Why Clean and Maintain Your Eaves Troughs?
An eaves trough, or sometimes referred to as a rain gutter, is a simple system that collects rain water and melting snow from your roof, channels the water to a downspout and away from your home. The main purpose is to protect your home from flooding and to avoid erosion around your foundation.
Eaves function well when they are maintained and cleaned. When eaves are neglected this same system that can protect your home, can now do a great deal of damage. What kind of damage?
When eaves become clogged water will spill over the front of the eaves creating dangerous icicles in the winter. Water will also spill over the back of the eaves. Water damage to the soffit, facia board, walls and foundation will occur.
Eaves are not built to carry weight. A properly hung eave has an engineered slope so that water flows efficiently to the downspout. When water and debris build up eaves start to sag, that slope becomes inefficient. The eaves then may warp or twist under the weight or fall off altogether.
What can you do?
Many people endorse gutter guards. Gutter guards do work extremely well. But not all gutter guards work. The cheap gutter screens are usually improperly installed and make more problems and work. The aftermarket sections create just as many problems. Gutter guards only work if they are part of the integral structure of the eaves when installed. That being said if there are many trees hanging over your roof you will still need to clear your gutter guards of debris so they work properly.
The best option is to clean and inspect your eaves every spring and fall.
What would you be looking for?
- During winter did you have any icicles hanging from your house?
- In the valleys of your roof is there a collection of leaves and debris?
- Compare the eaves to your neighbours. Are your eaves sitting funny compared to theirs?
- Do you have branches hanging or can you see something growing out of the eaves?
- During a rain storm go outside and see if water is flowing out of the downspout.
- Look out your windows if possible and see what might be collecting in the eaves.
- Do you have trees hanging over your roof?
- If you have any of these problems you should clean your eaves.
How can you clean your eaves?
If you Google “ladder accidents” you will find a staggering number of household accidents and deaths resulting from climbing ladders. Unless you have proper safety training walking on roofs and climbing ladders is not your best option.
Many maintenance and window cleaning companies offer eaves trough cleaning as an additional service during the spring and fall. Not every company is worthy of working at your family’s home. There are a few things you will want to consider. Insurance, experience and safety are key issues you would want to discuss before allowing anyone to do work on your property. Also look for a company that can also take care of any small repairs and offer inspections. Beware of companies that are overly cheap. They either are not qualified or their prices will change once on site.
Eaves trough cleaning and maintenance is an important part of the up keep of your home. Neglecting the cleaning your eaves will only result in expensive repairs. Regularly pay attention to your eaves. Inspect them every spring and fall. Have them cleaned at least once a year by a professional.