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There’s a hedgehog in my gutter

…well don't take it out whatever you do! No, not a premature Christmas cracker joke but a quite sensible precaution. I've seen both ends of the guttering spectrum this month; first is a project we are completing in Ratton, where the client has sensibly invested in guttering protection that will safeguard their new home against guttering leaks and building damage. The other is a property whose owner (no names I promise) has not cleared out the gutters for years let alone installed any protection. The result? Over £12,000 of damage has been caused to the exterior and interior finishes, including salt contamination of the plaster that will mean hacking back lots of plasterwork right back to the original brickwork before treating the walls, replastering and redecorating. Not a job most of us would like to undertake in the place we call home. I really can't stress enough, your gutters are really, really important, they keep excessive water off the walls of your property.

So what's a hedgehog then? It's a very simple brush (a bit like a really long bottle brush) that lays in your gutter. It stops the leaves and other debris entering the gutter but still allows water to flow through it. Take a look at the pictures on the left, both are of the new roof we have just installed, one shows the area where the hedgehog guard has been installed and the other a normal gutter not yet protected. You can still see leaves sitting on the roof above the hedgehog but not one leaf has made it into the gutter. Simple, but very effective. The best news is it is very cheap, we install these hedgehogs for normally less than £10+VAT per metre, that's around £200 for a normal semi detached house.

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