Extreme temperature changes take a toll on your home's gutters. Going from freezing temperatures in the winter to scorching heatwaves in the summer can have a big impact on how well your gutters hold up. Metal, as you probably remember from your high school physics class, contracts in the cold and expands in the heat. Over time, that means that the seasonal contraction and expansion of your gutters can lead to damage that may ultimately cause cracks to appear and water to leak. While heat buckling cannot be prevented entirely, we will look below at a few ways to minimize its impact:
Don't install in the cold
One of the best things you can do to avoid heat buckling is to make sure you're not installing your new gutters in the depths of winter. When you install gutters at below 30 degrees Fahrenheit, then they are already fully contracted. That means that when summer comes around they are going to expand quite substantially. Instead, you should aim to install your gutters at the midway point, when it's neither too hot nor too cold; that way the contraction and expansion they go through will be minimal compared to the state they were in when first installed.
Not all materials expand and contract by the same amount. When it comes to gutters, you usually have a choice between aluminum and vinyl. If you live in a place where temperatures can swing dramatically then aluminum makes a lot more sense. That's because aluminum expands in the heat a lot less than vinyl does, meaning that heat buckling will take longer to develop on aluminum gutters than on vinyl ones.
Avoid direct sunlight
Not surprisingly, parts of your gutter that are more exposed to direct sunlight are also going to heat up the fastest and be more susceptible to heat buckling. Ideally, you will want to have your gutters placed so that they are not in direct sunlight. Of course, that's easier said than done. Heat buckling is especially common over asphalt and sidewalks since these areas reflect heat back onto the gutters. While it is difficult to keep gutters out of direct sunlight, you should be aware of this problem so you can keep a lookout for these areas for the first signs of buckling.
While heat buckling can't be avoided entirely, there are ways to minimize its impact. If your gutters are starting to bow out then they may be suffering from heat damage. In that case, it's important that you get them repaired or replaced as soon as possible. Damaged and leaking rain gutters are more than a nuisance; they can cause water to build up around your house and damage your foundation. Keep your gutters in good working order to ensure that your home remains comfortable and safe.
Contact waterproofing contractors for more information and assistance.