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Friday, November 18, 2016

Your Winter Checklist!

The winter months are upon us!  Don't wait to do some last minute maintenance checks on your home before freezing temperatures and snow come your way.  To prepare your home and your household for the colder months ahead, it's important to start now.



Here is a list of some chores you can start to tackle:

1) Invest in weather stripping. Weather stripping is a good way to seal warm air in and keep the cold air out of your home.  Apply it to windows, doors, vents, fans, plumbing ares, air conditioners, mail chutes, etc. - anywhere you may have leaks or drafts.

2) Clean out your gutters.  It is important to keep your gutters free of debris.  Clean gutters help keep them free-flowing and draining properly.  If they are clogged, water can freeze in your gutters and allow melting ice and snow to seep under shingles onto your roof and also cause ice dams that can cause damage to your walls, foundation, fascia boards and more.

3) Evaluate your roof to prevent ice dams.  Speaking of ice dams, they can cause a lot of damage to your home.  If your home isn't well insulated, you risk having an ice dam form due to melting snow from your roof that re-freezes on the edge causing water to back up onto your roof and under the shingles, potentially causing damage.  To prevent this, insulate your attic well.  Or, use a product from Gutter Covers International called Ice Dam Solution™ or Hott Topper™ if you have Gutter Topper® gutter guards on your home.



4) Trim trees near your home.  Dead branches can be a big problem when ice or heavy snow piles up on them.  Be sure to trim those branches to prevent possible injuries or damage to your home. In addition, trimming branches that hang near home will help prevent gutters from getting clogged with leaves and pine needles.  You can also eliminate clogged gutters by installing gutter guards on your home!  There are many types of gutter guards available so be sure to check with a local dealer to see if they offer gutter protection from Gutter Covers International.

5) Change your furnace filters.  Clean furnace filters allow your system to run more efficient.  Plus, it keeps the air clean in your home.  Who doesn't want to keep their utility bills low??

6) Get a tune up on your furnace.  have your furnace or heat pump inspected to be sure the system is clean and in good condition so that it can achieve its highest efficiency.  The inspection can also measure carbon-monoxide leakage.

This list could go on and on, but you get the drift.  There is a lot to do, so get started today before that first big snowfall!  Soon all your chores will be complete and all you have to do is relax!


Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Guide To Gutter Protection

Gutters are important to your home because, when working properly, they divert water from the roof into the gutter, through the downspouts and away from the home.  But when your gutters get clogged, they can wreak havoc on your home.  Water that is not properly diverted from your home can cause damage to your foundation, siding, fascia boards, exterior paint and landscaping.

You have a couple options to keep your gutters free from leaves, debris, pine needles and pests.  You can either have your gutters cleaned 1 or more times a year by a professional (at an average cost of $185 each cleaning), clean them out yourself and risk a dangerous fall from a ladder, or you can invest in a gutter protection system.  Gutter covers prevent debris and leaves from accumulating and clogging your gutters and making sure the water stays free flowing. 

There are several types of gutter protection systems available. 

·      Screens or mesh that install over the gutter opening.  This type of system is easy to install but does not add strength to the gutter system and can easily be blown off in windy conditions.
·      Foam or nylon brush material that is laid inside the gutter system.  They are inexpensive and are a popular do-it-yourself system because of the ease of installation.  Even this type of system needs to be cleaned periodically because leaves and debris get caught in them and get entangled in the bristles. 
·      Hooded or surface tension gutter protection.  Allows water to come off the roof and rolls around the face of the product into the gutter.
·      Perforated products that have holes in the gutter cover to keep debris out and water flowing in.  The water goes through the holes and the debris stays on top and blows away.



In addition to the types of gutter protection products available, there are differences in the quality and construction of these systems.  The best gutter protection systems add stability to the gutter by attaching the gutter covers to your house as well as the gutter itself.  The thickness of the material also plays a role in the strength and durability of the gutter protection.  The thicker the material the stronger it will be.  There are several types of materials that gutter protection systems are made from including steel, aluminum, vinyl and copper.  Steel has a tendency to rust.  Aluminum gutter covers are a little more expensive but are worth the investment.   Vinyl gutters are the least expensive option but aren’t as strong and could break in extreme cold conditions.  Copper is the most expensive option.

As you can see, there are many things to think about when deciding which type of gutter protection is the best option for your home.  Gutter Covers International has all the answers!


Friday, October 7, 2016

Your Fall Checklist!

Now is the time to begin preparing for the upcoming winter months.  Take advantage of these cooler fall days to do some chores around the house, both inside and out.

Here is a list of some outdoor chores you can start to tackle:

      1)   Clean outdoor furniture and kid’s summer toys.
      2)   Touch up flaking paint on the exterior of your home or deck.
      3)   Caulk around your window and doors to keep bugs and cold air from seeping in.
      4)   Check your gutters to see if they are clogged.  If so, clean them out so you don’t get any water damage.  Or consider installing gutter protection and never have to worry about clogged gutters again!
      5)   Wash your windows.
      6)   Clean your chimneys and flues to reduce risk of fire.



And don’t forget the inside chores:

      1)   Clean from top to bottom.  Windows, cobwebs, baseboards and everything in between.
      2)   Have your furnace inspected.  Don’t wait until that first cold night to find out it isn’t working properly.
      3)   Get your carpets clean before the holiday festivities begin.
      4)   Drain sediment from your hot water heater.
      5)   Change the filters in your furnace.
      6)   Replace the batteries in your smoke detectors.


This list could go on and on but you get the drift.  There is a lot to do so start today and check things off one by one.  Soon all your chores will be complete and all you have to do is relax! 

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Why You Need Gutter Protection vs. Gutter Cleaning

You may be thinking about cleaning your gutters as the fall season approaches.  Cleaning gutters can be expensive, and it can also be one of the most dangerous home maintenance projects you can do! On average, the cost of having your gutters cleaning by a professional can range anywhere from $70 to $500 per cleaning, depending on the scope of your job.  And most homes need to have their gutters cleaned twice a year if there is a significant amount of trees in your area.  That gets expensive!

Some of the factors that go into pricing a gutter-cleaning job are:

1)  How many square feet if the home?
2)  How many linear feet of gutters are there?
3)  How many stories is your home?
4)  What is the pitch of your roof?
5)  Will the downspouts be cleaned and the mess picked up when the gutter cleaning folks leave your       home?



All of these things can make the cost add up quick!  If you choose to clean the gutters yourself to save a little money, you should be aware of the risks involved.  Do you want to climb up a ladder one to two stories or more off the ground?  Do you want to be up on your roof?  Do you want to waste an afternoon cleaning much out of your gutters when you could be enjoying yourself?  These are all things to consider when deciding on whether to clean the gutters yourself.  But, there is another answer!

Instead of cleaning your gutters twice a year or more and risking a fall from a ladder, you can have a permanent solution to your clogged gutters by investing in a gutter protection system.  Clogged gutters cause thousands of dollars in damages to your home from rotting fascia boards, landscape erosion to foundation repairs.  Investing in gutter protection can eliminate the inconvenience of having to clean your gutters, giving you time to do thing you enjoy.


And finally, a gutter protection system can add value to your home, making your home more desirable when it comes time to sell.  If you are considering investing in a gutter guard system, Gutter Covers International has a product that solves any foliage problem Mother Nature can throw at it.  If you have a problem with leaves, you may want to check out one of our many products:  Leaf Terminator®, The Solution® or Gutter Topper®.  If you have problems with needles, no product works better than our Needle Guard™.  You can find out more about Gutter Covers International by visiting us at guttertopper.com.


Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Deciduous vs. Coniferous Trees

Tomorrow is the first day of Fall!  I know I have been looking forward to the leaves changing and the crisp, cool weather that is on its way.  But we all know what happens during Fall - clogged gutters - unless you are proactive and have gutter protection installed on your gutters.  Gutter protection is important particularly when you live in an area with a lot of deciduous or coniferous trees.  What are deciduous trees vs. coniferous trees?  Here is today's lesson.

Deciduous trees are often found in the Eastern half of the United States where the soil is rich and there is more winter weather.  Deciduous trees lose their leaves in the Fall, dropping on top of the tree's roots where they will recharge the soil with nutrients.  Houses that are surrounded by many tall trees or that have tall trees a short distance away will often have a recurring problem with leaves and small branches being blown into the gutters during storms.  If gutters are left unprotected, there is a risk of clogs and run-off that can damage a home's foundation, walls or landscaping.  Using gutter protection helps keep the gutters clean and free-flowing.  Gutter Covers International has the perfect answer for protecting your gutters from clogs due to deciduous trees:  Gutter Topper®, The Solution® and The Leaf Terminator®.

Deciduous Tree Leaves
Coniferous trees can be found across the entire U.S. particularly in areas where the soil tends to be poorer and the climate is more arid.  Coniferous trees retain their needles year round replacing them slowly throughout the year, making needles an on-going issue for potential gutter clogs.  Again, using the right gutter covers ensures that you won't have to worry about clogged gutters or downspouts.   With coniferous trees, you need a special type of gutter protection that has tiny perforations to keep out even the tiniest needles.  Gutter Covers International offers the best solution when dealing with coniferous trees - Needle Guard™ .  With its .045 perforations, even the smallest debris and pine needles can't make their way into your gutters.

Coniferous Tree Needles

Hopefully now you understand the difference between deciduous and coniferous trees.  Each one can cause its own problems for you and your gutters.  If you need help deciding which gutter cover will solve your problems, visit us at www.guttertopper.com.


Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Why You Should be Thinking About Ice in Your Gutters – Now!

With Fall fast approaching, now is the time to plan ahead for protecting your roof and gutters from the winter weather that will eventually return.

Severe winters can wreak havoc on your home and landscaping but it can be equally as damaging on your roof and gutters.  Taking preventative steps now can be a wise home investment when the season once again turns to winter.


 Gutter Covers International has a product called HottTopper™ that addresses the problems caused by ice dams and icicles hanging from your gutters, including resulting damage to your basement.  Don’t procrastinate and wait until your gutters already have ice and snow on the roof before you call your local Gutter Covers retailer about installing this very popular product.  Not only can it be too late to prevent damage, but also it can be hard to find someone to install the product during bad weather conditions.

Right now is the best time of year to do some preventative maintenance that can protect your gutters, home, basement and landscaping – long before you face winter’s wrath.  Doesn’t it make more sense to have your roof and gutters worked on when the weather is cooperating?


Icicles hanging from gutters can be dangerous – to your gutters, to your foundation and to your own health!  Hott Topper™ melts the ice and snow on top of your Gutter Topper gutter covers.  And Hott Topper™ allows the water to enter your gutter to protect you from the danger of ice.


As icicles form, the weight can pull gutters from the fascia, leaving you with some big repair bills – and winter is a very tough time of year to make outside home repairs.  Then as the icicles thaw and the water drips onto sidewalks below, the water can pool around your foundation, or refreeze and create icy patches.  And, every winter, there are numerous injuries caused by slips and falls on icy patches.  When you consider the cost of treating injuries, we knew it was important to keep homeowners safe and that’s why we created Hott Topper™.


The self-regulating wire of Hott Topper™ doesn’t need a thermostat to control the heating temperature.  Only when the weather gets cold does your Hott Topper™ get hot – which is why now is a great time to install Hott Topper™ on your home.  Hott Topper™ generates heat that melts the snow and ice BEFORE it turns into icicles and then lets the melted water go where it is supposed to – into your gutters and downspouts.

So while you are enjoying this beautiful end of summer weather, why not plan ahead to eliminate one winter maintenance headache that you don’t need.  Contact your local Gutter Topper® retailer and learn how Hott Topper™ can be one of the wisest home improvements you make.