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Gutters and Downspouts are critical for proper water drainage

Gutters and Downspouts are critical for proper water drainage

Have you ever seen a house with no gutters and downspouts? It will be like going back in time where people thought the world was flat and they rode in horse and buggy’s going to and from the market. The history of the gutters and downspouts cannot be accurately pinpointed. Who knows where they started and frankly who cares?

For perspective, gutters and downspouts are part of the house’s water collection system that is not located on the ground but rather connected to the roof. Gutters specifically are structures that act as temporary reservoirs and pathway to ensure that water does not enter your home during a rain shower. Imagine a house with its current roof shape without them; it will be like fountain drenching anyone located below.

Gutters are an integral part of the house. However, they are meaningless and useless without downspouts. How in the world will water go down the drainage system if there is no connecting vehicle? Water will just seep through the wall and damage the exterior. Downspouts are pipes that connect the roof to the ground. They are equally important because they ensure that water doesn’t stay very long in the gutters and they serve as water highways going down the drain and away from your home.

These two components are an important aspect in the water drainage system of the house. High volume of rain is expected especially during extreme weather disturbances. Gutters and downspouts need to function well during these times. Otherwise they will do a lot of harm to your home and landscape. If the gutters are clogged, it will result into stagnant water. Rainwater is not essentially dirty but when it gets parked in the gutter, things change. Disease carrying insects breed causing debilitating and even life threatening illnesses. Moisture attracts bacteria and its build up has the potential to infect people on the ground. It can also damage the fascia and soffit structure of the home thereby increasing your cost of maintenance. It can damage a bigger part of your wall which can definitely lower the value of your home. It can also be an accident risk as water is very heavy. If the gutter cannot carry the weight anymore, chances are, it will fall and hit someone on the ground. Downspouts are also critical. If there is blockage in the pipes, nothing goes through. It will create a domino effect resulting into stagnant water in the gutter.

Downspouts and gutters are an important component of the house. You cannot have a structure standing without them. They are an indispensable part of your home and any building for that matter. Never try to short change on their quality as it will produce terrible effects in the long run. They should also be effectively maintained and repaired whenever they are damaged. At the end of the day, building a structure without them is like a disaster waiting to happen.



Why You Need to Maintain Your Gutters

Why You Need to Maintain Your Gutters

Do you hate home repairs? I don’t think many of us really like them, but they are a necessary part of owning your own home. One of the most important tasks of maintaining your home is the need to clean your gutters, especially prior to, and even during winter. Clogged and badly maintained gutters can cause you more trouble than you may think.

First let’s understand the purpose of a gutter. Its primary function is to remove moisture away from the house and direct it to a place where it will cause no damage to the home or to the property in general. A badly directed water flow could lead to erosion in the driveway or landscaping and that is no good either.

Failure to maintain your gutters leads to four primary problems:

Gutter damage: If gutters are not properly maintained, then they will eventually become blocked by debris such as leaves and dirt. This debris does not allow water to flow through the gutter, causing it to build up and eventually overflow. The overflow will lead to sagging in the gutter which will cause permanent damage to the gutter itself. Over time, these sections will deteriorate so much that they will break away and leave gaps within your gutter system.

House Damage: By not maintaining your gutters, you actually risk causing damage to your home. There are many ways that water can damage your home. As I mentioned before, if water is not directed away from the home it can seep under the foundation causing erosion. This can lead to the home leaning or cracking, the driveway cracking, or water flowing into your basement, causing flooding or water damage. If the water is overflowing the gutter system, it can run down walls to your home damaging paint, siding, windows, and window frames. Blockages can also lead to the gutter becoming so heavy that they begin to pull away from the house, causing structural damage to the home and roof, where the gutter was attached. This can lead to water coming into the home, damaging the inner walls and insulation. It also can mean that the affected areas may grow mold and cause a health risk to you and your family.

Roof Damage: As I previously mentioned, blockage like this can cause damage to the roof. If the gutter becomes too heavy that it pulls away from the home, it may also pull away shingles and other roofing materials, causing a leak in your home. This will allow water to enter the home.  But this is not the only problem the roof may face.  If the water builds up in the gutter, so that it runs under the roof, it may cause rotting. Rotting may lead to the roof collapsing, especially if you live in an area where it is below freezing during the winter. If water is allowed to back up onto the roof and cause rotting, when that water later freezes, it will be heavier and is more likely to cause the roof to give way, leading to very expensive amount of damage.

Unexpected Damage: Not properly maintaining your gutters also has consequences you may not have considered. If you live in a cold weather area, water that accumulates in areas near your home may become frozen, which can lead to injuries from slipping and falling. Water build-up is a great breeding ground for mosquitoes and mold, and can lead to health problems. It also will attract insects that need a moist environment. Those animals may cause other problems to your home, like raccoons getting into your garbage, or squirrels building nests in your walls.

This clearly shows you why it is so important to have your gutters cleaned.  It is well worth the investment to make sure you clean your gutters well.



How to Clean Your Gutters Before They Clean Out Your Wallet

How to Clean Your Gutters Before They

Clean Out Your Wallet

By Jason Gurskis

Fox Around the House

Published December 22, 2010
FoxNews.com

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Cleaning your gutters is one of the most important projects on the to-do list yet it’s too often overlooked. Unfortunately, many of us wait until late into the fall season when the very last leaf falls before we decide to get it done. This delay exposes our homes to potential damage. Plus, it makes the job a lot more difficult to do.

If you do it a couple of times a year, in the fall and spring, cleaning gutters is easy. Just once, or not at all, and it can become back breaking work and cost you thousands of dollars worth of trouble down the road.

The problem with clogged gutters is more than just those annoying waterfalls that pour off the roof on rainy days, or the pretty icicles that hang around in the winter. This excess water wreaks havoc on the integrity of your home’s structure. The gutter system of a house is designed to move water down from the roof and away from the home and it’s foundation for proper drainage. Water that gets dammed up in the gutters finds the path of least resistance when it tries to drain and this often means it works right into the walls and ceilings of your house.

The first and most obvious issue with gutters filled to the brim with leaves, twigs, and other debris is simply a weight problem. When that debris gets wet it absorbs the rain water like a sponge and becomes extremely heavy. This burden puts stress on the gutters and their hanging brackets, and can pull the gutters off the house. Falling gutters are costly enough to replace on their own, not to mention any lights or windows they smash as they come crashing down.

Overflowing water from the gutters can also damage the paint and siding on a home, but unsightly water marks down the side of the house pale in comparison with what happens if the water get inside of a wall. Wet wood rots and loses its integrity, and this can go unseen behind the siding until it is too late.

Ice-damming is another major issue with clogged gutters. Blocked water can freeze when it backs up in the gutters, pushing up against the roof structure and working its way under the shingles destroying the wood, causing even more leaks.

Even flooded basements and cracking foundations are other symptoms of clogged gutters. If water isn’t drained away from the house and it pools around the foundation it will expand when frozen and cause cracks which lead to floods in your basement or crawl space.

So what will you need to get the job done? You only need a few things and they depend on the method you choose. Many different tricks and techniques have been developed by home improvement magazines, experts, and handymen alike but the main concept is simple, just get on the ladder and pull the junk out of the gutters.

You’ll need; a ladder, gloves, a container to gather the debris such as a bag or bucket, a garden trowel or small hand rake, and the hose.

Begin by setting the ladder an arms length away from a corner downspout, and tuck a few garbage bags in your back pocket so you can easily pull them out. Some people prefer to use a bucket and bucket hanger for the ladder, but it is much easier to use those little plastic shopping bags. A full bucket or big garbage bag can get pretty heavy and make the job tougher than a high wire act.

Hold your garden trowel or rake in your hand and begin your ascent. You never want to put sharp objects in your pocket when you are climbing a ladder, as they can harpoon you if you fall. Use the tool to pull the debris away from the down spout, being careful not to let any junk fall into the opening, which can create a clog. Take one handful at a time and fill up the bags, tying and dropping them to the ground as you go. Drop the bags away from the bottom of the ladder so they don’t get in your way when you need to dismount.

Move the ladder and repeat. Never reach further than an arms length away from the ladder and be sure to get the dirt on the bottom of the gutter. A majority of it is from the asphalt shingles that run off into the gutter. This stuff gets very heavy when wet so don’t leave it in there.

If you are afraid of heights or worry about dealing with the bags in such a precarious situation, simply grab handfuls from the gutters and drop it onto a clear spot on the ground. This is a very messy method, but you can rake up the debris later, safely and easily. Some guys drop the material down onto a tarp and shake it into a garbage can later.

Once you clean an entire length, grab the hose and spray down the gutter and into the down spouts to get all the small pieces you missed. If there are clogs that the hose can’t clear, you can use a plumbers snake to clear them out. This is also a good point to see if your gutters leak at any corners or joining pieces. If they do, you can purchase a silicone sealant and very easily make the fix. Remember that water finds the path of least resistance, and that path us usually into the walls of your house, so a leaky gutter can be just as bad as a clogged one.

If you are ambitious, you can scrub down the outside of the gutters or touch up any spots with paint to keep your house looking its best.

Still hesitant on doing this yourself? Consider using a roofing or siding contractor, or even handy man, but get three estimates and don’t always go for the cheapest one. The guy with the 1970’s pick up truck with rock bottom prices could possibly do a great job, but may not have any insurance. Whom ever you choose, be sure they are insured. If someone takes a dive off the ladder and breaks every bone in his body and is not covered by his own workman’s comp you, the homeowner, are liable. It’s a lot easier to ask him for a copy of his up-to-date insurance papers than it is to make a claim on your homeowner’s insurance policy, assuming it even covers such accidents.

One way or another, pushing this chore to the bottom of the to-do list could end up being a very costly mistake. If you get up there regularly it can be a breeze and you’ll prevent the Hoover dam from forming in your gutters.

Jason Gurskis is a licensed home improvement contractor based in Mystic Island, New Jersey dedicated to making homes more comfortable, durable, and energy efficient.



Gutter Cleaning In The Blue Mountains Of Pa

Holencik Insulation provides a wide range of services for residential and commercial gutters in the Blue Mountains of PA. We are available for professional gutter cleaning, gutter repair and gutter installation, as well as gutter guards and several other home maintenance services. Our customers will enjoy prompt, reliable service from the best trained gutter mechanics in the industry.

Contact us for one time gutter cleaning or regular maintenance. Our expert mechanics use the latest equipment and our proven gutter cleaning techniques to remove the debris that collects in your gutters. We also inspect the entire system for the correct pitch and look for damage at any point in the system.

Gutter cleaning is one of our many services for residential and commercial gutters in the Blue Mountains of PA. We offer expert gutter repair, gutter guards and new gutter installation from a team of highly trained gutter mechanics. If you need your gutters replaced, we use only high quality materials that are covered by a twenty year warranty. Our workmanship is guaranteed.

We will also inspect your roof and siding. Then let you know if there are any issues that need attention.

At Holencik Insulation, we provide free quotes for our services. You can request a free quote by filling out the form to the right for fastest service or by calling our office at 484-892-2816.