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Fix Leaky Gutters

How to Fix Leaky Gutters

Gutters are used to direct rainwater to the appropriate drainage area to avoid any damage to the house or drainage and flooding problems. However, they end up collecting all other debris that ends up falling from the roof including leaves and branches. Most homeowners tend to overlook the maintenance of gutters and over time they may develop leaks at different spots. The accumulation of branches and leaves and also snow in colder climates, is bound to contribute to leaky gutters as their structure becomes weaker over time. For those who like simple do-it-yourself projects to keep their house in the best condition. Below we will look at some useful tips on how to fix leaky gutters.

fix leaky gutters

Before delving into the different ways of how to fix leaky gutters, it is essential to first note that gutters exist in two different variants. There are plastic and metal gutters available today. The fact that they are made of different materials means that they require different repair methods and equipment. Homeowners should begin by inspecting their home’s gutters to find out exactly what they are made of to determine what method to follow.

Fix Leaky Gutters – Metal

In most cases, metal gutters are the norm especially for older structures. The simplest way on how to fix leaky gutters that are made of metal is to scrape the joint and clear any debris and then dry it. Once dry, use a caulking gun to inject roofing and gutter sealant. If the leak persists then, it may require more work to repair your leaky gutter as described below.

Where the leaky gutter is not repaired by a simple application of sealant, it will be necessary to dismantle the entire gutter joint clean off the old and dried up putty and then apply a new sealant. Dismantling gutters may be problematic considering that the spike and ferrules used to hang the gutters may not pull out easily without damaging the gutters. It is then going to be necessary to replace the gutters instead of repairing them.

Fix Leaky Gutters – Plastic

Leaky gutters made of plastic, on the other hand, require less work as compared to metal gutters. Plastic gutters mainly leak around unions or joints that connect to the gutters to lead water downwards. In this case the most common cause of such leaks is the accumulation of dirt that forces the gaskets sealing the union to give way.

To fix leaky gutters made of pvc, press the pipe inwards to release the clips holding the pipe leading water down to the union. Once it releases you can check to see whether cleaning the accumulated dirt will be enough to fix the leak or installation of a new gasket is required. There are also PVC gutters that you can clean the gutter joints, then dry the pvc leaky gutter joint. You fix leaky gutter joints by applying a sealant recommended for pvc gutters. Regular maintenance will prevent leaky gutters.



Frozen Downspouts

This week’s number one problem has been frozen downspouts. Weather conditions have been perfect for freezing downspouts. Once the route down is frozen, the gutters will drip over and form those pretty icicles you’ve been seeing. I have been seeing the icicles, and frozen downspouts, all over town.

What can you do about this?

Prevention:  Downspouts freeze quickly if the water flow is stopped somewhere along the way.

frozen downspouts

 

In the recent storm, the heavy wet snow was enough to block water flow at the bottom, if the ends weren’t shoveled clear.  Because of the thawing and refreezing this week, downspouts also froze up at the elbows. Prevention involves clearing the ends of the downspouts and also keeping an eye on the elbow joints.

Downspouts collected ice inside, where the downspouts were dented or bent. Long-term prevention involves checking for bends and dings in the downspouts before winter sets in.

 Action: On line advice about frozen downspouts varies. Some say just leave it alone. Others recommend taking ice-melt to the gutters (see below.) A few say heat the gutters to clear them. One recommends whacking the gutter (from an upstairs window) with a baseball bat. Yet another recommends running electrical heat tape to prevent melting.

 What to look for to prevent a big problem?

The main reason that you don’t want your gutters icing up is two-fold. The worst thing that can happen is for the melting ice to find its way into your house.  The second worst thing that can happen is that the ice in the backed-up gutter gets heavy enough to tear the gutter off the house.

Ice Dam

Prevention: To prevent water in your house, your roof should be installed with a sheet of rubber under it. This way, if water collects on the edge of the roof, it won’t find its way through the waterproofing. The second prevention measure is to keep your roof cold. This means insulating and ventilating your roof surface. (This is also good for lowering your heating bills.) A warm roof allows snow to melt at the bottom edge, then refreeze overnight. Then, the subsequent melting the next day increases the build-up of  ice that will melt the next day, and so on. The more melting water, the more weight and pressure; these are conditions that favor water finding its easiest route down is through the wood behind your gutters. The third preventative measure is to make sure your gutters are draining well before the winter sets in. Most gutters collect leaves and debris that can impede to flow enough to allow freezing, even if the downspouts are clear. Clear and check the flow in your gutters sometime in the fall, after the leaves have fallen and before the cold sets in.

Roof Heat Tape

Action: If you see awesome quantities of ice collecting in your gutters and your downspouts are frozen, you may want to take evasive action. The tried and true method is to fill a stocking with ice melt and put it in the gutter. If this is a chronic problem that happens every year, using an ice rake to clear the snow near the bottom of the roof may be an option (depending on how high your roof is.)

The last-ditch and most expensive and inefficient method is to install heat tape to melt the snow and prevent the refreezing.

Frozen Downspouts

Frozen Downspouts was written by :



Remove Pine Needles From Roofs

Remove Pine Needles From Roofs

You ask “do I need to remove pine needles from roofs”? The answer is yes. You do need to remove pine needles from roofs. They retain moisture which will prematurely age your roof. Below is the recommendations from PABCO®Roofing Products on how to maintain your roof.

Remove Pine Needles From Roofs

PABCO®Roofing Products recommends the following maintenance practices for our asphalt shingles. There may be additional practices for other components of the full roofing system. PABCO® is only addressing the maintenance practices for our shingles.
• Avoid unnecessary foot traffic. The surface granules provide the appearance of the roof, but also cover and protect the core asphalt from harmful ultraviolet light. Excessive scuffing will shorten the useful life of the roof. (Newly installed asphalt shingles commonly carry some extra granules riding on the surface of the shingle.
These normally come off of the roof in a short period of time by the actions of rain and/or wind. After this initial release of granules, it is part of the normal weathering process for additional granules to be released over the life of the shingles.)
• Never allow water from a downspout to discharge directly onto a roof below. Connect an upper story downspout to a lower level gutter.
• Moss and algae need moisture to grow. To reduce the time moisture is available on the roof, do not allow the accumulation of roof debris, such as leaves or pine needles. Debris should be removed in a safe manner by a leaf blower or similar, non-abrasive method. The air flow should be directed down the slope to avoid driving debris under the edges of the shingles. Keep the gutters clear to promote proper water drainage.
• Periodic roof cleaning may be needed to keep the roof free of moss and algae growth. If keeping debris off the roof does not prevent moss and algae growth, kill the growth by applying a 50:50 mix of liquid chlorine bleach and water. Allow the solution to dwell on the surface (15 to 20 minutes) and then rinse thoroughly with
low pressure water. Extended dwell times may be necessary to kill the moss, however avoid letting the solution dry completely as this may prevent complete rinsing. Repeat the chlorine treatment as needed. After the moss is dead, it will loosen with time until it can be blown off the roof with any other roof debris. Take proper precautions to protect landscaping and surrounding areas from the chlorine bleach solution. Use the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) when working with chlorine bleach.
• We do not recommend the use of commercially available cleaning solutions or concentrates, regardless of whether they purport suitability for use on roofs, as our experience has shown that many of these products may damage our shingles or the overall integrity of the roof system. The only cleaning method we do recommend is
the bleach/water solution used in the manner outlined above.
• Avoid other cleaning practices, as they may damage the shingles and void coverage under the terms of the PABCO® Limited Shingle Warranty. This includes, but is not limited to, the use of acids, detergent powders, solvents, and any other material that does not rinse cleanly off the roof. Do not clean roofs with a power
washer, or any other pressurized water device, with or without chemicals, or use abrasive cleaning methods such as a brush or broom.
• The roof surface must be protected from over spray or staining from other trades, such as painting, stucco, or masonry, as there may be no way to remove these foreign materials without damaging the shingles.
• Do not apply paints or coatings to the shingles.
• Periodically inspect the roof for damage and debris, typically each spring or after extreme weather. Repair roof damage promptly to avoid further damage.
• Safety must be the first priority when working on a roof. Observe every necessary precaution, safety guideline, and safe work practice, or have a roofing professional do the work.

This information on Remove Pine Needles From Roofs was take from this bulletin.

Remove pine needles from roofs as often as needed. This could be 4 or 5 times a year.  Safety is the most important thing as being on a roof is a dangerous thing. Most falls are from ladders and these occur when getting on or off the roof. When you go to remove pine needles from roofs, learn the safest way to do the job first.



How Often Should Gutters Be Cleaned

How often should gutters be cleaned?

It depends! Some houses can go for a couple of years between cleanings. Others need cleaning twice a year or more. Each situation is different

Develop a history

Starting out to find how often cleaning is needed the gutters and down spouts should be checked twice a year for signs of blockage, leaks and possible overflowing. If you live in a high rainfall area or have a lot of trees hanging over the house you may want to increase the frequency of checking the gutter system. As you check the system and track the need for cleaning after a season or two it will be very clear what is needed for gutter cleaning frequency

how often should gutters be cleaned

For those who can not see any of the gutters from inside the house and do not climb ladders checking the system for blockage can be relatively easy. On clear days check of signs of mold or streaking on places the gutters may over flow. Observe the siding for discolorations indicating water leaks. Just when it starts to rain go to the out let of he downspouts and if water does not flow very soon after the start of a heavy rain you know that something is blocking either the gutters or leaders. If you want to stay dry and the garden hose spray can reach the roof the same test can be done of the system by spraying water on the roof and simulating a rain, checking the water flows down the system as it saturates the roof and fills the gutter.

This way you do not have to clean the gutters more often than needed. Regardless if you are doing it yourself or paying some one to climb up and clean the gutters no one wants to waste time energy or money on something that is not needed.

Cleaning frequency

Prior to having a history on when gutter cleaning is need for a house follow this rule of thumb. Gutters and downspouts should be cleaned and checked for signs of necessary repairs at least twice a year. Typically, the best times to do this are spring when the tree seed pods and flower debris are down and fall when the leaves are down but take care not to wait so long a prolonged freeze sets in. Each year this window of opportunity can be very different. The late fall option can be difficult if put off too long and you get into snow and freezing weather were it is not safe or practical to work on gutters. If you suspect a problem or live in an extremely rainy climate, then perhaps, you should check and clean the gutters more frequently. If there are a lot of trees that are high or over hang the roof then the need for cleaning will naturally increase the frequency. Some people cannot tell in advance the need for gutter cleaning so just wait till the gutters show a problem then have them cleaned. This method can stretch out the need for cleaning but also lead to a sudden death playoff with problems in the winter being the hardest to resolve if there are freezing conditions. If you live in an area that winter is cold enough for freezing then you can get ice dams in the gutters and water pouring into the house as melting snow from the heat inside works up under the roof since the ice blocks the normal flow of water off the roof. As you keep track of how much material is removed at cleaning, how full the gutters are and if there are blocked downspouts you will know what the right frequency is. Most houses always have bad spot and areas of guttering that stays clear.

“How Often Gutters Should Be Cleaned”

Was written By Dana Huntley of Gutter Cleaning Hampton

http://guttercleaninghampton.com



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