5 Tips to Maintain a Healthy Drainage System

People are mindful about keeping the exteriors of their house clean, but one thing most of the homeowners tend to forget is maintaining their drainage system. Maybe they lack time for inspecting their drainage system or are simply afraid to handle the cleaning process.

 

However, taking care of the drainage system is not that tough. The best way of doing so is through prevention. Usually, if you take preventive measures during what goes down your gutters, there will be no need for cleaning them very often. Apart from taking preventive measures, certain things can happen, especially clogs and blockages, that need to be restricted by cleaning the gutters regularly.

 

The clogged gutter could be a result of garbage clutter, leaves, dirt that might accumulate near your gutters during storm or breeze. If you do not clear this clutter from the exteriors of your house frequently, it could result in clogged gutters and a disrupted drainage system. If the condition worsens, then it may lead to costly damages which will result in calling eaves trough experts for the services.

 

Here are some tips for maintaining healthy drainage system-

 

1) Spruce up your gutters-

 

The only way to keep your gutters clean is by cleaning them twice or thrice a week with the right equipment. Sometimes the small leaves, dust particles and hair can go deep down to block the inner pipelines, and all this debris can only be extracted using the right equipment and tools.

 

Another important thing to use is the drain cleaner while cleaning the gutters. Bacteriological drain cleaner could be used to keep your channel free from growing bacterias that may later result in the dispersion of spores and growth of molds ion all the places.

 

2) Use leaf guard or gutter protection-

 

Install leaf guard and gutter protection on all the plug holes to limit the amount of waste that gets down the pipelines. Leaf guards prevent the rotten leaves and plant debris to get inside the gutters and downspouts during the time of rainstorm, allowing only the water to seep through it; thereby, omitting blockages.

 

3) Look for the signs of trouble-

 

Problem with the drainage systems is not entirely noticeable until you inspect them intricately. Maybe it is not the leaves and garbage that is causing the stagnant water around your house; it could be the water leakages from certain pipes or the channels being invaded by the rodents who have damaged the drainage system. Leaks and white patches are the signs of mold and mildew that can be a sign of definite nuisance and such problems must be solved immediately before the things get worse.

 

5) Plant your trees away from the roof-

 

Trees must be planted away from the exteriors and roof since the branches can lean on and stick to the walls of the house, causing the leaves to fall either on the rooftop or directly into the gutter during a storm or heavy breeze. Try to trim the branches of your trees if they were planted long back.

 

 

 

 

Signs That Your Gutters Need Professional Attention

Gutters are the most crucial part of any house. They play a vital role in ensuring that your home stays protected and look attractive. They take rain water away from home and prevent any water damage. Your home is incomplete without gutters as they are extremely beneficial. They protect your home from roof leakage, foundation cracks, rust and other issues that can decrease the value of your home. Therefore, it is important to ensure that gutters are working properly.

 

There are a number of signs that tell your gutter system is not working correctly, and you need professional help. You must pay attention to them if you don’t want your home to face water damage. Remember repairing water damages can be challenging and costly if you don’t look into the condition and working of your gutters.

 

So, let us discuss two common signs that indicate your gutters need professional attention.

 

Clogging

Rain gutters that are clogged don’t work properly, and the chance of water damage increases. To find whether the gutters are clogged or not, check – If water leaks from your gutters, does rain water gets accumulated around your house causing water marks, does your gutter overflow when it rains?

 

Generally, rain gutters get clogged with leaves, dust, branches of tree and debris. If you don’t clean the gutter on time, then water starts accumulating inside the gutter, and it begins to deteriorate. The rusting on the gutters reduces their lifespan, and you have to expend a considerable amount of money on its replacement.

 

So, if you find that your gutters are blocked, the first thing that you should do is to clear out all the dust and debris. Then check whether water drains or not. If it does not drain out then most probably downspouts are also clogged. However, sometimes the problem is so severe that you have to adjust the slope so that water drains out properly. In such a scenario, you will need the help of eavestrough repair professionals. Experts have the right equipment to clean the gutters. They can also cover your gutter with leafguard to ensure that leaves and twigs don’t gather in the gutters.

 

Sagging

Gutters hangers are responsible for keeping the whole installation in place so that it stays safe during strong winds. But with time, hangers become lose and get displaced. It puts the entire gutter system in danger as it can collapse. Sagging hangers may cause mess because of the weight of the gutter system and weight of water during the rainy season.

 

So, take a look at your gutter system and check if the hangers are loose or sagging. In order to fix the sagging gutters, make a call to gutter professional as soon as possible. It is because experts have complete knowledge about the gutters and can help you in adjusting the sagging gutters. Because of their expertise, they can also give some tips to maintain your gutters.

Five Crucial Things to Discuss with Your Vinyl Siding Installer

Choosing to install a siding for your home is not something that should be taken lightly. Upgrading to new siding is a huge decision as you have to encounter significant expenses and a pretty long construction process. In short, there is just too much stress involved, and without the right kind of contractor on board, it is sure to increase.

Vinyl siding installation can get messy real quick and has to be executed perfectly in the very first time. So, to ensure that you get quality services that satisfy your needs and offer you worry-free experience, the following is a list of things to discuss with your potential contractor –

  1. Experience and Expertise

Every work, whether or not it is related to home improvement, requires a sufficient amount of experience and skills. And fortunately, most of the siding installers you find in Toronto have a decent experience in the industry, making them fit and knowledgeable enough to handle the challenges faced in all kinds of siding jobs.

So, when you are going through a siding contractor’s details, ensure that they have adequate work experience and know clearly as to what they are doing.

  1. Siding Brand and Material

It is vital to ask about various vinyl siding brands and other materials your contractor offers to the clients. That will give you a surety that the installer is using the best brand/product on the market, built to last for the longest time and resist all the extreme weather conditions.

So, discuss with your contractors about the vinyl siding brands they use and if they are properly trained and certified to install them.

  1. Subcontractor Involvement

Many contractors outsource their projects to third parties to gain better efficiency and reduced costs. And while there is not much of an issue here, it may not be a good thing for homeowners who have contacted a company for its trustworthiness.

Hence, it is best to hire a contractor who has a full-time team to complete the work. That way, you know who you are dealing with and avoid total strangers to step into your property.

  1. License and Insurance Coverage

Several state authorities require siding installers to hold a specific kind of license to operate within the community and take up big projects. These licenses are evidence of their familiarity with the building codes, which if they fail to comply, saves you from all sorts of legal troubles.

Similar is the case of workers compensation insurance where you are safeguarded against every liability that may arise as a result of an accident or mishap on your property. Thus, find the contractors that carry insurance and offer full liability insurance coverage.

  1. Past Referrals

The most assuring way to know if you are dealing with a reliable siding contractor is to ask for references. Doing that can help you draw a clear picture of the contractor’s workmanship and his quality of customer service.

Ideally, you should ask for at least four to five referrals and contact any of them randomly to get an idea about the installer’s actual reputation.

Rain Barrels: Why are They Important for Your Home?

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.

 

A Complete Guide to Custom Build Your First Home

There is nothing as exciting as building and living in a house that is specifically tailored to your visions and needs. From selecting an appropriate piece of land to constructing it with the best materials and decorating it to represent your personality and style – the entire process is indeed worthwhile. However, if it is your first time then there might be plenty of challenges you would have to go through before getting to slide the key into the lock of your new house.

Read below the step by step guide to learn about the process and planning to have your home ready to move in. Following is a detailed description of how to build a custom home:

  1. Purchase a Land

When it comes to choosing the right home site, you have to do ample research and then buy a land real estate that accommodates your needs. Even if a piece of property seems perfect, there are a lot of things your seller might not tell you right away. However, asking these questions can give you a clear path further –

  • What is the property size?
  • Who are the neighbors?
  • What kind of utilities and facilities does the property have?
  • What is the orientation of the property?
  • Are there any back taxes, debts or liens?

 

  1. Finalize the Home Design Essentials

The second phase of custom home building involves designing a home to match your preferences and tastes. It is the most exhausting yet a thrilling experience – to give your family and kids a home that caters to their specific requirements. These are some important considerations while deciding a home design –

  • Room size and arrangement
  • Open or segmented floor layout
  • Cabinets and countertops
  • Type of HVAC system, etc.

 

  1. Contact Professionals for Support and Guidance

The next phase is all about assembling your custom home team to give life to your dreams. This team aids in putting the plans into action and executing the project well in the first go. Here is the list of experts you would need in the process –

  • A custom home builder or general contractor
  • An architect
  • An interior designer
  • A landscaping contractor

Once you are done with hiring a specialized team, apply for building and electrical permits. Also, get homeowner’s insurance to insure it from the start.

  1. Start Building

When all your plans are approved by the reviewing committees or other concerned authorities, you can finally ask the builder/contractor to begin the construction of your home. Of course, there can be highs and lows during this phase but if you break the entire project into these milestones, it can become less of a hassle –

  • Site preparation
  • Foundation and framing
  • Installation of heating and cooling, plumbing, and electric systems
  • Flooring and paint
  • Fitting the cabinets, countertops, and kitchen appliances
  • Giving the exterior finishing touches like rain gutters and decorative mouldings
  • Landscaping

 

 

 

Simple Ways to Improve the Exterior of Your House

Are you looking for some easy ways to enhance the beauty of the exterior of your house? If so, then this post is for you. In this article, we have jotted a few ways that can help in bringing charm to your home’s exterior.

 

The exterior of your home is like the cover page of a book. It set standards for what’s inside. So, it is crucial to have a splendid outer appearance of the home. And for this reason, necessary improvements are a must. Moreover, if you are interested in selling your home in future, it will help in boosting its value.

 

Now, let us see what the simple changes are that you can bring to the exterior of your house.

 

#1. Stain the garage door – Installing a new garage door may be an expensive option, so you can go for staining it with a different color to get a new look. Don’t forget to power wash the door completely before staining the surface. Just painting the old looking and dull garage door can contribute a lot towards improving the outer look of your property.

 

#2. Have a clear and attractive walkway – A well-defined and clear driveway make your home more inviting. So, make sure to sweep all the leaves, debris and dirt off your paths on a regular basis. You can also rent a power washer to remove dirt and stains that don’t get cleaned with a hose.

 

To make walkway visually appealing, you can use stones, bricks and rocks in the bedding area to create artistic and unique exterior appeal.

 

#3. Add some lighting – The right light can improve the ambience of your house. No doubt, they can lit only at night, but they have the power to change the entire feel of your property.

 

Landscape lighting is the best and the cheap way to enhance the exterior curb appeal of your house. These lights look amazing and give warm and welcoming feels.

 

#4. Have clean gutters – If gutters are not looked after timely, they can bring you the chaos. Dirt, leaves and debris accumulated in the gutters for a long time can lead to water damage and mold. So, it is highly recommended to keep a check on the gutters and get them cleaned when necessary.

 

Remember, this is the most essential step if you want to have a properly functioning and a good looking home inside out.

 

#5. Frieze boards and decorative mouldings installation – Frieze boards and decorative mouldings are innovative products that have the power to beautify the exterior of your house.

 

Frieze board is the trim detail installed horizontally below the soffit, and its size ranges from 1×6 to 1×10. Moreover, they provide a design with a colonial appeal and are pocket-friendly too.

Four Major Reasons to Invest in Quality Window Shutters

Exterior window shutters have been a prominent and highly-functional feature of homes and provincial buildings since the early ages. With an ability to redefine the entire aesthetics of the property, window shutters are used by the people as a protection against bad weather and to maintain the privacy of their premises.

Shutters come in distinct designs and styles. Some of the most common ones you will come across are – louvered shutters, raised panel shutters, board-and-batten shutters plantation shutters, cafe style shutters, and cut-out shutters. These unique styles are available in vinyl, aluminum, fiberglass, composite, and faux wood with each having a different installation method and pros and cons. Hence, you need to do a proper evaluation before making your final call.

As a homeowner, you should always look out for smart ways to improve your home. And, window shutters are indeed an incredible choice to fulfill that purpose. Following are the key reasons to convince our readers to install high-quality exterior window shutters in their homes today:

To Enhance the Curb’s Appeal

People always want to improve the looks of their property but the decorative options available in the market are at times not in their price range. However, by using indoor or outdoor shutters, you can add an attractive element to your house without having to spend a lot.

You can easily find affordable shutter material options and transform your old and plain house exteriors into a gem.

To Ensure Privacy

Shutters are known to give a classic touch to every property. They have been around for long and are the perfect epitome of beauty and elegance. Besides, they are a viable solution for house areas facing a public space to ensure that there are no prying eyes.

The best part is that you can open these shutters at an angle to allow a good flow of sunlight and fresh air and don’t even have to compromise on your privacy.

To Improve Energy Efficiency

With increasing rate of global warming, there is an urgent need to create an eco-friendly planet. And the first step towards it is to embrace energy-efficient solutions. But since most of the energy-efficient technologies are on an expensive end, you can resort to window shutters as a cheaper alternative.

By fitting your windows with shutters, you can enjoy a sufficient amount of natural lighting in your home and save your light consumption and energy bills.

To Regulate Temperature

Window shutters act as an effective layer of insulation and manage the thermal temperature of your home pretty well. Whether it is about keeping the house cool during summers or trapping the warm air during the cold days, you can successfully regulate the indoor environment without any hassle.

You can even use these shutters as noise barriers if your neighbor decides to throw a party or there is too much traffic in your street.

What Are The Causes Of Leaky Gutters?

Many people overlook the importance of gutters at their homes, but let me tell you, gutters play a valuable role as they protect your home from dampness, garden erosion and damaged foundations. And if they begin to leak, they can’t serve the purpose they are meant for. There can be many reasons for leaky gutters, and only gutter professionals can find the right cause. So, it is imperative to hire a gutter repair company at the earliest to fix the issue.

 

Now, let us learn what the possible causes of leaky gutters are.

 

  1. Clogs – Clogs are one of the most common causes of leaky gutters in residential as well as commercial rain gutter systems. If you are not in the habit of cleaning them regularly, they can fill with leaves and debris in a short time. All the waste accumulated in the gutters block them and leads to overflowing. This issue can easily be prevented by investing your time and money in rain gutter maintenance at least twice a year. Additionally, experts suggest getting the gutters cleaned after a rainstorm to ascertain that everything is working well.

 

  1. Improperly sloped gutters – For effective functioning, gutters require a gentle slope. It is because water run down the slope to the downspout. In case the slope is not set properly, water can pool in the gutter. With time, gutters corrode and get rusted, that gradually causes leaky gutters. So, make sure that the gutters at your place are installed with a downward slope that let water to flow easily towards the downspouts. Anyhow, if you are unable to judge the slope, it is recommended to contact a gutter repair contractor as they can check as well adjust it as required.

 

  1. Loose gutters – Several times, loose gutters are the reason behind the leakage. Rain gutters are fastened to the fascia board, and with time they sag because of the weight of rainwater and debris collected in the gutters. The rainwater then seeps through the loose joints that make your gutters leaky. If you want to get rid of this problem, then the only way out is to hire a gutter repair expert who can efficiently fasten the gutter hangers to the fascia board and make sure that all the repairing is done correctly.

 

  1. Cracks and holes – Even the strongest material can develop small holes and cracks because of weathering. Initially, this causes minor leaks, but if not paid attention, they can turn into a major problem with time. So, if you want to detect any tiniest and invisible crack, then pour water into the gutter and note if water leaks out or not. If you find even a small spot on your gutter, consider taking the help of a professional.

5 Signs That Tell Its Time for Soffit and Fascia Replacement

When you are a homeowner, you cannot neglect regular maintenance and repairs that your home needs. Experts say that one should have 1% of the home’s purchase price available for repairs every year.

 

Replacing windows, repairing gutters, repairing bathroom and kitchen, replacing rugs and carpets are few of the things that you may need to do, in order to keep your home in good condition.

Additionally, one also needs to take care of the most crucial parts of the house that are soffits and fascia.

 

Soffits and fascia provide a more finished look to your home and help in protecting the roof by keeping out debris, water and rodents. Thus, it is important to keep them in good condition.

 

However, over time, due to harsh weather conditions and low maintenance, they may need replacement.

 

Now, you might be wondering how to determine that soffits and fascia of your home need replacement. Let us help you then! The following are the few signs that indicate it’s time to hire soffits and fascia replacement company.

 

  1. Cracks and flaking paint – When you notice cracked and flaking paint on your soffits or fascia then it may be time for a replacement. Moreover, cracked paint harm the curb appeal of your home, and if you are planning to sell your home in the near future, then potential buyers may not buy it. This issue can even cause water to leak into your home. It can worsen the condition and can lead to the growth of mold in your home.

 

  1. Presence of pests in the home – Nothing can be more annoying than having pests in the house. Especially in winters pests search for shelter in your home. Bugs and rodents can cause severe damage to the home, and it is only soffits and fascia that keep them out of your attic and roof. So, if you ever hear noise above your head or find signs of droppings and nests in your attic, then there might be some issue with your fascia and soffits. Get it checked at the earliest and if required then get the soffits and fascia replaced.

 

  1. Lack of Ventilation – Soffits help in providing proper ventilation. Moreover, they help in preventing heat and moisture from entering your home. If you are not getting adequate ventilation, then your soffits may be damaged and need replacement.

 

  1. Suspicion of Asbestos – Asbestos is a hazardous material and can cause health issues. Thus, if you ever suspect that asbestos is used in your soffits and fascia, prefer calling the professionals immediately. Experts will examine it thoroughly, and if found, they will devise a safe removal plan.

 

  1. Leaky gutters – It is the fascia that provides structural support to your eaves. If it gets damaged, then gutters don’t get the needed support, and they may begin to leak. Leaky gutters can prove to be disastrous for your home. So, experts suggest getting the fascia examined and replaced if necessary.

Essential Questions to Ask Before Hiring Gutter Installation Company

Whether you are building a new house or renovating it, you will require gutter installers at some point of life. Gutters are the most crucial part of any house as they protect the foundation of the home, prevent basement flooding, protect your landscaping and prevent erosion. Because of the significant role that gutters play in our lives, it is important to get them installed by a professional. And in order to ensure that you only hire a professional gutter installation company, ask them the following questions.

 

#1 Are you licensed? 

License is the indication that the company you are hiring is reliable and can be trusted for the services. A company which holds the license is permitted by the higher authorities to provide the specific services. Furthermore, gutter installation is quite a critical task and demand expertise which only licensed professional can guarantee. So, always ask about the license before hiring a gutter installation company.

 

#2 Do you have insurance? 

Do you want to get into trouble because the worker fell off your roof while working at your home? Obviously not! So, ask about the insurance beforehand and then move on for the further hiring process. Absence of insurance paper is a sign of unprofessionalism. Therefore, never hire an uninsured company.

 

#3 Can you provide any references?

A reputable company always keep a record of past clients and love to provide references. You can talk to their previous clients and can clear all your doubts about the company. If in case the gutter installer does not give the recommendations, then hire someone else. You can even check reviews and testimonials on their website to assure yourself.

 

#4 How much time will you take to complete the job? 

Generally, gutter installation projects take one day for its completion. Anyhow, you should ask the company about its availability and the duration of your project. It is important to ask so that the work is done in your presence and you need not reschedule it. This will avoid inconvenience too.

 

#5 Can you provide cost estimates in writing? 

If the contractor is not ready to give the written cost estimates, then immediately shift to some other gutter installation company. A professional contractor believes in following business ethics. For the ease of the client, they always provide them with the precise estimates of the cost that will be incurred by the project.

 

#6 Who will be present at the site for supervision? 

The person with whom you signed the contract may not be present at the gutter installation site. Be sure to ask about the supervisor of the project so that you can reach him in case any trouble arises. If possible, meet them in person.

 

#7 Do you install gutter covers? 

Most of the contractors these days cover the gutters to prevent leaves and debris from sliding in. Prefer hiring the gutter installation company who provide gutter covers.