Gutters have a very important job in keeping your rental property safe. But they also are often overlooked. Cleaning gutters regularly will allow them to do their job and protect your property. In this article we are going to provide insight as to why cleaning gutters will save you headaches.
What Are Gutters Role?
Gutters move water away from your roof and safely away from your foundation through downspouts. They are placed on the roof at the end of the slope and attached to the fascia (a verticle band of wood or non-corrosive metal under a roof edge) They run the enitre length of the roof and are attached to a downspout.
Why Cleaning Gutters Protects Your Investment
Clogged gutters are a common source of the following bad things that occur with any kind of structure.
- Leaky roofs
- Water damage
- Rodents and pests that cause damage to your property
It is pretty obvious that nobody wants leaky roofs. Did you know that cleaning gutters regularly can have a significant impact on preventing roof leaks? Of course, leaky roofs can lead to lots of other damage to your property. Roof repairs caused by clogged gutters easily run into the low four figures. This expense far exceeds the cost of regular gutter cleaning. Roof repairs also can destroy the profitability of your rental property.
It does not take much space for water to intrude your property through the roof or siding. The risk of water damage from clogged gutters is significant as the water has to travel somewhere. In cold climates standing water will freeze which means it expands and becomes hard. The expansion causes those gaps and crevises to grow. When the ice melts, that water will find those gaps and travel inside the property or down the inside of the siding.
Another type of water damage is what happens when the water does not drain properly due to the clogged gutters or downspouts. This water will pool (and freeze if the climate is right). If the area where this occurs is part of a foundation or concrete surface, the pourous nature of the concrete or blocks will crack and cause a new set of problems.
The risk of water damage can be significantly reduced by keeping gutters and downspouts clean.
Rodents and Pests
Gutters with nice build up of leaves or twigs make for the perfect nest for rodents and pests. These creatures will also discover those cracks and crevises and before long find out how to find even nicer accomodations-inside the property. Many of these creatures just chew and claw their way inside to the more comfortable surroundings.
Many times the first sign of mold is when you look up in the corner of an interior room. The slow penetration of water over time may not have made its presence known. Over time the moisture announces itself in the ugly dark of stains on the walls and ceiling. When you realize there is a water problem caused by your gutters, the mold will likely be much more serious inside the wall.
To clean up this mess and make it safe for occupants the costs can be significant. The first step will be to identify where and how the water is getting inside. Chances are that your gutters may be contributing to this mess.
Plan For Regular Gutter Cleaning
So, keeping gutters clean serves many purposes to protect your proiperty. It also gives your property a well maintained appearance. So now that you understand the importance of cleaning gutters how to make sure they are maintained?
In a WILMOTH lease we make cleaning gutters the responsibility of the tenants in single family homes that are one story. Frankly, it is too risky to put tenants on high ladders cleaning gutters. So, on two or more stories, or any multi-family property, we clean gutters at move-out and every fall. As part of a regular winterization program, cleaning gutters is one of the most important tasks.