For most of the year, rain is almost a forgotten force here in Western Australia. But when it does come, it can cause significant and costly damage to your house, if it makes it’s way past the external barriers of your roof and walls. As building inspectors, we come across the results of water damage on a weekly basis.
There are several signs that indicate water damage to a home, including stains on ceilings, under eaves and dampness on flooring and wall cavities. It is of course, better to check potential water damage problem areas before the damage is done.
Blocked gutters and downpipes are one of the most common causes of water damage to ceilings and eaves. It is wise to check these areas BEFORE the winter rains set in. You might not be there to check building gutters during or immediately after a heavy rain, but you can check for other signs. Dirty water stains on the outer face of the gutter or external wall cladding can indicate a blockage. Also, pain that is peeling off the house or fascias in vertical strips can indicate prolonged dampness.
It is important to check gutters and roof valleys to see that they are not blocked or containing leaves, dirt, sticks, toys, balls, weeds, debris or any other items that could be causing a blockage to flowing water. Winds can blow sand, seeds and other items into your gutters and this can cause weeds, grass and other vegetation to grow in your roof gutters and downpipes. Even a cricket ball can block a gutter or down-pipe, causing water to overflow into ceilings and eaves.
Roofing materials, tiles, joints and silicone can be compromised, crack and perish over time, resulting in an access point for water to penetrate.
Installing gutter-guard or a similar mesh type barriers can help to protect your gutters and downpipes from becoming blocked by leaves, sticks and balls. This is not a 100% guarantee against blocked gutters, but it does reduce gutter maintenance and help to reduce the frequency and severity of blocked gutters. You should still check your gutters each year before winter so that you will not get a nasty surprise when the Perth rains come.
If you are concerned about water damage to your property, contact Building Inspections in Perth today on 0409 299 409