A 1% rise in temperature may not seem like much over the span of several decades, but Australia is feeling the impact. With climate changes come extreme weather events. Warming is believed to be causing increased heat waves, droughts, and torrential downpours in Melbourne and across Australia. While the future implications of climate change need to be addressed with a permanent solution, there are ways to mitigate the immediate risks that homeowners face in Victoria.
Checking House Gutters
If your gutters are overflowing during torrential rainfall, they may not be equipped to handle intense weather events. Previous years of drought may have hidden the issues but there are actions you can take as a homeowner to prevent major overflows when it rains. Maybe your gutters overflow occasionally, depending on the severity and volume of rainfall but for frequent overflows with the potential to cause serious damage to your property, replacing old, incompatible gutters may be the remedy.
You will first need to establish whether your gutters are ill-equipped to handle heavy rain or if there is simply an existing problem causing leaks or overflows. Use your hose to check the flow of water in your gutters, looking for leaks or potential blockages.
Run a medium flow of water from the terminating end of your gutter towards the downpipe to give you an idea of how well the system handles water. Make sure to remove any leaves and other debris from gutters before performing this test. If water flows freely, your gutters are doing the job for which they were designed. If water begins to back up, you may have a blockage of leaves, mud and other debris in the downpipe. At this point you may want to consider having the downpipes cleaned before investing in new gutters.
Another consideration is whether rain water is effectively running into the gutter. Tiles without enough overhang to feed running water directly into the gutter will result in water missing the gutter altogether. High-fronted gutters may direct the water back towards the house. The result is water running behind the gutter and giving the appearance of overflow. You can test the runoff from your roof in the same way you checked water flow to the downpipe. Once you are confident that overflow is the real problem, you may wish to consider increasing the capacity of your gutters.
Increasing Gutter Capacity
Increasingly gutter capacity in your home will obviously come at a cost. However, your newly installed gutters can be combined with water storage installations, such as water tanks. Taking advantage of that increased capacity can bring benefits by offsetting the cost of domestic water usage to some extent, and help recoup your outlay.
Increasing the capacity of your gutters will significantly reduce overflow that could damage components of your property including eaves and fascias, walls, paths, driveways and lawns, as well as the very foundations of your home.
Modern gutters can be equipped with leaf guards, combined with leaf-shedding rain-heads to the down pipe. These additional applications will equip your roof and gutters for connection to a water tank, should you wish to consider conserving water in the future. The primary purpose of increased gutter capacity is to make the system more efficient in light of the increasing torrential rainfall events. Older overflowing gutter systems may be putting your home at risk so improved guttering with increased capacity is a necessary investment.
You can also receive rebates on the installation of systems such as water tanks. Check the Australian Government website: Your Energy Savings for information about rebates which may apply to your home. It makes sense to take advantage of any incentives available to you.
For any problem investigations, or planned home improvements or renovations requiring building inspections, Houspect can provide detailed and accurate reports. We identify defects and suggest corrective actions so that you have all the important details when discussing the stages of construction with your contractor.