Winter Maintenance for your Eavestrough

Winter is Back

Winter is Back

Well, it is back again! Winter has officially arrived in Central Ontario. If you didn’t get your eavestrough cleaned out yet, well, you missed your chance. I am going to go over a few things to watch for this winter to make sure your eavestroughs last as long as they should. First of all, you should have them cleaned out every fall, or have gutter guards installed to avoid cleaning. This is crucial to a care free winter when it comes to your eavestroughs. If you have to go up on your roof this winter to shovel, or remove Christmas lights, make sure to never lean your ladder against the eavestrough. This is bad for your eavestrough, but also a very unsafe place for you to lean the ladder. Put the ladder against a gable end, use a large step ladder (if possible), or buy a ladder standoff (best option). I have included a picture of a ladder standoff in this post if you aren’t sure what that is.

Ladder Standoff

Ladder Standoff

If you decide you need to chip ice out of your eavestrough don’t use something really sharp, like a nail or screwdriver. It is very easy to put a hole in your eavestrough like this. Use something with a larger flat or round surface to break up the ice, like a scrap piece of wood. Heat cables will melt ice off your roof or your eavestrough, but this can be a costly option as they use a lot of electricity. If you are shovelling your roof, make sure not to scrape right down to the shingles. This will protect your shingles but also means you won’t hit the eavestrough with the shovel as you push the snow over the edge. It is best to leave about 4-6″ of snow on the roof. Another very important thing to do through the winter is remove snow from the bottom of your downspouts. If your downspouts would normally discharge on your lawn, you need to make sure there is somewhere for the water to go if we have a winter thaw. Often the bottom of the downspout is covered in snow so the water has no where to go and then freezes in the downspout when it gets cold again. If this process happens a few days in a row the downspout can become entirely filled with ice. So make sure to give your downspout ends a quick shovel after big storms. Lastly, unless you have a real emergency wait until spring to do any eavestrough repairs. And if it is too big of a job for you, or you just want the experts to handle it call Sentry Exteriors!

Barrie: (705) 487-0888
Muskoka: (705) 645-8020


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How to know when to fix or replace your eavestrough?

Before - Definitely time to replace.

Before – Definitely time to replace.


After - All new with a lifetime warranty.

After – All new with a lifetime warranty.

One question we often here is can I just fix my eavestroughs, or do they need to be replaced? Well typically this isn’t as straight forward as you would think. There are many variables that need to be considered. First of all how old are your eavestroughs? If they are more than 20 years old they are most likely going to need to be replaced. What material are your eavestroughs made of, and are they seamless? If they are vinyl or plastic eavestroughs they will have a much shorter life span meaning you will most likely need to replace. If they aren’t seamless and are made up of many 10 foot sections seamed and sealed together they will most likely be leaking and need to be replaced. If eavestroughs have been on your house for 5+ years and any joints start to leak it is very hard to stop that. You must remove the old caulking (as much as you can), clean the area, and then reseal the area. The problem is it is very hard to get all the old caulking out and to clean the surface to make it like new. Sealing the eavestroughs at the corners and endcaps the first time is very important and something we at Sentry Exteriors take extra time and detail in preparing. Like I said before if it starts to leak it is almost impossible to get it to stop, and so getting it right the first time is vital to an extended life of your eavestroughs. I often have people tell me “the eavestrough isn’t that old but it doesn’t drain properly, can that be fixed?” Well the good news is it can, most of the time. There’s a couple things to consider. If your eavestrough was spiked(long nails) to the fascia, then it makes things very difficult. Removing those spikes without damaging the trough is essentially impossible and often replacement is necessary. If you are lucky whoever installed your eavestrough used a hidden hanger with a screw which allows us to readjust the slope of the trough without replacing it. If your eavestrough is spiked and you don’t want to replace it but don’t want it to hold water either, we can add a downspout to the lowest part of the trough where the water is pooling. This isn’t always possible because that spot might be right over a walkway or doorway, but if it is in a location where this is an option that is also an easy way of fixing your issue. Another problem we often see with the spiked eavestroughs is that they start pulling away from the building. This happens over time as the weight of water, ice, snow debris, etc. constantly pushes on the trough. Because the spikes don’t have threads they don’t hold as tight. Luckily this problem can easily be fixed. We can add hidden hangers with screws to your existing eavestrough to make them stronger and hold tight to the fascia. This is a much cheaper than replacement and makes your eavestrough like new again. These are some of the most common issues we run in to when customers are trying to decide between fixing or replacing. If you have a different issue with your eavestrough and would like a free professional opinion please contact us for a quote. We provide a free written quote for all our products and services.

Sentry Exteriors
Barrie: (705) 487-0888
Muskoka: (705) 645-8020
Toll-Free: 1-(877) 487-0888


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The Proper Downspout Installation

We see it time and time again. Downspouts pouring out on to a lower roof which completely ruins the shingles. By doing this you essentially run a garden hose in one location of your roof every time it rains, accelerating the wear process of your roof. This problem is most commonly seen in newer subdivisions with cookie cutter homes. The eavestrough installer is getting paid a flat rate per house so they use as little material as possible, and get the job done as fast as they can. Cutting a corner like this can end up costing you, the homeowner, a lot of money in the long run. The water from the upper roof should never be allowed to pour out on to a lower roof. The only time you may consider it is if it is a small dormer or piece of eavestrough that will only collect a minimal amount of water. Below are pictures showing what I mean in regards to the downspout. If you ever have an upper eavestrough that drains down to a lower one, it must be ran all the way there in a downspout. By letting this water run across the shingles in one location with a much higher concentration than a normal rain you will wear out your shingles about five times faster. I have seen shingles have to be replaced in 5 years in this situation. I have also seen shingles with absolutely no grit left on them when the rest of the shingles on the house are fine. If you have any questions in regards to your eavestroughs or downspouts please contact us at 1(877)487-0888 or email When you want a quality job at a fair price contact Sentry Exteriors.

The Wrong Way.

The Right Way!

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Make Your Old House Look New

So often people lose their homes curb appeal by not keeping up with painting. Eventually the old wooden soffit and fascia start to look weathered and begin to peal. You have two options. 1. Repaint it again knowing that it will be a continuous chore for years to come. 2. Cover it in aluminum with whatever colour you like! This way you never have to worry about repainting and the wood is protected from weather, animals, etc. You can also open up those old wooden soffits and get the real air flow your attic needs. Take a look at a few recent jobs. Don’t paint it. Cover it!

Remember you can call anytime for a free quote on any of our exterior products 1-(877)487-0888

Which looks better?

100 year old home looks new again!

Getting the proper ventilation.

Like new again!

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Why Are Soffits Important?

First of all, what are soffits? The soffit is the underside of the eaves which connects your homes wall to the roofline. Now that we know what they are why are they important? The soffits play a very important part in allowing your house, especially the roof, to breathe. Older homes will typically have wood soffits with a few vents spread around your home. The newer style is to use aluminum soffits with built in venting. This allows for much more air flow in to the attic as well as becomes maintenance free, no painting required. So the soffits provide vital ventilation to your attic as well as providing protection to your homes walls from weather.

Why does your roof need to breathe you might ask? First of all it will help with energy costs. Your roof is going to be hot in the summer which will mean increased A/C costs. Vented soffits allow fresh air in and push the hot air up and out of roof vents. They also help keep your attic cool in the winter by allowing cold air in. Why would you want this, wouldn’t you want heat in the winter? No, if heat escapes from inside your home in to the attic it will cause the snow on your roof to melt and then create ice damming, which can create thousands of dollars of damage.

Vented Soffit Diagram

Keeping your attic the right temperature throughout the year will allow your roofing materials to last longer. Too hot in the summer will dry out the shingles, and too warm in the winter will create moisture and rotting of the shingles and roof boards. Many shingle manufacturers require proper ventilation of the roof in order for you to receive their full warranty. It is also best for you to create the best atmosphere if you are storing any belongings in the attic. Some people have easy access to their attic and use that space for storage. Proper ventilation will help to prevent mould in the attic.

If you are interested in getting a quote to have your soffits replaced call us today!

We have many different colours and profiles to choose from to compliment your home.

Remember Sentry Exteriors also does Seamless Eavestrough, Gutter Guards, Leaf Solution, Fascia, and Siding.

1-(877)-487-0888 � � � �

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Comparing Gutter Guards

Here you will be able to see some pictures of the Leaf Solution product compared to most of the popular brands out there. Many people try many options before they find Leaf Solution and because of that we have had to remove many of the “other guys.” Gutter Topper/Gutter Helmet/Gutter Guardian, which are all the same thing, allow debris in and get a gunk on the front lip stopping water from entering. Gutter Brush just doesn’t make sense from the start. You are basically putting a giant pipe cleaner in your eavestrough. And Gutter Filter isn’t much better, holding on to all the debris just the same. The proof is right in front of you the best gutter guard on the market is Leaf Solution hands down! Click on the pictures below to enlarge them. That’s why we are so glad to be the Barrie, Orillia and Muskoka dealer. Call today for a free estimate 1-(877)487-0888 and stop worrying about those eavestroughs forever!

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Choosing A Gutter Guard

Leaf Solution

When choosing a gutter guard there are several different issues you want to take in to account. First of all you want to determine the condition of your current eavestroughs. If your eavestroughs are currently not in great shape you may want to consider changing them as well as adding the gutter guard. Typically you will get an extra savings by doing both jobs at once. If you have eavestroughs in good condition then all they will need is a good cleaning and you will be ready for a gutter guard.

The second thing you will want to consider is the material the gutter guard is made of. Many gutter guards that you by at a hardware or big box store are made of a vinyl material. Vinyl gutter guards tend to have a very short life span because of the changing temperatures in our area and the they lack strength to withstand the snow loads. There is also foam insert products. These products may not deteriorate or break down as quickly but they simply don’t work as an effective gutter guard. The best products are aluminum and stainless steel products.

The third thing you are going to want to consider is the tree cover around your house or cottage. Depending on where you live some people can be completely covered in trees and their eavestroughs are almost always clogged. You also want to determine whether or not you have leaf or needle trees. If you have a moderate to low amount of leaf trees you can get a way with a flat sitting aluminum guard. These systems are the most cost effective and will work in a situation with a moderate amount of leaves. This system uses small holes to allow the water through but not the larger objects like leaves and then relies on wind to take the leaves away. If you have too many leaves these systems can get clogged up and will result in an extreme amount of spill over. If you have any needle trees around you the holes will quickly get clogged and the guard again becomes ineffective. A lot of people have seen the foam insert guard which is like a giant sponge in your eavestroughs. The�porous sponge allows all small debris and dirt to settle down in to the guard clogging it up and turning the bottom of your eavestroughs to a muddy mess. It also holds the stems of leaves and needles clogging up on the top of the foam as well. This guard was not well thought-out and you will be very unhappy with it. We won’t offer it to our customers even when they specifically ask for it because we have seen the results. If you have many leaves and needle trees the only effective option is Leaf Solution. Leaf Solution uses a stainless steel micro-mesh screening system to filter the water. The screen is so fine it won’t allow shingle grit or pine needles to ever get in your eavestrough. Not only will they not get in, the screen is so fine it doesn’t allow the small debris to get caught in or hold to the screen. Leaf Solution has a patented in-seam design which uses surface tension to force the water in to the eavestrough. This means that it can take the highest volume of water of any gutter guard on the market. The Leaf Solution product is installed by going under the last row of shingles and attaching to the front lip of the eavestrough. This way it takes the slope of the roof so the debris is easily washed away with every rain or wind. The hooded guards are also a popular option but they struggle to take high volumes of water. These are guards like Gutter Guardian, Gutter Helmet, Gutter Topper and K Guard. The helmet systems all allow the small debris like shingle grit and needles in. They hope that this gets washed out but if it ever get blocked up you have a big mess and the guard will need to be removed. Leaf Solution will also take about three times the amount of water as a hooded system.

When purchasing gutter guards make sure you do your research. If price is your only factor a�perforated aluminum guard is the best option, we offer Pro Guard or Alurex. If you want the best guard on the market that never needs service or maintenance and will work in the harshest conditions year after year Leaf Solution is the best option. It is lifetime guaranteed and we give you are 100% clog-free money-back guarantee. The only gutter guard that actually guarantees their product works!

Call for your free quote on gutter guards:

Barrie (705) 487-0888

Muskoka (705) 645-8020

Toll-Free 1-(877) 487-0888

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The Importance of Eavestroughs

Newly Installed Eavestrough

The purpose of eavestroughs is to correctly and efficiently control the flow of water from the roof to the ground. The importance of properly installed and maintained eavestroughs is crucial to keeping your home in top condition. This blog will discuss the top 3 reasons why everyone should have eavestroughs.

First and probably the most obvious is to direct the water away from the foundation of your home. When water sits around your foundation it causes many various issues. The obvious one is leakage. If there is any possible way in water will find it. This becomes a bigger issue in the winter when freezing occurs which can cause a crack in your foundation wall. Repairing foundation walls can become a very costly fix, plus any damage that may be done to the interior of your basement. Water around the foundation will also give your basement a damp feeling and makes the risk of�mold extremely high. Properly installed eavestroughs and downspouts will collect all the�roof water then deliver it to the ground, and direct the water flow away from your home. Downspout locations are just as important in this situation, because a bad location or installation can still allow water to sit around your foundation wall. Downspouts should be put in a location where the ground slopes away from the building. If the ground is sloping towards the building it is not going to take the water away and a new downspout location is required. Depending on the grounds slope and layout a proper kick-out length is determined for the downspout. This is the piece at the bottom of the downspout after the final elbow running straight out from the home. �There are different sizes of downspouts available depending on how much water the spouts will need to drain. These locations and sizes can all be easily determined by a professional.

Another important reason for eavestroughs is to stop erosion of the soil around your home or the wash out of landscaping. There is a lot of water that falls off your roof each rainfall and without an eavestrough system it will cascade on to the ground like a mini waterfall. This overtime can create a large hole around your entire home and wash out any gardens or softer materials that may be around your home. Unless you are built right on rock you will see this erosion happening.

One other important reason to install eavestrough is to protect your home from splashback. If water does fall off your roof like explained in the paragraph above it will then create a splash as it hits the ground. This in turn will spray on to your building. This will often result in dirt splashing all over the siding or lower windows of your home. It will also create water staining on any brick or wood siding homes. This problem is easily fixed with proper eavestrough. If any of this water is falling on to a deck or patio it will shorten the lifespan of those materials too. Make sure eavestrough is placed over top of your driveway to keep as much ice as possible off it in the winter.

Another key factor to remember about your eavestrough is the importance of maintenance. Eavestroughs can and in most cases will create work. Although we don’t like to install products that cause more work for us they are neccessary, but there are solutions. Eavestroughs must be cleaned out on a regular basis. If you wait until they are clogged up and full of leaves and other gunk you have waited too long! Installing a gutter guard can be a huge improvement to this problem. There are many options when choosing a gutter guard and making the right decisions is very important. We offer 3 different gutter guards and would love to show you these options and explain them with a free estimate. You can call us anytime to set up a estimate for any of our products and services.

Hopefully this has answered any of your questions, and given you more insight to the importance of eavestroughs. If you have any questions, or would like to arrange a quote from us please contact us at 1-(877) 487-0888

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Why Do We Do Home Shows?

What to look for at the Home Shows

A lot of people ask if it is really profitable to exhibit at home shows. We at Sentry Exteriors definitely say yes. Our company has had great success from home shows and these are the reasons why. First off it is a great place for people to meet the staff of our company. Our friendly, knowledgeable and professional employees are ready to serve you from start to finish of your exterior project. Most of our sales team are also installers so they can explain the products from experience. It also gives the customers a hands on experience where they can see our running water eavestrough display that compares various gutter guard systems. We don’t only display our own products we also show the competitors products too. This allows us to show the differences and advantages to our products. We strive to only have the best products available on the market, and we want to be able to show you why we chose the products we did. It also is a much better way of showing you our products on a bigger scale. We can only bring so much to your home in the form of samples. Many product samples are small sizes and hard to get an idea of what it may actually look like on a wall. That is why we created our unique back wall that displays different types of siding, soffit and fascia, a window, eavestrough and Leaf Solution. This way you get an idea of how the products will really look on your home. The less you have to picture in your mind and not see in reality the harder the decision process is for you. Our aim is to help making your decision as easy and stress-free as possible. Another main reason we want you to see Sentry Exteriors at a home show is so that you know year after year we exist in our communities, and we aren’t going anywhere. So if you are considering any changes to your eavestroughs, siding, soffit and fascia, or windows come visit us at one of our home shows. You can always find us at the Barrie Spring Home and Garden Show (Barrie Molson Center), The Cottage Life Show (Toronto International Center) and the Muskoka Home Show (Bracebridge Arena).

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