Is it time to replace your gutters wi...

by on 02/19/2012 - 07:07 pm |

Tags: Gutter Products

Is it time to replace your gutters with new gutters?

Knowing when to replace your rain gutters isn’t always as obvious as missing pieces and crushed channels – small leaks and holes can develop over several months, and often go unnoticed. But if you know the tell-tale signs of decaying gutters, you’ll save some time and money being able to identify and replace the problematic gutter yourself.
Pooling water around the foundation of your home, usually leading to a wet basement, is always a bad sign, and often indicates a dangerous, leaky gutter. For whatever reason, the gutter is no longer serving its intended purpose and will need replacement. This is especially true if you notice a hole or a gouge in the gutter channel. If the pool is under a sagging, overflowing gutter, replacing only the hangers will be necessary, provided the sagging gutter isn’t damaged. This would be a good time to update your spike and ferrule hangers to screw mounted hangers.
Finding streaking on your siding should also raise a red flag. If the streaking looks rusty, it’s because over time, rust has eaten a hole in your gutter and is now spilling gallons of water onto your siding and around your foundation. To prevent having to replace rusted gutters in the future, remember to give your metal gutters a coat of rust-proof paint every year or two; this will keep them rust-free and add several years to the gutters.
Updating your home’s exterior with fresh siding or masonry often warrants a complete gutter system replacement. Next to the upgrades, your old gutters will look worn and out of place. On top of that, updating your old siding typically changes the color scheme of the home’s exterior and gutters are usually part of the exterior’s aesthetics. If you’re budgeting for an exterior renovation, remember to account for a new gutter system as well.

Clearing your Clogged Downspouts

by on 09/28/2010 - 07:06 pm |

Tags: Gutter Cleaning

Clearing your Clogged Downspouts

They’re dirty, they’re frustrating, and they’re dangerous — clogged downspouts can cause thousands of dollars in damages to your gutter system and your home’s foundation. The easiest way to unclog your downspout requires two people to safely clear the blockage, so consider asking a neighbor for a hand.
To reach your gutters, make sure your ladder is planted firmly on a dry, level surface. Carry a garden hose up to the top of the gutters, and insert the hose into the top of the downspout. Then, have your neighbor open the valve to full. The water pressure should be enough to blast the jam out of the bottom of the downspout. Hopefully knocking out the clog is as simple as that.
If the clog is stubborn, however, it will require an extra amount of force to be removed. If you have a plumbing snake handy, this will be your best bet – provided it can reach the point-of-clog. Try going from the top of the downspout, as well as the bottom – most likely the clog is in one of the elbows along the downspout channel. If you can reach the clog, chances are you can clear it with a plumbing snake. If you can’t reach it, then you’re going to have to disassemble the entire downspout channel to clean the elbows out. If you haven’t been wearing gloves up until now, this would be the time to put them on. Gutter edges, especially aluminum edges, are incredibly sharp. Using a high-pressure garden hose nozzle or a pressure washer will yield the best results.
Now would be a time to think about installing a downspout guard. Blockages are a dangerous problem, and this is an inexpensive and effective way to prevent them. Frost King has downspout guards for under two dollars that install easily. Also, if you enlist the help of a friend, remember to return the favor the next time they’re in need of a hand.

Preparing Your Gutters for the Fall S...

by on 02/02/2013 - 07:05 pm |

Tags: Gutter Cleaning

Preparing Your Gutters for the Fall Season

Fall is a beautiful time of the year, especially because of the trees: the leaves explode into vibrant yellows, reds, and oranges – their swan song before slowly falling to the ground – or, in the homeowner’s case, this means slowly falling straight onto the lawn and into the gutters. However beautiful, fall is an imperative time to clean your gutters, and there are a few steps that could save you from big problems throughout winter.
Downspout guards like the Wedge are a good idea during the fall; even if that’s the only time they’re in your gutters. They’ll prevent massive blockages from fall foliage in your downspouts, and make the cleaning process much easier. This ensures that when winter comes around, there aren’t the huge frozen blocks of muddy leaves clogged in the enclosed pipe. These melt much slower than snow, so they’ll be sure to cause heavy, stressful backups in your gutters that are nearly impossible to clear.
Depending on your roofline, you might consider using a leaf blower to clear your roof in the fall. The leaves and debris up there will inevitably be carried into your gutters, so if your roofline is gradual enough, using a leaf blower may save you some agitation. However, if your roofline is too steep, do not attempt this! Leaf blowers are heavy pieces of machinery, too awkward to safely navigate a steep roof with.
If you’ve been thinking about installing, or having one installed, fall is a great time to invest in a gutter guard system. Ideally, you’ll want it installed in the early fall (or even better, late summer) before the leaves start to fall. The end of fall may require some cleaning, as debris and foliage still tend to sneak in, but you should find the amount of leaves present in the gutter channel has been reduced, and that you don’t have to stay on the ladder for nearly as long.

Gutter Guards Work!

by on 11/09/2011 - 07:04 pm |

Tags: Gutter Protection & Gutter Guards

Gutter Guards Work!

Gutter Guards, also known as Gutter Protection --
Wouldn’t it be great if all gutter guards actually worked as they were advertised to? Maintenance-free forever, no more clogged gutters, no more blocked downspouts, and all accomplished by simply installing a plastic cover over your gutter. Yes, that would be fantastic. But the harsh reality is that not all gutter guards work as intended – in fact, there are only one or two systems that are as close to “maintenance-free” as we’ll probably see for quite some time.
The majority of gutter guards are a plastic piece, the width of the gutter, installed to cover the channel. The plastic piece has a reverse curve to the underside, a large hole, or perhaps a slotted knockout, allowing water to flow in, but stopping leaves and the other debris from being carried into the channel. Good idea, but it doesn’t always stop the tree buds and seeds in the spring, and it certainly wouldn’t stop a colony of bees from making a nest in your gutter. This system still requires you to clean the gutters at least twice a year, and makes the whole process that much more difficult, since you must remove the guard before you clean. These systems may reduce the frequency of cleaning, but they are no where near the “maintenance-free” salesmen hype they are sold with.
The more effective systems, such as the the aluminum type systems. The guard installs over the channel and most are pitched to your roofline, allowing water to flow in while blocking out all other debris. No rust, no debris, and no hassle. These are as close to maintenance-free as you’re going to find right now. If you’re not comfortable on a ladder, or you’re just plain sick of cleaning your gutters, systems like these are certainly worth the price.
If you’re looking for a system that only blocks the leaves and other large debris, and you don’t mind still getting up on a ladder 2-4 times a year to scoop out the smaller gunk, then the gutter cover systems offered at your local hardware stores may work for you. However, if you’re looking for an entirely maintenance-free gutter system, the only thing close would be the systems made from aluminum grade material, "what ever system you choose make sure it comes with a manufacturer no-clog warranty" .

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