More on Downspout Maintenance
Downspouts are the vertical lengths of piping attached to the sides of a home. They connect to the gutters that run vertically along the roof so that runoff water can be carried off the roof and safely away from the home, preventing damage to the structure and surrounding foundation. Downspouts are sized according to the quantity and velocity of runoff water needed to be eliminated from the home, and are generally constructed out of a material such as metal or vinyl, but can also be constructed out of wood.
When performing routine maintenance on downspouts, the following should be considered:
- All trapped debris should be removed from the downspout, using a plumber’s snake or garden hose that has been modified to spray water at a higher pressure. When cleaning, avoid being too rough, as the downspouts could pull away from the gutters or walls. Periodic cleaning, particularly during the fall, is highly recommended since most debris consists of leaves, twigs, and other organic matter which will break down into earth. This earth, then, becomes firmly compact and much more difficult to remove then loose leaves and twigs. To reduce the amount of debris that collects in gutters and downspouts, mesh coverings or leaf guards can be installed over the gutters and downspout outlets. However, it is important that installing these coverings do not result in other problems, such as reducing the amount of water they must accommodate or trapping vermin in the drainage system. It is recommended homeowners explore the several types of guards on the market today, and that they shop around for the guard best suited for their home.
- Downspouts should be connected securely to the gutters. If screws or pop rivets are used to connect a downspout outlet to a gutter, make sure these are tightened and silicone sealant forms a waterproof seal. If a gutter drop outlet is used, ensure it is also connected to the gutter with a waterproof seal.
- Check the fascia boards, whether they are flat or angled. Fascia boards run along the roof eaves as an edge and hide the rafters for aesthetic purposes. Since gutters and downspouts are normally attached to these boards, it is important that they are not damaged to provide a strong base for the attached drainage system.
- Sections of downspout piping must be connected securely to each other. The tapered ends of piping fit inside the non-tapered ends, and are fastened together with screws. Tighten these screws if necessary, or add more. Make sure that the screws which are used do not protrude too much into the downspout, as this will catch falling debris and result in clogs. Anchor straps attaching the downspouts to the wall should be secure, one placed ideally every six feet.
- Rust and damaged downspouts should be replaced or fixed.
- Elbows should be angled properly to maintain efficient dispersal of runoff water.
- Once runoff water reaches the end of a downspout, it should be directed well away from the property by a splash block, underground drainage system, or connecting downspout extender. Common in North America, splash blocks and downspout extenders are inexpensive but effective ways to eliminate runoff water.
Following this checklist during routine maintenance will ensure proper drainage of runoff water from your home. Please see the page Gutter Downspout Extender Maintenance for more information.
As mosquitoes deliver the deadly West Nile Virus, the key is to reduce the mosquito’s breeding areas of standing water. Above your head at your roof line are gutters with standing water in them if they are clogged. An easy way to reduce the mosquito population is to clean out your gutters and downspouts.
The most recognizable way that summer has descended upon us once again is the reappearance of the pesky mosquito. This year the insect appears with something much scarier than its normal bite though, this year we see West Nile Virus (WNV), a deadly disease being carried in this seemingly harmless insect. There is currently no vaccine against WNV, but there are steps that can be taken to prevent mosquitoes from rallying around your home. Beside the normal precautions of wearing long sleeves and pants as well as using repellents that contain DEET, they’re other steps that are usually over looked.
Mosquitoes look for breeding grounds in standing water. To avoid helping mosquitoes breed in your environment the Center for Disease Control along with the National Biological Infrastructure suggest several ways to remove standing water you may not even think about. Flowerpots, pet bowls, swimming pool covers as well as your gutters should be cleaned on a regular basis.
Team Maxima Aluminum, believes that standing water in gutters and eaves troughs can be a major contributor to WNV, as well. There are many preventive steps that can be taken to reduce the breeding opportunities of these infected mosquitoes.
Your gutters and eavestroughs can be filled with debris that make for the perfect breeding grounds for mosquitoes. With autumn right around the corner, leaves along with other debris will be finding a home within your gutters. If you don’t look for it, you probably will miss this opportunity to reduce the mosquito’s’ breeding grounds.
There are several ways to prevent clogged gutters. By leaf proofing your gutters and installing big mouth gutter outlets, your problems with clogged gutters will be reduced, if not eliminated. If you do not feel comfortable up on a ladder or on your roof, our crew can do this work for you. Maxima Aluminum was founded to promote the professionals who specialize in this kind of work. A clean rain carrying system will not only reduce the mosquito breeding grounds, but also help your gutter system work properly.
WNV first discovered in 1937, in Uganda has spread to the United States and Canada.
Mosquitoes in Toronto have tested positive for the West Nile virus, public health officials say.
It is the first positive result for the virus in the city this year, Toronto Public Health said Friday.
Lab tests have also shown mosquitoes with the virus in both Windsor, Ont., and Peel region.
The positive test result is a good reminder for people to protect themselves from mosquito bites, and reduce mosquito breeding grounds by draining standing water around the home, the department said.
Larvicides are also used in catch basins to reduce the city’s mosquito population.
The risk of becoming infected with West Nile virus is low and symptoms are usually mild, such as fever, headache, body aches, sometimes skin rash and swollen lymph glands. Sometimes the virus can cause severe illness, resulting in hospitalization and occasionally death.
Mosquitoes spread the virus after feeding on blood from infected birds.
Protect your living environment with our mosquito breeding-gutter guard solutions today!
Call now 416-875-6366 or 416-677-8191 for free consultation.