Even though we’re only about halfway through the year, our gutter technicians recently came across a serious contender for worst gutter blockage of the year, so we had to share it! This blockage was an absolute monster and while only about 1% of the creeper was contained within the gutter itself. Read on to find out exactly what we were up against and how we managed to tame the beast! We’ve also added a few tips in case you come up across a challenge like this on your own property.
What was the worst gutter blockage of 2022 (so far)?
The pictures we took really do not do this thing justice… but take a look at them anyway.
What you can see here on the wall was just a portion of our problems! The vines extended up and over the top of the wall itself and had made their way into the unsuspecting gutters, completely blocking them and causing a lot of flood risk to the people working within the building.
It was quite frustrating as well, trying to get ourselves stationed at this particular spot as the wall is located behind a block of shops in a busy area. We actually had to wait a few days before the cars that were parked there moved and we could get our Grayson’s vehicles in there to block off the area, making it safe for us to complete our work.
How long did it take to remove the vines and how much plant material was there?
It took our experienced crew a total of one and a half days to remove the blockage and clear the vines from the wall itself. Compared to a regular gutter clean on a home that might take one staff member a few hours, our guys were out there for much longer. One and a half days is a lot of time to be spent on the clearing of gutter blocking tree growth, that’s for sure!
The total amount of vine that we removed was around 24 cubic metres, which ended up filling two construction-style industrial skip bins. If you’ve never seen them before, they’re just like regular skip bins but much much bigger!
As you can see from these ‘before’, ‘progress’ and ‘after’ pics, the wall looks so much better when it;s actually visible, and the vines are no longer creeping over the top of the building and blocking up the gutter system. The building owner was very happy to see the final result.
What kind of vines are the worst for blocking gutters and what danger can they cause?
We’re not 100% sure what type of vines these were, but they did look like they might be some kind of variety of ivy, possibly English Ivy, an invasive weed here in Melbourne. There seemed to be another type of vine intertwined amongst the ivy as well, but we were unable to identify it.
English ivy is easily one of the worst gutter blockers we come across. It spreads quickly and, if not treated before seeds form, can overtake gardens (and gutters) with no trouble at all.
Dealing with ivy like this can be quite dangerous at times. We often find mud wasps have made nests in the vines and will defend their nests when we turn up.
This sheer amount of vine can also obscure fragile and dangerous items like windows and barbed fences. Thankfully, the only window on this wall wasn’t affected by the vine growth, so we didn’t have to work with as much care as some of the other vine removal jobs we’ve carried out.
Vines can also cause damage to gutters and buildings as they become quite heavy and intrusive when they grow. It’s better to act fast when you notice a vine snaking its way up a wall of downpipe to avoid breakage, sagging or even foundational damage from the roots.
How to prevent vines climbing walls and blocking gutters
The easiest way to deal with vines is to catch them before they have a chance to grow and spread. Deal with them quickly by trimming them back and poisoning the roots. Here at Grayson’s Gutter Cleaning, we don’t provide poisoning services ourselves, but there are plenty of professionals out there who can take care of vines for you.
While we don’t offer poisoning services, our team of gutter technicians are fully qualified and experienced when it comes to gutter cleaning, gutter guard installation, window cleaning, bird control and, of course, vine removal.
You can also check out our blog to read our article about last year’s worst gutter blockage and other interesting topics!
Stay tuned – we may have another worst gutter blockage of the year yet to come for 2022, but we had to share this one because we’re really not sure that anything else will come close to this literal wall of vines!