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Palatine Gutter Cleaning

Let's Clean Gutters is family-owned and operated right here in Palatine, IL. Since our company opened its doors in 2006, we’ve treated every customer like they were a part of our family. Other companies may offer similar services, but our services are the best, and come with a personal touch.  
​How to repair failing gutters and downspouts to prevent your home’s structure from incurring moisture damage
Four of the most common problems rain gutters incur are leaking, sagging, overflowing, and pooling runoff around the house. If left unattended, any one of these conditions can cause serious water damage to the house and its foundation. Fortunately, the fixes are within the realm of even a modestly skilled do-it-yourselfer.
Leaking Rain Gutters
If your gutters are leaking, the prime suspects are the joints between sections. Standing water in gutters eventually will rust galvanized steel seams or seep through the seams in aluminum gutters.

Caulk leaking gutter seams
First check for signs of standing water and sagging. Adjust or add gutter hangers as needed. Allow the insides of the gutters to dry out, brush leaking seams clean, and then apply silicone-rubber caulking compound along the seams on the inside and outside to seal the leaks, as shown at right.
Rotted Fascia and Soffit at Roof Junction

A challenge is working on a 12/12 pitch steep roof on the second story of the home.

Rotted Fascia and Soffit
I noticed the plywood soffit was cracked and curling under the eaves on where it contacted the main roof. It was difficult to fully assess the problem from ground level, so I got a ladder and zoomed in with my camera. Definitely a water intrusion problem here

Water Damaged Fascia and Soffit
Attic Inspection
I didn’t have to wait very long for a rainy day to look at the problem from inside the attic. I carefully maneuvered myself in the attic to get a look at soffit from the inside. I did this for two reasons:

To see the extent of the rain water intrusion.
To better understand the soffit and frame construction.
The soffit is located below the rafter ends in the yellow square in this next photo:

Attic Soffit Inspection
Attic Soffit Inspection

I couldn’t get close enough to the exterior wall to see into the soffit cavity due to the wedge of the roof and nails sticking out, but I was able to reach out with the camera and take photos. There are several problems here:

Rain water is soaking the fascia board where it contacts the roof. This is the blackened area.
Rain water is leaking and pooling on top of the plywood soffit.
Squirrels have gotten into the attic at some point during the last 9 years to store nuts, leaving a mess.
Rotted Fascia Board: Rain Water Leaking on the Fascia and Soffit
Rotted Fascia Board: Rain Water Leaking on the Fascia and Soffit

Closeup of the fascia board water damage where it lays on the roof. It was raining when I took these photos. The rain water is leaking onto and behind the fascia board.
Wet and Rotted Fascia Board on the Roof Shingles

I checked between the roof rafters along the soffit. The story was pretty much the same along this section of the soffit. Rain water intrusion and nuts from squirrels in the attic.

Notice the large carpenter’s gap between the OSB roof deck and the top of the fascia board in the above photo. The shingles lay over the carpenter’s gap into the gutter. Such a large gap in my opinion is sloppy construction and squirrels can get into the attic by wiggling or gnawing through this gap. All my neighbors say their houses are were built the same way with this large ~2″ gap between the roof deck and fascia. A 1/2″ gap is reasonable but not a 2 inches!

I asked my county building inspector if this was a building code violation, he said there’s nothing in building code on this topic, but if he were on an inspection and saw such a gap he would make the builder rework it. I also spoke with a roofing contractor that I met at a roofing supply store near Atlanta. He nodded knowingly at my problem description and that said particular county had updated the local building code specifically to address this issue.

To keep squirrels out of the attic, you can block the gap between the roof deck and fascia by installing:

Wire hardware cloth (wire mesh) under the shingles to keep critters out.
Roof drip edge flashing to cover the gap. Also called “eave drip” flashing.
I later had my roof replaced and drip edge flashing installed to cover the carpenter’s gap. The attic has been 100% squirrel free ever since.
Gutter covers that fit under the shingles and also cover the ends of the gutter.I chose this option. More details later in this article.
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