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.

What Wood is Best for Decks?

What Wood is Best for Decks

A deck is a perfect place to hang out during those warm spring and summer days. Grilling, chatting, listening to music – it’s an ideal laid-back setting to catch up with friends and family. However, before you start building your deck and getting it ready for the upcoming season, there are some decisions you have to make―namely what sort of wood you want to use for the project.

Many different types of wood can be used to create a good, solid deck, and each comes with its own appearance and experience. Take a look at some of the best outdoor wood options and decide which material fits your needs before beginning the building process.

Redwood

Redwood is a soft wood, but it is durable. The most remarkable quality of this aptly-named wood is its initial color, which is a warm reddish tone. While redwood deck boards resist rot rather well, that same color is prone to fading to gray over the years or even turning black. To maintain its initial bright color, you will need to seal it using a clear coat and maintain the sealer over the years. Aside from the unique color, this product is comparable to cedar in most aspects.

Cedar

Cedar is another soft wood, but, like redwood, is one of the best woods for decks that are left uncovered as it resists rot. There are many different types of cedar, each with its own benefits. Some common options include:

  • Western red cedar
  • Northern white cedar
  • Aromatic cedar

Cedarwood decking holds its own against sun, rain, snow, and heat with ease. Aromatic cedar (commonly used in closets and nearly three times harder than red cedar) also helps to keep insects at bay. However, when used outdoors, cedar wood is prone to splintering. Staining is recommended to keep this wood looking great.

Ipé

This hardwood is from South America and has excellent resistance to not only rot but also bugs. The wood is known for its stunning density and hardness. Though this quality can make the material difficult to work with, it also ensures it’s able to support a great deal of weight, which makes it an excellent product to use on decks that have planned stone or slate accents involved.

Tropical Hardwoods

Mahogany, tiger wood, and cumaru wood are other options for those looking for something vibrant to add to their outdoor space. Tropical woods typically have rich grains and rate high on the hardness scale, making them resistant to bugs and rot. It is a generally durable option. However, with that being said, these woods are so dense they can be challenging to work with, are difficult to stain, and are generally expensive to import.

Pressure-Treated Lumber

This is the leading option for decks across the country and makes up a whopping 75 percent of all new deck constructions. Rather than having air between the wood particles, these boards have been filled with chemicals that stave off rot and bugs, which makes it an excellent addition to any outdoor project. Woods can be treated in a variety of different ways, including the inclusion of water or oil preservatives that are less harmful to the environment while remaining just as effective.

Composite Decking

Composite decking is a human-made product that’s created of nearly equal parts recycled wood fiber, and recycled plastic. As this material contains a high plastic content, it doesn’t fade, splinter, or crack like most natural wood, but the existing wood content still gives it that familiar, wood texture. Composite decking also comes in a wide range of colors, so you can get the look you’ve had your eye on – for a fraction of the price. This is an excellent option for those looking to build a deck that presents as little mandatory upkeep as possible.

Find the Best Wood for Your Deck

Each option has its pros and cons, and it’s up to you to decide which aspects important to you and your outdoor experience. Contact All Exteriors today to learn more about popular deck wood options and get the answers to any questions you might have before getting started on your outdoor construction project!

What to Know Before Adding a Sunroom

What to Know Before Adding a Sunroom

A sunroom serves as an extra living space that allows you to enjoy the beauty of the outdoors with glass walls or large windows. Adding a sunroom to your home could increase its value, giving you a beautiful and functional space that is ideal for mild temperatures. ― If you are thinking about building a sunroom, here are three things to keep in mind when designing your new space.

A sunroom serves as an extra living space that allows you to enjoy the beauty of the outdoors with glass walls or large windows. Adding a sunroom to your home could increase its value, giving you a beautiful and functional space that is ideal for mild temperatures. ― If you are thinking about building a sunroom, here are three things to keep in mind when designing your new space.

Siding Material

The material you use to side your new space has a direct effect on your sunroom cost. Less expensive material may not last as long and could need repairs after several years, while other materials may have a large price upfront but save you money in the long run. Popular siding materials include:

  • Wood: Wood is relatively inexpensive and easy to paint. It makes your new construction look attractively classic. It also provides good insulation to help hold heat and air into your sunroom so that the temperature inside stays comfortable year-round. However, wood requires frequent maintenance and upkeep.
  • Vinyl: This material is the most popular choice for siding. It provides excellent insulation and is strong, holding up well against the elements. With its enhanced strength, vinyl is often reinforced with aluminum supports. While this siding requires little maintenance, it has a fairly expensive upfront cost.
  • Aluminum: Aluminum is the strongest, but also the most expensive. Although it is not an incredibly good insulator, it does have aesthetic appeal, giving your home beautiful and contemporary design.

Orientation

The most significant problem with a sunroom is that it is typically only habitable during mild temperatures. If you take into consideration the orientation of the additions in regard to the sun’s position, you can eliminate most of this problem and enjoy your new room for extended periods.

If you live in the South with high temperatures and scorching sunlight for most of the year, having your new sunroom face the North will give you partial shade and avoid exposure to the harsh midday sun. In contrast, a South-facing room with extra sun exposure may be more comfortable for people in the North. Taking the time to consider how your sunroom’s orientation will affect the temperature of the addition will make the new room more comfortable and worth the money it costs to build it.

Window Location

The location of the window in your new room also has a big impact on temperature. Whether you choose to build a four season room or sunroom you need windows to help increase ventilation. Strategic placement enhances airflow to keep your room cooler while increasing energy efficiency. When you place the windows properly, you can invest in drapes or coverings to block out the sun at the hottest part of the day to keep the room comfortably cool.

Another easy way to keep the temperature of your sunroom comfortable is by installing ceiling fans to stimulate air flow. Even if the room is hot, proper air flow can make it feel much cooler. In the winter, use the fan’s reverse-flow feature to pull colder air up towards the ceiling and keep your room warm and toasty

Start Planning Your Sunroom Today

Once you have decided how to design your sunroom, it is time to contact a licensed builder to turn your dream into a reality. With more than two decades of experience remodeling homes, All Exteriors is the company you should turn to for a smooth, successful sunroom addition. As a sunroom contractor, we have plenty of experience designing additions that utilize siding, windows, and orientation to maximize functionality. Contact us today and let us help give you the home addition of your dreams!

5 Questions to Ask When Hiring a Decking Contractor

5 Questions to Ask When Hiring a Decking Contractor

Adding a deck to your home can be a worthwhile investment. Not only does it increase the usable entertainment space of your home, but it can also be a valuable asset during resale.

While decks are not always created equal, one of the most important parts of the installation process is choosing a decking contractor that will provide beautiful, high-quality results. Whether you are interested in a screened-in porch, composite decking, or traditional hardwood installation decking, there are a few questions you should consider asking your potential decking contractor during the vetting process.

Is the Company Both Licensed and Insured? 

When researching your contractor options, the first clear distinction to make involves licensing. Depending on the regulations in your area, licensed contractors may be your easiest and best route to permit approvals if and when they are needed for your project. Although some areas do not require hiring a licensed contractor for your project, it is in your best interest to protect your home and your assets. Similarly, insured contractors help to ensure you are not footing the bill for incomplete projects, property damage, or worker injuries that could occur while your decking project is being completed.

Will the Contractor Provide References? 

A reputable contractor should be willing to provide examples of past projects as well as customer experience references. In addition to contractor-provided resources, crowd-sourcing for recommendations is also a viable option. Note that most individuals will take the time to report a negative experience over a positive one, so online reviews might not give the full picture. Ask for pictures of examples and insight from previous clients about their experience to get a well-rounded review.

What Are the Decking Material Options? 

If you have a particular project in mind, make sure to find out if your contractor of choice has experience with the type of decking material you want to use. Some contractors may be well-versed in hardwood installation but have little experience with composite or aluminum decking. Ask your contractor for examples of completed work pertaining to the specific type of deck you are planning.

Does the Contractor Provide Written Documentation? 

Verbal agreements with contractors can lead to disputes later down the line. During the planning process, ask your contractor for written documentation of the project. A contractor or company that communicates both verbally and in writing can help you feel secure when moving forward. Although modifications might have to be made during the process, you should have an estimate and idea of several key elements of your project, including:

  • Projected timeline
  • Estimate of total cost
  • Materials list

How Does the Contractor Ensure Satisfaction? 

Ask your intended contractor what processes are set in place to ensure you will be happy with the finished product. Does the company have a guarantee? Does it have a management team in place to make sure the project is correct the first time around? Does the contractor have a reputation for high-quality craftsmanship in the completed work? The representatives should be able to provide a history of the company, including how long it has been in business and the company philosophy.

Hire a Decking Contractor

If you are seeking a high-quality and reputable decking contractor for your deck renovation or installation, contact All Exteriors LLC to ask your initial question and schedule a consultation. Their team can take your vision of the ideal exterior entertainment space and make it a reality.

Image Credit: Christine Bird/Shutterstock

Make Your House Stand Out for Summer: Outdoor Living

Rain or shine, the summer season is the best time to enjoy outdoor living. The beautiful summer days in Wisconsin and Minnesota are perfect for taking a stroll around town, while the evenings are great to enjoy your outdoor living spaces. To make your home stand out this summer, All Exteriors offers many available additions to create the perfect outdoor space.

Contact All Exteriors

Outdoor Living Space

A few remodeling projects can help you enjoy the summer by adding outdoor living spaces. Whether you live in a spacious rural community or a suburban neighborhood, you can increase your home’s value by adding the following outdoor living spaces:

Durable Decks

A deck is the first step in not only improving your outdoor space but increasing it as well. From walkout basements to second story decks, there are many ways to add square footage to your yard with the use of a deck. Choose from a range of materials, colors, designs, and sizes for a personalized living area. A professional contractor can create a space that is welcoming using durable products that can last a lifetime.


To ensure that your deck is prepared for harsh winters, choose a professional deck installer. If your deck is starting to show its age, you may need a full deck renovation which may include staining, repairing, or replacing to make it usable and enjoyable again.

Explore Our Deck Gallery

Vibrant Sunrooms

If you need a multi-purpose room that embraces the outdoors, a sunroom may be for you! These versatile rooms can help you feel like you are outside, without the countless mosquitoes, wind, or snow. If you are looking for sunrooms in New Richmond, All Exteriors installs a wide variety of beautiful, high-quality additions.

A sun-room can be an excellent way to enjoy a sunny day while staying in an air-conditioned room.

Explore Our Sunroom Gallery

Underdecking for Ultimate Outdoor Living

Enjoy the beauty and calmness of an Under Deck Oasis Drainage System for superior summer living space. If you’re tired of the rain and snow, use an Under Deck Gutter System to keep your area from interrupting your peaceful paradise. Learn how these systems work and how they can act as a great way to upgrade your home, hassle-free.

Under Deck Drainage System

While many homes may have a second story deck, there is nothing like an Under Deck Drainage System. This complex system works by lining the entire underside of your deck with a gutter system. By collecting all the water that usually runs through your deck, Under Deck Oasis provides you with a spacious area free from rain or snow.

Depending on the size of the system you choose to install, a tremendous addition of outdoor living space may appear. Here are just a few of the many ways you can use your outdoor space:

  • Shaded garden
  • Complete outdoor kitchen
  • Relaxing hot tub
  • Sheltered boat cover

Learn More

Start Dreaming with All Exteriors’ Outdoor Living Options

Learn why so many homeowners are writing excellent reviews of our various services. From sunrooms to decks, our professionals can help you with all your outdoor living needs. Contact us today, and we will help you build your dream outdoor living space.

Image Credit: Sir Armstrong/Shutterstock