Thermal Expansion & Contraction
Did you know that the heat and cold are vital parts of our everyday lives? They help to bring new life to vegetation, kill off destructive organisms, and even bring us the beautiful and oh-so different seasons. If you are anything like me, you long for winter when the summer heat has been too much. Then long for summer when, for the last time during the cold, you can’t feel your fingers. A cycle that constantly repeats.
That same hot and cold cycle creates a process known as Thermal Expansion. It wreaks havoc on many construction materials. In reference to the common gutter materials: aluminum, steel, and copper, thermal expansion has a lineal effect. This means a gutter will expand and contract in a range of 1/4” to 1-1/2” throughout the cycle.
It’s important that your rain gutter expert understands this process and has a solution on how to handle its effects. While it’s impossible to stop it from occurring, it can be controlled with some forethought. Spacing of hangers, expansion joints, torque on screws, and even time of day/year materials are installed are the things to consider.
If these steps are not utilized, you may end up with a system that will require premature replacement or a constant repair and maintenance plan. Each U.S region can affect these materials differently. When you are ready, hire a knowledgeable, professional team that is experienced in this process and understands the weather in your local area.