Here at Berry Lodge we are not only specialist Party Wall Surveyors, we are also Chartered Building Surveyors and over the years have undertaken thousands of residential pre-purchase surveys.
As we are fast approaching winter we thought it would be helpful to look at some of the typical property defects than tend to become an issue in the winter months. By far one of the most common issues our Surveyors see has to be blocked gutters.
Gutters are an often neglected part of a home, despite the vital role they play in directing rain water away from the building.
Unfortunately, their maintenance can often be overlooked and as a result they can become blocked, particularly when trees and bushes start to shed their leaves. Despite being visually unpleasing, blocked gutters can also result in some serious problems for your property.
We thought it would be helpful to look at a couple of these problems in a little more detail to hopefully help you avoid them occurring in your home.
The purpose of gutters is to allow rain water to run away from your property, so a blocked gutter means water gathers into a standing pool or overflows and runs down the side of the building. This can cause parts of your roof or fascia to rot, resulting in expensive repairs. In our experience blocked gutters at roof level of house is one of the most common causes of penetrating damp. We have a specific blog on penetrating damp that goes into this topic in a little more detail.
A blockage in the downpipe will force water to overflow and run down the walls of the property, often running directly into the ground, which is where the foundations sit. Increased ground water can lead to foundation heave causing a great deal of damage, if left untreated this heave can lead to building movement, which in turn leads to both internal and external damage.
Blocked gutters prevent rainwater from flowing freely away from your property and therefore create a pool of standing water. This can attract pests such as flies and mosquitoes which not only make spending time in your garden unpleasant, but also carry nasty bugs that can lead to health issues.
These are just a few of the typical problems our surveyors have seen over the years, all are very avoidable through a planned and relatively straightforward maintenance plan.
Gutter maintenance is often put to the bottom of the to-do list at this time of year, or forgotten about completely. This can lead to a build-up of debris and eventually property damages which are expensive and inconvenient to repair. So whether you do it yourself or hire a professional, our top tip for winter is clear your gutters to keep your property at its best!