Eavestroughs, also known as gutters, are the long, narrow tubes that run along you’re the bottom of your roof (more specifically along the fascia), carrying rain water to your downspouts. Downspouts then carry the water to the ground, away from your home and your house’s foundation.
Keeping water away from your foundation is important as it will keep the immediate area around the house from becoming waterlogged. Moisture around your foundation might possibly leak into your basement, causing water damage to the structural integrity of your home, in addition to mould.
Clearly, gutters or eavestroughs play a crucial role in maintaining the integrity of your home, and as such adding to its longevity.
Here are the ten most important eavestrough or gutter questions.
1. What sizes of gutters/eavestroughs are available to homeowners?
It used to be that you could only get eavestroughs in 4” sizes. However, nowadays you can get them in 5” or even 6” sizes. For residential homes, the 5” eavestrough is usually the norm. The 6” size is usually reserved for commercial properties.
If you have a steel roof or a roof with a steep pitch, you may want to go with the 6”.
2. What types of gutters/eavestroughs are available to homeowners?
There are various styles that homeowners can choose from. These include older-styles such as crown-molding, colonial, and two-step, amongst others. Newer styles include multi-profile which is considered the next best thing in the evolution of eavestroughs.
Most Winnipeg roofing companies will offer seamless eavestroughs, as they are a better option for keeping water out. Keep in mind that seamless eavestroughs are the industry standard, so be aware if a company wants to use shortened pieces. This becomes an issue because you’d be adding more seams where water can escape from and drain into your home’s foundation.
Eavestroughs corners can either be boxed or hand mitered. Hand mitered corners are the better of the two, as they have only 1 seam in comparison to 3. The chance of water getting through is greatly reduced. Keep in mind that hand-mitered corners require extra time and cost to install.
3. What are the differences between the styles of eavestroughs?
As we previously described, the different styles will affect various factors, such as the aesthetics, quality and longevity. Make sure to talk it through in detail with your Winnipeg roofer.
Additionally, make sure that your downpipes do not drain directly into your foundation.
4. Does the install of gutters/eavestroughs or leaf guards affect my roof’s warranty?
In most cases, installing eavestroughs or leaf guards will not affect your roof’s warranty. Generally, your roof warranty will require that gutters be installed if there is one roof draining onto a lower roof, such as on a multi-level home or back split.
5. Do roofing or eavestrough companies offer warranties on installation?
If the company is reputable and wants to keep it that way, they will offer warranties on their workmanship, for sure. Look for warranties that cover both workmanship and materials, and check the length of coverage.
Keep in mind that most manufacturers will also have a warranty on their products. These can range from 10 to 20 years, or even possibly a lifetime. However, some products may also not have any warranty at all.
6. If I, as a homeowner, use a ladder against my eavestroughs, does it affect my warranty?
An example of this might be using a ladder to put up Christmas lights.
If you do damage to the eavestroughs with a ladder, it may very well invalidate your warranty. Normally, your gutter warranty will only cover the installation workmanship and the materials.
If you did want to add extra protection to your eavestroughs, you could install gutter guards. Gutter guards keep the eavestroughs clear of debris and add a strengthening component that protects them against the weight of a ladder.
Keep in mind that not all gutter guards are the same. Some will only be useful for keeping out debris.
7. What kinds of products are available to keep leaves and other debris out of eavestroughs?
If you go to your local home department store, you’ll see a huge selection of eavestrough leaf-guard products and each will claim to be the best in keeping your gutters clear of debris.
The cost will probably dictate quality but not always. Make sure to do your research to know what you are buying and to validate the products’ claims. Look for real homeowner reviews. Also, the manufacturers warranty will give you insight into the product quality.
8. Are there any drawbacks of using screens, helmets and other add-ons for leaves?
In general, there are more positives than negatives for installing leaf-guards. However, some of them may actually affect your shingles, so watch out for those.
Keep in mind that they also don’t keep pine needles out. Depending on quantity and stickiness of pine needles, it may or may not affect your water drainage.
9. How often should I clean my eavestroughs if I don’t have leaf guards
At the very minimum, you should clean your eavestroughs at least twice a year. Spring and Fall are the ideal times to clear any debris. If you have leaf-guards installed, then you normally only clean your eavestroughs if there is evidence of water overflowing.
Look for leaf guards that have a no-clog guarantee.
10. How do you stop gutter joints and corners from clogging up with ice, and consequently cracking the gutters in the winter?
The first thing you want to do is to install seamless eavestroughs. Next, you want to make sure that you have the proper slope. Make sure that you use the right materials and gutter seal in the corners. The better quality of gutter seal, the more it will reduce leaks over the long term.