Gutters or eavestroughs are a structure that protects your home from leaks, water logs and floods. While many people think they are simply an aesthetic device to stop the rain from pouring off the roof and soaking you they are a very important part of your home and prevent several serious issues that could destroy your entire house. The cost of a clogged eavestrough is enormous. Much more than simply having them cleaned or replaced. A damaged eavestrough is more likely to damage your home than help it and fixing it is not a reasonable or realistic option unless you have blacksmithing experience to adjust them back to being straight. Replacing damaged eaves is the best way to keep your home safe from water damage.
The key points of your house that are protected by an eavestrough are the attic, the ceiling beneath the attic and the foundation of the house as well as the basement or crawlspace. The problem with a damaged or clogged eavestrough is that water will escape it. This water may spill out over the far edge and land near your foundation. It could also backwash in the fascia vents on your drip edge. This can soak your insulation, making it ineffective and even cause roof leaks. A clogged or damaged eavestrough is the number one cause of roof leaks in Ontario. Getting it replaced once every few years and having it cleaned professionally will prevent damage that can cost up to tens of thousands of dollars to fix. It is also important to keep them in good order if you have a home insurance plan. The insurance company would not be pleased to know your eavestrough is clogged and spilling water into your attic or down your walls to the foundation.
There is no way to stop the rain, to prevent flooding and leaking you must act preemptively. If you are handy with tools and a ladder and have been on a roof before you may be able to remove and replace your eavestrough or clean it properly. If you cannot get on a ladder you should hire a professional to replace it but not to clean it. There are tools available for cleaning eves as high as the second floor without a ladder. A long pole with a hooked end can clear out eaves in less than an hour with little effort. If there is a clog in the downspout you can try pouring boiling water down it. If that does work you can call a professional to take it apart and remove the clog.
Whatever you do never ignore your eavestrough. It protects your house as much as your roof and walls do and are just as important in every way. They keep your drip edge safe and prevent water in your attic and keep your foundation structurally sound. There is no reason to let your eaves fill up with leave and twigs and birds’ nests. Clean it out and inspect it every spring and autumn for issues that could lead to ice buildup.