Winters can be quite harsh In Toronto, and you can see homeowners prepping themselves days in advance to combat the winter storms and snow. Special attention is given to the living spaces, i.e. homes so that there are any costly repairs after the offset of chilly months.
Of course, the fluffy snow and sparkling icicles does make one feel like straight from the wonderland, but considering the level of devastation that comes along; it is wise to handle the situation with a bit of preventive maintenance.
Here are a few tasks you need to carry out for making your home winter ready and successfully reduce possibilities of property damage and deep-freeze –
Inspect your Gutters and Drainage
Sometimes winters come with incessant rainfall, so you have to be ready to tackle it with ease. To start with, you need to clean out the eavestrough and rain gutters. Now, this may not sound a fun job to do, but it can potentially save you more money in the long-run.
Clogged gutters on the roof often overflow and break that can put unimaginable strain above. You can also find ice built up in them that can be extremely bothering and challenging.
So, you should check them often and swap them with good quality eavestrough and drainage pipes for better performance.
Be Persistent with Snow Removal
Your valuable home stands on a foundation, and if that isn’t robust enough, there can be a question mark towards the architectural integrity. The problem during winters is that heavy snow accumulates around the premises and starts seeping in the soil making way to the foundation of the building.
As a result, there arises immense deterioration, expensive repairs, and lots of hassle to undo the damage of pooled water at the base of the house.
That is why you should try focusing your efforts at the foundation, decks, basement areas, windows, and concrete steps (if any).
Protect your Flooring
Areas of and around Toronto can get very snowy and cold. More snow means more ice melt on the sidewalks, more salt on the roads, and more dirt tracking-in, leading to the beating of your entryway floor.
The chemicals in ice melt substances can impact the look and longevity of flooring in no time and even leave permanent damage that can be expensive to repair.
So, you better use high-quality floor mats at the door. Also, use a boot scraper or brush outside so anyone can remove excess snow before entering the home.
Install De-Icing Cables
Ice dams can be a huge nuisance to deal with. During heavy snowstorms, the ice gets accumulated on the roof, and before it begins to melt and runoff, it freezes again near the edge (over the eaves).
This repeated cycle over the months leads to the formation of thick barriers of ice hanging along the roof that constantly leaks or may even fall.
However, there is a smart way of prevention, and that is de-icing cables. These cables are installed on the roof to release heat and stop the melted snow from refreezing; hence allowing easy runoff the roof, into the storm drainage, and finally into the garden.
Though water is available in our homes and can be used for various purposes but how nice it would be if we make the most from other natural resources and save our bills. One of the best ways of saving water is to use rain barrels for storing rainwater.
Rainwater is the purest form of water that is considered to be freshwater. If you reside in a region where rainfalls are frequent, then having rain barrels to store the rainwater can be beneficial.
Using the tap water for your plants, garden and cleaning the outdoor living space can cost you a lot on your water and electricity bills. This is when these rain barrels come to the rescue.
What is a Rain Barrel?
Rain barrels serve as a reservoir to collect rainwater that runoffs through downspouts from the roof during heavy storms. Rain barrels can include special features like filters spigots for attaching garden hoses, insect-proof mesh, child and animal proofing. Rain barrels can store up to 80 gallons of water depending upon the size and shape of the container. Mostly the stored rainwater is used for gardening purposes because it is healthy for plants and soil as it is free from chemicals.
Rainwater harvesting is becoming popular in many other ways as well that has lead people to install rain barrels with the help of experts. Let us look at the advantages of rain barrels-
1) Reduction in Rainwater Runoffs-
Rainwater runoffs are a huge problem in urban areas that causes the clogging of gutters and downspouts exerting force on the roof. Apart from blocking the drains, rainwater runoff carries all sorts of chemicals and dirt that pollute our waterways. This could be stopped using rain barrels that can collect rainwater and help in clearing the streams so that plants and animals can rely on them.
2) Prevention of Soil Erosion-
Soil erosion caused by fast running stormwater can damage the foundation of your house and wash away the nutrient-rich topsoil from your garden. Therefore, runoffs could be prevented by deploying rain barrels near the roof, that will preserve the topsoil for your plants and prevent damages to your landscaping.
3) Provides Water During Droughts-
With the change in weather conditions and the onset of summers, having water for serving the needs of your garden is essential, especially during the driest part of the year. Watering your plants in the sweltering heat will not be enough and plants can dry or die. Collecting and preserving rainwater can serve the purpose by providing extra moisture to the plant for the betterment of their growth.
This is useful, especially during drought and water restriction period. Without having to rely on limited community resources, you can make your landscape green and bountiful.
4) Saves You Money-
It is a free supply of water that gets replenished whenever there are showers. Apart from saving tap water, it helps you save on your electricity and water bills.
Certain things usually sound good at first until you actually get the chance to try them out. A good example is home remodeling projects where many people have been easily lured by the idea of going the DIY route, only to end up messing things up and incurring more costs. Unless you have great knowledge on what you are doing, you are better off hiring the professionals. Here is a look at some of the reasons why DIY may not be your best option for home gutter installation.
Exposing yourself to harm
There are numerous people who get hurt as they go about gutter installation. Most of the people who have suffered injuries admit that their first thought was that DIY gutter installation will not be that difficult. However, installation of gutters involves ladder activity and if you are not careful, you may fall and get injured. In a worst case scenario, you may suffer from paralysis after a fall from great heights. Therefore, you can save yourself the trouble of getting hurt by hiring professionals for gutter installation.
Lack of knowledge
Sure, after you have viewed those DIY YouTube videos, gutter installation sounds like a piece of cake. However, professionals have a wealth of knowledge and experience in matters to do with gutter installation and repair. They can easily assess your home area and pick out problems while laying out crucial details. Furthermore, they can take an effective action right away to remedy the problem and ensure your home is safe. Not so many people have this kind of knowledge on gutter and eavestrough issues like roof shingle damages, decaying fascia boards and deteriorating sidings.
Change in cost of material
It is easy to think that you will save a good sum of money by purchasing your own materials and doing the repair for yourself. However, market conditions can lead to a drastic change in the price of materials pertaining to Toronto siding, adhesives, hangers, clips, downspouts and so forth. The final bill may blow your mind off. As for the professionals, they get the best deals because they typically pay wholesale to acquire all the materials that they need. That means that if you hire them, you may even pay lesser for those materials. In addition, they can easily tell the difference between original and counterfeit products.
After you have purchased all the materials you require for gutter installation, you have to bring them home. This can actually be a big problem especially if you are relying on your car. Supposing you owned a pickup, it would still be challenging to transport sections of gutter that are ten-feet long. This is because most vehicles do not come with specially fitted racks for things such as gutters. However, gutter companies have the right means of transportation. Once you have made the necessary arrangements for installation services, you can trust them to transport their equipment safely to your property to start work.
One of the common mistakes that most people doing DIY gutter installation make is failing to pitch the gutters properly. If the gutters are not properly pitched, you will not have effective water drainage in the gutters. However, you can rest assured of accurate gutter pitching from professionals who have a rich experience in matters involving gutters.
As you can see, when you hire professionals to do the installation for you, you will not only save yourself the trouble of spending a lot of time getting all the resources together but also the overall cost of purchasing, transporting and utilizing the materials needed for the installation. In addition, you will reduce the chances of getting hurt. Professional gutter installation services guarantee you a durable gutter system that will keep your home safe during a heavy downpour, so why take the risk and jeopardize the benefits you can enjoy by going DIY? Think, folks!
How regularly do you carry out a gutter inspection for your house? The four distinct seasons pose a challenge to properly functioning gutters. For this reason, you need to get a professional to inspect your gutters at least once a year to keep an eye out for any potential problems that may occur. Unfortunately, most home owners overlook the importance of carrying out gutter inspections since they are designed to be inconspicuous. Gutters are designed to drain large volumes of water from the roof and in case they develop problems, this can quickly turn into a calamity. So when exactly is the best time to carry out gutter inspections?
When it rains
Most of us want to curl up by the fire while we enjoy a cup of coffee as it rains. As good as this may sound, you can also use this time to check your gutters. While it is raining, go around the house and check how well the gutters are draining water. Check the drainage around the foundation and check any signs of pooling anywhere near the house. Follow the water drainage to see if it is flowing away from the house or not.
Next, check the downspouts to see if the water is running outside. Carefully inspect to check for gaps or cracks along the joints or elbows of the downspouts. Make sure that the water from downspouts is being directed to the splash block. The splash block should then direct water away from the house at least 2ft from the external wall. You should also check if the gutters are well secured and if there are any leaks.
In the fall
Fall is a good time to spend time outdoors as you enjoy the fall colors around you. Use this time to go around your house and inspect the gutters and downspouts. Check for any possible rusting or loose screws along the gutters and downspouts. Go around the foundation of the house and clear any shrubs to check if there is any water collection.
If you notice discoloration on the external walls, check if there are any holes in the gutters that may be causing possible leaks. If you notice any gaps between the fascia and gutters, it’s time to call for a professional who specializes in soffit and fascia in Toronto. He will carry out an inspection and advice whether to repair or replace the fascia to avoid leakages.
In the spring
Most people prefer to carry out gutter inspections during the spring. The weather is warm and it is considered a safe time since there are no strong winds. Use this time to clean out the gutters. It is advisable to call in the experts to carry out the inspection since they know what and where to check. If you prefer doing it by yourself, ensure that you have the right gear to ensure your safety. You will need to put on gloves and protective glasses during the cleaning. Use a ladder to get to the gutters and clear out the leaves and debris using your hands. After clearing out the debris, direct water to the gutter using a hosepipe to clean out remaining dirt and while doing this check for any possible leaks. Ensure that no debris is blocking the downspouts and that water is flowing freely. Check the fascia for any signs of rot or moisture. If you find any problems, do not hesitate to call the professionals for a quick fix up.
Never allow your gutter to stay for long without being inspected or repaired. Delaying will lead to more damage to the gutters and around the house. In the end, you will end up splurging more cash on repairs.
Cleaning services are a good thing because they relieve you of certain strenuous tasks. On countless occasions, people admit to pushing off the days that they were going to do a certain task. It is quite understandable that some people have busy schedule and creating some time to do gutter or eavestrough cleaning may sound next to impossible.
Cleaning services come in at this crucial point to make the unutterable task easy and manageable. Although they are merely a call, text or email away, you need the assurance that the people you entrust with the task of handling your soffits and fascia as well as gutters not only have a reputable name for good cleaning services but are trustworthy enough to account for your home. Picking the right professional people to handle the cleaning may be a major decision for you. Doing your homework right will help you hire the right guys for the job.
You need to know whether the people who will be cleaning your home are employees or contractors. This has to do with the assurance and protection that you get by involving professional services. Gutters and eavestrough need attention and some bit of knowledge. Therefore, if it is an individual working on your gutters, the result may be great but will take some time. Team of workers will do a similar task within a short time especially when there is great coordination in it.
In some cases, people who just hire cleaners without some digging end up dealing with burglary cases or losing valuable goodies. Good homes always have nice gutters that may be tempting to some workers. As you go about looking for cleaning services, the company that offers you service needs to affirm to you the precautionary and caveat measures they take to check the history record of their employees. Performance of background checks gives you confidence and leaves you with less questions about people who will come to clean your home. Tick this off your list before making any choice.
Insurance is as miscellaneous as the clouds that roll by every day. For the task at hand, you need to make sure that there is general liability insurance as well as workers compensation. A polite request for an insurance will not taint your image in any way but give you the peace of mind you need after entrusting your home to a cleaning company. Notwithstanding, the company should be more than willing to hand you the certificate.
The reason why you go looking around for home cleaning services for gutters, compound and garage is because it is a need that requires your time, which you barely have. Therefore, find out if there is customer satisfaction guarantee offered. By doing this, you will know the exact length of time you need to wait before making calls to report certain issues that you may come across after the task is over. The fact that humans are bound to err needs to motivate you to follow up with the satisfaction guarantee just in case the employees wake up on the wrong side of the bed and perform poorly, the company plays it role in making it right.
All company policies regarding the person who entirely holds the responsibility for carrying your home key need to be on your fingertips. Find out how the company acts on its policies in case there is a problem such as misplacement, loss of keys or its duplicate. Of all the things that people find hard to do, this is one weighs heavily. Do not wait until the minute of need and desperation. Act earlier and get it all right before giving the key out.
Going on the right track altogether
It is paramount for you and the company you choose to be on the same page from the word go. In other words, the supervisor needs to walk you through their services, policies, costs, refunds, compensation just to name a few. On the other hand, you need to concisely state your anticipations from the company services. If you need cleaning and replacement services for the gutters, soffits and fascia talk it out with him or her before the employees get down to it. Ironing out things at the start point will give you the results that give a bang for your buck.
Cleaning the home is an essential task and is necessary every once in a while. To keep your gutters, soffits and fascia in good condition, you have to clean them and make replacements it there is need to do so. Some companies even offer services for cleaning and replacing the worn out parts of gutters in your home. Therefore, as you choose a company, your particular needs will determine the kind of service you get from them.