Sunday, September 18, 2011


I was having some problems with my gutters overflowing. I don't know if my house has subsided or something, but the top of one section of guttering seems to be below the level of the downpipes. This means that whenever it rains, this section overflows instead of draining.

While on one level I understand gutters, they seem like an answer to a question that relatively few people have asked. Yes, they divert rainwater sluicing off the roof, which prevents erosion and allows rainwater harvesting. But they block easily, they cost a lot, and they're generally made of steel, which rusts. Most are designed so that they flood backwards rather than forwards, and if you have boxed eaves like mine, this means that they either flood the roofspace or leak through the cracks and pour down one or both sides of the windows.

When I noticed exactly this thing happening during a recent storm, I decided I'd had enough. So when it stopped raining I went outside with a ladder and my trusty drill and bored a dozen holes in the side of the guilty section.

Problem solved. True, gravel in the courtyard is being eroded, but hey, water is not being diverted into my living room. Call me crazy, but not having my hardwood floors damaged and my rugs sodden seems worth it. Me and my nutty priorities.

As an added bonus, when heavy rain strikes, I get a precisely spaced curtain of water outside the living room windows. It looks like a team of obsessive compulsive Roof Elves taking a synchronised whizz off the roof.

Now that's an Olympic event I'd like to see.


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