Usually on maintenance we mean the cleaning out of gutters / eve troughs and that is correct, sometimes though they need repairs as well.
It’s just like cars: you take your car in for maintenance so the mechanic changes oil, checks fluid levels, greases the joints, etc. This is just so your car is in proper operating order and won’t break down unexpectedly. For gutters it’s to prevent or handle (if already happening) overflows.
Other times it needs some parts replaced: your tires, or spark plugs, or a big item such as the automatic transmission. There can be big or small items budget wise. Same goes for gutters where they may need re-attaching, gutter outlet replacement, modifications, etc.
Same goes for your gutter system. Regularly cleaning the inside of them is a must: once or twice a year is regular. Kind of like taking your car in every 8000 km – which for me is about twice a year – depending on how much you drive it. For gutters there isn’t a fixed “mileage” for maintenance and definitely no schedule for repairs as for my truck for example.
Gutter repair issues come up usually in two ways: the resident, noticing something off (water falling on your head/walkway where it wasn’t doing that before, or something is visibly loose, etc.); and the other typical way is the serviceman working on your gutters noticing it. It could be called an inspection even because we go over your whole system and thus able to see problems which can’t be noticed from the ground. A really good, professional gutter cleaner who is versed in the subject of gutters will notice issues: gutter outlet broken, negative gutter slope, broken corner seal, etc. Heck, he will even notice roof issues!
I will highlight one typical gutter repair issue for now: the corner seals.
It is commonly noticed when water drips through a corner on to a frequently used sidewalk, staircase and noted for being harmful in the winter because the pool of water on the ground freezes and it’s a walking hazard.
This is the obvious issue and hazard with this situation. The less thought of and much more insidious one is the fact that through a broken / worn out gutter joint seal (whether it’s a corner or a gutter channel joint) water is seeping into the wood behind the gutter channel (that horizontal part of the gutter system). The wood behind it is the fascia board to which the gutter is fastened to. This fascia board will rot over time and at first you only notice the paint peels. But the water doesn’t necessarily stops there. It can seep further inside, reaching deeper parts of the wooden structure. We’re talking about North-American architecture, the typical houses and smaller buildings (3-4 stories) made of wood. This is not an instant issue, it takes time, years.
I often hear it from some that “I won’t be living here by then/for that long.” That may very well be true, moreover that house may be a torn down when you sell it. Those are the more “extreme” cases and I wouldn’t recommend worrying about it, for sure. But if it’s your family’s home, if you want to do proper upkeep to avoid future troubles and costly renovations then it is something to consider, because eventually this seemingly small nuisance (not counting the frozen ground as that is not always the case) can create extensive water damages to your home, your building you live in or manage.
It doesn’t matter if you are in North Vancouver, Burnaby, Vancouver, West Vancouver, New Westminster, Richmond, Coquitlam, Port Moody or in Surrey. Lower Mainland, British Columbia, actually has a coastal, temperate rainforest climate. Just look around and see the coniferous forests, parks and tree patches (cone bearing, needle or scale leaved evergreen trees) all around us. This means a lot of rain, rainfalls throughout the year so the “over time” factor of leaky gutter corners is relative.
In a drier climate it would take much longer to cause problems – it may not even be troublesome if dry enough – but here around Vancouver, BC, one better considers the high moisture climate.
So the real question when encountering leaking gutter corners is this: are you a long or short term planner?
Almost any handyman can do a “quick fix” but if you want a long term solution call Blue Sky Window & Gutter Cleaning under the same family management for 17 years now.
We are in for the long haul providing professional, long lasting handling for leaking corners and joints with multiple years of guarantee. We use the best products on the market and the best of skills because we care.
Blue Sky Team