Rain, Rain, Go Away…

Downpour Rain no gutters Moncton NB

Rain gutters are small but critical components of a building’s roofing system and a long-term investment in the infrastructure of your home. Millions of feet of gutter are installed each year throughout the country, yet there is very little information available to educate or guide consumers when they are installing or replacing gutters.

Why You Need Gutters

All gutters are troughs that collect rain running off a roof and channel it, with proper slopes, to downspouts that carry the rain water to the ground and away from your siding, windows, doors and foundation. The most commonly used gutter – open gutters – should be regularly cleaned of leaves and debris in order to function properly.

In the course of collecting water, open rain gutters also collect leaves, acorns, pine needles, and other debris which can cause clogs anywhere in the gutter itself or sometimes in the downspouts. In dry conditions clogged gutters are a fire hazard; and during heavy rains, clogged gutters and downspouts can cause rainwater to overflow, potentially causing substantial damage to your building, landscaping and basement.

Types of Gutters

Most residential gutters come in two sizes– 5″ and 6″ –and are made of either aluminum, steel, zinc, vinyl, or copper in a standard “K” style.

The typical 5 inch K-style gutter comes with 2 x 3 inch downspouts. A larger residential gutter system would consist of 6 inch K-style gutter using a 3 x 4 inch downspout.

One foot of 5″ K-Style gutter holds 1.2 gallons of water. One foot of 6″ K-Style gutter holds 2.0 gallons of water. For commercial applications, box gutters, can be made in 7, or 8 inches or even larger custom sizes that hold even more water.

Gutter Problems

cat cleans gutters

When any of these problems occur, it may be time to replace your gutters. Ideally, the life expectancy of the average aluminum gutter is 20 – 30 years or longer, depending on maintenance, the care you take putting ladders against them, and regional weather conditions in your area of the country. Copper gutters may last 50 yrs, and galvanized steel gutters 20 years or less.

Debris Accumulation
  • Loose debris will quickly begin to decompose, matting down and compressing into a solid sheet as it becomes damp, causing gutter clogs.
  • Accumulated debris caused by clogged gutters is a fire hazard, and it is extremely bad for the roof, accelerating wear and backing water up under the shingles.
  • It can also create a solid bridge over the top of the gutters that can send water cascading over the edge.
Damage Clogged Gutters Can Cause
  • Basement flooding
  • Foundation cracking and settlement
  • Soil erosion
  • Dry-rot on fascia boards, soffit, and roof
  • Paint damage
  • Window, door and siding damage
  • Mold damage
  • Fire damage in dry, high wind, fire-prone areas
Common Causes of Gutter Damage
  • Leaning ladders against gutters to clean them out
  • Seams splitting apart (on non-seamless types)
  • Ice formation
  • Pest infestations
  • Stains caused by constant overflowing and rusting spikes
  • Storm and tree damage

 

Some gutter installers and manufacturers warrantee their products or workmanship. Be sure to check if you have a warrantee.

Leaf Protection Systems

Gutter guards, a form of leaf protection, allow water to flow freely through the gutter bottom, while preventing debris from falling into the gutter and interrupting the flow.

This interest in maintenance reduction through debris filtering has grown more popular in recent years, along with an aging population of homeowners. Though it adds cost to the initial installation, these costs can be mitigated over the years by the safety benefits and /or eliminating costs associated with gutter cleaning which can range from $50 to $250 depending on the size of the house and number of gutters.

There are now many gutter guards or leaf protection products available to the homeowner. They have evolved into several configurations and come in a broad spectrum of materials and prices, and with varying degrees of effectiveness. Many good gutter installers carry all types. Some are add-on devices that fit over existing gutters. Others are complete systems that require replacing existing gutters.

Maintenance Tips For All Types of Gutters

Regardless of what type of gutter system you choose, gutters and roofs need maintenance. If you have open rain gutters, clean at least twice a year: in the Spring after trees bud, dropping flowers acorns, and seed pods; and in the fall after they drop their leaves. Depending on weather conditions where you live, an additional cleaning or two may also be necessary if you also have a low-sloped roof, 

even a leaf protection system cannot prevent debris from accumulating on your roof, so with or without a leaf protection system, roof maintenance is required. A simple cleaning with a broom or blower is all that is necessary. Plus, loose debris accumulating on the roof is a fire hazard and is extremely bad for the roof, accelerating wear and backing water up under the shingles.

However, cleaning out your gutters and brushing debris from your roof, though an important task, is not an easy one. Climbing and moving ladders and working several feet off the ground can be dangerous. It requires strength and agility to maintain your personal safety, as well as climbing protection systems or devices. If you cannot do this safely, call a contractor or install a system that offers leaf protection.

If you have any questions or would like an estimate to replace or install a new gutter system, please feel free to give us a call. We can be reached by phone at 506–381-7571 or thru email at  .  We welcome you to visit our website to learn more about us and what we do… https://awesomehomerepairs.ca/