Tag Archives: gutter damage

Gutter Bits #8 – Spike Replacement

When replacing a gutter spike, insert a wooden block in a specific measurement (usually 2 x 4) so it fits snugly into the gutter. Use a hammer to remove the spike. The block prevents the gutter from being bent by the hammer.

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Gutter Critters

When thinking about the usual issues with gutters, most of the time it’s the debris that we can all think of. The hassle of cleaning up gutters (not unless the gutter covers are doing a great job) is one thing that most of the home owners hate the most when it comes to house maintenance. Bunch of leaves, seeds, twigs, small stones and lots of muck – who wouldn’t hate the cleaning part? However, there’s another culprit of the gutters and they can’t be simply removed by just picking them up and throwing it to the bin or the garbage bag – insects.

These critters may look harmless, but wait when they increase in numbers and give way to worse problems. Here are some of them, and the dangers they bring about.

Mosquitoes. When a gutter gets clogged up, a pool of water is formed. When a pool of water is formed, the mosquitoes will come and enjoy the moment. The blood suckers – the female mosquitoes – will waste no time in laying their eggs in the pool of water. The eggs hatch within a day or two, then turn into “wigglers”, turn into pupae after 7-10 days, then hatch as mosquitoes. What’s next? More mosquitoes lurking around your house, and even get inside. Malaria is one of the diseases that they bring, and is highly contagious. One bite from a carrier and that’s it.

Hornets, Wasps and Bees. Just because you haven’t seen one in a few days doesn’t mean you can relax now. These insects will build their hive on your gutters without you knowing, and when the cleanup time comes, you’re in for a surprise. Chances are you might find a hornet’s nest in one corner and when you accidentally disturb them, you’re in for a wild chase. For you, they’re the “gutter invaders,” but they’ll think that you’re invading their territory. How will they let you know that they’re disturbed? A nasty and painful sting. Not good, for real. A single sting of a wasp is extremely painful, and being stung while on a ladder is extremely dangerous.

Earthworms. Impossible? No. Earthworms amazingly find their way into reaching your lovely gutter system. There are instances where paid gutter cleaners would show to home owners a bucket of soil with big, beautiful worms amongst the debris. How did they end up there? Some speculations include: leaves and twigs falling to the roof might have eggs, a bird eating a worm passed by and the latter dropped the eggs, or most probably an earthworm crawled its way up through the downspout.

Roaches, Ants and Termites. Roaches are a big nuisance. Ants and Termites slowly eats up your fascia board, gutters, and finds their way to the ceiling and other house parts.

Others. Being exposed to moisture makes the gutter a breeding ground of fungus, mildew, moss and mold. Slowly growing these life forms crawl their way to the fascia board, the gutter and gradually the house walls causing paint damage.

In keeping these critters out, regular cleaning is a must. When seeing a hive or a nest on the gutter, seek help from a professional cleaner to see what can be done to have it removed. With insects, it’s also recommended to use an insect spray to have them killed immediately. Seek help for pest control services too for addtiontial help.

Repairing the Gutter Leak with a Caulking Gun

The caulk is one house tool that is extremely helpful. It’s an adhesive that can fill caps, close up gaps, and fix leaks so it’s almost a do-it-all tool. If used properly, the caulk can last for a long time and is absolutely reliable. It comes in several kinds, but if it’s for your gutter system, the best will be silicone. Caulking may look simple because of the caulking gun, but it is messy if done the wrong way. The fumes can be irritating, and when the caulk stains clothing, it is almost impossible to remove.

Just like every procedure, caulking can’t be done properly when there’s lack of the equipment required. It doesn’t matter if you’re a professional or just someone who needs a quick fix for a gap, an opening or a leak. Caulks come in squeeze tubes or cartridges, and ones that come with a caulking gun. Always buy the complete set, which is the one that comes with the caulking gun. Caulks are cheap, so it won’t hurt your pocket.

Gutter leaks need to be dealt with right away. If left unattended, water will seep in to your house ceiling and house walls, which isn’t a good sight to see. To use the caulk, cut the nozzle of the caulk cartridge. The closer it is to the gun, the bigger the hole. Cut the nozzle to the size that you want, as long as you won’t waste the caulk or it’s too small. Cut the nozzle in a 45 degree angle, and apply it in the same degree too. Here’s the tricky part: if you haven’t used a caulking gun before, practice on a piece of wood or paper. The aim is for you to consistently apply the caulk.

Before applying the caulk to the gutter leak, make sure that it’s clean and it’s dry. Use sandpaper (or a wire brush) to roughen up the edges to prepare it for the caulk application. Squeeze the caulk gun along the seam or the hole where the leak is coming from. After application, you can use your finger or a popsicle to even out the caulk. Putting tape on the other side of the leak or seam will also secure the caulk, and can be removed after it has dried.

Caulking requires practice, so don’t hesitate to experiment in scrap boards or sheets. You’ll be making gutter leak repairs yourself in no time and save money too.

This is why you need a gutter system. (video)

Ever wondered how serious the effect can be if a house doesn’t have a gutter system? The video says it all.

Common Gutter Problems

There’s no better feeling of being able to buy your own home or property. The fulfillment and the liberty of being able to do what you want in your house is sometimes better than having your own apartment space. Gradually, one will develop their DIY skills in trying out things i.e. making simple repairs to plumbing, general house cleaning, and electrical stuff.

Let’s say one day you decide to make that investment to a brand new gutter system. After professional installation, you just left the gutter do its job. For a few months, the gutter did its job – even the gutter cover you’ve put earlier also helped out in clearing out the extra debris from clogging it. However, it doesn’t stop there. One of the most neglected parts of the house is the gutter system. People have the misconception that gutters can be”left alone,” and require minimal cleaning. This brings about many problems and can cause damage to your house if the gutters aren’t maintained well.

Gutters simply serve as collectors of rainwater that falls on your roof and direct it away from your home, keeping your walls and foundations safe. It is imperative that regular maintenance needs to be done in order for your gutter system to function properly. The most common culprits of your gutter will be consisting of: seeds, dirt, small rocks, dust, dirt, feathers, ice, small twigs, branches or even insects. Always keep in mind that though the water may bring them down, there’s always a bigger possibility that it’ll clog your downspout, and make your gutter overflow. Overflow will mean a different direction for the water to go to, and fall near your house foundation, or seep through the fascia boards. Fascia boards are the piece of wood where the gutter is attached. When water seeps through the house foundation, the soil underneath gradually becomes soft. Even though it’ll take years for the foundation to be really affected, the effects will arise gradually, and it’s not a good thing. When wood is always exposed to moisture, it’ll gradually rot as well, and will also affect your house walls.

When winter comes, the snow on your roof will gradually fall down your roof, but because of some heating systems that are installed on the upper part of the roof, the liquid gets frozen real quick when it goes to the gutters. This will cause an ice dam, which will make the gutter bear the weight of rock solid ice. This will weaken the attachment and will cause damage to the roof, and to your pocket.

These issues, when dealt with in the right time, will never be a threat to your gutter system. Regular check-up of your gutters after heavy rain or a windy day is highly recommended. It’s best to check your gutters from time to time rather than spending a huge amount for repairs. Always check for possible clogs, leaks and have it dealt with right away. In the winter, make it a point to always scrape your roof with snow rakes to make sure that any ice dams that will form can easily be removed. When there are any issues in the attachments of the gutter, have it checked by a professional. For minimal debris build-up, it’s also best to look for quality gutter covers that will fit your budget and your needs.

Proper maintenance will always bring about positive results, and comfortable living in your home.