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A Brief History of Residential Rain Gutters

August 14th, 2019 | No Comments »

GargoyleEver wonder how long people have been using rain gutters in their homes, and what kinds of materials have been used in gutters throughout history?

Today we’ll address a few landmark events in the long history of residential rain gutters.

It all started in the Indus Valley, in what is present-day Pakistan and northwestern India. Between 3000 and 1500 B.C., humans began constructing primitive rain gutters made of burnt clay bricks. Centuries later, between 27 B.C. and 14 A.D. the Romans began to develop basic gutter technology as well.

A major change took place in Britain, during the spread of the Norman Empire between the 10th and 13th centuries. You’ve probably seen gargoyles in photos of medieval European buildings, but did you know that these sculptures aren’t purely decorative? Evolving roof styles during this period led builders to use stone gargoyles as innovative gutter systems that discharge water through their mouths. In fact, the word gargoyle is derived from the older French word for a throat, gargouille.

Later builders manufactured gutters from lead. That changed in the early 1700s, when cast iron became plentiful and cheap, replacing lead as the most popular material in gutter fabrication. Later in the century, wealthy homes and public buildings began to use aesthetically pleasing and functional wooden V-shaped gutters instead.

New technologies in the 20th century, such as metal rolling machines, led to further changes in the gutter industry. In the 1960s, the seamless aluminum gutter machine was invented. Aluminum gutters are sturdier and lighter than gutters made from many other materials, and aluminum continues to be the most common gutter material today. 

At Bell Seamless Gutters, we’re proud to offer durable, long-lasting seamless gutters and gutter guards to homeowners throughout New Jersey. To learn more about all the gutter options we have available, feel free to give us a call or contact us online today!

Practical Benefits of Rainwater Collection Systems

July 12th, 2019 | No Comments »

rainwater collectionA simple rainwater collection system offers numerous practical benefits. Not only will you save money and help protect the environment, your plants will also thank you. Read on to learn more:

Reduce Your Water Bill

During the summer months, garden and lawn irrigation accounts for about 40 percent of residential water use, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. With a rainwater collection system, you can effectively water your lawn for free! Not only will you be saving cash, you’ll also be easing the burden on your well or municipal water supply. By using collected rainwater, you can save up to 1,300 gallons of water during the growing season.

Prevent Environmentally-Harmful Runoff

Rainwater runoff from roofs is a major environmental problem in urban and suburban areas. This runoff can pollute waterways with pesticides, fertilizers and other contaminants. Fertilizers increase the presence of harmful algae in lakes, and soil from runoff harmfully alters the habitat of fish. Reduce runoff on your property by using a rainwater collection system.

Stop Your Yard From Eroding

Runoff doesn’t just harm the environment—it can also affect your yard. If you have an erosion problem on a section of your lawn adjacent to a downspout, adding a rain barrel will help.

Help Your Plants Grow

Rainwater doesn’t contain the fluoride compounds and inorganic ions commonly found in tap water. By using rainwater to irrigate your garden, you’ll help clear the soil of salt buildup and create an environment conducive to healthy root development.

At Bell Seamless Gutters, we can implement a modern, convenient rainwater collection system into your existing gutter system. To learn more, feel free to give us a call at our toll-free number or contact us online today!

How to Quiet Noisy Downspouts and Gutters

June 25th, 2019 | No Comments »

Water From DownspoutIf you’ve ever lost sleep to the irritating drip-drip-drip of water in your downspouts and gutters, you might be looking for inexpensive ways to keep them quiet during heavy rainstorms. The good news is, there are a few simple strategies you can use to muffle the sound from gutters and downspouts so you can sleep soundly through those warm summer storms.

Replace Metal Elbows With PVC

Metal elbows can actually amplify the trickling and dripping sounds of water. PVC will help reduce the echo and mitigate this noise.

Check for Loose Downspout Straps

What’s just as annoying as dripping water? Rattling downspouts! Check to make sure none of your home’s downspout straps are loose.

Absorb the Water

Placing a piece of sponge or artificial turf in the bottom of a downspout will absorb drips and reduce noise.

Change the Downspout Angle

Angling the ends of your downspouts further away from the house will help water flow seamlessly down without dripping and splashing.

Muffle the Noise

Try wrapping foam insulators around your downspouts to muffle the sound of dripping water. Insulation will minimize surface vibrations and lessen the noise.

Try the Rope Trick

Grab some caulk and some 3/8-inch diameter nylon or poly rope. Caulk around the gutter drain and run the rope down the entire length of your downspouts. This will cause the water to wick down the rope instead of making that dreaded dripping noise when it hits the elbow.

Call the Pros

So you’ve tried all of the above and you’re still lying awake at night listening to the sounds of dripping water. Call Bell Seamless Gutters at (800) 597-1616 or contact us online today for a free estimate to help solve your problem. Serving New Jersey since 1956, Bell Seamless Gutters has helped countless homeowners with comprehensive gutter installation and repair.

Will Your Homeowners Insurance Cover Gutter Damage?

May 13th, 2019 | No Comments »

Insurance ClaimWere the gutters on your home damaged in a recent storm? If so, you may be wondering whether you should contact your homeowners insurance company to file a claim. Is this type of damage covered by your policy, or will you have to pay out of your own pocket to have it repaired? The answers to the questions below will help you determine if it’s worth filing a claim with your insurance company.

How were your gutters damaged?

Did heavy winds tear your gutters from their brackets, or were your gutters damaged as a result of vandalism or fire? In these cases, there’s a good chance that your insurance company will cover the damaged sustained by your gutters. If, on the other hand, your gutters were damaged due to general wear and tear, you will probably have to pay for the repairs yourself.

What does your insurance policy cover?

Most homeowners insurance policies protect against either “named perils” or “all risks.” A named-perils insurance policy will only protect your gutters in certain instances. An all-risks insurance policy, meanwhile, will protect your gutters in almost all cases. There are some exceptions when it comes to all risks policies, though. Many insurance companies won’t cover gutter damage caused by extreme events like earthquakes and floods.

Did you do everything you could to prevent the damage?

Before a homeowners insurance company agrees to pay for repairs, they’ll usually assess the extent to which you maintained and cared for your gutters. If they determine that the gutters were damaged as a result of negligence, they may not cover the cost of repairs. This constitutes yet another reason why it’s so important for homeowners to clean and inspect their gutters on a regular basis.

Interested in replacing your home’s old gutters with a modern, durable seamless gutter system? The team at Bell Seamless Gutters would be happy to lend a hand. Just give us a call or contact us online today to get started!

Keep an Eye out for These Telltale Signs of Gutter Issues

April 24th, 2019 | No Comments »

Heavy RainBecause they rest above eye level, it can be difficult for homeowners to identify minor gutter issues before they become full-blown failures. However, there are a few telltale signs that your gutters have become worn or damaged. Walk around your property and look for the following indicators that your gutters need attention.

Gutter Damage

You can easily spot many external indicators of damage and wear from the ground. Look for sagging, cracks, visible rust and areas where gutters are detached. Black streaks can also be indicative of dirty water spilling over the side where gutters are not clogged or damaged.

Pooling Water or Dry Downspouts

After the next rainstorm, inspect downspouts and look at the landscape around your house. Your downspouts should all be discharging similar amounts of water. If any of them are running dry, a gutter may be clogged. Water spilling over the side of the gutters and areas of standing water below the gutters are also common signs of clogged gutters.

Interior Leaks

Is water seeping into your home during heavy storms? Water from the ceiling is an indicator of a roof leak, while water from walls or the corner of the ceiling is a reliable indicator of damaged gutters.  

Exterior Damage

Is the siding stained or the paint peeling or exterior wood rotting? Perhaps you notice areas of mold streaking exterior walls or eaves. Does it appear that dirt has been splashed up against the side of your home? If so, all these things are indicators you may have gutter problems. Overflowing gutters can splash on walls, and the residual moisture leaves telltale marks and backsplash.

Sudden gutter failures may seem somewhat mysterious, but there are usually indicators that failure is on its way. Taking a moment to examine your gutters now can save you time and money in the long run.