Often a home inspection report will mention that the gutters of a particular house need to be cleaned. Gutter cleaning is likely to show up in the summary of an inspection report or make its way onto a recommended repair list from a home inspector. Gutter cleaning seems like no big deal, you can get it done once you take possession of the house, it’s a regular maintenance issue, why bother the sellers with such a minor repair request? Well, depending on the situation, it may be worth reprioritizing this item as a part of your home purchase.
GUTTERS ARE IMPORTANT. The purpose of gutters is to divert water away from your house to prevent moisture penetration from causing damage. Often, overloaded gutters put stress on the connection points to the house and heavy debris can bend the gutters out of shape. Eventually, full gutters will overspill with runoff, causing water to exit the gutter before making it to the downspout, pouring water where it shouldn’t be. Did the home inspection report mention moisture in the basement? The gutters may be at least part of the culprit if they are not operating properly, or if the downspouts are not diverting water far enough away from the house.
GUTTER CLEANING CAN BE EXPENSIVE. Gutter cleaning companies have to pay to hire and ensure people to climb ladders, often to very high heights, to get to your gutters. Maybe you only have to climb out a window to reach your gutters and you can do it yourself, but if your house is tall, and the gutters are less accessible, it may be a bigger job than you realize, and a service will charge you accordingly. It is common for families to be tight on finances in the couple of months following a home purchase, are you sure you will be prepared to spend money on gutter cleaning in the hectic months after moving into your home? Asking the home seller to clean the gutters before you come gives you a clean slate and buys you a couple of months of deferment of this cost and hassle while you settle in.
GUTTER CLEANING REVEALS PROBLEMS. When a gutter service cleans the gutters of a home, they get to see up close how the gutters are adjusted, how well they are secured to the house, and what condition they are truly in. This can be very helpful to have done before the closing, rather than finding out about problems later.
BE SURE TO PAY REGULAR ATTENTION TO YOUR GUTTERS. Small amounts of water on a roof can produce large numbers of gallons of water saturating the soil around your house and exposing your foundation, decking, and other exterior home elements to amounts water that they may not be designed to handle. Gutters should be regularly maintained and monitored throughout the life of a house, gutter condition is an issue that will be of ongoing concern to a homeowner.
SOME THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND:
-Gutters should be properly sized for the house. A house needs the proper amount of gutters and outlets to prevent runoff.
-The gutters themselves need to be in good, sturdy condition. Rust and holes are a sign that gutters may need to be replaced. Bending, misshapen gutters or gutters that are not securely attached to the house could be problematic.
-The angle of the gutters should be steep enough to cause water to efficiently run toward the outlets.
-Downspouts need to divert water 4 to 6 feet away from the foundation of the house. Often the downspouts fail to release the water far enough away from the perimeter of the house. This is not an expensive fix, but be sure this is dealt with immediately if your home inspector sites it in his report.
To make sure you find out what you need to know about the gutters of your home, hire Nest Home Inspection to perform your inspection. I personally have installed and repaired gutters countless times as a contractor, and I understand the challenges and potential hazards. Keep your home investment safe by finding out what your need to know, schedule an inspection with Nest today!