Critters That May Be Living in Your Gutters

Critters That May Be Living in Your Gutters

The exterior of your home or apartment likely has a gutter system to funnel water away from the foundation. While this is an incredibly efficient system, there are ways that it can go wrong—namely, with animal gutter invaders. Here are the most common critters that may be living in your gutters.

Gutter Materials | Deciding Which Is Best for Your Home

Clean new gutters

Your gutters manage water flow around your property and secure your home against costly damage. It can be a challenge to choose the right kinds of gutters. The most important features to look for are weather resistance, durability, and appearance. Here is a guide for deciding which gutter materials are best for your home.

Aluminum Gutters

Aluminum gutters are a lightweight and cost-effective option that leave your home’s exterior shining. Aluminum will not rust and is exceptionally weather resistant. In fact, these gutters even hold paint well, allowing you to tailor the appearance to your preferences. The only drawback is that the aluminum gutters are less strong than other types and may need more frequent replacing.

Vinyl Gutters

Vinyl gutters are another cost-efficient and corrosion-free option. Though they are easy to install and are relatively lightweight, these factors work against them in places with extreme temperatures and large amounts of sunshine. Overexposure to the elements will result in cracking and breakdown, leading to continuous replacement.

Copper Gutters

Copper gutters are a unique and attractive option with a beautiful color that will never rust or warp. Highly weather-resistant, these strong gutters are the best choice for anyone who wants a long-term solution.

Stainless Steel Gutters

All steel gutters are durable, heavy, and strong. These gutters come in two main types: galvanized and stainless. Galvanized steel is rust-resistant, but oxidation will set in over time. However, stainless steel will never rust, and its shiny sheen is long-lasting.

Zinc Gutters

You may think of zinc as a random element on the periodic table, but it’s actually one of the top gutter materials. Highly durable and resistant to warping, this gutter type will weather every storm that comes its way.

When deciding which gutter materials are best for your home, it is best to consult with an expert. If you need professional gutter installation in Columbia, MD, reach out to our team at Gutter Maid today.

Icicles on Gutters and Why They Can Signal a Problem

Icicles on Gutters and Why They Can Signal a Problem

Winter brings a whole host of weather conditions. Snow can be fun, but it can also accumulate, melt, and drip into icicles. These icicles pose threats to passersby and property alike, so you should address them before they become too large and heavy. Here’s more about icicles on gutters and why they can signal a problem.

Why Icicles Form

Icicles are beautiful, icy stalactites that form on roofs under certain wintry conditions. When snow accumulates through the winter months, the slow cycle of snowfall, slight melting, and icy dripping turns fluffy snow into rock-hard icicles. The snow on your roof melts over time when heat escapes your home and unsettles the bottom layers. This semi-frozen water then drips into your gutters, which are already laden with snow or debris that keeps the liquid from flowing through the downspouts. This buildup eventually overflows and drips out the side, forming icicles underneath.

Common Root Problems

Icicles are naturally occurring, but certain practices and problems with your house could affect their pervasiveness and severity. Poor insulation is often at fault for the formation of large icicles and ice dams in your gutters. Heat naturally rises, so much of your home’s heat goes to your roof. If the home cannot keep this heat in, the snow on your roof will melt, creating icicles.

Poor ventilation is also a culprit for recurring icicles. Many people who have hot roofs use fans to blow this hot air out the top or back through the house—anything to get the heat away from the roof. Without ventilation, the heat buildup will allow the bottommost snow to thaw and refreeze in dangerous patterns.

How To Address the Issue

You can head off icicles and ice dams in several ways. First, make sure your roof insulation is working well, and consider adding a few more inches to keep hot air far away from the snow. You can also install better fans and openings for ventilation. Another one of the best ways to fix the issue of icicles is to address your gutters. Find a gutter maintenance service to deice and clean your gutters so that any freezing water, snow, or ice will flow freely through your system. With any of these solutions, you can make it through the winter unharmed by falling icicles.

Once you know about icicles on gutters and why they can signal a problem, you can take steps to head off these issues proactively. If you have icicles and need help removing them or repairing your gutters, reach out to us at Gutter Maid—one of the best gutter installation companies around.

How To Safely Get Rid of Ice Dams in Gutters

How To Safely Get Rid of Ice Dams in Gutters

You need a warm and safe home, especially in the winter. Yet, snow and ice can accumulate and cause dangerous problems. The way you handle the buildup on your roof directly impacts your home security. Here is how to safely get rid of ice dams in gutters.

Rake the Snow

Though it’s the solution that requires the most prolonged, arduous work for you, the simplest option for ice dams involves raking the snow off your roof. You’ll need a rake that specifically works to remove snow from roofs. Take special care not to damage your shingles in the process; otherwise, it could turn into a costly affair.

Install Heated Coils

Chances are that you already have snow accumulation on your roof. But when you remove the current buildup or before more snow comes, you can install heated coils directly onto your roof. Professionals install these coils in a pattern that discourages snow accumulation. When you notice unnecessary snow collection, you can heat the coils and melt the snow off your roof.

Apply Calcium Chloride

One way to remove ice and snow is with a melting compound. Raking snow requires your physical labor, but you could sprinkle calcium chloride on your roof and let the chemicals do the work for you. Just like salting your driveway to melt snow, you can apply calcium chloride to your roof to melt the accumulation. However, there could be gaps in the melting pattern, so you should apply a new coat every few hours until the show has completely melted.

Contact a Professional

Ascending one or two stories into the air with icicles above and ice below is not a welcoming picture for many. Instead of tackling these projects yourself, contact a professional service to address the ice melting into your gutters. Our team at Gutter Maid is one of the best around and can help remove the ice dam and prevent further problems.

You need to know how to safely get rid of ice dams in gutters, or you could be looking at further home damage. If you need someone to help clean your gutters and remove excess ice, reach out to our team at Gutter Maid for professional gutter repair and installation.

Common Gutter Myths | Separating Fact From Fiction

Common Gutter Myths | Separating Fact From Fiction

You have all kinds of accoutrements and pieces in your home that don’t immediately make sense. Yet, everything from nonfunctional shutters to roof gutters serves a purpose. To address any misconceptions, here are common gutter myths: separating fact from fiction.

No Trees Means No Debris

Your gutters are an essential part of your home’s water drainage system. Yet, undue amounts of debris render them less effective. If you lack trees in your yard, you may think that no debris gets into your gutters. Though foliage is the main culprit of clogged gutters, it isn’t the only thing that can stop your water flow. Check your gutters regularly for debris and have a cleaning service wash out any chunks of dirt or ice in your gutters.

Gutters Don’t Work in Severe Storms

Many people think that gutters don’t work during severe storms. This is simply not true. Yes, gutters only operate at a maximum capacity and can become overrun with water. But this doesn’t mean they aren’t performing their essential duties. Gutters chiefly work to funnel water away from vulnerable places, such as your home’s foundation. When the sky rains heavily, water still flows through the usual channels even if a bit ends up spilling over the top. Your gutters still reduce the amount of water that pools in harmful spots.

You Don’t Need Maintenance if You Have Gutter Guards

Gutter guards are quite useful and reduce the number of problems with your gutters year-round. However, that doesn’t mean smaller items like small twigs, dirt, and other debris don’t make it past your protectors. You will need maintenance on your gutters, so check your system’s state from time to time. Without oversight and preparedness, you could have gutter issues even with guards in place.

These common gutter myths that separate fact from fiction can help you better assess your home’s exterior. If you need the help of a gutter installation service to address and fix any problems, contact our team at Gutter Maid today.

6″ Seamless Half Round Gutters | Gaithersburg, Maryland

Before and after new 6" seamless half round gutters in Gaithersburg Maryland

Check out this recent project based in Gaithersburg, Maryland. We installed brand new 6” half round seamless gutters that not only look aesthetically appealing, but now protect the building from structural damage caused by rain water and debris.

Home Improvements To Help Lower Insurance Premiums

Home Improvements To Help Lower Insurance Premiums

Your home is an investment, so you likely protect it from risk with homeowner’s insurance. However, these policies are expensive, and it’s always a good idea to find deductions whenever possible. Here are a few home improvements to help lower insurance premiums.

Install an Alarm System

Alarm systems are the backbone of your home’s security. Regardless of the provider you choose, lining your entryways with sensors and connecting with a 24/7 security monitor will save you on insurance. Alarm systems decrease the likelihood of burglary, which decreases the overall risk to your insurer. Your agency will appreciate the extra layer of protection and reward you for this prudent decision. You can also improve your door locks with deadbolts and smart locks that will keep intruders at bay.

Cleaning Your Gutters

Your gutters perform an essential function for your home’s water drainage system. But when something goes wrong with them, your home can suffer damage. Cleaning, improving, and maintaining your gutters prove that you care about home upkeep. Clean gutters reduce the risk of water pooling, foundation damage, roof deterioration, and wall mold. If you need to replace your gutters altogether, our team at Gutter Maid performs gutter installation in Maryland, and beyond. Your proactivity will shield you from costlier problems while protecting your insurer, too.

Put in Smoke Detectors

Smoke is almost always an indicator of a fire, which is a costly disaster for insurance agencies to cover. Smoke detectors alert homeowners before fires become too difficult to handle, and they give you time to call the authorities. Show your insurance agency that you put in smoke detectors, and they may lower your premium.

Stronger Roof

Replacing your roof is a costly affair, and many homeowners neglect this essential maintenance task. You should address this problem to avoid home damage and reduce your insurance bill. Consider putting in a new roof with stronger shingles, and you may save even more than you thought. Discuss which roofing solutions will guarantee a lower premium with your insurer and install them right away.

Use these home improvements to help lower insurance premiums. Start saving money today with a few of these maintenance tasks. Our professionals at Gutter Maid are more than happy to assist you with all your gutter-related needs.