Gutters - Do they really matter?   back to top

Often called eavestroughs, gutters keep water from damaging your house. Rainwater must be channeled from your roof to a storm drain system or an area well away from your house. Possible damage can include: flooded basements, mould issues (both interior and exterior), soil erosion, stained concrete, rotted decks, and stained stucco or siding.
Signs of water leaking at the corners of your gutters, streaking, peeling paint, or water staining of the wood that the gutters are fastened to (the fascia board), water spilling down a wall during a rainstorm, signs of corrosion or rusting on the gutter, gutters sagging, twisting or falling away from the fascia board they are fastened to, mould or peeling paint on the side of the house or moisture problems in a basement or crawlspace (if your perimeter drains are o.k.). These can all be signs of gutter problems and should be corrected before your home is damaged.
When we do an estimate, we can discuss with you what we feel the scope of work should be. If the gutters were installed correctly initially, a handyman may be able to make repairs. If the gutters were not installed properly or the corners not joined correctly, the cost of repairs may be more than the price of new gutters.
The most commonly used gutter, continuous aluminum, should last as long as a good quality asphalt roof. That is about 20-25 years.
We install continuous aluminum gutter, steel gutter, and copper gutter. Most houses have existing continuous aluminum gutters which are very economical and a serviceable, long lasting product. Steel is normally used for larger, commercial applications or in homes with steel roofs. Copper is a specialized product used in high end houses. It can last for hundreds of years, but is a more expensive product than the other two. We use both 5" and 6" gutters. Your gutters should be tailored to your home's requirements.
The expression ‘This could end badly’ fits vinyl gutters to a T. They are sold by lumberyards in lengths to homeowners who want to install their own gutters. The vast majority of them leak badly, sag and twist. We replace many vinyl gutters with continuous aluminum gutters.
We are able to reduce the number of joins by making the gutters to the proper length on site. We bring a truck-mounted continuous gutter machine to your house and custom fit the gutters as we make them. By manufacturing gutters in lengths up to 50’, we can usually reduce joins to the corners only, which dramatically reduces the potential for leakage.
Yes, that is part of the service we provide.
In most cases it is not required. If there are some areas which are rotten, we may need to replace individual boards so that we have solid wood to attach the new gutters to.
If we can see that the wood is rotten when we do our estimate, we will include it in the price and note which areas are to be replaced. If it is not visible, we will notify you during the course of the job and price the additional cost to you before proceeding.
We can remove the existing gutters and come back another day to install. We need to know well in advance that this is what you want. There may be a small additional charge due to the increased travel time.
Yes, we can clad the wood in the same type of aluminum material that the gutters are made of. You can have your choice of 17 colours and we can make the fascia cladding a different colour than the gutters at no extra charge. This cladding will pay dividends for years down the road in reduced maintenance costs.
This is very unusual, but not unheard of. Very often this is caused by chemicals that some companies apply as an after-market treatment to wood shingle roofs to control moss and algae.
We can’t be sure without seeing your house, but sometimes when you have a house reroofed, the roofers will cut the shingles too short and water will flow behind the gutters rather than into them. A roofer may be able to install aluminum flashings under the edge of the shingles and over the gutters to direct the water to where it belongs. We recommend that you address this situation before the fascia boards are damaged and need to be replaced.
Most gutters can be installed in a day or less. We need access to electricity but otherwise are totally self sufficient; you do not need to be home. We do need to be sure that watch dogs are kept in and gates unlocked.
This unfortunately is a very common issue and should be dealt with before the exterior of your house is damaged, or water begins to pool next to your foundation and leak into the house. Usually gutters are plugged where the downpipes attach to them. Gutters should be cleaned of leaves, moss, pine needles etc. at least once a year. The downpipes should be disconnected from the perimeter drains and flushed. If you have trees close to your house, you should probably have your gutters cleaned spring and fall. Notice that we say ‘have them cleaned’. Every year, we hear first hand stories of people who are injured while attempting to clean their gutters. Companies who are in the business of cleaning gutters normally charge very reasonable prices and can save you from serious injury. Professional gutter cleaners also do not damage your gutters by leaning ladders against them. We do not offer gutter cleaning but can recomment an approved company.
irst off, we need to mention that we manufacture and install SNAP-IT steel roofing. We usually use 6” wide steel gutters for steel and tile roofs, due to the rate that water flows off them. The additional width helps to deal with the increased velocity of the water and the steel material is necessary for structural rigidity on the larger gutter.
Yes, we are well covered. Most homeowners do not realize that if an uninsured or underinsured worker is injured on their property, they may be liable for damages. These could be ruinous in the case of a seriously injured person who may never work again. Legally, all workers in B.C. must be covered under the WorkSafeBC program. To find out if a company is registered with WorkSafeBC and their premiums are up to date, you can create a clearance letter for them online at WorkSafeBC and follow the prompts to create a report called a clearance letter.

Our WorkSafeBC number is 401297 if you would like to create a clearance letter for Irwin Industries. That is the minimum legal requirement. At Irwin we participate in a voluntary program called the COR program. Companies enrolled in this program receive a small discount on their WorkSafeBC premiums. In return we are required to provide additional training to employees in first aid and jobsite safety. We are held to a much higher standard than companies who adhere to the minimum WorkSafeBC standards. BC Construction Safety Association regularly inspects us for compliance to the COR standards.

A company should also have a third party liability insurance policy for a minimum of one million dollars. Our liability policy at the moment is in the amount of $3,000,000. If you ask the company you are considering employing for a copy of the front page of their liability insurance policy, that page will have the effective date and the amount of their coverage on it.
The Better Business Bureau offers consumers a great deal of protection if you deal with an accredited business. The BBB will intercede on your behalf and pressure accredited businesses to resolve customer issues. The BBB has no leverage with non accredited companies and is limited to pointing out that they have unresolved complaints. This does not affect their ratings since they are not rated to begin with and are certainly not accountable to the BBB.
We normally do not take deposits for gutters on smaller residential jobs. Please pay us promptly on receipt of invoice. In the case of a larger multiple stage project, we may ask for progress payments. These will be negotiated in advance and we will never bill for more work than we have performed to date.
We accept Visa and Mastercard.
Please do not lean ladders against our gutters or anyone else’s gutters. This practice leads to many injuries each year and can damage any gutter. You should use open rung ladder stand offs on your ladder. These are U shaped aluminum pipes that fit into the sides of your ladder. Ladder stand offs rest on your roof or siding, keeping your ladder from damaging the gutters and stabilizing your ladder to prevent it from slipping. They are very inexpensive and may save your life.
We can install a water diverter which looks like an upside down Y. You can move the water flow to one side or the other with a lever.
Good question. We have about 17 different colours to choose from. We can bring colour samples to your house so you can see how closely they match. If you would like to paint your gutters and/or downpipes for a more exact match, the baked on enamel finish provides an excellent base for latex paint.
We work in Victoria, Sooke and the Saanich Peninsula of course. We also send crews to most of the Gulf Islands. We have estimators and crews stationed in the mid island who cover all of the mid and south island. All our estimators and work crews can be contacted through the main office.
Due to privacy concerns, we are unable to release that information on this site. Your Irwin estimator may be able to help with more information.
Yes, these are a great idea. We manufacture and install a gutter protection system called Gutterguard. Gutter protection systems are an excellent insurance policy for your home. By preventing leaves and other debris from blocking gutters, a good gutter protection system can prevent blockage of downpipes and a buildup of debris in storm drains. Another major benefit is of course dramatically reducing the need to clean gutters, a potentially hazardous and oft neglected task.
Yes, no gutter protection system totally eliminates the need to clean gutters, but you will at least cut your need to do so in half or possibly less as well as reducing the risk of blockages between cleanings.
No, none of the products that we install will interfere with your roof warranty.
Usually we can. Our systems can be used with virtually any existing continuous aluminum gutter system. We can not install Gutterguard onto vinyl or sectional gutter. We also will not put Gutterguard onto improperly installed gutters, including gutters which sag, leak or bend.
No, we have been manufacturing and installing Gutterguard in extreme locations for many years now, and they have proven effective under all weather conditions. The primary reason gutters overflow is because of blocked downpipes. This problem is greatly reduced by the installation of Gutterguard. Secondary causes of overflow could be insufficient numbers of downpipes in relation to the roof area or older gutters which are too narrow, for instance a 4” rather than a 5” wide gutter. This will not occur if we have installed Gutterguards since if we see either of those issues, we draw them to your attention prior to installing Gutterguards.
They may stick temporarily but when they dry out, they will just blow off the Gutterguard as they would off the roof. The surface area of the Gutterguard is large enough that it would take a vast amount of leaves coming down at one time to create a problem.
No, all our fasteners go into the aluminum gutters, not the roof.
In most areas wind will blow dried plant material off Gutterguard. In some areas which are under an overhang or in a corner where wind can’t blow debris off, you may need to sweep the Gutterguard with a broom or a gloved hand. You should also take off the trap door and flush out the gutters with a garden hose.
Most of these products are made of vinyl, which is not rigid enough to stand up to the occasional heavy snow we may receive. Vinyl often sags between the fasteners allowing leaves to get into the gutters. Many of the lumberyard products have holes which are too large and still allow too much debris into the gutters. In short, they do not provide maintenance free protection like Gutterguard, particularly over a number of years, and are not used professionally.
A leaf trap is a ‘clean out box’ installed in a downpipe. If you are surrounded by trees, you should probably have a Gutterguard system installed in conjunction with leaf traps. The Gutterguard will greatly reduce the need to clean gutters and prevent blockage of downpipes. The leaf traps will catch the small amount of debris that flows through the Gutterguard and are very easily cleaned from ground level.
This is called tiger striping and is caused by soot, pollen or other fine particles in the atmosphere which have landed on the edge of the gutter and been washed down its face.
Our material manufacturer recommends using dishwater soap in warm water and scrubbing with a soft bristle brush.
You can call us at 250 382-5154 to have an estimator come to your home. You can e mail us at:

All our Victoria and up island calls are routed to our main office and the estimators are dispatched from that office.

Soffits - The Real Truth About Soffits   back to top

Most houses need soffits. What is usually referred to as a soffit is the eaves soffit which is the area underneath the overhang of a roof. The soffit gives your home a finished look and provides ventilation into your roof through the soffit vents/perforated soffit. It helps to prevent moisture build-up, mould, mildew, and heat damage to your attic as well as prolonging the life of your roofing materials by promoting air movement on the underside of the roof. Air is sucked in through the soffits (soffit vents), circulating in the attic, and then exits via the roof vents on top of the roof. A properly ventilated soffit helps to cool your home in the summer and protect it year-round.
Most often people replace soffits to change the appearance of their home and virtually eliminate maintenance problems. Replacing existing soffits with new vented soffits almost always adds to the attic ventilation and is an excellent additional benefit.
No, we usually leave the existing stucco or wood soffits in place and cut additional ventilation openings in them. Removing stucco and wood soffits is very time consuming and messy. In most cases, there is no advantage to removing existing soffiting.
We use both aluminum and vinyl soffit. They are both durable and properly ventilated. These two types of soffit differ in appearance and slightly in price. You can choose from a number of colours and styles.

Your home style, desired effect, and your budget determine the best solution for you. We install many types of siding because there is no one answer for every situation and every customer. We are great people to side with since we install vinyl siding, Hardie Plank, Island Eco-Siding, and commercial corrugated siding.
Appearance of fungus, obvious separation of seams, caulking failure, swelling, delaminating, boards that no longer lay flat against your house, paint failure and moisture on the inside of your house all could be signs of siding failure.
No, we always need to remove the existing siding to examine the condition of the materials under the siding as well as to ensure that the new siding is installed properly.
It can be difficult to tell if your home has dry rot without removing the siding first; then we can tell how extensive the damage is and repair it. In extreme cases you may see signs of excessive moisture on the surface of your siding or moisture on the inside of your house.
If we encounter problems with the surface under the siding during the course of installation, we will contact you with the details and an estimate of the repair cost. In most cases, the costs are not prohibitive. We warrant all our work, therefore we never cover up problems with the substrate.
New siding takes 20 to 30 years off the appearance of an older home, gives it a completely new look, and significantly reduces maintenance costs.
Your Realtor can tell you whether it would be advantageous to replace your defective siding if you wish to sell your home in a timely manner and for a good price. Trying to sell your home with defective siding can be difficult since the buyer’s first impression is the exterior of the house and sets the tone for their viewing of the house. They may wonder what else needs to be done inside the house as they walk through the door. If you do get an offer the buyer will almost always want a hefty discount to replace the siding.
Winter is a good time to start your siding project. Often it is much easier to reserve a space in the winter than it is any other time of year. During winter months we tear-off smaller sections and reside those sections before we move on. This procedure ensures that your home will always have limited exposure to the elements.
Typically, 7 to 14 days. It depends on the size of your home, the time of year we do your job, and weather conditions.
During most days we will only remove as much siding as we can replace with a weather barrier during that same day.
All of our crews work as carefully as possible to avoid doing any damage to your landscaping when they are on the job. However, we do suggest that before your siding project begins, you should move and/or tie back all plants that are important to you. While our installers are careful, sometimes damage to plants is unavoidable.
Residing may cause your walls to rattle when the siding is being torn-off and when your new siding is nailed on. We suggest that you remove any fragile items from your interior walls that may fall during the residing process. On occasion, caulking around your windows may crack and you may experience small drywall cracks or drywall 'nail-pops'. We do our best to avoid creating more work, however we can not guarantee that these types of situations will not occur since many of the causes are outside our control. We do not include the costs of repairing window caulking or interior finishing in our prices.
Because we offer siding at a number of price points to fit any need and any budget, and because every home and siding job is unique, there is no way to answer this question. The best approach is have an estimator come to your home to measure it accurately and discuss your needs.

Unlike vinyl siding, our steel siding is manufactured on site from a continuous steel roll. This means that there are no vertical seams in steel siding. We have done 52 foot lengths in steel.

Using steel siding rather than Hardie Plank allows you to dispense with a rainscreen, in municipalities that require one, and the need to caulk and paint siding.

For instance: when Hardie Plank is initially applied, we normally install it with a factory primed finish and caulk the vertical joints. The painting contractor applies the final coat of paint. This process of caulking and painting is repeated when the house needs to be repainted. Using Island Eco-Siding, no caulking of joints is required or painting.

Island Eco-Siding siding saves the cost of a rainscreen and the factory finish will last indefinitely. From an ecological standpoint, Island Eco-Siding has a 35% recycled content, is 100% recyclable and qualifies for Leeds points.
Irwin’s steel siding is our own product which we developed in 2008. We don’t advertise nationally and are just beginning to promote it locally, but this type of product has been used in other jurisdictions for many years.
In most residential areas normal rainfall is sufficient to keep the siding surfaces fairly clean but we do recommend that the siding be washed annually or more often if conditions demand.
While any product will fade under certain conditions, it will take many years and fading is slight.
Yes, we have a cove and a bevel style.
Initially, yes. But you only have to install it once. You repaint every few years. Your seamless steel siding will more than pay for itself over time in the money you'll save on repainting or fixing siding, and if you sell your home, Island Eco-siding can increase the selling price.
This question has many variables that affect the answer. How flat the ground is, as well as the amount of surrounding landscape greatly affect prep time. The number of stories of the house and existing siding removal also affect the installation time. One of the most significant factors is how "cut up" a job is. "Cut up" refers to how many corners, windows, gables, offset areas, and tie-ins must be negotiated. And we can never forget mother nature. Rainy and windy days can stop production.

Steel roofs are lightweight and therefore less taxing on the underlying structure than most roofing materials. This can benefit older houses especially.

Steel roofing is non-combustible: metal will not burn. In very dry areas and heavily treed areas, this can be an important benefit. Many people who live in areas which are underserved by fire departments or who heat with wood prefer steel roofing for this reason.

Steel roofs are attractive. We offer a larger array of colours in steel roofing than are available in asphalt and shingles. We also avoid installing unsightly roof vents by utilizing hidden ridge venting.

Steel roofing is ecologically sound. The recycled content of the steel in a metal roof is 35% and all the steel in a steel roof is recyclable. You also are saving the environmental cost of removing roofing materials to a landfill and replacing them every few years. In North America, billions of pounds of shingles are dumped in already overflowing landfills each year.
A steel roof will last indefinately.

In contrast, the average life span of an asphalt roof is 12 to 20 years. That lifespan can be shorter depending on the pitch of your roof and the climate in your area. Made of oil impregnated paper or fiberglass, asphalt begins to deteriorate as soon as you expose it to normal weather. A metal roof however, will never decompose.

Other roofing materials like wood shingle, shake and tile have varying degrees of weather-related problems that lead to breakdown. Wood shingle and shake roofs often need replacement before twenty years. Concrete tile roofs can crack and warp in a freeze/thaw cycle.

All of the above roofing materials are outlived by metal roofing, which retains its good looks and durability for decades.
Results from a study by the Acoustic Group at the University of Luleå, Sweden showed at most a 6 decibel difference from standard roofing materials. A 6 decibel difference is undetectable by the human ear. An 8 decibel range is the commonly accepted threshold for human hearing.
It is possible to fasten through a steel roof, if there is no other option. Many satellite dishes now are small and designed for mounting to a wall, therefore there are very few cases when a dish needs to go on the roof. If you must mount a dish onto a roof, the steel is a non porous surface and provides a good substrate to seal to. The factors which limit durability are the workmanship and the materials used in the operation.
If your house has not been hit by lightning in the past, you will probably not be hit in the future. Lightning is attracted to the highest point, not necessarily metal. A steel roof has no greater chance of being hit by lightning than any other type of roof. A steel roof struck by lightning could help prevent your home from catching fire because it can dissipate the electrical charge. Also, very importantly, it is noncombustible.
Yes, if you must, you can walk on a metal roof. You must be very careful for a number of reasons. Firstly, metal surfaces can become slippery when wet or covered with foreign materials such as pine needles. Secondly, due to the powerful reflective properties of our materials, metal roofs can become very, very hot on a bright summer day. We suggest that you hire professionals who are skilled in safely working in over height roofing situation.
Theoretically it is possible, however we will not install steel roofing over an existing roof. We have seen other companies do this and the negatives far outweigh any possible gains. The first problem is that when we strip a roof, very often we find spots of rot that must be replaced (if they are small we do the repairs at no extra charge). This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to inspect the condition of your existing roof structure, since we will be installing a steel roof which could last 50 years or more. The other issue is that the new steel roofing seldom sits properly on the existing roof and appears to wave. We have also seen other company’s roofs that show the imprint of the underlying roof. For a proper job, the existing roof must be removed. We also add ridge ventilation.
Metal reflects 70% of the sun's energy. This minimizes heat retention, and as a result, less heat is transferred into the building's structure. Research done in 1985 by the Florida Solar Energy center showed that metal experiences 34% less heat gain than asphalt shingles. Results also indicated that metal roofing offers an effect similar to R-11 insulation on top of the roof during sunny conditions.
A steel roof on average is 50% lighter than an asphalt shingle roof, and 75% lighter than concrete tile or fiber cement shakes. For an existing house, add to these numbers the weight of the roofing which we remove, and the difference in weight can be very significant.
Because steel roofing is a premium home product, you can expect your new roof to cost roughly 1.5 times what an asphalt shingle roof costs. However, a metal roof is less expensive in price to tile roofing or cedar shake roofing.
Very well. Steel roofs are much lighter than other roofs, so during a quake, there is much less stress on the structure of your house than with other materials.
We have installed many roofs in very high wind locations, particularly on the Gulf Islands. We have never had to return to a roof to repair wind damage. Our SNAP-IT steel roofs are screwed to the underlying wood sheathing at roughly 2 foot intervals on one edge and the top panel snaps into the bottom panel all along the other edge. The fit is very secure and will not come loose under extreme wind conditions.
Our SNAP-IT steel roofs qualify for points under the Leeds program as the recycled content of the steel is 35% and the steel is 100% recyclable.
Yes, we use Deck Armour underlay or 30 lb. roofing felt under all our roofs. For low slope edges, we use Titanium PSU 3 flexible membrane.
That varies dramatically with the scope of work required. Some of the variables are: whether we are removing existing roofing, how many different angles there are to the roof or if we need to go around skylights and other roof penetrations. We can give you a rough time frame when we look at your home.
We only strip what we can cover in the day, so your home is not in any danger from the elements. That brings up another point. Sometimes people will ask us if they can strip in advance of our crews. It may sound like a great way to save money and put your brother-in-law to work, but we need to strip as we go, not just to protect against weather changes, but also to prepare the surface for our roofing.
Almost all professional installers use 26 or 24 gauge steel for roofs. Many lumberyards sell a cheaper, lighter gauge steel such as 29 gauge (the higher the gauge, the thinner the steel). Lighter steel is more difficult and time consuming to work with, but many unwary customers will attempt to save money by purchasing a cheaper product only to find that there are no savings to be achieved at the end of the day. All our SNAP-IT roofs are 26 or 24 gauge.
We have made SNAP-IT roof panels as long as 70 feet, so the overall length is not a problem. We do not need to have horizontal seams in our Snap-it roofs.
If you have an attic under the roof, insulation is not required. If you do not have an attic, we can insulate under your roof. This is seldom necessary.