Why every homeowner must clean their eavestroughs this autumn

The eavestroughs on your home are designed to redirect roof runoff water away from your home, protecting your home’s foundation and minimizing flooding risk. Not clearing your eavestroughs regularly can jeopardize this.

Here are 5 reasons you should regularly clean your eavestroughs:

1. Prevent flooding

If your eavestroughs are filled with debris or your downspouts are plugged, it can cause runoff from your roof to back up your eavestroughs. Eventually, the runoff will spill over the edge of the eavestroughs, falling directly in front of your home’s foundation. Over time, this can increase the chances of water getting into your foundation.

2. Prolong life

Another side effect of not clearing out your eavestroughs regularly is that seeds can get into the eavestroughs (from birds or the wind). As the debris starts to decompose into compost, it provides nutrient-rich soil for the seeds to grow in. Plants growing in your eavestroughs can destroy seals, create cracks, and weaken the structure of the eavestroughs.

3. Protect joints

Where eavestroughs join together around corners, it’s a weak point in the system. Installers will seal these joints with a sealing compound to provide strength and protect against leaks. When the system backs up because of blockage, it creates added stress on these joints, threatening the integrity of the seal.

4. Lighten load

Debris left in the eavestroughs over the winter will freeze in cold weather, forcing the eavestroughs to carry extra weight for weeks and months on end. This extra weight weakens the stability of the eavestroughs, encouraging cracking and deterioration.

5. Protect roof

Depending on where your eavestroughs are installed, backed up water in clogged eavestroughs may seep under shingles and deteriorate the roof deck, as well as soffit and fascia. Plus, in the winter, ice build up can lead to ice damming.

How often should you clean your eavestroughs? At least once a year. Do it before the frost hits, when the debris is still soft and easily moved. If you live in a mature neighbourhood with a lot of trees, you may need to do it twice a year.

Have any eavestrough cleaning tips? Let us know in the comments below.

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