Like all building products, gutters should be properly designed and installed correctly. The builder or guttering installer needs to make sure the gutter system is fully compliant with NSW laws and Australian standards.
High Front Guttering Advisory Committee Report
In 2010, the High Front Guttering Advisory Committee was established to investigate concerns that high front guttering products and installation techniques may be defective and causing damage to residential properties.
The Committee released a report that found there was ‘no evidence of a systemic problem concerning high fronted guttering’. They have, however, made a number of recommendations relating to managing overflow, consistency and clarification of standards, building certification, and industry skills, education and training.
Has the situation changed since the report was completed?
NSW Fair Trading has not received significant numbers of complaints about building defects related to high front gutters. That remains the case today.
The Insurance Council of Australia provided advice to the Committee late last year that there is 'no overall trend has been raised as an issue'. Recent advice from the ICA is that this is still the case.
How can I tell if there is a problem with the high-front guttering?
Signs to look for include:
- Outside the house - watermarking, stains or damp patches on the eaves or exterior walls
- Inside the house - watermarking, stains or damp patches on internal perimeter walls.
What should I do if I think I have a guttering problem?
This depends on how long ago the guttering was installed to your home.
If the guttering was installed less than six years ago (seven if the contract was entered into prior to 1 February 2012) you should talk to the builder, plumber or roof plumber that did the work. Ask them to inspect the work. They are required by law to fix it if it is defective.
If the guttering was installed more than six years ago (seven years if entered into prior to 1 February 2012), you should hire a builder or building consultant to provide advice and a report.
What do I do if my builder, plumber or roof plumber is no longer around?
If the work was carried out less than six years ago, you may be able to lodge a home warranty insurance claim.
Where the value of the work including labour and materials exceeds $20,000 ($12,000 where the contract was entered into prior to 1 February 2012) you should have been provided with an insurance certificate under the Home Building Compensation Fund (previously called Home Warranty Insurance).
Visit the SIRA website to find out more about the HBCF and check if you're covered.
How do I know my contractor was properly licensed to do the work?
Builders, plumbers and roof plumbers installing guttering systems must be licensed.
Check licence details before you enter into a contract.
What do I do if my builder or roof plumber refuses to come back to fix my guttering?
If you cannot resolve a problem with your builder, plumber or roof plumber you can make a complaint to Fair Trading if the work is within the statutory warranty period.
Visit the resolving building disputes page for more information on the service.
Can anyone else help with a building dispute?
Yes, you can lodge an application with the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal.