Proper Gutter Installation And Maintenance Prevent Unnecessary Repair Costs
Like most parts of a roof and its sub-structure, a gutter operates in relative silence and obscurity – until, of course, there is a breakdown in functionality, resulting in potentially extensive damage to the roof and the building as a whole, along with costly repair bills. Therefore, proper installation and maintenance is critically important from two distinct yet significant perspectives:
- Primary function – To effectively drain rain water/melted snow from the roof surface
- Secondary function – To protect the structural envelope from water-related damage
When eavestrough/gutters are not installed correctly and/or when eavestrough/gutter are not cleaned or maintained on a regular basis (or at all), there will likely be drainage failures (blockages, pooling, spill-overs) resulting in compound failures within their structural protection role. The scope of water-related or ice-related damage stemming from a poorly-functioning gutter system can include:
- Rusting or sagging of the gutters
- Penetration/leaks under the roofing material
- Rotting of the soffits and/or fascia
- Staining of the exterior masonry or siding
- Leaks in/rotting of window and door frames
- Cracks and leaks in the foundation
- Erosion of landscaping adjacent to the home
The first step in preventing such types of damage, and avoiding their associated repair or replacement costs, is the proper installation of the eavestroughing system. In the majority of cases, this process will actually be the replacement of an existing system, and it can either be done as a do-it-yourself project or entrusted to a professional contractor such as Avenue Road Roofing.
In a broader sense, gutter installation includes the following actions (Tip: any cutting and joining of gutter lengths/sections should be done at ground level rather than while standing on a ladder):
- Cuts – should be made with either tin/metal snips or a 12-inch power miter saw
- Angle/slope toward downspouts – roughly ¼ inch for every 10-12 feet of length
- Attach support brackets to at least every other rafter end/tail along fascia boards and offset slightly to compensate for/agree with the angle/slope as defined above
- Cornering – extend gutter length beyond the end of the fascia by the width of the gutter and cut back toward the corner at an angle of 45 degrees
- Overlapping linear sections – if this is required, the overlying section should be a minimum of 6-8 inches in length and secured with rivets or self-tapping screws
- Mark and cut 4-inch diameter holes in gutter for downspout openings (make cuts from the inside of the gutter)
- Close off squared ends of the gutter with end-caps and secure with rivets/screws
- Seal all seams, rivets, etc. with silicone caulking.
Once the gutter installation process is complete, the second and equally important step is that of continuous maintenance. Good maintenance practices will prolong the lifespan of the system and help prevent unnecessary gutter repair bills as well.
Common aspects to ensuring/maintaining the proper function of a gutter system include:
- Checking water flow after storms – fully drained or blocked/pooled?
- Examining brackets – secured or loosened?
- Downspouts – openings unobstructed/clear of debris? aligned with gutters?
- Trimming overhanging tree branches
- Regular removal of leaves/twigs and accumulated granules (from shingles)
- Inspections for pinhole leaks, loose caulking, separated corner seams/joints
Proper installation and maintenance of a gutter system are of significant importance to residential and commercial property owners. If either of these key aspects is performed incorrectly or incompletely, it could lead to extensive structural damage and substantial repair costs. Therefore, despite the option of do-it-yourself gutter installation and maintenance, homeowners may want to consider/invest in the systems installed by the best roofing company in Toronto.
Gutter Repair Should Be Done As Soon As Possible To Prevent Further Damage
There are several reasons why gutter repair might be required, including:
- Neglect by the previous homeowners
- Storm damage – high winds, ice formation
- Time/age – rusting; exposure to the elements
- Rotting/deterioration of the fascia
- Poorly positioned downspouts
- Generally poor/improper installation
When you need gutter repairs, appropriate action should be taken as soon as possible in order to prevent any resulting water damage from becoming more extensive and more costly than necessary. Our roofing contractors can quickly and accurately identify any gutter issues and recommend the appropriate course of action to repair and resolve the problem efficiently and effectively.
Are you uncertain about do-it-yourself gutter installation or repair work? Avenue Road Roofing has certified specialists who can get the job done right. Call us today at 416-785-5129 for professional gutter installation or repair services.