Gutter Covers

We've talked a good bit about vinyl siding and windows. Y'all surely know by now that I'm a big fan of them. If you've somehow missed that point, just read through my blog! Today I want to touch on the "exciting" topic of gutter covers. I've blogged about the importance of keeping up your home and doing regular maintenance to it. Well y'all know I'm also a big fan of cutting out as much work as possible when it comes to the upkeep of something. So here we go... gutter covers!

Now, before I go any further. I want to be clear that just because you put gutter covers/guards on your gutters, that doesn't mean you NEVER have to clean your gutters and downspouts again! It simply means, it will greatly reduce the number of times you will have to clean them, possibly eliminating it. Just make sure you're at least checking on the gutters and gutter covers once or twice a year to make sure they're doing their job. The guards aren't fool proof, but it will drastically reduce the amounts of junk that can clog up your gutters. Now with all that said, if you get a high quality gutter cover like the ones my company installs, you are pretty much guaranteed you won't be getting any more junk trapped in your gutter. 

Gutter covers are extremely helpful to everyone, not just the elderly who are not the steadiest on ladders. I know I hate getting up on ladders. If I can find something that's going to eliminate the dangerous job of climbing up on my roof, you better believe I'll be buying it.

If you don't know much about gutter covers and you're afraid they're going to be unsightly, you have nothing to worry about. Unless you're on your roof looking at your gutters, you won't even know they're there. 

Now there are multiple types of gutter covers out there, so contact us before you jump the gun so we can help you make the best choice!

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"Gutters" is a pretty broad topic and can go in a variety of angles when discussing them, as I have in some of my previous posts. I want to focus on a specific area of gutters today: potential for rot. If you look at your gutters you may see water dripping at the corners or ends of the gutters. Many people think this is just a normal occurrence over the life of the gutters. As this could be a normal occurrence, it's also usually hazardous in the long run. If you see your gutters dripping at the corners or ends it can eventually rot the wood behind it. Of course, none of us want to have to deal with that!

This is one reason I stress regular maintenance on your house. It's not hard to overlook potential hazards that could be lurking behind parts of your house. Simply making sure everything is running and working as it should will help to prevent issues like this from arising.

It's also important to know what you're looking for, which is why I try to teach people to be able to recognize "red flags" before they turn into an expensive fix. Once again, dripping gutters are not a "normal" occurrence. If your gutters (or anything else for that matter) are leaking, call out a professional to come take a look and repair them if you're not quite sure how to do it yourself. Let us do the dangerous job of getting up on a ladder or climbing up on your roof to check things out!

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Vinyl Windows

My daughter purchased a house recently. The house was a flip, and the guy did a pretty crappy job on a lot of areas. The one area I'll give him a little credit in is he replaced some of the windows and put in vinyl windows. It would've been nice for him to replace ALL the windows, but he only replaced the ones he absolutely had to.  They look great and are far superior to the other windows in her house, even in just the look of them.

Vinyl windows (like vinyl siding I blogged about last week) are definitely worth your investment! There are numerous reasons to look into vinyl windows, such as:

- great insulation

- noise reduction

- easy tilt-in cleaning

- child resistant safety locks

- no chance of termites

- full screens to keep the bugs out on those gorgeous days

- maintenance free

- increase the value of your home

Now back to my daughter's house. Her house has a ton of windows! It would be extremely expensive to go through and replace them all at the same time, so what she's going to do is replace one or two at a time until they have the whole house done. Another thing you can add to make these windows an even greater value is to make the windows double-paned. The energy savings here would be so great, it would be easy to justify and offset the cost of the windows because your long-term savings would be high!

Take a look at this picture. Can you guess which one is the vinyl window? Only kidding, I'd say it's pretty obvious. Of course, they may want to paint the existing window trim, but appearance alone, look how much fresher and updated of a look it gives!

If you're worried the vinyl windows won't look good or match your home, worry no more. They are customizable. You can pick your color to match your home as well as getting a specific window shape molded to fit a specific size. So if your windows are getting a little worn looking and you're looking at your replacement options, look into vinyl windows. I don't think you will be able to find more bang for your buck than you will with vinyl windows. If you do find some that you feel are superior to vinyl windows, I'd love for you to challenge me on it!

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Vinyl Siding

Vinyl siding... it's right for you! Is your home's exterior starting to look a little rough? Is it time to paint it AGAIN?! Technically, the exterior of your home should be painted every 3-4 years to keep it looking nice and well-kept. I would guess most people probably do not do this. Instead of sinking more and more money into the upkeep of the exterior of your home, I usually recommend switching to vinyl siding. If you take the cost of painting the exterior of your house 2-3 times, you have pretty much covered the cost of replacing your exterior with vinyl siding.

Vinyl siding will give your house a facelift! There is virtually no upkeep. You will get a higher return on your investment by going with vinyl siding over any other type of siding out there. This isn't a problem for most, but some people don't like the look of vinyl siding. There's a solution to that now! You can now get vinyl siding that mimics the look of other materials such as wood, stone, and slate. There is also a wide selection of colors with improved color retention.

Vinyl siding is EXTREMELY durable! It has the ability to withstand winds up to 200 mph, as well as being able to resist heat, cold, and moisture. In addition, if you need more convincing, many companies will give you a lifetime warranty on their installation and siding. Talk about a testimony to vinyl siding! I like to discuss being eco-friendly as much as we can, and vinyl siding takes the cake in that area as well as it outperforms most other exterior cladding.

So now that I've convinced you that vinyl siding is the way to go, you may be hesitant because of the amount of work that goes into the installation process. Well I have more good news for you. Vinyl siding can be installed over existing materials, which means lesser mess and easier installation.

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Should I replace my roof?

So you've just experienced a strong storm season and you notice a leak in your ceiling. You have it checked out, it's coming from the roof. You have hail damage on your roof, insurance will cover it, done deal. You get a new roof! That's a pretty simple and obvious way to get a new roof, and most people jump at the opportunity when it happens that way. Unfortunately, it's not always that easy. Roofs are pretty expensive and no one wants to just fork out the money if it's not an absolute necessity. How do you know if you should replace your entire roof or just patch the holes or places that need attention?

The first thing you need to do is consider the age of your roof and the lifespan of the shingles/roof you have on it. Typically, most roofs will last between 20 and 30 years. If you know anything about roofing, you know you can just replace shingles without having to replace an entire roof. Replacing shingles due to wind damage or fallen limbs is pretty inexpensive and is an easy fix. The downside to this is if you're roof is older, you probably won't be able to get shingles that match exactly due to the slightly worn look of your roof. This could be unsightly depending on the location and if you plan on selling your home in the near future you want to think about what it will look like to buyers. Another option is to do a partial re-roofing. I don't typically recommend this because it can still get pretty costly and can at times be unsightly as well. An entire new roof can actually be cheaper in the long run that just doing small patches here and there.

There are some more things to consider when debating whether to patch or replace your roof. When you have a leak or multiple leaks (and your roof is older), that's a good indicator that it's time to replace your roof. The following are things to look for that could be the precursors for a leak:

     -Missing, torn, or weakened shingles (loss of effectiveness, easily blown away)

     -Rusted or missing flashing

     -Decaying or damaged downspouts or gutters

     -Indoors, look for discolored plasterboard, or cracked paint and peeling wallpaper

I hope I've given you quite a bit of things to look for when making the decision on a new roof or not. I know it's not a light decision to make, but it could (will) end up saving you lots of money and frustration in the long run.

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