Eavestrough Maintenance

Fall has arrived and we focus on getting the exterior of our homes ready for winter. One of the key areas that are commonly ignored is the eavestrough and downpipes around the home. They are as vital as the plumbing inside your home, because both systems are designed to take water away. If they are clogged you will notice the indoor plumbing backing up immediately, yet most people don’t notice when they are having a problem with the eavestrough or downpipes.

Overflowing eavestrough is an indication there is a problem with your system and the cause is usually a build-up of debris, leaves, dirt as well as grit from shingles. As this builds up there will be a loss of water carrying capacity. The greater the build-up of materials in your eavestrough, there is less capacity for carrying the water causing an overflow. Another reason for back-up is the downpipe could be clogged.

When your eavestrough starts to overflow, this can lead to major damage of the foundation walls or leakage into the home causing interior damage.

Now is the time to inspect your eavestrough and downpipes. Before starting, think safety first. Set-up an extension ladder on a level surface and secure the top of the ladder to prevent sideway sliding. Wear heavy rubber gloves to avoid cuts. Use a stiff brush, or an old paint brush cutting the bristles to 1” length. Sweep the debris into piles for easier removal. Collect the debris and dispose into a bucket or a bag tied to the side of your ladder. Wash any remaining debris down the downpipe using your garden hose.

To clean your downpipes take your garden hose and from the top feed it down the pipe while turning on the water. This will wash out the debris that is clogging the downpipe. If for some reason the water backs-up you may have a major obstruction. If there is a major obstruction you will have to dismantle the downpipe to find the source of the obstruction and clear it.

After cleaning your eavestrough, you may consider installing a gutter screen to avoid build-up of debris in your eavestrough, avoiding having to annually clean your eavestrough. We recommend using Alu-rex Gutter-Clean™. It will also help keep the snow and ice out of the rain gutters leaving your system empty for perfect drainage year-round.

When inspecting your downpipes, check the back of them where the seam is located. If you notice bulging or distortion of the downpipe they should be replaced. Ice build-up over the winter months have expanded the materials pulling apart the seam. This is a major source of leakage down the wall and foundation. During the winter months you should keep the bottom of downpipe clear to prevent backup do to freezing water not being able to drain out.

If you need to replace your downpipe, bring in one of the elbows from the bottom to match for the exact size and colour you require. There are four sizes of downpipes and you want to match to the correct size on your home and at Buchner Manufacturing we have over 40 colours to choose from.

Many homes when they are built have 5” eavestrough and the smallest downpipe installed. With the major rainfalls we have experienced over the last few years they may not be large enough to handle all the water that is coming off the roof. If you have cleaned your eavestrough and inspected your downpipes and determined there is no blockage yet experience water overflowing your eavestrough this is a sign the downpipe may be too small for the roof. You may want to consider increasing the size of downpipe.

If your home has 2x3 or 2.5x2.5 downpipes you currently have 6 square inches of drainage. By installing a 3x3 downpipe you increase your drainage capacity by 50% since you will have 9 square inches of drainage. It is important to note that the outlet drainage hole in the eavestrough must be increased by using a 3x3 outlet to connect the downpipes to.

At Buchner Manufacturing, our staff is here to help guide you through your project. If you have any questions, drop by one of our locations and we will provide you with the guidance required.

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