What Causes a Blocked Gutter?

February 27th, 2015

blocked guttersNormally, leaves and moss are some of the common causes of a blocked gutter. Once these form a compost, couple that with the cross pollination from insects, birds and wind, then you have grass emerging in the area. But what about other causes which are not common to homeowners? If one can easily recognize a potential material which can lead to blockage of gutters, then he or she can do something about it. Here are the most common causes of a blocked gutter:

  1. Damp and mold

Water running down outside your house can cause mold to grow from any surface. This is because water can penetrate through the wall and damage the paint and wallpaper. If the surface is hidden, then this can go unnoticed.

  1. Leaky roofs

Water that stands for hours or longer can result in clogged gutters as this can block the flow from the roof. This can lead to leakage of ceilings and cause them to sag and collapse, ruining contents inside your home.

  1. Splash back damage

Water leaks or spills from a blocked gutter can damage your property. The affected area can suffer from wood rot, cosmetic damage, peeling paintwork and penetrating damp.

  1. Sagging driveways

Clogged gutters can lead to pooling of water that can break down the concrete from the top. Just imagine large roots lifting concrete blocks of your driveways. If clogging is prolonged, then it can lead to sagging driveways or appearance of large cracks.

  1. Brickwork and pointing damage

If your gutter overflows, this can result in water pouring down the wall. Over time, this can damage brickwork and pointing. Also, be wary of moss growing on the walls because this adds to the problem by retaining water and preventing it from drying.

  1. Rotting wood

Clogged gutters result from rotting wood. When the water accumulates and becomes stagnant for a prolonged period of time, the wood will begin to break down and decompose. This causes serious problems in the structure of your house.

 

  1. Cracks in the foundation

Blocked gutters can cause water to flow down directly onto the foundation wall – this leads to mold growth, major cracking and rotting around the fascia. Wet areas can cause the soil to swell and shrink. This increases the risk of termite movement and infestation. Over time, your house structure will acquire damage.

  1. Ruined landscaping

Your expensive landscaping can be gone in hours by clogged gutters. This is because the water exits the gutters with enough force to create holes which results in over-watered plants and damaged structures of the landscape.

  1. Insects

It is recommended that you remove moisture and debris from your gutters. This is one of the most effective ways to take to keep your home free from insects, leaves, twigs and other materials that can infest or damage your expensive gutters.

Early detection and removal of these factors can prevent gutter blockage and eventually damage. Maintenance is still better than restoration.

 

Top 5 Problems Caused by Clogged Gutters

February 26th, 2015

Cleaning Your Gutter

Dealing with clogged gutters can be exhausting and demanding as it may require extra efforts to get the job done. It may also involve precarious tasks such as climbing a ladder onto the roofing to ensure that the gutter will be cleaned properly. However, maintaining a well-cleaned, clogged-free and operating gutter is important to avoid major problems or damages that could interfere with the normal activities amid households or other infrastructures.

Here are the top five problems that can be encountered by owners as a result of clogged gutters:

  • Damage to Roofing. Clogged gutters can cause water to back up into the channel leading to damages in the corners of the roof surface and its underlying materials, particularly the wood sheeting. This occurs due to continuous immersion of the material in water. When the materials constantly come in contact with water, it frails and eventually becomes rotten. In the long run, the roof surface and its underlying wood sheeting must be removed and replaced with new materials.

  • Damage to Wood Façade. Water that backs up into the gutter can be extremely heavy and may cause the gutter attachment to lose its connection from the wood façade leading to wood damage. Leakage of water into the corners of the gutter and into the wood façade boards can also make the wood to frail and eventually becomes rotten.

  • Damage to other Home or Building Structures. Spillage of water over the corners of the gutter can go down into other structures such as the walls, windows, doors and patios. These structures are not used to excessive contact with water so eventually it frail, deform and become rotten. The said features are counting on gutters and downspouts to function efficiently in order for these structures to last much longer.

  • Damage to Foundations and Landscaping. The foundations of infrastructures serve as its total support so excessive water immersion into it can cause the structure to leak, move, break and descend at some point. A well-cleaned, working gutters and downspouts drain water away from the infrastructure and its foundation to drainage system or other areas where water can be simply soaked up into the ground. Landscaping can also be affected when excess water forcefully drains directly onto plants, flowers and trees as opposed to the normal manner of watering it.

  • Accidents (Slip and Fall). Clogged gutters can cause leakage of water to various and unexpected areas within the household or building. This excessive spillage from clogged gutters onto driveways or walkways can cause accidents such as slipping or falling. Maintaining the gutters and downspouts clean and clog free at all times can keep water from leaking into the house and its walkways, thereby facilitating a “slip-free” home as much as possible.

Maintaining home gutters and downspouts clean and working efficiently is possible through the help of professional gutter cleaners. These groups can offer convenient services that will fit the client’s case accordingly and effectively. So if you happen to experience the above-mentioned problems involving clogged gutters, you might as well consider calling and hiring for professional help.

Gutter Cleaning: Top 5 Reasons to Hire a Pro

February 26th, 2015

Gutter Cleaning

In most households, gutters serve an integral part in supporting and protecting the roof system against minor or major water damages caused by either a mild rainfall or a strong storm. These gutters can provide a first line of defense in the majority of infrastructures as it can effectively drain tons of water away from the roofing.

And with such an important role, gutters must be kept clean and free from obstructions at all times. Having a well-maintained gutter can facilitate a fast and efficient flow of water away from the roofing which in turn can prevent damages. Fortunately, these objectives can be made possible by simply calling and hiring professionals who can perform the task for you.

But, why hire a professional cleaner to take care of your gutters? Here are the top five reasons as to why you should consider hiring one:

  • Professional gutter cleaners are equipped with the necessary knowledge, skills, trainings and equipments like sturdy ladders to facilitate a fast and effective solution to your gutter dilemma. These people can definitely do wonders on your gutters even during the first session of management.

  • Cleaning or maintaining a well-functioning gutter may require certain actions like climbing into the roof which can be risky especially to those individuals who are not used to doing such stuff. Incidents of fall and other injuries may occur with these people who are not trained or do not have the essential tools to execute the task. And this is where hiring a professional gutter cleaner can come in handy. These professionals can guarantee a desirable outcome with just a few dollars to spend. Unless, saving some money will be worth all that risks.

  • Check-up. Professional gutter cleaner companies offer an overall inspection of the gutters, downspouts and other components involved in the system to find elements or factors causing your problem such as leakage, obstruction and other damages. Once the inspection is completed, the technicians can provide concrete plans, solutions or the next step to tackle in order to solve the problem successfully.

  • Professional gutter cleaner companies provide services that are convenient for the clients. It can schedule appointments that will suit your schedule best. The company can also do the job without requiring for your presence. Payments for services are also made convenient for the clients and they can also be offered options to set-up regular services such as landscaping. In general, hiring a professional gutter cleaner can be a very convenient way to get a tiring and dirty task done.

  • Tranquility of mind. Hiring a company that offers the best services, along with its exceptionally trained and experienced technicians, up-to-date equipments and new techniques to efficiently and successfully tackle your gutter issues can provide home or building owners’ tranquility of mind. However, this impression of tranquility can only be achieved if owners are assured that their investment are well taken care of and is maintained properly for their families to enjoy.

Are Blocked Drains A Flame Hazard?

February 26th, 2015

blocked gutters

Unknown danger can lurk in your home, specifically on top of your roof. Not many homeowners think that their house can be prone to fire, much less what they can do to prevent its occurrence. Most house fires could have been prevented if homeowners were educated enough regarding home safety. The most common cause of fires is a faulty electrical wiring. Also, some may be caused by negligence with extension cords, pets chewing on wires and fireworks landing in the gutters.

Most fires are caused by blocked gutters with debris and twigs in the hot weather especially if rain is seldom. Blocked drains that are loaded with leaves and tree branches can be a flame hazard yet this danger is lower in more developed territories. Fire contenders will always reason out that flame in top canals is ashes from open chimneys. Well, blocked drains wherein dry brushes and twigs accumulate can catch fire instantly during extreme summers. Those houses that have open chimneys with stacks on the top can be vulnerable to flames. The ashes can produce fire in the guttering after they retreat the stack. Amid compelling hotness, the surfaces of roof and gutters can reach 60 degrees or more. In the past, fire contenders recommend to square all the down-pipes and use water to fill the guttering to avoid fire.

Disappointment to clear blocked drains can make your house more vulnerable to water than fire. Amid overwhelming rain, the water will reverse the roof if the gutters and downpipes are blocked. This is preventable with annual gutter cleaning. In the cold weather where snow and ice are abundant, they clog gutters and stay inside it unnoticeable. They can be so clogged up that twigs, leaves and other debris can overflow. During the sunny days, especially in hot summers, these can create fire which can compromise the safety of your family.

So, as a homeowner, what will you do to reduce the risk of fire related to blocked gutters? Here are some tips that can help you prevent such occurrence. If the clog occurs at the downspout cage, do the following:

  • If the cage is damaged or missing, purchase a new replacement screens.
  • If the cage is still in good shape, firmly place it into the downspout hole.
  • Remove and clean it.
  • Remove build up of debris in the gutter.

If the clog is caused by spikes or loose hangers:

  • Clean and remove the clogs first.
  • Check the gutter supports and repair it.

If the clog occurs at a seam or elbow:

  • Use a stick, pressure water or a plumbing snake to remove the obstruction.
  • Simply disassemble the downspout and clean it if you cannot access it.

If the clog may require excavation or is very difficult to remove:

  • Remove the downspout and clear the clog using a plumbing snake.
  • Turn on a garden hose so that the water pressure may dislodge the clog.

Top 10 Tips for a Safe Gutter Cleaning

February 26th, 2015

Cleaned Gutters

Gutters should be cleaned at least twice a year (Spring and Fall) to prevent rusting and water damage. If building owners knew the keys to correctly and safely clean gutters, then injuries, deaths and damage to the property can be prevented.

Following are 10 Tips for a safe gutter cleaning. And if you hire a contractor, make sure they are able to follow these tips:

  1. Practice Ladder Safety

Use a safe, sturdy ladder. To test its durability, it must be able to hold a five-gallon bucket. If you will climb a single-story structure, a four-legged stepladder must be used. For a two-story or taller facility, an extension ladder is recommended. If you opt for the sturdiest ladder, you can consider using fiberglass ladders. But keep in mind that this ladder is the heaviest.

  1. Consider Using A Garden Hose

Opt for those with a pistol-grip for easy adjustment of water pressure. You can purchase this at any hardware store near you.

  1. Scoop Your Gutter

Scooping out leafy debris is a good method of cleaning gutters. It is best to use a plastic scooping tool which can be purchased at any hardware stores near you. A metal scooping tool is inappropriate as it can damage the gutter’s bottom and seams, and it can also contribute to rusting.

  1. Protect Your Hands

To avoid getting your hands dirty, you can use gloves. This also protects you from rotting debris, torn metal shards, bird droppings and dirty water that contains bacteria. Thick, suede gloves are best to use because it’s more durable than leather, cotton or rubber.

  1. Protect Your Eyes

Safety eyewear is a must since you will never know what might fly out while cleaning gutters. Safety goggles are your protection from wasps, bees and other flying materials.

  1. Wash Debris Off The Roof

Wash or rake debris off the roof prior to gutter cleaning. Otherwise, all of the debris on the roof will be washed down by the rain into the clean gutter which can lead to repetitive clogging. This can also dammed up water around the chimney, ventilation, and air conditioning equipment which can further lead to erosion and roof leaks.

  1. Wear Rubber Shoes

Rubber-soled shoes are recommended because they adhere best and avoid slipping and falling. Also, it is best to walk on the roof on a sunny day to make sure that it is dry and not slippery.

  1. Unclog The Downspouts

Run the water hose down at full pressure to clean your gutters. If the water backs up, a clog is present. What you need to do is tap on the side of the downspout. If this doesn’t work, then remove the downspout and flush from the bottom.

  1. Use Buckets Hooked to the Gutter

If on a ladder, you can use a bucket to hold the tools. All you need to do is attach the buckets to the ladder using wire hooks. You can safely lower or raise the bucket using a rope or cord.

  1. Watch Out for Power Line Hazards

Inspect downed power lines at the connection point of the roof. This ensures that the protective wire insulation is not yet rubbed off. Do not attempt to repair or touch damaged cables. For your protection, call a professional electrical contractor to fix it.