Vaca Home Show

Gutter Covers and Cleaning Tips

Latest Posts

How to Maintain Your Home During Winter

home maintenance

Winter is a somewhat difficult time to maintain your home because you will rarely go outside during that time. Because of the cold weather, you will most likely be spending most of your time indoors which leaves you no time to check for damages outside your home. That is quite the dilemma too because any damage outdoors can severely affect the indoor safety of your home. A leaky roof for instance, if left unchecked through winter, can wreak havoc to your foundation.

Repairs during the winter will be obviously be harder because of the weather. Luckily, there are many professionals that do work during the winter but they will charge more, as expected.

What to look out for during winter

Winter is the perfect time to do maintenance work for the indoor facilities of your home. You can check around your interior for any little things you may have overlooked during the earlier months. Since you will most likely be indoors, you can check your interior for any needed repairs more meticulously.

Just hope that there are no needed repairs outside because during this time, you can only fix the interior of your home. Check for any DIY projects that you can think of (that is useful of course). It can be painting your shelves, or putting varnish on your old furniture. Winter is the perfect time for these kinds of project.

Check for icicles

Don’t let icicles grow during winter because once they melt, they can weaken the structural integrity of your home. They are also a danger to your family because they aren’t stable and can come down at any time without warning. Once you notice the icicles, that is the perfect time to knock them down.

Test your electric outlets

Prepare for the winter by making sure that your electrical system is in good condition. Make sure that all your outlets are functional because they will be needed come winter time.

Pay good attention to your indoors

Winter requires you to stay at home most of the time. That is the perfect time to check the integrity of your indoor furniture. Check all locks on your windows and doors. If you see that something is broken, replace it immediately to avoid a major headache during the winter.

Clean your basement

If you have a basement, winter is the perfect time to clean and organize it. Basements are overlooked most of the time. Most families just use them as storage but they are definitely more than that. An organized basement can make your life easier because you can find what you’re looking for in there pretty easily.

Many homeowners recommend cleaning your basement at least once a year. Doing it during the winter time is just perfect.

Gutter Maintenance for Fall and Rainy Season

man doing roof repair

Gutter replacement and maintenance is an integral part of owning a house. Gutters are important aspect of a house which is essential in increasing the lifetime of the house. Gutters are always exposed to outside elements which make them vulnerable to damages and a host of other issues. In areas of frequent rainfall, a damaged gutter is even more prevalent. This is due to them being exposed to water at a much higher rate than your average gutter.

Gutters need to be maintained properly not only to face several seasons of the year. Gutters must be able to protect your home from all seasons. They must be strong to face all kinds of outside elements that is thrown at them. A proper gutter maintenance and cleaning is the best move if you want to prolong the life of your gutters. Gutter maintenance varies greatly depending on the season. I will highlight below what type of gutter maintenance you need for the fall and rainy season.

Fall season gutter maintenance

During the fall season, the shedding of leaves will become a major problem. This is probably the season where you need gutter cleaning the most. Any uncleaned leaves or debris will stay on the gutters for a very long time unless you clean them. Leaves or debris left on the gutters will decay and cause blockage. This is a major problem especially right when the rainy season is about to start.

To keep your gutters clean of leaves and debris, there are the things you need to do:

  • Keep them dry to avoid leaves sticking to wet spots
  • Check for any leaks, cracks and corrosion (areas of interests are joints and corners)
  • Install a gutter guard to protect your gutters from debris blockage
  • Trim your tree to avoid their leaves getting into your gutters

Rainy season gutter maintenance

Rainy season proceed as soon as the autumn ends. By this information, you need to take extra good care of your gutters during the autumn season. Here are the things you need to do to properly maintain your gutters during rainy season.

  • Clean your gutters manually to remove all debris
  • Check for leaks by letting water flow through your gutters
  • Inspect your downspout to check for any blockages
  • Do a high pressure water cleaning to remove all debris missed by manual cleaning

If you want your gutters to work properly and efficiently, you need to do proper maintenance for them. If you don’t have the time to clean them yourself, you can always hire a gutter cleaning company to do the job for you. It is important that you do these maintenance checks to rid of all the headaches you might get when you miss a maintenance routine.


Are There Any Self-Cleaning Gutters Available?

gutter cleaning and repair

Is it possible for gutter to self clean? I live in a rural town and I am surrounded with trees. Having a self-cleaning gutter would be a wonderful addition to my home. Imagine the convenience it adds to my home maintenance routine. When you realize that gutter cleaning maintenance is a year-round chore, you will wish for a self-cleaning gutter. However, is it possible to have this kind of gutter? Read this article to find out.

To avoid filling the gutters with debris and dirt, most homeowners would install a screen for their gutters. If you’ve done this before, you know how this won’t work for too long. After about a year, you will notice that the screen you installed barely had any effect on the cleanliness of the gutter. Sure, it may delay your cleaning for up to 6 months but it doesn’t remove the need altogether. What’s more is you are left with an overflowing amount of dirt on your gutter and you can only clean them if you uninstall the screens. This is definitely more work than what your expected when you install those screens.

The reason screens don’t work in preventing debris from entering the gutter is simple. Debris and dirt comes in all shapes and sizes. It doesn’t matter if you’re using a fine or course screen, the result will be all the same. Debris will find their way into the screen. The screen will only delay the inevitable gutter overflow by about several months.

What’s the best thing you can do to protect your gutters?

The next thing we will look into are your gutter guards. Gutter guards will protect your gutters from debris like leaves and rocks. Once the gutter guard is installed, the water will flow down the front nose of the gutter but this doesn’t actually protect the gutter 100%. You will notice that the water will still get directed into the gutter.

The nature of the design of gutter guards are inherently flawed. They work great in theory but in practical application they fall short. The leaves will stick into the surface of the leaf guard and will block the gutter sooner or later. Just like screens, it will only delay the inevitable.

Are there any self-cleaning gutters available?

To answer you frankly, no. Many companies would promise self-cleaning gutter guards but in reality, they are just limiting the debris that gets trapped into the gutters. Sooner or later, you will need to clean it yourself. Self-cleaning gutters won’t probably be available unless we find a way to magically incinerate the debris that falls into our gutters.

The next best thing is just to clean the gutters yourself, or hire a professional for the job. If you don’t have the time to clean your gutters, you can always hire someone to do it. You can invite a gutter repair or maintenance company to take a look at your gutters. Tell them what you need and they will tell you in details what they could do. For many homeowners, installing a gutter guard is their first choice but some are taken aback by the upfront cost of it. If you don’t have extra money for this kind of home renovation, you are better off at hiring a gutter cleaning service once or twice every year. This is the most practical way of cleaning your gutters until we find that magical self-cleaning gutter that we desperately need.

Living Smart: Why is gutter cleaning so important?

gutter cleaning


Have you had your gutter repair this season? Gutters are an important piece of the home’s well-being. It’s the gutter that controls the flow of rainwater, protecting the building (i.e., roof, walls, foundation and the landscape at large). Neglecting the gutter can turn into a nightmare-gutters clogged with leaves, debris, and sticks pressure up the roof causing a leaky roof, or water damage to the interior of your home.

Gutter Company experts believe gunked-up gutters makes home for pets, mold, rodents and honeycombs from bee infestation causing more trouble.

How often to you clean you clean your gutters?

Letting gutter cleaning go by the wayside, increases the cost of roof/home maintenance ending up to hundreds of dollars to repair” noted by Gutter Company.  Basically, gutters are a potential bomb, o your roof full of insects and critters when you let them stay out of sight, out of mind.

Gutter cleaning depend on where you live, more how many trees are in your yard? It’s recommended to clean your gutters cleaned and repair in the spring-fall. Clean in the fall when all the leaves are down or even almost down. In spring, maple trees get little helicopters that go everywhere.

Get a professional to clean the downspouts, a clogged downspout makes it hard for the rain pour to go down leading to breakup and overflow the gutter, which eventually damage the building.

The frequency of gutter cleaning should be guided by how often leaves in your area fall and the type of leave involved.

Gutter covers

You need gutter covers! Leaf guards significantly reduce the need for gutter maintenance, i.e. reduce the frequency of cleaning. Instead of doing it every six months, with gutter covers you can push the maintenance to yearly or every three years.  The frequency of gutter repair/cleaning will depend on the quality of cover and the type used. More info:

Make visual check each six month

Gutter guards do a great job, but if you’ve many trees surrounding your home you need a visual check each year.  The guards won’t keep all the debris out as up to 15 to 20 percent can still get in, and you will still have to remove the cover.

You need a professional to do so?

Gutter repair and cleaning need a professional; purchasing quality covers seek help Gutter Company for the best covers and screen that will effectively limit the need for gutter maintenance.  Buy one that’s strong to hold up and suit all type of downspout, tree leaves, and other debris.  On average a gutter cost between $1,500 and $2,500 and depend on your home size and the length of the gutter.

DO it yourself, OR HIRE?

Gutter cleaning, most homeowners can do it themselves, and face the danger of the task. If you are afraid of height, falls from a ladder send thousands of Americans to the emergency room each year.

Do it yourself; ensure the ladder is sturdy and all the steps are in place. You can try to a few steps to ensure if the ground is level.  Don’t let the ladder on the gutter as the weight can cause them to collapse.

One of the biggest thing ; safety, call Gutter Company for qualified  professional as the professional knows what to look for and can stop the problem prior it gets worse.  For a fact, gutter prevention comes in pennies but the repair will cost you dollars. On average gutter cleaning will cost you $75 to $225 for an average home depending on the height of the home, gutter length, and scope of work. See more here.


Maintaining Gutters In Winter – How To Do It Properly

gutter cover repair

For many home owners, nothing really beats a had repair project. Many home repairs can be costly. Repairs are time consuming and messy work. Yet, repairs are part of being homeowners because no matter how well-maintained your home is, there will come a time where repairs are needed. A part of your home that you shouldn’t ignore is the gutter system. A good gutter system will prevent many home repairs because it will protect your home from many outside factors.

To maintain your gutters, you need to be familiar with the season. For instance, when snow lands on the roof, it will accumulate. Snow accumulates on the roof and will act as a huge reservoir of water. Snow will also accumulate inside the gutters. When the weather changes again and gets above freezing temperature, the snow will be converted to ice and water. The water will find a route of exit and if your gutter systems are blocked, water will overflow through it.

For the homeowner, nearly nothing is as bad of a problem as is undertaking a foundation repair project. Foundation repair is costly. It is time consuming and it is messy work. More often than not, foundation repairs could have been mitigated if proper gutter maintenance was used. This is especially true during the winter months. Here is why it is important to maintain your gutters in winter. If the water overflows onto the ground, the ground will be saturated with water. The added water near the foundation will weaken the structure of your house resulting in foundation damage.

At the first sign of water seepage in your foundation, you need to diagnose it immediately. It will come as a form of moisture in the basement and can be accompanied by the smell of mold. If you fail to remedy the problem as soon as it’s become obvious, it will immediately get worse. As the freeze and thaw cycle of winter and summer continues, cracks will begin to appear and this will damage the entirety of your foundation. When the cracks become larger, structure failure may become inevitable.

All of these things could have been prevented if you have the right gutter system. Proper maintenance will also prevent this kind of problem from ever happening. To help you maintain your gutters during the winter, here are some tips.

To ensure that water saturation won’t happen near your home, you need to put the downspouts drain at least 10 feet away from your house. If the water is channeled away at a safe distance, there is a slim chance of liquid infiltration caused by overflowing water.

Only use quality materials. Do not make the mistake of being a cheapskate when you are choosing a material for your gutter system. Remember that the integrity of your house relies on a function gutter system. In my own experience, cheap products will also give you headache in the future.

For more information about gutter system, read the other articles on this site.

Guttering Tips To Help You Avoid Expensive Repairs

gutterGutters are probably the one part of the home that is often neglected by its owners. This seems unusual given that gutters carry vital function for the home by securing the house from water damage. Gutters will funnel excess water to avoid it getting into the walls and damaging the foundation. A good flow in the gutters ensure that your foundation will last a long time. Do not make the mistake of ignoring your gutters because gutters can’t clean themselves. Proper maintenance is still needed if you want your gutters to function properly. Below are some of the most important gutter maintenance tips that you should use to keep your gutters strong and working properly.

Routine cleaning of your gutters

Wash your gutters regularly and when you can. If your gutters capture fallen leaves and twigs, it will soon fill up. To avoid this from happening, clean your gutters at least four times a year. If your gutters are only used for rain collection and protection, you can get away with cleaning it twice a year.

Check your gutters in spring, summer, autumn and wintertime. Basically, check your gutter condition whenever there’s a seasonal change. If you suspect any kind of damage, get on top of it by repairing it as soon as possible.

Clean out the particles

Particles like leaves and even small debris would gradually accumulate given enough time. Make sure that you are on top of it before they do damage on the gutters. With enough mass, they have the potential to wreak havoc on your gutters. And since most of them are too small, they can be hard to remove especially when they get stuck in hard to reach areas. To rid your gutters of these small debris, you need to wash them out regularly.

Check for any blocked gutter guards to avoid overflow. If your gutters stay obstructed, they will not function efficiently which will lead to water overflow on your roof.

Check for rust, holes and scratches

Gutters will protect your walls and foundations from water flowing due to rain. Since they will almost always have something on them no matter the weather, they are very prone to corrosion. To avoid corrosion or rusting problems, inspect your gutters for any kinds of damage. Check for dents, blemishes and other signs of rust damage. If untreated, even a small rust can consume a big chunk of your gutter. To stop it from happening, you need to remove the rust as soon as you see a sign of it.

Do not delay your repairs

If you delay your repairs, it will only cost you more in the long run. Always examine your gutters for any kind of splits and damage and if you suspect any damage, big or small, don’t hesitate to check on it. Do not make the mistake of delaying your repairs because you’re afraid of the expense. The sooner you get it fixed, the more money you will save. Check this site for more information –

Gutter Cleaning Tips For Homeowners

well_001Gutter cleaning can be a dangerous and difficult chore. It is a time consuming and tricky work that requires great attention to ensure safety. Unfortunately, not many homeowners put off their gutter cleaning until there is a problem. The reality is you need to clean your gutters at least twice a year. Once in early spring and again in late fall. It is important to thoroughly clean your gutters during these times of the year to ensure that your gutter system won’t fail before the season starts.

It is essential that you practice caution and safety when cleaning your gutter system. Keep in mind that it is a dangerous activity that you lead to serious injury if you’re not careful.

It is important that you use the proper tools when doing your gutter cleaning. You need to prepare them prior to cleaning your gutters so you’ll spend less time cleaning it. The materials you need are:

  • Gloves
  • Strong ladder
  • Bucket
  • Gutter scoop
  • Water hose
  • Additional house maintenance tools

You can also bring additional tools if you feel like it.

The first step to cleaning your gutter system is to gain access to the gutter system. I cannot stress enough how important your ladder is when cleaning your gutters. A lot of accidents are caused by homeowners not using their ladders correctly. Most gutter systems are not sturdy enough to support a fully grown man. Ensure that you are ensuring a sturdy and solid ladder. Lean the ladder against a solid surface and not directly onto the gutter system. Ensure that the base of the ladder is on solid ground. A good rule of thumb is to move the ladder base away from the wall at least one foot for every 4 feet the ladder is going up.

You need to assemble all the materials you’re going to use before climbing the ladder. Avoid assembling and scrambling the materials you need while you’re on the ladder to ensure that you have good balance. Additionally, do not climb yourself on the topmost part of the ladder. You should be able to touch the side of the ladder with at least one hand. This means that you should work at least 3 levels below the top level of the ladder.

Gloves are important in gutter cleaning. There are many sharp edges in the gutter system that can easily get you cut if you’re not careful. There is no way of knowing what you will find on your gutter system and this can add to the danger of cleaning your gutters. To protect yourself from unknown things inside the gutters, you need to wear gutters.

Put the debris and dirt on the bucket using your gutter scoop. Make sure that the bucket is secured to avoid becoming off-balance and getting into an accident while cleaning. For more information, please visit Akron Gutter Repair and call the number on the site.

Your spring home maintenance checklist

  •  (David Morello Garden Enterprises, Inc. / Houzz)

  •  (Chase & Arnold, Inc. / Houzz)

  •  (Visual Jill Interior Decorating / Houzz)

With the days lengthening and weather warming, spring is a good time to get outdoors and tackle some larger home projects. Now that the threat of winter storms has passed, you can look for damage and make any needed repairs, as well as prep your home and garden for summer. We spoke with an expert to get helpful tips on what to watch for this season, from proper irrigation to mosquitoes and termites.

RELATED: A First Time Buyers Guide to Home Maintenance

1. Clean gutters and downspouts. After the last frost has passed, its important to have your gutters and downspouts cleaned and repaired. Clogged gutters and downspouts can cause the wood trim at the eaves to rot, and that can invite all kinds of critters into your attic space, says Victor Sedinger, certified home inspector and owner of House Exam Inspection and Consulting.

Having your gutters and downspouts cleaned early in the season can also help prevent damage from spring rains. Gutters and downspouts should be clean and running free, Sedinger says. If your downspouts are installed properly, water is diverted away from the house so that no water collects around your foundation.

2. Reseal exterior woodwork. Wood decks, fences, railings, trellises, pergolas and other outdoor structures will last longer and stay in better condition if theyre stained or resealed every year or two. Take this opportunity to make any needed repairs to woodwork as well.

3. Check for signs of termites. Beginning in March and going through May or June, be on the lookout for these winged insects. Termites swarm in the spring, Sedinger says. If theres a bunch of winged insects flying out of a hole in the woodwork, thats probably termites. Call a licensed professional pest control company. Youll save money and trouble in the long run.

4. Inspect roof. Winter storms can take quite a toll on the roof. When spring arrives, start by making a simple visual inspection of your roof. It doesnt require a ladder, and you certainly dont have to get on a roof to look, Sedinger says. Use binoculars or a camera or smartphone with a telephoto feature if you need to. Look for missing shingles, metal pipes that are damaged or missing or anything that simply doesnt look right. If you notice anything that needs closer inspection or repair, call a roofer.

5. Paint exterior. If youre planning to repaint your homes exterior this year, spring is a good time to set it up. Want to paint but cant decide on a color? Explore your town and snap pictures of house colors you like, browse photos on Houzz or work with a color consultant to get that just-right hue.

RELATED: Browse Thousands of Exterior Photos on Houzz

6. Inspect driveways and paths. Freezing and thawing is rough on concrete, asphalt and other hardscaping materials. Take a walk around your property to look for damage to walkways, paths and driveways, and schedule repairs as needed. Asphalt can often be patched, but damaged concrete may need to be replaced entirely.

7. Check sprinkler and irrigation systems. Checking your sprinklers or irrigation systems in the spring can save water and save your plants. Sedinger shares these tips for checking your watering system:

  • Run the system through all the zones manually and walk the property.
  • Make sure none of the heads are broken or damaged.
  • Adjust any heads that are spraying the house, especially windows, as this can cause moisture problems.
  • Adjust heads that are spraying the street, sidewalk or porches to avoid wasting water.
  • If you dont know how to maintain your sprinkler system, call a professional to do it. Youll save money on your water bill and protect one of our most valuable natural resources.

8. Prevent mosquitoes. In recent years, weve become more aware of the potential danger mosquitos can pose to our health. West Nile virus and Zika virus are just the latest diseases caused by these winged pests, Sedinger says. The best way to prevent mosquitos around your home is simply by getting rid of any standing water. Walk around your property [and peek at your neighbors]. If you see anything or any area where water stands, fix it, tip it, get rid of it or maintain it regularly, Sedinger says.

9. Check screen doors and windows. Screens are designed to let the breeze flow in and keep bugs out but they can only do their job if theyre free from holes and tears. Before setting up your screens for the warm months ahead, be sure to carefully check each one and repair any holes or tears, no matter how small. You can find screen repair kits at most hardware and home improvement stores.

RELATED: Freshen Up Your House With a New Front Door

10. Schedule air-conditioning service. Home inspectors see a lot of air-conditioning systems that are just not taken care of, Sedinger says. Just because it gets cool doesnt mean its working efficiently. To get the longest life out of your cooling system and keep it running as efficiently as possible, change the filters at least once each season, and hire a licensed professional to service the equipment before the start of summer.

GOP Wants To Help Federal Contractors Hide Civil Rights Violations

WASHINGTON — A Republican lawmaker is quietly trying to slip language into a defense bill that would block President Barack Obama’s executive order requiring federal contractors to disclose civil rights violations.

The House Armed Services Committee is set to take up the massive 2017 defense authorization bill on Wednesday, and when it does, there will be an amendment in the mix to make defense contractors immune to the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Executive Order. That executive order requires contractors who have committed civil rights or labor violations to disclose that they’ve done so when they apply for new government contracts.

It’s unclear who authored the GOP amendment, which you can read here. But it’s expected to get a vote during the committee’s marathon hearing, which will run from Wednesday morning through early Thursday morning.

Rep. Adam Smith (D-Calif.), the top Democrat on the committee, said he’ll oppose any effort to override the executive order. Obama signed it in July 2014, but it is still being rolled out and is on track to take effect later this year.

“We should not be making it easier for companies that violate labor, safety, or gender and racial equity laws to acquire government contracts,” Smith said in a statement. “It is common sense that when the Defense Department or Nuclear Security Administration is choosing who it will work with, it should have sufficient information about any violations to know what it is getting into.”

Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-Texas), the committee chairman and author of the defense bill, did not respond to a request for comment.

The defense authorization bill is must-pass legislation that Congress takes up every year, and because of its size (it’s 758 pages this year) and necessity, it’s prime for amendments that target hot-button social issues. Republicans tucked anti-gay language into it in 20112012 and 2013. There was abortion language in it in 2012. In a last-ditch effort in late 2014, Democrats tried to attach an entire bill to it that would prohibit workplace discrimination against LGBT people. Republicans rejected that effort.

Expectations From a Good Gutter Repair Service

gutter_cleaningCleaning your gutter is one of those things that you dread doing even if it’s only a once a year task. The hassle of climbing a ladder to the roof and reaching hard-to-reach places can be quite risky. If you are not familiar with home maintenance like gutter cleaning, you may find it a bit too risky for you. By all means, it isn’t as dangerous as some would say but a lot can go wrong while doing it, especially if you’re not equipped with the right tools.

If you’re just like any other person, you may have put off cleaning your gutters a few times. Postponing your gutter maintenance duties can lead to costly damage to your gutter systems due to accumulation of debris. To avoid this problem altogether, you should definitely consider hiring a gutter repair service company. They are able to fix your gutter system and ensure that it works efficiently just like before.

Explore your options

There are many gutter options to choose from. Explore different products and do your own research before talking to any professionals. It’s helpful that you know what’s available to have an idea of which product is best suited to your home. Educating yourself with different gutter systems will put you in a position of knowledge. You can avoid any additional fees if you invest a little of your time into doing some research.

Ask about their services

Find out more information about gutter cleaning services by professionals by asking them their methods of cleaning. Ask how many years have they been in the business. Generally, just get a feel of how capable they are and that should give you an idea of how they conduct their business. If you are happy with all their answers, it’s likely that you will be happy with their service.

Cleaning Services

Find out about gutter-cleaning services offered by professionals. Ask about the methods of cleaning used by various companies and the recommended timing of the cleaning – likely once or twice a year to minimize accumulating debris. Ask about pricing and any discounts for repeat business as well – many companies will give returning customers a discount off future jobs.

Request quotes

Request estimates from all companies that you are considering for gutter repair and maintenance. Once you have received many estimates, compare them all to have an idea of what the average cost is. Once you have an idea of how much it really cost, you will have a clearer criteria for judging. You can judge them based on their experience and skill level. If you want a lower rate, you can request for a re-evaluation. Tip – new businesses can be lowballed more easily compared to old businesses so use it to your advantage.

Insurance Coverage and warranty

Any good company will carry company liability insurance to protect all their customers from potential damage. If you want more detailed information about their insurance, you can directly ask them. You can also ask them about their warranties, in case they have any. For instance, if you are unhappy with what you got, you should have an idea of your next recourse of action. This is the reason why you need to know if they have any warranties in place.