How to safely test your gutters for leaks regardless of the weather

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How to safely test your gutters for leaks regardless of the weather

Waterfalls are superb, unless they are on your house! A leaking gutter can be a headache to solve. There are ways to test your gutters for leaks without any special equipment, and from safety of the ground. Better yet, you can test the efficiency of your gutter system without waiting for the rain.

If it is not raining, you can check for leaks using a garden hose. (The gutters need to be clear from leaves and debris first). Situate the hose inside the gutter by throwing it up from the ground, and turn the tap on. The water should flow towards the downpipes. Keep an eye out from underneath to see if any dripping water appears. You may need a helper to assist you to check the entire perimeter of the house. It is not a good sign if water spills out over the sides. If water appears to stall in the gutters or not flow towards the downpipes, you may have a gutter slope problem. While inspecting the exterior of your home, also be on the look out for sagging gutters.

If it is possible to do so while on the ground, getting a sprinkler on the roof also closely mimics natural rainfall. It will give you an idea of where the natural flow of water goes, and if it indeed flows towards the downpipes. 

If it is raining, there is a simple trick to see if water is running effectively down the down pipes from the ground.  Check each drainpipe by pressing your ear to the pipe, and listen for water running through. It can be difficult to check yourself, so if in doubt, consult a trained professional.

We Queenslanders love our older style homes with a sense of character. Is your home an older build? You may not have many downpipes. This can be an issue as it can only take one drainpipe to be blocked to cause a myriad of problems. It won’t take long for another drainpipe to block quickly from the overflow. Cue domino effect! Unfortunately, plumbing problems can escalate quickly and cause damages to even the inside of your home.  It is possible to get more downpipes installed by a registered plumber. Otherwise, ensure you keep up a regular maintenance program so that your gutters are free from debris and can function even if an unexpected heavy down pour is to occur. 

If you notice any holes or cracks, it is best to get onto it straight away. Don’t delay. Left unattended, even small leaks can cause rust, and further damages to your home. Along with this, stagnant water caused by incorrect water flow in your gutter system can lead to mosquito infestations. Especially with summer around the corner, do not give mosquitoes any more incentive to make their home in yours. It is recommended to call a registered plumber to carry out any repairs.

Please note – do NOT attempt to get on the roof without the correct safety equipment and know-how of a professional. While we are up there, Gutter-Vac can take photos of your roof condition as part of our roof inspection report. We also provide useful before and after pictures. Getting on a roof or ladder can lead to serious injury and fatality – leave it to the experts! It is better to be safe than to be sorry. Tragically, it was in the news recently that the guitarist of the iconic Australian band, ‘Skyhooks’, sadly passed away following a ladder accident. Unfortunately, ladder accidents can happen to anyone.

Gutter Cleaning at Bilgola Plateau

It’s an amazing experience every time we get on a roof to complete a gutter clean – especially at locations like Bilgola Plateau where we look out at exceptional views like this one.

This Bilgola Plateau property requires an annual gutter clean. Maintaining the yearly cleaning schedule will prolong the life of this property’s gutters and therefore delay the cost of gutter replacement for the owner. That’s because our regular gutter clean includes vacuum cleaning any debris such as leaves and twigs, as well as the removal of corrosive sludge.

This property also has a number of solar panels so while we are on the roof, we check to see if the solar panels need cleaning as well.

Like your gutters, solar panels experience build-up of grime, dust and other materials. This creates a film over the panels – impacting their efficiency by as much as 40%.

When combining a gutter clean with a solar panel clean, we offer a reduced rate per solar panel.

But we don’t just limit our solar panel inspection to cleaning. We also check if the panels are cracked or broken. If we see anything of concern, we’ll bring it to your attention.

If you would like a free quote for a gutter or solar panel clean, please call Gutter-Vac Upper North Shore & Northern Beaches 1300 654 253

4 Reasons Why Your Gutters Might Be Leaking.

“Beware of great expenses. A small leak will sink a great ship.” – Benjamin Franklin.

Benjamin Franklin’s quote rings true not just for sailors, but for homeowners too!

It can be very frustrating to discover a leak in your home, and very unnerving trying to figure out the source!

Wouldn’t it be nice to avoid the mad scurry to find buckets every time it rains? And not have to worry about unnecessary water damage to your building foundations, outside furniture and deck area?

We’ve outlined below the most common causes of gutter leakage, and some ways to solve it before it gets out of hand.


Ah old age – it is inevitable for all of us. Unfortunately, the turns of time can also wear down your gutters. Sometimes, gutter leaks can occur regardless if they have been emptied or not. This may be to do with their age. Over a period of time, gutters can loosen. Following this diagnosis, you may need to have tighter fastenings installed. But it’s not all bad news – regular roof maintenance will undeniably enhance longevity.

Gaps and Cracks

Gaps can occur if the gutters have been neglected over time.

Without care and regular inspection, the connections joining your gutters can wear out from exposure to the elements. Spotting washed out soil underneath the gutter connection may indicate water is leaking through.

Grit and debris can potentially get into the seal itself which may cause erosion.

The simplest way to protect your connections is to ensure the gutters are cleaned on a regular basis to minimise debris rot.

Professional advice is recommended as damaged gutters can quickly lead to serious water damage.

Gutter Slope Problem

If your gutter is sagging, it is a sure sign to take action. Mounting brackets can also sag or become damaged, which can cause an incorrect gutter slope.

Ideally, your gutter should have a slight gradient to gently channel water to the downspout. However, as time marches on, or if the gutters have been weighed down by heavy debris, this slope system can sag too much. This may lead to excess water lying in the gutter, which can cause rust. Rust can then eat away at your gutters, creating holes. Left untreated, water pooling in the gutter can also attract mosquitoes and other unwanted pests.


A blocked gutter can lead to many associated issues. For instance, a clogged gutter can cause fascia damage. If your fascia board is timber, it can easily rot if exposed to increased moisture from an inefficient gutter system. Without regular upkeep, excess debris from your gutter can even clog the downpipes, which will overload them. This means the water will then naturally travel back up to the highest point – your gutters. Subsequently, your gutters may overflow causing leakage into ceiling cavities or other surrounding areas.

If you have a big blockage in your down pipes you would need to call out a plumber, which might end up being an expensive experience. Stubborn blockages may mean the use of a water jetter, and CCTV cameras to effectively identify the location of the obstruction – all of which may incur an added cost.

It’s tricky to identify the source of a leak yourself, so it’s always best to enlist the help of a professional. The tell-tale signs of water damage may not manifest themselves until well after the fact. Regular checks and maintenance help prevent potential issues before they become a problem.

We continue to support you during this time and would like you to know we can provide a safe, no contact service during this period of social distancing.

Rest assured – we always prioritise the safety of our employees and customers.