Tag Archives: gutters

Why Keeping Gutters Clean is Important

Why is keeping my gutters clean important?

  • Your gutters play an important role in protecting your foundation. A clean gutter should provide proper drainage for storm water runoff and prevent erosion near your foundation.

How do I know when they are dirty? I can’t see up there from the ground.

  • A gutter that has collected debris will not allow for proper flow. If you have noticed water overflowing from the side of your gutters, your gutters may not be large enough or they may be clogging with debris.

Where does debris come from and what is it?

  • The debris that can be found inside your gutters can be caused by many things. Any solid object can lead to a blockage over time or simply slow the flow of water if not completely blocked. This debris could be from limbs, leaves, shingle rock, bird nesting, seeds, or any number of other environmental items.

I don’t have any trees near my house, so why should I clean my gutters?

  • Even if you don’t have trees & large shrubs planted close by your home, your gutters can still collect debris from neighboring properties. The wind, birds & other environmental factors could still lead to clogged or slow flowing gutters.

How much would it cost to clean my gutters?

  • Many factors go into gutter cleaning prices. Some of these factors are: the pitch of your roof, how tall the roof line is (1,2, or 3 story), how much guttering you have, how dirty or clogged the gutters are (some are packed solid with debris and even have trees growing out of them), and some companies will charge extra to clean out or flush your downspouts. There are many factors that can play into the pricing. These are just a few examples.

Do I have to clean my gutters every year?

  • Yes and No.
    • Yes, you should clean them every year if you do not have an effective gutter cover system installed. Neglected gutters can lead to possible rotted roof decking, warped boards behind siding and foundation erosion.
    • No – you do not have to clean them every year if you have a superior gutter cover system installed

What type of gutter cover does Lukes GC install?

  • We install a barely visible low profile product that handles even the hardest rainfalls on any roof pitch and is made right here in the USA. The installation of our product will not void your roof warranty, unlike some other products on the market. It comes in a variety of colors to match your specific home décor. The manufacturer offers a 20 year transferrable warranty and we offer a 2 year installation warranty. With our labor warranty, if at any time your gutters have a blockage in the next 4 seasons, we’ll come and clean them out at no additional cost to you!

How will I know how much it costs?

  • Call us today at 865-771-4085 to schedule your no obligation, no cost estimate. It’s that simple.

 

 

DIY Spring Maintenance – Part 1

After a long cold winter (like the one we just had) everyone is excited to get out and enjoy the sunshine. Most people will be making spring or summer vacation plans and scheduling get-together social events. Some may be working on landscaping or building a new deck.

Spring Flowers
Spring Flowers

Before you get too busy with all these exciting activities, here are a few DIY spring maintenance items worth checking out around your home. Each item shouldn’t take much time and your wallet will benefit as you do some small maintenance that could save you a lot of money later on.

Take a few moments out of one of your days to do a walk around your home/property and check on these things:

  • Gutters – did you get around to cleaning them out in the fall? If not, you may want to make time to get them cleaned. Clogged gutters can lead to a multitude of costly repairs later on – such as foundation damage, fascia rot, mold growth and excessive erosion around the base of your home. If you are unable to clean your gutters safely on your own, hire a professional to clean them out for you.   If you are tired of cleaning your gutters often (or paying someone to do it for you) consider installing a good gutter protection product.
  • Look at your yard – Take into consideration the lay of your land and consider if the hard rains/storms have washed away parts of your lawn soil in places. If this has occurred, rain water will begin to settle in those areas and can cause further erosion to occur. If you notice the land pitting near your home’s foundation, it is important to redirect the water and raise the soil level to prevent foundation damage. If you are unsure how to do so, please contact a professional. Standing water can also present a breeding area for insects like mosquitoes.
  • Roof – Examine your roof either from the ground or by climbing up a ladder. Has the rough long winter caused any visible signs of wear such as cracked, damaged, pitted, or missing shingles. If so, starting a roof budget is a great idea to have your roof repaired or replaced. The hot summer months can do further damage to worn or heavily weathered roof and its shingles. Flashing around chimneys and boots around pipes should be checked by a professional roofer.
  • Firewood – Remove any firewood stored near the home. Firewood should never be stacked directly against a home’s exterior and should be stored several feet away from the home. If you have firewood near or leaning against your home make plans now to move it.
  • Check your window and door frames/seals – if existing caulk has weathered poorly, consider re-caulking. If the wooden frames are cracked or show signs of rot, these areas will produce further damage as the summer months progress. Address these areas soon.
  • Faucets and hoses – check outside hoses and exterior faucets for freeze damage. Dispose of busted hoses and replace.  If everything appears to be working fine, consider replacing the small inexpensive rubber seal between the faucet and hose. This will help ensure a good seal and prevent leakages.
  • Heating & Air system – Be sure to check on your heating & cooling system. If it is not time to replace your unit, it is a good idea to have your coils cleaned by a professional. Clean coils operate more efficiently and prolong the life of your unit. We offer a Spring/Fall maintenance at LukesGC that includes cleaning coils, cleaning blower housing, squirrel cage & blades, clearing drain lines, checking your refrigerant charge, and lubricating motors (if necessary), and checking electrical connections.

As always, if you are not able to do any of these items yourself as a DIY project, please feel free to contact us Mon-Fri 8-5pm at  865-771-4085 or call 865-200-9627 for emergencies.

DIY – Fall Home Maintenance Tip #1

Autumn Leaves

Fall is a lovely time of year. The temperatures are mild and the scenery around us is beautiful as the leaves change colors and dance in autumn breezes slightly blowing. It’s a time for photography and capturing our families in front of gorgeous backdrops. It is also a time of maintenance for homeowners.

Unfortunately for homeowners though, trees planted near our homes can drop their leaves into our gutters. This is why a good gutter cleaning is important this time of the year.  Gutters are a very important part of home maintenance.

Leaves clogging Gutter
Leaves clogging Gutter

Many Homeowners don’t realize the significance that gutters provide for protecting their home. Unfortunately, gutters are one of the most neglected parts of home maintenance. Improperly installed gutters and/or gutters that have been neglected can cause serious damage to our homes over a period of time.

Leaves from trees can clog up downspouts.
Leaves from trees can clog up a downspout.

Gutters help keep water away from our home’s foundation. Often times, crawlspace and basement water damage can come from one or more clogged downspout or from not properly directly water flow away from homes. Also gutters can back-flow causing rot to your soffit and fascia. In some cases, a clogged gutter system can cause interior damage as well. Any time water gets trapped between walls, crawlspaces, & basements, it gives opportunity for structural rot and increases the likelihood of mold developing.

Debris from leaves falling on your roof can clog your gutters.
Debris from leaves falling on your roof can clog your gutters.

Installing a good gutter protection/guard product is highly recommended, but beware before purchasing one of these types of products. Not all gutter protection/guard systems are created equal. Some products can cause more harm than good.

If you do not have an existing gutter protection product installed, cleaning your gutters out manually is a necessary part of homeownership.

DIY – Cleaning Gutters

Gather the tools you will need before you begin. Below is a list of suggested tools and materials you may need, but may not be all-inclusive for your needs:

  • Gloves – protect your hands. Gutters can have sharp edges
  • A ladder tall enough to reach your gutters. Common height needed is 20′.
  • Shoes with good traction tread
  • Long sleeve shirt – protect your arms from sharp edges
  • (Optional) Water hose with high pressure adapter connected to end.
  • a small garden shovel
  1. Begin by wearing protective clothing and gloves.
  2. Place your ladder on a level surface (very important). Test ladder to ensure that is does not rock or move from side to side or front to back.
  3. Climb ladder to appropriate height to reach gutters easily. (While cleaning gutters, it is important to remember not to “over-reach”.  You will be climbing up and down the ladder frequently to move the ladder and adjust your position for reaching. Over-reaching could lead to a dangerous fall.
  4. Using the small garden shovel or your hands, reach into gutter and scoop out the fallen leaves and debris.
  5. When you have cleared the section within your reach, climb down and move your ladder to the next section of guttering. Repeat steps 2-4.
  6. When you reach the end of your guttering, you will see the opening to your downspout. Clean out the downspout from the top as far as your hand will safely reach. (Remember not to over-reach and be aware of sharp edges.) If you have small gutters and downspouts (less than 5″) it is not recommended to reach into your downspout opening.
  7. If you are using the optional water hose with high pressure adapter connected, spray the hose directly into the downspout. This should “flush” out additional debris that you are unable to reach with your hands.

This can be a time-consuming process depending on the size of your home. Plan on spending an entire day completing this DIY project. If you are unsure that you will be able to safely do this project on your own, please contact a professional.

As a Home Improvement business, we currently have a gutter cleaning special for the month of October. For more information, please call 865-200-9627.