FS Roof System Blog

Eavestrough 101: The What, the How, and the Why

What are Eavestroughs? Sometimes referred to as “gutters”, they are vital part of the structure of your home, protecting it from water damage by diverting rainwater away from the house. They are extremely necessary as they not only protect from water damage and mold, but they also help prevent leaks and reduce erosion. Our favourite part? It extends the life of your roof.

Eavestroughs: The semi-circle or squared-shape installation that lines up on the edge of the roof

  • Drains water away from the roof and building.
  • Prevents small animals and insects from getting into the building.
  • Enhances ventilation of the attic.

Soffits and Fascia go hand-in-hand with protecting your roof. The soffit helps regulate your home’s temperature, allowing your roof to breathe. Cool, dry air is drawn into the soffit vent, and hot moist air is forced out of roof’s exhaust vents. The fascia is the board along the side of the overhang that helps your roof appear finished.

Soffit: A large aluminum or vinyl plate underneath the outside edge (under the eavestrough).

  • Enhances ventilation.
  • Prevents the growth of mold and mildew.
  • Prevents moisture build-up.

Fascia: A long piece of aluminum, wood, or vinyl with the same colour as the roof near the roof edge (around the gutters).

  • Creates a leak-proof space between the roof and soffit.
  • Protects the building from weather damages, such as snow, rain, and wind.

Eavestroughs, soffits, and fascia don’t last forever. When they’ve reached the end of their life, a replacement could be necessary. How do you know if it’s time? Here are a few indicators:

  • Your roof fails to keep out moisture.
  • Evidence of rotting and dampness.
  • Infestation of small animals and/or insects.
  • Limited ventilation.
  • Cracks or visible damage.
  • Age; over 20 years old? Now might be the time.

While your system may not need to be completely replaced, regular eavestrough cleaning and maintenance are necessary to ensure the long life of an effective roofing system. Here are some tips to make this process easier:

  •  Regular cleaning

Clean your eavestroughs at least twice a year, once in the spring and once in the fall. If there are plenty of trees in your neighbourhood or if it’s a very windy year, you’ll want to check them more frequently. Need an inspection? I think we know someone…

  • Clean before a storm

Sounds odd right? Believe it or not, it’s a good idea to clean your eavestroughs before a big storm rather than after. The leaves and debris will be dry, and you won’t have to worry about clogs and blockage during the storm.

  • Use ladder safety

Clean your eavestroughs while firmly standing on a ladder. Don’t attempt to clean them from the top of the roof and don’t lean out past the sides of the ladder. While it may be annoying to move the ladder so often, it’s way safer that way.

  • Don’t rest your ladder on the eavestrough!

If you’re using an extension ladder, make sure to use some sort of ladder stabilizer so you don’t damage your eavestroughs.

  • Keep the ground clean

To gather the waste and debris in your eavestrough, either attach a bucket to your ladder or throw a tarp down underneath the area you’re working on. You’ll thank yourself later when you’re not re-cleaning what you just cleaned.

  • Keep your hands clean

Use a trowel or gloves to remove leaves, waste, dirt, small animals, etc. Especially if you’re cleaning your eavestrough while it’s damp.

  • Flush towards the downspout

When using a hose to flush out smaller debris, start at the end of the eavestrough furthest from the downspout and gradually make your way towards it.

  • Dealing with clogs

If only a drip or small stream of water comes out the of downspout, you’ve got a clog. Running the hose at high pressure right into the downspout should unclog it, but if it doesn’t, use a plumber’s snake to clear the blockage.

  • Ask for help

You may not always know when the time is right for a repair versus a replacement, but our team at FS Roof Systems and Exteriors can help with that. When you contact us, our industry experts will provide you with a FREE roof inspection and full report, including details about your existing roof system and/or exterior needs such as eavestroughs, soffit, facia, and siding. We’re always as transparent as possible, so together we’ll sort out an action plan to get started with a repair, replacement and maintenance solution that will best suit your needs, backed by the best warranties. We also offer low financing options for residential projects of any size. We’re available for emergent and non-emergent services 24/7, 365 days a year – even if Santa is on your roof, we’ll still come inspect it!