How to Prepare Gutters and Downspouts for Winter
All gutters and downspouts must be cleaned and inspected on a yearly basis to ensure the water has a place to drain. Gutters and downspouts that are clogged can lead to many serious problems like water infiltration under the foundation of the building, roof and gutter damage, erosion and in the case of cold climates, ice dams.
Below is a checklist that consultants can use when inspecting a building’s gutter and downspout for potential issues:
✓ Chalking of the finish
✓ Visible rusting or metal deterioration
✓ Oil Canning
✓ Blockages or visible clogs
✓ Signs of migrating fasteners under the strip-in or heat weld detail at the flange:
✓ Heads protruding through membrane
✓ Stretched membrane
✓ Popped screw heads or gaskets missing
✓ Discoloration or signs of leakage at gutter connection and lap joints
✓ Damage to downspout base
✓ Loose attachment of downspout
✓ Wiggling or loose gutter straps
✓ Missing or loose pop rivets
✓ Sagging gutter when viewed from street or roof
✓ Caulk loose/deteriorating at gutter seams
Download our full 'Roof Inspection Checklist' here. The checklist includes fascia, drip edge, coping, gutter, and downspout items to inspect in the spring and fall.
Specifically, consultants should be checking to see if the gutter and downspouts are large enough to support significant quantities of water, snow and ice. Oftentimes, commercial buildings have residential water drainage systems installed on their buildings. These systems are not large enough to support drainage from commercial buildings and often result in frequent clogs and spill-over.
Metal-Era offers the industry’s leading FM Approved Industrial gutter system. Our Seal-Tite Industrial Gutters come in 3 different styles and feature a heavy gutter strap which supports large volumes of water, snow and ice. We also offer industrial downspouts in Open and Closed face versions. The Seal-Tite line is backed by a 20 year, 110 mph Wind Warranty.
Additionally, it is important to note the securement of the gutter or downspout. Any loose or missing fasteners could cause the gutter or downspout to blow-off the roof and cause damage to your building, surrounding buildings, or pedestrians below. As mentioned above, Metal-Era’s Seal-Tite Gutters are Factory Mutual 1-90 approved and are also ANSI/SPRI GD-1 tested to reduce your risk. Slotted fastening holes ensure correct fastener placement/spacing and strengthen the grip on the building.
A loose gutter can also result in water pooling in the gutter. You may need to realign or replace certain sections if water pooling has caused the gutter to bend, sag or deteriorate. Alignment should be addressed each year because the weather can cause significant wear and tear on the gutter. A slight alternation in the alignment of a gutter section can cause damage down the road, which is why it is important to have the fasteners placed exactly where the manufacturer specifies. As mentioned above, Metal-Era makes it very easy on the installer because our fastening holes are pre-slotted.
For more information on Metal-Era’s Industrial Gutter and Downspouts, please visit our website www.metalera.com/Seal-Tite. You can also contact us directly at 800-558-2162 or firstname.lastname@example.org.