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Four Crucial Steps to preventing clogged gutters

Performing periodic maintenance on your roof is a required task for every homeowner. Where you live is a great factor in determining how often you should check and clean the gutter.
 
If you are in an urban area where there are few or no trees at all, once a year will do. And the best time to do that is in autumn, right before the winter comes.
 
If you live in the suburbs or areas where trees are moderate, on the other hand, you should inspect your roof at least twice a year. Frequent checking and cleaning is highly required if you live in a heavily treed area. During the autumn, you must check it at least once or even twice each week.
Aside from doing occasional checkups and cleaning, how else do you ensure that your gutters won’t get clogged?
 
Cover the gutter.
The easiest way to protect your gutter from leaf buildups and collecting debris is to cover it. Nowadays, there are gutter covers that are designed for easy installation. If you are not the DIY type, you can always have them installed by your trusted dealers.
 
While there are no gutter coverings that will absolutely make your roof debris-free,  installing one will definitely help save you from having to frequently check and clean it.
 
Check for proper flow.
Apart from installing gutter guards, make sure water is flowing properly. To do this, you have to flush the gutter with water.
 
Check that the outlets are unobstructed. If you live in heavily wooded areas, it is advisable to install an outlet that is quite bigger or wider than the standard. This allows any kind of debris to flow through and prevents unspotted build up that often causes gutter blockage.
 
Make sure water is properly drained into the downspouts.
Make cleaning easy and convenient with removable downspouts or leaders. Blocked downspouts can be very challenging. For one, they are difficult to clean, particularly when you have a big house. With removable downspouts, you will be able to take them down safely on the ground, check them conveniently for obstructions, and clean them easily without ladders.
 
Fix gutter problems immediately.
The primary cause of clogged gutters is that they are often ignored until leaks or holes associated with them become a major problem. Gutter problems must be corrected as soon as you have spotted them. Patch holes even if they are tiny. If the hole is quite big, then it might require replacing. Install additional gutter support like spikes or ferrules if needed.
No matter how leak-proof the roof is or how debris-proofed the gutters are, you still need to climb up there and do regular inspections, most especially in the spring and autumn. While you may have the best gutter protection installed up there, home experts still recommend inspecting the gutters and clearing out all leaves and debris.
 
Republished courtesy of Jim’s Mowing

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Where’s that water coming from?

It is very common in any Owners Corporation or Body Corporate, for an Owners Corporation Manager to receive a call complaining about water leaking from one apartment into the apartment below.

And while we are more than happy to facilitate correspondence between parties involved, it’s not something the owners’ corporation or your manager should be involved with. 
 
Section 16 the Water Act 1989 clearly applies to Owners Corporations and specifically states that an owner cannot unreasonably allow water to flow from their lot onto someone else’s lot, and if they do, they are liable for damages.
 
From our experience, the most common issue almost always relates to balconies and the leakage of water from a balcony to the one below. An owner whose balcony leaks into the apartment below is responsible for the damage caused to the affected below apartment.
 
VCAT have also been consistent in their decision making, that the owner who benefits from the balcony is responsible to repair and maintain the water proof membrane of the balcony, regardless of where the horizontal boundary is located, be that ceiling, median or floor level.
 
Another common problem relating to water leakage involves the failure to correctly connect the washing machine.
 
All such water leakage issues are solely a matter between owners and does not involve the Owners Corporation or the Owners Corporation Manager, even if the water flows from the lot across or through common property and then into the lot/s below.
 
Below is an extract Section 16 of the Water Act.
 
16 Liability arising out of flow of water etc.
(1) If—
(a) there is a flow of water from the land of a person onto any other land;
and
(b) that flow is not reasonable; and
(c) the water causes—
(i) injury to any other person; or
(ii) damage to the property of any other person; or
(iii) any other person to suffer economic loss—
the lot who caused the flow is liable to pay damages to that other person in
respect of that injury, damage or loss.

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Water Damage can be avoided


18 May 2021

Water damage is one of the most common causes of strata insurance claims. Significant claims will have an impact on insurance premiums on renewal. The key is to minimise claims with a good maintenance/prevention regime in place both at the building and lot owner level.

The intent of strata insurance is to cover claims for water damage that is sudden and accidental. In many instances, strata insurance will cover the hidden perils of burst or leaking pipes when physical evidence of damage is first noticed and a claim is made.

Water problems may not be noticed until there is physical evidence like mould, dampness or leakages. At that stage of discovery, in our experience, the impact will be greater and, in many instances, will have spread to multiple apartments/ lots and common areas.

Flexible stainless steel hose pipes (flexi hoses) are popular because of their ability to bend into shape and their low cost (approximately $8 per unit). They are generally hidden beneath bathroom and kitchen sinks in strata complexes across australia, and have a life expectancy of 10 years.

Flexi hoses are responsible for many thousands of dollars in water claims when something goes wrong.

  • Flexi hoses were installed in the bathrooms and kitchens of a medium-sized apartment complex.

  • The flexi hose in one of the upper-level apartments split when most of the occupants were away from the premises, and water flooded the bathroom before spreading and meandering downwards through three floors of the complex prior to discovery.

  • The building repair bill was a staggering $80,000.

  • Five apartments had contents damage with the majority having no contents insurance.

  • A further inconvenience was that the apartments were uninhabitable and their occupants had to vacate their homes for approximately four weeks while repairs were undertaken. Alternative accommodation was approximately $350-$500 per unit per week.

  • Regular checks of the flexi hoses were not part of any maintenance programme which would have picked up the faulty flexi hose and allowed replacement at a cost of approximately $8 per unit.