4 Tools to Make Gutter Cleaning Easier

Do you tend to put off gutter cleaning because of the time and mess involved, and yet you don’t want to pay a gutter cleaning service to do it for you? If you dread climbing a ladder to clean the muck out of gutters and downspouts, there are many tools to make the job easier – and possibly even eliminate the need for a ladder!

  1. Gutter brooms. This extension tool includes a grabber, broom and dustpan. While you will still need to use a ladder to access gutters, the pole extends your reach and reduces the number of times you need to climb up and down the ladder. The grabber can also tackle wet and heavy debris.
  2. Gutter vacuum. Get the job done without ever leaving the ground. This method allows you to suck up leaves or blow them out using high pressure from extension wands attached to your shop vac or leaf blower. Curved attachments can curl over the edge of the gutter to suck debris into a bag or vacuum. If you choose to blow leaves out of the gutter, you will also have to clean them off the ground.
  3. Gutter flusher. Air alone can’t clean wet, heavy debris out of the bottom of the gutter trough. That’s where gutter flushers come in handy. Attach the extension wand to the end of your garden hose to rinse out gutters. For more heavy-duty cleaning, combine the attachments with a pressure washer.
  4. Gutter Helmet®. The best gutter cleaning tool is the one that keeps everything out in the first place! Gutter Helmet features a patented nose-forward design with no vertical openings for leaves, pine needles and other debris to get through, so you can eliminate the chore of gutter cleaning altogether.

After more than 30 years, Gutter Helmet now protects millions of American homes. To find out more about this convenient gutter protection system and schedule a free, no-obligation appointment, please call 1.800.916.7344

How Gutter Leaf Guards Can Save You Thousands in Repairs

All homeowners want to better the appearance and function of their home, and a home’s gutter system is one way to do this. Gutters that are in good working order permit rainwater to drain easily away, but this requires an investment in a quality gutter system and gutter protection. Often homeowners think of gutter leaf guards as being too costly, when in reality, they save a great deal of money over time.

Gutter cleaning is the most obvious savings you will notice after installing a gutter cover, whether you did the job yourself or paid someone else to do it. But this isn’t the only expense you’ll no longer need to worry about; a properly functioning gutter system also reduces or eliminates a number of other expenses associated with water damage.

  • Gutter cleaning ($150 to $400 per year). A professional gutter cleaning service averages $165 per visit, and many gutter systems require cleaning twice per year.
  • Flooded basement (up to $10,000). If your home has a basement, gutter backups can lead to water seeping in through walls and windows. This can cause a variety of damage to walls, flooring, furnishings and more, in addition to the cost of removing water from the basement.
  • Exterior damage (up to $5,000). Leaky gutters can cause damage to siding and fascia as they drip and splash over the exterior. For wood siding, this leads to dry rot and peeling paint. Other types of siding may demonstrate staining and mold growth.
  • Mold and mildew removal (up to $4,000 per wall). Small areas of mold and mildew caused by water seeping into a home can sometimes be addressed with cleaning supplies and elbow grease. However, when mold develops in ductwork, attic spaces, walls and crawlspaces, the expertise of a professional will be required to prevent threats to your family’s health.
  • Damaged landscaping (up to $10,000). When gutters clog and spill over the side, plants and shrubs are ruined and soil erosion ensues.
  • Foundation repair ($3,000 and up). Water pooling around a home’s foundation can lead to structural damage such as buckling, shifting and cracking. Costs to repair a damaged foundation range into the tens of thousands of dollars.

If you are considering gutter leaf guards for your home, think of them as insurance against more costly repairs rather than an expense. To learn more about Gutter Helmet®, please call (800) 916-7344 for a free, no-obligation quote.

Stop! Before You Get Out That Ladder to Clean Gutters, Read This

There are a number of reasons to consider gutter leaf protection for your home. When left unattended, clogged gutters can result in thousands of dollars in damage from rot, erosion and foundation problems. Safety is another top concern; each year an estimated 135,000 people suffer from ladder-related injuries – some of them fatal. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, persons 65 and older account for half of all ladder deaths.

Cleaning out gutters poses obvious risks to personal safety. In order to minimize the chance of injury or death, follow these tips.

  • Awareness. Be cautious and vigilant when cleaning gutters. Pay attention to the area around you and your home. Note the location of electrical wires. If ground is wet and soft, do not attempt to place a ladder. If your gutters are higher than you feel comfortable climbing, hire someone to do the job for you.
  • Ladder safety. Pick a ladder than can reach high enough for you to access gutters without stretching or leaning. When raising and lowering a ladder, take care not to pinch fingers between sections. Have three points of contact with the ladder at all times (two feet and a hand, or two hands and a foot). If tools are required, carry them in a bucket or a bag.
  • Clothing. Wear sturdy, non-slip shoes and clothing that will not get tangled in the ladder and cause a fall. Gloves are an important accessory to protect hands from cuts and scrapes while gutter cleaning.
  • Electrical wires. Look up for wires before climbing a ladder. Stay a minimum of 10 feet away from overhead power lines to prevent electrical shock.
  • Dizzyness. Climbing a ladder can create dizziness that may lead to a fall. Climb slowly. Many people are suddenly overtaken by dizziness when working at a high height. If this happens to you, hold tightly to the ladder while taking deep breaths.

The invention of gutter leaf protection has given homeowners a way to eliminate the risks associated with cleaning gutters. Lofty gutters are no challenge for the pros at Gutter Helmet®. We’ve been installing gutter protection systems for more than 30 years, and are ready to provide services that give you peace of mind and allow you to rest easy. Call 1 (800) 916-7344 for a free estimate!

The Do’s and Don’ts of Gutters, Downspouts and Gutter Guards

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As summer draws to a close, many of us are climbing up on our roofs to clean out gutters. Taking care of this job does more than protect your gutters – your home’s #1 enemy is water, and gutters that are not working properly will compromise the structural integrity of your home and even endanger your family’s health with mold and mildew growth. Water must flow away from your house, and gutters play a vital role in that process.

  • After they collect the water runoff from the roof, gutters should carry that water at least five feet away from the foundation. This job is performed by the downspouts.
  • Keep in mind that there should be one downspout for every 40 feet of gutter.
  • Many homes, particularly newer homes, have more than just one roof. For example, there might be a roof over a garage, a roof over a second floor and smaller roofs over a porch or kitchen. A gutter trough should be installed along the edge of every roofline, with a downspout to drain away the collected water.
  • A downspout from an upper roof should drain into a lower gutter, never onto a lower roof; this will cause premature deterioration of the shingles and roof deck.
  • Professionally installed seamless gutters are well worth the investment. Do-it-yourself plastic gutters will become brittle over time and leak at the seams.
  • Aluminum is the industry standard for gutters because it does not rust like steel and is weather-resistant, unlike plastic. The thicker the gauge of the metal, the more durable the gutter will be.
  • Gutter should be clear of debris before freezing temperatures set in. When debris and water caught in the trough freezes, it can overload the gutter and cause damage.

A good way to prevent clogging is by installing a gutter guard that sits over the gutter itself. This prevents leaves and debris from accumulating, and eliminates the chore of having to clean your gutters. A quality gutter guard like Gutter Helmet® aids your gutter system in efficiently directing rainwater away, protecting your roof and home from water damage. Make your gutter system stronger and maintenance-free by calling Gutter Helmet at (866) 547-7352.

Downspouts 101: Understanding How Downspouts Work

Gutter systems operate on a basic concept of gravity and water flow, where the sloped gutter channel directs rainwater to the downspout and moves it away from the home. Understanding the purpose and importance of the downspout can ensure that you pay proper attention to this component to keep your gutter system operating at peak performance year-round.

How They Work

A downspout is a lightweight tube that extends vertically from gutter trough to the ground. While downspouts can be installed at any low point along a gutter system, they are typically placed at the end of the trough along the corners of a home. A downspout is designed to carry water that flows off the roof and into the gutters safely down and away from the foundation, where it could cause damage. It is typically made from the same material as the gutter, and in the same color, to create a uniform look. A good rule of thumb is one downspout for every 40 feet of gutter.

 

Most downspouts curve outward at the bottom to keep water away from the foundation. A splash block at the base of the downspout will keep the soil underneath from eroding. Another option is to install an underground drainage system that the downspout empties into to carry water far away from the house.

 

While it can be simple to remove clogs from gutters, clogs in a downspout can be more troublesome because they can’t be seen. Be sure to check each downspout anytime you clean out gutters. If a clog develops, rinse it out with a hose. Difficult clogs may require the downspout to be removed and disassembled.

 

To eliminate the threat of clogged downspouts and gutters, go with America’s #1 choice in gutter protection for more than 30 years: Gutter Helmet®. Gutter Helmet gutter protection offers clear advantages over standard gutter guards, gutter covers and gutter filters.

Why Gutter Screens Might Be More Hassle Than Cleaning Out Gutters

Most homeowners know that their rain gutters should be regularly cleaned of leaves and other debris to prevent water runoff from backing up. When this happens, the heavy weight of water can pull the gutters away from the fascia or water may spill over the edge, causing potential damage to siding, windows and door, landscaping and the foundation.

You should inspect and clean your gutter and downspout system twice per year to be sure it’s not clogged. If you want to spend less time cleaning your gutters, gutter guards are a great option to consider. Just don’t expect that all gutter guards will be maintenance-free.

Even if you don’t have trees in your own yard, some wind-blown debris will inevitably collect on top of your gutter guards. This situation is preferable to cleaning handfuls of soggy leaves, twigs and dirt out of clogged gutters. However, some gutter guards are more difficult to clean than gutters themselves! Case in point: the gutter screen.

Different gutter screens feature either a louvered (slotted) metal cover, a perforated metal cover or a mesh screen that fits under shingles. This type of cover is generally effective at blocking leaves and large debris from entering the gutter, but seedlings, pods and pine needles will either penetrate the screen or become stuck in the openings – rendering the gutter screen useless. This may also leave you with the unpleasant dilemma of how to clean thousands of seeds or needles out of the gutter screen installation.

Choose your gutter guard system wisely. Your gutter guard should make your job easier, not create another problem to solve. That’s why Gutter Helmet® has been America’s gutter guard of choice for more than 30 years. Its patented solid cover allows rainwater to flow freely while keeping out all types of debris to give you peace of mind – and clean gutters.

Why You Should Never Consider Skipping Gutters for a Home

If you are curious about the structure of typical house gutters, here is a basic outline of how a traditional rain gutter system fits together.

Gutters are formed in a number of shapes and profiles, but the key components and the way those parts fit together are generally the same. Most gutters are fabricated on-site by a professional contractor with a metal-forming machine. This ensures that gutters are seamless (which greatly reduces the chance of leaks) and custom-sized for the home. At the end of the gutter, at the corner of the house, the downspout connects to the gutter through a drop outlet. An end cap is placed on the end of the last section of gutter to give the system a finished look and to channel water down the downspout. The drop outlet connects to two downspout elbows, which allows the gutter downspout to curve around the edge where your house meets the roof. Downspout straps are placed every few feet to secure the downspout to your house.

If you’re thinking about skipping residential gutters, you need to understand what happens when you don’t have gutters. Instead of water running into gutters and being propelled away from the home, water instead curls around your roof edge and runs down the side of your home. This can cause all sorts of problems that gutters would otherwise prevent. Homes without gutters often find rainwater running directly down the siding, into the basement or penetrating at the roofline and going into the attic. These can be very expensive problems to fix, so make sure you have the right type of house gutters for your home.

Read on to learn about the benefits of Gutter Helmet® and how gutter protection protects the integrity of your rain gutter system.

Gutters 101: Everything You Need To Know

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You know you’ve got to get some roof gutters up, but you’re not sure what you need to do. Don’t worry: we’ve got a complete overview of roof gutter solutions, from figuring out how to install gutters, how material much you need, and how to keep it clean when it’s up.

Design

There are two considerations when designing roof gutter systems on paper: the length of the gutter itself, and how wide it needs to be. The first part is fairly simple: you and a friend use a measuring tape to figure out the length of the roof along each slope.

But how about the width? That’s a little more involved. First, check local zoning laws; it’s very possible some official has already determined the gutter size you need. You’ll need to figure out the square area of your roof, which is just some basic math, and note the average rainfall of the area you live in. The bigger your roof and the more rain you get, the bigger the gutters you’ll need. The most common residential gutter size is five inches. For downspouts, a good rule is one for every 40 feet of gutter.

Then you’ll need to choose material. All materials have their benefits and drawbacks; as a general rule, choose the most durable material you can afford, in the thickest size it comes in.

Installing Gutters

If you’re installing them yourself, first lay out your roof gutters in front of the part of the house where you’ll be installing them. Weld on any end caps and cut any holes for downspouts you may need. Then go up and install your hangers, keeping safety in mind.

Install your hangers on architectural supports, such as rafters, and space them closely together. This keeps the gutters from sagging, which can lead to stagnant water, or being ripped off your house in high winds. Hang the gutters so there’s a slight pitch towards the downspout; one to two inches every forty feet will do fine. Weld together any corners and attach the downspouts with welding or zip screws.

Maintenance

Maintaining your roof gutter is fairly straightforward: every three months or so, go up and take a look. Clean out any debris if you don’t use a gutter protection system; there are dozens of tools on the market to help with that. Keep an eye on your gutters. Look for signs that they’re not draining, such as icicles or water dripping over the sides. Patch any holes as soon as possible.

For a permanent solution to gutter cleaning, call for professional installation of Gutter Helmet® gutter guards along with Helmet Heat® heated gutters. Do all that, and you’ll have a roof gutter that’s long-lasting and keeps you dry, even in the worst weather.

4 Smart Reasons to Hire a Professional Gutter Cleaner

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Gutter cleaning is a necessary step in good home maintenance. Free-flowing gutters make sure that your home is able to handle large amounts of water and direct it away before that water can cause damage to the exterior, foundation or surrounding landscaping. Regularly cleaning the gutter system also prevents clogs in the downspouts, which can lead to backed-up gutters and the growth of algae. For the best results, contract with a professional gutter cleaning service to care for your gutter and downspout system. Here’s why.

  1. Quick results. While some homeowners tackle gutter cleaning on their own, this is a time-consuming chore that can take hours to complete without the proper equipment. Gutter cleaning experts offer efficient, comprehensive gutter care in a fraction of the time.
  2. Accident prevention. Any chore that requires climbing a ladder is potentially hazardous to your safety, and gutter cleaning is no exception. If you are unaccustomed to maneuvering on a ladder for long stretches of time, you are at increased risk for a fall that could result in serious injury or even death. Professionals are used to working on ladders and the gear necessary to get the job done safely.
  3. Minor repairs. If your gutters need repairs, a professional should be able to assist with minor issues like caulking, bracket replacement or slope adjustment.
  4. Additional services. A professional gutter cleaning company may also offer other helpful services for your home, such as window washing, power washing or tree trimming.

Gutter cleaning is recommended twice per year, which can become a considerable maintenance expense. If you would like to permanently avoid the cost of hiring a gutter cleaning company, consider investing in the Gutter Helmet® gutter protection system. Gutter Helmet® installs right over your home’s existing gutters to keep leaves, needles and debris out year-round. Schedule a free estimate for America’s best gutter covers by calling (800) 916-7344 today!

4 Ways to Effectively Repel Mosquitoes Around Your Home

There’s no denying that mosquitoes are one of the peskiest creatures in existence. Every summer around the country, mosquitoes invade yards and just about any place you can travel in the great outdoors. Follow these tips to take back your outdoor living space from this bloodthirsty insect.

Protect yourself. If mosquitoes are a constant presence in your yard, arm yourself with an insect repellent containing DEET. Mosquitoes intensely dislike the smell of this oily chemical, yet DEET is non-toxic to animals and humans. In addition, try to wear light-colored clothing and avoid colognes, perfumes and scented body products that may attract mosquitoes.

Treat standing water. For areas of standing water such as landscaping ponds, birdbaths and drainage ditches, add BTI granules to the water. BTI is a natural larvicide that kills mosquito larvae without harming humans, birds, pets or fish. Also inspect your yard for flower pots, old tires or even toys which may contain enough standing water for mosquitoes to lay eggs.

Go green. There are many natural methods to keep mosquitoes at bay. Citronella candles produce a strong scent that masks the smell of humans, as do plants including catnip, marigolds, lemon balm, lavender and peppermint. Using fans to keep air moving through outdoor living areas also discourages mosquitoes.

Check gutters. Mosquitoes need only an inch of water in which to lay their eggs and multiply, and clogged gutters are often an ideal location. Routinely clean this out-of-sight spot to avoid clogs that permit standing water. Consider installing a rain gutter guard like Gutter Helmet® to prevent leaves and debris from entering your gutters and creating the perfect water-logged location for mosquito families to grow.

If mosquitoes are an ongoing problem around your home thanks to debris-filled gutters, you can solve the problem with one simple phone call. Call Gutter Helmet today – 1.800.916.7344!