Month: April 2020

Splash Blocks Vs. Downspout Extensions: A Quick Comparison

A rain gutter is basically a channel located along your roofline, and its main function is to catch rainwater that’s coming from your roof. It’s a simple yet important role. And in order for the gutter system to work properly, it needs the help of some additional components, like gutter guard systems and downspout accessories.

In this post, Gutter Helmet of Western North Carolina discusses the difference between splash blocks and downspout extensions.

Splash Blocks

Splash blocks are typically rectangular in shape, and they are either made of concrete or plastic. They are placed under the downspout so as to help direct water away and prevent it from eroding the soil. That said, it is crucial to properly position the splash blocks. Check on them regularly to ensure that they have not been knocked askew by foot traffic or shifting soil. If the blocks are turned the wrong way, this can render them ineffective. Worried that splash blocks might affect curb appeal? There are blocks that are both decorative and functional, allowing you to dress up your home’s exterior.

Downspout Extensions

Extensions are generally considered the best way to augment downspouts. However, you have to be careful in constructing these extensions. Much like splash blocks, they can be useless or can even cause damage if their placement is wrong. Moreover, ensure that the extensions have an unobstructed outlet to an area that can handle the amount of water runoff. Downspout extensions usually lie on top of the ground or are placed below the surface. Underground extensions are ideal for homeowners who want to maintain curb appeal.

Gutter Helmet of Western North Carolina is a reputable provider of gutter guard systems. We carry out jobs to a high standard, ensuring value for your money. Call us at (800) 824-3772 or fill out our contact form to request a free estimate. We serve customers in Mill Springs, North Carolina.

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Where Should Rainwater From Your Gutters Be Directed?

Gutters are critical in keeping water runoff away from your home. Without a properly functioning gutter system, your home — particularly your foundation — can be exposed to moisture. This can eventually result in costly damage.

In this post, rain gutter guard expert Gutter Helmet of Western North Carolina discusses the common methods used to ensure that rainwater from your gutters and downspouts are directed away from your home.

Where Should Rainwater Go?

As mentioned earlier, rainwater should never drain near your foundation; it should be directed away from your home. You can do this by ensuring that your downspouts are in good condition and using the right water delivery system for you.

Drainage pits are a common method used for collecting large amounts of water from gutters. They’re usually built in the garden, so they don’t ruin curb appeal. A rain barrel is another good option, and it’s ideal for homeowners who want to repurpose rainwater for gardening or cleaning. It can be installed underground or aboveground. Lastly, a rainwater collection system is the usual alternative to underground tanks. It consists of multiple tanks connected to a filter and a pump. You can have the water pumped out whenever you need it.

Are Your Downspouts Working Properly?

A clear sign of downspout failure is overflowing. Furthermore, overflowing is a result of clogging and accumulated dirt and debris in the gutters. To prevent this issue, make sure to clean your gutter system regularly.

If you see water ponding near your foundation, this could be a sign that your downspouts are too short or positioned incorrectly. Call a professional to check your downspouts and ensure that they have the proper length and they are able to direct water away from your home.

Gutter Helmet of Western North Carolina is a trusted rain gutter guard specialist. With several years of experience in the industry, we can guarantee top-notch workmanship. Call us at (800) 824-3772 or fill out our contact form to request a free quote. We serve customers in Mill Springs, North Carolina.

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4 Home Maintenance Shortcuts That Just Don’t Work

Home maintenance is important, but it can get tedious. That’s why many people are tempted to take shortcuts. Unfortunately, some of these shortcuts can do more harm than good.

Read on as we explain the truth about common home maintenance shortcuts:

1. Hot Water Eliminates All Germs and Bacteria 

Yes, hot water can kill some bacteria, but not all. In order for water to eliminate microorganisms on a surface, it needs to be very hot (approximately 212 degrees Fahrenheit). A standard water heater is set at 120 degrees Fahrenheit, which is way below the needed temperature to kill many germs. If you need to disinfect your home, chlorine, bleach or pine oil can get rid of germs more effectively. 

2. You Can Sanitize Sponges by Placing Them in the Microwave

Studies have shown that even after being heated in the microwave, 40% of the bacteria in sponges remined. In order to completely eliminate all of the bacteria, the sponge would need to be exposed to scorching temperatures that would leave it incinerated. 

3. You Can Remove Water Stains by Painting Over Them

Painting over water stains won’t get rid of them. They’ll keep coming back until the root cause, which in this case would be a leak, is addressed. Keep in mind that water follows the path of least resistance. As such, the source of the leak won’t necessarily be in the same location as the water stains. 

3. You Don’t Need to Clean Gutters With Gutter Covers

Well, this isn’t entirely false. Gutter covers can reduce, not eliminate, a gutter’s maintenance needs by keeping leaves and other debris out. The only exception is Gutter Helmet®, the best gutter guard on the market. Gutter Helmet is the only brand on the market with a Never Clean Your Gutters Again® guarantee. 

Want to learn more about Gutter Helmet’s features? Gutter Helmet of Cookeville offers professional gutter protection services, including installations of the best gutter guard on the market. To get a free estimate, call us at (800) 824-3772 or leave us a message here. We serve homeowners in Cookeville, TN, as well as the surrounding communities. 

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How to Fix Noisy Gutters

Are noisy gutters a cause for concern? In most cases, yes. That’s because they can be a sign of a more serious gutter issue that, if left unattended, can affect the other parts of your home. 

 

What are the usual culprits behind noisy gutters? 

 

Gutter Clogs 

Gutter clogs are the most common cause of noisy gutters. Normally, rainwater should be able to flow to the downspouts and drains. However, without routine maintenance, organic debris can accumulate in your gutters and trap rainwater, causing some of it to spill onto your home’s exterior or concrete pavement and produce a dull clunking noise. 

 

The noise produced by water spilling out of your gutters isn’t the main problem. If water can’t flow to the drains, overflowing rainwater might seep into your roof’s underlayers or, in serious cases, your home’s foundation. That’s why routine gutter maintenance is a must. 

Loose Brackets 

 

Loose brackets might also be to blame for creaking noises. Under the combined weight of accumulated debris and rainwater, the brackets supporting your gutters might have buckled. Every time the brackets move, a creaking sound is produced. 

 

Remedy: Gutter Covers


What if you just don’t have the time to clean your gutters? You can try installing gutter guards, which can reduce your gutter maintenance needs. Gutter covers prevent leaves and other kinds of debris from entering and clogging your gutters, reducing the frequency of gutter maintenance. Keep in mind that gutter covers can only reduce, not eliminate, your gutters’ maintenance needs. That is except for Gutter Helmet®, one of the best gutter covers on the market. It’s the only brand on the market with a Never Clean Your Gutters Again® guarantee. 

 

Gutter Helmet of Piedmont offers one of the best gutter covers on the market. To get a free quote, call us at (800) 824-3772, or fill out our form here.  We serve homeowners in Charlotte, NC, as well as the surrounding communities. 

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6 Ways to Save on Professional Gutter Cleaning

Most homeowners understand the importance of keeping gutters clean and clear of debris. Clogged gutters can wreak havoc with water drainage around the house, causing damage to landscaping, roofing material, fascia, soffit and siding, and allowing water to leak into your home – a potentially devastating problem. 

Unfortunately, many homeowners don’t clean gutters out until they notice a problem, such as overloaded gutters that are sagging or pulling away from the house. It’s important not to procrastinate this important task. Call a professional that can safely and effectively clean your gutters right away if you notice any of these problems, and follow the tips below for saving money on professional gutter cleaning services. 

  • Visit the websites. In general, most home improvement and home service companies have a good online presence. By visiting each company’s individual site, you can find out more about their services, and you may even find an online-only discount or coupon.
  • Look for discounts. As with any other company, those that provide gutter cleaning services want your business. Be on the lookout for advertisements on the TV, radio, social media or daily deal websites, as well as in newspapers and circulars. In addition, keep your eyes peeled for special gutter cleaning discounts, which are not uncommon this time of year.
  • Ask about current specials. Many businesses, including gutter cleaning companies, offer seasonal discounts in order to draw in new customers. Some even provide special discounts for military members  and senior citizens, or for homeowners who contract for additional home improvement services. Call a Gutter Helmet dealer near you to find out about any current specials.
  • Compare prices. It’s a good idea to get quotes from at least three professional gutter cleaning companies before deciding which one will best meet your needs. If your top pick gives you a higher quote than the others, don’t hesitate to ask if they’ll match one of the lower prices. 
  • Refer your friends. Keep in mind that a lot of home improvement professionals will offer a referral reward to current customers. If you’ve found a company that offers great gutter cleaning services, think about referring your friends and neighbors in exchange for a gift card or discount on the cost of gutter cleaning. 
  • Install Gutter Helmet®. When you have America’s #1 rain gutter guard installed on your home, you won’t have to worry about how to clean gutters with gutter guards, and you’ll also save yourself the expense of frequent gutter cleanings. The Gutter Helmet system can be installed over new or existing gutters, providing a lifetime of protection against clogs and water damage.

Connect With Your Nearest Gutter Helmet® Dealer

Save yourself the expense of gutter cleaning when you have America’s #1 rain gutter guards installed on your home. Gutter Helmet installs over new or existing gutters. To learn more about the benefits of our unique gutter topper system, contact us online or give us a call at (800) 824-3772.

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Rain Gutter Services & Social Distancing Measures

Hello,

Firstly, we hope that you’re all safe and doing as well as can be under the circumstances.

During these unprecedented times, we wanted to answer a couple questions you may have about our rain gutter and roofing services:

Is Rain Gutter Pros still operating?

Yes. Rain Gutter Pros is still available for quotes and projects under the current social distancing measures with a few adjustments (see below).

What measures are in place to adapt to the coronavirus situation?

Most of our work is done with minimal or no contact with our customers or partners. However, we’ve made a few adjustments to those parts of the processes that typically involved face-to-face interactions:

For your safety and the safety of our employees, our technician will not meet with you personally in order to provide job estimates. Facilitating this simply requires scheduling a time in which our technician can access the necessary parts of your property, after which your estimate will be sent to you by email.

Although the most accurate estimates are provided after we’ve been able to assess a project in person, smaller projects (e.g. gutter repair) may be possible for us to quote by viewing photos provided by our clients.

If you have any questions at all, we encourage you to give us a call at (310) 857-6860 or send us a message.

Take care and thank you for your understanding.

– Oz, Rain Gutter Pros

The post Rain Gutter Services & Social Distancing Measures appeared first on Rain Gutter Pros Inc.

Lawn Care For Spring

The months of March and April are the best times to prepare your lawn for the rest of the summer. The coldest months are behind us, temperatures are warming up and everything is beginning to grow again. Lawn care can feel daunting in spring as you begin to focus on cleaning up what’s left of winter and prep your lawn for its best season, but it doesn’t have to be. With Ned Stevens’ tips on lawn care for spring, you can truly enjoy getting a dose of fresh, spring air and sunshine while you get your lawn on track for its healthiest season yet.

Getting Your Tools Ready

Maintaining a beautiful, healthy, perfectly manicured lawn begins with the tools necessary to make it so. Early spring is the best time to make sure your lawn care gadgets are up to the task. Make sure to tune up your mower by changing the oil, air filter and spark plug. Clean off all the dirt, dust and oil from winter and last summer by cleaning both the top and undercarriage and removing any leftover dirt or lawn clippings. Check the blades of your mower for any large nicks or gouges or any significant dulling. And, of course, make sure you have enough fuel on hand to fill up the tank.

It’s equally important to check your irrigation system whether it’s a sprinkler system or your hose, or both. Make sure your hose hasn’t suffered any cracking or UV damage over the winter. Check the couplings and washers at each end for damage and replace if necessary.

Clean Up Your Yard

Winter’s seasonal climate can alter the pH of your lawn’s soil. It can also compact the soil and create conditions that are favorable for weeds and disease. Spring is the crucial time to properly clean your yard by thoroughly raking away any sticks, leaves, branches and other debris. Fertilize and mow your yard early in the season to figure out if there are any bare spots or invasive plants that need to be taken care of. Look for uneven ground: low points can cause water to pool whereas high points can be a problem for your lawnmower. Use a shovel to even out your uneven patches.

Prep Your Soil

One of the biggest spring lawn concerns is soil compaction. Compaction occurs when the soil becomes too densely packed. This makes it more difficult for grass to take root and easier for hardier weeds to take over. Compaction is easy to test for: stick a garden fork into your lawn’s soil and if you can’t insert the tines 2 inches into your soil, you know you have a compaction problem. This is easily solved through the use of an aerator.

Watering The Right Way For Spring

It is important to follow a watering schedule in the summer to both make sure your lawn doesn’t dry up too much in the heat while also making sure you are conserving water. In the spring, watering your lawn is a little bit different. Holding off on watering in the beginning of spring is actually recommended. Early in the season you don’t need to rush to water your lawn. Since the roots grow first when the grass begins to grow, it is actually better if the ground is a little dry, allowing the roots to grow deep into the soil. It’s these deep roots that help your lawn to survive those scorching hot months.

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This post first appeared on https://nedstevens.com

5 Surprising Ways Your Gutters Help Your Home

Gutters aren’t usually the first thing people think about when they think about their homes. When it comes to protecting your home, however, few other features of your house are as important. Most people know that gutters are designed to collect rainwater as it drains off the roof of your home and disperses it away from your home. But did you know that gutter systems are designed to protect your home in other ways too? Read on to find out about 5 surprising ways your gutters protect your home.

It Protects The Walls of Your Home

An efficiently functioning gutter system will allow any precipitation that falls on your roof to flow through your gutter system and into the ground away from the home. As the rainwater flows through your gutters it takes any organic material with it through your gutter system. This organic material, typically consisting of leaves, sticks, dirt, small branches, and other debris can get trapped or stuck, which can then create clogs in your home’s gutter system. If a clog in your gutter is overlooked for too long and grows large enough, water can leak over the gutter and down the side of the house, possibly seeping through the walls and even into your basement.  

Gutters Keep Your Foundation Dry

It’s clear that water on and around your house can do serious damage and that gutters are there to mitigate the injury to your home that comes from rain and snowstorms. Not only do gutters keep water off the walls of your home, but they protect your home’s foundation as well. If your home’s gutter system separates from the side of the roof it can allow rainwater to fall off the edge of your roof instead of collecting in the gutters. If this occurs, rain can run down the side of your home and pool in your foundation, a serious and potentially very expensive complication. Gutters are particularly necessary for protecting your foundation if your home is at the bottom of a slope on any side where water will pool along the foundation, or if your home has little to no overhang.

Gutters Help Prevent Mold Damage

Gutters help keep the walls and foundation of your home safe from water damage, which means they also help prevent mold growth as well. Any water damage or part of your home that is damp for a prolonged period of time is susceptible to mold growth. Mold can not only cause deterioration of the walls and siding of your home but can present a serious health hazard to your family as well. Making sure your gutters are properly maintained so they can effectively keep water away from your home is one of the best preventive solutions to warding off mold growth.

Gutters Help Keep Your Yard Safe

If your home had no gutters or your gutters weren’t kept in good working order, water would not only spill down your walls but would go wherever it wanted into your yard. Properly working gutter systems not only divert rainwater and snowmelt away from your home but also away from your yard. If water is not corralled away from your yard it can erode soil, ruin landscaping and create small, standing pools of water that can quickly become mosquito breeding grounds.

Keeps Away Infestations

Alongside keeping your home clear of standing pools of water, gutters can protect your home from other kinds of pest and animal infestations. Anytime debris accumulates on and around your house, it creates the perfect spaces for pests and small animals to build nests. Having your home’s gutter system regularly cleaned and maintained will guarantee that there is no build-up of leaves, needles and other debris in which pests or other small animals might congregate.

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This post first appeared on https://nedstevens.com

Ned’s Picks: Favorite Gardening Hacks

There are so many things to like about spring. It’s a time of renewal. Temperatures are just right: no longer bitter cold and not yet the scorching hot temperatures of summer. Daylight Saving Time, which moves the clock forward beginning in March, makes for longer, light-filled days. Baby animals fill yards and trees along with the return of many migrating birds and their accompanying songs. Spring is also the best time to spend time in your yard planting your garden!

Did you know that gardening doesn’t just bring beauty to your yard and food to your table, but it also has many health benefits as well? Gardening can improve your self-esteem, reduce stress, strengthen your heart, save you money and even help you sleep better. Whether you are new to the world of gardening or are a seasoned pro, Ned Stevens has you covered with the best gardening hacks to make sure your garden looks and grows its best. Read on to learn all about inexpensive and easy gardening hacks you can do items you can easily find in your house.

Hydrogen Peroxide is a Gardener’s Secret Weapon

Hydrogen Peroxide can be used for many things for both your indoor plants as well as your outdoor garden. Looking to improve your plants’ root system? Mix 1 part hydrogen peroxide to 32 parts water in a container and pour into pots or flower beds and let soak overnight. Make sure to concentrate on the roots and avoid leaves and flowers. To help seedlings grow healthier and stronger, mix 1 ounce of hydrogen peroxide with two cups of water and soak your seeds in a container for at least a day before planting in soil.

A New Way to Recycle Plastic Bottles

Reuse your old plastic bottles to keep your plants hydrated. Take an old plastic soda bottle, a 12-16oz size will do, puncture holes around the sides and then stuff it with a sock you no longer use and bury it in your garden between several plants. Unscrew the cap and fill it with water as needed. The fabric in the sock will absorb the water working to release the water slowly, mimicking a drip irrigation system.

You can use 2-liter soda bottles or gallon water bottles as mini-greenhouses. Just cut off the bottom, leave the cap off and place the bottle over a seedling to trap water and moisture as well as protect seedlings from frost, wind and strong rain.

Reuse Household Items As Seed Starters

Plastic bottles aren’t the only thing that can be repurposed for use in the garden! Eggshells, citrus rinds, egg cartons and even ice cream cones can be used as a way to grow seedlings.

Use Coffee Filters or Old Sponges to Line Pots

Tired of losing soil through the bottom of the pot when you water? Just potted a new plant and don’t have that bottom tray thing? You can easily block soil seepage by lining the bottom of your pots using a basic coffee filter. These filters will allow water to still easily drain out of the pot while holding the soil in. Alternatively, you can use old kitchen sponges at the bottom of your pots. Sponges perform the same filtering function as coffee filters with the added bonus of fighting off root rot by allowing for more air at the bottom of the plant pot.

Find More Space for Your Gardening Habit

Don’t have a yard to plant in? Use your walls and doors as a vertical gardening space. Hang an over-door shoe organizer for an easy way to grow herbs and lettuces without needing the ground-space with which to do it.

You put the time in to make your house a home and to beautify it with your new spring garden. Now trust Ned Stevens and our team of professionals to help protect your home and lawn and keep it as beautiful as you’ve made it.

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This post first appeared on https://nedstevens.com

Sprucing Up Your Space: Decorating With Spring Flowers

The Many Benefits of Decorating with Flowers

Decorating any space with flowers helps bring color and warmth to your life. Flowers as an indoor decorating accessory are incredibly versatile in that they come in a range of colors, textures and sizes. You can easily add small arrangements to small spaces or enliven a whole room with an arrangement placed in the middle of the space.

You can easily spruce up your outdoor space with flowers as well by adding flower-filled planters to your porch or to exterior window sills. Planting flower gardens in your lawn is another great way to add personality and color to your home and create an inviting exterior.

The best part about decorating your space with flowers is that they not only add aesthetic value but can enhance your life through their many health benefits. Bringing plant life into your home has been proven to lower blood pressure, energize the mind, lower stress levels and can even help you sleep. And, depending on the flower, many have aromatherapy benefits as well. No matter what your end goal is, Ned Stevens has you covered with several tips on how to decorate your home with spring flowers.

Bring Spring Flowers Into Your Space

Buying Local Flowers

When we think of decorating our interior space with flowers we often think about buying fresh cut flowers from the market or local florist. Buying pre-cut arrangements is a lovely way of adding color and fragrance to any space in your home. Because florists have been trained on the art of arrangement, your space is also enhanced by an arrangement’s sculptural silhouette and conscious color choices.

Blooming Plants

Buying cut flowers isn’t the only way you can add the charm of flowers in your home: blooming plants also provide the same benefits. Wherever you choose to place blooming plants around your home you can be sure they will make a statement that enhances your interior decor, and with proper care can enhance your space for a long time.

Arranging Flowers from Your Garden

If you grow your own spring flowers in your yard or garden, clipping a few and arranging them yourself not only has all of the above benefits but also gives you the added benefit of saving some cash while lowering stress as you use your creative or artistic abilities to craft your flowers into a beautiful aesthetic addition to your home. And every time you look at your work you can feel pride at not only arranging the flowers but knowing that you grew them as well.

Growing Spring Flowers Around Your Home

If you wish to spruce up the exterior of your home by planting flowers in your front yard, Ned Stevens has tips for that too! The most important rule of creating a successful outdoor garden is to make sure you plant the right flower in the right place. If a flowering plant is in the best place for it to get the right amount of sun and shade, most outdoor plants will practically care for themselves. Make sure you take note of the conditions in your front yard: how much direct sunlight each spot gets and at which time of the day. Take these notes with you when shopping for your plants.

You must also figure out what kind of flower garden you want: annuals, perennials or some of each? Annuals (those plants that complete their entire life cycle in one growing season) make great outdoor plants because they typically stay in bloom from spring or summer all the way through fall. You do have to replant them every year, which is something to take into consideration. Perennials (plants that continue to grow year after year) often have a shorter bloom season but don’t have to be replanted every year. Selecting a color scheme and picturing what your garden will look like in bloom will help you figure out exactly what flowering plants to buy and what kind of a mix of annuals and perennials you might like.

What’s your favorite way to use flowers to make your space fresh for spring?

 

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This post first appeared on https://nedstevens.com

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