What you should know
What to do about heat buckling
Most materials are subject expansion when heated. This is called Thermal Expansion. Thermal Expansion is the tendency for a material to expand and contract when exposed to changes in temperature. The bigger the temperature change is, the more a material will expand or contract. A 50 foot aluminum rain gutter subjected to a 50°F change in temperature can expand or contract almost 0.5 inches. Though that may not sound like a lot, it’s enough to cause serious issues. It is important to note that wood material used on the fascia or soffit can expand or contract even more than aluminum material.
The expansion or contraction of either of these materials may be enough individually to cause heat buckling of gutter material if precautions are not taken during gutter installation. In fact, when both materials experience expansion and contraction simultaneously, the almost 2″ combined effect could have severe consequences to the gutter material.
So What to do about heat buckling?
1: Gutter Machine Adjustment
Gutter machines need to be regularly adjusted to ensure that the gutter that they run out is straight with no curving or rippling.
2: Run Out Stands
When running gutter out of a machine it should be supported with run out stands with the first stand 8 feet from the machine, then a stand every 15 feet to keep the gutter level. This helps prevent it from stretching or deforming.
3: Length of Gutter Run
It is recommended that a single run of gutter should not be longer than 50 feet. For jobs that require longer runs consider using an expansion joint or two shorter runs with ends caps butted together and joined by a piece of aluminum.
Installing at extreme hot or cold temperatures will increase the chance of heat buckling. The optimal temperature for installing gutter is 60-90°F.
When using internal hangers, do not screw the lip of the rain gutter to the hook of the hanger. Adding a screw to the lip and hook increases the risk that the rain gutter will rip or tear during expansion.
By following these simple suggestions you can reduce the chance of heat buckling, helping your gutters look like new for as long as possible