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Gutterman of TN's Blog

The Dangers of Stagnant Water

Your gutters play an important role in protecting your home. They keep water from accumulating and standing around your home. When you know the dangers of stagnant water, you understand the importance of taking care of your gutters. In addition, making sure they stay free from debris and in good repair!rain falling off house roof

Increased pressure on the foundation.

Are your gutter downspouts depositing water too close to your foundation and allowing it to stagnate? Are they overflowing and allowing water to pool next to your house? If so, that water can put undue pressure on your foundation. If you can see puddles of stagnant water around your home, that means the soil underneath is fully saturated with water. That heavy, water-laden soil can put pressure on the sides of your foundation. Consequently, this can lead to bulging or cracked walls in your basement.

Settling foundation.

The second problem with an accumulation of water against your foundation? Water draining away. If stagnant water has been putting pressure on your foundation, when that water finally drains away, your home’s foundation can shift and settle. A settling foundation can lead to uneven floors and cracks in the walls or foundation. It can also lead to cracks or shifts in other home structures, such as your masonry chimney.

Flooded or moldy basement.

Stagnant water around your home’s foundation also can cause excessive moisture in your basement. That can mean flooding in your basement during rain events, or mold growth along your basement walls. Dampness or flooding in your basement can damage walls and ceilings and ruin furniture. Even destroying flooring or any possessions you might keep stored there. At the very least, all of that excessive moisture can make the environment in your basement unpleasant. This causes damp air and a musty, moldy smell.

Pest growth.

Stagnant water also can have a detrimental effect on your health or the health of your pets. Standing water serves as a breeding ground for insects like mosquitoes and flies. Mosquitoes carry a host of diseases that can infect humans, such as West Nile Virus. Plus, mosquitoes can infect your pets with heartworms. When you allow standing water to stagnate near your home, you are inviting pests and the diseases they carry into your backyard!

To prevent stagnant water from accumulating around your home, you need a clean, functioning and properly designed gutter system. Make sure you clean your gutters at least twice a year — or have them fitted with gutter guards to keep debris out. Also, watch for defects in your gutters, such as cracks, sagging and leaking.

If you notice that your gutter system is allowing water to pool and stagnate around your home’s foundation, call The Gutterman of TN to schedule an appointment today! We can evaluate your existing gutter system and come up with a solution that will keep your home and your family safe from the dangers of stagnant water.

Is your home having water drainage issues? We can help!

Lets us Help with Water Drainage Image - Nashville TN - Gutterman of TNWater drainage issues can be frustrating. When water pools around your home or floods into your basement, it can be inconvenient at best and damaging and costly at worst. If you see signs of water drainage problems around your home, The Gutterman of TN can help!

Signs of drainage issues

Water pooling around the outside of your home or on your basement floor serve as obvious signs that your home has drainage issues. There are some more subtle signs of drainage issues that you should be aware of to be sure that water runoff isn’t doing damage to your yard or your home’s structure.

Damaged landscaping. Improperly draining gutters can flood your landscaping. It can displace mulch, stone or landscaping features, cause depressions in the lawn or landscaping beds, or turn vegetation yellow or cause plants to die.

Overflowing gutters. If you see water streaming over the sides of your gutters when it rains, it is obvious that your gutters aren’t draining properly. You may not actively see the water flowing out of the gutters, but you might see water or mud streaks or splatters down the sides of your home.

Stained basement walls. Water stains on the basement walls can reveal one of two problems. Stains higher up on the walls are evidence that gutter downspouts are dumping water against your home’s foundation, while lower stains might reveal a larger drainage issue. Flaking deposits on your basement walls also can be signs of drainage problems.

Cracked foundation. It’s normal to see small cracks on your basement walls or on the exterior foundation of your home. If you see larger cracks developing — cracks that are 1/8 inch or thicker — monitor them to make sure they aren’t growing, which could be a sign that water is damaging your foundation.

Solving drainage issues

Many drainage issues are caused by improperly functioning gutters. Gutters that are clogged by leaves or debris, gutters that are improperly sized, missing or misdirected downspouts and damaged or leaking gutters all can cause water to drain against your home and cause damage. Once you see the signs of improper drainage, it’s crucial to have your home’s drainage inspected immediately, before pooling water can do expensive damage to your landscaping, house structure or foundation.

If you have noticed signs of flooding, pooling water or overflowing gutters around your home, call The Gutterman of TN to schedule an appointment today! We can inspect your entire gutter system for improper sizing, missing downspouts, damage, blockages and other problems. We can help you find solutions to your drainage issues, whether it is a simple cleaning, redirecting downspouts, placing rain barrels to capture some of your storm water runoff or replace your gutter system with properly sized gutters that won’t become blocked or leak.

Overflowing Gutters

Overflowing Gutters - Nashville TN - Gutterman of TNWhen you look up at your roof line do you see the beginnings of a national forest growing from the saplings in your gutters?

Have you ever been trying to unlock your front door when its raining outside and the water pours down on you from your overflowing gutter and gives you an unwelcome shower?

When you look up at your gutters do they look as if someone got creative and tried to stripe them?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, it means there is a problem with your gutters overflowing and water not being properly directed away from your home. It is important that you contact a gutter professional to fix the issues before you have serious damage to your home. Homeowners living in the Nashville area know all it takes is one phone call to the experts from Gutterman of Middle Tennessee and their gutter issues will be solved.

Gutters are designed to channel the water away from your roof and the foundation of your home. If you don’t have gutters on your home, or if your gutters are not properly functioning, or they are damaged, the water runoff will pool around your foundation and cause major structural damage. Gutters provide a necessary function in protecting the structural integrity of your home.

The harm caused from overflowing gutters includes cracked driveways and concrete, flooded basements, roof and siding damage, and mold growth…all of which are expensive and complicated repairs. And of course, whenever mold is involved, it means a health hazard as well.

Other signs that your gutters are overflowing include a drip line or trench under the gutter area around your house, dried leaves/dirt/debris on the gutters, rotting or peeling paint, and/or gutters that have pulled away from the house.

“Unfortunately, gutter systems take more abuse from extreme weather conditions, particularly ice and snow, than any other component of the building envelope. They are also subject to damage from ladders and being stepped on, as well as from falling tree limbs and debris.”, according to the Old House Web How To Advice.

Therefore, it is important to walk around your house and pay close attention to the condition of your gutters and the area adjacent to them. Look for streaks from water that has not been directed through the gutter into the strategically placed downspout. Water run off will leave its tell tales signs of brown stripes and lines both on the actual gutters and the sides of your home. Look to ensure that all the gutters fit tightly along your roof line and there are no gaps and the gutters are not pulling away from the fascia. Make sure that your downspouts are fit properly and are correctly attached to the gutter, the water is being directed away from your home, and there is no pooling of water.

If you are unsure of what to look for or see anything that looks suspicious, then call your gutter professional to inspect your gutter system and make sure is functioning properly and able to handle the run off in your area during all four seasons.

If you are in the Nashville area, Gutterman of Middle Tennessee is available to share or knowledge and expertise with you to provide you the best gutter system possible to keep your home protected from water damage.

Are You Watering Your Garden With A Rain Barrel?

Watering a Garden with a Rain Barrel - Nashville TN - Gutterman of TNIn today’s day and age, it’s all about conservation of resources. When you use a rain barrel you not only conserve water but your conserve your cash as well by reducing your water bills. The Gutterman of Tennessee recognize that using a rain barrel is both good for the environment as well as being an efficient and effective way to water your landscaping and garden. While we don’t sell rain barrels, we will happily install them while performing gutter services for you.

Homeowners in Nashville have plenty of rain to collect in their barrels. A rain barrel is an often decorative container that captures rain water from your downspouts and helps reduce your water costs and enable you to be the neighbor with “greener grass”.

When considering using a rain barrel there are several important considerations and concerns: Mosquitos. You don’t want to attract and provide a breeding ground for mosquitoes. Not only do mosquitoes bite, but they also can carry some dangerous diseases. Therefore it’s very important that your rain barrel has a very fine mesh covering for the hole that connects the barrel to your downspout. The other important consideration should be an overflow drain. When your rain barrel becomes full you want to a) be sure the rain doesn’t pool and attract the mosquitoes, and b) doesn’t pool and cause damage to your home’s foundation.

There are some important maintenance issues regarding your rain barrel, while not very extensive or time consuming, none the less, they are important. First periodically clean the protective screen. And when the weather turns cold, empty your barrel of any accumulated water, clean it with mild soap, and store the barrel upside down until spring.

Proper installation of your rain barrel is important. The Nashville Water Services Community Education program, offers this information:

  • Position the rain barrel (with blocks under it) adjacent to a downspout and remove enough of the downspout (with a hacksaw) so that there is ample room to attach a 45 degree elbow still allowing the rain barrel to easily fit underneath with approximately 2″ of clearance.
  • Your rain barrel must be secured on a raised, level surface (like concrete blocks). A full 55 gallon rain barrel weighs over 400 Ibs. and tipping is a risk if it is unsecured or on uneven ground.
  • Divert your overflow to a safe discharge location away from your homes foundation.
  • Do not use moss control or other chemicals on your roof that are not garden safe.
  • NEVER use water from the rain barrel for drinking, cooking or other potable uses.

Finally, homeowners should be mindful of these additional considerations as outlined by the EPA, “The roof construction materials should not be treated cedar shakes or materials containing asbestos. The gutter system should not have lead solder or lead-based paint, and bird droppings should be cleaned from gutters and the roof as needed.” []

Unlike city water that has been treated, rain water is much more pure and chemical free, especially when you follow the EPA recommendation requirements for proper collection of the water. When you call Gutterman to service and/ or repair your gutters and downspouts, ask us about rain barrels, we will happy to assist you.

Benefits Of A French Drain System

French Drain Benefits - Nashville TN - Gutterman of TNIf you own a home, or are looking to purchase a home in the future, you have probably been made aware of the importance of drainage. Draining excess water from your home is one of the most important things you can do in order to protect your home from damage and maintain the integrity of the exterior AND interior of your home. Without proper drainage, you could see water pool around your home that may damage the foundation. You may even see some leaks and interior damage. Rainwater from your homes gutters and downspouts may also be flooding your yard and property and soaking it making for a poorly maintained lawn. Simply put, you want to get any water away from your home and property as fast and the best as possible. What is the easiest way to do that?

French Drainage System

French_drain_diagram (public domain)A French drain system is a widely used method for diverting water away from your home. This type of system involves digging a trench along the slope of your property and covering it with gravel. In some cases, piping is installed in the trench to expedite the movement of water away from the home or structure.

Benefits Of A French Drain System

There are a variety of benefits to this sort of drain system, all of which should be considered by homeowners. One of the biggest draws of a French drain system is that the homeowner can choose where the water is diverted. In traditional drain systems, the water is simply run off and away from the house, but with a French drain, the trench can lead as far away from other structures as the homeowner desires. Additionally, this type of system is cost effective, and does not require as much intensive installation as other types of systems. One of the features homeowners like best is that French drainage systems are often attractive. The trenches can be covered with gravel and decorative rocks that lead to a pathway towards your house. Having a drainage system that is effective as well as attractive is a real draw for many homeowners.

The International Association of Certified Home Inspection recommends a thorough inspection of any French drainage system  installed in a home you are planning on purchasing. In many cases, homeowners take this project on themselves, but if not installed properly this type of drainage will not work and can wreak havoc on surrounding structures. Similarly, if you are planning on installing a French drain system, consult with a professional contractor or drain company to ensure the project is done effectively and correctly.

The Gutterman Of TN knows drainage systems and can recommend the right system for your home, as well as your budget. It is important that whatever style drainage system you use, you choose one that will work with the gutters around your home to properly divert water away from the structure, as well as any surrounding structures. The Gutterman will come to your home, look at your existing structures and recommend the best course of action. Don’t tackle an important task like installing a drainage system on your own. Trust the experts to recommend and execute a system that will work for you and your home for years.

Rain Chains: Decorative Alternatives to Downspouts

A rain chain at workAs The Gutterman of TN, I understand the desire for combining beauty and style with function when it comes to the look of your home. One way to improve the aesthetics of your gutter system is to install rain chains to protect the foundation of your home from soil erosion by diverting rainwater runoff from your gutters. Widely used in Japan for hundreds of years, installing a rain chain can add a bit of Eastern decor to your house. Rain chains can also play a creative yet important part of a rain collection system. I would like to tell you more about these attractive alternatives to downspouts.

Add a Bit of Zen to Your Garden

Often mistaken as wind chimes, rain chains are generally made from durable copper that will become even more attractive as it ages with that classic green patina. Most commonly, rain chains consist of a series of cups or links chained together, and the rainwater travels downwards through the hole at the bottom of each cup or around the links. One of the benefits of a rain chain is the soothing, meditative sound it creates as the water cascades down the chain through each cup or link.

Conserve Water By Installing Your Rain Chain Above a Rain Barrel

The Japanese use rain chains as a pathway to a rainwater collection container, such as a decorative basin or a rain barrel. By diverting water directly to a catchment device, a rain chain serves an essential function. If you do not have a rain barrel or other container for collecting rainwater runoff from your gutters, you can arrange for the water to go straight into a planting area. The Gutterman has experience with installing rain barrels with rain chains, and we know the best places to put your rainwater collecting system.

Explore the Design Options When Choosing a Rain Chain 

As the popularity of using rain chains as downspouts is growing in our country, you can find different types of rain chains, other than the traditional Asian minimalist style. Cups can be found in shapes such as umbrellas, watering cans, and flowers, according to the Mother Nature Network. When shopping for a rain chain, you will also see a variety of materials, including stainless steel and bamboo, being used to create the chains. Whether you prefer the look of a traditional copper cup chain or a whimsical, fun, and modern creation, you should consider all of the options you have when looking for the perfect rain chain for your home.

Understand the Importance of Proper Installation

The reason why The Gutterman of TN recommends we install your rain chains is to prevent drainage problems due to installation mistakes. When rainwater is not diverted away from your home, the water begins to pool around the foundation. This can cause mold, mildew, a breeding ground for mosquitoes, and possible cracks and other damage to your home’s foundation. We know the best ways and locations to install rain chains to save your house from drainage issues.

If you would like to know more about rain chains and rain barrels, contact The Gutterman of TN today. We will be happy to teach you about this way of conserving water and protecting your home from drainage problems.