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The systemic failure of hidden gutters

Updated: Jan 17, 2023

Recently, I received a call from a homeowner in Surrey, British Columbia, who was experiencing a leak in their hidden gutters. Hidden gutters, also known as concealed or built-in gutters, are a popular choice for many homeowners due to their sleek and unobtrusive appearance. These gutters are often installed improperly, which can lead to a host of problems.

One common issue with hidden gutters is improper seam installation. These gutters are made from long pieces of EPDM membrane that are cut to fit the length of the house, and then nailed together at the corners and other areas where the gutter needs to change direction and caulked. This caulking only lasts so long. If the seams are not properly sealed, water can leak through and cause damage to the fascia board and soffit, as well as the interior of the house.

Leaking hidden gutter EPDM seam nailed and caulked its wrong
Hidden gutter EPDM seam nailed and caulked

Another problem with hidden gutters is improper drain installation. The drains are installed on the plywood then they apply caulking on the drain and lay the membrane over it and cut the hole. Over time with weather the rubber expands and contracts and becomes unstuck from the drain. These gutters are designed to channel water away from the house, because the drains are not installed correctly, water can leak inside. This can lead to water damage to the foundation, as well as mold and mildew growth inside the house.

Hidden gutter EPDM drain leaking its installed wrong

At Aldergrove Roofing, we take a different approach to hidden gutter installation. We install a proper patch, using a the right materials that is designed to withstand the elements and keep water from leaking through the seams. This approach not only ensures that the gutters will function properly, but also provides a 5-year warranty for our customers. We also upgraded the drains from 2-inch to 3-inch to improve drainage.

Hidden gutter drain EPDM properly patched

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