Wednesday, July 27, 2011

How to Clean Gutters in the Winter?

If you are cleaning your gutters in the winter, then I definitely feel sorry for you. For two years, I cleaned gutters for a living, and I would be busy from about the middle of September until the middle of April. Clean gutters in the winter was one of the hardest parts of my job. When there is snow on the roof, you typically do not want to clean gutters, and you definitely do not want to go on the roof. It is possible however to clean them. To do this, you will want to use a hammer and break up the chunks of guys that are in the gutter. With the hammer you need to be very careful that you do not accidentally hit the gutter. You can dance or permanently damaged the gutter very easily when you are swinging a hammer into it. I suggest that you hack away at the ice with a 45 to 50° angle. This way most of the impact, is going sideways instead of straight down, and you are less likely to damage your gutters.

After you break the chunks out pull them out of the gutter and let them fall to the ground or else put them in a bucket and bring them down your ladder. Do not attempt to get on the roof to clean out your gutters. It is much too dangerous once there is snow and ice on them. You will have to do it from a ladder. If the ice is not very thick, you may be able to remove it in about twice the time it would take you to think out and ordinary gutter. If the ice is thick, you may want to wait until the sun has a chance to melt the gutters or at least melt the edges so that you can just pull out the chunks of ice floating in the water. In order to unclog a downspout that is full of lies, you'll want to remove the downspout from the house, and then you want to run hot water through it until you are able to remove all of the ice that is clogging it. This can take you three or four times longer to do then when you are cleaning them under good circumstances. Gutter cleaning is a lot better to do in the fall or in the spring. Cleaning gutters in the winter when there is snow on the roof and when the gutters are full of ice can take you five or six hours just to clean the gutters on an ordinary house. The average time it takes to clean out gutters is two hours or less.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Don't Get Ripped off on Fancy Gutter Filters

If you are thinking about getting an expensive gutter filtration device installed in your home, maybe it is time that you evaluated it on a financial basis. Is buying the leaf filter, gutter guard, or gutter helmet a good investment? Well, most of these services offer a lifetime guarantee, but not all of them will back that up and you really have no way of knowing if they will be around in 10 or 15 years. And chances are they will get clogged no matter what. But regardless, the gutter types that they install do not get clogged nearly as quickly as your traditional gutters. But, they are very expensive. For an average house, they charge about $5000. If you have a large house, it could be as much as $7-$10,000. This isn't heard of money. If you took $5000 and put it into a stock or a mutual fund and were able to get 10% return on your money, you would be making $500 on your investment every year. Since most people charge between 100 and $200 every year to clean your gutters, you can easily afford this on the $500 you're making off of your principal. You can even have your gutters cleaned twice for $200 and still be spending less money and still have $5000 invested. So it doesn't really make a whole lot of sense for these companies to charge so much. When I was professionally cleaning gutters I only charged an average of $125 per house.

I cleaned gutters professionally, so I am a little biased. But if you want to install a gutter filter over your existing gutters, you can do it for around $200. This is by using the gutter filters found at Home Depot or Lowe's. Is very affordable to do it yourself. And while these filters do not work quite as well as the more expensive ones, they are a lot cheaper and they still block just about everything except for pine needles. So if you are interested in using a filtration device, I would recommend that you use the filters that you can install yourself because they are the only ones that are worth what you pay for them. If you do not want to install these gutter filters your self, just hired someone who cleans gutters to install them for you. Even if it costs you $200 for the materials and $200 for the installation you are still paying $4600 less than you would to have your gutters replaced. I don't know about you but to me it seems like it is well worth the investment.