It’s spring (finally!) and that means it’s time for spring cleaning (woohoo, right?). It’s a lot of work, but after a long winter it can feel really good to get rid of all the extra junk in your life and start fresh with clean closets, cupboards, drawers, and an overall super-clean slate. In the flurry of sorting, tossing, recycling, and donating, don’t forget to give the outside of your house a little love, too. Maintaining your house’s exterior isn’t as exciting as tidying up your living space, but it’s super important to take care of your lawn, your siding, and, of course, your gutters. It’s not glamorous, but cleaning your gutters can save you a lot of trouble (and money) in the long run, so it’s worth investing your time now.
Sidenote: There are a billion different gutter cleaning services out there, and if hiring someone is in your budget, we say go for it. But if you can’t afford it this spring, or if you just like the idea of doing as many household tasks on your own as you can, you’ll be happy to know that cleaning your own gutters it totally within your skillset.
To make things as easy as possible, we put together this handy guide to cleaning your gutters. Give it a shot — you’ll be glad you did.
Step 1: Learn why it’s important.
Ok, so this one isn’t really action oriented, but it’s important to understand the reasons you should clean your gutters in the first place. First, clogged gutters often cause an overflow of rainwater, which can seep in the fascia above the gutter and cause rotting. Beyond that, overflowing water can cause damage to decking and rafters, and in extreme cases, even the foundation of the house. As you can imagine, neglecting gutter problems can create really expensive secondary problems, and repair bills can stack up fast.
Next time it rains, take a minute to have a look at the water flowage coming from your gutters. If it’s coming out the downspouts like it’s supposed to, you’re probably golden. If it’s flowing over the top, you’ll want to get on that right away.
Another telltale sign of a gutter problem is if you notice your gutter pulling away from the side of the house, or if you’ve got to re-fasten your gutter to the fascia often. This generally indicates that the fascia has softened from water damage. You’ll want to have the fascia board replaced as soon as possible in order to avoid more damage.
Step 2: Plan ahead, weather-wise.
Once you decide you’re going to try your hand at cleaning your own gutters, have look at the forecast. It sounds like common sense that it’ll be easier to clean your gutters on a dry day, and you’ll also want to plan the cleaning for a day when it’s already been dry for a couple days. It will be a lot easier to do the job if your gutters have had a chance to dry out as much as possible.
Step 3: Gather materials
You can save yourself some time by getting all your materials together ahead of time. You’ll need:
A hose attached to a water source
A nozzle for gutter cleaning (if desired)
Step 4: Get started!
Start cleaning your gutter near the downspout so you can get an idea of your progress as you work, and so you can more easily diagnose and address problems as you find them.
Place your ladder flush with the siding and use hooks to install your buckets on the rungs near where you’ll be working. One bucket will be used for holding tools, and the other will be for the debris you gather as you clean.
Pro-tip: Never try to clean your gutters from above, and never try to clean from higher than the third rung from the top of your ladder. You’ll be doing vigorous work, so you’ll want to make sure to have a stable base.
Step 5: Remove large debris.
Remove large debris with the trowel and put it in the bucket. Use the trowel to scrape out as much rubbish as possible. This will help expedite the next step in the process.
Step 6: Remove small debris.
Use the hose to flush smaller debris from the gutter. Place the hose on the furthest end away from the downspout. Monitor the flow of water and watch the bottom of the downspout. If the water doesn’t flow through the downspout and out the bottom, continue to work on the gutter. Keep an eye out for holes in the gutter or spout and patch using caulk.
Step 6: Repeat the process as you move away from the downspout
Pro-tip: work on small sections of the gutter at a time and repair as you go. This method will save you a lot of time.
Step 7: Flush the downspout.
Occasionally, debris can get stuck in the downspout. If you’ve cleaned your gutter and find that the water is still not going down, you’ll know the clog is within the downspout itself. Often, you’ll be able to flush clogs from the downspout using a hose with a high-powered nozzle. If water doesn’t do the trick, you may need to invest in a plumber’s snake or a gutter cleaning tool.
Step 8: Repeat on a regular basis.
Get in the habit of cleaning your gutters on a regular schedule. At a minimum, plan to maintain and clean your gutters in the spring and fall of each year.
Best practices: It’s really hard to tell if you’ve got gutter problems from the ground, so try to make a habit out of checking your gutters regularly. Once a month (you can probably skip it for the winter months), grab your ladder and do a little spot check. It’s totally worth your time because you’ll be more likely to spot gutter problems before they escalate.
So there you have it! You’re all set to try your hand at cleaning your own gutters. Give it a shot. You’ll likely find that investing an afternoon of your time in the spring and fall will save you money in the long run, and hopefully, you’ll avoid the costly repairs associated with clogged gutters. Of course, you might also find that cleaning gutters just isn’t for you. If that’s the case, no problem! There are tons of professionals out there who have all the gear and experience needed to help you keep your house in tip-top shape.
Good luck, and happy spring cleaning!
What is a rain barrel?
A rain barrel is a large reservoir fashioned to catch and collect rain water from your gutter so you can use it elsewhere. It’s a super simple concept, but it can make a huge difference when it comes to your summer water expenses. Instead of spending all kinds of money watering your lawn, garden, and plants, you can use rainwater. It’s sustainable, and you’ll get all kinds of good feelings from knowing that you’re contributing to a greener planet. Plus, if having a big plastic barrel in your yard isn’t your idea of aesthetic appeal, there are tons of options for designing your rain barrel — you can even build your landscape to incorporate it as part of your design scheme.
How to build a rain barrel:
There are a few items to take care of before you get started.
First: pick a reservoir. You’ve got lots of choices with it comes to picking a reservoir (the barrel part of your rain barrel) for your rain barrel. Reservoirs are typically heavy-duty, food grade plastic drums. You can buy a new one (search for a 55 gallon, open-head plastic drum with a cover). These will usually run $40-$60. Another option is to use a heavy-duty, outdoor garbage can. A garbage can is large and durable enough to serve all your purpose, and they’re a little more affordable at $30-$40.
If you’re looking for an even better deal, check in with local your local car wash or other similar establishment –– they often buy cleaning liquids in large drums, so you might be able to score a free reservoir container.
A few tips when picking a reservoir:
- Make sure there are no harmful chemicals still left in the container. A container with lingering chemicals could pollute the area around the rain barrel or any plants you water, and the chemicals could potentially leech into the water table, posing a health risk for you and your family.
- Pick a barrel that is opaque in color — water in a clear container can heat up too much.
- Make sure the container is made of a sun-resistant material. Your barrel will be sitting in the sun most of the time, so you’ll want to make sure the plastic doesn’t break down as a result.
- Be sure the lid of your barrel fits tightly to avoid the possibility of debris or small animals making their way into the barrel.
Then: Take a trip to the hardware store.
After you’ve got the perfect reservoir, you’ll need to head to the hardware store to pick up a few items.
Here’s a handy list you can use in order to avoid multiple store runs:
- 2 rubber washers
- 2 metal washers
- 1 hose clamp
- 1 spigot
- A drill
- Silicone caulk
- Landscaping mesh
Now that you’ve got your gear, you’re ready to get started.
Step 1: Drill a hole for the spigot, about 3-4” from the bottom of the barrel. For a snug fit, make sure the diameter of the hole is slightly smaller than the diameter of your spigot.
Step 2: Put one metal washer on the threaded end of the spigot. Add a snug-fitting rubber washer over the threads to keep the metal washer in place.
Step 3: Apply a bead of silicone caulk to the metal and rubber washers and fit the faucet into the hole in your rain barrel.
Step 4: When the sealant is dry, place the second washer on the threads of the spigot on the inside of the barrel, then place the second rubber washer on the threaded spigot.
Step 5: Fasten the hose clamp to the spigot on the inside of your barrel. This will keep the spigot in place, so make sure to apply the clamp snuggly.
Step 6: Cut a hole in the lid of your barrel wide enough to accommodate the water flow from your gutter downspout.
Step 7: Drill a couple holes on the side of your barrel, near the top. These are for overflow, so you can avoid major flooding from your barrel in case of a heavy rain.
Pro-tip: If you live in a really rainy area, consider adding a second barrel. Just affix a short length of hose or PVC piping to the overflow port of the first barrel, then connect it to a similar port on the second barrel.
Step 8: Fit a piece of landscaping mesh over the top of the barrel, then put the lid on top of the barrel to secure the mesh in place. This will prevent leaves, bugs, and other small critters from falling into your barrel.
Step 9: Install your barrel in its intended location. Make sure the barrel is placed directly below the gutter downspout in order to catch rainwater.
Pro-tip: Build a platform for your rain barrel. The extra height will add water pressure, and a using a platform can add stability during heavy rains when the ground is soggier than normal.
Step 10: Enjoy your new rain barrel! You’ll feel great about all the money you save on expensive water bills, and you’ll be proud of your new, super-green watering system.
Gutter guards are crucial to the protection of a home. A home is one of the most important investments a person will make in their lives and should therefore be protected. The importance of gutter guards is found in the protection, they provide against water damage. Water damage is one of the most frightening financial problems a home can be faced with. Not owning gutter guards or ignoring necessary gutter repair can be catastrophic for home owners. The value of a home with water damage plummets, because of all the different ways water damage can affect a home.
One of the most common water damage problems caused by the absence of gutter guards is wood rot. Wood rot occurs when there is leakage and the wood in your home gets waterlogged. Wood rot repairs can be very costly. The best way to combat wood rot is to take the necessary preventive measures with gutter guards and proper gutter repair. Another common problem caused by water damage is mold and mildew. Mold and mildew need three things to spread: a place to grow, moisture, and a substance to eat like wood. When leaking occurs because of faulty gutters, without gutter guards your attic is at risk of mold and mildew. Avoid this disgusting fact, by taking gutter guards and gutter repair seriously.
As the winter months are upon us, ice damage should be considered by home owners. Ice damage can lead to serious problems like wood rot, mold and mildew, foundation erosion, and more. Gutter guards help protect against ice damage, by letting your gutters flow freely and keeping moisture outside of your home. When moisture enters the home, serious damage occurs. Purchasing gutter guards and keeping up to date on all gutter repair services, will keep the interior of your home dry and safe. The financial damages faced by so many Americans, year after year, could be avoided with the proper gutter guards and gutter repair service.
Rain water gutters are used to collect and drain water from the roofs. These can be used to harvest water from he roof into a storage tank. This water can be used as a clean supply to the house. Gutters can be designed and formed into different shapes and materials. These can be half round or square shaped. The materials can be concrete, PVC, cast iron or sheet metal. The water storage can be made in the ground or elevated above ground level. The position of the tank will depend on the height of the roof from the ground level.
The rain water gutters are connected with down pipes to drain into tanks or the ground sewers. This gutters start or are attached at the eaves end point of the roof on the fascia board. It is important to blend the rain water goods to the fascia boards. This will give good aesthetic factors to the house. When fixing the down pipes, they should also be made to match the wall facades. Colors used should not contrast with the wall finishes. Sometimes these down pipes can be concealed inside beams and columns into the ground or tanks.
The size of the rain water gutters is six to eight inches wide. The fixing is done using clips attached to the fascia boards. The concrete ones are cast within the flat roof slab. The fixing clips are supplied as part of the whole system. These are made to slope to one side of the fascia board. This will allow the gutter to drain water to the down pipe. Once the gutter is fixed to the clips, water is poured on the roof to check the slope. This should not too fast as it will not be self cleansing. Again the slope should not be too visible on the fascia board.
The roof corners are done with stopped ends connected to the gutter. This has a hole for the swan neck shaped pipe. This piece makes the bend from the roof to the wall. The down pipe is joined to it, to take the water down. The pipes are fitted straight and connected to the wall with brackets away from doors and windows. If a water storage tank is elevated, the pipe is joined from the swan neck to the tank. If it is on the ground, a pipe runs down and bends towards the tank. When water is not harvested, the pipe bends and lets out water onto splash apron.
Rain gutters provide a lot of protection for your house without you even noticing. They work pretty much passively without really being noticed most of the time. No attention is really paid to them until they start malfunctioning.
When this happens, rain pours out everywhere that it isn’t supposed to be, and gutters clog up in the worst places possible. Purchasing these rain gutters requires some planning since there is such a wide variety of them. Here’s an overview of what you have to sort through.
What Type Of Material Do You Want?
One of the first decisions you’ll make for your rain gutters is what material you want them to be made from. The post popular ones will be aluminum, copper, steel, and vinyl. Metal ones are more popular since it lasts longer. Most of the time, material choice is made depending on the weather in your area.
If you live in really wet and humid areas, steel is usually a bad choice. A lot of people choose aluminum since it is a nice medium between price and function. Copper is being a more popular choice for its great appearance and high quality. Steel can rust eventually if it is not cared for properly.
Shapes Of Gutters
After choosing the material, you’ll need to decide on the material. The most popular style are “K” style gutters and half-round gutters. You’ll then need to pick the size of the gutters. They are available in different diameters. Larger ones tend to help prevent clogging if you have a lot of trees in the surrounding areas.
Installing The Gutters
The gutters need to be attached to your house, and there are many systems available to do it. One of the most used ways is with gutter hangers. Various styles of hangers are available like crossbar hangers, ones with straps, and ones that are hidden once installed. Any of these will be suitable for your gutters. However, it may be determined by your roof design.
These are exactly what they sound like. Downspouts are the spouts that direct water downwards from the gutters. These are usually available in 3 by 4 inches rectangular sizes or even round ones. Again, it is usually better to go with larger sizes to prevent water and leaf clogging.
Gutters are the important part of home’s exterior. Choosing a wrong gutter system may cause lots of damage. Old, damaged and defective gutters are harmful for home’s structure. These can make the house walls ugly and weak. It can make spots on the wall; destroy the original color of the walls. When a gutter clogs, the water is not diverted properly and overflows into either the house or foundation, it can cause wood rot, foundation problems and landscaping erosion as well. While choosing a good and new gutter system, a home owner must keep in mind several things like price, performance of rainwater gutters and the area where you are living. The few other things also should be taken in consideration before installing a good rainwater system like the temperature of the area, density of the rain and snow or ice storms, density of trees in the vicinity etc.
Home improvement experts suggest some of the following things before installing or buying a good rainwater gutter system:
Design of the gutters
If the primary purpose of gutters is to collect water from the roof and direct it away from the home where it could cause damage, then the first thing you want to know is whether or not your gutter system is properly designed. Good systems drain in such a way as to keep water out from under your foundation while keeping your fascia, siding and paint dry.
Material of the rainwater gutters
There are several different types of material used to make rain gutters.
Cast iron gutters and aluminum gutters can be the best choice for the rainwater systems. These are available in various sizes and colors in the market. A wholesale supplier of gutters can help to select the right gutter with the appropriate size as per your house design and requirements. Cast iron and aluminum gutters are installed by the experts. These are very adaptable and most often used in seamless rain gutter systems. The gutter holds more water than traditional wood gutters, and this is the product which is generally recommended.
Copper is also an attractive choice, but more expensive than the rest. Copper also requires a more expert installer. Wood is another material used for rain guttering, most often in restoration projects.
Type of rainwater gutters
Rain gutter systems are mainly categorized in two categories which are sectional and seamless. Sectional rainwater system can be installed by the homeowner whereas seamless systems need expert installer. Sectional are made up of vinyl or aluminum sections that are fastened together.
Sectional systems lend themselves more to do-it-yourself installations due to the high configurability of the parts. They are made up of either vinyl or aluminum sections that are fastened together.
A drawback of sectional rain gutters is that the joints are prone to developing leaks. Gutter add-ons, such as screens and filters, help these basic rain gutters stay clog free. This keeps debris and animals out of your rain gutter.
The second type of rain gutter system is the seamless rain gutter. This is a no-clog system which catches and routes water down and out while diverting leaves and debris to the ground. This type of rain gutter is quickly becoming a favorite choice due to its durability, seamless appearance and easy maintenance.
Gutter covers are used to help keep gutters clear of debris and they are getting better and better each generation. Gutter cover like gutter guards are introduced recently to protect the gutters from debris. You should consider gutter cover or guard, which are very helpful for your gutter solution.
Anyone who owns a home understand the basic maintenance that comes along with the joy of home ownership. Downspout gutter guards are an essential part of home ownership. The downspouts carry water away from your roof gutter and down to the ground. The problem is downspouts can clog with leaves, twigs, or other objects. For this reason it is important to check your gutters and downspouts regularly. Another important step is to buy and have a guard installed.
This will protect your gutter from becoming so cluttered with debris. Without regular maintenance to your gutters or the use of a guard, leaves and other items will build up and hold water back in your gutter and restrict the normal flow. This will typically result in damage to your house. This makes the gutters heavy and the water will find a way out down along your house, where damage can occur. The heavy weight from the water can cause the gutter to pull away from the house, causing damage. Another problem that occurs is water stains along the walls of the home.
Another problem that typically occurs when downspout guards are not used is a clog due to debris resulting in an ice clog. The water that has built up can freeze. This typically forms when snow melts off of a roof and should run down the gutter but cannot due to a clog. If water freezes in your gutters, your gutters will be very heavy and pull away from your house. If the snow melt off if not properly drained from your roof, ice and snow can build up on your roof, causing further damage such as roof damage or ceiling damage to your property. The ice can make it under your shingles and cause water damage on the inside of your house.
This is very avoidable. There is no reason to let this damage occur. It is much simpler to avoid these major house repairs and simple check your gutters regularly and have gutter guards installed. Prevention is the best policy. If not properly maintained, your house will end up costing you more in repairs. You do not have to install the gutters, downspouts, or guards yourself. This can be hired out. There are many reputable companies willing to assist you on your home maintenance and prevention. Taking care of your gutters, downspouts, and guards will save you money in the long run and allow you to enjoy your house.
You can learn about copper downspouts, and get more articles and resources about downspouts at diverters for downspouts
House gutters prevent rainwater and roof water from trickling into a resident’s dwelling or basement. Without it, the acidic rainwater may cause structural damage to both the foundation of a home and the building itself. It is important for homeowners to get gutter guards to prevent twigs, leaves and other rubble from pouring into it and clogging it. When it fills up with debris, the rainwater may spill over from the top thus causing damage to the walls and foundation of the home. They need maintenance and purchasing a gutter topper greatly assists in this. Ignoring regular maintenance is quite risky because insects may build their homes in it and then start crawling into one’s home. An owner can purchase the product from online stores that sell home outdoor appliances or from superstores that sell gardening appliances.
A person can also purchase one from the internet by visiting an online store and placing an order. There are two things that a homeowner should be in possession of when purchasing gutter toppers online – a valid credit card and a valid bank account. These two facilitate the transaction, thus enabling a person to make their purchase quickly and safely. Products come in different forms such as metallic, polymer and plastic. Many people use plastic because they can withstand different weather conditions and they are long lasting. They are also cheaper than other materials in both price and maintenance costs. Most stores that sell roofing supplies also sell downspouts, gutters and other related products. This enables a person to purchase them at the same time and even for a discount.
The metallic gutter toppers have different materials such as aluminum, copper and iron. A person should purchase one that matches their home color in order to make it visually appealing. Some people buy ones that are similar in style to the existing system, thus acquiring a complete and matching set. Copper toppers are ideal for use because they are long lasting and require less maintenance costs. Amongst the various types of metallic materials available, copper are the most common due to their numerous benefits. They can withstand every weather condition and they do not rot or rust- this does not imply that no maintenance is required. It is important to maintain it by purchasing and applying sealants, which assist in maintaining their glossy look as well as preventing them from damages caused by acidic rain.
When buying these products, one should consider a number of factors such as its circumference, the design and the costs. It is important for a person to enquire from professionals the type of product that is best suited for their roof. The system works by channeling water to flow through the gutters and at the same time keeping out the leaves and other forms of debris. Selecting a big one may be inconvenient because it might not be able to sieve out the debris. When cleaning, one should also clean the gutter topper because it may have collected leaves over time.
When considering the kinds of home improvements you need to carry out, you probably think more about improvements to add to the beauty of your home rather than improvements that actually help you take care of your house. Guttering is one very important aspect that you really need to think about in order to keep your home in a good state.
The point of guttering is very simple; it channels rain (or other substances) away from the roof of your house. Guttering stops a build-up of water on your roof, which eventually would otherwise cause the water to overflow and damage your property – defiantly not an outcome you want.
It is very important that you keep the guttering of your home clean and ensure that debris is not allowed to build-up within them. If you don’t clean your guttering regularly, rain will not be able to drain away effectively.
A common way of keeping your guttering clean is to install a guard onto it. A guard is most often simply a mesh frame that covers the gutter and stops debris from filling and blocking it. However, the problem with guards is that they, themselves, can become blocked over time. An additional problem with guards is that some can sometimes become detached (especially in high winds) and can end up blown from your roof and into your neighbour’s property.
Guttering can be made from many different materials. Steel is a more traditional material, although aluminium and plastic are becoming more popular these days, as they are substantially more lightweight and cheap to buy.
At Bliby Plastics, we can provide you with plastic guttering that is both lightweight and durable so that you don’t have to worry about the damage old guttering could be causing to your property while getting a cost-effective deal.
What You Need To Know About Gutters
Gutters come in various materials, sizes and colors. It is no surprise then, why consumers feel so perplexed when it comes to purchasing the right gutter system for their home.
Wood, vinyl, aluminum, steel and copper are some of the materials that gutters and downspouts are made of. Wood is the least popular because of its high maintenance and price. Vinyl is great for do-it-yourselfers and can be found at home-improvement centers. Aluminum gutters are the most common. Primary aluminum is the thickest and most consistent kind. Avoid secondary aluminum, a recycled product that’s often plagued by inconsistent thickness. Metal gutters are made in sheet metal shops and require gutter specialists to install them.
Types of Gutters
Sectional types are sold in 10ft. to 22ft. long pieces. They are either made of vinyl, painted aluminum or pre-painted steel. Gutter sections are joined together by snap-in-place connectors. All sectional systems have end caps, corner pieces and drop outlets for connecting to downspouts. The negative to sectional systems is that there is a potential for leaks through the seams. One positive is that they can be installed by either the homeowner or by a professional installer.
Seamless gutters are the most popular type today. The biggest selling point is that they don’t have any seams which could potentially leak. The sections join only at inside and outside corners and at downspout outlets. Seam¬less gutters are usually formed from aluminum that has a baked-on finish, but they may be made from copper or factory-painted steel. They are made with a special machine that’s brought to your home by a gutter contractor. These types of gutters can not be installed by do-it-yourselfers.