05 Nov Regular Eavestrough cleaning
Regular Eavestrough cleaning is one of the most cost effective home maintenance gifts you could give your home. Here are our top 10 reasons it’s so important to have your troughs cleaned out and to keep them well maintained avoid some serious costs down the road.
During a heavy rain fall, large amounts of water hit your roof, which runs into your eaves trough, down the downspout and away from your home. However, if your troughs are blocked, all of this water pours over your down spout and runs down your foundation and potentially into your basement.
Ice Dams / Water Damage in your ceiling
If your eaves troughs have not been cleared properly, you are increasing the risk of ice dams developing in your troughs. This occurs when water is blocked in the eaves trough, freezes and grows back under the shingles. When the sun comes out, this ice is melted and drips into the ceiling causing damage.
We’ve heard this story too many times – the family goes on vacation, and comes home to water damage on the ceiling from an ice dam buildup over the winter. This can easily be avoided by having the troughs cleared and flowing properly before the winter months.
Slope -Will your eaves troughs pass the ‘marble test’?
If you drop a marble into your eaves, it should roll down and out of a downspout. Most eaves troughs older than 10 years old don’t pass the test. All eaves troughs have a slight slope or grade, pointing left or right so that the water slopes towards the downspout. If this slope isn’t correct, it can cause a number of problems such as: Pooling water (breeding grounds for insects), Overflow (water concentrates at the foundation of the home, increasing basement flood risk), Improper drainage (Increasing the risk of Ice Dams).
Also, if your eaves troughs are held on by the “spike and furrow” method, (the front of your eaves look like they have large spikes holding them on), you should really pay close attention to slope issues.
We have a Solution: New metal ‘gutter clips’ or ‘gutter hangers’ can be installed beside the existing spike to give the sagging troughs their proper lift, and restoring the slope.
Having large icicles on the house is a good indication of a blocked eaves trough. With no place for water to run, it overflows from the side of the Eavestrough and forms an icicle. These icicles can become very large and heavy. Risks of icicle buildup include: Slip and fall hazard (As it melts and creates a sheet of ice on the pavement below), injury (due to an icicle falling on a person), Eavestrough damage and separation (from the weight of that heavy ice sitting in the trough through the winter), excessive melt water around the foundation of the home. A good way to prevent this issue is to have your troughs clear and clean before winter comes.
Spring & Fall
As a home owner your eaves troughs should be cleaned out in the spring (after the buds of the new leaves fall) and again in the fall (when the leaves fall). The exception to this is if you are in a brand new subdivision without trees or if you live in a heavily forested area with branches extending onto the roof line.
Unless you live in a heavily forested area that requires monthly cleaning, Eavestrough guards should be avoided. Most home owners will find that it makes greater financial sense simply to have them cleared when they are blocked. Many of the guard systems simply don’t work well enough to justify the cost of the guard. If you do live in a heavily treed area, expect to pay in the range of $15 -$ 20 dollars per foot for a high quality guard to be installed. Of all the guards we’ve seen over the years, top marks go to Diamond Back Gutter Guards.
Many accidents result from inexperience. Most people do not have the proper ladders needed to do the job well and do not have formal training on how to operate a ladder properly. Injuries have unfortunately, become common in the DIY (Do it Yourself) community. Given the price of the service, scratch it off your “to do list” and call a professional. With our training and experience, we’ll be safe up there!
Ladder arms are used to increase stability and keep the weight of the ladder off the eaves trough. Eaves troughs are thin, painted coils of aluminum, that can scratch and dent easily. We are continually shocked to see how many people place their ladders directly onto an eaves trough, making dents and scratches as they go.
Discoloration on the outside of your eavestroughs
If the outside of your Eavestrough has become dark, dirty and is stained with a thin coating of black/brown, your eaves troughs maybe trying to tell you something. We often remind customers that the outside appearance of your Eavestrough is your best indicator as to what’s going on inside. If the outside is fresh and white, they are clear. If the outside is dirty and stained, chances are you have a blocked Eavestrough and they need to be cleared.
Once the Eavestrough has been cleared of debris, make sure you flush the downspout with a garden hose and running water to ensure that water can freely flow. You can listen to the sound of running water or if your return spills onto the lawn, simply check to see that it’s free flowing.