Whether you are a landlord or a tenant, living and maintaining a healthy environment inside the rental property is essential.
An often overlooked area of the house is the gutters.
It is important to know how to properly maintain it, as neglecting it may have severe consequences for both the longevity of the property, as well as the health of the residents.
Why is Gutter Maintenance Important?
Gutter maintenance plays a vital role in preserving the integrity of the property.
If neglected, it can lead to serious complications and damages in the thousands.
So, what do gutters protect
1. Prevent Water Damage. We all know that water always finds a way.
If the gutters function correctly and downspout rainwater away from the property s foundation, they can protect it from getting inside the property and causing water damage or potential flooding
2. Property’s Structure. When appropriately maintained, gutters lead rain away from your home.
If, however, they do not function as intended, water may seep into the walls, roof, and other structural components, leading to costly repairs and the deterioration of the premises.
3. Pest Infestations. Clogged gutters quickly become a breeding ground for all kinds of insects, rodents, and other pests.
Sitting water and wet pipes are the perfect breeding ground for unwelcomed guests, so neglecting your gutters may lead to an infestation.
4. Landscape. When gutters function as intended, they direct water away from your home's foundation, protecting it from soil erosion and preventing excessive water from pooling around the property.
How to Maintain Rental Property’s Gutters Properly
Now that we know the importance of gutters and why proper maintenance is essential for our well-being, we should look into the steps that we need to take.
Check the Shingles Regularly
Shingles are usually made out of wood, metal, and slate. They overlap each other, covering your entire roof area and protecting it from environmental damage.
While quite sturdy, external conditions can damage shingles, especially during a storm.
The best way to maintain your roof and help your gutters work properly is to inspect the singles regularly.
While it may sound like a lot, it is actually easy to do and requires only a few minutes and a pair of binoculars.
Stand a reasonable distance from the house and check for missing granules, curling or cracked shingles or anything that looks out of the ordinary.
If you notice any of these signs, contact an expert to inspect and repair the roof.
Trim Overgrown Branches
If you are not a dedicated gardener, maybe maintaining the appearance of your home is limited to mowing the lawn occasionally.
Trimming overgrown branches is another aspect that should not only come during your end of tenancy cleaning time frame, especially if its twigs hang directly above the roof.
During rough weather, branches usually break and may clog your gutter system, pooling water at the entrance.
This may cause the roof tiles to rot, resulting in replacing of the entire roof.
Remove Any Fallen Leaves
Not only do branches fall and clog the gutters during windy days. Leaves can accumulate quickly, especially with trees towering above your home.
They will trap moisture within your channels and result in mold formation, significantly increasing the roof's weight.
To remove any dry leaves that have already gotten inside the trenches, grab your leaf blower, get on top of your roof and blow them away through the gutter.
However, should you find out the leaves are too wet and heavy, you may have to use the garden hose to wash them down.
A pressure washer may push water under the shingles, so it is not recommended in such situations.
Get Rid of Moss and Mold
Even though the gutters are not connected to the inside of your home, removing any moss and mold is just as important as it is inside the house.
If left unattended, moss will absorb water and trap moisture, which may lead to damage to your gutter system and roof.
Rinse the Gutters
While ensuring you keep stuff from getting inside the gutters is vital to their longevity, it is often hard to get rid of everything that may go in.
Regularly rinsing them with water from the garden hose will ensure they remain clean inside and eliminate any debris on the pipe walls.
You may consider using cleaning services to clean before professionally and after the rainy season.
Inspect the Attic and Ceiling
Check the attic and ceiling at least a few times a month, especially after rain and storm.
If you have an issue with your gutter system, it will most likely show there first.
When scheduling for property maintenance, you may want to get people to look into the roof area as well to ensure there are no leaks or potential dangers.
Who is Responsible for Rental Property Gutter Maintenance?
Gutter maintenance is often a hot topic when it comes to rental properties.
Is it the landlord’s responsibility or maybe the tenant’s?
Unlike the end of the tenancy cleaning debate, there is no correct answer to this question, as it depends on the type of rental property, the duration of the agreement and the lease itself.
To avoid any confusion on the topic, it has become mandatory for this part to be mentioned explicitly in the lease, and it is a subject of agreement between the two parties.
But why is gutter cleaning so controversial? Is it different from other property repairs and maintenance?
Simply put, it has become a hot topic due to the area's nature. It is located outside and is rarely noticed by both tenants and landlords.
Gutters require regular and more thorough maintenance to work correctly and, almost always, need a joint effort between the residents of the property and the homeowner.
To properly maintain the gutters at your property, you should always consider all situations in the lease agreement.
Ensure you properly discuss and communicate the responsibilities for regular upkeep and more detailed visits from experts to ensure the residents’ and property's health and safety.