I arrived to carry out a check-out inventory in the pouring rain to hear what sounded like a waterfall. Feeling quite alarmed I discovered water gushing from the gutter at the back of the property. It was clear to me that the gutters were blocked and from what I could see this problem was not a new one. To add to this problem I saw the brackets and screws that should have held the downpipe securely in place were either missing or broken.
When I checked with the agent I discovered that no check-up or interim inspection had been carried out at this property for over a year. During that time, or even before, fallen leaves, maybe moss or a dead bird, had now caused a huge problem for the landlord and this problem hadn’t been reported to the landlord or his maintenance team.
Beware of health issues
Water pouring out from gutters due to blockages or debris being stuck in the downpipe can be serious: not only could the landlord end up with structural damage, but the resulting damage can also cause health issues for the tenants and avoidable maintenance costs.
Our suggestion is to inspect gutters at least once a year, especially if the property is in an area with a lot of trees or there are trees in or adjoining the property to prevent disasters happening. Doing this after the autumn leaves have fallen and before the really bad weather kicks in will reduce the chances of experiencing blocked guttering later on in the year. giving landlords plenty of time to book in those vital gutter repairs before it gets too wet and windy.
Screws and brackets
Regular inspections of guttering and downpipes provide the opportunity to check that all screws are tight and that no brackets are loose or missing. Gutters can be damaged by heavy snowfall and high winds, so an inspection by the landlord after the autumn leaves have fallen is a good time to arrange repairs things get out of hand.
Protect your gutters and downpipes with a guard
If a property has a lot of trees and debris is unavoidable, you could install a gutter guard. These act as a filter, catching leaves and preventing them from entering gutters and downpipes while still catching the water. Although the guards won’t stop all debris from entering your gutters (you’ll still need to clean them at least once a year) they will keep the larger, more dangerous pieces from causing blockages, flooding, leakages and sagging.
Had an interim inspection or a check-up visit taken place it might have saved this landlord the cost and inconvenience of a hastily arranged maintenance contractor’s charge.