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Why Gutter Maintenance is Important

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.

maintain gutters tennis balls in gutter

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!

gutter maintenance is important clogged gutter

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. 

gutter maintenance

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

maintain gutters new seamless gutters

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.

gutter king wichita maintain gutters

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.

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.

3 Signs That It’s Time to Clean Your Dryer Vent

Clean Your Dryer Vent house on fire

Dirty dryer vents are gross. But, more importantly, they’re a serious fire hazard. Dryer vents should be inspected at least once yearly. Read on for information on how to recognize when it’s time to clean your dryer vent.

It's Time to Clean Your Dryer Vent
Clothes dryer vent tube

According to FEMA, 2,900 home clothes dryer fires are reported each year. And fires caused by clothes dryers cause an estimated five deaths, 100 injuries, and $35 million in property loss.

Signs that it’s time to clean your clothes dryer vent:

First, the Outside of your Dryer is Very Hot

This is a warning sign that the vent does not exhaust properly. In fact, if your dryer is hot to the touch, the system may be clogged and blocking airflow. This not only wastes energy, it causes premature wear on the heat element and blower.


Second, Drying Time Takes Longer than Usual

When a dryer vent is clogged, the drying cycle time doubles or triples. For that reason, clothes are not completely dry at the end of a regular cycle. A dryer is designed to push out hot, moist air. And if your dryer vent is blocked, the air stays in your dryer and keeps your clothes moist. Hence, when your dryer runs longer, you cut your machine’s useful life in half.


Third, You Notice a Burning Odor

When you run your dryer, you should not notice a burning odor. Accordingly, lint is flammable and if it gets too hot, it will catch on fire. The lint not only builds up in the exhaust tube, and lint trap, it can build up in the drum casing. If you smell this, stop using the dryer immediately and call for a service or inspection.


Clean Your Dryer Vent clothes dryer fire

In conclusion, clogged dryer vents are one of the top causes of dryer fires. And, although this is a much less dramatic concern, an inefficient dryer can also cost you both time and money, tacking on as much as $20 a month to your utility bill. Dryer vents should be inspected at least once yearly.


Benefits of a Clean Dryer Vent System

  • A clean dryer vent reduces your chances of a dryer fire
  • It lowers your power bill, because the cycles are much more efficient
  • It increases the lifespan of your dryer

Bob Vila has a great article on how to clean your dryer vents.

Contact Gutter King Wichita for local resources on dryer duct cleaning.

gutter cleaning wichita

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.

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.

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.

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.

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