Your roof is more than just asphalt shingles. Yes, roofing shingles are the first line of defense in protecting your home against moisture and the elements, but without the other parts of the overall roofing system, you could still suffer as much water damage as if you had leaking shingles.
Your eavestroughs play a crucial role in the effort to get water off your roof and away from your home. Without eavestroughs, rain and melted snow would roll off your roof and fall right beside your home. Once there, it can easily enter your basement through cracks in your foundation wall. And, yes, even if you have a fairly new home, you probably have cracks in your foundation wall.
It’s crucial that you clean your eavestroughs in the fall. If they are clogged going into winter’s freezing weather, you have a much higher chance of back-ups and ice dams damaging your roof and allowing water to leak into your home.
But cleaning is just one of the key maintenance tasks you should have on your eavestrough checklist every fall. Here are some other things for you to check as you do your cleaning.
1. Eavestrough Angle
Regardless of how new, clean or expensive an eavestrough is, it won’t drain water off your roof if it isn’t on the correct angle to do so. The troughs must always be angled down toward the downspouts. Poor installation or sagging due to age can mean that water never gets to the downspouts and ends up causing a problem when trapped water freezes.
2. Eavestrough Separation
Given enough run-off, and most eavestroughs will back-up a little. If they are not connected to your roof’s fascia consistently along their length, the backed up water can seep between the troughs and the fascia, falling to the ground right beside your home, which is just like if you had no eavestroughs to begin with.
3. Clean & Check Gutter Guards
Too many homeowners feel that because they have gutter guards on their troughs, they never have to worry about back-ups. But, even if water drains through the debris that collects on gutter guards, it does so more slowly. In winter, fluctuating temperatures can make the water freeze before it drains, and that’s when problems start.
It’s important that your roofing system is in tip-top condition going into winter. Making sure your eavestroughs can do their job should be a priority on your fall roof maintenance checklist.