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Inspectors agree, one of the most common issues noted during the home inspection are issues with gutters. Gutter maintenance may not be the most exciting home repair – you don’t see many programs on the home improvement channels dedicated to gutters and downspouts – but they are essential to maintaining an attractive and safe home. These are the common problems with gutters and suggested solutions:

Problem: Clogged Gutters
Clogged gutters can cause an array of issues, including roof and foundation damage.

The easiest solution is to have a gutter cleaning professional service your gutter system at least twice a year in the Spring and the Fall depending on how many trees overhang the gutters. Cost ranges from $125 – $200 depending on the size of the home. Preventive care is the best option.

Problem: Leaks
Like many other gutter problems, leaks can cause damage to your roof, siding, and foundation.

Leaky gutters can be sealed by caulking the joint from the inside (think infomercial with a screen door and boat). Larger leaks or holes may call for a professional to service your system. Minor repairs like caulking will range from $175 to $500 for a contractor.

Problem: Defective Pitch
Gutters need a slight pitch to drain properly. Gutters that are improperly pitched can result in standing water which damages siding, roof sheeting, and can attract mosquitos.

If you decide to DIY on this job, you will need a helper to hold the gutter while you loosen or remove the gutter brackets or hangers. Pull the gutter down about 3 quarters of an inch lower than it originally was on the problem end by a downspout. Put a temporary screw at the back to adjust the pitch. The gutter should have a quarter-inch of slope per 10 feet. Once the gutter is properly pitched, re-install the gutter brackets. If you choose to hire a contractor you can expect the cost to be from $175 – $500.

Problem: Saggy Gutters
Over time, gutters get saggy and can even pull away from the home. This most often occurs in gutters that are not cleaned properly. The root of the issue is in the fascia or the hardware that secures the gutters to the roof which can deteriorate over time.

The only solution for sagging gutters is to have a professional fix or replace them. Cost to replace gutters can range from $575 – $1475 and more depending on the materials you select and the size of your home. After your gutter system has been fixed or replaced, be sure to have it cleaned periodically to prevent future problems.

Content courtesy of Scott Emerson – BPG Home Inspections

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