Nationwide Gutter Services
15 Jul 2016

Hiring the Best Gutter Installation Contractor

When installing gutters, choose a replacement company with the right reputation and information.
Replacing gutters is one area where hiring a professional is always the best way to go. However, most homeowners can see the obvious signs when they need to replace gutters.

Weather can wreak havoc on your gutter system. Winter storms and ice buildup can cause your gutters to sag or pull away from your home. Sagging gutters or improperly angled gutters create low spots that overflow during storms, resulting in landscaping damage. Over time, it also brings the potential for water to enter your foundation, basement or behind the walls.

Professional vs. DIY gutter replacement
Contractors who do this job every day can spot problem areas homeowners might overlook during a DIY gutter replacement. There could be damage to your existing fascia boards from your old gutters, leaks behind the siding or wood rot in the fascia or framing.

If you have any areas where water overflows from the gutters or pools at the downspout exits, gutter experts are adept at finding the proper solution. They can suggest ways to reconfigure the gutters and downspouts to carry water more effectively off your roof and away from your home.

What to look for in a gutter contractor

When contacting gutter replacement contractors, there are a few tips to keep in mind. First, research reputable contractors. You don’t want to hire a fly-by-night company with no solid online reviews from customers. Read online reviews for the companies you’re considering, and ask friends and neighbors for recommendations.

Obtain detailed written estimates from each gutter contractor that visits your home. The contract should include a detailed description of the work to be performed, information on how long the project will take and payment specifics. You should obtain information on who to contact if any problems arise with the installation or materials.

The company should be bonded, insured and properly licensed if necessary in your area. Also, any reputable contractor should offer a warranty or guarantee on the project, as well as happily provide client references.

Consider each gutter company’s products

Another decision when replacing gutters is what type to get. Typical builder-grade gutters consist of a five-inch open gutter trough. Most homes really benefit from six-inch gutter troughs, especially if they have a steep roof pitch or gutters on both the first and second stories.

Some gutter companies offer the option of installing a gutter screen or guard on top of the gutters. These can be made of wire mesh or nylon.

While they can prevent larger leaves and sticks from entering your gutters, smaller debris such as tree flower buds or pine needles can still enter. This will make it necessary to clean out your gutters on a regular basis. They can also lead to greater snow and ice buildup during winter storms, potentially damaging your gutters.

Gutter guards and enclosed gutters

Some gutter companies manufacture a completely enclosed gutter system. They consist of a hood attached to the gutter itself. Typically, water flows over the edge of the hood, keeping out leaves and debris both large and small. Some manufacturers even tout these gutters will remain clog free and offer a lifetime warranty.

While the cost of these types of gutter systems can be higher than traditional open gutters, you’ll never have to pay for gutter cleaning. As mentioned before, talk to friends and neighbors to gauge their experience with different types of gutter systems, and read online reviews of the company’s products.

The best gutter installation company

When undertaking any home improvement project, it pays to do your homework. Research the gutter companies you’re considering. Make sure their contracts include all of the necessary information.

If you’re having water problems in certain areas, discuss this with the gutter company so they can reconfigure your system to work more efficiently. And research which type of gutter system will work best for your home and budget, taking into consideration the long-term gutter maintenance costs of uncovered versus covered gutters.


05 Jul 2016

Why is Gutter Cleaning So Important?

A debris-clogged gutter can cause a leaky roof or water damage to the interior or exterior of your home.
Gutters are an integral piece of your home’s well being. They serve to control the flow of rainwater to protect your roof, walls, foundation and landscape.

But when neglected, experts say gutters can turn from a necessity to a nightmare. A gutter clogged with leaves, sticks and other debris can cause a leaky roof or water damage to the interior or exterior of your home. Contractors say gunked-up gutters also make nice homes for pests, rodents, mold and honeycombs from bee infestations.

“If you let gutter cleaning go by the wayside, it can cost you hundreds or thousands of dollars,” says Jeff Lambert, a supervisor with The Gutter Man in Houston.

“Gutters are a potential bomb above your head full of insects and critters, if you let them stay out of sight, out of mind,” Lambert added.

How often should they be cleaned?
It depends largely on where you live and, most importantly, how many trees are in your yard. Bob Vecchio, owner of The House Doctors in Cleveland, recommends having gutters maintained in the spring and fall.

“I recommend people calling me in the fall when all of their leaves are down or almost down, Vecchio says. “In the springtime, maple trees get those little helicopters that go everywhere, including into your gutter.”

Vecchio says it’s important to have a professional clean the downspouts as well because a clogged downspout “makes it hard for the rain to go down and that causes them to back up and overflow the gutter, which can cause damage to your home.”

You can judge how often to clean your gutters based on how often leaves in your area fall and the types of leaves, Lambert says.

“It should be on everyone’s to-do list about every four months, depending on the tree climate,” he says. “In a high-yield environment, leaves fall all year-round. You can’t wait until the last leaf falls.”

25 Jun 2016

What happens when you don’t clean your gutters

Leaking gutters
Perhaps the most common ailment to both cleaned and uncleaned gutters is a leak. Easily found and repaired during routine inspection of the gutter, a leak that goes unfixed can cause major damage to the exterior of your home and even the gutter itself. A leak can cause mold and rotting, leading to the gutter giving away and falling from your roof.

Leaking roofs
A leaking roof occurs when your gutter cannot maintain the water drainage from your roof. The spillage that does not fall to the ground can accumulate on the roof, causing damage. During cold weather, gutters may fill with ice, causing snow buildup on the roof. The sitting snow and later melting cause added weight and eventual harm to the roof.

Leaking basements
Most gutters drain toward the bottom exterior of the home. If they are not working properly or aren’t cleaned, the excess water will collect around your basement and eventually leak in. A leaking basement is one of the most hazardous possibilities, because it can result in a gas leak, electrical shock and pollutants in your home.

Rotted wood
Some homes have foundations made from wood. Without a gutter for the water to drain properly into, the water will accumulate and saturate into the house. Over time the wood will rot, causing possible foundation damage and issues with your home’s structure.

Foundation cracks
Like rotting wood, foundation cracks occur when water is absorbed into the home. More likely to occur during colder months due to freezing temperatures and possible “frost heave,” water buildup will cause wall cracks and cracks in the foundation itself. Not as easy to see, this damage occurs in between walls and can eventually lead to mold in your home.

Insect infestation
Where there is moisture, bugs will go. Without a properly maintained gutter, bugs will grow to love your wet and moisture-filled gutters. Nasty critters like carpenter ants, roaches, earwigs, mosquitoes and even termites are likely to cause an infestation in a non-maintained gutter.

Sidewalk/driveway damage
Not only can water cause your sidewalks and driveway to become slippery from excess water and ice, but it can also cause damage. The extra water can cause a sagging and cracked foundation. To avoid this, direct your drain spout in another direction.

Drowning landscape
When a gutter is damaged or unable to retain water, the water then leaks out to the landscape, including your exterior plants. Overwatered plants can turn dull and die, causing an ugly and drowning landscape.



15 Jun 2016

How to Maintain Your Gutters

Gutters and downspouts play a big part in making sure your home is protected from water and moisture damage. Clogged or leaky gutters can result in water spilling out and collecting around the home’s foundations. This could lead to major problems such as:

  • Foundation walls settling/sinking
  • Bulging and/or cracking of basement walls

To avoid these problems, keep your gutters and downspouts in good condition through regular maintenance. Here are some tips to help you along the way.

1. Clean Your Gutters

  • Manually clean out leaves, sticks, needles and seeds using gloves; scoop out any debris with a garden trowel.
  • Avoid using a hose to remove debris – it might clog up the downspouts.
  • Remove any pasty sediment that results from tiny granules of asphalt roofing shingles mixing with dirt and water.
  • If there’s any residual matter, flush it out with your garden hose.
  • Clean downspouts by turning your hose on full blast and threading it into the opening.
  • Adjust your gutters so they’re sloped one vertical inch for every 15 to 20 horizontal feet so they drain properly.

2. Repair Gutters

  • Install new hangars to hold gutters in place. Gutters are usually attached using straps, hangers or long nails inserted through metal collars (known as “spikes and ferrules”).
  • Instead of replacing straps, re-nailing old spikes or adding new spikes, use gutter hangers with self-tapping screws (available at home improvement centers) instead.
  • Replacing straps means prying up roofing materials; it’s easier to install new hangars instead.
  • If spikes need repair, replace them with gutter screws and matching ferrules; a gutter screw has more holding power than a spike.

3. Fix Leaks

  • If you find any leaks at seams, fix them with silicone sealer.
  • If there are rust holes in your steel gutters, replace them instead of trying to repair them with patch kits, which offer only a temporary solution.

4. Replace Gutters

  • If you’re in the business of replacing gutters, opt for steel over aluminum or vinyl, as steel gutters generally performs better.
  • Expansion and contraction due to weather conditions will cause aluminum gutters to come loose more frequently.
  • Vinyl gutters some in 10-foot lengths, which means there’ll be lots of seams to seal.
  • Steel gutters can be installed without intermittent seams and some versions feature baked-on enamel finishes with 40-year warranties.