Eavestroughs are those exterior structures in your home that you rarely think about. So long as there are no visible signs of damage, you’ll quickly assume that the gutters are functioning the way they were designed to work.
Gutters, like all other elements that make up your home’s roofing, need proper care in order to do what they need to do – protect the home from damage. Simple things like cleaning the eavestroughs at least once a year will go a long way. Inspections also need to be done regularly to ensure the eavestroughs and gutters are in tiptop shape.
There are cases where repairs may be recommended from time to time. We’ll begin by looking at some common gutter repair issues we’ve seen in homes today and also cover some basics on eavestrough repair.
What happens when the gutters are clogged?
Clogged gutters can cause havoc in your home. Gutters need to be properly maintained because they help protect your property from water damage. Clogging is common because debris, leaves and other unwanted elements could easily find their way inside the gutters. If you let them stay in the gutter system for too long, they become clogged and water cannot be channeled away from your home as it is supposed to. This results in costly damage.
Instead of exposing your roof to clogged gutters and reducing its expected service life, create a roof maintenance plan that includes gutter cleaning and eavestrough repair Kitchener. The unwanted leaves or debris inside the gutters limit water flow causing a blockage. The stagnant water could easily spill over onto the roof or find its way inside the shingles or the wood causing it to rot. Other than that, the water could also find its way into the house and damage areas such as siding, the fascia and window frames. In fact, a common sign to look out for if you suspect gutter damage is rotting or deterioration in areas such as the siding.
Clogged gutters can ruin a home’s foundation. When the gutters are clogged, water doesn’t get to the downspouts instead it falls right on your home’s foundation. When the gutters remain clogged for an extended period, you’ll notice a pool of water around the property’s foundation. The pool of water can easily sip into the property’s basement. Water is also not recommended near the home’s foundation as it could cause cracking.
How do you fix a leaky gutter?
First and foremost, you’ll need to do some investigations to find out where the issue lies. In most cases, the issue is with the gutter seams. Bear in mind that there are different types of gutters and each has its own unique approach to repairs. For instance, if your home has metal gutters, they could be exposed to water damage that leads to corrosion. Vinyl gutters, on the other hand, have several sections, which are connected by a gasket that deteriorates over time due to exposure to the elements.
How to repair a metal gutter
Begin by cleaning the area of the leak and removing any old sealant present in that section where water is sipping through. Once the joint is clean and dry, you can go ahead and apply a sealant. The most highly recommended sealant for metal gutters is silicone caulk. You’ll need to give it adequate time to dry. We recommend performing these repairs on a dry period when no rain is expected.
How to repair vinyl gutters
If a bad gasket causes the gutter issue, you will need to replace it. You can easily find a replacement gasket for your gutter at the local hardware store. If not, it’s best advised to reach out to the manufacturer of the gutter system who will recommend where to get the ideal gasket or better yet, consult a qualified eavestrough repair service to perform this replacement.
If you notice small, pin-sized leaks in your gutters, you can easily fix this by applying a sealant. You’ll need to keep a close eye at the sections that have small leaks and use the same silicone caulk to seal these areas. We don’t recommend using a sealant to seal large holes. If this is the case, consider replacing the entire section of the gutter that has been damaged.
How to fix a sagging gutther
Have some sections of your gutter started sagging? This is a very common issue that usually occurs due to the weight of water when it rains or snows. Sagging gutters can cause water damage because they won’t sustain the water causing it to overflow to the eavestrough and even ruin the property’s foundation. The gutters could be sagging because of a minor issue like a missing nail or a loose screw. Sometimes sagging occurs due to a more complex issue that needs professional eavestrough repairs.
If the gutter is sagging due to a loose or missing nail, you can easily fix this by tightening the screw or replacing the nail that was missing. You may also want to look out for the fasteners that are used to support the eavestroughs. Sometimes they get damaged or loose and need to be replaced. You may have to replace the fasteners in a different spot if the original location has become worn out and is unable to support the new ones. Just make sure that the angles are properly maintained so that the gutters do not incline in the wrong way. Ideally, gutters are designed to have a slight incline away from the downspouts. This helps to direct water away from the home’s foundation.
How long should you expect the gutters to last?
Just like different roofing materials, gutter systems have varying lifespans. On average, the gutter system will have a service life of about 20 years before it needs to be replaced. There are, of course, lots of factors that will determine whether the gutter system will live up to its expectations. For instance, materials like vinyl are known to be very durable and can withstand harsh climates. Additionally, the climate in your area, as well as the level of maintenance, will determine how long the gutters will last.
We have some really durable materials used in gutter systems today. Good examples are aluminum and galvanized steel, which can last for up to 20 years. Copper gutters are also very durable and probably the best option for homes that are prone to harsh weather conditions. Copper gutters that have been properly installed and well maintained over the years can last for about 50 years before you even consider a replacement. Although options like vinyl gutters are cheap and easy to install, they have a shorter life. The manufacturers of vinyl gutters give an average of 20 years as the expected lifespan but there’s a high chance that they will not even last this long. When choosing the material for your gutter system, consider things like the climate in your area e.g. vinyl doesn’t do so well in cold climates. It can become brittle and prone to cracking in low temperatures.
Your eavestroughs need proper maintenance in order to give you good value for money over the years. Consider hiring a qualified roofing professional to inspect your gutters regularly and make sure cleaning is done at least once every year.