Gutters and Dry Weather

While our sunny (and hot) Metro Vancouver weather has been great for residents, business travelers and visitors on holiday, it does have a downside. In addition to health-related issues, dry weather can also have an adverse effect on your gutters. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking it’s safe to forget about the gutters while you soak up some summer heat. Here are some ways dry weather conditions can affect the gutters.

Dry by Day, Dew at Night

Even if you’ve cleaned the gutters earlier this spring, dry weather encourages dust and particle build-up in the gutter troughs. Overnight, when the temperature drops and dew appears, the smallest amount of moisture can interact with the dirt particles causing acidic compounds to form. Eventually, this process can damage the gutter’s protective finish, causing aluminum gutters to corrode.

When Aluminum Gutters Expand and Contract

Aluminum gutters expand and contract the most of all of the materials gutters are made of. In the summer heat, expansion during the day, then contracting when the sun goes down can put stress on the seams where gutter sections are joined together. This expand/contract movement wears the sealant down, causing an older gutter system to spring leaks when the rain returns.

It Just Takes a Spark

Debris hanging around inside the gutters plus dry weather conditions can be a lethal combination – it just takes a spark to turn dry debris into tinder. If your gutters are well-maintained, you might think you have nothing to worry about. But the summer heat can actually stress trees out, causing them to shed leaves and pine needles, which fall into the gutters and dry out, creating a potential fire hazard. When there are a number of trees growing close to your house, check the roof and the gutters for piles of debris that might become brittle after two to three weeks without rain.

Dry Weather and Soil Erosion

As the earth loses moisture, long periods of no rain in the Lower Mainland can also lead to soil erosion around the foundation of your home. When the rains do return, these vulnerable landscaped areas can be more susceptible to pooling water when the downpipes start working again. Keeping watering restrictions in mind, do try to occasionally dampen the soil near the basement of your home and around the downspouts.