3 Must-Read Tips for Cleaning Your Eavestroughs This Fall
After a long and hot summer, fall is here. That means cozy sweaters, delicious hot drinks, and pumpkins everywhere. But for homeowners, that also means it’s time for fall chores – including clearing out your eavestroughs and preparing them for winter.
Check out these three tips for cleaning your eavestroughs this fall:
1. Make Any Necessary Repairs to Your Eavestroughs
- Ensure Joints are Sealed
If a leak is going to occur, it’s most likely to happen where two eavestrough sections meet. To prevent it, simply apply a silicone sealant along the inside seams before smoothing it out to deter debris from collecting. If the same leak comes back again, you’ll want to disassemble the sections before caulking each seam.
- Lift and Straighten Your Eavestroughs
The first step is to tighten the fastener securing the trough to your home. If held in place with a spike-style fastener, use a hammer to push the fastener deeper and tap the trough up. If your trough is attached with metal brackets, bend the strap using plyers. That will lift the trough.
Be careful not to straighten your eavestroughs out too much. They need to have a bit of a slope to let water flow properly. The contractor installing your eavestroughs will calculate the pitch that’s right for your home.
- Fix Small Patches
Start by scraping the area using a wire brush and wiping it with paint thinner, which will get rid of any built-on rust. Next, cut a fibreglass patch that’s big enough to cover the damaged area plus five centimetres on each side. Use a putty knife to coat the area in plastic roof cement, smooth the patch on with a dry cloth, and finally cover it with a final layer of cement. Make sure you feather the edges to avoid creating ridges that can hinder the flow of water.
Do you how each piece of your eavestrough fits together to make the whole system work? Read our blog to find out!
2. Ensure Your Downspout is Emptying Properly
The most important takeaway here is that your downspout needs to empty away from the foundation of your home. If water is directed towards it, that can cause structural damage and result in big repair bills down the road. You also want to make sure water isn’t flowing onto your driveway (especially during the winter!) where it can freeze and turn into a major slipping hazard.
To make sure it’s draining properly, you should:
- Confirm your downspout isn’t clogged. Especially during the fall, downspouts can easily become blocked by debris like leaves and twigs trying to squeeze their way down. To clear them you can force water upwards to blast through whatever is getting in the way, reach in with a coat-hanger, or use a plumber’s snake.
- Attach some extra pipe to carry away runoff. You can position it to drain onto your lawn, towards an open or covered trench, or into an in-ground dry well.
- Use a splash pad or block, making sure it’s sloped away from your home.
3. Remove Leaves from Your Eavestroughs and Clear Overhanging Branches
It’s important to keep your eavestroughs clear to make sure water is able to flow freely all year round. During the fall, this typically means removing troublesome debris like leaves, moss, and dirt. You can do this using garden trowels, scoops, or extension polls. You’ll also want to clear any overhanging branches (especially dead, weakened, or rotting ones) to prevent them from damaging your roof and eavestroughs if they snap and fall during the winter.
What are the four benefits of an eavestrough protection system? Read our blog to find out!
While you’re working, make sure your safety is a top priority:
- Practice ladder safety at all times. You need to start by finding a ladder that’s the right height, not damaged, and can be properly secured. When climbing, remember the “three point rule,” always keeping both legs and one hand on the ladder to maintain your stability. Finally, you should either have someone with you to hold the ladder or at least tell them you’ll be using it.
- Wear protective clothing. Find thick suede gloves to protect your hands from debris and protruding pieces of metal. Avoid cotton gloves as they’ll soak up too much moisture, leather as they can limit movement, and rubber as they’re more likely to rip.
Maintaining your eavestroughs year round is the best way to make sure they continue to perform their best through every season.
At Quality Exteriors, we are your choice for effective rainware eavestroughs and gutter protection. Contact us today to schedule a free in-home estimate!
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