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Advice for Safely Cleaning Your Gutters

December 14th, 2015 | No Comments »

safety advice for cleaning guttersWhether you are cleaning out gutters clogged with leaves and twigs or removing heavy icicles that can warp gutters and prevent proper damage, it is important to do so safely. Slips and falls are an unfortunate possibility, which is why it is necessary to educate yourself on how to properly clean out your gutters before heading out to do the job. Use proper safety techniques when putting up your ladder and work with a partner to ensure that help is there in case of an accident. Follow these words of advice and you will be able to clear your gutters quickly and safely this season!

Use Your Ladder Safely

Using your ladder properly is an easy way to prevent injury while cleaning out your gutters. A sturdy ladder will make cleaning easier and will prevent you from getting hurt on the job. Before getting on your ladder, check to make sure it is stabilized, on a flat surface with no loose parts. If you are using a step ladder, like many do for cleaning first story gutters, be sure that the arms are fully extended and hinges are locked in place. We recommend having someone steady it for you while you are working, always moving it before you have to extend your reach too far. While getting up and down the ladder repeatedly may seem like an annoyance, it will prevent you from slipping and falling.

Wear Proper Gear

Another key component to ladder safety is wearing proper clothing. When working on any project outside, it is important to wear close-toed, rubber-soled shoes. Especially important if you have to climb onto your roof while cleaning, rubber-soles have the best grip, helping to prevent falls. You should also wear long sleeves, thick gloves and goggles while cleaning your gutters to prevent dirt and debris from scraping up your skin and getting into your eyes. From animal feces to rotting leaves, there are a lot of gross things that can be in your gutters, which is why we recommend covering your hands and arms to keep them clean and scratch-free.

Reduce Cleaning Time

Another great way to stay safe while cleaning your gutters is to invest in Gutter Guards. By preventing debris from getting into your gutters, you will rarely have to get up on a ladder to perform cleaning, preventing the possibility of an accident from ever happening.

To have Gutter Guards or new gutters installing on your Northern or Central New Jersey home, contact Bell Seamless Gutters at 1-800-597-1616 today!

Sources: http://www.cmmonline.com/articles/229822-gutter-cleaning-tips-that-can-save-your-life.

How Often Should You Clean the Gutters?

April 15th, 2014 | No Comments »

gutter repairsAll the homeowners out there know it is important to clean your gutters. What you may not know is how often you should do this. It is suggested you clean 3-4 times a year. Most people only clean once a year, if they remember. Not all homeowners know what they are risking by not properly maintaining gutter flow.

Sidewalk Hazards- This may not just be a risk to the sidewalk but to a lawsuit. If water builds up on your sidewalks and freezes it is great breeding ground for a lawsuit!

Leaking Basement- With inadequately functioning gutters water builds up around the foundation that can cause leaks into your basement. Meaning money flying out of your pocket!

Foundation Cracking- If you have a leaky basement you have cracks in your foundation. This can become extremely dangerous in the winter due to frost heave. Water gets into the cracks that have already formed and then it freezes when cold enough. We all know from that elementary school experiment when water freezes it takes up more space. More space that it will create and cause even more damage to your foundation. You know the saying you need to start with a good foundation, if not the whole thing will crumble.

Rotting Wood- IF you are not cleaning out the gutters then water is simply spilling over the top and rolling down the side. Under you gutters and roof is wood, when wood gets wet it rots.

Leaky roofs- If that wood we already spoke about rots and deteriorates then you will have a leaky roof. You do not want to put placing pots all over you house to catch those leaks.

Washed out landscape- If you have any newer/young landscaping that has recently been done you can count on paying to do it all over again. If there is not proper drainage the rain will come and puddle where you don’t want and you can say goodbye to the over-watered plants you paid plenty for already.

Damaged driveways- Much like damaged sidewalks, your driveway can suffer the same fate. Your driveway has already taken a beating from you driving on it why put any more stress on it and cause more headaches for yourself.

Moral of the story? Clean the gutters, OFTEN!

 

 

 

Top Spring Cleaning Tips For Your Gutters and Downspouts

March 27th, 2014 | No Comments »

gutter maintenanceIn many areas of the country, the spring season can bring a lot of rain with it; and our gutters will get a lot of use during this time of year. Most homeowners know that clean gutters are gutters that work. If they are dirty and clogged, they will be of no use when the rain showers start flowing through.

Here are some valuable tips for maintenance and cleaning, to keep your gutters in great shape for the spring and summer weather.

Prevention Tips:

By using a few prevention methods, you can avoid the problem of clogged and dirty gutters, and save yourself a lot of cleaning time this spring.

Mesh and screens: Plastic and metal screens with holes or slits in them, are good for allowing the rain to pass through, but help to block solid debris. Be careful with screens that have slits instead of holes, they can sometimes also keep water from passing through. If using mesh, or some form of stainless steel netting, installed flat or angled, it can act as a good strainer for the gutter.

Solid covers: Molded plastic covers will allow a big enough space for rain and water to flow through, and any solid debris will normally bounce off of the gutter cover and fall to the ground, to be retrieved later.

Cleaning Tips:

If your gutters are already clogged, here are some tips to clean them and restore the gutters to their usefulness.

  • Always inspect your gutters regularly to see if they are clogged and dirty. If they are, use a hose to flush out the gutters and downspouts.
  • Check to see if gutters are unclogged, by using a garden hose to run water through, and see if it flows through easily.
  • Make sure that there are no areas of “pooling” in your gutters. Pooling means that there may be sagging areas or areas that are sloping.
  • If you find any leaks, they need to be repaired immediately.
  • Notice if there is any water spilling over the edges of the gutter. This means that there is debris jammed in a certain area of the gutter. If this happens, thoroughly clean gutters and downspouts until water runs effortlessly through. Then install a protective cover if needed.
  • Inspect downspouts to be sure that they are securely connected to the gutters. Downspouts should be extended enough to move the rain and water, at least 3 feet away from the foundation of the home. Rain or water that flows to the ground, any closer to the home’s foundation, can cause serious damage.

The Importance of Clean Gutters and Downspouts

January 6th, 2014 | No Comments »

Functioning downspouts and gutters are the tickets to preventing excess water leakage into the windows, roof, siding, basement and foundation of your home. With heavy rain, fallen leaves, sticks and snow, your gutter and downspout system won’t have the ability to runoff water efficiently. This is why we urge homeowners to take the time to clean gutters and downspouts.

 

Gutters have the job of catching water and keeping it away from the foundation while downspouts channel the water away and into the ground. It is much more difficult to determine clogs in a downspout so you might have to take it off the gutter and inspect with a flashlight.

 

Conducting this type of cleaning shouldn’t take too much time and no more than a garbage bag, gloves and ladder are needed. Cleaning should be done every few weeks and especially after a heavy storm or snowfall.

 

After you’ve cleared the debris you should assess any damage that’s been done to either gutter or downspout. Start by making sure the gutters are properly fastened to the house and that the downspout is secured to the gutter. Also check for cracks, rust or dry rot spots.

 

If you need professional assistance with maintaining, repairing or replacing a gutter system, contact Bell Seamless Gutters today.

 

New Jersey, watch out for copper gutter thieves

December 17th, 2012 | No Comments »

Around this time of the year, you don’t just have to worry about frozen debris in your gutters; you also have to worry about thieves!  The holidays bring out the best and worst in people.  It’s no secret that some people are desperate for money in December.  One must purchase gifts for everyone.  You should keep an eye on your gutters, especially if they’re copper gutters.

Copper, as a material, can take a lot of pressure and stress.   If you’re in the New Jersey area and need a copper consultation, please give us a call.  Copper gutters are longer lasting than your average gutter system.   Not only are they durable, they ‘re also aesthetically pleasing and can add to a house’s appeal.   Copper gutters, therefore, are expensive and can fetch a pretty penny on shadier markets.  Although copper gutters are a sound purchase, please keep in mind the possibility that a thief may have his eyes on them.

In New Canaan CT, for example, someone recently stole around $50,000 worth of copper gutters.  Christina Commendatore, of the NC Advertiser, reports, “Police said the homeowner noticed part of a gutter on the ground by his garage a week earlier.  When he went to repair the gutter, he noticed 10 sections were missing from around the house to the garage.” That’s an enormous amount of money! You can look over the article here.

In my opinion, it seems that the perpetrator had been casing the house.  This crime could’ve been in plans for weeks or even months!  If you have copper gutters, keep an eye for any suspicious activity, such as unfamiliar cars.  Copper gutters are certainly a good purchase, for both durability and aesthetic appeal, but copper in any form is popular among thieves.  Be leery of gutter thieves!