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Leaves in the Gutters? Clean ‘Em Up!

Anacostia Rain Gutter Full of Leaves Being Cleaned OutAs soon as autumn arrives and the leaves start to fall, this spell gutters being obstructed with debris. To keep your Anacostia rental property in tip-top condition year after year, it is crucial to make cleaning gutters a regular part of your property maintenance routine. But who should be to clean them out? You may envision asking your tenant to do it for you, but, there are important reasons why you should not have them perform regular gutter maintenance. Even if they give the impression of being knowledgeable in 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 can also draw in insects and other pests, plus some other health hazards like mold. When gutters are not cleaned regularly, they can bring serious problems that you might not be able to see until it’s too late.

Cleaning gutters is not a difficult task, yet it requires a mess of time and wary understanding with how to do it effectively.  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. Using these tools, you can easily remove large debris from the gutters to keep water flowing in the right direction. It’s imperative that you make sure to 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 ways to do it is to 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 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. In the same way, if a tenant cleans the gutters but does a mediocre 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 part to ponder upon 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 so much risk involved, it is not a good idea to ask your tenant to get on a ladder to conduct 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 avert costly fixes. Regardless of whether you do it with no other help or hire a professional to do it for you, the time and costs involved are nothing when compared to the consequences for not ensuring your gutters are properly maintained. At Real Property Management Washington DC, we include regular gutter maintenance with our other quality property maintenance services in Anacostia. With our help, you will have more opportunity to concentrate on the more profitable parts of your real estate investing business. For more information, contact us or call us at 202-813-9993 today.

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