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31/10/16 Gutter cleaning safety

Regular gutter cleaning is an important aspect of maintaining your home and should ideally be done at least twice a year by an experienced professional. However, it is always a good idea to conduct regular basic cleaning. As winter approaches snow and ice can have a devastating impact on your gutters and pipes (burst pipes and frozen gutters), it is a good idea to remove leaves, sticks and other debris, this allows the melting snow or ice to flow freely through the pipes. We have compiled a list of safety tips to get you on your way;

  • Ladder safety – The first and most important tip is to secure the ladder, the best way to do this is to have someone else hold on to the base. Having someone there with you is also a good idea because they can let passersby know that there’s someone up there. If you are going to be cleaning your roof or gutters often, then it might be worth investing in ladder stabilizers as they come in handy when you have to do it alone or in a busy area.
  • Gutter Scoop – Using a gutter scoop makes your job the much easier, you can just use this to scoop out leafs and other debris. Gutter scoopers are normally plastic in nature with a thin edge; this works out great because it forms itself to the bottom of the gutter which in turn makes it easier to scoop out the toughest of debris in any gutter size. Try to avoid using metal scoopers as they can puncture the pipes or gutter system resulting in expensive fixes.
  • Protective gloves – You should always protect your hands against dirt, leafs and other debris that might be in there including droppings from squirrels, birds and lots more. Gloves can also protect against cuts from metal shards and jagged edges which might be infectious. We suggest thick suede material for the glove as its superior cotton quality makes it hard to penetrate.
  • Rubber shoes – If the need arises to walk on the roof then consider wearing rubber shoes as the soles can grip to the roof and prevent slip and slide accidents. If necessary, we advise doing this later in the morning or early in the afternoon, as the roof tends to be moist early in the morning and more towards evening time so allowing the sun to dry up the moisture.
  • Power line hazards – Before cleaning gutters look around for power line cables that might have been dropped on to your roof. If you do see any loose cables on your roof then do not progress with the cleaning, instead call a licensed professional or the company in charge of the cables as they are required to fix it immediately because it is a health hazard.
  • Gutter guards – It is a good idea to invest in gutter guards to make cleaning easier or to totally eliminate the need for cleaning in the future. As the name suggests, gutter guards cover up the gutters which keeps out leaves, pine needles and more. It is worth noting that some companies might make certain promises that they can’t, so always look online for reviews before a purchase.

We advice following these tips when cleaning your gutters, and remember that your gutters should be professionally cleaned at least two times a year by an experienced professional. To get more advice or to seek a professonal opinion call us on 0800 086 8312 or send us an email at info@gutterartcheshire.co.uk


06/07/16

The Ultimate Guide to Gutters, Fascias and Soffits

Gutter systems are vital home improvements for properties located in areas that experience periods of heavy rain falls. They protect homes from storm water and the damages that it can do. A gutter system will help gather and redirect the rainwater that falls on the property’s roof during bad weather. It will help reduce the water and moisture damage that would usually affect homes.

Without a reliable gutter system to direct the rain water away from the property and the adjacent grounds, this water would affect the foundation of the house and cause significant damage to its brickwork, basement, and structure. Heavy rainfall can also affect the roof itself. Water can quite literally slip through the cracks during storms and affect your roof space.

house roof and gutters

If you live in a wet or rainy climate, having a gutter system that is tailored to your property is the safest way to ensure that your home is protected from dampness, water, and moisture damage. We typically do not give gutters much thought until they become clogged or overflowing, but they save us from costly home repair and maintenance work time and time again. Properties without fascia and gutter systems to direct this rain water away from the grounds and roof often experience significant water damage.

There are several types of gutter systems to help protect properties against storm water damage. What will work best for your home depends on the property’s requirements. The size, location, age, and building materials that your home has will influence its needs in terms of storm damage prevention. You should take into account these factors before deciding which gutter and fascia systems are ideal for your house.

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5/01/15

Cleaning your gutters – what you need to know

Gutter cleaning is often a job that most homeowners want to avoid. Completely understandable. But it’s a job that needs to be done if you want to protect the foundations from runoff water, and is vital for the maintenance of your home.

But what does it take to maintain your gutters?

A sturdy ladder – You’re going to need a good ladder to get up to your gutters. Free standing ladders often suffice if the ground around your home is level, but if not you’re best off getting hold of an extension ladder.

Gloves – Scraping out the dirt and debris that gathered in your gutter with your bare hands isn’t the smartest move. You could easily catch a finger on sharp edges, so get an old pair of work gloves ready. If you would rather not dip your hands into the gutter, you can purchase a gutter scoop that’ll make clearing out the debris much, much easier.

Pressure washing – Another alternative to manually scooping the debris out the gutter is to purchase a pressure washer and blast any of the debris out. This is also idea for debris that has become stuck on the inside of your guttering.

 Unclog downspouts – It’s all very well and good that your gutters are squeaky clean, but if the runoff water can’t make its way through downspouts you have a problem. Eliminate clogs and blockages by flushing the downspouts out.

Gutter guards – These are designed to keep the cleaning to a minimum. They’ll protect your gutter from falling debrief and ensure water can flow easily through them.

Call us! – Or, why not save yourself the bother and call us to do it. We’re efficient, experienced, and quick. Call us today for the complete gutter cleaning and repair. 


5/08/15

Four signs that you need to invest in new gutters

The gutters on your home play a vital role in its upkeep. Without it, water will find its way onto exterior walls, windows, doors, and to your foundation, potentially causing water problems outside and inside the house.

Most homeowners understand the importance of maintaining their gutters too. But there aren’t many that spot telltale signs that the gutters on their home need replacing.

So to help you spot problems, we’ve listed four common signs that your gutters need replacing

Peeling paint

This is often the easiest sign to spot. If you see painted areas below the gutter, or next your downspout, it could mean that water is somehow getting to it. A broken gutter could be leaking or overflowing onto the painted surface causing it to peel.

You can have gutter cracks and overflows repaired, but in some instances, if the damage is too far gone, it may be easier to just replace the guttering.

Obvious splitting & cracking

Gutters are installed in sections with joints and sleeves to guarantee that the water inside can move smoothly. Any cracks in the joints can easily be repaired, but if gutters have split along the channels, then it could cause some pretty serious spilling.

Drastic changes in temperature can often cause cracking and split gutters too.

Standing water

If you’re starting to notice pools of water at the base of your house where you have never seen them before, it could be a sign that your gutters are failing. They are there to direct water away from your house.

You’ll need to drain these unexpected pools so that they don’t cause more damage to your property and then locate and fix the problem with your gutter.

Organic growth

If rainwater is left standing in you’re clogged up gutters, you’ll find unwanted growth like mildew on the walls and patio around windows. A clear sign that you have a gutter problem.

If you’re worried that there’s something wrong with your gutter and would like help repairing or replacing it, then get in touch with us today.  


5/15/15

Gutter cleaning mistakes that could cost you

As far as dangerous jobs around the house go, you won’t think of cleaning out your gutters as a serious one. But it is. A slip from your ladder or off the roof can cause some pretty serious harm. That is why it’s important that anyone looking to clean out their gutters this summer understands the mistakes they might make.

Going for convenience – Some decide that making a job easier is preferable to making a job safer. But you’ll regret this decision when you’re falling from your roof. So make sure that you’re thinking about safety rather than getting the job done quickly.

Purchase safety equipment, and never, ever scramble up the side of your house without ladders. You’re asking to be injured if you do.

Overreaching – Most ladders are cumbersome, so many owners try to reach out as far as possible so that they don’t have to shift the ladder again. Never do this. Overreach or lean too far to one side and you’ll find yourself going over with the ladder.

Climb down and reposition it instead. Sure it’ll take longer and it’s a bit more work, but it’s better than breaking your neck, right?

Failing to inspect the ladder – Your ladder might look sturdy, but if you haven’t put it to use for a few years, make sure that you give it a thorough check. Any loose or broken hardware could soon cause an accident.

Incorrect footwear – We doubt you’ve given much thought to your footwear for the job, but you should. It’s important to wear clean shoes with rubber soles to prevent slipping and falling on your roof or ladder.

Going up alone – If you can, ask someone to act as a spotter for you when you’re climbing the ladder. Someone holding it will make it more secure. Plus, if you do fall, there’s someone there to ring emergency services.

Or, why not just make life easy on yourself and ask us here at Gutterart to do all the hard work for you? Call today on 0800 086 8312


5/22/15

The Three Benefits of Fitting Seamless Gutters on Property Roofs

Property developers and homeowners understand the benefits of fitting seamless guttering solutions to homes. From preventing damage to walls and sidings, guttering allows for the sufficient dispersal of water.

The seamless guttering has canals that carry the water, the fittings, the soffit and the fascia. This allows for water to be completely drained from the property. Roofing materials can become damaged by the elements. Seamless gutters feature a preformed roll of composite metal that reaches to the top of the roof. This seamless design is considered to be the foremost guttering design.

Here are three benefits to fitting seamless gutters to property roofs.

Easy to Clean and Maintain

Perhaps the foremost advantage to fitting seamless guttering to property is, thanks to design, the guttering is easy to clean and maintain. No dirt and debris is left in the gutter crevices and a smooth water flow is achieved with ease.

Should gutters be neglected to be cleaned, they quickly erode. The smoother surface of seamless gutters makes them easy to clean. Indeed, the benefits of seamless gutters have seen them be employed in 75% of homes in the UK.

The Cost

Before taking the decision to install seamless guttering to a property, the foremost consideration that should be made is whether or not installation is cost-effective. Compared to normal guttering, seamless guttering comes at a premium. If you have designs on fitting seamless guttering needs to be aware of the cost.

This is no more apparent than with gutter cleaning. Seamless guttering are easier to maintain and keep clean which results in a lower overall cleaning cost, but this doesn’t mean that the gutters don’t need to be kept clean. Frequent cleaning is advised to maintain optimal performance – this however comes at a cost.

Professional Contractors

One of the most important financial considerations when choosing to install guttering is the installation expense. Not every contractor has the ability to install seamless guttering and if you want seamless guttering to be installed, it’s important to choose a contractor that can complete the work.

The benefits of seamless guttering mean that property owners are evident. By opting to use a seamless guttering installation business, consumers will reap the benefits.


5/29/15

How to Improve the Aesthetic Appearance of Fascias

A great number of homeowners elect to have white painted fascias. They consider the neutral colour to be the safest option. For all the benefits of neutral colours they don’t display character and personality. Coloured fascias do have an appearance that improves the aesthetic appearance and demonstrates your character.

A standard wooden fascia can be painted a wealth of colours. From shades of earthy green to rich yellows, reds or blues, the colour of a wooden fascia is only limited by the colour of the paint can.

Aluminium fascias can also be painted however, due to the nature of the material, the choice of colours is limited. Plastic fascias also have a limited scope for colour paint but consumers have the option of wood tones or even a wood grain colour finish.

The Benefits of Colour Fascias

Painting your fascia will not only add an enhanced aesthetic appearance to your home but, will enhance the longevity of the fascias. Fascias can become weathered over time. Painting the fascia provides a layer of protection against the elements.

The affordability of coloured fascias is one of their primary benefits. It doesn’t cost a fortune to buy the paint, and for small price homeowners can completely personalise their fascias. Should your home have quite a dreary appearance, the effect of fascias can be drastic, even adding the finishing touches to any home.

The Colour of Fascias Further Explained

Before choosing any colours for your fascias it’s important that you identify the right colour. This can only be done with a colour swatch. The colour chosen also depends on the material used. More often than not fascia and soffit colours are the same. Homeowners choose the same colours for both soffit and fascia, this creates design consistency, extending to the trims and guttering.

Painting fascias may be a waste of time in some circumstances, especially if the fascia is made of a particularly attractive type of wood. Those wishing to accentuate a rustic style of wood, why not choose to stain or paint the wood. This will give the wood a natural shine and it will be more resistant to the external elements.

Before making a final decision, it’s always wise to take a smaller portion of excess fascias with a range of colours. This will allow consumers to gage the best option for the fascias.

There’s no doubt that the aesthetic appearance of any property can be greatly improved by installing well-presented, coloured fascias. Choosing the right style with complementary colours will make any property more attractive.


6/05/15

The Five Benefits of Aluminium Guttering

Guttering is one of the lesser considered, yet more vital aspects of any home. Guttering protects rainwater damage and provides a distinctive aesthetic appearance that can make any home more attractive.

The right guttering material is essential to any home, but identifying the best material is a decision that requires some thought. Today, architects and construction professionals universally agreed that aluminium is the best material to use. Listed below are the five principal benefits of aluminium guttering for any home.

Durability

The durability of aluminium guttering is one of the foremost reasons for their popularity. Steel guttering is thought to be the strongest material for gutters, this is incorrect. The problem with steel gutters is that they have a tendency to rust after just five years. Aluminium has a durability that can last as long as thirty years.

Cost

Aluminium gutters are considerably more cost-effective than other guttering materials. It’s estimated that aluminium gutters are as much as fifty percent less than other materials.

Installation

Aluminium gutters are considered to be relatively easy to install. It’s always advisable to employ the services of a professional, however if you wish to complete the process yourself it can be done without a modicum of hassle. Copper and steel guttering need some form of soldering of joints, therefore professional installation is advised. Aluminium is lightweight and easy to install.

Leaking

Simply put, aluminium gutters don’t leak. Whether opting for seamless guttering without any pieces or not, the reliability and functional superiority of aluminium guttering is unquestioned.

Colour

Aluminium guttering offers the option of a wealth of colours. Steel gutters are more difficult to paint. This makes the material less desirable than aluminium or even wood. The wealth of colours offered by aluminium guttering means that even if you can’t find the exact colour, one of a very close match can be identified.

These five benefits of aluminium gutters ensure that they are stable as one of the best materials that can be used for guttering – consumers, architects and construction professionals all agree on this fact.


6/15/15

The Different Types of Home Guttering

Guttering may seem like only a marginal aspect of your home but it’s actually exceedingly important for keeping the property safe and operationally-sound. Guttering and roofing help to control the flow of rainwater, allowing your home to be free of leakage. Sound guttering is essential to your home.

Gutter Maintenance Outlined

The optimal time of the year to clean your gutters is throughout the spring and summer months. Throughout the autumn and winter months an increasing amount of debris will accumulate in the gutters, and the climate hardly lends itself to safe maintenance. For this reason, completing gutter maintenance in warmer climates is essential.

Here is a look at the four basic materials that guttering is manufactured from.

Vinyl

Vinyl is the least expensive of all the guttering materials. With a wealth of colours and features that mean that are durable, won’t chip, corrode or dent, vinyl is favoured by many homeowners. Vinyl is ideal for DIY enthusiasts as its lightweight and easy to install.

Aluminium

Aluminium is rust-proof, and like vinyl can be easily erected by those without professional experience. With the option of seamless integration, there is only one issue with aluminium – if you don’t routinely clean the guttering they can be bent and dented under the weight.

Steel

Steel is reasonably inexpensive as a building material. Durable and strong, steel does require consistent maintenance and will rust if water isn’t appropriately drained from the structures.

Copper

 Copper is one of the most decorative guttering materials. It’s the most expensive material to use, and can be stolen by thieves who realise that with a lifespan of 75 years copper has an attractive resale option. Copper does need professional installation as if not installed correctly copper will oxidise over years and years, turning a minty green colour.

These are the four separate options for anyone wishing to install guttering in the home. By identifying your personal needs, you will be able to choose the right guttering for you.


6/26/15

A Basic Guide to Gutter Cleaning

No one enjoys cleaning the gutters. However, in order to have a healthy and functional home cleaning the gutters is paramount. There are a number of services that are willing to perform this task on your behalf, however if you want to save yourself the expense of paying for the cleaning of your gutters, you can do it yourself. Please continue to read for essential information about gutter cleaning.

The Appropriate Gear

Having the right gear is necessary for the task. You will need a trowel, or some additional implement to scoop out any debris such as leaves, moss or dirt. Obviously, given that you’ll be working at height, a safe and secure ladder will be needed to reach the guttering. Should you be tasked with removing dirt and debris from gutters at significant height, you will need to have access to additional equipment such as a harness. Gloves and eye glasses are advisable to protect yourself from infection or allergies.

How to Begin

Anyone attempting to clean their gutters will need to have an understanding of how to clean the gutters. Without this knowledge, the chances of completing a comprehensive clean are drastically reduced. Here is how the process should be completed:

Firstly, Dig

Identify a drain outlet and begin be removing all the dirt and debris from the guttering around the outlet. To keep the workspace tidy, it’s advised that you place all the debris in a bucket.

Secondly, Clear Debris from the Drain Pipes

It’s important that you clear any debris from around the drain pipes. Use water to blast any debris from these areas if you cannot reach it with your hands. If you cannot manage to remove the debris with either your hands or with a hose then by employing the use of a plumbers snake this could be completed.

Thirdly, Forcibly Remove Debris

Once you have managed to remove the debris from the gutter, you can use a high pressure water hose to comprehensively remove any dirt that stubbornly refuses to be moved from the drain areas. If you encounter dirt that refuses to be dislodged, a scraper can be applied to pry the dirt of.

These three techniques are sure to remove dirt and debris from any gutter. If you’re still struggling with your gutter, or aren’t confident enough to clean the gutters, a professional gutter cleaner will be able to assist you.


7/2/15

Why Install Gutter Guards? 

Guttering is a pivotal aspect of your home. Without effective building drainage, gutter overflow can lead to significant water damage to the roof and other areas of your home. Gutters can easily become blocked by environmental debris. This can result in water logging. By employing gutter guards, you can actively prevent clogging. Here is an outline of the other reasons to install gutter guards.

Time and Money Saving

Gutter guards can save a wealth of time, money and energy. Cleaning gutters can be completely eradicated. Hiring professionals to clean your gutters can be expensive. Cleaning gutters yourself doesn’t come without a risk to personal safety. By installing a gutter guard you can save the expense of hiring professionals or completing the work yourself.

Less Frequent Cleaning

Without installing a gutter guard you’ll have to frequently clean your gutters. By installing a gutter guard you won’t completely eradicate the problem but the frequency of gutter cleaning will be drastically reduced. Without a gutter guard, gutters will need to be cleaned three times a year. With a gutter guard, gutters will need a clean once every four of five years.

Blockage Prevention

As mentioned previously, gutter guards will prevent dirt and debris from ruining the performance and reliability of gutters. This is especially apparent in the seasons of poorer weather. If left unattended to, overflowing drains can affect your home in a number of different ways, from staining on the roofing or walls to rotting of aspects of the home.

Mould Prevention

The presence of wet debris inside drains of the home can lead to the formation of mould and other harmful germs. The wellbeing of the occupants can be drastically affected by the presence of mould spores and other harmful germs.

Luckily there are a number of different shutter guards available today. Once installed, these guards will resolve any issues that you may be experiencing with your guttering.


7/10/15

Fab Facts That Make You Look Like a Gutter Guru

How much knowledge do you have about gutters? The average person knows that gutters run along the base line of their roof, and help rainwater run away, but that’s about the full extent of their knowledge.

Don’t worry though, we aim to improve your skills in this area and to start you off, we are going to list a few facts about gutters, give them a read, you’ll be a little bit of an expert afterwards.

Fact One

Busted gutters rot facia boards – Leave a gutter problem for too long and water might start flowing onto wooden facias, which in turn, will start to rot. Left for a while there’ll come a time when you have no option but to replace the facias, that’s after getting the gutters fixed of course!

Fact Two

Poor maintenance leads to gutter problems – Regular gutter cleaning should prevent long-term problems with guttering systems. Neglect a gutter, and let it fill with moss, algae, twigs or items of debris and this can create a blockage, which in turn will lead to larger issues, such as water seeping over facias or running down walls, seeping through brickwork and creating issues with damp.   

Fact Three

Clogged gutters create slippery conditions– Let a blockage build inside your gutters and wastewater has nowhere to go. It’ll look for an escape route anywhere it can find one, and more often than not, that route will be right over the edge or down the back of the gutters. This can be a major issue during the winter when it’s freezing outside. Water from the gutter can quickly turn to ice, if this forms on pathways around your propety this creates a slip hazard.      

Fact Four

Shoddy gutterwork costs money – Neglect maintenance on guttering and this could cost you extra money in the long run. Trust us, there will come a point when you need to pay for emergency repairs, you might end up having the entire guttering replaced, along with the facias too.  Have gutters cleaned and repaired the moment you suspect there’s an issue and this will save you a bundle in the long term.

If you need a gutter cleaning, soffits replacing or facias fixing, ask for a quote request here at Gutterart for a fast, efficient and value for money service. 


7/17/15

Why Your Gutter Improvement Never Works Out The Way You Plan

Without wanting to worry you unduly, there are some really great gutter improvement companies out there and a few, not so brilliant businesses as well. We’ve all seen the cowboy trader programmes on television, and viewed episodes where the paying public were taken to the cleaners by rogue traders. Nine times out of ten, they have no intention of carrying out home improvement work, they merely want to part victims with their money, or if the so-called contractors do complete any work, the standard is appalling.

As professional and experienced home improvement contractors, this shocks us at Gutterart - we aim to provide a complete gutter clean, repair, or replacement service, one that leaves our clients totally satisfied with the standard of our work.    

With this in mind, we wanted to highlight some of the reasons gutter improvements don’t pan out quite as expected, here we list some of the primary causes of failure.

You didn’t choose recommended companies

Whenever you get a quote from a person in the trade, always check to see if they are member of a professional association, or come with good recommendations.  If they are it shows they are a reliable, reputable company, one that takes their position in the home improvement industry seriously.

For example, here at Gutterart we are proud members of Checkatrade, a specialist review website that lists recommended, vetted and monitored trades.  

You didn’t look for testimonials

Checking feedback about home improvement companies is another way you can instil a sense of confidence.  Upfront companies have nothing to hide, they are more than happy to provide evidence of reviews, more often than not listing the details on their website, or you can also their check their social media feeds, to see what customers are saying about their service. 

You answered a knock on the door

If a guy knocks on your door one day saying he specialises in gutter cleaning, be very, very wary. Bogus callers pray on the vulnerable, they’re only interested in one thing - to rob you blind, and no self-respecting guttering company would try to approach you in this manner. 

Expert guttering services take a tailored approach to each of their clients, they have an established web presence - they would never cold-call at your door. 

You tried to save money with a DIY bodge

Don’t try to fix a gutter fault if you lack the skills in this area. At the very least you’ll do a bodge job, at worst you might take a tumble from the ladder, and seriously injure yourself.

DIY disasters are one of the biggest causes of home improvement fails. There’s a silly sense that money will be saved, the truth is, you end up paying  extra to fix the damage you have caused.   

Give us a call here at Gutterart if you would like us to give you a quote for gutter repairs, replacement or cleaning. 


7/24/15

Home Improvements That Could Make You Richer

You’re missing a trick if you’re not home improving right now. Certain features of your home help to make it more appealing, they add value, and when that moment arrives, and you finally decide to pack up, plonk a big fat ‘for sale’ notice outside your home and flog the property, there are tricks that can make you rich.

Okay, maybe you won’t become a millionaire overnight, but by taking the positive approach to improving your property, there’s a really good chance you’ll swell the size of your bank balance when the sale finally goes through.

Pay specific attention to property particulars and you never know, you could be quids in by the time you move out of your house.

Our Top Five Home Improvement - Make Me Richer Tips

  1. Extend the property

You have to be careful when you build an extension to your property but done correctly, this could move your property into the next price bracket. Weigh up the build costs, see the types of prices larger properties are selling for in the area, and estimate how much extra value the extension is likely to add to the home - this could be a useful way to make extra money from the house.

  1. Create a Loft Conversion

Wasted attic space could be repurposed for something much more useful. The cost of a loft conversion can range anywhere between 20 – £25,000, however,  a survey compiled by estate agents suggested this could add up to 12.5% to the total value of the house. Depending on the area, this could really bump up the selling price.  

  1. Revamp the kitchen

The kitchen is one area that really sells the home. Get this right and estimates from experts in the industry suggest this can add an extra 4.6% to the value of the house. There’s a fine line to tread here though. If your home is worth £170,000 for example, there’s no point splashing out £20,000 on a swanky, designer kitchen.  Choose quality fixtures that create the wow factor, just keep one eye on the cost.

  1. Now do the bathroom

Feature bathrooms add value to properties too, and by adding a downstairs WC, this can really make your property more appealing. Tips and tricks are the secret here, check out forums or home improvement sites online that show you how to create a wowsy bathroom on a budget, this way you really reap the rewards. People are sold on bathrooms inside properties, create the impression of luxury and get the maximum value for the home.

  1. Take care of maintenance issues

Our last tip to help you get rich from home improvements is to tackle outstanding maintenance jobs you haven’t had time to complete.  People are put off by shoddy workmanship, if you have peeling paintwork, bare wires showing or gutters overflowing, they will ether give you a rock bottom offer, or look for another property elsewhere.

Prevent this by tackling those maintenance issues, present your home in the best possible way, and if you need help with guttering, just give us a call at Gutterart


7/31/15

Kerb Appeal Hacks You Have To Know

A lack of kerb appeal is killing your property. If you only tackle one area of home improvement this year, spare a thought for the outside appearance of the dwelling.

This isn’t just a personal pride thing. Let the standard of kerb appeal drop and this could have an impact on the resale value of the property, plus it could create issues with maintenance, damaged or faulty guttering is a classic example. 

By taking greater care with kerb appeal you can make a difference and this isn’t as challenging as you might think.

Quick Kerb Appeal Cheats

Paintwork

Have pristine paintwork to make the outside of your home easy on the eye. Treat wooden windows to a lick of paint and spend time sanding down, priming and top coating your front door. Fresh paintwork gives your home a nice, clean feeling, and makes it way more presentable. 

Fences and gates

Fix fences and give gates a little attention if they have started to look a little sorry for themselves. Metal work can be painted with anti-rust paint, wooden fences can be spray painted, and gates can be given a fresh coat of stain or gloss. Make repairs where necessary and improve the look of property boundaries, this is one area that people notice when they first draw up to your house.

Driveway

What do you think if you draw up to a driveway and it’s full of oil stains or littered with weeds? This looks bad. It says the people who own the property can’t be bothered with simple aspects of maintenance and they’re happy to live life this way. Get rid of weeds and stains, power wash the driveway and keep it clutter-free to make the outside of your house more appealing.   

Porch

A quick tidy up of the porch area can do wonders for property presentation as well. If you have an open porch, sweep it to keep it free of garden debris. You could place a few planters on the porch and fill them with flowers, they add colour and make your home look more attractive.

Roof and Guttering

Poorly maintained roof tiles and damaged guttering looks terrible, it’s easy to spot from the side of the road. Become house proud, get the roof fixed and have gutters repaired or replaced should they require this level of attention.

Gutterart can help you with a gutter, facia or soffit repair or installation service, our customer-focused service improves your home, and gives your property stacks of kerb appeal! 


8/21/15

The top 5 rules of fire safety in the home

You don’t need us to tell you that fire is a dangerous thing. But despite the fact that everyone knows this, many disregard basic fire safety rules. So, to act as a reminder we’ve put together a list of the five top rules of fire safety in the home...

  • Cook with care: Cooking is one of the most common causes of a fire outbreak in the home so don’t take any risks when you’re whipping your evening meal together. Never leave the oven or frying pan unattended as this is where issues occur. And if you have to leave, turn the oven off. Don’t cook drunk either; it won’t end well.
  • Electrical cords: Regularly check your electrical cords to see if they’re faulty, cracked or deteriorating. Any damaged cord can quickly start an electrical fire, so it’s your responsibility to make sure they’re well maintained. Don’t overload circuits either. Oh, and avoid running extensions cords under doors or carpets as this is where they can quickly become damaged.
  • Smoke detectors: That annoying beep emitting from your smoke detector? It’s telling you that the batteries need changing. What you shouldn’t do is simply take the old battery out to stop the beeping. You need to replace it. Keep on top of the maintenance of your smoke detector and check that they’re in working order once a every couple of months.
  • Candles: Sure, you want your living room to smell nice and the ambient lighting of candles works well for you. But they’re another common cause of house fires. So if you are going to use them, make sure that you blow them out when you’ve finished. Or go one better and buy LED versions; you can leave these on all night if you want and they’re posing no risk whatsoever.
  • Common sense: For the most part, fire safety is common sense. If you’re doing something that could cause a fire in your house, stop doing it. Simple! 

8/28/15

5 improvements that'll add value to your home

Whether you’re planning on putting your house on the market soon, planning for the future, or just looking to adapt your home for your growing family, there are a number of home improvements that can really add value to your property and make it a nicer place to live...

  1. New walls and gates: Kerb appeal is everything when you are buying or selling a property and new walls, railings and feature gates really drive a strong message home. Why wait until you are selling a home to present a house in the best possible light though, build new walls around the perimeter and enjoy the look you get from envious neighbours when they see how stunning your home looks.
  2. New driveway: A driveway is the grand entrance to a property and a stunning feature driveway made from brick is a joy to behold. Create a welcoming feature with a brick driveway that showcases your home and put a smile on your face every time you pull up on your designer driveway.
  3. New roof: The roof is one of the most important features on a property, without a dry roof the home simply isn’t watertight. Get your roof fixed or have it replaced if it’s old and that’ll be a great selling point if you decide to put the property up for sale.
  4. New windows: Rotten windows are draughty, they’re an eyesore and nobody wants to buy a property that needs the windows replacing. Keep your frames in fabulous condition by replacing them if they are starting to look a little tired, it’ll add value and improve the look of the property too.
  5. New patio: Buyers like to see plenty of outside space when they view properties so a new patio area is bound to attract more than its fair share of interest when people come to view your home. Build a new patio following one of our earlier guides and it could the deal-clincher that helps you get the market price for your property.

10/1/15

Common Gutter Problems and How to Fix them

The average life of an aluminium gutter is typically 20-30 years, and possibly longer, depending on factors such as the level of maintenance, the care you take when using ladders against them, and the general weather in the area of which your home is situated. Copper cutters will generally last up to 50 years and galvanised steel gutters around 20 years.

Clogged Gutters

Clogged gutters are an extremely common problem, especially when you have a busy life and forget to clean them out regularly. The extra weight of the debris in gutters can cause gutters to sag and pull away from the fascia. Clogged gutters are responsible for expensive damage and repairs, including rotting fascia boards, water damage to interior walls and ceilings, wet basements and even cracked foundations.

Gutters pulling away from the house

Sometimes, hangers, the hardware that secures your gutters to a fascia may have deteriorated, had the fasteners come out of the wood or they’ve been spaced too far apart to hold the weight of the gutter. Professional gutter installers should make sure the latter case is never a cause for concern, and will offer you the correct advice for if your gutters are pulling away.

Holes and leaking gutters

Decent gutters shouldn’t have holes or leaks, but if yours do, you can seal a small hole through caulking the joint with gutter sealant. For larger holes, you would have to use a gutter patch, or commission high quality, professional guttering.

Incorrectly pitched gutters

For rainwater to flow properly, gutters need to be pitched towards the downspouts. For every ten feet, you typically need a quarter of an inch slope. You can tell if your gutter is correctly pitched by taking a look after heavy rainstorm- if there’s standing rainwater, your gutter is incorrectly pitched.

One of the best things you can do to minimise the gutter problems you face is to regularly clean them. You’ll be surprised at how many items you’ll find in your gutter; we’ve seen children’s toys and dead animals amongst the leaves, twigs and branches typically found in gutters. A garden hose or a leaf blower will help you to regularly clean out your gutter, and in extreme cases, a gutter snake. Additionally, professional installation of high quality guttering will help you to minimise these common gutter problems.


10/7/15

7 Living Beings that Have Been Found in Gutters

Many people have an ‘out of sight, out of mind’ approach to cleaning their gutters, often causing unnecessary damage to their home. Around the world, there have been reports of a variety of living beings living in neglected gutters, and at GutterArt, we felt we had to share this list of living things that have made gutters their home.

  1. Plant life

The debris that collects in your gutters is packed full of nutrients, making the perfect soil from which plants, flowers and weeds will grow. We’d like to suggest that if you have plant life growing in your gutters, that’s probably a sign you need to clean them out.

  1. Birds

Birds can make the perfect foundation of their nest from the debris of leaves, twigs and pine needles in your gutters. If they decide to build their nest in your gutters, they won’t even need to fly to make their home. Once the birds start laying eggs in your gutters, it’ll be a bit more difficult to get them out and clean the gutter, due to their young chicks.

  1. Squirrels

If your home is surrounded by trees with over-hanging leaves, your gutter can quickly become a squirrel ‘highway’, giving them access to your roof and house. Trimming tree branches by about 3 feet will not only prevent this, but you may also minimise the amount of debris in your gutter.

  1. Feral Cats

If you live in an area with a lot of feral cats, you may find that your gutters are used as shelters from the weather and other predators. The best thing to do with feral cats, if you encounter one, is to call a nearby animal shelter, which will be able to take proper care for them.

  1. Lizards

The untended debris in your gutters is seen as an attractive breeding ground for all manners of insect and bugs, which also happen to be a lizard’s food source. For healthy gutters, no creepy-crawlies and no lizards, the best thing to do is regularly clear your gutters.

  1. Snakes

Snakes are found in rooftop gutters on a fairly regular basis, finding their way into them through overhanging tree limbs or climbing down a downspout. Once more, the variety of other wildlife attracted by clogged gutters offers snakes a rich and varied diet. You can avoid snakes by regularly cleaning your gutters.

  1. Earthworms

You may not have expected earthworms to feature on this list, but it’s definitely true. No one is quite sure how earthworms get into gutters, but one theory is that worm eggs sometimes get attached to a bird’s wings or legs and hatch in the gutters.


10/29/15

Why You Should Make Sure Your Gutters Are Clean for Winter

Cleaning your gutters is probably one of the least glamorous chores anyone will ever do, but regardless, it’s a job that must be done. Gutters are an essential part of your home that help to move water and debris away from your house to prevent mould and decay. If you suffer from a broken or clogged gutter, stagnant water can appear, attracting unwanted wildlife and causing water damage to your house. Both the inside and outside of your home can be affected, as water is allowed into your walls. As winter approaches, we’ve come up with reasons you should clean out and check your gutters before winter arrives.

Get rid of insects

Fallen autumn leaves will clog your gutters, leading to standing water that attracts unwanted insects, such as mosquitoes. Mosquitoes are on the look-out for standing water in which to lay their eggs at this time of year. With these insects potentially carrying diseased such as West Nile Virus, we recommend that you ensure stagnant water can’t form in your gutters.

Protect your home from water damage

Water damage can really damage your home, causing mould and mildew, as well as severely weakening your home’s walls and foundations. By clearing out your gutters at the end of autumn, you can check your gutters for broken fasteners, corrosion, and separation between connections and where your gutters meet your fascia boards.

Get a professional

Whilst this isn’t essential, it’s a good idea to get a professional to inspect your gutters at this time of year. This way, you won’t have to step anywhere near a ladder if you don’t want to. A professional will be able to spot potential problems a lot better than you would. Water damage particularly, appears as a small problem, despite often being a far more insidious problem. Professionals will also be able to fix any faults far quicker and easier than you would. If they’re already at your property, you may not even have to wait to get your problems fixed.

It’s better to be safe than sorry

The best time to have your gutters inspected is towards the end of autumn, when the weather is still relatively mild, rather than winter, when icy conditions will make the task a lot more difficult to complete. By having your gutters inspected in the autumn, you can avoid having to call a professional with an emergency.

When you’re sat at home in a dry warm home with your loved ones this winter, enjoying the holiday season, you’ll be glad you inspected and cleaned out your gutters in the autumn months. If you want your gutters inspected, cleaned or replaced in order to get ready for winter, contact us now for a quote, or call us on 0800 086 8312.


11/5/15

Why Your Home Absolutely Needs Gutters

You may not spend a lot of time thinking about your gutters, but you can prevent costly repairs in the future if you understand how important they are to keeping your home safe, warm and secure.

Gutters protect your home’s siding, doors, windows and foundation from water damage by funnelling rainwater off your roof and away from your home. This certainly sounds important, but many homeowners still don’t understand quite how important this is, and quite how much your gutters need protection from being broken, leaking or clogging. When your gutters aren’t healthy, rainwater runs off your roof to the ground immediately by your house. Over time, or a bout of heavy rain, this will result in standing pools of water, causing a host of problems:

  • Cracked or damaged foundations of your home.
  • Flooded basements and homes.
  • Standing water is a breeding ground for mosquitoes and other insects.
  • Overflowing gutter water provides mould with the perfect environment to flourish in basements and crawlspaces.
  • Erosion of topsoil. This is a particularly bad problem, as topsoil protects the foundation of your home. If water isn’t properly diverted from your home, this topsoil erodes, leaving the foundations of your home vulnerable to damage.
  • Various areas of your property will become stained, including your fascias, outside walls, soffit and any wood framing. Any decking, driveways, patios and walkways may also be affected.
  • Any paintwork outside will be damaged.
  • Building products and fixtures on your external walls may fall to rotting or rust.
  • Your attempts at landscaping may be ruined by the appearance of fungi that can damage flowers and trees.

You don’t have to live in an area with extreme weather conditions to suffer these problems. With experts estimating that an inch of rainfall over the average house equates to 500 gallons of rainwater run-off, it becomes clear that gutters are essential to structural integrity of your home. Luckily, by regularly maintaining your gutters, you can avoid these problems.

If you don’t know what to look for when inspecting your gutters, we at Gutter Art Cheshire have the skills and experience to ensure your gutters are in the best possible condition. We offer a range of services, from maintaining your existing gutters, to providing you with new gutter systems made of only the best materials. We advise you have your gutters cleaned out at least twice a year, and with winter just round the corner, now is the perfect time to have yours cleaned out.

Whether you want advice on your gutters, or want a quote for one of our services, contact us now or call us on 0800 086 8312.


11/20/15

Prevent Your Gutters from Freezing This Winter

We all love a white Christmas- having snowball fights in the street, going sledging down a local hill with friends and family, snow makes winter truly festive. For home owners, though, it can be a bit of a nuisance. Whilst snowfall makes great fun to watch and play in, it also collects in your gutters, forming ice dams. Your home can quickly fall victim to a wealth of problems when your gutters aren’t clear to do their job.

Sleet, snow and icy water will quickly overflow your gutters, finding their way into your home to cause damp patches, and structural damage. Rather than risk your gutters being able to cope through the cold, wet months, learning how to prevent your gutters from freezing is a lot easier and cheaper.

Did you know?

  • Blocked gutters are to blame for 75% of damaged property siding.
  • 50% of flooded basements are caused by broken gutters.
  • Water damage and mould growth is largely due to overflowing gutters.

Use hot water

Pour hot water along your gutters to stop the build up of ice and snow. Firstly, make sure there’s no snow on your roof before you use this method as it won’t work, and again cause the gutters to freeze. Take water from a boiled kettle and remember to be careful as you pour it along the gutter, so that it gently streams from the kettle.

If the gutter spout is frozen, you can unclog it by pouring hot water over it to melt the ice. This may take several buckets of water, so it’s best to have family members on hand to boil kettles and pass you the buckets.

A Sprinkling of salt rock

If you’re checking your gutters regularly throughout winter, you’ll notice when ice starts forming in them. By sprinkling rock salt along your gutters, you can help the ice to melt and prevent them from freezing.

Even when there isn’t snow forecast, it’s a good idea to regularly sprinkle salt, as temperatures regularly drop to below freezing in the night time.

Remove any snow 

As soon as it’s stopped snowing, pick up your ladder and get set to removing the snow from your gutters. This is an effective way to prevent it from melting and then refreezing to form ice dams. It’s an unpleasant job, especially when you could be spending time indoors with the family, but it’s for the good of the house and your pocket.

Heated cables

You may want to consider installing heated cables along the length and breadth of your gutters. The heat from them will cause snow and ice to melt and flow through the gutters with no problem. They’re an investment to consider if you don’t want to get up on your ladder.

Attic insulation

A warm attic will help to melt ice and snow during winter, so it makes sense to insulate the ceiling and floor. If your attic is already insulated, now is the time to carefully inspect it for any leaks. If your insulation is worn, wet or leaking, it’s time to replace it.

Professional help

Getting your gutters professionally cleaned in the autumn is the best way to prevent your gutters from freezing and causing problems in winter. Gutter maintenance from trained professionals can even be arranged in the winter, due to the specialist tools needed to safely remove ice dams. This way, you can stay warm and dry inside, rather than in the cold winter weather.


11/27/15

The Most Important Home Maintenance Tasks in January

Dark, cold and wet. January is seen by many people as a month to stay indoors and wrap up warm, but it’s actually the best month to run a maintenance check on your house. We’ve come up with the four most essential tasks you need to complete in January whilst you still have time-otherwise you’ll be living with these problems for another year.

Ensure your house doesn’t have water damage

In the colder months, it’s easy for ice and water to damage your home. Toxic mold, frozen pipes and flooded basements are all frequent occurrences.

  • January is a great time to spot drainage problems. Take a thorough look around the inside and outside of your home for signs of water stains, puddles, rotting wood or peeling paint.
  • Get your gutters cleared of ice and dead leaves to avoid expensive leaks, moldy walls and even damaged foundations.
  • Remove leaves and snow from your window sills to prevent moldy plaster, rotten wood and peeling paint.
  • Examine and clean any weep holes in the brickwork of your home, so they can efficiently allow moisture to drain.

Start your preparation for gardening

Prevent your landscape from being overrun with unwanted leaves, by readying yourself for spring. You’ll find less weeds and dead grass occurs.

  • Provide traction and keep water from freezing by laying ice-melting grit on your paths, drives and steps.
  • Raking away dead leaves and twigs from your garden will help to make the most of the soon arriving spring rains.
  • Prevent frozen pipes by disconnecting any hoses and covering exterior taps with insulators.
  • Depending on how harsh the winter has been, you may be able to start planting conifers, fruit trees and shrubs. If you want to grow vegetables, now is the time to start buying seeds.

Make your home energy efficient

It’s a common story of people having to decide every winter between a chilly home and an expensive heating bill.

  • Small changes to your home, such as putting weatherproofing strips around doors and caulking windows don’t take any effort, but will make a significant difference to your heating bill.
  • You may want to get an Energy Efficiency Audit for your home. This will give you an insight into your home’s efficiency and what you need to do to improve it.
  • If you tend to have a dry home in winter, you may want to get a humidifier. You can prevent rot and reduce allergies by adding moisture to the air. Your home will also feel warmer without you having to turn up the thermostat.

Declutter your home

Having spent the festive season indoors and indulging in excess, your home will begin to look chronically cluttered. Now is the perfect time to start your spring cleaning, whilst it’s still a bit too cold to enjoy being outside. A deep clean will allow you to focus on tasks usually overlooked the rest of the year.