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Eavestroughing 101

It’s that time of year again.

As the harsh winter we’ve had shows signs of letting up, the spring thaw brings with it run-offs from the melting snow, not to mention rain… and possibly more rain.

If not handled properly by your eavestroughing (gutters) system, this water can lead to flooding and water-damaged basements, making it critically important to ensure that your roof-run-off is well-directed away from your house foundations.

 

An important first step would be to inspect your eavestrough/gutters. Has anything worked loose or been damaged during the winter months? Have you noticed leaking from the mitre/corner joints or dripping between the eavestrough and fascia board? Is water overflowing at one end and not draining into your downpipe? Does your eavestroughing look old and worn? If any of these are true, it may be time for an update.

If your eavestroughing was installed many years ago, there are a number of factors to consider for your new system:

 

Fasteners

Eavestroughs are now installed with screw-on brackets, as opposed to the spikes that most people are familiar with. This lends a cleaner finish across the front (no more dotted nail heads), and with the use of a #10 fastener, won’t be affected by the freeze thaw that causes the old spikes to eventually work their way out of the fascia board (which can result in weakened and falling eavestrough).

                                                                               Spikes                                                                                             

Mitres 

Box mitres are the short-cut finish for corners. The better method is a hand mitre, which gives a cleaner finish and creates one narrow seam that is easily caulked with the proper industry-crafted sealant… specially intended for eavestroughing. Box mitres tend to leak and can rarely be properly sealed again, and are often the reason the eavestroughing needs to be replaced (let alone the cause of that annoying drip over the front entrance).

   

                                                       Box Mitre                                  Hand Mitre

 

Downpipes

Many times, the size of downpipes and the location needs to be improved on. We use as a standard 3x3 large downpipe. This helps to discharge the collected water from your gutters more efficiently and ensure the water is running off where intended (not over-flowing the edge of the trough, and washing out landscaping or potentially causing foundation problems).  In some instances a 3.5” extra-large pipe will be used on high flow areas. It is also important that downpipes run away from the house, never to inside corners or to discharge near window wells. A good rule of thumb is one 3x3 downpipe for every 50 ft of eavestrough.

 

Size

The standard residential size of eavestroughs is 5” (referring to the top opening), however we also offer a 6” option. A larger eavestrough size helps to catch water more efficiently, as well as direct the water to the desired discharge point more effectively. The result is less overflow during heavy downpours. Many new construction homes these days have high-pitched roofs, which create large surface areas and additional flow, which a 6” system will help to manage.

 

Heater Wire

For people who rely on rain harvesting for cisterns, the addition of commercial grade heater wire can keep the water flowing in the winter months, as well as deal with ice damming which can lead to costly roof repairs. The heater wire that we use is not the wire available at box stores, but has a dual-core heater element and is self-regulating (fluctuation between 2 Watts/ft to as much as 12 Watts/ft).  Installing heater wire in your eavestrough system may help to minimize your water-delivery charges, as well as deal with potentially dangerous icicles.

 

Leaf guard

There is a multitude of different products on the market to prevent leaves and debris from accumulating and clogging your eavestrough. We have tested many of them and found vast differences in performance, leading us to the product offering we carry for our customers.

 For more information on leaf guard and eavestrough/gutter protection options, watch for an upcoming blog where we will discuss the pros and cons of different products currently on the market.

 

Thanks for reading.

 

If you’d like more information, or are looking to replace the eavestroughing/gutters on your home, please feel free to call us at 519-647-0610 or email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.