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Are Your Gutters Ready for the Rainy Season?

Spring Seasons and Your GuttersApril showers may bring May flowers, but they can also bring leaking roofs, wet basements, and washed out landscaping. A key to preventing these rainy season headaches is having gutters that are in good shape and ready to usher water away from your home. As we enter into the rainiest time of year here in central Tennessee, it’s time to ask yourself: are your gutters ready? Here’s our check list for ensuring that your gutters can handle spring.

Clean your gutters

One of the most common causes of gutter failure is blockage. If your gutters are clogged, water will pool in the gutters then overflow, dumping water down the sides of your home and depositing it next to your home’s foundation. To make sure your gutters are ready for spring, take the time to make sure they are clean. Even though you might have cleared out leaves last fall, winter’s melting snow and high winds can bring more debris to your gutters, and animals might have found their way in to build nests or leave behind other debris that could clog gutters.

Secure sagging gutters

The snow and ice that fill your gutters during the winter can weigh them down and cause them to sag. To make sure your gutters are ready for spring showers, take the time to secure any loose sections of gutter to your home so that the rain runs directly from the roof into the gutters, rather than flooding the area between the gutter and the roof, which can cause water damage along your home’s roofline. If you do notice sagging gutters in need of repair, be sure to check the fascia where the gutters are attached; sometimes sagging gutters have nothing to do with the gutter supports and is instead a sign that the fascia has begun to rot.

Look for leaks

Ice and freezing temperatures also can damage the gutters themselves. Inspect the gutters for holes or cracks that allow water to leak out, rather than following the gutters’ path to the downspouts. The best time to check for leaks is during a rainstorm, so you can see the water dripping from the gutters.

Be sure gutter extenders and splash pads are in place

If your gutter’s downspouts deposit the water collected by your gutters directly next to your home, you’re in trouble. Check your gutters’ downspouts to be sure that there are gutter extenders or splash pads in place to channel the water from your gutters and safely away from your home.

After you perform this bit of springtime gutter maintenance, ask yourself: are your gutters up to the challenge of the rainy season? Even with the maintenance you’ve performed, if your gutters are cracked, sagging or leaking, it could be time for new gutters. If your gutters aren’t ready to protect your home from April’s showers, call The Gutterman of TN to schedule a new gutter consultation today!

When Should I Replace my Gutters?

Gutters will last for decades if they’re well cared for, and when your gutters are performing well, it’s easy to forget about them. However, eventually your gutters will break down, putting your home at risk for serious water damage. To prevent this, it’s important to keep tabs on the health of your gutter. Chances are your gutters will let you know when they need to be replaced with the following signs.

Cracks

When Should I Replace my Gutters - Nashville TN - GuttermanCracks in your gutters are a sure sign that it’s time to consider gutter replacement. They allow water to flow down and out of the gutters, depositing water next to your home’s foundation or allowing water to run down the sides of your home. The best way to spot cracks in your gutters is to inspect your gutters on a rainy day. Take a walk around your home in the rain to look for water running through cracks, holes or separations in your gutter system.

Sagging Gutters

As gutters age, they can begin to pull away from the sides of your home. Not only do sagging gutters look unsightly, but they allow water to run off of the roof between the gutter and the roofline, potentially damaging your home. If your gutters are sagging, it’s time to consider new gutters to protect your home from water damage and improve your home’s curb appeal.

Peeling Paint or Rust Stains

If your gutters aren’t containing water runoff from your roof, the sides of your home might be letting you know. Look for peeling paint, warped siding or rust stains down the sides of your home. Just fixing the damaged siding won’t save your home; the only way to fix the problem is with new gutters.

Rotten Woodwork

Just like the sides of your home’s siding might be showing signs that your gutters are due to be replaced, your home’s woodwork might reveal that gutters are letting water damage your home. Check the wooden fascia under your roofs overhang, as well as wooden frames around doors or windows for signs of rot. Your gutters should keep water away from the sides and structure of your home to protect the wood.

Mildew or Mold

Take a walk around the outside of your home. Do you notice mildew or mold stains around the foundation of your home, on the siding or underneath the roof overhangs? That means water’s accessing your home, and your gutters aren’t doing their job.

Damp or Flooded Basement

The primary function of your gutters is to deposit water away from the foundation of your home to prevent foundation damage. If your basement gets moist, floods when it rains, smells like mildew or shows signs of mold on the walls, your gutters are allowing water to enter your home at its base. Replace the gutters before water does serious damage to your foundation.

Take a walk around your home this spring. Do you see signs that your gutters are failing? It might be time to replace your gutters. Call The Gutterman of TN to have your gutters inspected and hear your options for replacing your failing gutter system.

Animals and Your Gutters

Animals in Your GuttersGutters don’t seem like a great habitat for living things, but there are plenty of animals who would happily make a home or seek shelter in your gutter system, especially if there is debris in the gutters. Animals in your gutters are more than a nuisance; they can damage the system, use the gutters to gain entry into your home, or even pose a health hazard. Here’s what you need to know about animals in your gutters and what you can do to keep them out.

Animals you might find in your gutters

You might be wondering what types of animals like to nest inside gutters. It may be surprising to learn that a variety of animals commonly make their way into gutters. Some animals who like gutters include:

  • Squirrels populate nearly every neighborhood, and they’re notoriously good climbers, so it’s no surprise that squirrels are often found in gutters where they can nest or hide food. Squirrels in gutters can be a problem particularly for homes that have a lot of branches hanging over their roofline.
  • Birds. Not surprisingly, birds will nest in gutter systems. Gutters are especially welcoming if they’re already filled with a layer of debris that can be used as a base for a nest.
  • Possums and raccoons. They might seem too large to fit, but possums and raccoons enjoy the quiet shelter of gutters. That can cause a major problem, not only because of the weight and stress they put on gutters but also because they will bear and raise offspring in gutters.
  • Cats. It’s no secret that cats like the high ground. Gutters provide them the sheltered vantage points they enjoy. Unfortunately, that means that your gutters might attract feral cats to your home.
  • Snakes and lizards. It’s not uncommon to find snakes and lizards lurking in gutters. They’ve been known to climb tree branches to gain access to gutters or make their way up downspouts.

Keeping animals out of the gutters

Animals in the gutter can cause all sorts of problems. That’s why you should take the necessary steps to keep pests out of your gutters. Some strategies include:

  • Cleaning your gutters. Keeping your gutters clean is important for a variety of reasons. It removes nesting material for animals, and it upsets any animal nests that have already been made.
  • Trim back trees. Overhanging tree limbs create a pathway to your gutters for animals. Trimming tree limbs away from your gutters can help block animals’ paths to your gutters.
  • Create alternative habitats. Giving animals better alternatives to your gutters can help keep them away from your roofline. Consider adding bird or squirrel houses to your yard. Planting trees and shrubs, as well as low-growing cover, away from your home also encourages animals to nest and seek shelter there.
  • Install gutter guards. One of the most foolproof ways to keep animals out of your gutters is by installing gutter guards. Gutter guards will block any possible entryway into your gutters, preventing any damage they could cause while still allowing water to pass through.

If your gutters need to be repaired after being damaged by animals, or if you’re ready to keep animals out of your gutters with gutter guards, call The Gutterman of TN to schedule a consultation today!

The Problems With Improperly Installed Gutters

They’re often overlooked, but they play a major role in protecting your home: gutters. When gutters fail, they leave your home open to all sorts of damage. That damage can be serious and expensive to repair. On many homes, gutters have been improperly installed. Fully protecting your home from water and ice damage means being sure that your gutters are properly installed.

Common Gutter Installation Problems The Problems With Improperly Installed Gutters Image - Nashville TN - Gutterman

When inspecting your gutters to determine whether they’re properly installed, you should check for these common elements. Some common gutter installation mistakes include:

  • Improperly pitched gutters.
    Gutters need to slope toward downspouts to ensure that water will flow in the right direction. Gutters only need to slope one-quarter inch per 10 feet, so it can be difficult to spot proper gutter pitch. If gutters are backed up or have standing water then your gutter’s pitch is inadequate.
  • Poor placement of downspouts.
    Water needs to be able to exit your gutters effectively, or it will pour over the sides of the gutters in heavy rains. When gutters chronically overflow, ineffective placement of downspouts or an inadequate number of downspouts is often to blame.
  • A lack of downspout outlets.
    Your downspouts need to be able to direct the water from your gutters to the right spot. If your downspouts terminate too close to your home, without drains or splashpads, your basement will flood, and you will risk foundation damage. French drains or gutter extensions can help to save your home from downspouts that deposit water too close to your home’s foundation.
  • Missing or dropping gutters.
    Of course, the biggest mistake with gutter installation is to have missing gutters! Without gutters in place, water flows off of your roof and pools directly next to your home.

The Problem with Improper Gutter Installation

When your home doesn’t have a properly installed gutter system, all sorts of problems can result. Water can deposit right next to your home’s foundation. It can flood your basement and degrade your foundation. It can destroy your landscaping and sidewalks. Water can run down the sides of your home, causing mold growth and water rot in your walls, siding, windows and doors. In short, you can’t afford to have improperly installed gutters on your home. A properly installed gutter system is a relatively minor expense when you consider that it can save your house from major damage that can be extremely expensive to repair.

What to do if Your Gutters aren’t Properly Installed

If you notice the signs that your gutters haven’t been properly installed it’s time to seek out a new gutter system for your home. Look out for:

  • water flooding into your basement,
  • standing water in the gutters,
  • water pouring over the edges of the gutters when it rains or gutters that are pulling away from your home.

If you are in need of a properly installed gutter system, call the Gutterman of TN to schedule an appointment today! We can properly install a gutter system that will keep your home safe from water damage.

How Winter Affects Your Gutters

Your home protects you all winter long, keeping out the ice, wind, freezing rains and freezing temperatures. But your home also requires some protection during the winter months, to stave off damage from water and freezing temperatures. You don’t want to have your home thaw out this spring only to find that your home has suffered damage from winter’s brutal weather. One of the best ways to protect your home from damage this winter is by caring for your gutters.

Winter Gutter Woes

How Winter Affects Your Gutter - Nashville TN - GuttermanYou know your gutters shuttle water around your roofline, down your downspouts and away from your home. When winter temperatures plummet, however, your gutters are sometimes unable to do their job. When water freezes in your gutters, there are several problems you could encounter:

• Ice dams. Ice dams are among the most common winter gutter problems. Heat escaping your attic melts the snow and ice on your roof. As the water runs down the roof, it refreezes along the gutter line. Over time, the ice dam can build up, damaging your home and gutter.

• Sagging gutters. The water that freezes in your gutters over the winter also can cause your gutters to sag away from your home due to the added weight. Sagging gutters can damage your roofline, or the gutters can detach entirely from your home, creating a hazard to your home and any property or person that might be surrounding your home.

• Cracked or broken gutters. Everyone knowns that when water freezes, it expands. If you have standing water in your gutters and it freezes when temperatures drops, the expansion that occurs when it turns to ice can cause the seams of your gutters to crack, rendering your gutters unsightly and ineffective.

Any of these wintertime gutter problems can lead to major problems for your home. When your gutters fail, water can be forced underneath your roofline or into your walls. The water can run down the sides of your house, rotting siding, or window or door frames. If failing gutters deposit water along the foundation of your home, the result could be a cracked or damaged foundation or a flooded basement.

Protecting Your Gutters and Your Home

If you haven’t positioned your gutters to protect your home this winter, you might notice water flooding in through your walls, ceiling or basement when warmer temperatures lead to thawing ice and snow. The best way to protect your gutters and home is by keeping your gutters in good repair and cleared from debris. Seamless gutters can help you avoid cracks and leaks, while stainless steel or copper gutters are made to be long-lasting to prevent winter damage. To lessen the risk of ice dams, standing water or leaks, keep gutters free from debris with regular cleaning. Finally, install gutter guards to prevent debris from entering your gutters in the first place.

If you notice that your gutters have been damaged by snow and ice this winter, call The Gutterman of TN! We can fit your home with new gutters, or install gutter guards to keep your gutters safe from buildup and debris.

Why is Keeping Your Gutters Clean so Important?

Few homeowners look forward to climbing their ladders to clear the muck and debris from their gutters. But failing to do so can have major impacts on your home that could lead to even bigger messes and even expensive property damage. Especially in winter, when gutters are working overtime to shutter rain, sleet and melting snow from your roofline, keeping your gutters clean is crucial. Here’s why keeping your gutters clean is so important.

Preventing Roof Damage

Why is Keeping Your Gutters Clean so Important - Nashville TN - GuttermanA new roof is an expensive home repair. Fortunately, roofs can last for decades, provided their properly cared for. One of the best things you can do to protect your roof from damage is to clean your gutters! When your gutters are clogged, water and wet debris backs up into your roofline. It can cause the roof to rot, mold and decay. If neglected for too long, clogged gutters can even cause water to back up underneath your roof, where it can cause the roof joists and support to warp or rot. Roof replacement becomes even more extensive and costly when gutters are neglected year after year. Water freezing in the gutters or along the roofline can drive water up under the roof even faster in winter months. Prevent roof damage by making sure your gutters are clear this winter.

Keeping Gutters Healthy

Like your roof, your gutters are made to last for decades. But dirty gutters will break down prematurely. Debris rotting in the gutters can cause gutters to rot and crack. The weight of debris, or ice that freezes in clogged gutters when water can’t get through, can cause gutters to sag away from your home or even break away entirely. Keep your gutters healthy by keeping them clean from debris.

Protecting Your Walkways and Driveways

Keeping water away from your home becomes even more important in the winter. Fluctuating winter temperatures can cause water to melt one day and freeze the next. When water pours from your home on a sunny day, it can do major damage to your walkways, driveways and masonry landscape features when temperatures drop again. That’s because concrete, stone, brick and other masonry materials absorb water. When temperatures drop and water freezes within the masonry material, cracks and holes form. Keeping your gutters clean can protect your walkway, driveway or masonry landscape feature from freeze-thaw damage.

Preserving Your Foundation

Just as the freeze-thaw cycle can damage your walkways, it can damage your foundation! In fact, the main purpose of gutters is to shutter water away from your foundation. Any time of year, water pooling around your foundation can cause everything from a flooded basement to a shifting foundation. In the winter, as the water around your home freezes and thaws, causing the ground around your home to contract and expand, water around your foundation can become even more dangerous. Gutters need to be kept clear year round to protect your foundation from water damage.

If you hate cleaning your gutters but want to protect your home from water and ice damage all year, The Gutterman of TN has a solution for you: SafeGuard Gutter Guards! Call us today to hear how gutter guards can keep your gutters flowing while eliminating the need for gutter cleaning.

Benefits of Installing SafeGuard Gutter Guards

Gutter guards have become increasingly common — both in application and in advertising. When it comes to gutter guards, you can’t do better than SafeGuard gutter guards from The Gutterman of TN. While the benefits of gutter guards might seem fairly straightforward, there are plenty of benefits of gutter guards that you might not have even considered. Installing SafeGuard Gutter Guards - Nashville TN - Gutterman of TN

Never clean your gutters again!

The most obvious benefit of gutter guards is what most people are looking for when they consider gutter guards: Maintenance-free gutters! Gutter guards keep debris out of your gutters, saving you from having to clean your gutters multiple times every year. What you might not realize is that many types of gutter guards still let some debris in, or will collect debris on top. SafeGuard gutter guards are different! With SafeGuard gutter guards, you truly won’t ever have to climb a latter to muck out your gutters ever again.

Keep pests out of your gutter and away from your home.

You might not realize it, but gutters offer an inviting environment for pests and provide some animals with entry into your home. Unguarded gutters can play host to mice, birds, squirrels, and nests of mosquitos or other insects. Gutter guards keep animals from nesting in your gutters, or from entering your gutters and finding gaps in your home’s siding or seams that allow them to gain entry into your attic or walls.

Prevent gutter overflows and water damage around your home.

When gutters are blocked, they don’t perform their function of shuttling water away from your home’s structure and your home’s foundation. Clogged gutters can cause water to back up into your home’s eaves and under your roofline. Overflowing gutters can cause water to flow down your siding, seep around your windows and pool around your home’s foundation. All of this can cause serious problems in your home, from mold growth and water-based rot to basement flooding and foundation damage. SafeGuard gutter guards keep your gutters flowing and prevent water damage in and around your home.

Stop ice dams.

Ice dams can cause a major headache during the cold-weather months. The heat in your attic melts the snow on top of your roof, causing it to flow down toward the gutters. If the gutters aren’t ready to usher that water away, the water re-freezes as the colder edges of your home. As cold weather persists, the ice buildup can grow larger and larger. It can damage your gutters and your roofing, and force water back into your home.

Extend the life of your gutters.

Believe it or not, gutter guards can actually extend the life of your gutters! When gutters are clogged with debris, they can become weighed down and sag and warp away from your home. The supports can fail, and the gutters can crack. The wet, rotting debris can cause rust and an overall breakdown of the gutter. Because gutter guards prevent the buildup of debris, they can prevent the breakdown of your gutter system and extend its overall lifespan!

If you don’t want to deal with cleaning your gutters again, and if you’re ready to realize all of the benefits SafeGuard gutter guards have to offer, call The Gutterman of TN to schedule a consultation today!

Common Gutter Problems

Gutters don’t get the credit they deserve for protecting homes from water damage. When gutters fail, however, homeowners quickly realize how important they are. When your gutters fail, your roofing, soffit and fascia can rot and mold; your doors, windows and siding can stain and deteriorate; your landscaping can get washed away; and your basement can flood. That’s why it’s best to keep failing gutters at bay. By watching for these common gutter problems, and making sure they get fixed ASAP, you can save yourself from some serious home-repair headaches.

Clogged Gutters

Common Gutter Problems - Nashville TN - Gutterman of TNIf there’s one most common gutter problem, it’s clogged gutters. When you fail to clear away your gutters regularly, clogs can form. Even if you clean your gutters regularly, an animal or bird can enter the gutter and build a nest or leave behind a mess and causing a clog. When clogged gutters remain unchecked, you’ll see a host of other gutter problems, which can include sagging gutters, ice dams and overflowing gutters.

Separating Gutters

The most common types of gutters used in the United States are aluminum gutters, which are put together in sections along your home. Over time, these gutters can separate  at the seams. When the separation is significant enough, water will pour through the seams and deposit along the foundation of your home, rather than traveling through the gutters and safely away from your home.

Sagging Gutters

Over time, the supports that secure your gutters to your home can begin to fail. Additionally, ice dams or debris trapped in your gutters can add too much weight for those supports to bear. When this happens, you gutters will sag. Not only will sagging gutters make your home look run down, but they will allow water to tip out of the gutters near your home’s foundation.

Ice Dams

In colder weather, ice dams can become a problem on the edge of your roof. Believe it or not, ice dams actually can be a gutter problem. Ice dams form when the snow on top of your roof melts from the heat in your attic. As the water from the snow runs down toward the edges of your roof and gutters, where the temperature is cooler, it refreezes and can form very large ice dams. Ice dams can damage your gutter system and your roof. Often, ice dams form because your gutters can’t whisk water away from your roofline quickly enough due to clogs, debris or other problems.

Improper Installation

Your gutters might have been improperly installed if they appear in good condition to the untrained eye. Improper pitch, improper size or downspouts that empty to close to your home are all common gutter installation problems that can prevent gutters from doing their job.

While all too common, these gutter problems shouldn’t be ignored. They can cause major problems — and major damage — in and around your home. That’s why these gutter problems whould be evaluated by a professional. If you notice signs of these common gutter problems, call The Gutterman of TN to schedule an appointment today! We’ll evaluate your gutters and do what’s needed to have your gutters working to protect your home from water damage.

Clear Out Your Gutters Before Cold Weather Hits

By now, the trees have dropped all of their leaves: Have you cleared out your gutters yet? To avoid problems with your gutters,  roof, or basement — clean out your gutters now! Do this before temperatures drop and water freezes for the winter.

Why you need clean gutters for the winter: Clear Out Your Gutters Before Cold Weather Image - Nashville TN - Gutterman

While keeping gutters clear is always crucial to preventing flooding or damage to your roof, walls, basement, landscaping and foundation, clean gutters become even more important in winter. That’s because clogged gutters prevent water from passing properly through the gutters. In warm weather, that can cause gutters to overflow. In cold weather, however, that water can freeze in the gutters and cause even more damage, including:

  • Icicles.
    When clogged gutters overflow in freezing temperatures, major icicles can result. Icicles might seem innocent enough, or even picturesque, but they can serve as a hazard. They may cause gutters to sag away from the house due to the added weight of the ice.
  • Ice dams.
    The most serious problem that results from clogged gutters in the winter is ice dams. Ice dams form on the edges of your roof when the snow on your rooftop melts because of the warm air in your attic. As the water hits the colder edges of the roofline, and can’t enter the gutters because of clogging, the water freezes and can form massive ice formations that can damage your roof or your home structure.
  • Gutter and roof damage.
    Anytime you invite water and ice to build up around your gutters and your roofline, you invite the opportunity for damage and mold. Clogged gutters can force water back up under your roof, where it can damage the roof structure or the wooden supports of your home, or cause mold or mildew to develop. The weight of the ice on your gutters and roof can cause buckling, cracking and other damage.

Keep your gutters flowing this winter with gutter guards:

There is one simple solution to preventing the buildup of ice in your gutters and on your rooftop due to clogged gutters: Gutter guards! Gutter guards prevent debris from entering your gutter and causing clogs that stop water from flowing freely through your gutters. At The Gutterman of TN, we install SafeGuard Gutter Guards. With SafeGuard Gutter Guards, the unique steel mesh that tops the gutters prevents any clog-forming debris from finding its way into your gutters so your gutters keep flowing all year long.

To keep your gutters and your home safe from damage due to ice dams and icicles, make sure you clean all of the leaves and debris out of your gutters before temperatures drop below freezing and the snow begins to fall. If you want to make this fall the last fall you have to clean out your gutters to prevent wintertime damage, call The Gutterman of TN to ask about installing SafeGuard Gutter Guards on your new or existing gutters.

How Do Gutter Guards Work?

Homeowners looking to eliminate the chore of cleaning the gutters surely have come across advertisements for gutter guards meant to keep the debris out of the gutters. If these gutter guards — and the thought of never cleaning your gutters again — appeals to you then read this. You won’t have to wonder if gutter guards work, and if they work as well as manufacturers claim.

How Gutter Guards WorkHow Do Gutter Guards Work Image - Nashville TN - Gutterman of TN

There are several types of gutter guard systems. All are meant to deflect debris off of your gutters so that water can flow freely through the gutters season after season. Some of these gutter guards can be fitted to your existing gutters, while other types of gutter guards require removal of the gutters for installation, entirely new gutters or installation underneath your roofing.

Types of Gutter Guards

The primary types of gutter guards include:

  • Reverse-curve gutter guards. Reverse-curve gutter guards cover the top of the gutter entirely. The top of the gutter guard curves around the front edge of the gutter inward toward the gutter opening. The premise of reverse-curve gutter guards is that water will create surface tension over the curve of the gutter. While leaves and debris pour off of the gutter, water follows the curve of the gutter guard around until it falls into the gutter itself. The primary problem with reverse-curve gutter guards is that the reverse-curve can become overwhelmed by heavy rain so that water just floods over the guard. With many models, small debris, like seeds and pods, still make their way into the gutters.
  • Screening. Screen-based gutter guards are often attached to existing gutters. They feature screening with round or diamond-shaped holes. While water can enter the gutters through the gutter-guard openings, debris can’t. Most screen-based gutter guards feature holes that are small enough to keep out leaves and large debris, but large enough to allow pine needles, seed pods and other small debris in, which means that they eventually will have to be removed so the gutters can be cleared.
  • Inserts. There also are gutter inserts that are meant to keep debris from entering the gutters while allowing water through. These include brushes and foam. Like screening, these inserts can help to lower the frequency of gutter cleaning by keeping out large debris, but they do allow debris to accumulate in the gutter over time.

The Mesh Gutter Guard Difference

The one type of gutter guard that shows, time and again, that it can keep out debris of all sizes while still allowing water entry to the gutter is mesh gutter guards. Mesh gutter guards are made from a super-fine stainless steel mesh. The mesh is small enough to keep out any debris that could clog gutters, but water still enters the gutters even in the heaviest rains or snow melts. Most mesh gutter guards can be installed over your existing gutters and don’t interfere with your roof.

If you’re looking for gutter guards that truly work to keep debris out of the gutters while safely whisking water away from your home, call The Gutterman of TN! We install SafeGuard micromesh gutter guards that will protect your gutters from debris year after year.

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