Home inspections encompass all aspects of your home, including the outside. Neglecting to keep your gutters and siding in good shape can lead to costly repairs later down the road if water damage occurs. I have performed thousands of home inspections over the years and here are a few of the most common issues that I find with gutters and siding.
Most Common Gutter Issues
1. Improperly Pitched or Leaky Gutters
Gutters should be pitched ½ inch per 10 feet to the end with the downspout. It is also important to keep gutters clean and leak free at the seams. Flooded gutters can wick water into the roof decking which can cause wood rot. Leaky gutters will leak water down by the foundation of home that can cause settling and moisture intrusion to foundation.
2. Downspouts that Discharge at the Foot of the Home
It is recommended to have gutters discharge at least 5 feet from home to prevent water from draining back into foundation.
1. Weathered or Rotten Trim/Frames
When the caulking has gone bad and has not been replaced water will find its way into the cracks and crevasses and start to rot out the exposed wood. All areas of the siding and trim should be sealed and caulked as routine maintenance.
2. Damaged Siding
It is important to keep all areas of the siding free from damage and above grade. If these areas rot out or are damaged, water will run in or behind and cause moisture problems.
As you can see, failing to repair gutters or siding as soon as they are damaged or worn can lead to water damage in the structure of your home. Taking care of these types of issues before you try to sell your house can save you a major headache. On the flip side, a home inspection revealing major issues with the siding or gutters can keep you from buying a home that may require big renovations in the future. Always be sure to regularly take care of your home to prevent more expensive repairs in the future.
This blog post is part of a series on Common Home Inspection Issues. Please see our other posts for more information about other areas of your home.