Saturday, May 12, 2012

A Roof Replacement May Require Removal and Reinstallation of Gutter Protection

When considering installing a gutter guard, which is installed under a row of shingles, the inspection of the roof is a necessary component.  If the shingles are brittle or curling, or if the homeowner knows that their 15-year shingles are now 20 years old, serious consideration should be given to replacing the roof  first.  This is an important consideration to avoid a removal and re-installation of gutter guards in the near future.

Gutter covers have to be taken off before a roof is replaced. In many instances,  in order to not void the warranty, you must have the installing company do the removal and re-installation. Most companies will not be comfortable with warranting other company’s re-installation of their gutter guards.  It is not uncommon for a roofing contractor to volunteer with the best of intentions to remove and re-install the gutter protection for free.  Then when the systems fails and the homeowner calls the original installing company, they find out that the system was reinstalled improperly.  In some cases, the system was damaged and unusable due to improper removal and re-installation. We see this all too often.

There usually is a charge for this service.  The removal and subsequent installation involves the gutter installation crew to come out twice, once for the removal and again for the re-installation.  The installing company incurs set up fees twice for each service. 

Sometimes material has to be replaced.  Gutter covers don’t always go back on properly, once they are removed, especially if you are dealing with an inexperienced crew or a crew which has never worked with that type of guard.  Sometimes, the color of the roof is changed, so the color of the gutter protection is changed as well requiring all of the panels to be replaced.

There is usually a nominal fee for the removal and re-installation.  A gutter cover installer or contractor has already made a profit on the original installation and usually just covers the cost on materials and labor.  Some gutter cover installer or contractors that also do roofing will perform the service at no charge as long as you purchase your new roof from them in the future.  This is a good situation if you really need gutter protection, and your roof still has a few years of life left to it.

You can avoid an unpleasant surprise in the future if you consider the condition of your roof before purchasing a gutter protection.  You need to plan out what is going to happen when you eventually replace your roof to avoid extra expense or loss of warranty.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Avoid Rain Water "Fly-Over" on Gutter End Caps

If a gutter is lined up to the edge of the shingles then water tends to flow over the gutter end cap.  Through the process of water surface tension, water will flow down the gutters to the fascia board, soffit and down the siding or wall of the home.  Water damage is very common in this area.

Gutters should extend beyond or past the edge of the roof line at least 1" in order to catch every drop the rain water coming down the edge of the roof instead of trickling down the side of your home's siding or wall.  More often than not, the gutters are not positioned properly at the ends of the run of gutter.  We see this problem too frequently when gutters are either installed by unqualified "contactors" or gutters are purchased in sections (10' or 15') from big box stores.

This problem needs to be taken into account when installing gutter protection (gutter guards) because the problem if unattended, will become much worse.  Here are some solutions:
  • Position the new gutter(s) to extend beyond the roof line, if the gutters are being replaced.
  • You can have the gutter(s) extended by adding an outside mitred corner that will wrap around the edge of the roof line and is more likely to catch the dripping from the sides of the roof edge.
  • The edge of the first row of shingles can be shimmed slightly to direct the flow of water away for the edge and into the gutter(s)
  • A diverter can be installed on the roof to direct the flow of water back into the gutter(s)
You can perform a simple inspection from the ground to see if you have this problem on your home.  Look (perhaps with binoculars) at the ends of both your roof line and the gutter end cap.  If the roof line extends beyond or past the gutter end cap, the gutter is short.  If in doubt, call a gutter professional to evaluate.  Most will do this at no charge.