ll need to climb a ladder.
Professional gutter cleaners will usually be experienced at working at heights, climbing ladders and use harnesses. In many cases they’ll carry powerful leaf blowers and other specialised kit to make the job efficient and safer.
How does your home insurance protect you?
Blocked gutters can cause damage to your home so it's important to understand how your insurance cover can protect you.
Damage to your home caused by blocked gutters may not be covered by your insurance, which is why it's important to clean your gutters regularly.
That’s because home insurance covers you for damage that results from unexpected events that are outside your control. Home insurance does not aim to cover you for damage that could have been avoided through maintenance. Always refer to your individual Product Disclosure Statement for the details of your personal insurance cover.
For example, if your home is damaged because it was not properly maintained, your insurance may not cover you.
“Your home insurance is designed to cover your house and contents for water damaged caused by an insured event, such as a storm. But if the damage is deemed to be a result of a maintenance issue, like blocked guttering or downpipes, then you may not be covered,” says QBE National Householders Product Manager, Angelo Colosimo.
“That’s why staying on top of regular home maintenance is absolutely crucial to protect your home. Clean your gutters and check your downpipes at set times during the year, but especially before storm season sets in. Also consider getting an expert in to do a roof check and look for any loose tiles,’ Colosimo says.
“You may want to check your roof following a hailstorm too, if you’re unlucky enough to experience one, as storms can also cause roof problems and maintenance may be necessary.”
Three top tips for gutter maintenance
- Check your gutters regularly, especially in the lead to storm season or after a big storm or hailstorm
- Call in the gutter and roof experts to help with maintenance and stay safe
- Check your home insurance Product Disclosure Statement to ensure you understand your cover