Tag Archives: Home repair

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.

 

 

Summer Safety

Summer is the time we all love to be outdoors. Whether your preference is the beach, lake or your own back yard – summer is the most fun time of the year.

It’s also the hottest time of the year, which can be hard on your AC system. Be sure that you are regularly checking/replacing your filters as needed to keep your system at peek performance.

Many people host get-togethers at their home during summer for grilling & swimming. Be sure to keep your grill at least 8′ away from your home or further for safety. A hot grill can melt soffit and siding if too close – or worse…  If your deck is not large enough to accommodate a safe distance, give us a call. We can help you plan your deck expansion or repairs.

Summer can throw us some severe storms too. Keep us in mind when an emergency strikes. We offer emergency roof tarps, tree removal from roof top and many other services.

Call any time 865-771-4085. If after hours or on weekends, leave a message and we will return your call.

DIY – Fall Maintenance Tip #2

Fall is the perfect time to do home maintenance. Aside from Gutter cleaning, a roof inspection is just as important to protect your home from future potential issues.

If you are physically unable or uncomfortable climbing a ladder tall enough to reach your roof safely, please consult a professional.

Before climbing ladder, ensure the ladder is level and does not rock from side to side or front to back. Wear appropriate shoes for walking on shingles, metal, or slate, etc. type roofing. (Footwear could vary depending on the type of roof you have installed.)

Below is a list of items to check during a DIY fall roof inspection for homeowners.

shingleA

  • Check for up-turned, bent, or missing shingles – damaged shingles can lead to a leaking roof. As the weather cools down, shingles can become brittle (which could result in further damage).
  • Use a proper roofing sealant to seal shingles where damaged.
  • Use a proper roofing sealant to seal cracks and obvious damage in and around valleys if damage is apparent.
  • Remove loose debris from roof top – you could remove debris piece by piece or by using a gas powered blower
  • Check chimney flashing
  • Check chimney opening – if you plan on using a fireplace or stove during the winter months, check to ensure no large debris is clogging your chimney stack.
  • If you do not have a shingle over ridge vent system, check turbines to ensure they are not bent closed to ensure proper venting of your attic. Clean debris and leaves away from turtle vents. Also, check the flashing/seal around each.
  • Take notice of “soft spots” when walking on the roof. Soft spots could lead to a potential problem later.
  • If you have low hanging tree limbs near  your roof line, trim them back to keep trees limbs and debris off your roof.

If you are unable to complete this type of maintenance safely, please contact a professional.

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.

DIY – Get your home ready for cold weather

There are many things a homeowner can do to get their homes ready for colder weather. Here is a list of some DIY items that can be completed with very few tools and a small amount of experience. As always, if you feel that you are unable to complete these tasks on your own safely, give us a call and we would be happy to assist!

Leaves are Falling. It's time to do some home maintenance.
Leaves are Falling. It’s time to do some home maintenance.
  1. Windows: As we begin to button up our homes for colder weather, many of us will remove screens/replace window glass panes and/or remove window air conditioner units in older homes. If replacing window panes, be sure that the pane fits flush into the track. If the frame is bent or otherwise damaged, you may loose warm air through cracks. Make sure when the window is closed that there is no debris in the track of the window. Any debris could keep the window from closing completely. Add weather stripping to increase heat retention in your home if necessary.
  2. Doors: As the weather changes, exterior doors may “shrink” or contract. When a door is closed, check to ensure that there is no additional airflow between the frame and door. If cracks are evident, the frame or door may have shrunk or contracted. Add insulation stripping inside the frame of the door to block out cold air.
  3. Add insulation in your crawlspace
  4. Add insulation in your attic

Another very important  step: Have an HVAC (Heating & Air unit) fall inspection to ensure your system is running at its best.

We would love to hear from you. If you have any questions, please ask below in the comment section and we will answer as quickly as possible.