Although not part of the roof itself, eaves troughs are a part of a complete roof system. It’s the job of your roof to shed water away from the inside of your home, and the job of your eaves trough to carry that water away from the foundation of your building and into your yard.
Without a properly functioning eaves trough, water would drip down off the ends of your roof and pool all around the foundation of your home. This means your foundation would be continuously moist and wet, and if there are any minor cracks in your foundation buried by dirt and soil, then moisture will find its way in.
Eaves troughs are made of metal and the most common type of metal used is aluminum. Aluminum is easier to bend, lighter to work with and is generally the most common type of material used for eaves troughs in Calgary.
Eaves troughs are installed horizontally around your roof perimeter to catch moisture. Downspouts are installed vertically to transport that moisture down to the ground. A downspout extension is used to push that water away from the foundation of your house to keep your basement dry.
In a nutshell this is what happens from start to finish when installing an eaves trough onto a roof system:
A qualified installer will pick up a large role of appropriately colored metal from a local supplier and bring it to your house in bulk, along with an appropriate quantity of prefabricated downspout pieces. The bulk roll of metal is inserted into one end of an eavestrough machine which processes and gives it the shape you commonly see and are familiar with. Lengths are designed to fit exactly with the shape and size of your roof perimeter, cut to precise sizes to prevent wastage, lifted up into place by a team of installers and fastened to your facia board using wood screws and clips. Careful attention is put into ensuring downslopes angle towards downspout locations to help gravity pull water out. Corners are cut to fit together and sealed using a quality exterior grade bonding agent designed for high concentrations of water flow over metal. Holes are cut into areas where downspouts need to be placed. Downspout pieces are cut to size and installed at the appropriate downspout holes then fastened with brackets into your structural wall, then downspout extensions are put in place to eject water away from the foundation of your home.
Typical eaves troughs on residential homes are 5 inches in width, whereas most commercial eaves troughs are about 6 inches in width. Eaves trough can range from $5 per foot to as much as $20 per foot depending whether a 5 inch or 6 inch trough is being installed, how many stories high the structure is and whether or not leaf guards will be fastened in place overtop to prevent leaf and debris entry.
You may see plastic eaves troughs available at your local hardware store, which claim to be easy to install for any homeowner. We do not recommend this. Plastic eaves troughs will deteriorate in strength and stability overtime due to exposure to sun rays and freeze thaw cycles of winter and summer with in the Calgary Climate. Additionally, Most professional eaves trough applicator’s agree that maintaining a reliable seal between links of eaves trough is a great challenge.
Your most reliable solution to a properly functioning, long-term reliable eaves trough system is a continuous length, metal based, professionally installed system maintained every few years with new sealants and regular cleaning.