Question: Hydrometer and Downpipes

How close can a downspout be to a hydrometer? The customer wants me to run one right beside the hydrometer.


It should not be a problem provided they do not cover or fasten to anything to do with the electrical meter. I would suggest leaving a little room (2-3 inches?) between the meter and downspout so if any electrical work needs to be done the downspout does not interfere.

Ultimately it is the local electrical authority's decision on what they will allow. With a downspout, if it is a problem it is something that’s easy to move.

Question: Do metal roofs interfere with cell phone reception?

The short answer: Usually not!

It’s pretty unlikely that getting a metal roof on your home will drastically change your cell phone signal.

Metal roofs keep getting more and more popular with homeowners because they have so many benefits.

Cell phones are a necessary part of daily life for most of us. Bad connections, poor voice quality, dropped calls, texts and emails that won’t go is extremely frustrating and not something you want to be dealing with every time you’re at home.

However, people tend to forget that they regularly use their cell phones under metal roofs without even noticing it. Many of the restaurants you eat at, the malls you shop at, and other businesses you regularly visit have metal roofs, and you don’t lose cell reception the moment you step into one. Your home environment, with a metal roof, should be the same.

Question: Repairing Damaged Vinyl Corner Post

My kids were playing in the front yard and somehow a chunk of ice hit the corner post of my vinyl siding. There is a large hole in it and now that the weather is getting nicer I would like to repair or replace it.  What is my best option and how do I go about it?



Corner post damage is a fairly common thing especially in colder climates where the vinyl can get brittle. The solution is actually simple and not very time-consuming.  Repairing the corner is far easier than replacing it since the siding covers the nailing strips of the post. To take off the post and replace it all the siding would have to come off. Below is how to repair the corner.

You will need to buy a new corner post and the first thing to do is the nail strips need to be cut off the edges of the posts in the spots where the arrows indicate.

When the strips are cut, the remaining face of the post simply snaps over the face of the damaged post. To hold the repair corner in place a screw or rivet can be put into one or more corners.

Question: Cleaning Eavestrough

I recently purchased a house with a white coloured eavestrough and noticed it has dark lines or stripes across the face. How do I clean this off without harming the paint finish on the aluminum?

Thank you,


This is commonly referred to as tiger striping.

This is caused by chemicals in rainfall and dirt and soot sitting on top of the lip of the gutter, which is picked up by rain and streaks down the face.  
If the staining on the eavestrough is light using a common household detergent should remove them. If the stains have been there for some time and are caked on, using a heavy-duty cleaner such as Fantastik or Greased Lightning should do the trick. Be sure to use a rag or a soft bristle brush. If the bristles are too hard or you scrub too vigorously the finish on the paint could be ruined.

Question: Strapping 4X5 Downpipe

If I were to install 4X5 pipes on my house, how would I go about attaching them to the wall?



Unfortunately, BMI does not offer any straps or clips that fit the 4X5 downspout, but there are other options.  

You can take a flat piece of aluminum and bend it to fit around the pipe or you can cut out apart a piece of spare pipe for a more aesthetically pleasing attachment.  

Take a 3-4" piece of downpipe and cut the seam out of the back.  From there you can bend the sides to fit the pipe and attach it to the wall.

Question: Asphalt or Metal Shingle?

My wife and I are thinking about getting a new roof for our house. Should we go with asphalt or metal shingles?



I recommend going with a metal shingle. Metal shingles are more durable and last longer than asphalt and consequently, this will be the last roof you will ever need to buy.
Metal also reduces one's energy costs and enhances curb appeal. We carry both steel and aluminum shingles in a variety of colours and styles to suit your preference.

Question: Heavy Gauge vs Standard Gauge Aluminum

Why would I use heavy gauge aluminum over standard gauge?



heavy-gauge aluminum is a stronger coil and because of its strength, it is easier to work with. As well it is easier to handle and can withstand more manipulation due to being a stronger piece of metal. Finally, the heavy-gauge is more durable than standard gauge and will not dent as easily.

Question: Cleaning out Clogged Downspouts

My downspouts are plugged with leaves. What is the best way to clean them and how do I prevent them from clogging again?

Thank you,


To clean a clogged downspout, you can take a pressure washer or a hose with a pressure nozzle and wash out the debris from the top. To prevent any further clogging from happening, install a protection system on your eavestrough.

*View our blog on eavestrough maintenance here.

Question: Required Slope for Eavestrough

What is the required slope when installing eavestrough?



Good question, and it's a simple answer to a simple question. The slope should be 1/4" for every 10 feet.

Question: Spacing of Hangers in Eavestrough

How far apart should the hangers be when installing eavestrough?

Thank you,


Hangers should be spaced 24" apart at maximum. But in areas where ice and snow tend to build up, they should be 18" apart.

Question: How Much Ventilation in the Soffit is Necessary?

How much vented soffit should I use when I install a new soffit at my house?



That varies because each local building code has different regulations on this issue. We suggest that you check out your local building code and go by their specifications to be safe.

Question: Replacing Wood Soffit with Aluminum Soffit

I am installing aluminum soffits on my house. Do I need to remove the wood soffits first?



It is preferred that you do remove the wood soffit but if you choose not to, then simply cut additional holes.

Question: Matching Old and New Eavestrough

Hi, some of my gutters need to be replaced but I'm worried the old trough won't match up with the new. Is that something I should be concerned about? If so, is it a noticeable difference?

Thank you,


Unfortunately, an eavestrough's profile does vary depending on what machine is used to make it, so there may be a slight difference from the existing trough. The difference is noticeable when you are trying to connect the new and old trough right next to each other. Otherwise, if only one side of the house needs to be redone, you won't spot a difference between the existing and new gutter.

Question: Strapping Vertical Siding

I have a house with plywood and house wrap. Do I need to strap the house or install insulation before I put on board and batten vertical siding? If I am not worried about the R-value, is it O.K. to go right on top of the house wrap with the vinyl siding? My biggest concern is that there won't enough ventilation behind the siding.



Strapping is recommended for board and batten but it isn't necessary. It can be installed over the plywood and house wrap. The most important thing to keep in mind while installing is to leave room with the screws for the siding to expand and to follow the manufacturer's guidelines. 

Question: Hangers vs Spikes and Ferrules

What is the advantage of using hangers over spikes and ferrules in my eavestrough?



Hangers use screws which hold the trough tighter to the fascia board and make it more secure than spikes. Spikes can become loose over time and cause your gutter to sag and leak. Hangers are also hidden inside the trough while spikes are nailed through the front of it making it visible from the ground.

Question: Overflowing Eavestrough

The trough on my house is overflowing. How can I fix this and prevent it in the future?


This may be because the trough is full of debris and needs to be cleaned out.  Cleaning out your trough or having it cleaned out is recommended twice a year. 
If your house is older it may have 4" gutter on it, which used to be standard but the standard is now 5" to allow more water flow. There may also be damage or the fastening system has come loose.  If this is the case or the trough is only 4" it will need to be replaced.

Question: Using Pressure Treated Lumber with Aluminum

Hi John, I am installing Aluminum Fascia and have 2 questions, first of all, I made the mistake of using Pressure Treated for my fascia boards.
#1 - I now plan on covering the pressure treated with blue skin in order to keep the Aluminum Fascia from contacting the Wood, would that work?
#2 - What is the proper way to install fascia, online I found a video that showed screwing fascia from the underside, but not sure if that is the way to go and screws or nails?



It is unfortunate that the chemicals used today in pressure treat are highly corrosive when in contact with aluminum. Your idea of blue skin is viable. I don't know the brands but there are other types of wraps that offer the same protection for this particular purpose, as many 4x4 and 6x6 posts are pressure treated and typically get cladded in aluminum.
The best way to install fascia is with the use of a gable trim where the top edge slides into the channel and the bottom is screwed or riveted in the soffit. This is done on gable ends. On the eaves where an eavestrough will be installed on top of the fascia, 3 nails will suffice in the face. 1 in the middle and 1 from each end, 6" back from the joint. Place the nails in a height covered by the trough. These nails can be aluminum or stainless steel. Under any application, do not put a fastener through the seam of the fascia, as this will prevent the fascia from moving, as it expands and contracts in heat and cold.

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