Eaves, revisited

Trent Ernst


It started raining last night after a picture-perfect autumn day.

My first thought was “did I bring in the laundry from off the line?” (No.)

My wife’s first comment? “Did you ever finish patching the gutters?”

Again, the answer is no. And now I have an excuse, having done a fair amount of damage to my hands and wrists in a stupid biking accident. But I promised that I would circle back to this topic of fixing gutters, and here I am. Not that this will be written from my experience. Instead, this is what I am supposed to do, according to the internet, which is never wrong.

(Speaking of which, apparently, the term gutters is a BC term, and possibly even a west coast term, according to Shell Busey, whom I used to ghost write for. Lasted about a month. True story. East of the Rockies, he says, they are eavestroughs. West of the Rockies, they are gutters. I’ll go with a mix of both here, because we’re only just this side of the spine of the Rockies.

As you may or may not remember, my eavestrough came loose at the back end of my house. In previous articles, I’ve cleaned the eavestroughs, as well as re-attached them to the house.

But in pulling off the house, the gutter also separated at the joint.

This, it turns out, is an easy fix.

The first thing to do is to make sure the area is clean and dry. A wire brush is helpful in these situations, as is sandpaper, depending on how anal you are.

Once the area is clean, it needs to be repaired using either caulking or construction adhesive. I shall be using the former.

Simply apply the caulking, and then smooth it flat with a putty knife.

Having done that, you need to let the caulking dry for at least a day, so pick a day when the weather is clear. Depending on what you used to seal, you might be able to speed the process along by using a hair drier.

Once dry, the joint should be good to face whatever Mother Nature has to toss at it. However, this is a good reminder that, even without a lot of tree leaves getting caught in the gutter, it’s always a good idea to go and clean them at least once a year.