House Hunting & Gutters: What To Consider
Updated: May 4, 2022
We are currently experiencing a booming real estate market, which means that you might be in the market for a new home. House hunting can be overwhelming, and in a seller’s market like the one we are currently in, buyers have to be prepared and act fast. In an effort to save you from gutter headaches later, our experts at Gutterworks can offer these six considerations you should make when you are home shopping.
Starting with the obvious, gutters with visible damage are an issue with a potential property’s gutter system. This damage could be extreme: missing, detached, or sagging sections of your gutters. Less extreme examples (but still troubling) include rusted gutters or dented/cracked gutters. Damaged gutters are non-functioning gutters. Non-functioning gutters threaten the health of a home from its roof to its foundation.
Even if the gutters on your prospective home still appear that they’re in good shape, their age matters. If they’re nearing 20 years old, you should prepare to replace them soon. Most gutter systems last about 20 years, so if your potential house has gutters nearing that age, you need to account for the cost of a new system or heavy maintenance in the near future. While your gutters’ old age may indicate a need for replacement, newer gutters aren’t automatically salvageable. If gutters are damaged, as described above, they may need replacement or significant repair.
If the gutters on a potential property are unique or the property is historic, you should research to determine maintenance and repair costs they may require. Some types of gutters can be quite costly to maintain, so if your future home has those gutters, be prepared. Some types of gutter guards also require more routine maintenance. Make sure you know the gutters on the house you intend to buy before you sign up for huge maintenance costs over the years.
Large, visible cracks/gaps in foundations are a major red flag that a home has structural damage, and many times, this damage has been caused by a faulty gutter system. Foundation repair is expensive, and this in itself should make you leery of a home with these issues. Look for recently repaired foundation cracks, too. Most sellers will be proactive about fixing current problems, but will probably not go above and beyond with repairs. If you bought a house with foundation issues (current or prior), it could be likely that you’d have to overhaul the entire gutter system to get proper water flow away from the home’s foundation.
Landscaping issues are big indicators that gutters aren’t working properly. Even if the gutters look perfectly fine to the naked eye, they may have underlying issues. If it hasn’t rained for a while, but there is pooling water in the yard or landscaping, especially near downspouts, it’s apparent that the gutter system can’t handle typical rainfall.
Pooling water and improper drainage create foundation problems eventually, so they would require your attention sooner than later. Essentially, if water is pooling under downspouts, it needs to be routed further away from the home.
If the potential property has large, mature trees located near the dwelling, you could be in for a difficult time keeping gutters clear of leaves and debris, and even unwanted pests. Long branches above your gutters dump leaves in them year-round, but especially in the fall. Animals that climb trees can climb into your gutters from tall branches, making nests and bringing even more debris into the gutters.
RESOLVING POTENTIAL ISSUES
To resolve these potential issues, you’ll be faced with two real options: constant maintenance and clearing of the gutters or removal of the threat of the tree (via extensive regular pruning or removal of the tree.) One other option to mitigate the amount of debris making its way into your gutters is to look at installing gutter guards to block access to the interior of the gutters.
In a seller’s market, buyers sometimes don’t get to be picky about some problems they see in a prospective house – if they aren’t willing to fix a problem, the next buyer may be willing to do so. Because of this, you may find yourself tempted to buy a home with gutters that aren’t in the best shape. If you do so, consider calling us at Gutterworks to come help assess your new home’s gutters and fix any issues that you identify.
Our experts at Gutterworks can also help you determine that the gutters on your prospective new home are performing optimally and make sure that there are no underlying issues that a home inspection might have missed. In that case, it might be a good time to consider adding gutter guards to protect the existing structure from future issues and streamline gutter maintenance.
Regardless of where your adventures in house hunting lead you, remember that you can give us a call at (304)848-9870 for any of your gutter-related services. Our experts can lead you in the right direction when it comes to making the gutters on your new home like new.