How Gutters Work & Why They Are Necessary

If you are like many homeowners, you have probably wondered whether gutters are even necessary. After all, they are prone to clogging, attract nesting birds, can only handle a limited volume of water, and can eventually pull away from your roof or tilt. Some roofers even advise against them.

Understanding Gutters

The basic function of a gutter is to provide a channel for redirecting water. They are designed specifically to reduce erosion by guiding water to a drain or safe area. Gutters have a limited capacity and may overflow, although they still effectively remove a large volume of water. Rain gutters are affixed to your roof and are usually made of aluminum, copper, or plastic.

Without gutters or with blocked gutters, water would fall from your roof to the ground. This makes the soil wet, and wet soil can cause erosion and damage your landscaping. Wet soil can also lead to foundation problems over time. As the soil moves around your home, the foundation shifts and can crack, leading to serious structural problems.

If your gutters are damaged or blocked, water also slides down the side of your house. This causes damage to siding, especially wood siding.

Gutters blocked by leaves, ice, or snow can back up onto your roof. Water or melting ice can sit on top of or underneath your roof, leading to leaks over time. These leaks cause damage inside your home as well.

How Gutters Work

The gutters along your roof catch rainwater as it washes down the side of the roof. This water is channelled through downspouts where it exits away from your home. By redirecting rainwater, the gutter reduces erosion of the ground against your home and may greatly decrease the risk of basement flooding and foundation damage. In some cases, the downspout empties into a tank or barrel for garden use during dry weather.

Like any other part of your home, your gutters need maintenance in order to work well. Gutters don’t work if they’re full of leaves or snow. To make sure that your gutters are working correctly, leaves and other debris in the autumn and the spring need to be removed. This is why it is important to have your gutter cleaned regularly.


Why It Is not Advised To Clean Your Own Gutters


Ladder Training and Experience

Working at height is the single biggest killer in the construction industry with ladders being particularly dangerous.

The risk of falling from a ladder dramatically increases when the user/operator does not have sufficient training, and/or has a lack of experience using ladders and ladder safety equipment.

Unsuitable Gutter Cleaning Equipment

Many homeowners do not have a suitable ladder or ladder safety equipment to allow them to access the roof line and clean out the gutters safety. Using old, untested ladders pose a real risk to the untrained eye.


As many falls from ladders are from user error, sometimes falls from ladders can be caused by other people, the weather and even wildlife.

Other people, children and pets can easily knock ladders causing the user to lose balance and fall if not tied off and isolated appropriately.

Birds that may be nesting in the eves could be spooked and flurry out if disturbed while you are cleaning out the gutters which can startle and knock you off balance while working on a ladder.

The same can be said for bees and wasps nests, which may not be obvious until disturbed.


Without the proper protection and gear, you’re putting yourself at risk every time you clean your gutters. Birds and rodents, will leave a mass of hard-to-identify fecal matter. These feces can harbor pathogens and bacteria that can make you sick.

Decaying plant matter in your gutters also release mould spores and fungi when they’re disturbed. This can cause an allergic reaction or respiratory issue should you inhale this particulate matter. It can also irritate your hands, nose, ears, and eyes, resulting in rashes or worse. It’s best to leave the gutter maintenance to the professionals.


Call The Professionals


Call RH Power Washing if you are not fully confident in cleaning your gutters, as mentioned above – it is an extremely dangerous task. At RH Power Washing, our team are fully trained and fully equip to clean any gutter safely and efficiently.

Whether you are looking Driveway Cleaning, Patio Cleaning, Wood Decking Cleaning – at RH Power Washing, we are here to meet your needs.

We have built a loyal customer base by treating them and their homes respectfully, and we’ve worked hard to make sure we get the job done better than anyone else can. If you are looking for professional power washing washing , call us today on 087 6089310 or 01 5639624

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