Get your mind in the Gutter!

The gutters (aka eavestroughs) on your house need to be minded – to make sure your house stays dry!    No it’s not fun to be outside right now, but it’s not fun to be inside a water damaged house either.

Leaves in Gutter

Leaves in gutter

Now that most of the leaves have fallen, and the wind is working hard to remove the rest, inspect your gutters and downspouts. If they need cleaning, now is the time, before debris in them freezes up for the winter, and they overflow and leak onto your house in the spring.

Many houses I inspect have debris in the eavestrough or problems with downspouts. As a home owner, even if you don’t want to get on a ladder, there are still some things you at least need to be aware of, and some things you can inspect before you call a professional to service your eavestroughs and downspouts.

If you have an upper storey window that looks out over a lower roof you may be able to see what’s in the gutters.

From the ground here’s what you can look for:


Worn shingles from water draining out of trough

➢ Are there trees that overhang or are quite close to your roof ? If you haven’t had the eaves cleaned in the past year, it’s likely they need it.
➢ Watch the gutter during a rain event for overflow, water should not be flowing over the gutter’s edge or between the gutter and the house.
➢ Look at where spouts discharge – they should be at least 6 ft from house. If it’s closer than that, extend the spout further away.
➢ Make sure water coming out the spout doesn’t dump into an area that ponds next to the house – redirection to another spot is recommended and/or re-grade the area so that the ground slopes away from the house.
➢ Do you get icicles hanging from your troughs in the winter? You may have clogged gutters, or possibly ice damming from inadequate insulation/venting in your attic,
➢ A second storey trough or spout should not dump water ONTO your shingles, it should be extended to meet a lower trough. Water channeled over shingles will wear them out faster in that area.

➢ You can also look at foundation wall of house where it meets the ground for cracking – now we are getting into a topic for another newsletter!

Stay tuned for future posts about condominium units.