Gutter Maintenance Made Simple

Now you can make gutter maintenance simple with a vacuum method that keeps costs to a minimum.

Keeping gutters clear and free flowing is not a maintenance task that fills most of us with excitement. And if you live in a block of flats, the fun factor is further reduced by the fact that gutter cleaning can come with a big price tag. For blocks with more than two or three storeys, gutter cleaning often means using expensive scaffolding or a cherry picker, which in some locations involves working around difficult access points and may even require road closures. What is needed is a simple solution, as Mark Tebbutt from cleaning and maintenance specialists LCM services explains.

“For a while now we have been offering our clients a gutter vacuum system as a quick and easy solution to ensuring good gutter maintenance. The system works to around a maximum height of four floors and it is powered by a 4200 watt industrial vac, and a 10k generator that is situated in the rear of one of our service vehicles,” he says.

The way the system works is very straightforward. A long vacuum hose, with an integral camera is extended to the height of the guttering. An operative then walks along the length of the guttering, hoovering up any debris using the camera as a visual guide. Depending on the size of the building, gutters can be cleaned out in a matter of minutes, rather than hours and there is virtually no disruption for residents.

The advantages of the system are clear:

  • The camera system can inspect gutters without the need of expensive access equipment.
  • The costs are virtually half of what would be charged using traditional methods.
  • No ladders or scaffolding are needed which means operatives are not working at height so there are fewer health and safety implications.
  • Access is easy and the system can be used on 90% of buildings.
  • Time scales are reduced, there is less disruption and no damage to lawned areas or flower beds.

Before the system can be used a site survey will be carried out to ensure that the equipment can be used at the block in question and a quotation provided if appropriate. Unfortunately the gutter vac does have its limitations and won’t be suitable for high-rise blocks or where roofs are designed in such a way as to make access a problem. For example, some roofs have tiles overhanging the gutters and in this case the vac will not fit. Also, if the roof is designed with a valley and a lot of debris has accumulated, due to the angle it would need to stretch through, the gutter vac is unlikely to work effectively and access would be required. Finally, where guttering needs repairing before cleaning, traditional methods will need to be employed to gain access to the roof level.

If none of this applies to your block and there are no obvious problems with the guttering that are visible from the ground, a gutter vac system is well worth considering. It is quick and easy and could save you and your neighbours some money that could be better spent on something more exciting.

How to keep your gutters in good repair

LCM Services has this advice for anyone with responsibility for maintenance at a residential block.

  • Gutters should be cleaned every six months if your block is located near trees and at least once a year if not.
  • If grass is seen growing from your gutters this will need cleaning out quickly as the chances are that there is a lot more up there than you can see and it will form a mat, preventing water from flowing freely into the downpipes.
  • If gutters are overflowing and water is running down the walls, this is probably an indication of a blocked downpipe. Don’t ignore the problem as damp can quickly get into the external walls.
  • If gutters are too full, the weight can break the supporting brackets. If you have wooden fascias this will lead to rotten, unsightly boards which are bad for your property and give a poor impression to potential residents.

For more information on the gutter vac system, contact Mark Tebbutt at LCM Services