How does that saying go – every dog has its day? Well, now it seems even house parts get their day too because Friday 25 November is National Gutters Day. Yes, that’s right. It might seem like another example of giving something 15 minutes of fame just for the sake of it, but actually, when you think about it, gutters are actually really quite important.
Keeping your gutters nice and clear might sound like a really boring job but it could save you time, hassle and a lot of money in the long run. Poorly maintained drainpipes can lead to damp building up in your home, and you might not even notice it until it’s become so obvious that an expensive repair job is the only solution. But it’s not too late to do something about it before winter sets in – here’s what to look out for:
- Leaves and debris in gutters – make sure gutters are clear from the remnants of autumn. Leaves and moss can cause blockages which means water can’t flow freely along and away from your walls.
- Check downpipes – like your gutters, these can also get clogged up, if water is seeping out from joints or bends then check to see if something’s got stuck inside.
- Clear plants – some plants just keep on growing and what looked harmless enough last summer might end up suffocating and dislodging pipes and gutters so make sure there are no obstructions.
- Ground level gullies – make sure these are clear too so water can drain away from your foundations.
- Leaf guards – fit these to gullies and pipes to minimise potential damage and to make future clear up jobs easier.
You might think gutter maintenance is all well and good – but if you were to end up with damp, isn’t that what your home insurance is there to sort out? Well, not necessarily; if the damp has built up over time and you’ve not taken any steps to prevent it then you could be in for a surprise (and not a pleasant one).
Damp is a tricky subject when it comes to your home insurance. By its nature, damp does usually become a problem over time and is most likely not covered because it could fall under a wear and tear exclusion. However, should your guttering itself become damaged due to a storm and this has caused damp issues then you may be covered under your home insurance policy (just make sure you’re clear about what your insurance provider classes as a storm).
If your insurance provider tells you that the wind wasn’t strong enough to be classed as a storm that caused damage to your gutters, all may not be lost. If your gutters overflow due to excessive rainfall or a minor blockage you just couldn’t see, causing water to run into your home and damaging the walls, plaster, wallpaper and any contents you could still be covered for the damage caused under your home insurance policy. If the water has leaked from your gutters then this could be covered under the “Escape of Water” section of your policy as gutters are often classified as a fixed water installation. However, it’s always worth checking your policy documents to make sure that your insurance provider has not excluded water escaping from gutters in your policy.
Of course, what your home insurance policy states will come down what terms you’ve agreed to with your insurance provider as per your policy booklet. Which is why it’s important to get the right sort of policy for your home – consider all of the things that are important to you before signing up. But we know that searching for home insurance is about as exciting as how National Gutters Day sounds, so we make the dull stuff quick and easy – just compare with us – it’s what we do.