Check the Guttering Before Buying a Cheap Home

Sometimes people looking to get moved into a new house are so excited by the prospect of settling in to a new abode, that they do not perform due diligence when it comes to inspecting the house they are thinking about purchasing. This can be a serious mistake that can end up costing a lot of money and causing major headaches for the new homeowner. Especially when considering an inexpensive piece of property, it is vital that prospective buyers take the time to check out every possible potential problem area. It only makes sense to make sure that you are getting what you expect before handing over any money.

A wise thing to do when considering buying a cheap home is to carefully inspect the guttering. Gutters and downspouts systems may be something that many people overlook when taking a look at affordable housing, especially when they are located high above the ground and require a ladder to access for viewing.

If at all possible it’s worth the effort to have a look at the system during its operation, that is, when it’s raining. The heavier the rain the better, as many defects won’t be apparent in a light rain.

A big plus when examining a guttering system is the presence of what’s generally referred to as a heat tape in the bottom. This is especially so in areas of the country that experience sudden changes of weather in which it goes from being rainy to freezing quickly. A heat tape will prevent ice dams from occurring in the guttering, avoiding the potential for having it pulled right of the house by the weight of accumulated ice.

If a former owner has gone to the trouble of installing a heat tape, it’s a good sign that home maintenance was a priority for him or her. On the other hand, it might also be a sign that you would do well to get up into the attic and look for signs that water previously infiltrated the space, which could have resulted in rotten or soft wood that’s an invitation to infestation by carpenter ants.

If you find downspouts that lead into the ground, it’s essential that you find out where they empty. Many municipalities now require a test establishing that they don’t empty into the sanitary sewer system. A remaining risk is that they empty into the ground, where water can accumulate during very heavy rain and lead to infiltration into the basement or crawl space.


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