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Maintain Your Gutter System to Prevent Costly Water Damage

January 31st, 2018 | No Comments »

Maintain Your Gutter System to Prevent Costly Water DamageDid you know that nearly 40 percent of U.S. homeowners have suffered monetary losses due to water damage? Every year, claims related to mold and water damage cost insurance companies more than $2 billion. The average cost of each water damage insurance claim is about $7,000.

Water damage is one of the most common and costly expenses associated with owning a home.

With these troubling statistics in mind, it’s important for homeowners to do whatever they can to prevent moisture intrusions from damaging basements, foundations, drywall and more. This doesn’t necessarily mean you need to completely overhaul your plumbing system, though.

In fact, a little gutter maintenance can go a long way.

Your gutter system isn’t just an attractive accessory for your home’s roof. It also serves an important practical purpose, diverting rainwater away from your home so that it can’t stain siding and pool around the foundation. When gutters become clogged with debris, they cease to function effectively. This, in turn, can cause siding and foundations to wear prematurely due to increased moisture exposure.

By cleaning out your gutters in the fall and spring, and making sure your downspouts discharge far away from your home’s foundation, you can easily prevent at least one common cause of water damage. This is also a great opportunity to inspect your gutters for signs of damage. If you spot any sagging or leaky gutter sections, we can repair them quickly to ensure they continue to serve you well.

If you have any other lingering questions about your gutter system, feel free to give us a call or contact us online today!

Beware of “Salting” Your Gutters This Winter

January 12th, 2018 | No Comments »

Beware of “Salting” Your Gutters This WinterAre you looking for ways to control snow and ice buildup in your gutter system this winter? If so, you may have heard that “salting” your gutters can help. This process typically involves filling socks or cloth bags with rock salt, and then laying them inside your gutters to help melt ice and snow. This might seem like a good idea, but unfortunately it can actually do more harm than good. Today we’ll look at a few good reasons to think twice about using rock salt in your gutter system.

It Can Corrode Gutters

Because the interior surfaces of your gutter system aren’t painted, they’re vulnerable to corrosion from rock salt. When water and salt wash through your home’s gutters, the solution will eventually chew holes straight through to the bottom. This will effectively render your gutters useless and force you to make repairs in the spring.  

It Can Kill Vegetation

Rock salt is also toxic to grasses and other vegetation. If your downspout discharges a salt water solution into your lawn, you could wind up with large patches of dead grass in the spring. If it discharges near shrubs or a flowerbed, it could also undo some of your landscaping efforts.

It Can Damage Concrete Surfaces

Rock salt can also accelerate wear on concrete sidewalks and driveways. If your downspouts don’t discharge far enough away from your home, a salt water solution could even damage your home’s concrete foundation.

Ultimately, salting your gutters is not a viable solution to snow and ice buildup. Instead, take steps to prevent ice damming on your roof and consider installing gutter guards to prevent solid debris from accumulating in your gutters during the winter.

Why Are Aluminum Gutters So Popular?

January 5th, 2018 | No Comments »

Why Are Aluminum Gutters So Popular? Aluminum gutters aren’t the only options available to homeowners, but they are by far the most popular ones. Gutters are also available in other materials like vinyl, stainless steel and even copper, but none of these alternatives are as ubiquitous as aluminum gutters. So why are aluminum gutters the preferred choice of so many homeowners?

Aluminum offers a unique balance of affordability, durability and versatility.

Aluminum gutters are far more durable–but only slightly more expensive—than vinyl options. In areas that are prone to heavy snowfalls and other extreme weather events, aluminum is a particularly good option when compared to vinyl. It’s also available in multiple gauges of varying thickness for additional strength.

Aluminum is somewhat less durable than stainless steel and copper, but it is also far less expensive than these heavy-duty options. Stainless steel gutters typically start at around $20 per linear foot, whereas aluminum gutters cost only about $4 to $9 per linear foot.

In addition to being durable and affordable, aluminum gutters are also available in many different colors and configurations. This allows them to be easily customized to suit the aesthetic of a home. Whereas vinyl gutters are only available in fixed lengths, seamless aluminum gutters can be cut to the exact size needed for each application. This results in a finished product that is not only more structurally sound, but also better looking.

Interested in replacing your aging gutters with new seamless aluminum gutters? The team at Bell Seamless Gutters would be happy to help. Just give us a call or contact us online today to get started!

Amateur Scientist Finds Meteorite Particles in Rain Gutters

December 18th, 2017 | No Comments »

Tired of pulling handfuls of wet leaves, twigs and pinecones out of your gutters every year? Well, if you look a little closer, you might find something much more interesting in there, too.

Jon Larsen is an amateur scientist and jazz musician from Norway who has spent years sifting through the dust particles that accumulate in rain gutters in search of cosmic debris. Although some academics initially discredited his eccentric endeavor, Larsen recently made a major breakthrough that has excited many people in the scientific community.

After scouring the rooftops of Oslo, Paris and Berlin for 5 years, Larsen finally found what he was looking for—micrometorite dust that originated outside our atmosphere.

Now, Larsen is working with Dr. Matthew Genge of Imperial College London to analyze his specimens and learn more about their origins. These tiny dust particles offer a unique look at some of the Earth’s most recent contact with celestial bodies like asteroids and comets.

“Because they’ve been largely collected from roofs on commercial buildings, those buildings have their gutters cleaned at least every 3-5 years, so we know these [particles] have landed on Earth at least in the last 5 years,” said Genge in an interview. “Whereas the particles found on the seabed are up to 50,000 years old, these are a sample of what’s landing on Earth, practically today.”

By studying the differences between ancient dust found on the seabed and the much younger dust found in gutters, Genge and Larsen hope to learn more about how our solar system has changed over the course of the last several thousand years. It just goes to show that there are all kinds of amazing discoveries just waiting to be made in the most unexpected places—even hidden in the bottom of your rain gutters!

What Can You Do to Prevent Ice Dams on Your Roof?

December 6th, 2017 | No Comments »

What Can You Do to Prevent Ice Dams on Your Roof?Ice dams are one of the most common causes of roof and gutter damage during the winter. Ice dams typically form near a home’s roofline as a result of residual heat in the attic. The heat from the attic causes snow and ice on top of the roof to melt, but when the water runs down the roof and reaches the edge, it stops and re-freezes. The resulting ice can then trap more water, and ultimately lead to huge, heavy ice dams that pose a threat to your roof and gutter system. The good news is, there are a few steps you can take to prevent ice dams from developing on your roof this winter.

Prevent heat buildup in the attic.

On cold days, it’s important to keep heat contained in your home and prevent it from building up in the attic. Keep attic doors closed, and consider having your attic inspected for sources of heat loss such as gaps in drywall and spaces around light fixtures. These gaps should be sealed to maintain a consistent temperature in the attic.

Check your insulation.

In addition to sealing your attic space, you should also be sure to inspect the condition of your attic’s insulation. If there isn’t enough insulation, or if the insulation is worn and damaged, the attic will be more likely to experience extreme temperature fluctuations. This, in turn, can make your roof more prone to ice dam buildup.

Make sure the attic is properly ventilated.

Do you have enough vents in your attic? If not, warm air might be getting trapped there on cold days. Proper ventilation can help maintain the temperature equilibrium in your attic, thereby preventing the roof from warming up and generating ice dams. As a general rule of thumb, you should have 1 square foot of vent space for every 300 square feet of attic floor space.

If your gutter system is damaged by ice dams this winter, the team at Bell Seamless Gutters can help. Give us a call or contact us online to learn more about our repair and replacement services today!