A word about Eavestroughs

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Posted on August 03, 2012

 

Good Day,

In my many years of installing seamless eaves troughs, there is one common truth that exists. You either care, or don’t care about your eaves.

What do I mean by this?

If you care about your eaves troughs, you undoubtedly realize that they are an integral part of carrying water away from your foundation, vis-à-vis the roof. You also realize that keeping them cleaned and running smoothly now, will save you potentially thousands and thousands later.  Good for you, bad for me. If you have the ambition, and lack of fear to get up there and clean those out, you essentially take away the need for me to come and do it for you, and/or have me replace them. Foundation issues are an expensive lesson to learn about the care and upkeep of your eaves.

If you don’t care about your eaves, thats when the problems arise. I have seen some horrific cases of eavestrough neglect. Chances are if you have old galvanized eavestrough, and/or if they are hung with spikes and ferrules then it’s time to update.Neither of these two scenarios have been used for decades.

If you have mature trees that overhang you house, your eavestrough should be cleaned once in the spring, and once in the fall. Minimum.

I have replaced many eaves that have all manner of debris in them; ranging from tennis balls, hockey pucks, dead animals, and of course years of composted organic material. If your downspouts are clogged where do you think all that water goes?Over; behind; inside; everywhere except where you want or need it to go. Away.

If you have the mature trees, and they overhang your house, chances are this is a superhighway for any animal that wants to use it. The most common culprits in this area; are racoons, squirrels, and birds. These animals will exploit any weakness in your roof, eaves, or soffit to get into your home, and start the redecorating process. They will chew away those pesky roof trusses to expand their living area. This can be a disaster if left unattended. if you do have any of these animals living in your roof, I advise getting a professional to relocate them, unless you are very confident on a ladder. Nothing is more intimidating than an animal protecting it’s living space, and its young. Things can get out of hand quickly.

As a note that most people are not aware of; are the diseases most rodents, and especially racoons carry. I have outlined a few below for your consideration. So when you do decide to clean out those eaves, proper disinfecting and protection should be on your mind.

Rabies
Raccoons are one of the most common species to carry rabies.  It’s spread when you come into contact with their saliva… which most certainly they can leave behind in your attic or other spaces.

Baylisascaris procyonis
This is more commonly known as raccoon roundworm.  It is a parasite of the intestines in these animals and sheds large numbers of eggs in the raccoon poop.  It has been known to cause death and even blindness in certain cases.  This is nasty stuff and is a very large problem in the attics and other spaces these animals have pried their way into.

Giardiasis
This is a microscopic protazoal infection that raccoons can carry in their feces.  It is known to be transferred to water, soil and other surfaces. Humans can contract Giardia by ingestion of infective cysts left by these animals.

Leptospirosis
Leptospira species is a bacterial infection that Raccoons can shed through urine and other bodily secretions. Exposure of these excretions to open wounds or orally can cause infection to humans.

Other Diseases include bacteria such as Salmonella or E. Coli, fungus and rare parasites can also be a risk for illness in humans.

Listen.  It’s not just the raccoon poop and other secretions that a to blame for disease.  When these animals get into our home they can carry fleas, ticks and other parasites on their fur that they spread when they rummage through the insulation of your attic and rub up against walls and things.

Pretty scary stuff.

Talk to you soon!