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Ladder Safety – If Any of Our Readers…

Ladder Safety

We love to laugh. But cleaning gutters is no laughing matter. According to the Industrial Safety and Hygiene News, there are 500,000 falls annually and 97% of these falls occur at home or on farms.

ladder safety

man carrying ladder ladder safety gutter king wichita cleaning
Cleaning gutters is a pain

LADDER SAFETY WHEN CLEANING GUTTERS

1. Choose the correct ladder. Use a fiberglass ladder if there is any chance of contact with electricity. Choose a sturdy ladder with slip-resistant pads.

2. Inspect your ladder. Be sure there are no loose bolts, cracks or corrosion.

3. Never stand on top of a ladder. Make sure your ladder extends three feet above the landing.

Gutter King Wichita Logo ladder safety
Gutter King Wichita

Stay safe, relax, and learn more about how Gutter King Wichita can help you.


Why You Shouldn’t Wait Until Fall for Gutter Cleaning

What if we told you that one simple trick could save you thousands of dollars and provide you with peace of mind worth far more? We will explain why you shouldn’t wait until fall to have your gutters cleaned.

Each year, we get calls from customers, always late in the fall, whose gutters are starting to sag or come loose due to the excess weight from leaves and debris clogging the system.

shouldn't wait until fall sagging gutter wood rot fascia

A sagging gutter is not just an eyesore; it’s a liability. And home maintenance matters. 

A little oversight on your part can lead to thousands in unexpected and potentially costly repairs.

How to Keep Your Home and Your Gutters Safe

A clean gutter system is a functional, valuable gutter system. Furthermore, even a small amount of debris concealed in your gutter system is a problem. You shouldn’t wait until fall to have your gutters cleaned. The reason for this is simple.

shouldn't wait until fall fascia rot wood

Consider an avalanche. It starts with a falling rock. And a small problem uphill causes real havoc downhill.

This analogy is valid for your gutters.

For example, imagine your gutters are already one-third full before fall leaves begin to accumulate. At this point, you may not be able to see this amount of debris from the ground level. But this hidden debris is the small problem uphill, which causes real havoc downhill.

shouldn't wait until fall trees growing in clogged gutter

All of this debris compounds the stress your gutters put on the sides of your home. The fascia board upon which gutters attach is not rated to hold the extra weight of leaves, sticks, and muck that collects in your gutters over time.

Don’t Wait Until Fall and Why Regular Gutter Maintenence is Like an Insurance Plan

Your home’s soffits and fascia anchor maintained gutter systems and can support a minimal amount of debris. 

When you don’t get your gutters cleaned regularly, you’re likely to rack up incremental damage over time. This is why you shouldn’t wait until fall to have your gutters cleaned.

clogged gutter

Gutters packed with debris can lead to problems like cracked and rotting fascia and soffits, which can put your home’s exterior at risk as well as leave your foundation open to bombardment from water. This overload of water can lead to costly damage and basement flooding.

Leaky, clogged or damaged gutters can also damage your home’s exterior paint, and repainting your house can cost thousands in unnecessary costs.

Compare all this trouble to the relatively small cost of protecting your gutters under regular cleanings with Gutter King Wichita.

Finding the Right Gutter Cleaning Solution

When you hire Gutter King Wichita, you’re getting a home services partner who cares about you and your home.

Cleaning out gutters is a challenging and potentially dangerous job you should not take on by yourself. Check out our recent blog post on ladder safety. And this article about the 500,000 falls from ladders annually where 97 percent occur at home or on farms!

When we clean your gutters, we take care of removing and disposing of the debris and leaves at no added cost to you.

If your home’s fascia boards have damage as a result of your current gutter situation, we can help. In addition to seamless gutters and gutter repair, we perform fascia board replacements. Read on for more about why you shouldn’t wait until fall to have your gutters cleaned.

In addition, Gutter King Wichita can help you keep up with gutter maintenance this year so you can drop it from your to-do list. Just ask to be put on our recurring appointments calendar. We will give you a reminder call just before your appointment.

Don’t Wait Until Fall and How Gutter King Wichita Can Help

All our work comes with the Gutter King Wichita Guarantee — your satisfaction is our number one priority. If you’re not happy, we go back to your home and make it right. 

We are your full-service gutter professional and insured with proper business liability insurance to do work at your home. Furthermore, full-service gutter work is what we do every day. We are your number-one-rated gutter professional in Wichita and the surrounding areas.

See the Gutter King Wichita difference for yourself. Call 316-680-6708 for a fast, affordable quote.

This was inside the downspout!

Ladder Safety – No Laughing Matter

We love to laugh. But ladder safety is no laughing matter. According to the Industrial Safety and Hygiene News, there are 500,000 falls annually and 97% of these falls occur at home or on farms.

There are more falls associate with standard home ladders and residents than any other accident at home. Furthermore, most people are not accustomed to climbing a ladder every day, multiple times each day. Equilibrium and balance may be off without a person knowing until it’s too late.

ladders are dangerous

Safety is our business, especially ladder safety. In addition, we carry proper business liability insurance.

gutter cleaning on roof gutter king wichita

We have business liability insurance coverage to do work on ladders at your home. Conversely, a landscaper carries insurance to cut your grass—what happens if that same landscaper falls from a ladder? The answer is simple: the insurance company will refuse to pay and you become responsible.

Our insurance not only protects us, it also protects you.

See the Gutter King Wichita difference for yourself. Call 316-680-6708 for a fast, affordable quote.

man carrying ladder ladder safety gutter king wichita cleaning
Cleaning gutters is a pain
Gutter King Wichita Logo ladder safety
Gutter King Wichita

Stay safe, relax, and learn more about how Gutter King Wichita can help you.


3 Ways to Prepare for Spring Rains

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

protect your home from spring rains
March 13, 2019 at a job in Wichita
flooded yard negative grade

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.

Positive Grade

positive grade protect your home from spring rains
Dense, compacted soil raises the grade. Grass seed will germinate and prevent soil erosion.

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

cracked foundation wall blocks

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

Dirty gutters protect your home from spring rains
Dirty gutters

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.

rotten fascia board and falling gutters
The fascia board is rotted and the gutters are falling away from the house

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.

Home Maintenance Practices That Hurt More Than Help

home maintenance gutter cleaning wichita

Home Maintenance is important; however, there are home maintenance practices that hurt more than help. Read on to discover more.

OVER-TIGHTENING YOUR HOME

Your house needs to breathe. When you caulk around window and door framing, you certainly protect your home from heat/cooling loss. However, there are important openings that you shouldn’t seal. For example, all factory-built storm windows have small weep holes in the lower part of the frame. These permit moisture to drain. Don’t seal these small weep holes or moisture can collect in the window. Check out Bob Vila’s article on storm window weep holes for more information.

Sealing every gap can decrease overall air quality

Sealing every gap can prevent critical ventilation, it can increase allergens, and it can decrease overall air quality. Home maintenance is important; however, it’s important to perform maintenance correctly.

TOO MUCH LANDSCAPING


Overgrown landscaping will cover windows and grow up into the eaves of the house

Trees and shrub plantings are great; however there are considerations to take when maintaining or planting. For example, overly dense plantings can create big issues. Trees should have their canopy maintained and kept at a height which permits airflow beneath. Also, dead branches can hinder the growth of healthy branches.

If your trees are planted so close together that light and airflow is blocked, health and cosmetic issues will be present. For example, decking, walkways, and outdoor carpeting will host microbial growth.

Trees, shrubs, and ground cover need constant care. Overgrown landscaping will cover windows and grow up into the eaves of the house. This overgrowth can cause extensive damage to your roof and more.

Here is a great article on landscaping from Farm Bureau Financial Services.

EXTENSIVE POWER WASHING

You like to clean. And you may even like to use a power washer to wash your house. You can wash all sorts of things with a power washer. For example, you can clean patio furniture, decking, house siding, fences, and the stone on your house. And it’s easy to rent a full-size power washer, or even buy a small one. A power washer will make stains and grime disappear like magic. But it’s important to perform this maintenance task correctly.

how to ruin a window screen power wash window screen gutter king wichita
You can see the swirl path of damage from the power washer

Window Damage

A powerful force of water can destroy the seals around your windows. When the seals leak, you open up the potential to microbial growth and wood rot. And the strong force of water can easily damage screens as you can see above.

Stone Damage

If you power wash too close to masonry, mineral deposits can seep from the stone. You will see streaks and stains later, which are nearly impossible to remove.

Deck Damage

If you use a power washer on your wood deck, you risk serious damage to the wood. Pressure washing is an effective way to remove old paint, stain, and microbial growth. However, if you or a contractor uses too much pressure, you can damage the soft wood that is between the darker bands of wood.

Hire a professional for safety and best results. Gutter King Wichita can help. We use a “soft wash” method, along with an eco-friendly cleaning solution. We safely remove dirt and stains. Our system eliminates microbial growth without damage to your deck surfaces.

power wash deck can destroy soft wood gutter king wichita soft wash deck cleaning Home Maintenance Practices That Hurt
An eroded deck surface on the left, which was cleaned with a power washer

Home Maintenance is important; however, there are home maintenance practices that can hurt more than help.

Gutter Overflow

gutter overflow can damage your home gutter cleaning wichita gutter king wichita

Gutter overflow can damage your home. When a gutter overflows, it’s bad. Gutters are designed to channel storm water runoff from your roof, into your downspouts. But when there is a problem, the water will spill over the sides of your gutters.

A few of the consequences to gutter overflow are:

  • a fall hazard
  • a cracked foundation
  • basement flooding
  • fascia board rot
  • stained or discolored siding
  • landscape erosion

Do these five things before gutter overflow damages your home:

1. Clean Out Your Gutters

gutter cleaning wichita Gutter Overflow Can Damage

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. Then 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 up.

2. Install Gutter Guards

gutter guards wichita Gutter Overflow Can Damage

It’s 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 come in many different designs. While economical, many of the alternatives found at the big box stores become plugged with debris due to the larger openings. And unless they’re professionally installed gutter guards, they typically blow off the gutters during our Kansas high winds.

3. Check the Tilt and Pitch of Your Gutters

gutter king wichita check tilt and pitch of gutter

Check the slope of your gutters. If it’s flat, water will stand in the gutters and will not flow toward the downspouts. If the slope is too steep, the water will splash over at the ends during heavy rain. Also, check the pitch of your gutters by using a level to make sure they aren’t tilting backward or forward. Gutter King Wichita can help you with this. Give us a call.

4. Check Your Gutter Sizes

gutter king wichita large gutter downspout

In homes which have steep-pitched roofs, sometimes the existing gutters are just too small to handle the volume of runoff that flows from the roof. You may need to install larger gutters. Call us for a free inspection.

5. Install Gutter Shields

Runoff water in roof valleys is typically traveling too fast to drain into gutters and will splash over and onto the ground. Use gutter shields or gusher guards wherever you have a valley section of roof, to help prevent water from flowing over the lip of your gutter. A gutter shield is usually an L-shaped piece of aluminum attached 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, then install rivets inside the holes, to permanently fasten the splash guard to your gutters.

Call us at 316.680.6708 for a Free Inspection. If there is an issue, we can quickly provide you with a free, no obligation quote for cleaning or repair.

gutter cleaning wichita gutter king wichita

Why Are My Gutters Dripping?

why are my gutters dripping gutter cleaning wichita
Drippy gutters create fall hazards in the winter

“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 gutter cleaning wichita gutter king wichita
Pine needles clog the rain gutter

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.

Are Your Gutters Dripping?

There are several reasons why gutters leak. Stay safe and call us for a FREE INSPECTION. If we find an issue, we quickly provide you with a estimate for cleaning or needed repairs.

How will I know when my gutters need to be cleaned?

We do get this question a lot: “How will I know when my gutters need to be cleaned?”

You probably would rather think about a zillion other things besides your gutters. We understand.

Well, lemme ask you a question and then I will tell you a short little story.

A Question

Have you ever walked into a room of your basement and suddenly heard “splat-squish-splat-squish” down at your feet? And not a crunchy sound, like broken bits of dog food on the garage floor that should have been swept up. But instead, a sloppy, wet, and squishy sound. Like something is very berry wrong. Well, once upon a time, a very long time ago, we did that! Yep.

how will I know when my gutters need to be cleaned gutter cleaning wichita

A Short Little Story

It went something like this:

“Hey, ummmm what is this?” she asked.

“What’s what?” he asked.

“The carpet! It’s wet,” she said.

“What… I say what in the name of Jesse James do you suppose that is?”

–Foghorn Leghorn

“Oh, that’s water coming in at the top!”

How will I know when my gutters need to be cleaned

[sigh] It was a disaster! A pain in the butt. It was not fun. And furthermore, the cost to repair it was everything in this universe BUT cheap!

Cleaning the gutters would certainly have cost less.

The End.

gutter cleaning wichita

how will I know when my gutters need to be cleaned

Proactive versus Reactive

The BEST way to tell if your gutters are working properly is by taking a walk around the outside of your house and performing your own inspection.

  • you should check the downspouts and seams for cracks or separations, and
  • check that water flows down to the downspouts and doesn’t leak at the elbows, and
  • look at the splash blocks to see if they are properly aligned under the downspouts, and
  • make sure the gutters are not bent, crushed or coming off of the house
How will I know when my gutters need to be cleaned

If you see any of the following, please give us a call right away:

  • water dripping from the bottom of the gutters (when it is not raining)
  • rainwater pooling at the foundation
  • a water trough or impression on your turf or landscape, near the foundation, and parallel to the roof line

BUT… most importantly, please don’t get out your ladder (unless you work for us).

Don’t risk a fall. Because your wife, husband, mother, father, daughter, son and your dog will thank you.

How will I know when my gutters need to be cleaned
Cleaning gutters is a pain

Just give us a call. Within mere minutes, we’ll set you up for a F.R.E.E., no obligation inspection.

If we find an issue, we can give you an instant quote for repair, cleaning, or even replacement.

Gutter King Wichita – When It Pours, We Reign

walk around the outside of your house and performing your own inspection

SIZE REALLY DOES MATTER

When it comes to gutters and downspouts, size really does matter. And a single inch may not seem like much. But between 5-inch and 6-inch gutters, size really does matter.

Size really does matter seamless guttering gutter king wichita

What Size Gutter Do I Need?

For standard residential homes, 5-inch gutters are usually fine.

Material costs for 6-inch seamless gutters are almost twice those for 5-inch gutters. Labor costs are a little higher as well. Yet, 6-inch gutters, compared to 5-inch gutters, can move roughly 40% more water. Therefore, homes with more steeply pitched roofs and increased surface areas could benefit from a larger gutter. The reason is that the 5-inch water trough may not be able to keep up and catch it all when there is increased velocity and volume of rainwater. Also, if a home has larger fascia board, the 6-inch gutter may look better than the 5-inch trough.

What Type of Rain Gutter Do I Need?

Size really does matter seamless guttering half round guttering gutter king wichita

Rain gutters come in several types, sizes, and shapes. We call these profiles. Profiles include U or half-round shapes, as well as K configurations. Specifically, the gutter front, when viewed from the side, looks like the letter K. These are made of either aluminum, galvanized steel, or copper in a standard “K” style.

What Size Downspout Do I Need?

While rain gutters collect the rain water from the roof area, your downspouts move this water away from the foundation.

As mentioned above, for standard residential homes, 5-inch gutters are usually fine. However, the size of the gutter is sometimes less important than the size of the downspouts. Also, whether the gutter trough is kept clean or has any protection or cover from leaves is a factor. Downspouts come in different sizes, such as 2×3 inches and 3×4 inches. Therefore, instead of installing a 2×3-inch downspout on a 5-inch trough, sometimes an oversized 3×4-inch downspout will benefit the homeowner.

Size Really Does Matter

Again, a single inch may not seem like much. But between 5-inch and 6-inch gutters, size really does matter. At Gutter King Wichita, we are dedicated to helping you find the right products for your home. From seamless guttering to gutter cleaning, to gutter guards, we have the products and services to protect your home. When you need expert guttering advice, turn to the professionals: schedule a free inspection today.

Size really does matter seamless guttering gutter king wichita logo

10 Things a Homeowner Needs to Know

Tips 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.

Things a homeowner needs to know tips gutter cleaning wichita gutter king wichita

1. 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.

A split tree trunk. Things a homeowner needs to know tips gutter cleaning wichita gutter king wichita
A split tree trunk

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.

2. Utility Lines Can Kill – Call 811 Before You Dig

Call 811 before you dig. 10 things a homeowner needs to know. Things a homeowner needs to know tips gutter cleaning wichita gutter king wichita
Call 811 before you dig

Before you install a fence, plant a shrub, install a pond or anything landscape related, call to have the underground utility lines marked. Hitting an underground line can cause serious harm or even death. Remember, know what is below; always call 811 before you dig!

things a homeowner needs to know

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.

You need to carefully turn the handle several turns to fully close a gate valve. 10 things a homeowner needs to know.

You need to carefully turn the handle several turns to fully close a gate valve

things a homeowner needs to know

This ball valve is open when the handle aligns with the pipe. To close it, turn the handle clockwise 1/4 turn so that it is at a right angle to the pipe.

This ball valve is open when the handle aligns with the pipe. To close it, turn the handle clockwise 1/4 turn so that it is at a right angle to the pipe

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.

things a homeowner needs to know

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.

Temperature dial on a hot water heater. 10 things a homeowner needs to know.
Temperature dial on a hot water heater

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.

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.

A very dirty filter. 10 things a homeowner needs to know.
A very dirty filter

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

things a homeowner needs to know

6. Stop a Running Toilet

A toilet flapper
A toilet flapper

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

Potato peels belong in the trash, not the sink. 10 things a homeowner needs to know.
Potato peels belong in the trash, not the sink

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

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.

A water heater with small puddles of water.
A water heater with small puddles of water

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

Ground fault circuit interrupt (GFCI)
Ground fault circuit interrupt (GFCI)

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. Clogged Gutters Can Destroy a Home

They really can. We have seen it.

clogged gutter Things a homeowner needs to know tips gutter cleaning wichita gutter king wichita

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.

Give your home the TLC it deserves with Gutter King Wichita.

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