How to Manage DIY Gutter Maintenance Yourself to Save On Gutter Cleaning Prices

Some professional services don’t come affordably especially if certain businesses are up to take advantage of your urgent need and they’re the only business in your locality. Some gutter cleaning prices not that expensive can cause a dent in your budget if you don’t know how to properly negotiate.

There comes a time that you’re just short on your budget or there’s no one to hire in your area and your gutters and downspouts need urgent cleaning or some repair. The good news is, you can actually do the job yourself. However, if do it yourself isn’t your thing (or you’re just downright lazy), then you can begin saving for professional gutter cleaning because you have no other choice. The thing here is to give it a try.

To help you with your DIY attempt, here are basic tips on cleaning and maintenance:

1. It’s all a matter of getting the debris and goop out. Debris and goop is a combination of dust, twigs, leaves, dead insects, small animal excrement, and other tiny, random debris. Make sure that you have all the important tools such as trowel, scooper, gloves, and ladder. After you’ve secured your ladder, you can climb it and start scooping out your gutters. Be sure you have someone spotting you. Once all dirt has been scooped out, blast the gutters and downspouts for further cleaning. This method reveals if there are remaining clogs that prevent rainwater from flowing out properly or parts that require repairs or even replacement.

2. Water blasting is effective gutter cleaning. It’s really good for dislodging dry debris and for cleaning remnants of the goop in your gutters and down pipes. The full force of high pressure hose water can easily push a lot of elements out. In the absence of a water blaster, a regular garden hose with a heavy-duty nozzle (various water release settings) will do. By the way, they also make great window cleaners as well.

3. Consider installing gutter spikes. This can prevent birds and other animals from turning your gutter into their nest. Spikes also offer the advantage of easier cleaning. All you need is to just slide them out and the dirt slides out as well.

4. Give proper attention to sources of leaks in gutters and downspouts. With a chisel, scrape the old caulking out, then clean and dry the area completely. Use a good sealant to cover the cracks and holes.

5. If the gutters are very old and covered with rust, they will really need replacement. For good quality you can choose aluminum and vinyl replacements. However, if you’re dealing with budget constraints, get the rust off by sanding the gutters down, then paint them with a good primer and follow up with rust-inhibiting paint.

Comments Off

Winter is Approaching: Do Your Gutters Need Repair?

Keeping you home dry is very important. Water is one of the most destructive forces of nature, so all the more reason to inspect your gutters and see if they need repair. Your gutter system needs to be in proper shape to be in proper working order. The most obvious way to keep your gutters in good working order is to keep them clean. However, even if your gutter system is clean, if it is damaged or broken in other ways, it will not be able to do its job properly. Winter brings rain and cold weather, so inspect your gutters in case anything needs to be repaired.

While many gutter repairs are necessary due to normal wear and tear, most gutter repairs happen because the cleaning of the gutters has been neglected. When water and ice become stuck in the gutters by leaves and debris, the extra weight can pull at the gutters and drive them into misalignment. Frozen debris stuck in the downspouts can split the seams. In the long run, the money you spend having your gutters repaired will save you from having to pay for extensive gutter replacement.

Common Types of Gutter Repairs:

Sagging Gutters

Long nails or spikes usually hold older gutters in place. The gutter is no longer supported when these spikes come out or become loose. The way to repair a sagging gutter is to replace the spikes with long screws or to add new brackets. If any wood has been damaged, these may need to be repaired or replaced.

Downspouts

Another area often in need of repair. If debris gets stuck in the downspout and freezes it can split the seam of the downspout. The downspout and elbow may need to be replaced. The bracket that holds the downspout will often come loose and will need to be reattached to the brick or wood siding.

Downspout Extensions

Extensions often get stepped on, get crushed, or kicked off entirely. In order to divert water at least 5 feet from your home and foundation, repairing or adding a new downspout extension is necessary.

Leaking Seams and Gutter Corners

There may be a gutter seam or gutter corner that is leaking. Often, this can be repaired with a few screws and seam sealant. Some leaks may be caused by gutters that have rusted all the way through. Some of these gutters can be patched and sealed, but the gutter will eventually be in need of major repair, or be replaced entirely.

Comments Off

The Common Types of Roofing Materials

Composite Shingles

These are the most common of all and more than three quarters of all homes in North America have them. They basically have a core of cellulose fibers or fiberglass coated by asphalt on each side and then topped with a layer of colored stone aggregate on the face for protection and looks. They come in many different styles and colors. Their quality is dependent on their weight. They can range from a life expectancy of 15 to 35 years depending on the quality purchased and this is usually clearly marked on the packaging. Shingles are sold in bundles.

Installation is fairly straight forward as they are cut and nailed in place over your existing roof sheathing. The roof sheathing does require to be covered with a protective layer of roofing felt or other approved roofing barrier before the shingles go on. Special attention should be given to installing a water and ice barrier on all overhang eave areas as well as installing proper flashing around penetrations, valleys and all edges of the roof system. Always remove old roofing before installing new shingles.

Composite shingles are good for most climates, but extreme summer heat can deteriorate or shorten their life span.

Clay Tiles

These are very popular in warmer climates. They come only in few colors and profiles and are very heavy because of the clay itself. They can be expected to last upwards of 75 years after installation. The upfront cost is high for clay tiles and they should be installed by an experienced installer. This may or may not be a DIY job depending on your experience. Because of the weight, roofs need to be well constructed to carry the extra load. During the rains, some water is expected to get under the tiles so the roof deck below must be protected. This is best done by installing a waterproof membrane on top of the roof sheathing first before installing the tiles. The tiles should be fastened down using corrosion resistant nails to prevent premature loose or rattling tiles in windy conditions.

Wood Shingles

Most are cut from western red cedar and come in grades of 1, 2 and 3. Grade 1 are the only grade that should be used on your home as a shingle, they are considered the best grade because they are cut from the heart wood of the tree so the rings are tight and knot free. They should be installed naturally with no coating and allowed to age naturally. The life expectancy is usually 20-25 yrs. Cedar shingles require an underlayment on the roof deck before the actual shingles go on. Roofing felt is typically used to cover the entire roof. Use only galvanized, stainless steel, or copper nails.

Aluminum Shingles

These shingles are probably the most expensive product and should be installed by an experienced installer. These shingles usually last the lifetime of the home. These shingles come in a vast choice of colors and styles to match any need and when installed correctly are very secure. These shingles require roofing felt be used to cover the entire roof deck. These shingles all interlock together and are nailed as well using standard roofing nails. This system also requires its own special trim pieces for drip edge, valleys and hips.

Metal Roofing

These roofs are commonly made from either aluminum or corrugated steel panels, can come in a huge variety of colors and can be custom ordered in almost any length less than 24 feet. Most steel roofs can last up to 50 years. From an environmental perspective most steel roof products are made from partly recycled metals and are 100% recyclable itself. They also help in your energy usage in your home because they block or reflect some of the heat away from your attic.

Sheets are attached to the roof surface using special threaded screws that have a rubber washer. The screws can be color matched to the roofing panel as well. The panel edges overlap to make a 100% water tight seal.  Most DIY people with more than basic knowledge of construction can install these roofing products. They can be installed over a standard sheeted roof or one that is only strapped. Don’t install over an old asphalt roof. Windy conditions during installation should be avoided for safety. Also, walking on the roofing can be dangerous so use extreme caution.

Comments Off