Frequently Asked Questions
We’ve heard a lot of questions in 20 years. Below are some of the most common ones.
ARE YOUR GUTTERS CONTINUOUS?
The honest answer is yes, our gutters are continuous or seamless “corner to corner”. Over the years we have been asked questions like, how do you fit a long piece of gutter into that truck? Or another common one, how do you bend the gutter around the corners? Easy answer, we don’t!
WHAT IS THE difference BETWEEN GUTTERS AND EAVESTROUGH?
In most of BC we call the roof water carrying system gutters and downpipe. Other parts of Canada call it eavestrough, or simply trough and downs or spouts.
HOW ARE GUTTERS MADE?
Gutters are custom manufactured on site using a roll-forming machine. Materials come in different types and widths which determines the size of gutter.
HOW LONG SHOULD GUTTERS LAST?
When properly maintained on a yearly basis (at a minimum), gutters typically last the duration of a decent quality roof, which is approximately 20-25 years.
HOW DO I KNOW IF I NEED NEW GUTTERS?
If gutters are leaking at most of the corners, show signs of corrosion, are falling away from fascia boards or if the existing gutters are the older 4” size, in most cases it may be more cost effective to upgrade with an “Advantage Gutters” system best suited to your surrounding area.
HOW DO I KNOW IF I NEED NEW DOWNPIPES?
If the existing downpipes are falling away, showing signs of corrosion, leaking at seams and/or they are the older 2” round or square pipes you should consider an “Advantage Gutters” upgrade.
WHY WOULD MY GUTTERS AND DOWNPIPES HAVE TINY HOLES ALL OVER?
Pitting is a common problem with some of the older materials which, in most cases, were painted on the outside only. This leaves the inside exposed to corrosive chemicals (copper sulfite) from treated cedar roofing materials or petroleum based chemicals from some older shingle products.
HOW OFTEN DO MY GUTTERS NEED TO BE CLEANED?
A minimum of once ANNUALLY. Overgrowth of surrounding vegetation, scavenger birds and rodents will definitely affect the schedule of repeated maintenance required to keep your system functioning. Depending on the amount and types of trees gutters should be cleaned at least once annually.
CAN MY LEAKY CORNERS BE REPAIRED?
Yes, corners can be repaired, however in some cases it is just not feasible to repair vs replace. Depending on what materials were used in previous repair attempts it may not be possible to get an effective seal.
HOW DO I REPAIR A LEAKY CORNER?
All existing caulking and all organic debris must be removed from area to be repaired, the inside of the gutter must be THOROUGHLY clean and dried (hint: use a scotchbrite cleaning pad). Use a good polyurethane sealant to reseal the joint and feather out the edges of the new sealant. DO NOT USE ANY SILICONE OR TAR PRODUCTS.
MY GUTTERS HAVE STREAKS ALL OVER THE FRONT, WHY?
Tiger striping is a phenomenon (not covered by warranty) that is characterized by vertical, irregular, and more or less parallel stripes that could be about 1/8th to 1/4 of an inch wide. The stripes are usually dark in color and the intensity could range from barely visible to clearly visible at a distance. The stripes are the result of staining of the painted surface by very fine particles found in the atmosphere, in rainwater, or on the roof. The staining particles could derive from soot or pollen, or an assortment of other air pollutants. The stripes are much more visible when present on a white gutter than on a darker coloured one for obvious reasons.
HOW CAN I CLEAN THE OUTSIDE OF MY GUTTERS?
Recommended products would be environmentally friendly household cleansers. Do not attempt to use abrasive products or high pressure water systems.
WHY DO MY GUTTERS HOLD WATER?
As buildings age they settle which may affect the slope of the original gutter installation. Gutters will always hold a certain amount of water simply due to a required build-up of sealant at corners. Check all outlets to make they are cleared of all debris.
CAN MY GUTTERS BE RESLOPED?
If your gutters are screwed on, yes they can be resloped however if corners need to be disturbed this may cause future leaks. If your gutters are nailed on then no, it is not feasible to reslope, however additional downpipes may be added at the areas which hold water.
HOW DO I KNOW WHAT SIZE OF GUTTERS I REQUIRE?
The size of gutter is determined by the opening at the top of the gutters NOT the depth. For the residential application 5” gutters are adequate and are the industry standard, however for larger volumes of water a commercial grade 6” gutter system may be required.
HOW MANY DOWNPIPE LOCATIONS DO I REQUIRE?
Rule of thumb is no more than 40 lin ft of gutter for each downpipe, this will also depend on how many corners are in the gutters. Keep in mind the amount of downpipes is not as important as the size of the opening which supplies the downpipes eg: 1 7/8″dia vs 2 3/4″ diameter.
CAN UPPER DOWNPIPES SIMPLY DRAIN ONTO MY LOWER ROOF?
Any upper downpipe should not drain onto any roof and must be drained DIRECTLY into the lower gutters, otherwise this will create premature wear of the roofing material.
HOW DO I KNOW WHAT TYPE OF GUTTERS I REQUIRE?
There are 2 types of gutters for the typical residential home, 5’’ “K” Style also known as OGEE, or 5’’ Fascia gutter. Simply put, if you have a fascia board on your house you would use a “K”/ OGEE style. If you do not have a fascia board then you will require a Fascia Gutter.
ARE THERE DIFFERENT GAUGES OF GUTTER AVAILABLE?
Currently our supplier GENTEK BUILDING PRODUCTS is offering two thicknesses of aluminum, .025” available in 18 colors or .032” available in limited colors.
CAN I LEAN A LADDER AGAINST MY GUTTERS IF THEY ARE THE HEAVY GAUGE?
NO, NO, NO, this a dangerous practice, PLEASE use Ladder Stand-Off’s which fit on the top of the ladder and keep the ladder off the gutters. They also give the ladder a wider stance for added safety and are available at most building supply stores for approx $50.00 or less.
HOW DO I KNOW WHAT THICKNESS OF GUTTERS I REQUIRE?
Most residential asphalt shingle or cedar shake projects only require the industry standard .025”, however if the roof is STEEL, glazed tile or of any other slippery composite, the thicker .32” is highly recommended with bracket spacing at approx. 12 to 14’’ apart.
HOW ABOUT SNOW AND ICE?
In regions where snow and ice are concerns then thicker .032” aluminum is advised. Snow brackets may also be required. We can customize a system considering all factors.
IS THERE ANY GUARANTEE AGAINST SNOW OR ICE DAMAGE?
Snow, ice, wind or hail are considered ACTS OF GOD thus carry no guarantees.
DO LEAF PROTECTION SYSTEMS WORK?
Most Leaf protection system offer a certain amount of protection against debris getting into your gutter system, some better than others. We offer the T-Rex and Gutter Clean systems by Alu-Rex, which we have found to be far superior and less expensive than other systems. We can build a protection system taking into account many considerations eg: type and vicinity of vegetation.
WILL I HAVE TO REPLACE THE BOARDS BEHIND MY GUTTERS (FASCIA BOARDS) WHEN I REPLACE MY GUTTERS?
If the gutters which are being replaced are aluminum or steel and the existing roof edge is in good shape (no water leaking behind gutters) then you should be OK with the existing Fascia boards, they may just need a little paint.
WATER APPEARS TO BE LEAKING IN BEHIND MY GUTTERS, WHAT CAUSES THIS AND SHOULD I BE CONCERNED?
This is an indication that your roof edge is deteriorated or is insufficient, and should be rectified immediately.
CAN MY EXISTING WOOD OR STUCCO SOFFIT BE REPLACED?
Yes, the older wood or stucco soffit is solid material except for the small vent strip originally installed. We suggest that additional ventilation be installed and maintenance free aluminum soffit be used to replace the existing materials. See your local building codes to calculate how much ventilation you require.
CAN I COVER OVER MY EXISTING WOOD FASCIAS AND BARGE BOARDS WITH ALUMINUM?
Yes, however to do a proper installation is labour intensive thus quite expensive; however the need for future maintenance is eliminated. We do not use any pre-formed product, all our capping is custom formed for each application.
ARE THERE OTHER OPTIONS AVAILABLE OTHER THAN LEAF SCREENS?
Yes we offer a downpipe Leaf Trap system for areas with minimal amount of surrounding vegetation, however in areas where there are a lot of trees we strongly recommend Leaf screens.
I HAVE HAD COMPANIES OFFER THEIR OWN EXCLUSIVE PROFILES OF GUTTER, WHAT MAKE THEM SO DIFFERENT?
We have all offered our own profiles which give the consumer a great selection, HOWEVER, keep in mind that profiles come and go. Should damage occur to your new gutters at a later date, the profile you selected may now be discontinued, so choose a profile that has been around for many years eg: Ogee style also known as K-style.
HOW MUCH WILL IT COST TO REPLACE MY GUTTERS AND DOWNPIPES?
Pricing is calculated by linear footages of gutter and downpipes, the amount of corners, accessibility and type of material being removed. We properly dispose of all construction materials.
IF I PROVIDE LINEAR FOOTAGE OF MY GUTTER, DOWNPIPE AND CORNER COUNT CAN YOU GIVE ME A BUDGET PRICE OVER THE PHONE?
Yes, if pictures are emailed to our office with the job address we can usually provide you with a quote within one business day.