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Leaves in the Gutters? Clean ‘Em Up!

Williamsburg Rain Gutter Full of Leaves Being Cleaned OutThe moment autumn signals its coming and the leaves begin to fall, this can sometimes lead to gutters clogged with debris. To keep your Williamsburg rental property in tip-top condition each year, it is vital to prioritize cleaning gutters and make it a regular part of your property maintenance routine. But who should be responsible to clean them out? While asking your tenant to do the job may seem like a good idea, there are important reasons why you should not have them perform regular gutter maintenance. Even if they seem to know what they are doing, asking a tenant to clean your rental property’s gutters could lead to serious injury or property damage, both of which could result in expensive problems later.

Functioning gutters are an essential part of preventing expensive repairs. Overflowing gutters can often end up with damaged foundations, roofs, and other structural elements of the property. They can also draw insects and other pests, plus so many other health hazards like mold. When gutters are not cleaned on a regular basis, they can trigger severe problems that you may not be able to notice until it’s too late.

Cleaning gutters is not a difficult task; however, it takes time and an understanding of how to do it properly.  The right equipment is required, and proper safety procedures should be observed. Most gutters can be cleaned with a ladder, hose or sprayer, and a trowel or plastic scoop. Applying these tools, you can easily remove large debris from the gutters to keep water flowing in the right direction. It’s necessary to make sure that you move debris away from the downspout and check vertical pieces of the gutter for blockages. Flushing these parts with a hose can be quite effective in most cases. Other procedures may use a power washer to get the more stubborn dirt out of gutters and downspouts but must be used with care or risk damaging the gutters or even the house itself.

This is part of why asking your tenant to perform gutter maintenance is not a good idea. Your tenant possibly has no knowledge about how to clean a gutter without damaging it, or even without causing damage to the roof, siding, and other areas of the house. Even tenants with good purposes may accidentally cause damage that will be expensive to repair. Furthermore, if a tenant cleans the gutters but makes a poor job of it, you may not recognize that there is a predicament for months or even years. Considering the job has been done perfectly could cost you months or even years down the road.

A different perspective to consider is your tenant’s well-being and protection. To reach the gutters, it is often necessary to use a ladder and other equipment notorious for causing accidents and injuries. By one estimate, there are more than 36,000 deaths from falling off ladders in the United States every year. Ladder-related injuries are even higher, with more than 164,000 accidents reported annually. With so many risks associated, it is not a solid plan to ask your tenant to get on a ladder to perform property maintenance on your rental. Should they fall and hurt themselves, you could be sued and found liable to pay their medical and legal expenses.

Cleaning the gutters on your rental property once or twice a year can better keep your tenants safe and forestall pricey renovations. Whether you do it yourself or hire a professional to do it for you, the time and costs involved are small compared to the consequences for not ensuring your gutters are properly maintained. At Real Property Management Dominion, we include regular gutter maintenance with our other quality property maintenance services in Williamsburg. With our support, you will have more time to focus on the more valuable aspects of your real estate investing business. For more information, contact us or call us at 757-395-4274 today.

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