Archive for November, 2014

Fix Leaky Gutters

Thursday, November 27th, 2014

How to Fix Leaky Gutters

Gutters are used to direct rainwater to the appropriate drainage area to avoid any damage to the house or drainage and flooding problems. However, they end up collecting all other debris that ends up falling from the roof including leaves and branches. Most homeowners tend to overlook the maintenance of gutters and over time they may develop leaks at different spots. The accumulation of branches and leaves and also snow in colder climates, is bound to contribute to leaky gutters as their structure becomes weaker over time. For those who like simple do-it-yourself projects to keep their house in the best condition. Below we will look at some useful tips on how to fix leaky gutters.

fix leaky gutters

Before delving into the different ways of how to fix leaky gutters, it is essential to first note that gutters exist in two different variants. There are plastic and metal gutters available today. The fact that they are made of different materials means that they require different repair methods and equipment. Homeowners should begin by inspecting their home’s gutters to find out exactly what they are made of to determine what method to follow.

Fix Leaky Gutters – Metal

In most cases, metal gutters are the norm especially for older structures. The simplest way on how to fix leaky gutters that are made of metal is to scrape the joint and clear any debris and then dry it. Once dry, use a caulking gun to inject roofing and gutter sealant. If the leak persists then, it may require more work to repair your leaky gutter as described below.

Where the leaky gutter is not repaired by a simple application of sealant, it will be necessary to dismantle the entire gutter joint clean off the old and dried up putty and then apply a new sealant. Dismantling gutters may be problematic considering that the spike and ferrules used to hang the gutters may not pull out easily without damaging the gutters. It is then going to be necessary to replace the gutters instead of repairing them.

Fix Leaky Gutters – Plastic

Leaky gutters made of plastic, on the other hand, require less work as compared to metal gutters. Plastic gutters mainly leak around unions or joints that connect to the gutters to lead water downwards. In this case the most common cause of such leaks is the accumulation of dirt that forces the gaskets sealing the union to give way.

To fix leaky gutters made of pvc, press the pipe inwards to release the clips holding the pipe leading water down to the union. Once it releases you can check to see whether cleaning the accumulated dirt will be enough to fix the leak or installation of a new gasket is required. There are also PVC gutters that you can clean the gutter joints, then dry the pvc leaky gutter joint. You fix leaky gutter joints by applying a sealant recommended for pvc gutters. Regular maintenance will prevent leaky gutters.

Frozen Downspouts

Saturday, November 15th, 2014

This week’s number one problem has been frozen downspouts. Weather conditions have been perfect for freezing downspouts. Once the route down is frozen, the gutters will drip over and form those pretty icicles you’ve been seeing. I have been seeing the icicles, and frozen downspouts, all over town.

What can you do about this?

Prevention:  Downspouts freeze quickly if the water flow is stopped somewhere along the way.

frozen downspouts

 

In the recent storm, the heavy wet snow was enough to block water flow at the bottom, if the ends weren’t shoveled clear.  Because of the thawing and refreezing this week, downspouts also froze up at the elbows. Prevention involves clearing the ends of the downspouts and also keeping an eye on the elbow joints.

Downspouts collected ice inside, where the downspouts were dented or bent. Long-term prevention involves checking for bends and dings in the downspouts before winter sets in.

 Action: On line advice about frozen downspouts varies. Some say just leave it alone. Others recommend taking ice-melt to the gutters (see below.) A few say heat the gutters to clear them. One recommends whacking the gutter (from an upstairs window) with a baseball bat. Yet another recommends running electrical heat tape to prevent melting.

 What to look for to prevent a big problem?

The main reason that you don’t want your gutters icing up is two-fold. The worst thing that can happen is for the melting ice to find its way into your house.  The second worst thing that can happen is that the ice in the backed-up gutter gets heavy enough to tear the gutter off the house.

Ice Dam

Prevention: To prevent water in your house, your roof should be installed with a sheet of rubber under it. This way, if water collects on the edge of the roof, it won’t find its way through the waterproofing. The second prevention measure is to keep your roof cold. This means insulating and ventilating your roof surface. (This is also good for lowering your heating bills.) A warm roof allows snow to melt at the bottom edge, then refreeze overnight. Then, the subsequent melting the next day increases the build-up of  ice that will melt the next day, and so on. The more melting water, the more weight and pressure; these are conditions that favor water finding its easiest route down is through the wood behind your gutters. The third preventative measure is to make sure your gutters are draining well before the winter sets in. Most gutters collect leaves and debris that can impede to flow enough to allow freezing, even if the downspouts are clear. Clear and check the flow in your gutters sometime in the fall, after the leaves have fallen and before the cold sets in.

Roof Heat Tape

Action: If you see awesome quantities of ice collecting in your gutters and your downspouts are frozen, you may want to take evasive action. The tried and true method is to fill a stocking with ice melt and put it in the gutter. If this is a chronic problem that happens every year, using an ice rake to clear the snow near the bottom of the roof may be an option (depending on how high your roof is.)

The last-ditch and most expensive and inefficient method is to install heat tape to melt the snow and prevent the refreezing.

Frozen Downspouts

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Painting Preparations

Sunday, November 2nd, 2014

Painting Preparations

Good painting preparations is the key to a good paint job. Most reputable painters will take care of preparation work before beginning the job. This is something that needs to be discussed before signing any contracts. Homeowners should clearly understand how much or how little preparation work each contractor is intending to do.

Furniture.

Remove all furniture from the room that is about to be painted. If furniture cannot be easily taken out, move it to the center of the room and cover it with a drop cloth.

Surface.

Paint should only be applied to a clean, well-prepared surface. Any peeled or cracked paint must be removed through either scraping or sanding. Simply painting over peeled or cracked paint allows these unsightly problems to quickly reemerge. All mold and mildew on the surface should also be removed before applying new paint. Existing glossy paint should be “dulled” or “deglossed” through sanding so that a good bond between the old paint and the new paint is formed. Holes should be filled or patched. The area should be cleaned using a strong cleaner, such as a TSP, or trisodium phosphate, solution.

Painting PreparationPrimer.

Primer provides a base for new paint for the paint to adhere, and it makes the paint more durable. Before painting, prime any uncoated surfaces, bare wood, repaired areas, paneled walls, existing oil-based paint, or any areas that are undergoing a significant change in color.

Fixtures.

Before painting, unscrew and remove all fixtures and outlet covers from the walls. This will save time during the edging process.

Tape.

Masking tape is commonly used to keep paint off items that cannot be removed, such as glass, built-in fixtures, door handles, and latches. An alternative to masking tape is painter’s tape. It is frequently chosen because it has lower tack than masking tape, making it easier to pull off. To keep stray paint from seeping underneath the painter’s tape, painters may try rapidly running a flat tool down the edges of the tape. This friction causes heat and melts the tape’s glue. When the glue dries, it will create a stronger barrier that is more difficult for paint to penetrate.

Article courtesy of:     HomeReports.com