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Gutted if you don’t clean out your gutters

Gutter cleaning
As the cold weather bites and rain rolls in, it is time to make sure the gutters on your home are ready to handle the wet winter ahead.

The Victorian Building Authority (VBA) is urging Victorians to clean out their gutters and downpipes of leaves and debris to reduce the risk of water overflowing into their homes.

Leaves that have blown into gutters and downpipes in recent months can cause rainwater to overflow into eaves and inside your home, leaving you with extensive property damage and an expensive clean-up bill.

VBA State Building Surveyor Andrew Cialini said gutter maintenance is an important part of preparing your home for winter.

“Leaf litter build-up in gutters not only increases the risk of blockages which can result in overflow back into eaves and ceilings, but over time may cause corrosion or lead to development of mould and damage that can be more costly to repair.”

“Safely checking gutters and downpipes before winter sets in will help prevent blockages and reduce the risk of problems that result in a lot of stress and financial pain,” Mr Cialini said.

While cleaning out gutters is not regulated plumbing work, any clearing of blockages requiring the gutter or the down pipe to be detached or altered must be carried out by a licenced or registered plumber and a compliance certificate must be issued at the completion of the work valued at greater than $750.

“Unfortunately, we keep finding non-compliant roof plumbing through our Proactive Inspection Program and Plumbing Audit Program.”

“Most plumbers do the right thing, but some plumbers don't take the time to check their work which causes clogged gutters and drainpipes, and water damage to homes,” Mr Cialini said.

Installation and replacement of guttering and most roofing components must be carried out by suitably registered or licenced plumber, and a compliance certificate must be given to you at the completion of any work.

When checking your own gutters with a ladder, you should always follow the ladder safety rules on the WorkSafe website.

Visit the VBA website Find a Practitioner section to find a suitably registered or licensed roof plumber for your work.

For plumbers, resources for undertaking work on gutters and downpipes are available at https://www.vba.vic.gov.au/plumbing/resources.