By Howard Crick
Certified Professional Inspector
Britannia home inspections
It’s that time of year to check out your gutters/eavestrough and downspouts
So what’s the deal with gutters?
Your gutters and downspouts are an important part of your water handling system. They are there to ensure rain/snowmelt discharges away from your building’s structure and prevents rot on facias and soffits, damage to the building envelope, and wet basements.
FIRST THINGS FIRST SAFETY!
- Before we mount any roofs or climb any ladders we have to make sure we do so safely.
- Check your ladders out for any damaged rungs, broken welds, or any damaged parts. Never use a ladder of any kind if it is defective in any way.
- Ladders should be at an angle of For every 4ft vertical height it should be 1ft out at the bottom
- Always tie the ladder off at a secure anchoring point.
- Use ladder levelers on the uneven ground not scraps of wood/bricks!
- Always maintain a 3 point contact on a ladder when ascending/descending.
- Never overreach on a ladder to get that last bit.
- If cleaning from the roof use tie-offs and never overreach the eaves.
If you are not confident on a ladder or working at heights, secure the services of a professional gutter cleaning contractor or roofer of which there are many in Calgary.
Ok maintenance time!
- First off clean your gutters of all debris and dirt. If you can’t see it you can’t inspect it! Some leaves and fauna leach Tannic acid and will corrode steel and stain aluminum!
- Check your gutters for rust, pinholes, and any damage and check all joints and seams for deteriorated caulk and leak points.
- Eyeball down the gutter lengths for any sags or dips or reverse slope away from outlets.
- Add leaf guards where trees are present and clean them off twice a year.
- If you can’t determine if gutters have a fall then run water through the channels and see if it drains to an outlet.
- If you have gutters more than 40ft in length then place high in the middle and bend towards outlets each end.
- You should have an outlet approximately every 35ft and the slope towards outlets should be 1/2 inch in 10ft run.
- Check your downspouts for splits/holes and that they are connected to outlets with screws and terminate at least 6ft away from the foundations
- Do not terminate into the ground as these can block and also leak up against foundations.
To really check your gutters and downspouts are operating correctly and not leaking take a walk around your home when rain or snowmelt is present and seeing how the water discharges from your water handling system. Make a note and correct it when dry.
Keep your gutters and downspouts in good condition and well maintained and they will protect your home for many years and remember Safety First!
If you have any questions regarding your home feel free to contact us.
Certified professional inspector
If you need more information on home safety contact Britannia home inspections 403-667-6443