Pro Gutter Cleaning were called out to a three story house in Warley, Essex, CM14 where the landlord was concerned about water cascading down the wall behind the downpipe. We responded the next day and found that the hopper (the spout that collects rainwater from the roof gutters) had gotten blocked up with leaves. These had turned to compost and now there were plants growing in the hopper. Over time, subsequent rainwater had frozen solid in it. (see left pic below)
The weight of the ice and leaves was so heavy that the brackets holding the downpipe to the wall were close to snapping off. If this had occurred the hopper, full of solid ice could have come loose and plummetted to the ground causing serious damage and possibly even injury to someone standing below.
Our gutter cleaner had to use a pick hammer to break up the ice, then he scooped out the plants and washed the hopper through to make sure it was no longer blocked. So, don’t hesitate of you think your gutters are blocked up. With the severe winter weather approaching and the potential for large ice blocks to form on flimsy plastic gutters you could quite possibly end up with a much bigger problem than you at first thought.