The only way to fully test guttering for correct water flow is to flush the gutters with water. First remove all the loose debris (we do this with gutter cleaning hand tools). Once the gutters and downpipe entrances are clear of dirt and leaves you can conduct a water test.
With a hose fill the guttering with water, the water should eventually flow towards the downpipes. A large amount of water can be used in this flushing process. Be careful not to spray water under your roof edge into the eaves, also any part of the roof where there’s metal flashing should be treated with care.
Pay attention to which way the water is flowing. With the gutters flowing full of water keep a lookout for any leaking. If there’s any leaking holes or cracks in your gutters, water will appear on the undersides of the gutter. Some gutters are incorrectly sloping away from the downpipes, if your gutters fill with water and wont drain away towards your downpipes you may need a plumber to repair them.
Note that many drainage issues with gutters can be fixed by installing extra downpipes, most houses in Melbourne don’t have enough downpipes. We recommend there should be at least one downpipe per ten metres of guttering. We have cleaned gutters in almost every Melbourne suburb, lack of downpipes is extremely common.
To focus your water test on a specific downpipe, place a hose inside the opening of your downpipe up at roof gutter level. Turn on the tap and let the water run for a few minutes, if you put your ear to the downpipe down at ground level you will be able to hear the water flowing.
Special Homeowner Tip…
Next time there’s a big downpour of rain you can walk the perimeter of your house and listen to the downpipes one-by-one. Put you ear to the downpipe and listen for water flow, if the downpipe is flowing properly you should be able to hear this. No need to climb a ladder, you can listen to your downpipes from the safety of the ground!