Think You’ve Got Roof Problems? Check Your Eaves Trough First

September 18, 2016 / Author: Colin Gibson

There are a number of causes of a leaking roof; we outlined some of them in How to Spot the Signs That You Need a New Roof, Before it’s Too Late. However, the main source of leaks may not be your roof. Eaves trough that’s in need of maintenance or replacement is often responsible for water finding its way into homes. In some circumstances, fixing your eaves trough can be a matter of having the leaves and debris cleaned out of them. In other cases, partial or full replacement may be necessary. Everyone’s home is different and your solution will depend on the age and condition of your eaves trough.

Why Your Eaves May Be Leading to Leaking

When water rolls off of your roof and collects in your eaves, it should be carried towards downpipes and away from your house. But when eaves trough fails to send water along to the downpipe, the water sits in your trough. If there’s not too much water, it will eventually evaporate. However, if there is enough water, and your eaves don’t drain properly, the water will begin to overflow. While some will flow away from your house, water will flow first towards your roof. Although a roof that has been installed correctly should withstand this overflow, over time water will find its way into your attic through the roof and fascia, and eventually into your home.

If the eaves pull far enough away from the roofline, a gap between the house and trough can form. When water overflows in this scenario, it can fall close to your house and seep down into your foundation. This can result in a whole host of foundational problems. If you can see sunlight between your eaves and your roof when you stand directly underneath them, have your eaves trough repaired ASAP.

How Come My Eaves Trough Doesn’t Drain Properly?

There are a number of reasons that eaves trough won’t drain towards the downpipes. The easiest to fix, eaves that are clogged with leaves and other debris can block water from entering downpipes, eventually causing overflow. This can be fixed by having a professional trough cleaner go up a ladder and clean the garbage from your eaves. It may also be necessary to detach your downpipes and clean them out using a high-powered vacuum or hose.

A problem that is also common, but less easy to fix, is the loss of eaves trough slope. Eaves trough is installed in such a way that it slopes towards the downpipes, allowing water to drain. When this slope is lost, water doesn’t drain, and causes roof problems. This can happen when old eaves trough that was installed with spikes, rather than interior hangers and screws, works loose, causing warping of the trough and creating a spot for water to sit. Loss of slope can also occur when the eaves installers don’t use a level when fastening trough to the roofline. This is seen often with the trough that came with a newly built home.

One of the best ways to prevent your eaves trough from pulling away from your house and warping is to have a gutter protection system installed, such as the Alu-Rex T-Rex continuous fastening system. Gutter protection systems will be covered more thoroughly in a separate blog.

What is the Best Fix for My Eaves Trough?

The fix for your eaves trough will depend on the problem. Things can get complicated when your eaves have lost their slope. If the problem hasn’t progressed too far, the trough can sometimes be refastened to the roofline, restoring the slope. Usually this has to be done before winter, as once water siting in your eaves has frozen, causing an ice dam, your eaves have likely been warped irreparably.

If your eaves cannot be re-sloped, replacement is your only option. To get an accurate, honest assessment of the condition of your eaves trough, contact Edmunds Home Improvements today.