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Frozen Downspouts


Frozen Downspouts Frozen Downspouts. Ice happens in the winter months. You cannot prevent mother nature for happening but you can prevent the amount of build up that is left to freeze. Frozen downspouts can happen and when they do, this is the best course of action to take. Frozen downspouts; Now what to do. Typically in this part of Virginia, a cold snap doesn’t last too long unless there is snow involved. Check the weather. If the temperatures are rising above freezing in a couple days, let it go. As long as your gutters are clean and free of debris you should be fine and the ice will melt and water will move away from your home, like normal. If the ice is building up at the bottom of your downspout, clear the snow away from it and this will give the ice/water room to move.   If the weather seems like it will be at or below freezing for a while. Take some action. Heavy frozen ice can cause a lot of damage and put A LOT of weight on your gutters. As the weight increases the odds of your gutters or downspouts tearing away from your home go up. This can lead to bigger fixes such as water leaks or improper drainage.   A good way to unthaw a downspout that has frozen at the bottom is by using VERY hot water to melt it. If it’s frozen throughout the downspout, you can climb a ladder and pour water into the top, which can unthaw mild ice buildup. If the inside doesn’t work, try the OUTSIDE of the downspout. Never use force because this can truly mess up your downspout. Also never climb a ladder in wet conditions. It’s too dangerous and never worth the risk. For a free estimate on gutter cleaning, repairs or adding gutter guards, call us today! Our experienced team will take the guess-work out of the process, and ensure that your home is protected. Connect with us for daily inspiration, updates and information: Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Instagram  

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Proper Ladder Safety


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Proper Ladder Safety Proper Ladder Safety is a vitally important part of home maintenance. A step between a job well done and very serious injury or death. It’s no joke. All of our professional practice ladder safety and perform safety inspections to ensure that every job is followed safely. We have a few tips to help you, especially if you are DIY gutter cleaning, practice proper ladder safety and keep yourself safe. We first start out by inspecting our ladders. Prior to using a ladder we check it to make sure that it is: Free Of Cracks, Splits, Corrosion And Any Protruding Nails,screws And/or Splinters. Make Sure All Steps/rungs Are Free Of Oil/grease Or Any Other Slippery Substance Steps/rungs Firmly Attached To Side Rails And Not Broken. Safety Feet/base And Other Hardware ( Screws,etc) Are In Good Condition. Movable Parts Operate Smoothly Without Binding Or Excessive Play Ropes Are In Good Condition ( For Our Extension Ladders) After ensuring that our ladder is up to safe use standards we look at: The Location Set The Ladder Up And Away From Accidentally Be Stuck Or Displaced. If Needed, Barricade Off A Highly Visible Safety Zone In Occupied Work Areas, And Walkways. Ladders Should Not Be Placed In Front Of Doors Unless Door Is Locked Or Guard Posted. Never Use A Metal Ladder Around Expose Electrical Equipment And Wiring. Keep Ladders And Tools At Least 10 Ft Away From Overhead Lines At All Times. If There Is An Issue Contact Your Utilities Department For Assistance. Keep Access To And From Ladders Clear Of Mud, Materials And Debris. Ladder Setup When Setting Up Your Ladder Make Sure That: Ladder Set Up On A Flat Surface. If Ground Is Soft And Uneven, Use A Large Piece Of Plywood To Brace Under Ladder And Provide Better Footing. NEVER Set A Ladder On Boxes, Barrels Or Other Unstable Bases To Gain Extra Height. STEP LADDERS: Always Fully Open Stepladder And Make Sure Spreader Bars Are Locked Into Place. SINGLE/EXTENSION LADDERS: For A Proper Angle, Set The Base Of The Ladder 1 Ft Away From The Wall For Every 4 Ft Of Ladder Length And Make Sure To Let The Ladder Extend 3 Ft Above Roof. Make Sure To Secure The Ladder At The Top To Prevent Slipping Sideways Or Outwards. If This Is Not Possible Tie The Ladder At The Top And Have A 2nd Person Brace The Ladder. Climbing Remember These Tips When Climbing A Ladder: Make Sure Shoes Are Free Of Mud, Grease Or Any Other Slippery Substance. Face Ladder And Use Both Hands. Maintain 3 Points Of Contact At All Times! Do Not Carry Any Tool/materials With Your Hands. Use A Tool Belt Or Raise And Lower Items By Hand Lines. NEVER Climb The Bracing Of A Stepladder ( The Smaller Looking Steps) General Use Do Not Stand/work On The Top 3 Rungs Of A Single/ Extension Ladder. For Stepladders, Do Not Stand/work On The Topcap Or First Step. “Belt Buckle Rule”: Stay Centered, Don’t Let Your Belt Buckle Go Past Either Side Rail When Working, Keep At Least 3 Points Of Body Contact With Ladder: ⇒ 2 Feet + [1 Hand Or Hips Or Chest] Only One Person At A Time On A Ladder Never Adjust Or Move Ladder While On The Ladder Avoid Working On Ladders In High Winds Or Wet Conditions. Use these guidelines and some common sense and you will be less at risk. We know that accidents do happen, we just want to make sure that you have less of a chance for an accident if you choose to DIY gutter clean. If you do not have the right materials, tools or time to DIY please give us a call. ( source) For a free estimate on gutter cleaning, repairs or adding gutter guards, call us today! Gutters & Guards experienced team will take the guess-work out of the process, and ensure that your home is protected. Connect with us for daily inspiration, updates and information: Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Instagram

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Hanging Holiday Lights Pt 3


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Hanging Holiday Lights Pt 3 We have discussed this subjects over the past few years and this is out third installment on hanging holiday lights to explain crucial key points to help you have a safe and easy time hanging lights. A few that are crucial when preparing to hang Christmas lights. 1. Always untangle and check the lights on the strand. This is so you won’t have to untangle them while on your ladder or so they won’t short and become a potential hazard for a fire to start. 2. It’s best to not do this alone if possible.  Having someone help you by handing you supplies will not only make it go by a little faster but also they will be there for your safety. 3. Ladder safety is very important.  Make sure that the ground is even, step on the pail shelf or reach further than you can, and that someone holds the ladder for you. 38% of ladder falls happen while hanging Christmas lights. ( source ) 4. Use a timer. This can save you from having a super expensive electric bill or being the Clark Griswald of the neighborhood. (You probably shouldn’t hang your lights like him either, very dangerous.) 5. Don’t over do it. Remember that you do have an electric bill and that could ruin your holiday spirit.   To read more about the subject, please view our first blog and our second blog about it. For a free estimate on gutter cleaning, repairs or adding gutter guards, call us today! Our experienced team will take the guess-work out of the process, and ensure that your home is protected. Connect with us for daily inspiration, updates and information: Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Instagram

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Winterizing The Outside Of Your Home


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Winterizing The Outside Of Your Home Winter is fast approaching. Time to make sure our homes are ready to handle the cold weather. There are a few steps you can take to winterize the outside of your home. Clean The Gutters We always like to stress the importance of cleaning your gutters at least twice a year, one of the most important times being in the fall. Once all the leaves have fallen ( which should be around this time) that is the perfect time to clean out your gutters. It ensure that they won’t be clogged during those winter months when wet snow is sitting and melting from the roof. You may also want to consider installing gutter guards to help keep your gutters debris free. Call a professional or DIY, just get it done. Finish Up All Yard Work And Store Equipment Most of the grass has stopped growing so that means it’s time to pack up the lawn mower, weedeater and other lawn work equipment. You may also want to consider storing your patio furniture as well. This will help prevent premature aging of your lawn furniture as well. Store And Close Your Outside Faucets Making sure that you properly store and winterize your outdoor faucets can be important to ensure that not damage happens to them during those cold winter months. Check And Repair Your Sidewalks And Driveway Survey your walkways and driveway for any cracks or inconsistency that could be hazardous or troublesome to your family or guests. For a free estimate on gutter cleaning, repairs or adding gutter guards, call us today! Our experienced team will take the guess-work out of the process, and ensure that your home is protected. Connect with us for daily inspiration, updates and information: Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Instagram

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Gutter Maintenance Tip #38 – Trapped Water In Gutter


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Trapped Water In Gutter Trapped Water In Gutter. Have you noticed that a gutter has been trapping water? The cause could be a couple different issues. We going to explain what to look for and how to fix it. If you’re gutter is trapping water, there are a couple different issues that could be causing it. The first is a clogged gutter. We suggest that you clean out your gutters two times a year and more if you live in an area where there are a lot of trees. Leaves can cover the opening to the downspout and trap water in your gutter. So make sure to keep your gutters free to debris and if it becomes too much of a job hire a professional and install gutter guards. The second issue is your gutters being improperly pitched. We suggest that you give this one to the professionals. It may seem easy but this one is best left to the professionals. Gutters do not sit straight at a 90 degree angle. A professional can get the right angle and you won’t have to climb a ladder and balance at the same time. For a free estimate on gutter cleaning, repairs or adding gutter guards, call us today! Our experienced team will take the guess-work out of the process, and ensure that your home is protected. Connect with us for daily inspiration, updates and information: Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Instagram

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Gutter Maintenance Tip #37 – Exterior Gutter Cleaning Solution


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Exterior Gutter Cleaning Solution Exterior Gutter Cleaning Solution. The outside of your gutters can accumulate dirt and debris over the years. We suggest that you clean your gutters with the recommended cleaning guidelines provided by the materials. Recommend Cleaning For Gutters & Guards Gutters General Cleaning Using a garden hose to rinse off gutter system to remove dirt and debris. ( I.E. Do NOT use a power washer) Moderate Atmospheric Dirt Use garden hose to rinse off gutter and a soft-bristled brush to remove dirt. ( I.E. Do NOT use a power washer) Heavy Industrial Atmospheric Dirt Wash with same as above but use following solution. 1/3 Cup Detergent ( I.E. Tide) 2/3 Cup Trisodium Phosphate 1 Gallon Water Mildew Accumulation Mildew can be removed by using the basic cleaning solution above and the addition of sodium hypochlorite as follows: 1/3 Cup Detergent ( I.E. Tide) 2/3 Cup Trisodium Phosphate 1 Quart Sodium Hypochlorite 5% Solution ( I.E. Clorox) 3 Quarts Water CAUTION: Do not exceed recommended concentrations of cleaners. Doing so can cause damage to products surface. Avoid skin & eye contact with solution. Test any cleaner on an inconspicous area before applying to major areas. Do NOT use or mix sodium hypochlorite with other household chemicals or products containing ammonia; Doing so will release hazardous gases. Do not saturate window or door openings when cleaning your product. Tip: To minimize streaking, always clean from the bottom to the top and follow with a rinsing of clear water. Excessive scrubbing is unnecessary, can be harmful to the products, and may cause undesirable glossy areas over the finish. TIP: Pay particular attention to areas under eaves, porches, awnings, and other overhangs that have limited exposure to the natural washing effect of rainfall. For a free estimate on gutter cleaning, repairs or adding gutter guards, call us today! Our experienced team will take the guess-work out of the process, and ensure that your home is protected. Connect with us for daily inspiration, updates and information: Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Instagram

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Heating Solutions


Heating Solutionsfor your gutters. Heating Solutions. This time of year with the leaves falling, so does the temperature. As we kick on the heaters and bring out the extra blankets there are always ways to cut back on how much you spend keeping warm. There are a few myths that we are going to explore and help you find the best solution for you and your wallet. Myth: Turning the heat off during the day is the best way to conserve energy. This can be too risky due to the fact that completely turning off the heat will let the temperature drop and can leave your pipes more room to burst. Instead invest in a programmable thermostat. During the winter schedule your thermostat to drop to 68 degrees when you’re home or lower when you are sleeping or away. You can save money this way. Myth: Wood-Burning Fireplaces will reduce your heating bills. Fireplaces are meant to heat small intimate areas not large areas. There are fireplaces designed to heat but most of it comes from a central furnace. In most cases a heater is going to be the best choice from a thermal performance POV. If you do use your fireplace to heat a smaller area make sure to have it inspected once a year. Myth: Portable Space Heaters Hog Energy. If you live in a poorly insulated home, space heaters can be an energy-efficient option to heat a small area.  Some older homes do not come with central heating and a portable space heater is the best solution for heating up a space that you are frequenting. Do some research to find the best heater for you. If you home already has central heating, an portable heater can help save money if you turn down the home’s main heating system. Use it in the family room at night if your family gathers in one room for a few hours, but remember to follow safety rules like the 3ft zone rule or never leaving the heater unattended. Don’t forget to use eletric heating blankets if Myth: Having cold feet is just part of enduring the winter. Cold feet may actually be a sign that your home isn’t weatherized properly. If you feel any drafts along the floor, try to weatherstrip, caulk or seal any cracks. Also make sure that the heating vents aren’t blocked by furniture or any other objects. Consider buying an air deflector. And don’t overlook the obvious: Wear socks and slippers around the house. If you have ceiling fans, remember to switch to winter mode. For help with draft windows, or doors, give our sister company  Rempfer Construction a call.  For a free estimate on gutter cleaning, repairs or adding gutter guards, call us today! Our experienced team will take the guess-work out of the process, and ensure that your home is protected. Connect with us for daily inspiration, updates and information: Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Instagram

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Gutter Maintenance Tip #36 – Smashed Downspout


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Smashed Downspout Smashed Downspout. Damage to your downspout can happen at any time. It can cause real damage to your gutter system allow debris to gather in your downspout and backing water up and over your gutters. Thankfully replacing a downspout is a fairly easy task to do. Step 1 – Removing the Old Downspout Using a drill, unscrew the clinchers, brackets and existing downspout from the top elbow. Step 2 – Attaching New Elbows If the elbow needs replaced, remove the existing elbow attached to the gutter of the house by unscrewing the gutter screws and pulling firmly. There are normally screws on both the front and back sides of the elbow. Fit the new elbows together in the exact same shape, comparing them side by side. The pieces are designed to interlock. Use the gutter screws to replace the elbows, utilizing the same front and back holes in the gutter. The elbows should now allow for the straight section of the downspout to fit snuggly up against the house. Step 3 – Attaching the New Straight Section Measure the length of the long straight portion of the old downspout using the tape measure. Make sure the section is measured with the square shoe removed. Cut the new straight portion to the size of the old one. Fit the new square shoe on the end of the new straight section of the downspout. Make sure the square shoe faces away from the house. Attach the new downspout to the elbow S curve with two gutter screws: one front and one back. Step 4- Clinchers Using the self drilling concrete screw, attach the clinchers to the side of the house in the exact places of the previous clinchers. Use a gutter screw to attach each clincher to the gutter, holding it firmly to the house. If you do not have the time or do not have the proper tools, call a gutter company (such as Gutters & Guards, Inc.) to come out and replace the downspout for you. It will take them even less time! For a free estimate on gutter cleaning, repairs or adding gutter guards, call us today! Our experienced team will take the guess-work out of the process, and ensure that your home is protected. Connect with us for daily inspiration, updates and information: Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Instagram

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Heavy Gutter Debris


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Heavy Gutter Debris Heavy Gutter Debris. We cannot stress enough how important gutter cleaning is; heavy gutter debris can do real damage to your gutters and fascia. When you allow gutter debris to build up in your gutters, it can put a lot stress on your gutters and fascia board, more specifically the hangers that are keeping your gutters attached to your fascia board. Gutter debris wet and very heavy. If neglected long enough causes your gutters to sag. Start to pull away from the house. Make sure to clean your gutters out at least twice a year. A good way to keep most of the debris out of your gutters is to invest in gutter guards. For a free estimate on gutter cleaning, repairs or adding gutter guards, call us today! Gutters & Guards experienced team will take the guess-work out of the process, and ensure that your home is protected. Connect with us for daily inspiration, updates and information: Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Instagram

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Gutter Maintenance Tip #35 – Tree Branch Gutter Damages


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Tree Branch Gutter Damages Tree Branch Gutter Damages are more likely to happen in the winter. Due to the fact of snow and ice weighing down the already brittle branches of a tree. It’s always a safe bet to trim back the branches that loom over your home in the fall. We suggest that you do this BEFORE you clean out your gutters for the last time. Small twigs will probably find their way into your gutters during this process. If at all possible try to plan both the tree trimming and gutter cleaning with a day or so to not allow twigs to set on your gutters for too long. For a free estimate on gutter cleaning, repairs or adding gutter guards, call us today! Gutters & Guards experienced team will take the guess-work out of the process, and ensure that your home is protected. Connect with us for daily inspiration, updates and information: Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Instagram

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