Building authorities urge that gutters stay clear

09 November 2023

Homeowners and renters have been urged to clear any leaves and debris from gutters and drains to avoid water flooding their homes as wet weather continues throughout spring.

The Victorian Building Authority (VBA) state building surveyor Andrew Cialini says that non-compliant roof plumbing was the leading cause of plumbing issues.

“Non-compliant box guttering is one area of roof drainage where problems are regularly identified and we have been working with practitioners to help and educate them on the specific design and installation requirements of these types of gutters,” Andrew says.

“In addition to maintenance, adequate overflow provisions are critical to mitigating water entry into homes from blocked gutters.”

Andrew says that non-compliant roof plumbing increases the risk of leaves and debris getting stuck in gutters and downpipes, and though clearing gutters is not work regulated by plumbing, detaching or alterations to a gutter or downpipe to clear any blockages requires a licensed or registered plumber.

Installation and replacement of guttering and most roofing components also must be carried out by a suitably registered or licensed plumber, and a compliance certificate must be issued after for works costing more than $750. 

Owner-builders also need to ensure all roofing such as metallic or polycarbonate roofing, including eaves and box gutters, is installed by a registered or licensed plumber who also issues a compliance certificate for the work. 

When checking gutters with a ladder, always follow the ladder safety rules on the WorkSafe website.

Visit the VBA website to make sure their builder or plumber is registered or licensed and visit the VBA’s consumer portal for more tips and advice.

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