Colorful, clean gutters, doors, and siding can make a dramatic difference in the beauty of your home. Sometimes, however, cleaning alone won’t do it — you may need to apply a fresh coat of paint. Here are some tips for choosing the right exterior paint for the job and doing that job correctly.
Different Paints for Different Surfaces
Spend the extra money on premium name-brand paints, because they tend to stick to exterior surfaces more securely for better long-term results. Generally speaking, gutters, siding, doors and porches can all take either oil-based or latex-based paints — but pay attention to the material the gutter or other item is made from, since oil-based paint tends to work better on aluminum. Masonry usually calls for latex-based paint, while pools require special cement-based products.
Clean gutters, doors, and other surfaces are essential if you want your new paint job to adhere properly. Don’t rely on . . .
There are plenty of sound reasons for regular gutter cleaning, from preventing ice dams to maintaining a neater, more attractive home exterior. But one reason in particular should jump out at you if you suffer from pest problems: When you keep your gutters clean, you’ll have fewer of these unwanted guests taking up residence on your property. Let’s take a closer look at the relationship between pests and gutter debris.
Organic debris is like a welcome mat to pests.
Who’s Up There, and Why?
Gutters attract all kinds of junk in the course of their work diverting rainwater from your roof to your downspout. This debris may range from specks of dust to larger pieces of organic matter, such as leaves and twigs. The latter are especially troublesome, and not only because solid matter is so good at blocking . . .
Keeping your gutters clean can help you get many more years of life out them. But like most other household choices, it can also prove hazardous if you do it wrong — and not doing it at all can actually be hazardous to your home as well. Here are three things to keep in mind when cleaning those gutters.
1. Your Life Depends on Your Ladder
The greatest danger in gutter cleaning stems from inadequate ladders and improper ladder usage. Use a fiberglass or aluminum ladder, since wooden ladders can deteriorate over time. Have a second person on hand to steady the ladder and watch out for your safety. Keep one hand and both feet on the ladder for maximum stability. If uneven soil seems to be unbalancing the ladder, try placing a sturdy, flat board underneath it.
You’ll be glad . . .
For some reason, leaves, twigs, and other debris simply love to wash down your roof and collect in your gutters, along with the water those gutters are intended to catch. Having a clogged-up gutter is pretty much like having no gutter at all. The obvious solution to this problem is to cover your gutters with something that will keep this garbage out. But what kind of gutter cover should you choose — and how do you know whether it will fit?
Fortunately for anyone who has to purchase and install gutter covers without the benefit of professional guidance, the vast majority of gutters come in one of two sizes. Unless you have a particularly esoteric roof design, chances are that your gutters are either 5 inches wide or 6 inches wide. A tape measure will clear that question up for you in a matter of seconds. (Don’t be too surprised, . . .
Do you live in a part of the nation that understands what seasons are? If winter is more than an abstract concept taught to you by Christmas movies, then you’re a serious candidate for owning heated gutters.
What Do Heated Gutters Offer?
The main benefit of heated gutters is that they prevent ice dams. Ice dams are nasty build-ups of ice in your gutters that, in addition to making them useless until the next big thaw, can cause permanent damage to your roof. Ice dams are caused by attic heat melting snow on the roof, which runs down into the gutter and then re-freezes. A heated gutter (which are regular gutters with a separate product placed in it, not brand new gutters with heating elements) keeps this runoff a warm liquid that drains through your gutter as intended. In addition to clogging up your gutters, ice dams, if left unchecked, can lead . . .
Are you dreaming of a white Christmas? Winter can be a magical season for its ability to evoke stunning images and lifelong memories. The spectacle of falling snow or glittering icicles has made its way on to countless holiday cards and other seasonal imagery, and there’s nothing cozier than viewing all that magic from the comfort of your living room. But for every beauty there’s a beast — and in this case, that beast is the threat of ice damage to your home.
Frozen pipes can lead to expensive problems.
The plumbing system can be the first part of your home to suffer in the grip of Old Man Winter. Once the outdoor temperature settles below freezing — even if it’s just overnight — any pipes running along exterior walls can freeze up. The next thing you know, . . .
Gutters may not seem like the most glamorous part of your home, but they play a crucial role in protecting it — especially if you live in a wet climate. Perhaps the most effective preventative step you can take in caring for your gutters is to attach some sort of cover, filter, or bypass device to keep as much debris out of them as possible. Some homeowners never even think to cover their gutters, only to wonder why they keep experiencing ice dams, clogs, and even damage to their beloved homes. The following basic tips will help you select the right types of gutter protection for your needs.
Some gutters come with their proprietary covers, while others take a wide variety of aftermarket products. Gutter covers typically feature slots, holes, or mesh designed to block larger debris from entering the gutter. Leaf guards are designed purely to keep leaves, vermin, . . .
Few sights inspire the heart and imagination like a winter wonderland of white snowscapes and elegant icicles. That joy may be short-lived, however, the moment you discover that ice has inhabited your gutters. Ice dams, accumulations of ice that block the passage of liquid water, can render your gutters useless until the next big melt. Let’s take a close look at this homeowner’s nightmare, including ways you can deal with it or even prevent it.
Does this sight look familiar?
The What and Why of Ice Dams
Why does this troublesome development plague your gutters? Roof warming can contribute to ice dam formation during the colder months. You might assume that your roof remains as cold as the rest of the home’s exterior, but you’re most likely wrong. Attic heat can transfer to the roof, warming it just enough to melt snow collected on top. . . .
“Gutter cleaning.” The phrase even sounds unappealing.
Perhaps you grew up hearing your parents and other adults gripe and groan about having to clean their gutters. And this perception may have stuck with you until adulthood when you finally bought your own home for the first time. Since there are a lot of tasks to accomplish and details to work out when you move into a new home, it’s perfectly understandable how gutter cleaning would slide down (or even off) the priority list.
But neglecting your gutters is not a smart thing to do, especially during the fall season. Leaves, pine needles, twigs, and other debris can clog your gutters and prevent runoff water from entering – which could eventually lead to expensive water-related damage around your home.
It’s not going to clean itself, you know.
Preparing for Gutter Cleaning
With a little preparation and perseverance, cleaning . . .
Hey, you. It’s time to start thinking about winter. Yes, now.
Oh, you’re probably still wrapping up all of your summer-related activities and looking forward to enjoying colorful fall days and cooler evenings. That’s perfectly understandable.
Winter is Lurking Just Around the Corner
But Old Man Winter is coming, and probably sooner than you think. In fact, some weather watchers are forecasting an exceptionally cold winter season this year. Even the Old Farmer’s Almanac, the newest edition of which was released last month, predicted what it called a “super cold” winter.
If you’re a homeowner in New England, that means you should probably begin those cold-weather preparations sooner rather than later. That means inspecting your heaters, putting in a little more insulation, and weatherstripping leaky doors and windows.
While you’re planning ahead for winter’s arrival, be sure not to neglect your gutters – or you may be dealing . . .