Monday, 29 December 2008

[PropertyInfo.035] Is gutter leaking problem covered by insurance?

We have a guy from ABC Seamless, one of the gutter/leaf guard company to give us a quote for a leaf guard for our gutters the other day.

During his presentation, I noticed in his folder there were some information about 2 articles (see below) from Sydney Morning Herald about some major problems with the "high-front gutters" design.

The 2 articles with quite shocking information are as below:

Gremlin behind the walls


Government failed to tell builders of gutter rule: Opposition

As mentioned in the articles:

"People think it's just a matter of a simple roof leak, which they can then claim through their insurance,"

"But these homes will not be repaired by insurance companies if the original work was non-compliant. This guttering is not only a breach of legislation but an act of unwitting deceit, potentially causing health and financial stress to consumers. Then they pursue us, and we face litigation for non-compliance."

"Opposition's spokeswoman on fair trading, Catherine Cusack, called the widespread installation of non-compliant guttering systems 'one of the greatest failures in Australian consumer protection history'"

From the articles, looks like there were a few things not been followed during gutter installation, such as: (1) leaving a gap between the gutter and the wall, (2) there should be overflowing slots (holes) on the gutter, but some manufacturers leave it as optional.

Also, the design of "high-front gutters" is flawed as when there's more water than it could handle, the water will naturally flows toward the back - into the house as the back of the gutter is much lower than the front.

One other option of course, would be to have a gutter that has a higher back. And that's where ABC Seamless is pushing their special "high-back gutter" product and they claim to be the only one in the industry that's supplying this product - see the "Ogee" one as highlighted below, the page of all available gutter profiles is here.

There must be other technical complications or cost/installation issues involved, otherwise I don't understand why they also sell the "flawed" high front gutters?

Regardless of all these, yes, we all know that we have to clean our gutters regularly and yes, the leaf guard would help to prevent blockage. But my main concern is, is it true that insurance company won't be covering the cost if there's any problem? What options do we have?

Hope someone with experience/knowledge in this area can help to clarify, and any comments/suggestions welcomed!


popcorn-chicken said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Allan said...

Hi popcorn-chicken, thanks for your comments as below. Unfortunately part of our house is indeed under a few trees where the gutters and roof valleys was always full of leaves, blocking the gutters quite badly.
Sorry I have to remove your comment as you mentioned the old ID which I will be no longer using in the comment... Hope you understand!
you'd better think twice before you put that thing in. My in-law's house in Melbourne had it done two years ago, and the company claimed that their product won't casue any leaky problem as others do. But now, my in-law stucked with the leaky problem which causing more problems than they thought!!! unless you're living in a very bushy area with leaves falling directly into your gutter, otherwise i don't think you need those thing. They are not as good as they claim anyway.