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Leaves in the Gutters? Clean ‘Em Up!

Cambridge Rain Gutter Full of Leaves Being Cleaned OutAs soon as autumn arrives and the leaves start to fall, this can more often than not lead to gutters being congested with rubble. To ensure your Cambridge rental property is kept in excellent condition every year, it is indispensable to make cleaning gutters a typical 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 may look like they 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 prompt damaged foundations, roofs, and other structural elements of the property. They usually tend to attract insects and other pests, not to mention other health hazards like mold. When gutters are not cleaned regularly, they can cause serious problems that you probably may not be able to see until it’s too late.

Cleaning gutters is not a difficult task; in any case, it requires abundant time and a reasonable handle of how to do it appropriately.  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. Utilizing these tools, you can easily remove large debris from the gutters to keep water flowing in the right direction. It’s important to ensure 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 systems 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 one of the numerous reasons why asking your tenant to perform gutter maintenance is not a good idea. Your tenant may have no clue 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 intentions may accidentally cause damage that will be expensive to repair. Similarly, if a tenant cleans the gutters but does a poor job of it, you may not realize that there is a problem for months or even years. Assuming the job has been done correctly could cost you months or even years down the road.

One more interesting point to consider is your tenant’s health and safety. 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 such huge dangers in question, it’s anything but a smart thought 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 help keep your tenants safe and stay away from costly repairs. Regardless of whether you do it without anyone else’s help or contract an expert to do it for you, that are related are inconsequential when contrasted with the consequences for not ensuring your gutters are properly maintained. At Real Property Management Commonwealth, we include regular gutter maintenance with our other quality property maintenance services in Cambridge. With our assistance, 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 617-299-2342 today.

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