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Get Your Mind in the Gutter: Easy Cleaning Tips

Have you checked your gutters lately? They are probably filled with the buildup of leaves and mud leftover from the winter season, which will clog the downspouts and cause water damage to your roof and fascia. Your gutters should be cleaned twice a year, every spring and fall. It’s an easy task that will prevent bigger problems in the future. Follow these steps for simple cleaning and repairing your home’s gutters.

Begin by checking the weather forecast. Cleaning will be easier if you allow your gutters to dry. Do not attempt to clean your gutters from standing on the roof. It will be more safe if you stand on a ladder that is firmly placed on the ground. Use two buckets, one for gutter debris and another for carrying tools. Use wire hooks to attach the buckets to the ladder.

Start with cleaning the gutter near a downspout. Remove leaves, twigs, etc. with a trowel tool and dump it in a bucket. To clean out finer materials, flush the gutter lengths with a hose starting at the end opposite the downspout. If the water doesn’t drain, recheck the downspout strainer and clean as needed. If gutter water still doesn’t drain, the downspout may be clogged. With a nozzle, use your hose and feed it up from the bottom of the spout.

If there’s still water after the gutter has been flushed, the gutter may not be sloped correctly and will require adjustment. If the gutter doesn’t slope enough, detach the hangers and adjust the gutter enough to drain properly, then reattach. Inspect the gutter sections and downspouts for obvious damage and missing parts. Repair any leaks in the gutter by making sure the gutter lengths are tight against each other, and run a bead of gutter sealant on both sides of all joints. Finally, apply gutter touch-up paint to cover any blemishes as desired. If necessary, repaint some or all of the gutters.

If you have any questions regarding your gutters or need yours replaced, CLICK HERE for more information.

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Seal the Deal: The Importance of Air Sealing

Insulation’s primary function is to trap heat and keep homes warm. Insulation resists heat flow and when our attic’s temperature rises to 140 degrees in the summer time, that heat will radiate down to the living space causing the air system to work harder and making an uncomfortable home. Air sealing the home is a form of insulation and is one of the most cost effective ways to increase energy efficiency. No matter how well your house is insulated, if there are cracks and gaps, the air you just paid to heat or cool will quickly be lost.

All homes no matter what climate should be air sealed so we don’t have excessive air exchange from inside to outside. Air will move through a hole depending on the amount of pressure in the house so it has to be air sealed to make it energy efficient and the attic is the top priority. What happens when air leaks through holes? In the winter, if air leaks out of the house we need to have air leak into the house somewhere else to replace the air that left. That air is unconditioned so it has to be cooled or heated to make it more comfortable. As the seasons change, cracks will open and allow air to infiltrate, conditioned air to pass, and moisture to develop on walls in the house which causes mold, heat loss, and a high energy bill.

You may want to check different areas around your home to reduce air from seeping in. Start with the exterior of your house. Holes are mainly found around windows and doors. Insulate around the frame with a low expanding foam insulation and caulk at the frames. Examine all wall penetrations including pipes, vents, exhausts, and air intakes. Caulk around the perimeter of all exterior wall penetrations. And, check the trim: Caulk around the perimeter of the trim, and trim/siding intersections.

As for the interior of the home, you can also caulk the inside of your windows and doors frames. Look into the tubs and showers. You may find cracks and holes around outlets and light switches. Don’t skip the fireplace. Keep the damper closed when fireplace isn’t being used. And of course, never ignore the basement or attic. The attic is the most problematic area when considering insulation.

Schedule a free consultation at libertybuilders.net right now or call (210) 714-1655 for more information.

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