Well-maintained and optimally functioning gutters are a key element in keeping your home safe from damage. Watch out for these costly mistakes homeowners make when it comes to buying and maintaining a gutter system.
Hiring the Contractor with the Lowest Bid
It makes sense that when hiring a gutter contractor you want quality materials for the lowest price. But when a contractor offers a low advertised price or the lowest bid, make sure that it includes everything you want. Before signing a contract, compare it with the written estimate: if there are additions in the contract, the contractor should be able to explain why it’s costing you more than the original estimate. If the terms and conditions keep fluctuating and costs rise above the acceptable over costs rate of 15% to 17%, you might be dealing with an unethical contractor.
Not Hiring a Professional Gutter Cleaning Company
Not hiring a professional gutter cleaning company is another costly mistake homeowners make. When you hire a handyman or gardener to clean the gutters they are usually not licensed and/or insured in the same way employees of a professional gutter cleaning service are. If a non-insured person is hurt on your property, you could be responsible for any incurred costs.
Buying into the Gutter Guards Myth
While gutter guards reduce the number of times per year you have to clean the gutters, they, unfortunately, do not eliminate the need for cleaning out the gutters. Most gutter guard systems, even the expensive ones, are great for keeping out twigs, leaves, and larger types of debris, but allow silt, dirt, and finer particles to enter. This can create the ideal environment for plant life to start taking root or clogs to form.
When hiring a gutter cleaning company, cleaning gutters protected by a gutter guard system takes longer to clean, which bumps up the total cost.
Many gutter installation pros have been called in to fix a DIY installation at least once during their careers. Regardless of the level of expertise, it’s easy for a do-it-yourselfer to make mistakes that end up costing a lot of money to correct.
Self-installers sometimes forget to inspect the fascia first to ensure it is strong enough to support the gutter system being installed. Underestimating what’s needed to get the job done could be another costly mistake.
While no permits are needed in Vancouver to install a new roof, gutters or drain pipes, some kinds of exterior finishing elements could be regulated by a neighbourhood, housing or heritage council. Having to replace newly installed gutters because they are the wrong colour or gutter material is a surprise expense you might want to avoid.
Not Maintaining the Gutter System Properly
The most common costly gutter mistake a homeowner makes is waiting until the gutters start to overflow before taking action. Ways a gutter system is not properly maintained include:
- Not scheduling regular cleanings
- Using the wrong cleaning agent for the type of gutter material
- Using harsh chemicals to clean the gutters
- Not inspecting the gutters periodically, especially after storms
- Neglecting the downspouts – they need to be inspected and cleaned out too
- Damaging the gutters during cleaning by leaning a ladder directly against them