Thermal Expansion of Aluminum Eavestrough

As winter approaches the challenges of installing building products outdoors increase. Installing eavestrough is no different. Seamless aluminum eavestroughs are subjected to a range of temperatures throughout the year, from freezing cold winters to hot summer days. These yearly shifts can cause trouble due to the effects of thermal expansion.

Thermal expansion is the tendency for a material to expand and contract when exposed to changes in temperature. The bigger the temperature change is, the more a material will expand or contract.

A 30 ft pc of eavestrough subjected to a 40° C change in temperature can expand or contract approx. ½”. While this may not sound like much it may cause problems such as oil canning, buckling or in some cases splitting of the eavestrough. The same temperature change to a 60 ft pc of eavestrough can expand or contract close to 1”

What can be done?

1: Length of eavestrough run.

 It is recommended that a single length of eavestrough should not be longer than 50 ft. For jobs that require longer runs split the length in two shorter lengths and end cap the ends with a gap between the pieces. A flashing can be installed over this gap.

2: Temperature.

If possible avoid installing the eavestrough on the days with colder temperatures. The optimal temperature for installing eavestrough is 15-30° C.

3: Gutter Machine Adjustment.

Machines need to be regularly adjusted to ensure they form the eavestrough straight with no curving or buckling.

4: Run out stands.

When running eavestrough out of a machine it should be supported with run out stands with the first stand 8-10 ft from the machine and another stand every 15 ft beyond that set to keep the eavestrough level with the machine. This aids in preventing stretching or deforming of the eavestrough.

By following these suggestions you may reduce the chance of heat buckling and keep the eavestrough looking and performing like new for many years. 

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