DIY Gutters in Spring

When it comes to Spring, many homeowners are eager to get outside and do some work around the house. Spring is a great time for home improvement since the weather is getting nicer and you can finally shorten your to-do list. If gutters is on your DIY list, then consider these tips before attempting to install them yourself.

spring gutter problems home projectSpring is known for many things from green grass and leaves to rain. I’m sure you’ve heard the saying, “April showers bring May flowers” and every year spring is the wettest of all our seasons here in the Hudson Valley. If your gutters were damaged during winter, you definitely want to get them in top shape before the showers come. A functional gutter system properly installed will help you avoid costly damage during the spring rains. We have a few tips to help you make the best choices for your gutter installation and whether a DIY gutter install is the right course of action for spring.

  • Choose The Right Materials
  • Pitch The Gutter Correctly
  • Choose The Gutter Location Wisely
  • Be Prepared For Hidden Challenges

When it comes to choosing the right material, it is as important to consider the look of the gutter system as much as it is the performance and durability. Gutters from a “Big Box” store are typically a secondary aluminum or plastic/vinyl gutter system. These materials are not as sufficient for the extreme weather we experience as the primary aluminum used in the Brothers professional gutter job. Not only that but plastic/vinyl gutters are prone to cracking under extreme cold and the temperature changes we experience living in the Hudson Valley.

IMG_3596Another thing to consider is the size of gutter you need. Our gutters come in 5″ and 6″ options. Six inch is typically installed where heavy amounts of rain water shed off the roof or in heavy flow areas such as valleys. If a 5″ gutter system is installed where a 6″ gutter should be used, the water can overflow and go over the top or even behind the gutter, which can lead to costly damage to your home and property. The best way to determine roof size is to calculate the pitch and surface area. See this link for help to determine roof pitch.

After selecting the right material and size gutters for your home, the next step step is to consider using a seamless gutter. Seamless gutters have been an industry standard for the past 20 years because of their fit, finish and ability to perform in all weather conditions. Using seamless gutters allows for a stronger and more durable gutter system since a seamless gutter is one complete run of aluminum with no seams to caulk or seal off. With seamless gutters a bonding agent is only needed to seal the end caps and downspouts. Seamless gutters can be purchased from a contractor who has a gutter machine to run out the exact length of gutter needed for a home. Big box stores do not have gutter making machines and sell gutters in 20′ sections.

install gutter with levelLooking at a gutter system on a home, you might think the gutters look level, but are actually installed at a slight pitch. If seamless gutters are chosen for installation, then getting the gutter at the correct pitch should be something every gutter contractor knows. If you have decided to go the DIY route, there are a couple things to keep in mind when pitching a gutter. Pitch is the angle that the gutter is hung at so that the water flows in the correct direction towards the downspout. If pitched incorrectly the water could flow in the wrong direction, or not even flow at all. The water may just collect in the gutter until it overflows. Our installers typically pitch a gutter 1/4 in every ten feet. There are unique situations where the gutter is installed using the pitch calculation, but the water is not flowing. In these situations, we use a level to ensure correct water flow. Typically the water will flow without the gutter looking like it’s falling off the house, but if pitched too much, may look really strange on the house.

Pitch is not the only installation priority. The first thing to consider in an installation is the location of the downspouts and gutters. We all know that the gutter goes underneath the roofline, but there’s more to that than just placing it under the roofline and pitching it. Choosing your downspout location will play a big role in gutter size as much as it will in properly shedding the water away from the home. Also consider how long the gutter should really be. If it is the size of the house, it will be too short to handle the water runoff properly. When we install gutters, we check to make sure the entire run of gutter is installed in the correct position and location.

The final check list item is to be prepared for hidden or unexpected fixes. When a gutter system is removed, some installations cannot be completed because of damaged fascia. Another important thing to make a note of is drip edge. Having a drip edge that is long enough to protect the fascia board is important. If you are in need of a new roof, we recommend completing the roof before the gutter installation as to avoid damaging your new system.

If you are in need of a gutter repairs or replacement, we can give you a free solution and quote. Meet our solutionists for even more product and repair solutions such as a fully enclosed gutter guard system or our complete solution of gutters, guards and heat cable. You can find more information on our website or by giving us a call at 866-550-3569.

Installing Heat Cable

photo 3-1Winters in the Northeast have been consistently hard on all of us in the recent years and has not been kind to our homes. As a gutter company who aims to be a five-star contractor, The Brothers that just do Gutters have been working very hard every winter to battle the elements and bring the best resolution to homeowners. In the past, we offered snow and ice removal, but decided to focus more on just gutters and less of anything else. We have come to realize that the better solution for dealing with ice and snow buildup in winter is to be proactive and plan for them well before the snow falls.

heatcableKeeping ice and snow out of the gutter system entirely will greatly reduce the risks associated with the ice expansion at the roofline. Ice in the gutters push against the hangers and fascia and can add thousands of pounds to your gutter systems. We highly recommend the installation of Rhino Guard to strengthen the gutter system. Much as we recommend Rhino Guard, they cannot resolve or stop ice damming alone. In fact, most guards are known to have icicles early in the winter. This doesn’t mean the guard is defective, it’s just the easiest spot for icicles to form from the snow sitting on the guard. Shy of insulating your attic with spray foam, properly installed heat cable is the most effective way to deal with ice and snow in the gutters, as well as combating ice dams.

In the years of installing the heat cable, we discovered the proper strategy for installing heat cable. Properly means running the cable over the hangers and along the bottom of the gutter in a loop. Then we cover the gutter with a leaf guard system. After our part is done, a licensed electrician makes the connection from the gutter to the electric panel. Using this installation practice allows the process to be smoother, faster and cost less. With rhino guard and a heat cable, the gutter system creates a heat zone hot enough to melt the amount of snow and ice we experience in the winter.

1112x1060As a company we have researched this topic extensively and drew from our years of experience, to come to this conclusion. Being based in the Hudson Valley we have been bombarded with ice dams for the past five years, so we have seen it first hand.  But don’t take our word for it alone. We talked to our good friend Eric Self of Self Made Electric and asked his thoughts on the best way to install heat cable. He gave us the following suggestions:

“Installing heat cable on the roof adds unnecessary costs in time and product expense. Installing on the roof can triple the costs to have heat cable”, he said. He went on to say, “The idea with heat cable is to get the water from the roof to the ground. Using it in the gutter system will most efficiently get the job done.” And just for added emphasis, he went on to say, “installing cable on the roof is unnecessary if you have the cable properly installed in the gutter system”. He did warn us though that sometimes, there can still be problems with ice dams since gutters are not the only source of ice damming. We touched on this very idea in our Ice Damming blog and encourage you to look into using many methods to prevent ice dams.

If you would like some more information on ice dams be sure to read our other blogs on the subject. If you’re interested in having heat cable installed give us a call or head on over to our website to schedule an estimate.

Best Time For Home Improvement

DIY-home-impovementWorking on your home is always stressful. Do I have the right materials? Do I know how to do this? Is it going to get done in time? Are the contractors I hired going to do a great job? Is this going to cost me a fortune? Sometimes the question you forget to ask yourself is “Is this the best time to do this?” There are a few factors that we have to take into consideration when we ask ourselves this.

First we have to understand supply and demand; the basic principle that basically dictates the price we pay for anything. A good example for this is holiday decorations. Halloween and Christmas decorations are the cheapest November 1st and December 26th respectively, because the day after the holiday, the demand is gone so they go on sale. Many home improvement projects require materials; some of which are not readily available all year round. Whether it’s that you don’t have the funds for everything right away, or maybe the materials you need aren’t going to available when you plan on completing your project, it’s a good idea to get materials when you can (and for the best price) and store them until you can complete the project. Also if you are just looking to replace appliances such as refrigerators, washer/dryers, dishwashers, etc., you might be better off purchasing them after the holidays when they’re on sale. It all comes down to trying to buy the product when the demand is low.

DSCF0036Similarly, you don’t want to hire a contractor during the busy months (end of spring – summer), it’ll be like going to a restaurant during the lunch or dinner rush. You have to wait longer and they’re more likely to make mistakes. Hiring contractors during “off-seasons” can help insure that your project will done promptly and correctly. One of those great times is right when winter ends and spring is about to start since contractors are looking to start working again now that the weather is about to warm up. On top of that, many contractors will even offer special offers at the beginning of spring to try and entice work.

Today’s shoppers are a lot wiser in how they spend their money. When it comes to shopping smart, home improvement is no different – if anything it’s more important. There is no worse feeling then buyer’s remorse, which may be why we all love awesome return policies. With a home improvement, there just are no return policies. Before hiring a gutter contractor, check out our tips on what to ask the contractor and get to know The Brothers That Just Do Gutters. We have many expertly-trained crews ready to get back to work so give us a call or head to our website to schedule an estimate.

 

Oversized Gutters In Spring Rain

As spring begins, it’s a great time to check your gutters for winter damage. Every year spring rains begin falling down, bringing with them the challenges of wetness and dampness.  Now is the best time to be proactive about investigating sneaky suspicions. Some things to look for would be water dripping from the back of the gutter, daylight peaking between the gutter and fascia, gutter nails that are pulling out or away, etc. Give some peace to your inner self and get things checked out.

In dryer months, it is difficult to tell where the problems exist, but with the rains of spring we have the best visual inspector for gutter related problems. Water overflowing from your gutters can cause a multitude of concerns:

OverflowingGutter

  • Mold
  • Mildew
  • Flooding
  • Rotting
  • Corrosion
  • Pest Breeding
  • Short Circuits
  • Erosion

Water leaking into the roof, fascia or soffit can cause mold and mildew in the changing air temperatures within the attic space. The fascia can begin to rot wherever the water is allowed to contaminate the wood. Rainwater dripping onto electrical boxes and wiring in the ceiling and walls could lead to shorts and corrosion. Water not properly shedding away from the home collects at the foundation, both weakening and leaking into the home. Spring rains help water the seeds that start growing in the decaying foliage further hinder clogged gutters. Insects and spiders find a haven for breeding in the pooling of water in the gutters.

The heavy rains of spring are already on the edge of the average installed gutter system’s capacity. With the damaging winter ice and snow, the chance of poor water drainage is increased. Even if there is no damage caused by winter, the rainfalls in recent years could overwhelm your current gutter system. Now would be the time to make the switch to oversized gutters.

Oversized gutters may only be an inch bigger than standard 5″ gutters, but that allows them to handle 40% more water. When the snow and ice of winter is melting on top of the rains of spring, your gutters need all the help they can get. Oversized gutters can also cut down on the amount of downspouts needed for your home, which especially comes in handy when your home has a more complex roofline (valleys, corners, etc.).

For more information on oversized gutters check out our other blog about them or our Oversized Gutters page on our website! If you’re considering upgrading to oversized gutters head to our website to schedule an estimate or give us a call!

Appeal Of Galvalume Metal Gutters

photo 6Galvalume has existed for some time in the roofing industry, but only recently started to gain a growing presence in the world of rain gutters. Their curb appeal combined with their longevity have started to make them a much more appealing gutter system. Do you love the longevity of copper gutters but prefer the look of galvanized gutters? Do you want gutters that will last a lifetime but don’t want to shell out the big bucks? If you answered yes to one or both of these questions, then the Brothers that just do Gutters have your solution – Galvalume!

What Is Galvalume?

Galvalume is a gutter constructed of a steel substrate and coated in mix of 55% aluminum and 45% zinc. The steel strengthens the gutter making it durable, while the zinc and aluminum coating protects the steel from rusting. Rust can still form on the edges, but once the rust makes contact with the aluminum it will stop. The coating on Galvalume tends to be thinner than the coating used in galvanizing. Although this makes it more prone to scratches, the coating is also more flexible, meaning it won’t chip or fall off as quickly when the metal bends, expands or contracts during installation or temperature changes. With proper maintenance, Galvalume can last on average between 70-150 years.

The Appeal Of Galvalume

photo 9Galvalume has more benefits than just structural functionality. Not only is it durable and effective, but it can add a great curb appeal to your home! The finish gives it a gun-metal look that doesn’t fade in the weather elements. While copper is beautiful, it changes color over time as it forms a patina that may or may not be desirable. The color also doesn’t match every home’s decor and that’s where Galvalume comes in; it has a more neutral appeal without disturbing the balance of the home’s aesthetic. Many find it to be more modern and refined than other gutter systems.

What Will Galvalume Cost?

I know what you’re thinking, “Galvalume sounds nice and all, but how much is this gonna cost me?” That’s a fair question. We realize adding appeal to the home can often enlist high costs, but with Galvalume you get the best of both worlds! Listed below are market average prices per foot for aluminum, galvanized, galvalume, and copper gutter.

  • Aluminum: $6/ft – $15/ft

  • Galvanized: $8/ft – $20/ft

  • Galvalume: $12/ft – $30/ft

  • Copper: $20/ft – $40/ft

Prices vary by state and gutter company but these averages are what you can expect to see in your market. As you can see, Galvalume offers a very affordable solution for adding curb appeal to your home.

 

photo 8Can Anyone Install Galvalume?

Because Galvalume is trickier to install and more difficult to source the parts needed, many gutter installers typically do not offer it. The challenge with installing the system, compared to copper or galvanized, is the sealing of the joints and seams. Due to the fact that soldering the product is nearly impossible, we use a bonding compound that has lasted much longer than many sealing agents. Because we care about providing the best solutions and all we do is gutter installation, we research and resource the best products and practices for our clients. Galvalume is a product we have all the confidence installing. We go above and beyond the norm in our industry to provide a five star experience.

photo 10When it comes to Galvalume, the Brothers that just do Gutters would love to be your installer of choice. Not only do we work to provide you with a five-star experience, we work to provide you with five-star products in every phase of installation. For more information and to schedule a free quote visit our website or call us at 1-866-550-3569.