In addition to gutters needing cleaning, they occasionally require minor maintenance as well. Approximately 15% of the inquiries we receive for gutter cleaning are accompanied by a request to fix a corner or two that are not holding water anymore.
Gutters start out as flat sheets of aluminum and get rolled into shape after getting fed through a machine. After they are mounted, the corners are sealed together using an adhesive. The tasks of patching gutters or installing a gutter patch is extremely finicky and often a little more involved than some people think. There are plenty of different products on the market and we’ve tried the majority including polyurethane, leak seal, silicone, polypro… you name it and we’ve probably tried to patch a leaking gutter with it.
The problem with these products is that the weather in Vernon, Kelowna, Salmon Arm and Kamloops fluctuates greatly over the course of a given year. Whether it’s positive 35 degrees or minus 20 degrees, the sealant has to be able to expand and contract with the temperature. If the product doesn’t have this property, it will crack and a leak will start.
The difficulty in patching gutters is that their purpose is to hold moisture. When it comes to the curing of the caulking, this can be very tricky because warm and dry conditions are needed for 24 hours following the repair. If the gutters are not properly sloped, we will use a towel to prevent the water from flowing back on the fresh gutter sealant.
Another common repair that is needed is when the gutters start to fall off the fascia. Over time, shingle grit, dust, and organic debris build up and it is heavy! Some houses that we clean the gutters on can have upwards of four five-gallon buckets of debris. When you consider that each one can weight over 50lbs, it becomes clear why gutters that are full of debris start to fall off the home. The gutters are usually held up with small screws ever 18″ so there is a limit as to how much weight they will hold.
If gutters are cleaned regularly, there will be less debris and moisture against the corner seals, and less weight present which will prolong their life. Basic ongoing maintenance is always more effective and cost-efficient than major repairs.