Bushfires are a common occurrence here in Australia, especially during the warmer months. They are unpredictable and can happen at any time. One of the best ways you can protect your home is by clearing out your gutters. Here we’ll explain why.
Your Gutters Are Prone To Collecting Dead Leaves And Debris
The main objective of your gutters is to direct water away from your home. If they are blocked with leaves and other debris, water cannot drain away like it’s supposed to. This can see the water pooling in the gutters, and it can promote weeds to grow. Gutters filled with water aren’t a problem when it comes to bushfires. The problem is when the weather gets warmer, the water will dry up and the weeds will die which makes a perfect fire lighting material. Along with dead weeds, dry leaves, twigs, and other decayed organic matter regularly end up in gutters. Having clogged gutters can make your home more susceptible to a fire attack. You should have your gutters cleaned annually and more so if you live in a regional or bushfire prone area.
How Clogged Gutters Can Catch Alight:
Embers blow in the wind and land onto homes, and this is what’s most likely to start a fire at your place if there is one nearby. Embers can fly quite a distance, and when they land on some dry leaves, twigs or branches lying around your home or in your gutters, your home can be engulfed in flames in a matter of minutes.
It’s not only embers that can light up the leaf litter in your gutters. Radiant heat from fires can be felt from a distance, and this heat can get so hot that it burns the bush before it even reaches it. Radiant heat can help a bushfire to move faster, and it can burn the dry organic matter in your gutters and start a fire.
Spot fires are typically started from embers flying onto the garden floor or gutters. Once they have started, they can spread quickly and become difficult to put out. They are usually encouraged by the wind, and it’s not uncommon for one spot fire to turn into many. This is more likely if you have gutters full of dry matter.
How To Prepare Your Gutters For Bushfire Season
By preparing your home for bushfire season, you can reduce the risk of your home being an easy target which is vital for keeping you, your family, and your home safe.
Prune Back Overhanging Tree Branches
If you have tree branches hanging over your gutters or home, these should be trimmed back to reduce the amount of leaf litter that can fall onto your roof. This can cut back on your cleaning time, and the fewer leaves that are in your gutters, the harder it will be for embers to turn into flames.
Get Your Gutters Professionally Cleaned
Most put off cleaning their gutters due to the dangers it poses, and rightfully so, working at a height and falling can cause serious injuries. Not only that, cleaning gutters is a messy job, clearing out the accumulated gunk and debris usually requires the use of a garden hose, and as a result the dirt and gunk often ends up all over the house in the garden below. It is much simpler to hire a professional gutter cleaner to take care of it for you.
Install Gutter Mesh
Installing a gutter mesh over your gutters prevents debris and contaminants from falling into them and, it eliminates the need for continuous gutter cleans. To ensure your gutter mesh meets bushfire standards, it should be made from a non-combustible material. To stop embers from falling into your gutters, the hole size of the mesh should not exceed 2mm.
Clean Gutters Can Protect Your Biggest Asset – Your Home
For most of us, our homes are our biggest investment, and they hold many memories both physically and emotionally. Keeping on top of your gutter maintenance is an effective way to protect your home during bushfire season. The chances of an ember falling into an empty gutter and catching alight is slim. If a bushfire is in your area, you can protect your home further by purchasing some gutter plugs and filling your gutters up with water. For this to be effective, your gutters need to be clean. It’s best to stay on the ground to do this rather than climbing a ladder as bushfires are notorious for bringing wind with them.
Emergencies can send people into a state of panic, but by being prepared for the upcoming bushfire season, you can minimise the chances of losing your home. A reputable gutter cleaner will not only clean your gutters but will also check the quality of your roof and they can identify other potential hazard areas. Some things they are looking for are cracks in roof tiles, gaps in guttering or leaves catching in water tank collectors. All of these areas can allow embers to nestle in and start a fire.
Here at Global Vac Gutter Cleaning, we can help you get bushfire ready; we use state of the art gutter cleaning equipment to give your gutters a superior clean. If you’d like more information, get in touch with our friendly team today.