Have you ever considered the purpose of your eavestroughs? Are you aware your eavestroughs play an important role in protecting both your roof and the foundation of your home? Do you know why it’s so important to clean your eavestroughs once or twice a year? Do you know how all the different components of eavestroughs work together?
As a homeowner, it’s important to understand how to protect your home from continuous exposure to water. Your eavestroughs and all their different parts are key to directing water off and away from your home. If they are damaged or blocked with debris, it puts your entire home at risk. Here we look at your eavestrough system and explain how the different components of eavestroughs all work together to keep your home safe and dry.
What Are Eavestroughs?
Eavestroughs are used to catch rainwater and melted snow as it runs off your roof. They get the name because they sit at the eave of your roof, which is basically the end of the roof extending out and over your walls. The eave extension also helps keep water away from your home. The term trough refers to the “gutter,” a u-shaped channel designed to capture all the water that runs off your house. The gutters send water through the trough system, which is then discharged into the downspouts or downpipes, the drainage system that keeps water away from both your roof and foundation.
What Are The Different Components Of Eavestroughs?
There are basically nine components to your eavestroughs:
The troughs are the main component of the eavestrough system. They are the channel or gutter that collects and diverts water away from the house and into the downspouts. The troughs run along the entire eave of your roof, keeping water away from your foundation.
2. End Caps
End caps are installed at the end of a gutter run. Their job is to stop water from simply pouring out the ends of the gutters so water doesn’t pool at your foundation. They also help direct water into the downspout.
3. Hidden Hangers and Brackets
Hidden hangers are designed to create a seamless look to your eavestroughs. They are used to attach your troughs to your roof, providing structural support. Hangers are installed about six inches from the ends of each section of trough. They work in hand with brackets which add further support to brace your gutters every two feet or so.
Mitres are used to seal corners and junctions following the perimeter of your roof line. They come in ‘inside’ mitres which are used for inward facing angles, and ‘outside’ mitres, which are used for outward facing angles. Depending on how your eavestroughs were installed, your system could have either factory-made mitres or handmade mitres customized by the installer. Mitres ensure the eavestroughs fit snugly against the roof line regardless of the direction they travel or how complicated the line becomes. They make sure the gutters follow the roof line in one secure channel.
5. Seamers/Joining Brackets
Seamers or joining brackets are used for sections of the system that are too long for a standard length of trough. When the roof line is very long, the installer uses the seamers to connect two trough sections together in hand with waterproof sealants to avoid leaks. However, when having new eavestroughs installed, you can opt for a seamless system.
Downspouts are the second most important part of your eavestrough system. They are enclosed tubes that take the water from the gutter channels and direct it down and away from your home. The spout either directs water to a splash block, rain barrel, ground well or trench. Without downspouts, runoff water would pool at the bottom of your house, causing erosion and damage to the foundation. As well, if your system is damaged or the downspout is blocked, the backup of water can also cause structural damage to your walls and roof.
7. Downspout Band
The downspout band is a bracket that attaches the downspout to the wall of your house to keep it in place.
Elbows are used for the downspouts of your eavestrough system. They create turns and work much like mitres. In this case, they direct water down the channel instead of across. There are front elbows that direct water forwards and backwards, or side elbows that direct water to the left or right.
9. Gutter Guards
Although not all eavestrough systems include gutter guards, they play an important role in gutter maintenance. Guards are installed on top of the gutters to prevent debris such as leaves from collecting and blocking the water flow. They allow water to enter the protector but nothing else which could get lodged in the troughs. In the winter, winter shield technology protects your eaves from ice damming and snow sliding off your roof. Leaf guards also provide additional strength, creating uniform support that won’t bend, rust or warp. They are a great time-saver and can help improve the sturdiness of your eavestroughs, so they last longer.
Proper Sloping Of Eavestroughs
Although this isn’t a component of your eavestroughs, proper “sloping” is very important in the installation process. Eavestroughs need to slope so water can flow towards the downspouts. The “pitch” of the eavestroughs is very precise to create the right amount of slant, so the water always flows downwards.
Without the right pitch, your system won’t work properly. When the slope is too extreme, it causes too much pressure and a rush of water that will damage your eavestroughs. If it is too slight, then the water won’t move fast enough, leading to pooling and overflows that will damage your home.
Proper Maintenance Of Eavestroughs
As mentioned above, eavestrough maintenance is very important. Without annual cleaning of your eavestroughs, blockages cause water to fall straight off your roof. This leads to damage to your foundation and other areas of your home’s exterior. We recommend cleaning your gutters every fall and spring to remove debris and allow for smooth water flow. Of course, the simplest solution is to install gutter guards for a year-long flow that protects your home.
If you are interested in installing gutter guards or need an entire eavestrough system, click here to request a quote from our team.