Saturday, 26 January 2013

Eaves Dropping

Dear Joe.

I have a gutter on my home that is sagging.  The water pours out of it when it rains and doesn’t go to the down spouts.  What can I do to fix it?




Dear Patty,

Unless you are comfortable on a ladder and familiar with some tools there isn’t much you can do to fix it.  Eavestroughs are a system of your house which requires precise installation and proper maintenance to run properly.  If the gutter has pulled away from the house chances are there is some underlying damage, perhaps to the fascia, that should be addressed before attempting to reattach or replace the troughs.  Older gutters are nailed on, and the nails often pull loose as the wood they are attached to ages or rots in behind them.   Be sure that the wooded fascia and rafter ends are in good repair before making any other repairs.

Gutters should be cleaned out once or twice a year depending on the tree cover around your home.  If left unchecked for more than a year the gutter will fill up with organic material which will decompose into muck and effective stop the flow of water in the eavestroughs.  This leads to standing water which adds significant weight to a system meant to channel water away, not store it.  If A gutter or down spout is plugged you can potentially have 3 lbs of standing water per foot of trough, So on  a standard bungalow you could theoretically have about 500 lbs of water working with gravity to yank the troughs off your home.  Allow that to freeze up and you’re asking for ice dams under shingles, troughs torn off by ice and huge chunks of ice falling from the sky.
I would contact a seamless gutter professional for a free evaluation and commit to maintaining your eavestroughs on a yearly basis.  If you can’t access them yourself, there are lots of handymen who offer great rates on seasonal home maintenance.

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