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Guarding your gutter is a great idea

1910 ss-eaves DR28
Mark Murchison of Reid’s Roofing Inc. holds an example of an eaves trough outside the home of a customer in Sturgeon County October 11, 2019. DAN RIEDLHUBER/St. Albert Gazette

They call this season Fall for a reason. The trees are dropping all their leaves and somehow it seems like 99 per cent of them end up in your eavestroughing.

Isn’t it time to find a way to leave the leaves out of that wide-open gutter? Reid’s Roofing has the easy answer: gutter guards. These products are essentially flat screens with a grid of holes that keep the bulk of the tree debris out, even down to those pesky pine needles.

“They are small enough holes that at least the water can flow still,” Jessica Reid, the company's president, said. “Needles won’t get through so you won't have them clogging up in certain areas.”

Clogged gutters can quickly stop the flow of rainwater in the eaves, leading to a plugged downspout. This can cause water to flow over the side and land along the foundation, potentially creating problems there. It can also lead to damaging ice dams, which can ruin anyone’s winter by wrecking roofing and interior walls.

“In the wintertime, you're going to get ice in the troughs either way. There's no avoiding that. Ice damming occurs when it climbs up the shingles and that's why ice and water shield is put down as a membrane at the first four feet of your roof. There's always going to be ice in your troughs. They don't work in the winter ... only on the warm days. To avoid having full ice in your troughs, you need them flowing properly because you're getting water on your sidewalks or ice build up,” explained Mark Murchison, installer and service technician at Reid’s.

A gutter guard acts as a net over the eaves so any sticks or leaves that fall will sit on top of where the water can flow freely through the open trough. Reid says these products do a fine job when a house has full gutter coverage but still work splendidly when they focus on the trouble spots.

“Some people only do sections. You don't have to do a full house with it. If they have one section of full trees on the side of the house, they'll just do one section of that regard, which is convenient that way,” she said.

Gutter guards can come on new installed five-inch eavestroughing and even on older four-inch eavestroughing, though that usually requires some extra work in the shop to make sure the product fits, Murchison added. One manufacturer’s product is actually called Gutter Guard, while others come from Kaycan and Alu-Rex.

Murchison said this work is becoming more and more popular. He’s noticed that as people have called out for eaves cleaners year after year, they’ve started to recognize the value in having a permanent product stop the problem at the source.

“They're putting money out to have us come and clean out the eavestroughs and then you have this product installed and they never have to have us return.”

The gutter guard generally costs less than $6 per foot of eaves. People who are more serious about their eaves and want to make sure that the water flows even at -40 C can get de-icing cable installed. Anyone can visit to learn more or to contact the company.

Scott Hayes

About the Author: Scott Hayes

Scott Hayes joined the St. Albert Gazette in 2008. Scott writes about the arts, entertainment, movies, culture, community groups, and charities. He also writes general news, features, columns, and profiles on people.
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