GTA REAL ESTATE – A few weeks ago, we posted a piece on preparing your garden for the summertime – a great way to get the jump on boosting your curb appeal. But what else do home buyers look at when they’re examining the exterior of a home?
One very important aspect of your home is its system for dealing with external water, such as its rain gutter. These simple, functional drains make sure that rain water doesn’t pool in the wrong places when it drips off of the roof after rainfall. If your eavestroughs aren’t diverting water properly, water might actually seep into the foundation of your house! That can be a serious deal-breaker for buyers, who will pay special attention to their home inspector’s assessment of the gutter.
The first thing you should do is take a close look at the troughs. If you notice holes, leaky joints, sagging gutter sections (the result of a missing spike), or general disrepair, it’s time to decide whether to repair your gutters or replace the whole system with a new one. The latter option may cost a little more up front, but will help with curb appeal and impress any home inspector who tours the outside of your house.
Cleaning your System
This is an obvious place to start, but some homeowners overlook this household errand that should be performed at least once each year. Houselogic’s thorough and helpful guide to cleaning eavestroughs has a few good pointers, including these top tips:
- You can actually buy a “gutter scoop” at hardware stores, specifically designed to dig out all of debris that is clogging up your gutter.
- Make sure to wear long sleeves to protect your arms from the troughs’ edges.
- Lay down a plastic tarp that you can dump the debris out onto – this way, it stays off your grass.
Repairing your Existing Eavestroughs
According to a great article on repairing eavestroughs by This Old House’s Merle Henkenius, many minor issues with the rain gutters – such as holes or joint leaks – can be fixed with a quick trip to the hardware store. For example:
- A tube of roofing cement can be used to fasten an appropriately-sized metal patch that will cover up small holes (make sure the patch is made from the same metal as your gutter!)
- That sagging trough can be propped right back up and held firmly into place with the help of a seven-inch gutter screw.
There are also various eavestroughs specialists in Toronto and the GTA who can not only inspect your eavestroughs for issues, but also professionally conduct any necessary repairs for you.
Installing a New System
If you’re living in an older house, odds are your system may be made of a material that’s just not cut out for the standard wear and tear of life in Ontario. Some examples of cheaper eavestroughs materials include vinyl – prone to breaking down with exposure to sunlight – or galvanized steel, which tends to rust over the years.
It might be worthwhile – not only for your own peace of mind, but that of potential home buyers in the future – to invest in a new system. Now, homeowners can select from a number of light and robust materials such as aluminum or even stainless steel – although choosing a material that’s right for you may depend on how much you are willing to spend.
The eavestroughs specialists you choose to work with – Home Depot, for example – will walk you through the following steps in the process:
- In-home consultation, to determine what sort of system you need and provide a cost estimate.
- Full installation of the new system.
- A follow-up inspection to make sure everything is performing to your satisfaction.
Remember – the money you put into the new system isn’t just about pride of ownership – think of this as a long-term investment that will prevent problems with water damage, leakage or penetration and furthermore will likely have a positive impact on your home value when you eventually decide to sell.