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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.

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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 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.

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.

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