Every home in the Wichita and surrounding areas should have gutters installed. Gutters are a necessary investment and serve several essential functions. On any structure, keeping the ground surrounding the foundation as dry as possible is critical. Rain gutters help control this problem by taking rainwater that falls on the roof and draining it away from the foundation. Wet soil surrounding the foundation can lead to severe structural problems.
gutter king wichita installs seamless guttering
Gutters Prevent Rot
Houses without gutters are more likely to experience wood rot on the fascia and soffit as water exiting the roof finds openings in the paint and caulking. Properly installed and maintained gutters keep water away from wood and funnel it to the ground or stormwater system.
People Stay Dryer
Gutters prevent water from flowing off the roof and over entrances to the home and porch. They keep people dry as they enter and leave home. Even a light rainfall can create a sheet of water that runs off the edge of the roof.
Houses Stay Neater
Water falling from the edge of a roof can splash dirt on the lower part of the exterior walls as it strikes the ground. It can harm flowers and delicate shrubs and break down mulch.
Gutters Prevent Erosion
Water that falls uncontrolled from a rooftop has to go somewhere. In heavy rain, a high volume of water flowing away from the house can erode the dirt around it. Dirt erosion can cause ponding in the yard, which can lead to muddy soil and damaged grass.
Keep Foundations Stable
Water sitting near a foundation wall eventually works its way under the foundation, causing it to settle. The walls on the settled part of the foundation can then separate from the rest of the house.
Keep Basements Dry
The most important task of a gutter is to funnel water away from basement walls. Water that falls from a roof can saturate the ground near the foundation. Over time, the water will find its way down and through the foundation walls due to hydrostatic pressure. The result is cracking in basement walls and eventually flooding in the basement. Even without cracks, sitting water can soak through the basement wall and result in a buckled foundation and costly repairs.
Unfortunately, it’s no wonder fascia boards rot, and we see it all too often. For example, many times we are called after the damage is done and find a roofline pictured above. No one wants to think about the decomposition of your home, but that’s exactly what is happening if you do not perform routine and regular preventative maintenance.
Fascia Boards Rot
Why Rot Happens
There are three ingredients which create rot. For example, rot needs oxygen, warmth, and moisture. We can’t control the first two ingredients. In other words, we can’t remove oxygen from the air at the exterior surfaces of your home any easier than we can control the temperature of the air. But, we can control the moisture.
By reducing moisture in the rot equation, you can reduce the speed at which decomposition occurs in your home.
The Dangers of Rot in Your Home
Rot isn’t dangerous just because it looks bad! It is a big deal because it can spread and compromise the structural integrity of your home. Wood rot spreads to load-bearing walls or into locations such as your front steps, deck or porch. When this happens, there are dangerous life safety issues which can occur. A deck or porch can collapse. Or worse, a balcony or roof can collapse.
Furthermore, rot attracts animals and pests who will use it for food and shelter. For example, when there are microbes in and around the home, there may also be mice, beetles, or cockroaches. We don’t want uninvited animals and pests in our home, do we?
Common Areas of Rot
Rot can occur in many places around your home, not just fascia boards. For example, rot can occur on:
the foundation of your home
The Good News!
The good news is that you can prevent rot!
Fascia Boards Rot
At Gutter King Wichita, we can help you maintain a healthy home. We repair gutter systems, clean gutters, and much more. For example, when you hire us to clean your gutters, we also check your gutter hangers for deterioration and proper spacing. Furthermore, we check the slope and pitch of your gutters for proper alignment and water flow.
When a gutter overflows, it isn’t good. Gutters are designed to channel stormwater runoff from your roof into your downspouts. But when there is a problem, the water will spill over the sides of your gutters. Read on to learn how you can prevent rainwater damage to your home.
A few of the consequences to gutter overflow are:
a cracked foundation
fascia board rot
stained or discolored siding
prevent rainwater damage
Now, for the details about how to prevent rainwater damage…
#1 Clean Out Your Gutters and Downspouts
At least twice each year, you need to climb up a ladder (or hire a professional) and remove the sludge, pine needles, twigs, and leaves. Furthermore, using a garden hose, run water through the gutters and downspouts. If there is a blockage, you may have to use a high-pressure sprayer to break it up.
prevent rainwater damage
#2 Install Gutter Guards
Generally speaking (though not always), it is important to cover your gutters with a product designed to keep solids out of the gutters. They are made from a variety of materials and different designs. While economical, many of the big box stores’ alternatives become plugged with debris due to the larger openings. And unless professionally installed gutter guards, they typically blow off the gutters during our Kansas high winds. Please check out our professionally designed and installed gutter guards. The cost of a permanent and superior product costs less than you may think.
prevent rainwater damage
#3 Check the Tilt and Pitch of Your Gutters
Check the slope of your gutters. If it’s flat, water will stand in the gutters and will not flow toward the downspouts. And if the slope is too steep, the water will splash over at the ends during heavy rain. Also, check your gutters’ pitch by using a level to make sure they aren’t tilting backward or forward.
Runoff water in roof valleys typically travels too fast to drain into gutters and will splash over and onto the ground. A splash block attaches at the corner of a gutter system, at the roof valley. This diverts water into the gutters. To install, drill holes into the splash guards and gutter, install rivets inside the holes, and permanently fasten the splash guard to your gutters.
Gutter Cleaning Costs and 10 Things a Homeowner Needs to Know to solve problems, save money, and improve your home. Not every home’s a fixer-upper, but all houses need occasional repairs and maintenance. Below are 10 things a homeowner needs to know.
1. Clogged Gutters Can Destroy a Home
They really can. We have seen it.
Here are just three ways clogged gutters do big damage:
An overflowing gutter creates pools of water at the foundation. These pools of water will penetrate cracks and pores in the concrete foundation. When the foundation deteriorates, water may make its way into the basement ceiling, walls, and flooring.
Clogged gutters are heavy! This weight pulls the fascia away from the roof structure. Consequently, this allows water to enter the attic and drip down into the interior. Or worse, it can saturate attic insulation and trigger toxic microbial growth.
Overflowing gutters lead water down the exterior walls of your home. Siding is not always completely waterproof and cannot resist continuous water flow. Water will seep behind siding and penetrate exterior wood sheathing. Eventually, the water makes its way into your home. And when this happens, it could saturate your interior wallboards and again, facilitate microbial growth in your home.
We are here for you. Prepare your home for Spring by ensuring your gutters are free of debris and in good shape before the rain sets in.
Gutter Cleaning Costs
“How much does it cost to have my gutters cleaned?” Call us at 316-680-6708, and we can give you a quote while we’re on the phone with you within a minute or so. Typically, we charge between $80 and $250, depending on the size and other factors such as if you have gutter screens and if the property is two or three stories, etc.
2. Utility Lines Can Kill – Call 811 Before You Dig
3. If a Pipe Bursts, You Need to Know the Location of Your Main Water Shutoff Valve
The main valve is the one to stop most plumbing catastrophes, such as a burst pipe. A homeowner needs to make sure everyone knows where this valve is located and knows how to turn it off.
In warm climates, the main water shutoff is typically outside, attached to a wall or underground.
In colder climates, the main water shutoff is typically in the basement. There is also a “curb stop” shutoff that requires a special tool to operate.
gutter cleaning costs
Gutter Cleaning Near Me
“Where is gutter cleaning near me?” Gutter King Wichita! You’ll see for yourself the reason why we continue to leave our customers incredibly pleased, referring us to their coworkers, friends, and family. In addition, our work is 100% guaranteed, and your complete satisfaction is our goal. Call us at 316-680-6708 for a quote!
4. Hot Water from the Kitchen Faucet Can Scald Your Hands
A water heater set too hot is the reason why thousands of children arrive at the hospitals each year with serious burns.
The best temperature for your hot water is 120 degrees F. Although most water heater dials do not have temperature labels, you can check the temperature with a thermometer. Run hot water for at least three minutes. And then fill a glass. Using a thermometer, check the temperature. If the water is above 120 degrees, adjust the dial, wait a few hours, and check once again.
gutter cleaning costs
5. A Dirty or Missing HVAC Filter Will Cost You Money
When you set your thermostat to warm up your house, a couple of things happen. For example, a heat exchanger or electric coil activates. And then air pushes through the furnace with a blower fan and is heated by the exchanger. And finally, in a clean system, this air goes through the evaporator coil and into the supply ductwork.
The evaporator coil has a bunch of tiny air passages that make it work correctly. Therefore, if these are blocked, you’re gonna get cold. Not only will the dirt and junk restrict airflow, but it will also limit heat output. And unless you just turn off your furnace altogether, your HVAC system will have to run longer to reach the temperature you set on your thermostat. And the longer it runs, the higher your utility bills.
Your HVAC technician should service your unit once yearly. However, the filter of your HVAC unit tends to get dirty every month. This means that you will either need to call your HVAC every month or check it and change yourself. Although it depends on what type of air filter you use, you need to change it every one to three months.
Check the condition of your filter and change monthly if:
you have pets or
a large family or
your unit is used six months a year to year-round
there is a smoker in the house
you live on a gravel road or in an area with high winds
Change the filter immediately if:
the filter is warped or bent from blocking airflow
there is evidence of microbial growth on the filter
To change the filter:
using a marker, write the date of installation on the filter frame
turn off the unit
follow directions for your unit, to install the filter in the proper airflow direction
also, make sure the filter frame does not bend when you install
replace the lever, seal, or door
gutter cleaning costs
Best Price Gutter Cleaning
6. Stop a Running Toilet
The most common cause of a toilet running is a worn flapper that no longer seals properly. In other words, if this flapper leaks, water will seep into the bowl.
To check the flapper: Open the top of the toilet. Use something long like a yardstick to press lightly on the flapper. If the sound of running water stops, you know that the problem is related to the flapper.
However, before you bother to replace it, run your finger around the opening that the flapper rests on. Mineral deposits on the rim will prevent the flapper from sealing. In that case, remove the deposits with an abrasive scrubber. If this does not fix it, replace the flapper.
7. Potato Peels and Garbage Disposals are Not Friends
Some foods do not grind down easily and will clog your sink, jam your disposal, or ruin it altogether. Furthermore, you risk flooding your kitchen and basement ceilings if you try to plunge a clogged sink! Do not put these items into your garbage disposal:
grease will solidify and clog the drainpipe
bones and pits can dull the blades, jam the disposal, or get stuck in the drainpipe
potato peels have a huge amount of starch that can clump up and form a thick paste
glass, paper, metal, and plastic can dull or jam the disposal blades
gutter cleaning costs
8. A Small Puddle at Your Water Heater is Never Okay
Do not gamble on your water heater. Water heaters sometimes leak from the drain or relief valves, which are easy to replace. But if a leak is coming from the tank, watch out.
Most leaks come from the hot water tank itself. If the tank leaks, there is a problem. For example, it is likely that one of the components has sprung a leak and caused water to slowly leak out and pool at the bottom of the tank.
Usually, the cause of this is sediment build-up inside the tank. If you leave the sediment long enough, it will begin to crack and rust the steel tank, eventually leading to a leak.
A leak from the tank itself almost always means the water heater will need to be replaced. In this scenario, you can contact a professional plumber to investigate further.
Left alone, a damaged tank will eventually rupture, and then you have an instant flood. It might take months or just days for a leak to become a flood—but it will happen. So, do not gamble; replace that ticking time bomb now.
9. A GFCI Outlet Only Needs to be on a Circuit–Not in Every Bathroom or Kitchen
Do you know that sometimes all bathroom outlets and one or more exterior outlets are powered through a single GFCI located in one bathroom or elsewhere, such as in a random basement room? The GFCI needs only to be in the CIRCUIT. Not in every bathroom or at every sink. For example, we found several homes where the GFCI in the basement powered the exterior electric outlet near the front porch AND the three bathroom outlets.
If there is an outage, locate all of your GFCI’s and push the reset button. That may be all you need to restore power.
10. Do Not Cut Down a Tree “Just Because”
Before deciding to cut down a tree on your property, consider the risk. Even small trees can fall awkwardly and cause damage to your house or your neighbor’s property.
The tree above is split down the trunk and would likely damage nearby structures if not removed. Sometimes cutting down a tree is required; however, always thoughtfully consider your options.
DO hire a professional tree service to examine your tree and provide options that best suit you and your needs. Furthermore, the longevity of your tree depends on the trimming, pruning, and canopy maintenance. A tree must have proper care from the beginning to provide you with beauty and shade. Also, the shade from a tree ultimately decreases energy bills.
Spring is almost here! And spring is the time for heavy and saturating rainfall. Of course, flooding is a serious threat to some areas this time of the year; however, it is the combination of heavy rains and pounding winds that can really mess up a home. Read on for 3 ways to prepare for spring rains and protect your home.
1. Ensure Good Drainage
The number one way to keep water away from your home’s foundation and to protect your home from spring rains is to ensure correct drainage.
Make sure the ground around your home is graded away from the foundation. The soil should slope at least six inches within 10 feet of the foundation. If this is not the case, you need to add a dense soil to the area, to fix the grading and prevent water damage to the foundation.
Install a French Drain
Another option is to install a French drain. Dig a trench around the foundation, line it with gravel, and place a drain with perforations in it to pull the water away. Cover the drain with gravel and add soil over it. Be sure the trench has a 3-5% down slope, so that rain water drains away from the foundation. This is a great way to protect your home from spring rains that bring heavy rainfall.
2. Check Your Basement & Foundation
Be sure there are no cracks.
Look for cracks or deteriorating mortar joints in the walls of your home, especially the foundation walls. If you find any, seal the small cracks with a caulk which is specifically designed for masonry repairs. Fill larger gaps with a hydraulic cement.
Inspect your sump pump.
Another way to protect your home from spring rains is a sump pump. Most homes need a good quality sump pump in the basement floor, to prevent water damage to the home’s foundation. Be sure your sump pump has power to it and test it regularly to make sure it actually pumps water out.
Do not let the soil around your home dry out completely.
When the weather is particularly dry, the soil around your foundation may dry out and shrink. When this happens, you will see a gap between the soil and the foundation. Then when we have a big rain, the rain water will expand and put a lot of pressure on your foundation walls. So monitor the soil at your foundation level, especially during a drought. Keep ground cover near the foundation, but below siding levels. And keep the ground just moist enough to prevent shrinking.
3. Keep Gutters and Downspouts Clean and in Good Repair
Keep the gutters free from leaves and debris.
You need rain water to run freely through your gutter systems. If they’re blocked or damaged, heavy rain sends water down the sides of your house and into the ground close to your foundation.
Check all gutter seams.
Your gutter systems should not leak at the seams or mitered corners. If you see water dripping along your gutters, call us for a free gutter inspection. If you hire us to clean your gutters, we include sealing and tightening your gutters as part of your cleaning service.
Be sure gutters are secure.
Make sure the gutters themselves are properly attached to your home. If loose, not only will the pitch be incorrect and rain water will not flow to your downspouts, but your gutters may easily tear away from your home in high winds.
Downspouts should lead rain water at least six feet from your home.
You may need to extend the downspouts to be sure they do not discharge water right at your foundation. You can use downspout extensions, recessed downspout extensions, or buried extensions.
In conclusion, water damage to a home is easily prevented with a few simple steps. And spring is a time of heavy and saturating rainfall. Call Gutter King Wichita if you need assistance at your home to prepare for spring rains and prevent costly water damage.
Dirty dryer vents are gross. But, more importantly, they’re a serious fire hazard. Dryer vents should be inspected at least once yearly. Read on for information on how to recognize when it’s time to clean your dryer vent.
According to FEMA, 2,900 home clothes dryer fires are reported each year. And fires caused by clothes dryers cause an estimated five deaths, 100 injuries, and $35 million in property loss.
Signs that it’s time to clean your clothes dryer vent:
First, the Outside of your Dryer is Very Hot
This is a warning sign that the vent does not exhaust properly. In fact, if your dryer is hot to the touch, the system may be clogged and blocking airflow. This not only wastes energy, it causes premature wear on the heat element and blower.
Second, Drying Time Takes Longer than Usual
When a dryer vent is clogged, the drying cycle time doubles or triples. For that reason, clothes are not completely dry at the end of a regular cycle. A dryer is designed to push out hot, moist air. And if your dryer vent is blocked, the air stays in your dryer and keeps your clothes moist. Hence, when your dryer runs longer, you cut your machine’s useful life in half.
Third, You Notice a Burning Odor
When you run your dryer, you should not notice a burning odor. Accordingly, lint is flammable and if it gets too hot, it will catch on fire. The lint not only builds up in the exhaust tube, and lint trap, it can build up in the drum casing. If you smell this, stop using the dryer immediately and call for a service or inspection.
In conclusion, clogged dryer vents are one of the top causes of dryer fires. And, although this is a much less dramatic concern, an inefficient dryer can also cost you both time and money, tacking on as much as $20 a month to your utility bill. Dryer vents should be inspected at least once yearly.
Benefits of a Clean Dryer Vent System
A clean dryer vent reduces your chances of a dryer fire
It lowers your power bill, because the cycles are much more efficient
“Why Are My Gutters Dripping?” is a question worth exploring. It is not uncommon for people to ignore leaking gutters. When you see a little water dripping from your gutter, it is important to understand what may be the cause. Below, we discuss five common causes of dripping gutters that we see frequently.
Discovering the Possible Reasons for Dripping Gutters
First, we recommend that you have a professional meet with you to inspect your gutter systems. Because of varying degrees of issues, it’s impossible to diagnose every cause in an article. But following are the most common reasons.
5 Common Reasons for Dripping Gutters
Begin with a walk around the exterior of your home. You don’t need to climb a ladder and risk a fall.
1. Loose Fasteners
Your rain gutters are attached to the fascia boards with a screw, nail, or hanger. These go straight through the side of the gutter and into the fascia board. When loose, they create small leaks around the hole of the fastener. When there is a hole, there is a dripping gutter. Loose fasteners also cause the next item, improper gutter slope.
2. Improper Gutter Slope
Over time, gutters will sag. One reason is because of loose fasteners. So that rain water drains towards the downspouts, your gutters should be installed with a slight downward slope. When fasteners are loose, rain water will weigh down the gutter and change the slope. And when this happens, you will have a dripping gutter.
When a gutter sags, often times, the best way to fix is to have the sagging sections re-hung.
3. Cracks or Holes
Small cracks and holes are repaired by sealing with a special waterproof gutter sealant. If not repaired, the smaller cracks and holes will enlarge over time and you’ll notice your gutters dripping.
If holes are large, the best way to resolve is to replace the entire section of gutter.
4. Clogged Gutters
Clogged gutters cause rain water to back-up and not flow through the downspout. When water backs up, it will pour over the sides and edges of the gutter.
It’s very important to keep your gutters and downspouts clean from leaves and debris. Worse things can happen with clogged gutters, than just water flowing over the sides and edges.
5. Separated Joints
The gutter section joints–especially in the corners or ends, eventually begin to separate over time. When we clean your gutters, we reseal and tighten your gutter systems.
Winter gutter maintenance is necessary for safe and long-lasting roofs. For instance, you might think gutter care is less important in winter; however, gutters can be damaged winter cold. Below, we have tips to prevent winter damage to your gutters
Regularly inspect your roof and gutters to make sure there aren’t blockages or breaks. Scoop out leaves and debris. Run water through your gutter and downspout. Unclog the spout if water doesn’t flow freely. Also, check for slow-moving water towards the downspout. This coudl be an indication of issues with pitch or slope.
prevent winter damage to your gutters
Quality attic insulation and ventilation can prevent ice dams from forming. You should have a minimum of 12 inches of insulation in your attic. Typically, if you can see the ceiling joists, you need more insulation.
prevent winter damage to your gutters
Attach seams and anchors firmly to the house. For example, there should be no gap between the fascia and gutter. If your gutters are not attached correctly to the sides of the house, this can create a gap. If ice and snow accumulate in this gap, gutters are easily damaged.
prevent winter damage to your gutters
Pitch gutters properly to allow water to travel into the downspout. Gutters need to be pitched 1/2 inch per 10 linear feet, to lead water into your downspout.
prevent winter damage to your gutters
Above All, Hire a Professional–
Even with proper winter maintenance, there are still issues which can damage gutters. In the winter, backed up water can freeze and result in ice dams, which will damage the roof of your home! And the slower water drains from your gutters, the easier it is to freeze in cold weather.
Call us today for a free gutter inspection. If needed, we also provide a free estimate to clean and repair your gutters. You’ll see for yourself the reason why we continue to leave our customers extremely pleased.
Gutter King Wichita knows that selling your home can be very stressful. You’ll begin showing and once there is a contract, the inspections will begin. Included in the general home inspection that your buyer will purchase, is an inspection of the gutter systems.
A pet peeve of many home inspectors is dirty gutters and/or damaged gutter guards. These maintenance issues are red flags and can influence his or her perspective on how well a home has been maintained.
selling your home
This is an easy one!
Remember those first impressions are everything! Before selling, clean out the debris from your gutters. Furthermore, make sure all of the downspouts are fastened to the exterior surface. Also, don’t forget about those splash blocks! This is especially important if you have a two-story home that overlooks gutters from the upper-level windows. Clean gutters send the message that the home is well-maintained! Also, this is an easy chore to knockout.
The perfect time to call is now, even if your home isn’t yet listed. Your Realtor will probably ask you to take care of these “easy” maintenance items before showing your home. Call and let us help you knock this one out!