As with any problem in life, prevention is always better than cure, and guttering is no exemption. Early detection could mean the difference between a relatively low cost repair, or a major cost to rectify serious structural damage to your home.
Train your eye to identify the tell-tale signs of peeling paint, dirty marks and rusty nails on your fascias and scotias – a sign that moisture may be trapped behind the timber. These symptoms may seem like a problem originating in the timber, but they are almost always caused by a leaking corner or join in the gutter. These subtle traces of dirt and water marks generally begin to appear between 12 to 20 years after installation, and at face value may seem relatively harmless, but beneath the surface there is a catastrophe unfolding.
The continuous water seepage from the gutter becomes trapped behind the scotia and fascia, with painted surfaces and swelling timber creating a virtual reservoir. Because of the absorbent nature of timber, the trapped moisture is drawn into the fibres of the timber causing wood rot. This fungal disease completely destroys the structural integrity of the timber, eventually causing it to collapse, often without warning.