Maintaining Your Gutters

Written by Friday, 30 May 2014 00:00

Gutter system maintenance is important to ensure the longevity of the system and to protect your home from water damage. The minimal cost of gutter protection is nothing compared to the cost it would be for damage to the house. Those protectors will also reduce or eliminate how often you need to clean out your gutters and downspouts. It is basically a “win win” situation. Without protection, your gutters build up with natural debris, as well as shingle particles. That can lead to water overflow, foundation seepage, bent gutter runs, and much more.

Basically, gutter guards are the best enhancement you can make. Nevertheless, it is still important to routinely check your entire system. One failing gutter component can lead to damage with other pieces in your system. Here are some smaller components that require regular inspection and/or maintenance. For maintenance information on actual downspouts and gutter sections, click here.

Downspout Extensions

Downspout extensions are important because they allow the draining water from the downspout to flow away from the foundation. Inspect those pieces to ensure that there is no damage or leaks. Oftentimes, they can get stepped on and flattened. They can also get punctured or weakened by a bend. You can also check for blockage created from leaves and other debris. These products usually build up inside during the fall season and into the spring season. Check the screws that hold them to the downspout and make sure that they are secure.

If you are finding that the water is not moving away far enough, you can purchase an actual downspout and a coupler, then cut it to the length you need. You can also purchase sewer drain piping, P.V.C. drain piping, or even splash blocks that will catch the water and run it out further. There are also rollout extender systems that mount to the bottom of the downspout and unroll with water flow pressure. In any case, ensure that the water is flowing out to where it should.

Gutter Spikes and Mounts

Inspect all the gutter spikes to ensure that they are intact. If your gutter system uses clamps; inspect them for straightness, tightness, and stability. Oftentimes, you could find a combination because the spikes were coming out and the clamps were easier to install. In any case, these components are the backbone of support for a gutter system and need to be secure and straight. The straightness usually maintains support strength like the jack stand for your vehicle. Bent ones can weaken the support system and the clamp itself. In some cases, you may be able to bend a clamp back to shape, but it can be costly if you need a bunch of replacements.

If you find several damaged pieces when inspecting your gutter system, it may be time for a new installation. In any case, checking the entire gutter system is important to the overall health of the gutters and the life of the gutter itself, not to mention the home’s health! For more helpful tips, see the blog “Extending the Life of Your Gutters.”

Extending the Life of Your Gutters

Written by Monday, 26 May 2014 00:00

Gutter systems play an important role in home protection so it is very important to keep up with them and conduct routine maintenance checks. This reduces the need for new gutters and ensures that they are in proper working order, as well as functional. As time goes by, your gutters tend to build up with gunk and natural debris. Gutter guards work great for this particular problem. Nevertheless, gutters tend to warp or bend depending on the load and the material. They can also loosen or even fall off. Here are some typical problems you want to check for with your downspouts and gutter sections. For additional gutter components, see the blog Maintaining Your Gutters.”

Downspouts

Typical downspout problems include:

  • ·         Downspout clogs
  • ·         Loose areas
  • ·         Separation from the siding
  • ·         and even downspouts falling off

You should periodically inspect the downspouts for clogs to ensure optimum performance and drainage. Check for loose pieces because the gutter clamps can sometimes break loose from the siding. In addition, you should inspect the screws to ensure they are intact to help prevent loose or fallen downspout components.

Gutter Sections

The gutter sections are usually pretty long pieces and with that, they can:

  • ·         Bend
  • ·         Warp
  • ·         Loosen
  • ·         Puncture
  • ·         Crack
  • ·         Or even separate from the edge of the roof

Check for bent or warped gutter runs. If you have any of those, they can alter the collection and flow of water. Depending on the severity, they can build up damns of natural elements and roof particles. This will stop or restrict the flow of water. What happens afterwards is the water overflows out of the gutter and lands next to the house. From there, it enters the foundation blocks and makes its way into the basement.

Aside from that, check for cracks or piercings in the gutter pieces. Also look for leaking joints. Those will let water leak out and seep into the foundation. You can purchase gutter patch or sealant material that usually can be applied in cold or warm weather and most can be used under water as well. In some cases, the damage is so bad that it can be difficult to seal up or costly to repair.

If your gutters are looking a little weathered, you can purchase some gutter paint from the local hardware store. It is usually available in white or brown and comes in a spray can for easy use. Just don’t paint your house by accident.

For more gutter maintenance tips, click here.

 

iStock 000006923293Small---Copy-1Many home owners tend to misunderstand home or residential interior design, and this need not be complicated. Apparently, residential interior design is rather complex and a professional will not simply pick up the latest and trendy color, or any artistic theme. Instead, they will critically think about the home, as well as the residential purposes, which they must accomplish at the end of the project. 

Before you embark on a home remodeling project, it is imperative that you consider your lifestyle carefully, which will dictate the room dimensions and overall home plan. Today you can do this very easily by using 3D computer design software that show you the product possibilities, and how the home will eventually look like, before you even begin the project. Hence, you will begin the project with the end in mind.

Solving the problems on the existing structure

A professional interior designer can also offer credible advice on how a home owner can get the most out of the home that they currently have. Whether you are redecorating, remodeling, or buying a new home, they can come in and help with the work, and give the living space a better atmosphere. Sometimes it also happens that a potential home owner only finds single perfect room from a relatively good home, say for instance, the master bathroom may be smaller than expected, or the kitchen may not have as much space as one would want, on the other hand, the living room may come in an awkward outline.

Having a number of odd rooms, or simply not up to what one would want in a home can be sometimes frustrating, however this is where a residential interior designer becomes very helpful. They will help you incorporate this awkward design into your lifestyle and even make the smaller rooms look larger, by professional décor, or creatively adding space.

Design ideas

Contemporary living adds subtle value to a home’s décor, and what the designer will do is combine colors along with great lighting to increase versatility, which ideally is the hallmark of contemporary living spaces.

iStock 000020140364MediumWhether you're completely remodeling your kitchen or just want to make a quick, easy and inexpensive change, choosing the right paint is essential. Many people just walk in and choose a swatch that they like, but this can cause you to end up with a paint that you won't be happy with in the long term. Keeping these five tips in mind, however, will help you give your kitchen the look that you want while keeping things practical as well. 

1. Keep Clean-Up in Mind

Although you might prefer flat paint elsewhere in your home, it isn't the easiest thing to clean. The kitchen is prone to a host of different messes, so consider an eggshell finish or other type of paint that can be easily cleaned.

 

2. Look at Your Existing Décor and Appliances

Unless you're planning on buying all new appliances and stripping out your flooring, cabinets and countertops, you should choose a paint color that will look nice alongside what you already have.

 

3. Think Twice Before Choosing White

White walls can look striking in some kitchens, but you should think twice before applying white paint to your walls. Unless they're easy to clean, they could stain. Plus, white can look boring unless you have other pops of color in the kitchen to add a bit more jazz.

 

4. Think Outside the Box

Your kitchen should be an exciting, friendly and welcoming home for friends, family and guests. Think outside of the box, and look at colors that will be warm, inviting and attractive, and consider skipping the basics for something a bit more exciting, like deep reds or purples.

 

5. Don't Forget Your Trim

You might want to paint your trim as well so that it will be bright and shiny along with the other paint in your kitchen. For best results, choose colors that look nice together and that will really stand out.

Vinyl Siding Repair

Written by Friday, 11 April 2014 00:00

beautiful-house-1113tm-pic-1535Vinyl siding is an important element in your house. It not only improves your house appeal but also it prevents your house from damage such as damage from insects. Unfortunately vinyl siding is prone to damage and needs repair and maintenance regularly as it is very fragile. It melts when it is exposed to extremely high temperatures and becomes brittle when subjected to cold weather also it is prone to impact damage such as breaking apart and cracking. Vinyl siding repair can be very expensive when most parts are damaged hence it is advisable that when most parts of the vinyl sliding are damaged you replace it. Here are steps of repairing a damaged vinyl siding. 

1. Unlock the Siding

The first step in vinyl siding repair is unlocking the siding to expose the damaged part. This can be done by using a zip tool.

2. Repair starting from the bottom piece

The first place to start from when repairing a damaged vinyl siding is the bottom pieces and progress upwards. This is very important as it helps to avoid cases of forgotten damaged parts.

3. Insert a wooden shim between the pieces

It is common that the zip tool will be sliding along the siding as you repair but you can arrest that by putting a shim between the pieces of siding.

4. Patch the damaged area

After repairing and placing the top siding pieces, patch the vinyl siding so that to protect against any future damage. This can be done using a tin snips and it is important that the patch should be large than the piece you have repaired.

5. Lock the siding 

After you have repaired and placed the patch into place then lock back the siding back into place tightly.

Most vinyl siding repairs are easy and can be done by anyone who has a general knowledge on basic tools and painting but also experts can be called in case of technical repairs.

Types of House Siding Materials

Written by Friday, 04 April 2014 00:00

houses-1113tm-pic-1679If utilized positively, siding can be a cost effective element for beautifying a home. Homeowners have many options to choose from which could often confuse them. At times, it is imperative to mix designs in order to develop an attractive home. While shopping for siding material, every homeowner desires to get something that would set their home apart from the others. Below is a brief description of the types of house siding materials you will find on the market. 

Vinyl/Aluminum siding 

They are made from PVC. It has existed for a long time and is the most commonly used option in new homes. They are suitable for most homes since they do not require to be painted. They are developed with careful engineering and design. They are durable and widely available. Regardless of their advantages, entire sections have to be replaced whenever repairs are required. 

Fiber cement siding 

They comprise of wood fibers that are mixed with cement and sand. They are thicker as compared to vinyl and can withstand harsh weather conditions. Its stability allows paint to last longer on the surface. Additionally, they are resistant to water and termites. They are however costly and the installation process complicated. 

Insulated siding 

They are vinyl products that have an added benefit of insulation. The insulation is glued inside. They are highly recognized for its energy efficiency capability to reduce heat gain or loss from the house. They are however costly when compared to normal vinyl siding. 

Engineered wood siding 

They are the newest type of siding material on the market. They are designed by combining by-products from wood with bonding agents. The resulting material has a number of aesthetic features that are stronger than those found in wood. They have a much longer life expectancy compared to that of natural wood. They have to be painted regularly in order to maintain their integrity. They are easier to install but highly susceptible to problems related to moisture. 

It is critical to assess all the available options before making your final decision on the best siding material for your home. Since siding is expected to last for a very long time in your home, it is best that you choose designs that excite you.

1263-1013-A1303Do you wonder what kind of statement is that,” Insulate your walls and pad your wallet”? The explanation is simple and will be clear when you read more. Insulation is one of the most cost-effective methods to increase a home’s energy while it saves you money on hefty energy bills. There are several questions you can ask yourself in order to establish whether it is time for extra wall padding.

  • Is your home older than 20 years? It is true that both older as well as new homes need insulation, but if you have an old house and you did not personally insulate it, it is possible that a lot of energy escapes.
  • Is your house too hot during summer months and too cold in winter months? If so, your house lacks adequate insulation in key areas. Without proper insulation, heat flows out in winter and allows warm air into your house during summer. Insulation maintains a comfortable and uniform temperature all year round. You save drastically with air conditioning throughout the year.
  • Do you have high energy bills? The initial installation of wall insulation is paid off faster than you think by saving on high energy bills. Insulating your attic is a good place to start if you do not plan to stay for a long period in your house. Homeowners with no plan to move will benefit by insulating walls, crawl spaces and floors.
  • Do you plan replacing a roof or build onto your house? If the answer is yes, then budget from the start to do the job right. Factoring insulation into your plans is minimum hassle at a later stage and energy saving from the start.
  • Is your existing insulation below R-value? The higher the R-value is, the better your insulation for saving energy. The Department of Energy has recommendations on R-value for energy efficient homes.

The Benefits of Green Roofing

Written by Friday, 21 March 2014 00:00

freshicon 430Green roofs are becoming more prevalent nowadays. They are an eco-friendly form of construction that offers many benefits for property owners. A green roof is a roof that is either partially or completely covered with vegetation or plants. The vegetation is usually planted on a waterproof membrane that includes irrigation and drainage systems as well as a root barrier.  

One of the benefits of green roofing is that it significantly reduces energy consumption both in the summer and winter seasons. During the summer, a green roof keeps the heat of the sun from penetrating into the interiors of a building. In this way, the roof helps reduce cooling load. During the winter, a green roof insulates the interiors of a building from cold weather. Green roofing can reduce fifty to seventy percent of energy consumption. 

Green roofs also help filter pollutants from the environment. They also help reduce the noise that bustling cities generate. This includes noise from busy freeways, factories and airports. Green roofing also helps reduce the use of synthetic roofing materials. 

The initial cost of installing a green roof is higher than that of installing a roof made from conventional materials. However, a green roof is more long lasting and can help you save a substantial amount of money over the years. Installing a green roof will also increase the value of your property. This roof can also improve the overall appearance of your property. It is something that you can be proud of since many people will appreciate its uniqueness and beauty. 

If you choose to install a green roof on your property, you can grow food such as vegetables and fruits on it. You can also grow flowers on it for various purposes. There are three levels of green roofing. These include extensive, intensive and semi intensive. Intensive green roofing requires the most maintenance. It has a deeper soil level and it is meant to host full lawns or larger plants. This level of green roofing mimics a park that is placed on top of a house. Semi intensive roofing does not require a lot of maintenance and it is meant to host moderately large plant life. 

Extensive green roofing requires the least amount of work. It is built to support itself and in most cases, property owners only have to perform maintenance on an extensive green roof once a year. This roof contains a thin layer of soil. Hardy plants and moss are usually grown on extensive green roofing.

Windows-Letting the Sunshine In

Written by Friday, 14 March 2014 00:00

iStock 000004054227Small---CopyKeeping up with the progressive times and the need to tap natural resources, why shouldn’t we try our hand at making our home energy efficient? We all know that windows are for ventilation and enhancing the face value of our home but they offer good energy saving solutions too. This architectural feature gains or loses energy by radiation, conduction, convection and of course, air leakage. You can effectively bank on these factors and make your home a lot more energy efficient. So, let’s delve into some ideas that can altogether change the definition of windows.

Letting in maximum light, holding the inside temperature and reducing your power bills. So, now your remodeling ideas should incorporate a relatively new and beneficial feature -energy efficiency. The rule of thumb to bring in maximum sunshine is to follow the sun. For ensuring effective light for the better part of the day, install windows on the north of the room. South collects most of the solar heat, go for low E or low emissivity glass coating, these rank high on reflecting the heating rays away from your house. So, you can control the transfer of heat through your windows. 

Replace picture windows with bow or bay windows, you can enjoy more light, more view and more sun. You can utilize the space by adding a window seat to the front with a storage area underneath or you can showcase books or showpieces to enhance the space efficiency. You can also choose a built in bench in accordance with the shape of the window. Install large and taller windows, besides maximizing light; they make your rooms feel larger.

You can bring in the outdoors by adding a sun room, covering the area with large windows offers you the luxury of sun all day, plus it increases your living space. For new windows, consider covering only the top half with grills, the lower half can provide for unobstructed view. You can consider adding egress windows which offer easy exit in case of an emergency. Being larger than a common window, these windows rank high on making the basement environment more comfortable and pleasant by adding comparatively more to ventilation and lighting.

Certain other features in installing your windows can increase their energy efficiency manifolds. If you select, multi panes of glass over single panes, the insulation level goes up substantially. Tight seals, proper installation and energy efficient frames also help you in controlling heat gain or loss. Let’s change the earlier definition of windows, now we can say, windows- letting the sunshine in, maximizing light efficiency, maximizing ventilation, minimizing power bills! So, let technology come to the forefront in making our homes energy efficient, besides other advantages, it would be our effort towards conserving energy and resources. 

26-101413-gs0026Did you know that siding can be a great addition to your home? Well, if you didn't know, siding in the first place, greatly improves the curb appeal of your home. Furthermore, it can reduce your maintenance costs over the long haul. Generally speaking, siding is valuable to your home for a variety of reasons.

Here are the five things you should know about siding your home.

  • Siding increases the value of your home.

1. Siding is available in various materials.

Siding comes in a variety of materials. The most popular materials are; aluminum, wood and vinyl. The best material for your home solely depends on the location of your home. But, vinyl is very popular since it can be used in most climates. First it is does not require any maintenance and secondly it is easy on budget. That nonexistent of maintenance is possibly the greatest virtue of exterior siding. Siding is like a shield that protects your home from any form of damage and reduces the costs you might incur in repairing the damages.

2. Siding improves the general make up of your home.

Siding improves the general make up of your home. Most siding materials come in a wide array of colors. With siding, you will not have to paint your home and best of all; the color will be even and will not peal. Siding has a great cosmetic impact on your home. Siding is also available in various textures. You can achieve a magnificent look by blending it with the most appropriate color.

3. Siding makes cleaning easier

Siding is much easier to clean than sheer or brick walls. Whether you choose to go for aluminum, wood or vinyl exterior, siding makes cleaning of the surfaces easier.

4. Siding reduces maintenance costs

Siding reduces the maintenance costs you could have incurred now and then on your home’s exterior. Besides it adds up to the appeal of your home which may not have been there. It also provides a very easy way of keeping the exterior of your home clean without repainting. 

5. Siding can be hosed off.

In many cases, siding can be hosed off. Here, you will need some light soap and a power washer. This will make your home not only to have an even color but also easier to clean and more appealing for those passing by.

Generally speaking, siding has a lot of long term advantages and that is why I consider it a valuable addition.

Contact

Home Appeal LLC
4047 Baird Rd, OH 44224
Phone: 330-995-0551