Rain gutters are used to direct rain water away from the building. If you ignore the gutters in your housing society building and allow them to get clogged, the rain water will overflow beyond a point and get dumped down along the sides of your house. If you stay in an apartment compelx with basement parking, the water can even enter your vehicles and mess them up.
Rain Gutters and Drainage
Rain gutters collect water and channel it along the edges of the roof towards a downpipe which drains the water. This prevents the water from seeping through into the building and causing problems related to dampness, and mold and mildew.
Keeping the Gutters Clean
If you have easy and safe access to the roof of the housing society, this can be an easy task. Regularly sweep out leaves and other debris that can clog up the gutters and pipes. If you face difficulty in accessing your roof, it is better to hire a professional to perform the cleaning process, especially during the rainy season.
Ensure that the gutters are smooth and allow the water to flow freely towards the downspout. Any rough edges or ridges on the surface can cause water to collect and not drain properly. If you have a problem with falling leaves and other wastes, you need to clean it regularly to prevent stagnation of water and overflow.
Water stagnation can also cause other problems. Stagnant water can be a breeding ground for mosquitoes and other pests. You can install mesh or wire covers over the gutter as these will prevent the buildup of debris. This step will also bring in the concept of proper maintenance of the covers, as if you let them get blocked, rain water will not seep through to the gutters and instead, will spill over the sides of the building.
Trim the Trees
If you find that there’s a tree that has branches hanging near the roof, it should be a definite cause for concern. Leaves and seeds from the tree will find their way into the gutter eventually. You can try trimming the branches that actually reach over the roof so that this problem is eliminated. You can either do this on your own or talk to the housing society maintenance team.
‘Doing it Yourself’ Methods
To clean the gutter, scoop out the dirt and leaves and dump them into a canvas bag. If the downpipe is clogged, insert a hose down the pipe and turn on the water. The force of the water should clear out any blockage and flush it out of the pipe. You can then hose down and clean the gutters to clear away any remaining dirt.
If you have installed gutter covers, you should sweep away any dirt and debris from it and clean it up with a hose.
If the covers are blocked, you need to remove them and do a thorough job of cleaning and clearing the covers before putting them back in place. Put the covers back on and wipe off any dirt remaining in and around the area.
Call for Help
If you are facing a serious problem of blockage and debris build-up, it is better to call in professional helpers. In fact, it is a good idea to hire a professional through your managing committee to clean up the rain gutters at least twice a year.
Keeping the rain gutters clean not only ensures proper drainage of rain water; it also prevents water stagnation in the gutters, which can invite mosquitoes and other insects. Clean gutters and downpipes drain away the water and redirect it back to the ground, away from the housing society, from where it can eventually flow underground and replenish the water table.
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