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02 Apr 2019

Best Gutters for Your Home and How to Choose Them

With April showers just around the corner, it’s time to make sure you are prepared for the upcoming rainy season. One of the most important ways to keep your home in tip-top condition when facing strong downpour is your home’s gutters.

 

Best Gutter Shape for Your Home

 

There are a variety of different aspects concerning gutters. First things first is the shape. There are three main shapes of gutters: wide bottom fascia, “k” style and half round gutters. Below we will discuss the pros and cons of each style.

 

 

  • Wide Bottom Fascia Gutters

 

 

This style of gutter holds the most amount of water and debris because it is larger than the other styles of gutters, making them ideal for areas with really extreme weather conditions. This style is also mounted directly into the fascia making them more secure. However, these can be difficult to install yourself and require more maintenance than other kinds.

 

 

  • “K” Style Gutters

 

 

Named after their shape’s resemblance to the letter, “K”, these gutters are by far the most popular and most widely recommended by professionals in the field. They are also more durable than other shapes and hold more water and debris. Another plus about this shape is that they are easy to install yourself and because they resemble crown molding, they are definitely more aesthetically appealing.

 

 

  • Half-Round Gutters

 

 

Half-round gutters are beautiful to look at, seriously. But that is about all the benefits of this shape. This style offers about zero functional benefits, are more expensive and are difficult to install. However, they are aesthetically pleasing and are good for a more historic renovation. Also, “K” style gutters have twice the capacity of half round of the same width and cost up to 50% less per foot.

 

Best Materials for Your Gutters

 

Now that you’ve chosen a shape for your gutters it’s time to choose the right material. Gutters can come in many different types of materials but there are definite advantages to some over others.

 

Aluminum

 

When it comes to gutters, aluminum is the most widely used. It is lightweight, durable and won’t rust. Aluminum gutters are easy to install yourself and you can even paint them. In areas that receive heavy snowfall, it is recommended you get thicker gauge aluminum gutters as it will better support heavy snow long term.

 

  • Another option is seamless aluminum gutters. They make up 70% of all gutters out there today. They’re not really a DIY option as they are custom made at the job site. However, seamless gutters eliminate seams and reduce the chances of leaks. This option is more expensive than regular aluminum but there isn’t any hauling of long gutters from the hardware store to your home so that is a plus.

 

Copper

 

Copper gutters are used mainly in high-end residences and historic renovations. This type of material is extremely aesthetically pleasing, developing a natural greenish patina over time and never rusting. However, copper gutters require professional installment because installment includes welding. This option is also much more expensive than aluminum, the base price starting at $12/foot and aluminum’s highest price for professional installment sitting at about $9/foot, so definitely a factor to keep in mind.

 

Steel

 

These gutters are incredibly strong, but while galvanized steel initially resists rust, it will likely start to develop rust after about 5-10 years. You can also paint steel gutters if you’d like, but they’re very heavy and not recommended for DIY projects, plus, they also can be pretty expensive.

 

Vinyl

 

Vinyl gutters are the cheapest option and they’re also the second most widely used. They’re also lightweight and the easiest for DIY projects. This material does come in a few colors but even still there isn’t much to choose from. Plus, the color will likely fade from UV light. Vinyl will also possibly crack in severe cold and won’t support ladders placed against them. So while this is the cheapest option, consider going with something just a little more pricey to ensure longevity.

 

Zinc

 

Zinc gutters are very durable and long lasting. Like copper, they are very aesthetically appealing and mostly used on high-end residences and historic renovations. You can’t paint zinc gutters, but they will develop a natural patina over time, making them look even better with age. However, they are expensive and also require professional installment because their installation includes welding.

 

28 Feb 2019

Spring Cleaning Tips for the Exterior of Your Home

Spring is right around the corner, even if it doesn’t feel like it sometimes—and it’s the perfect time to get things bright and fresh around your home for the season. And while a lot of people tend to focus on the inside, the outside of your home needs just as much love.

That being said, cleaning up your home’s exterior can feel a little bit daunting, especially if you don’t have the tools or know how to get the job done safely and correctly. Don’t fear—we’ll break down the 8 most important exterior cleaning tasks, and your options for tackling each one while not breaking your back, or the bank.

 

  1. Windows

Windows say a lot about a well-loved home. Clean windows, both from the outside and the inside, make a fresh and clean statement that shows your home is clean and well cared for. Cleaning up the grime can bring more light into your home, and in the waning winter months, bringing the bright sun into your home can be one of the best ways to combat the late winter blues.

If you have a single level home, cleaning can usually all be done with a step stool and some basic window cleaning tools. If you don’t have a squeegee, they are an inexpensive investment to make that can turn window washing into a much faster and more effective practice.

If you are dealing with second story windows, you may want to call in a professional, but it depends on your comfort level with ladders and heights. You can also rent a power washer, which we recommend later as well, to blast some of the dirt off your higher windows.

  1. Gutters

After falling leaves in the autumn and the winter yuck that the cold months bring, cleaning out your gutters in the spring is more than just cosmetic, but actually necessary for the safety of your home. Clogged gutter can cause build up and damage of your roof if you’re not careful. While many people do opt to clean their own gutters with the use of a power washer, we highly recommend leaving the job to the professionals. If you are ready to clear out your gutter for the spring rains, give us a call.

  1. Organize Your Storage Space

A lot of people have outdoor storage space. Whether it’s a tool or storage shed or perhaps where you keep your bikes and other outdoor equipment, tidying up this space can clean up the exterior of your home while at the same time encouraging more springtime activity. Use boxes and containers to keep the smaller loose ends contained. Don’t forget about using your wall space by adding hooks or shelves. Most importantly, don’t be afraid to purge—get rid of what you don’t need anymore, it’s only taking up space.

  1. Clean the Lawn/Yank Weeds

Even if you prepared your lawn for winter, there are often tasks that need to be addressed once springs hits. Clear your lawn of any leftover leaves or dead grass. While you’re at it, take a look at your weeds and flower beds. Even if it is still too early to plant, getting this preparation done now will save you time later and make sure things look neat and tidy all around the exterior of your home.

 

  1. Look for Damaged Fencing and Siding

The winter can sometimes cause damage to your home’s siding or fencing. Run a perimeter check and see if there are any things that need replacement or repair. This can save you from larger repairs later and help add to a clean exterior appearance.

 

  1. Painting and Touch Ups

After you’ve done a perimeter check you’d likely identified areas that need a little bit of love, especially in the color department. Spring is a great time to make these touch-ups or even give your home a fresh coat of paint. Depending on the extent of work that needs to be done, this could be an easy project or something that you hire out, but nothing can make a home’s exterior look cleaner than a fresh coat of paint.

  1. Power Wash Your Exterior Walls/Siding

Sometimes the only thing that can get that dirt and grime of your home is a little bit of power. Give everything a quick wash off by renting or borrowing a power washer. Not only can you get those walls clean, but you can also use the power washer for windows, sidewalks and driveways, eaves and over hangs, and anywhere that can collect dirt, cobwebs and other debris. Power washing does take a little muscle, so if you’re at all concerned about being able to use the tool yourself you may opt to hire this out to a cleaning service.

  1. Clean Patio Space & Furniture

Use this time to give your patio a deep cleaning as well. Clean the patio or deck area with a power washer if you have it, however, using a hose with the proper attachment will often do the job. Pay careful attention to all of your furniture that has been accumulating dust and dirt over the winter and make sure everything is ready for sitting and dining. Most of this can be accomplished with basic cleaners and elbow grease, but use whatever method you are most comfortable with.

 

Once your home is spic and span for the season you can enjoy everything the exterior of your home has to offer. Having a clean home not only looks amazing, but it gives you a sense of calm, when most of us are generally living in a chaotic world. Take the time to “spoil” the outside of your home as much as you do the inside, and enjoy a beautiful spring!

09 Aug 2017

How to Properly Care for your Gutters

The cleanliness of a gutter will allow it to function properly. We’ve outlined some steps for keeping them clean, so they work as intended. You don’t want clogs in your gutters – if you do, water will fall out the side. Here’s a few tips on how to keep them clean and operating smoothly.

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