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10 Wintertime Tips for Your Home

home maintenance

Your home needs several types of maintenance at different times of the year. Some tasks are performed monthly, quarterly or yearly. Other tasks are performed just once each season. January or February is a great time of the year to check off the items listed below. Here are 10 wintertime tips we hope you find useful to preserve your home for cold months ahead.

1. Check the Fireplace

Chimney gutter cleaning wichita gutter king wichita

For example, check for cracks on the chimney structure, as well as loose bricks or missing mortar. A wire-mesh cap should cover the top of the chimney to keep out critters, leaves, and rain. Also, check for creosote build up in your chimney. Call a professional chimney cleaner if you’re not sure when or how to clean your chimney.

2. Drain Sediment From Your Water Heater

home maintenance water heater

We do not know many people who actually do this; however, it most certainly can extend the life of your water heater by years. Sediment will collect at the bottom of a tank and create hot spots which can cause the tank to leak. If you have an electric-powered tank, sediment can cause the lower heating element to fail. Therefore, experts recommend draining water heaters at least once each year.

10 wintertime tips

3. Clean Up & Donate to Charity

home maintnenance

Winter months are a great time to go through your house and collect things that you or your family no longer uses. So, put on your favorite music and place a plastic tub in each room.

4. Prevent Outside Water Faucets from Freezing

home maintenance

Oh, the joy of going into your relaxing, cozy den only to discover wet carpet, soggy sheetrock, and water dripping down the wall. Firstly, we’re not pointing fingers here, but garden hoses should be removed from all faucets, including frost-free. The reason is that the water may not drain down properly away from the faucet. Instead, it will expand in the spigot and pipe. And finally, when that happens, you can expect a water leak, costly repairs to the interior, and costly plumber services.

10 wintertime tips

5. Prepare for Winter Storms

home maintenance ice storm wichita kansas

Unfortunately, with winter storms there can be heavy ice or strong winds which cause power outages. Therefore, you should have plenty of bottled water, non-perishables, first-aid supplies, toiletry items, a phone charger for your car, and flashlights. Check out the CDC’s recommendations for cold weather preparedness.

6. Stop Ice Dams From Forming

ice dam home maintenance wichita ks

Some homes are more likely to form ice dams than others. Ice dams are contiguous chunks of ice that form along the edges of your roof. They’re no big deal when they’re frozen. But when outside temps warm up, water melting off the roof will flow downward and pool behind the ice. This is when water will seep under the shingles. Eventually, the water will drip through and into the soffits, walls, and even onto your ceilings.

10 wintertime tips

7. Reverse Ceiling Fans

home maintenance wichita ks

Winter = Clockwise, Slowest Speed

Summer = Counter Clockwise

It’s that easy! In the summer, you want the air pushing straight down on you to help cool. In the winter, you want a gentle updraft to push warm air, which naturally rises to the ceiling, down along the walls and the floor.

10 wintertime tips

8. Protect Patio Furniture

snow patio furniture home maintenance wichita ks

You can extend the life of your patio furniture by taking a few winterizing steps. For example, you can apply a specialty oil finish on wood patio furniture and you can give aluminum powder-coated furniture a coat of automotive wax. After applying these protective coatings, dry thoroughly, then cover with a tarp.

9. Purchase Salt or Sand

ice removal sidewalk home maintenance wichita ks

Provide traction for family, friends, neighbors, and those delivering your Amazon Prime packages, by stocking up on sand or ice melt. For those with north-side exposure, you may have sidewalk surfaces or driveways in shade. These areas are particularly susceptible to ice or black ice. In the photo, you can see the condensation is on only part of the sidewalk–the section which is closest to the house and the entryway. The reason for this is because the air warmed up quickly today, from 21°F to 52°F. The sidewalk in the sun is warmer than the sidewalk in the shade, therefore we have condensation. Furthermore, ice will form again on this sidewalk in a few hours, when the temperature drop below 32°F.

10 wintertime tips

10. Clean Your Gutters

gutter cleaning wichita clogged

Clogged gutters in the winter are a particularly bad situation in this area because of the rainy season just around the corner. Your gutters must be free from leaf muck, sticks, pine cones, and leaves, in order to move water away from your home. If you haven’t already, call Gutter King Wichita to clean your gutters.

A Missing Splash Block Can Cost You

You know about gutters and downspouts, but what exactly is a splash block? Splash blocks are rectangular plastic or concrete channels that carry rainwater from the downspout away from the foundation of your home.
Rainwater can be diverted to gardens or into your lawn. A frequent issue we see when cleaning gutters is a missing splash block.

a missing splash block gutter cleaning wichita
A missing splash block

You should direct rainwater from the home so that water doesn’t pool at your foundation. When rainwater pools at your foundation, it can cause leaks, water damage, and microbial growth in your home.

A missing splash block

Splash block is positioned under the downspout and is not missing. gutter king wichita cleaning
Splash block is positioned under the downspout

Do I Really Need a Splash Block?

If you have gutters installed in your home, there’s a good chance you also have downspouts; however, you might not have splash blocks. They’re often overlooked when researching gutter installations. They’re actually a necessity and a missing splash block can cause expensive water issues.

How Are Splash Blocks Installed?

Install splash blocks directly under each downspout. The splash block should be large enough to carry water about three feet away. Always adjust them in an angle away from your home; prepare to change the level of grade if necessary. The ideal angle is a slope of 6 inches in 10 feet. The splash block needs to be higher at the foundation end, to move rainwater forward, away from the house. When you’ve placed your splash block in the appropriate place, level the soil and pack if necessary. Your splash block should settle with time and moisture.

Whether you’re putting finishing touches on your home’s exterior, protecting your landscaping, or safeguarding against foundation and water issues, splash blocks are essential. When rainwater pools at your foundation, it can cause leaks, water damage, and microbial growth in your home.

A missing splash block

We invite you to keep coming back to our blog. We like being your go-to resource for all things gutter!

For help with rain water management at your property, give us a call.

5 Tips to Prevent Winter Damage to Your Gutters

prevent winter damage to your gutters ice dam

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

Inspect 

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

Insulation

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

Gaps

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

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.

It’s No Wonder Fascia Boards Rot

Rotten fascia board and gutter falling away from roof line gutter king wichita cleaning
Rotten fascia board and gutter falling away from roofline

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
  • decks
  • siding
  • porches
  • steps
Fascia Boards Rot- prevent it with routine maintenance gutter king wichita cleaning

Routine maintenance can keep your home looking beautiful

The Good News!

The good news is that you can prevent rot!

Regular inspections, cleaning, and repair can increase the lifetime of your home and decrease composition of your home. gutter king wichita cleaning
Regular inspections, cleaning, and repair can increase the lifetime of your home

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.

Talk to us today to learn more about our services and how we can help you maintain your largest asset. Call us at 316.680.6708 for a free inspection.

5 Ways To Prevent Rainwater Damage To 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. Read on to learn how you can prevent rainwater damage to your home.

prevent rainwater damage water seepage gutter king wichita cleaning
Water seepage

A few of the consequences to gutter overflow are:

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

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 up.

prevent rainwater damage


#2  Install Gutter Guards

 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 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 professionally installed gutter guards, they typically blow off the gutters during our Kansas high winds (like today, December 13th, 2018, for example). Please check out our professionally designed and installed gutter guards. The cost of 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 the pitch of your gutters by using a level to make sure they aren’t tilting backward or forward.

prevent rainwater damage

# 4  Check Your Gutter Sizes

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. Therfore, you may need to install larger gutters. Call us to learn more about our seamless guttering services.


#5  Install Splash Blocks

Runoff water in roof valleys is typically traveling 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, then install rivets inside the holes, to permanently fasten the splash guard to your gutters.

prevent rainwater damage

Thinking of Selling Your Home?

for sale sign Selling Your Home gutter king wichita cleaning

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.

home inspector and selling your home gutter king wichita cleaning
Home inspectors carefully examine your home for maintenance issues

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.

Gutter King Wichita Logo and selling your home gutter king wichita cleaning
Gutter King Wichita

We can take the hassle out of preparing your home for the gutter systems inspection. Clean gutters and roof valleys will enhance the curb appeal of your home when selling your home. Our technicians will remove debris, clean gutters, and never leave behind a mess.

selling your home

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!

Next: 5 Ways to Prevent Rainwater Damage to Your Home

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