Eaves Maintenance Essentials for Every Homeowner
Eaves trough a.k.a. Rain gutters, are an essential but often overlooked component of homes. Eaves trough prevent water damage to outdoor property, roofs, foundation, and landscaping, and also help protect against leaks, which is why regular gutter maintenance is absolutely essential. Although eaves replacement and repair is best left in the hands of a professional, most homeowners can take care of maintenance on their own with a little know-how.
Eaves Trough: Slope is Essential
When eaves trough are installed by a contractor, they are positioned in such a way that they are slightly sloped towards the downspout. This allows water to be expelled efficiently. An important part of regular gutter maintenance is checking the slope of rain gutters. An easy way to do this is to climb up on a ladder and spray water into the gutters with a hose. The water should flow smoothly towards the downspout. If it simply sits there, the slope probably has to be adjusted. There are different opinions about the ideal slope of rain gutters, but a one inch slope for every 20 feet of gutter is a common suggestion.
Using a line level, locate and mark the high point and low point for your gutter. Then, readjust your eaves trough by repositioning the hangers. Replace any rusted or damaged hangers and screws.
Eaves Maintenance: Fixing Leaks
Again, use a ladder to access your eaves and spray water into them using a hose. Then, look to see whether any sections of your eaves are leaking. Most leaks in sectional rain gutters will occur at the seams, and this problem is relatively easy to fix. Simply apply silicone or caulking along the seams. Be sure to seal both the inside and outside of the trough.
Eaves Maintenance: Repairing Holes
Eaves trough can develop small or large holes over time. Small holes can be easily repaired with roofing cement. Simply use a putty knife to distribute the cement evenly and fill in the hole. Bigger holes can also be repaired, although it will take some extra effort. In addition to roofing cement and a putty knife, a sheet metal patch large enough to cover the hole is also necessary. Set the sheet metal patch into a generous quantity of cement. Then, place the metal and cement (cement on bottom) over the hole. Finally, place more cement over the sheet metal using the putty knife.
Eaves Maintenance: Downspouts
The downspouts in any eaves trough system are crucial because they direct water away from your home’s foundation. The is essential. Inspect downspouts for leaks and signs of wear. If your downspouts are joined to fascia boards, ensure that they are firmly attached. Check the boards for signs of wear and rot and, if necessary, replace them.
Eaves Maintenance: When to Consult a Professional
Most homeowners can take care of basic rain eaves maintenance on their own. Adjusting the slope, repairing leaks and holes, and replacing fascia boards are manageable tasks. However, for significant structural problems and repairs, it is best to call a professional. The same is true if you are thinking about having new eaves trough installed.
Brought to you by the Alliston Home Inspector