gutter cleaning in Marlborough ma
Once again Amerimax Home Products has completely red-pilled me matrix style. In a google search I came across an amermax product called the 3 in. x 4 in. Plastic White Rodent Guard. What's a rodent guard you ask? Apparently this rodent guard is made to fit on the end of a downspout to keep rodents out!
You may wonder "why would I have to worry about rodents in my downspouts?" Well according to Amerimax this little gadget prevents rodents from climbing up your downspouts. Once they climb up your downspout, they can scurry into your gutter, then up under your roof and into your home. I have never heard of this happening but according to pestva.com, downspouts are one of the five most common ways rats gain entry to a home.
"Although downspouts don’t look easy to climb rats will run right up them without any trouble. They can use the confined space to their advantage by pushing their feet to one side and their backs to the other."
If my wife reads this blog post she'll be freaked out about rats and have me install these guards on every downspout. Thank you Amerimax!
Here is another question from stackexchange.com.
"In a downspout joint, should the female pipe always be down and the male up?
I have recently installed my first downspout and I think I did it wrong by inserting the bottom pipe into the top one, i.e. put the male on the bottom, because now it leaks through the crack in the joint and the wall of the house get really wet. I was thinking to put sealant in but, since it's not too hard to do, I will just replace the whole downspout and put the bottom in the joint over the pipe above it (male on top, female on bottom). That way, all the water will be channeled down the downspout and there should be no leaks."
Downspouts should fit together just the opposite as stated above; The male side points down and the female points up. This law applies to straight lengths of downspouts as well as elbows.
In the photo example above A feeds into B which feeds into C then fits into D. Usually one end of each downspout is tapered slightly on one end, so that it can feed into another downspout.
Downspouts are never sealed together with caulking because they are not under pressure like indoor plumbing. From the gutters to the downspouts, gravity takes care of the whole system.
I found this question on stackexchange.com
"I have a large, steep roof section (~400sqft) connected by a long ~20' valley. During heavy rainstorms, the majority of the draining water completely overshoots the gutter, landing near the foundation. How can I fix this? I've heard of manufactured or home-brew L-shaped attachments, as alluded to in this similar post, but they didn't go in to any detail about how they work or where to get them. There is a post that attempts to describe them, but I don't really understand how to build one, and I read about potential problems with snow.
I'm open to just about anything, bigger gutters, some kind of ground drainage to deal with the overshot water, etc."
As you can see, this poor homeowner is willing to go to great lengths to solve this simple problem. Hopefully he wont replace his gutter with a larger size when there is such a simple solution. It's called a Gusher Guard and it's put out by our friends at Amerimax.
All you have to do is take what is essentially a little sheet of aluminum, bend it down the middle and screw it onto the top of the gutter. You can see in the little painting how it fits on. This guard will now catch that overshooting water and keep it in the gutter. Problem solved, thank you Amerimax!
I found this question is from diy.stackexchange.com:
"Many houses in my neighborhood are about 5 years old and are experiencing similar problems with their gutters. The nails holding them up are pulling out little by little. A couple homeowners had theirs fall off. I took a look at mine and saw a few nails sticking out. What's the correct way to fix this?Just hammer them back in and hope for the best?"
Here is a solution from a reader:
"Fill holes with adhesive (Liquid Nails) and hammer back in.
You could also hammer in a different kind of nail. If the nails are loose and pull out easily, just pounding them back in won't help much."
Here is another interesting and novel solution:
Take some toothpicks and dip them in wood glue (e.g. tightbond).
Stuff as many toothpicks into the hole as you can, snapping them off flush with the hole.
Put the nail/screw back in (while the glue is still wet).I find myself doing this most for loose door hinges, but it works for pretty much anything. Once the glue dries, the result is better than new.
Maybe the above suggestions would help but there actually is a very good product that solves the gutter spike problem. The product is called Fasten Master. You can buy it at The home depot and even Walmart.
All you do is remove the loose spikes and drill this long screw through the gutter and into the fascia board. This screw is so strong that you don't need to replace every loose spike. If you have a whole gutter pulling away from the fascia, no need to replace every spike. You could just replace every other spike with a Fasten Master, and just pound the remaining spikes back in again.
This is from a book titled "How to clear your home of ghosts and spirits"
Yes, a gutter problem can possibly make you think that your house is haunted!
This reminds me of a story that a customer told me a little while ago. He told me he started to hear strange noises that sounded like they were coming from inside his wall. This went on for several days. Eventually the sounds stopped but one day during a rain storm, he noticed a downspout was not draining. This downspout happened to be on the same side that the strange sounds were heard. Later, he tried to free up the downspout by flooding it with water from the gutter drain using a garden hose. The clog seemed to move but it never dislodged. Eventualy he had to take apart the downspout and the landscaping drain pipe. There seemed to be something heavy in the drain pipe. After violently shaking the pipe, out came the clog, which turned out to be a faily large rabbit that was stuffed into the drain. The mysterious noises where from the poor creature trying to free itself. A sad end for the rabbit but at least the house wasn't haunted.
I found this gutter problem posted on "The democrat and chronicle" website.
I’m writing in that hopes you can help us with a problem with the gutters on our older Cape Cod-style house. Since the installation of a new roof (tear off) and gutters, we’ve had a problem with water spilling out of one area of the gutters during a hard rain.
This part of the gutter is regularly cleared so there isn’t blockage. We’re uncertain if the pitch of the gutter is the problem or if we need a wider gutter in this area. We’ve had difficulty finding a company that has experience using wider gutters.
We’d welcome any suggestions about whom we might contact to assist with this problem.
I have seen and have solved this problem more than once. When a roof is installed the old roof is first removed. It is common for a some of the debris to wind up in the gutter. Most likely what happened is a piece of shingle fell into the outlet/drain and got lodged in the elbow. When it rains the water still flows down the downspout but at a much slower rate. I am sure it is a piece of roofing because the poster said the problem only started after the new roof was installed.
It is also stated "the gutter is regularly cleared so there isn’t (a) blockage." The problem with this statement is you wont know there is a piece of shingle in the downspout unless it is closely inspected or taken apart. Also, many gutter cleaning companies will clean out the gutters and then neglect cleaning out the downspouts.
This home owner is reaching out for answers and is planning on installing a new gutter system all because of a little piece of roofing.
This is quoted from BobVila.com:
"A simple way to check on a gutter’s performance is to wait for a rainy day and look to see if water is emptying from the downspouts. If water isn’t flowing freely from the bottom of a downspout, or if you notice water overflowing the edges of the gutter, there is debris clogging the gutters or downspouts or both."
This statement is very true and it would be a great idea for home owners to check their gutters periodically. I have seen houses with extensive damage that could have been prevented if the home owner checked their gutters. You don't need a ladder you can see the symptoms from the ground.
Bob Vila also says:
"The easiest answer to most gutter problems is to clean your gutters on a regular basis."
This is what I have been saying for a long time. You don't necessarily need a gutter repair or new gutters if the system is not working properly. More often then not, a simple gutter cleaning can solve the problem.
Last week I found a great question on Quora. A person asked does every house need gutters. I replied to the question with no, because most houses need gutters; but certainly not all. In certain situations, a gutter may even cause problems. I will explain in this short article the three needed qualities that enable a home to safely be gutter free.
Qualification 1: No cellar
One thing that gutters are good at is preventing water from flooding in the basement. On my home, if I didn't have gutters, my basement would be constantly flooded. What if I didn't have a basement? What if my house was built onto a slab-on-grade? There are many homes like this, especially in Framingham. Yes, if your home is built on a slab you wouldn't have to worry about a basement getting flooded, but not so fast! Gutters also prevent damage to the house's siding, window sills and brick work.
Qualification 2: A wide overhang
If your home has a very wide roof overhang, and the water empties out away from your home is there any reason to have a gutter?
Look in the photo above and see how far the roof overhangs. With a roof like this, one could argue that installing gutters would create problems where there would otherwise be none. Why have a gutter that would only pipe the water back toward the house? It really doesn't make sense.
Qualification 3: Proper land slope
There is a potential for water damage if your land slopes back towards your house. This type of slope will flow water towards your home, leaving you with the possibility of having a flooded basement during heavy storms. However, if the land slopes away, this will naturally and safely drain water away from your home. With this situation, there is no need to have a gutter system to drain water away to keep your home dry.
Having only one of these listed qualifications will not free you from the necessity of having gutters. However,if your home has all three of these qualifications, your house could be better off without them.
Is there a gutter that doesn't need cleaning? This was a question I found and answered on quora. Years ago when I was looking through the back pages of a popular mechanics magazine. There was a drawing of a gutter that claimed to never need cleaning. It looked strange and exotic and I was really curious about how it could possibly work. It was called the Rainhandler. Fast forward 10 years and I had a customer hire me to remove some Rainhandlers and to replace them with traditional gutters. When I saw them in real life I instantly recognized them from the magazine years before.
What is the Rainhandler? It is a roof water apparatus put out by Savetime Corperation. It consists of rows of fins or vanes that filter the water from the roof. Traditional gutters function by catching and collecting the water that pours off the roof. Once that water is in the gutter, the water flows down the downspouts and to the ground. Ideally the downspout should empty out away from the house to prevent water damage. The Rainhandler is very different. The water that pours off the roof hits the rainhandler slots and the fins supposedly break up the water into little droplets and are then projected away from the house.
Does this "gutter" break up the water and project it enough to prevent water damage? I would have to have one installed on my house to be able to answer that question.
When I removed the old Rainhandlers from my customers home, they were not working properly because birds had built nests on top of them. My impression from searching the internet, is that birds love building nests on the Rainhandler and bird nests seem to be a common problem for this product.
To my surprise the Rainhandler has a fairly good rating on Amazon and the Home depot web site, so there must be people who are happy with it. If you have had an experience with this product good or bad, feel free to leave a comment.
This is a list of gutter sealers from best to worst. This is not a list backed up by some scientific source, this is purely from my own personal experience.
Urithane sealers Distributed by the industry leader OSI.
I have had a lot of luck with this particular sealer because it sticks to all kinds of surfaces. OSI Urithane works well but it is very messy. If you get this stuff on your hands it is impossible to clean off. It can be used for roofing as well as on gutters.
Geocel 2300 is a product I have been using for a long time. What I like about Geocel is that it comes in so many colors so that you can match it up for for different applications. It sticks to many surfaces and lasts for a long time. This is only available from special dealers like my supplier Ryan gutter. However, I did recently find it sold on Amazon.
Professional sealer mate
What is Tetrachloroethylene and Hydrocarbon Resins? I have no idea but they work really well in Seamer Mate. It looks just like Butyl but it is a lot thicker. I have used this caulk to seal new gutters and to reseal old ones.
Butyl caulk is the go to sealer for new aluminum gutters. It works okay for brand new gutters but not very good on older gutters as a re-sealer. Butyl is very watery but this is supposed to be a selling point because it flows into the gaps to seal everything up. Butyl caulk is made by many different companies and is easy to find.
I remember way back in the 80's when DAP silicone caulk exploded on the scene. It was all the rage. There seemed to be no leak that was beyond it's reach. Those of us in the home improvement industry felt like we were stepping into a bold new world. Unfortunately Silicone does not work well on gutters. Eventually it dries out and loses its bond to the metal. When you have to reseal a leaky gutter, you must re-coat the area with more silicon because other sealers wont stick for long.
Roof cement is the worst sealant to use for gutters. I really haven't found a good use for tubed roof cement other than making a huge mess. As I mentioned previously, roof cement is useless if is watery enough to squeeze through a tube.