Clean Your Gutters to Avoid Costly Restumping

One Blocked Downpipe Can Cause Major Problems…

Gutter cleaning is one of those chores that is quite easy to forget about or put off for another season… until it’s too late, that is.

If your gutters and downpipes are clogged, heavy or prolonged rainfall can seriously damage your home to an extent that it may require extremely expensive repairs.

When your guttering system gets blocked, the rain water can’t reach the underground storm water drains, so what it does instead is flood your property. The excess moisture in the soil can seep into wooden parts of your building, or it can cause premature shifting of the foundations.

In the long term, this can lead to major damage to many different parts of the building, which often requires two serious overhauls: restumping and underpinning.

Internal wall damage indicating shifting foundations

Internal cracks in walls and ceiling joints can indicate a serious problem underneath the house…

What is Restumping and Reblocking?

If your house is standing on its original wooden stumps unwanted moisture in the soil can cause them to shift, it can seep in and cause them to rot or it might even turn them into an attractive breeding ground for termites. Many homeowners have wasted tens of thousands of dollars in building repairs due to roof gutter neglect, since in that instance, the wooden stumps have to be replaced by professional contractors, either with expensive treated timber or more solid concrete blocks. If you already have concrete stumps under your house but the soil shifts, the process of replacing those is called reblocking and it is just as costly.

If there is only a very small crawl space under your house the re-stumpers might have to tear up your floor boards (and/or carpets) to gain access to the rotten stumps, which adds another headache.

A house being restumped because gutters were blocked

Restumping is a costly and invasive procedure

After the restumping is finally finished your whole house will be in a more straight and level position again, which surely sounds good — well, think again. With the shifting of your floors, all the walls can then start cracking and you might even need full internal replastering as well.

What is Underpinning?

If you think the process of restumping your house sounds scary, then welcome to the world of underpinning. Underpinning is when the brick walls on a house are lifted and realigned to level, and it is often necessary when the foundations of the house shift over the moist soil to such an extent that restumping or reblocking will not suffice. The most obvious sign that underpinning is necessary is when there are larger cracks (fingertip sized) in the brickwork at about eye level.

External brick wall showing cracks due to blocked downpipes

Cracks in brickwork are an obvious sign that foundations have shifted

Unfortunately, underpinning is normally even more expensive than restumping. Underneath your brick walls there is a support slab that is usually made of concrete. The modern process of underpinning involves digging or drilling sideways or diagonally down under that slab to pump down stabilising materials. Once it’s done, your brick wall is then gradually lifted back up to its correct position.

Flushing downpipes on the roof of a house in Melbourne

Grayson’s will thoroughly clean your gutters and flush all the downpipes, which is the best way to prevent overflowing gutters and the risk of shifting foundations

Save yourself the time, money and nightmare trouble!

Call us today on 03 9899 5886 for a comprehensive gutter and downpipe cleaning that will keep your home safe.