6 Signs You Need New Gutters

Rain gutters play an important role in protecting your home’s exterior from water damage. If you have a basement, gutters are especially beneficial, as they can prevent ground erosion that can lead to flooding. By the same principle, gutters can keep water away from your foundation, preserving it and saving you from expensive repairs.

However, over time gutters may get cluttered or become damaged. To keep your home safe, it’s essential that you have them repaired or replaced as soon as you notice signs of degradation.

All Exteriors LLC helps homeowners in New Richmond by offering seamless gutter installation and other services. With 20 years of experience, we’re the ideal choice for your remodeling or repair job. How can you tell if it’s time to contact us? Here are six signs your gutters need to go.

1. Pooling Water

If you’re noticing pools of water along the side of your house, there’s probably something wrong with your gutters. Pooling indicates a leak; if it’s been around for a while, you may also notice mold or mildew.

These two issues are especially troublesome, as they can cause health problems for residents and structural damage to your home. A few common signs of mold and mildew are bubbling on interior walls or ceiling, a musty odor and discoloration.

2. Rot

If you have wooden siding, leaking gutters may cause rot. As an organic material, wood is susceptible to moisture and can quickly degrade with exposure. Depending on where the leak is, you may also notice rot along with wooden door jams or windowsills.

Rot is a serious issue, as it eats away at your house’s first line of defense against exterior threats. Softened siding can let moisture, dirt, and even wild animals into your walls where they’ll wreak havoc.

3. Sagging

When gutters clog, they can become structurally unsound from the weight and built-up pressure. This often results in sagging or pulling away from the roof. This is a significant sign that you need to upgrade, potentially to K-guard gutters that prevent leaves, sticks and other debris from entering the system. If your current system is often clogging, that means it’s too narrow to manage the flow of water and

debris effectively. If you try to repair instead of replacing, you may find yourself facing the same problem again.

4. Peeling Paint

If you suspect a leak but don’t see puddles along the side of your house, there may be more subtle signs of the damage: peeling. The repeated presence of water makes paint peel and bubble over time. Since these issues start small, you may not notice them at first. Make sure to look under overhangs and where the system meets the house.

5. Separating Seams

Many older systems have seams where gutter segments connect. These weak spots are susceptible to separating with the repeated pressure of water and debris. While it’s possible to repair this issue, there’s no way to eliminate it without upgrading to seamless gutters.

6. Cracks

Visible cracks are a bad sign since they indicate leaks. If you notice a crack anywhere along the system, make sure you thoroughly examine the rest, as there may be smaller cracks you don’t see at first glance.

While repairable, cracks are a sign that your gutters are getting old. Sun, rain and fluctuating temperatures eventually take their toll, and it’s up to you as the homeowner to recognize when your system is done for.

Is it time to install new gutters? Then reach out to All Exteriors LLC. Our experts can get you set up with an effective, durable system in no time. To learn more about our services or to get a quote, give us a call at (715) 781-1696 or contact us online.

Photo Credit: Bilanol/Getty Images

Common Gutter Problems Every Homeowner Should Know About

Common Gutter Problems Every Homeowner Should Know About

The rain gutter is one of the home’s most important features―and it’s one that doesn’t always get the attention it needs. When gutters aren’t functioning properly, water can drain into your foundation. This can weaken the structure of your home over time. Here are some common issues to be on the lookout for so you can promptly resolve the situation before it escalates.

Should There Be Standing Water in My Gutters?

As it rains, your gutters should flow continuously. If water is sitting in the trough, then something is wrong. Usually, the problem is that there isn’t enough slope in the pitch. If the gutter isn’t appropriately angled, gravity can’t do its job.

Sometimes minor adjustments can alleviate this, but the problem may have been caused by improper installation. You may need a complete overhaul of the entire system to achieve proper drainage.

What Problems Can Clogged Gutters Cause?

Clogs are one of the most difficult gutter problems to detect because you may not realize the issue until it’s escalated. Because they’re so high up, gutters can become overrun with twigs and leaves, especially if you have a lot of trees in your yard. This debris can create obstructions in the flow, causing water to back up.

When water isn’t flowing out through the gutters, it can pool in areas that may cause harm to your home; namely the roof and the foundation. This type of damage threatens your home’s structural integrity.

Why Does My Gutter Overflow?

Overflowing may be the result of a few different problems. If you frequently have standing water due to an improper pitch, the rain may just run out of places to go, resulting in an overflow. When debris has caused too much water to back up in one area, it can start to spill out of the top once it gets full.

Another concern may be the positioning of the gutters themselves. If they’re angled too far outward, water may be flowing out because the gutter is directing it that way. It’s also possible that the troughs are too small to handle the excessive rain your area receives.

How Can I Fix These Problems?

Monitor your system closely so you can detect gutter issues early. It’s important to have them cleaned at least once a year, ideally before the rainy season hits full force. At All Exteriors, we can help you restore your home following gutter failures, with roof services and siding repairs. Contact us today to set up your service.

Underdecking Must-Haves: Outdoor Living

Do you wish you had a relaxing space to hang out and enjoy your yard? Does water drip from your second story deck make it impossible to use the space below when it is raining? If you want functional space that stays dry and doubles as a finished outdoor entertaining area, adding an under deck gutter system may be just what you need.

Underdecking ― the process of attaching material to the underside of a deck ― can help create a covered space that can be used year-round.

The area under a raised first-floor deck is typically damp, with mold or mildew forming on the slab and beams underneath. Use a deck roof to keep the area dry and usable for storage. Additional benefits of implementing a deck roof include:

  • Bird proof
  • Self-cleaning
  • Handles snow loads
  • Guaranteed not to leak or sag

How it Works

An aluminum under deck ceiling system acts like a dropped-ceiling and channels rainwater and snow away from the space between the decking planks. The overlapping panels attach to a framework that angles water, snow, and debris into seamless gutters and downspouts. By moving moisture away from the house and foundation, your patio, furniture, and other contents stay dry. Depositing the water in specific areas prevents the ground around your home from becoming oversaturated.

Clearance requirements for underdecking are minimal. On the high end, the deck roof hangs about two inches below the beams with the slope dropping an eighth of an inch for every foot.

Aluminum vs. Vinyl

The temperature fluctuates significantly throughout the year in Minnesota and Wisconsin, from scorching hot summers to frigid winters. Snow and ice may thaw and freeze multiple times in a single season. Unlike vinyl, aluminum alloy does not contract and expand with the temperature. This means that the deck ceiling will not develop gaps or cracks over time. Here are three more reasons why aluminum is a better choice:

  • Aluminum is rigid and stronger than vinyl, so it will not sag or buckle over time. As the under deck system can feature light fixtures, fans, speakers and other outdoor accessories to make space feel warm and inviting, it is important to ensure the material used is supportive.
  • Birds and squirrels often choose to build their nests in traditional gutters and under the deck against the beams. The deck ceiling uses overlapping panels that are enclosed with flashing, effectively critter-proofing the area.
  • Aluminum alloy requires very little maintenance, and you can power wash or stain your deck as you usually would. Dish soap or glass cleaner can be used with a soft cloth, sponge or shammy to clean the panels without scratching the surface.

Finish Your Yard in Style

Once your under deck system is in place, give your home a finishing touch that reflects your personality with concrete patios and hardscaping. Here are a few ideas to help you get started.

  • Maximize your space by using natural stone and extending it beyond the covered patio area.
  • Create walkways to your outdoor space with stamped or broomed concrete services.
  • Extend your outdoor season with a fire pit or similar feature. It makes a gathering cozy, whether you are having a party or a quiet evening for two.
  • Add functionality to your yard with an outdoor living space.

Completing your yard with design details can enhance curb appeal and increase property value by up to 25 percent. At All Exteriors, we work with you to create your perfect outdoor space, from concrete patios to retaining walls and driveways. For more information on creating the yard of your dreams, contact us today!

A Comprehensive Gutter Cleaning Guide

Cleaning your gutters is one of the more necessary (and dreaded), parts of home ownership. The job can be a hassle and even a danger, but skip it for too long, and you could see some severe damage to your home. This handy gutter cleaning guide will tell you everything you need to know about why clear gutters are necessary, how to get them clean, and how to avoid ever having to do it again.

The Importance of Cleaning Your Gutters

Before we get into the how, let’s talk about why gutter cleaning is so important, how often it needs to be done, and what could happen if you slack off.

Why Should You Clean Your Gutters?

Gutters are designed to carry water away from your roof and ultimately away from your house, preventing water damage from heavy rains and snow. Unfortunately, if your gutters are clogged, not only are they not draining away from your home, they can cause water to overflow, resulting in water damage. Cleaning your gutters ensures that waters from rain and snow will drain efficiently, keeping your home safe and undamaged.

How Often Should You Clean Your Gutters?

The average homeowner should clean their gutters twice a year, in spring and fall, to clear debris, prevent clogs, and keep everything flowing smoothly. However, this can vary based on where you live. For example, homeowners in very arid climates with fewer trees might only have to clean their gutters once a year. On the other hand, here in the Midwest, we can have harsh winters with lots of ice, making it important to clean your gutters a minimum of twice a year. If you have a lot of trees on your property, you may even need to have them cleaned three or four times a year.

What Happens if You Don’t Clean Your Gutters Regularly?

Depending on how quickly your gutters get clogged, you might not actually notice any issues right away if you forget to clean your gutters. Once you get a clog (and you will), water will stop draining effectively, and heavy storms with lots of rain, ice, or snow will cause the water to begin to damage your home. In addition, heavy water-filled and debris-laden gutters can sag or break away from the house, damaging the roof and fascia.

How to Clean Gutters

Now that you know how important it is to clean your gutters let’s talk about how to complete this tricky, yet important task.

Cleaning Traditional Gutters

Traditional gutters are open along the top to catch water as it runs off your roof. This is a simple, effective design for catching water, but it’s also great at catching everything else too. Leaves and other debris easily fall inside and get stuck. To remove collected debris, you’ll need a ladder, a bucket, a small shovel or trowel, and a garden hose.

  • For safety’s sake, use a ladder that’s taller than your gutters by about three feet.
  • Have a bucket for debris hanging on your ladder.
  • Scoop any debris out of the gutters using the trowel, and put it in your bucket.
  • Check for clogs and flush the downspouts by running the garden hose down the downspout and turning it on.

Checking Gutters for Damage

Water damage to your home isn’t the only side effect of clogged gutters. When debris is left to rot in the gutters for long periods of time, it absorbs water and causes the metal gutters to rust, creating leaks. Gutter seams, where two lengths of gutter are joined together, are particularly vulnerable to catching debris and developing leaks. Leaky gutters can’t do their job, so while you are cleaning the gutters you should check the integrity of the gutters themselves.

  • After a rainstorm, check your gutters for leaks that need to be repaired and mark them so you’ll be able to find them easily once dry.
  • While you’re cleaning your gutters, visually inspect them for chipping or flaking paint, rust, gaps, leaks, or loosened supports.
  • Repair or replace sections of gutter, downspouts, or supports as necessary to ensure adequate drainage.

Cleaning Covered Gutters

Some gutters are covered with an add-on screen or cover to try to keep debris out. These gutters will still need to be occasionally cleaned to remove debris that got past the screen or cover. When it’s time, you’ll need to remove the screen or hood first, possibly requiring a professional to do the job. While screens or covers may mean cleaning your gutters less often, they’ll also make it more expensive and time-consuming when it comes to cleaning.

The alternative is a fully integrated, all-in-one system such as K-Guard Seamless Gutters. These gutters don’t have seams where leaks can develop, and they have a custom, removable hood that is designed to work with the gutter system, not against it. These are true maintenance-free and clog-free gutters, and the lifetime warranty guarantees that they will stay that way or be cleared or replaced for free.

Make Life Easier: Hire a Professional

If you’d rather not clean your own gutters, there is a solution: You can call a professional home improvement company and have them do the task for you, or better yet, install a maintenance-free option. The cost of having your gutters cleaned several times a year can add up, especially if you live in an area where it needs to be done frequently. Save yourself time, money, and worry by calling All Exteriors LLC today to have K-Guard Seamless Gutters installed on your home.

Are Seamless Gutters Really Seamless?

An excellent gutter system in good repair is important, not only for aesthetics and convenience but also because it protects your house from the damage that could be caused by water not being drained away from the house properly. Water draining around the foundation can cause damages and leaks, and the buildup of ice dams caused by improperly draining gutters can cause leaks and water damage from above.

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