Winter Preparedness Checklist for Home – Your home needs several types of maintenance at different times of the year. You can perform some tasks monthly, quarterly, or yearly, and just once each season. January or February is an excellent time of the year to check off the items listed below. Here are ten wintertime tips we hope you find helpful to preserve your home for the cold months ahead.
1. Check the Fireplace
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 – Winter Preparedness Checklist for Home
We do not know many people who 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 failure in the lower heating element. Therefore, experts recommend draining water heaters at least once each year.
10 Wintertime Tips
3. Clean Up & Donate to Charity
Winter months are a great time to go through your house and collect things that you or your family no longer use. So, put on your favorite music and place a plastic tub in each room.
4. Prevent Outside Water Faucets from Freezing
Oh, the joy of going into your relaxing, cozy den only to discover wet carpet, soggy sheetrock, and water is dripping down the wall. We’re not pointing fingers here, but you should remove garden hoses from all faucets, including frost-free. The reason is that the water may not drain down properly away from the tap, and instead, it will expand in the fixture and pipe. And finally, when that happens, you can expect a water leak, costly repairs to the interior, and costly plumber services.
6. Stop Ice Dams From Forming – Winter Preparedness Checklist for Home
Some homes are more likely to form ice dams than others. Ice dams are continuous 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 top will flow downward and pool behind the ice. This situation 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
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
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
Provide traction for family, friends, neighbors, and those delivering your 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 that 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 drops below 32°F.
10. Clean Your Gutters
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.
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 maintenance is important for many reasons. Gutter neglect over a long period of time is expensive. Your home’s foundation and structure is affected by clogged or neglected gutter systems. Learn more with the information below.
Repair Any Damage
Regular gutter maintenance will ensure repair on damaged gutters. Additionally, damaged gutters add weight to your gutter systems and will eventually destroy fascia boards. Rain gutter systems will support so much weight before they fail, whether they fail by leaning or becoming detached!
Get Ready for Winter!
As we move into winter, gutter maintenance is more important than ever. You’ll want to be sure that your gutters are in good repair and clean. The frigid winter months can bring winds, precipitation, and extra debris into your gutter system. Keeping your gutters in good condition while we go December, January and February will give you the confidence that they will not become weighed down by additional fall debris remaining in your gutters.
Clogged Gutters Will Damage Your Home
When it comes to home maintenance and repairs, there are few things worse than clogged gutters. Why? The costs of repairing damage from clogged gutters far outweigh the cost of merely maintaining them well. At Gutter King Wichita, we care about the health of your home. Give us a call at 316-680-6708 to schedule a fast, affordable quote.
Maintain Gutters and Clear Away Summer Storm Debris
Now is the time to have your gutters cleaned, if you haven’t yet cleared away summer storm debris. Gutter maintenance is more important than ever, and you want clean gutters before leaves begin to fall. That summer storm debris is heavy, clogs drains and will contribute to rain gutter damage.
Protect Your Home’s Foundation with Regular Gutter Maintenance
The purpose of a gutter system is to lead stormwater away from your foundation. Foundation damage happens when water pools near the foundation of your home. The best thing to prevent foundation damage is to keep your gutters clean. Besides, a clogged underground yard drain system will lead to flooding your yard, which also leads to pooling water at your foundation. Gutter King Wichita is your Gutter Maintenance expert in Wichita and the surrounding areas.
Taming the Leaves to Maintain Gutters
Your gutters are only functional when water can flow through them. This is why gutter maintenance is important. Keeping the leaves at bay is an essential objective in fall gutter cleaning. Wet leaves can weigh down your gutters and potentially damage the fascia on the side of your home. Fascia repairs are expensive and preventable. An obstructed flow can cause issues like water pooling around the base of your home.
Gutter maintenance is important for many reasons. Gutter neglect over a long period of time is expensive. Your home’s foundation and structure are affected by clogged or neglected gutter systems. Call us at 316-680-6708 to schedule a fast, affordable quote on gutter cleaning, gutter repair, gutter guards, or new seamless 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.
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.
Safety is our business, especially ladder safety. In addition, we carry proper business liability insurance.
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.
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.
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?”
“Oh, that’s water coming in at the top!”
[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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.