Tag: Gutters

  • How to Fix Leaky Rain Gutters

    Gutters that are sagging or leaking can cause damage to your roof and siding, which could cost you big bucks to fix.  If you catch the problem early and take care of any issues you gutters have, it will save you big in the long term.

    Here are some tips on how to fix your gutters and protect your home, courtesy of House Logic.  As always, when you are working with gutters, you will generally be up on a ladder. Always make sure you take the proper safety precautions and if you do not feel comfortable doing this maintenance yourself, hire a professional.

    How to fix leaky gutters

    Seal leaky gutter joints and small holes using gutter sealant applied from the inside the gutter. A tube of sealant costs about $5.

    Repair larger holes using a gutter patch kit or a scrap of metal flashing glued down with sealant. You’ll find patch kits at home improvement centers for about $10.

    How to straighten sagging gutters

    If you suspect a sag, get up on a ladder and sight down the length of the gutter. Gutters should be straight. Long gutters should have a peak in the middle to enable water to run toward downspouts at either end.

    The problem area should be easy to spot. In most cases, you can simply reposition loose hangers, using a cordless drill or a hammer.

    Here’s how to set stubborn sags straight:

    • From the ground, prop a long, straight 1x4 or 2x4 brace under the sag.
    • Get up on a ladder and remove a hanger or two near the sag.
    • Sighting along the gutter, adjust the brace until the sag disappears.
    • Replace the hangers. If needed, add one or two new hangers for extra support. They cost less than $3 each.

    Exterior Specialties of PA is here to help with all of your gutter maintenance, gutter repair, gutter inspection and gutter installation needs.  Call us today at (215) 773-9181 for your FREE estimate!

     

     

  • Preparing Your Home for Fall & Winter

    Courtesy of Stacy Gold/Getty Images via Houselogic

    In order to prevent damages and costly repairs to your home come springtime, it's a good idea to provide some maintenance to your home before winter hits.

    Houselogic has a checklist of things residents in the Northeast should inspect, clean and protect before winter weather rolls in:

    Key maintenance tasks to perform

    Clean your gutters. Leaving debris in your gutters is an invitation for trouble. Not only can it freeze and damage the gutters themselves, but it also can force freezing water up under your shingles and damage the roof. Gladstone says that many homes in the Northeast now have covered gutter systems, which fools many homeowners into thinking gutter cleaning is unnecessary. “Gutter covers keep leaves out,” he says, “but not fine organic material or grit from the roof.” It’s important to remove the covers and clean just as you would regular gutters.

    Clean and put away lawn and garden equipment. Do a visual inspection of the yard to identify anything lying around — garden tools, hoses and nozzles, patio furniture and accessories — that might be damaged by snow and ice and should be brought in for the winter.

    Run your lawn mower until the gas tank is empty; if you leave gas in the tank over the winter, it can degrade and lose some of its combustion ability. Worse, gas can react with the air in the tank and oxidize, forming deposits that affect the machine’s performance; worse still, moisture can condense inside the tank and cause rust that blocks the fuel lines.

    If you know you’re going to leave gas in the tank over the winter, add a stabilizer to the last gallon you put in (mix it in the gas can, not the mower tank, so that you get the mixing ratio correct).

    Disconnect hoses and winterize lawn irrigation systems. Leaving water in any exterior hoses or pipes can cause them to freeze and burst. If your exterior faucets aren’t self-draining, be sure to turn off the water manually at the shutoff valve inside the house so water doesn’t stand in the wall pipes.

    If you have a lawn irrigation system, it’s important to make sure all the water has drained from the system before the first freeze. Depending on the type of system you’ve installed, this may require the assistance of a professional. A pro charges $50 to $150 to winterize an irrigation system.

    Schedule a furnace tune-up. Follow your furnace professional as he works, and ask questions about what he’s doing, says Gladstone. The technician should be working his way through a checklist of items such as inspecting filters, checking the chimney exhaust, and examining the blower and fuel connections. Expect to pay $50 to $100 for a furnace tune-up.

    (Wondering if you should convert from oil to gas heat?)

    Replace wicks and air filters in your humidifier. If you use a portable humidifier in winter to mitigate the drying effects of heating, start the season with fresh wicks—the small filters that absorb moisture from the reservoir; a fan directed at the wick dispenses the moisture into the air. Also check air filters, if your unit contains them (consult your owner’s manual). Replace wicks again in two to three months for a cost of about $15. It’s an absolute must to clean the humidifier every few weeks during winter to keep it free of mold, bacteria, and mineral deposits. Follow your manufacturer’s instructions.

    However, Gladstone points out that “most homes are too wet.” Humidifiers may contribute to excess moisture that encourages the growth of mold and mildew. Use a humidifier only if necessary, and choose a single-room model so that you can check easily to see if the unit needs cleaning.

    Protect your air conditioning unit. If your outdoor air conditioning unit is located under trees or under the drip line of the house where icicles and snow may fall, give it a little protection by placing a sheet of plywood over the top and draping a dropcloth over it. However, don’t create a fully enclosed space, as that can trap moisture and offer winter protection for rodents.

    Close your storm windows. It’s a simple step, but an easy one to forget. Make sure the windows are shut properly so that the outer pane is up and the inner pane is down; this keeps rain and other forms of precipitation out.

    Insulate pull-down staircases for attics. The openings that accommodate pull-down staircases can cause significant heat loss during winter. You can purchase an insulated cover for the opening, or for about $30 you can make a foam box yourself with duct tape, weatherstripping, and a piece of 2-inch-thick polystyrene foam; 2-inch foam has an insulating value of about R-10. “This simple step will pay for itself many times over,” Gladstone says.

    Spending a weekend or two on maintenance can prevent costly repairs and alert you to developing problems. Visit the links listed below for more detailed information on completing tasks or repairs yourself.

    Exterior Specialties of PA is here to help with all of your seamless gutter installation, and gutter maintenance and gutter repair needs.  Call us today at (215) 773-9181 for your FREE estimate!

  • How Often Should You Clean Your Gutters?

    Homeowners ask this question a lot, how often should you clean your gutters?

    The answer is very simple, you should clean out your gutters at least twice a year. You should clean them more if they appear dirty. The best way to clean your gutters is to hire a professional. This will ensure that your gutters are cleaned properly and safely.

    By having a professionally clean your gutters you can be certain that all the dirt, leaves and any other objects are cleared from your gutters. Also they will make sure your downspout is clear and draining properly.

    If you have a routine system in place to clean your gutters it will help the life span of your gutter and roof. The Spring and Fall months are the best time to check and clean your gutters since these are the months with the most leaves, rain and debris that may clog your gutters.

    If gutters are not cleaned properly it can result in mold, fungus and or bacteria to grow in your gutters and up in your roof. Thus needing to be replaced.

    As always call us for any gutter questions.