Tips for Protection The Gutter

You may not realize the importance of keeping your gutters clear and debris free, but if your gutter system is often left neglected and abused, you can wind up with serious and costly home repairs.

Clogged and damaged gutters can lead to problems like foundation problems, structural issues, landscape erosion, basement flooding and water damage. One way to protect your home from severe damage is to invest in a gutter protection system.

A gutter protection system is a product that either attaches to your existing gutters, or replaces your entire gutter system, with the intent of allowing only debris to enter your gutters, while water is safely carried through your gutters and diverted away from your home.

From DIY solutions to professionally installed gutter protection systems, let’s face it – gutter protection can be overwhelming. That’s why, at LeafFilter, we want to educate you about the pros and cons of the different types of gutter protection systems. The following will inform you about the different type of gutter protection systems so you can find the system that meets your needs.

DIY Gutter Protection Systems

DIY gutter systems are relatively inexpensive systems that are installed by the homeowner. You can find them at the big home improvement stores. While cost-effective and convenient to purchase, homeowner solutions are mass produced and usually do not include any type of warranty. Usually, these types of systems will need to be replaced within a few years. Foam, brush, metal screen, plastic screen and small hole gutter guards are typical gutter guard options for homeowners.

Foam Gutter Guards: Foam gutter guards are a homeowner solution that is relatively inexpensive. Homeowners place the foam or sponge material that is placed inside of your gutters with the intent of allowing water to drip through (while keeping debris out). Unfortunately, foam gutter guards will trap seeds, and with the abundance of moisture, weeds, plants and trees will begin to grow where they shouldn’t – in your gutters.

Gutter Brush: Brush gutter guards are known to be an inexpensive short-term solution that homeowners can install themselves. The brush is placed into the gutters and is shaped like a giant pipe cleaner. The system is meant to repel debris. However, brush gutter guards actually attract birds and other nesting animals, and trap other debris items like pine cones, leaves and maple spinners. These types of systems will eventually need to be removed and cleaned in order to prevent home damage.

Metal Screen Guards: The DIY metal screen product is made out of steel or aluminum. These types of systems are relatively low cost and easy to install by the homeowner, making them a common choice for homeowners looking for a DIY gutter guard option. It’s important to note that because of their larger openings, these types of gutter guards will not keep out smaller debris like pine needles, seeds, insects and shingle grit, so you may need to remove them and clean your gutter periodically throughout the year.

The Best Roofing Materials That You Can Take

images-58Choosing the right roofing for your home can be a bit stressful. With so many types of roofing available, you’ll want to choose the materials best suited to your environment, housing style and budget.

Your roof will have to meet high building safety standards, so it’s important to consider the quality of service, products, materials and installation. Knowing more about your options before making the final selection will ensure you are happy with the results.

Shingle Roofing

Shingle roofing is one of the most common styles for homes. When you drive through a neighborhood, chances are, most of the roofs you see will be shingle roofs. There are a variety of reasons for shingle roofing’s popularity, including its range of style and color options and its relatively low cost (compared to some other materials).

Shingles are installed by being overlapped in an offset manner, from the bottom to the top of the roof. This ensures that the roof is water repellent, allowing rain to drain effectively.

The type of shingles available that you will ultimately choose will depend upon several factors. The pitch of your roof, the construction method and the availability of local products are all typical considerations.

For example, plastic shingles are available, but are not commonly chosen, especially near places where wildfires are common. The plastic can be combustible and is better suited for less volatile environments. The same is true of wood shingles and organic-based asphalt roofing materials.

Another factor that can limit your options for shingle material is the construction method. Some shingles require sheathing on the roof deck, whereas others can be installed on a lath. Many shingles are installed over underlayment material to prevent leaks, such as from intense rain or snow dams. You’ll want to ask your roofing contractor what the stipulations are for your specific roof before getting started.

The most commonly available types of shingle roofing include:

Wood: Wood shingles are traditional and come in two forms—shingles and shakes. The primary difference between the two is how they are made. While both come from larger pieces of wood, shingles are sawn, while shakes are split. Shakes have a more irregular or non-uniform shape, which gives them a more rugged appearance. Shakes are often used in damp, seaside environments and for oceanfront housing. Overall, fewer homeowners install wood shingles due to their flammability and maintenance costs.

Flagstone or Slate: Flagstone and slate shingles are more expensive than some other materials, but they are well worth the investment in regards to durability. Stone or slate shingles can last up to 400 years with the proper care. With this kind of longevity, it’s easy to justify the larger upfront cost. The two biggest factors that contribute to slate’s long lifespan are maintenance and type of slate used. Slate shingles are reusable because they can also be moved from one building roof to another without losing durability.

Metal: Most often used in places where wildfires are a potential threat, metal shingles are very resistant to fires. Otherwise, in more temperate areas, they’re not a standard choice.

Plastic: Plastic is the primary material in imitation slate shingles. These provide the beautiful appearance of slate shingles without the cost. Of course, plastic does not endure for the hundreds of years slate does, but the overall visual effect is still there. Plastics do not work well in fire-prone areas, so this may be something you need to consider.

Composite Materials: Composite shingles, such as fiberglass asphalt shingles, are the most common used roofing material in American residential construction. This type is easy to install, recyclable and affordable. A wide range of colors is available for some flexibility in the final appearance of your home. Composite shingles last about 20 to 50 years.

Flat Roofing

Flat roofs are most common in arid, dry climates such as desert states. They are commonly seen in Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico and places where rainfall and other precipitation is infrequent.

Although they look flat, there is actually a roof pitch of about 10 degrees. Many people love this style of roof because it allows for the roof to be used as additional outdoor space, such as for a garden or entertaining space.

Flat roofs are constructed of concrete, masonry or tar. The sun’s heat is the biggest environmental threat to flat roofs. A surface coating helps keep heat out while also remaining quite inexpensive and easy to construct. A thin waterproofing material is usually installed as a cover to the roof surface. Called a membrane, these surfaces ensure water drains effectively into gutters.

If the membrane fails due to poor maintenance or other issues, collected water can cause major damage to the home’s structure beneath. Water is a surreptitious problem. Much of the destruction is done before it is seen inside the building. Leaks can be difficult to track with a flat roof.

If you have a larger budget, flat roofs can be constructed using lead, tin or copper. This helps with durability and leak prevention, but can be problematic. They are sometimes targets for thieves as the roof is similar to copper piping.

How much money to repair a roof

Replacing your roof is one of the unsexiest home remodeling projects, but you would be hard-pressed to find one more vital to your home’s well being.

Your roof protects you from the outdoors, protects your foundation and helps insulate your house. If it were to leak or get damaged, you could find yourself in a scenario without a roof over your head.

Knowing when to replace your roof is easy, but knowing how much you should pay to replace your roof is anything but. That is why we have simplified the process for roof installation or replacement.

Below, I will share the average price to replace a roof as well as the dominant factors that can increase or decrease the overall replacement cost.

The Cost to Replace A Roof

According to our roof installation cost estimator, the average price to install or replace a roof is $5,951. There are many factors that influence the final cost of a roof installation. Many of them vary over time and across locations, making them difficult to predict. For this reason, there is a wide range of possible prices.

At the high end, people pay as much as $11,000; at the low end, they may pay as little as $3,000. Because there are so many price factors at play, all homeowners have the flexibility to make thoughtful and cost-effective choices, reducing your overall replacement cost.

Factors Affecting Roof Replacement

Sadly, there’s not much room for negotiation when it comes to material costs, but different materials have different standard costs per unit. Nonetheless, there are a handful of other elements that will certainly increase or decrease the overall price.

Roof Pitch

A roof’s pitch is the slope of your roof. Unless you have a flat surface for a roof, your roof has a pitch. As you might expect, pithed roofs cost more than flat roofs. Not only do they cover more surface area (more materials), but they are also harder to install. As you can imagine, there is an added danger element to a pitched roof compared to a flat roof. Sophisticated styles such as Colonial or Victorian are steeper, which partly explains why their prices tend to be similarly steep.

Other than looks, there are numerous other advantages in adding a pitched roof.

  • Pitched roofs last longer.
  • Pitched roofs react better to inclement weather.
  • Pitched roofs are easier to inspect from ground level.
  • You can add an attic to a pitched roof.

If you’re thinking of replacing your flat roof with a pitched roof, see how to Convert A Flat Roof To A Pitch Roof.

Roof Size

Like any project you remodel, the size of the roof plays a key role in the overall cost. As you may have guessed, the bigger the home, the bigger the bill. More parts, longer installation time and more men all equal more money. Since you can’t change the size of your home, this factor is largely fixed for many roof replacements.

Materials

The type of roof material you choose can greatly affect the overall replacement cost. However, you will be delighted to hear that homeowners have a wide array of options when it comes to roofing materials. Each comes with its own set of advantages and disadvantages in terms of lifespan, design and cost. Below are some of the most popular options across the U.S.

  • Asphalt Shingles: Asphalt shingles are perhaps the most popular option, largely due to their low costs, resiliency, and easy installation. More than 75% of U.S. homes use asphalt shingles on the roof. Beware, they do have a short lifespan compared to other options on the market.
  • Wood Shingles: Wood shingles come in cedar, pine and other woods. Cedar is the most costly when it comes to wood shingles. While more costly upfront, wood shingles have a lifespan of approximately 30-50 years. As expected, they tend to have poor fire ratings and can be subject to mold and rot.
  • Metal Roofs: Metal shingles are becoming a popular option for homeowners as they often utilize a high percentage of recycled materials and are very durable. They are also much lighter than many other roofing materials and are resistant to inclement weather.
  • Tiles (Clay, Concrete or Slate): Homes will need extra framing to install tiles because they are very heavy. Clay and concrete tiles are fire resistant and come in a variety of colors, some of which have the ability to reflect the sun, resulting in lower energy costs. Clay and concrete can last 50 years or more and slate can last well over a 100. However, slate is not recommended for hot climates due to their dark color.

The Home Projects To Cut Costs

It’s time to start planning home improvements that can save you money and increase the value of your home. While you likely have a few exciting remodeling projects planned, it’s important to also incorporate cost-saving upgrades like energy-efficient appliances and insulation, smart home technologies and water-conserving landscaping that will help you reach your financial goals for years to come.

If you want to decrease your utility bills, cut home service costs and invest in the long-term value of your property, try these eight budget-friendly home improvement projects.

1. Rethink Landscaping

According to the Chicago Tribune, the average American spends over 70 hours a year on lawn care and at least $347 a year on lawn and gardening products, not including the cost of watering. Whether your yard is large or small, you’d probably love to cut costs and lessen your environmental impact by being smart about landscaping. Consider hiring an irrigation expert to re-assess how you’re watering your lawn and overhaul your sprinkler or drip hose system to increase efficiency.

Xeriscaping, a type of landscaping that eliminates the need for supplemental watering, is a great alternative to a lawn. If you still crave the traditional green patch of lawn, fake grass products are becoming more and more popular and are an affordable option that cut down on maintenance and keep your lawn looking great year-round.

2. Increase Home Safety & Security

Many home owners aren’t aware of how much money they can save on their home insurance premiums by making simple, affordable improvements to their home like installing a home security system. By making your home safer from break-ins, fire damage and natural disasters, you can significantly reduce your liability and give yourself peace of mind. Install storm shutters, reinforce your roof, invest in heavy-duty gutters and downspouts and update your carbon monoxide and fire alarms.

3. Improve Insulation

Fixing drafts and insulating doors, floors and walls can save you tons of money on your monthly utility bills and keep you more comfortable in your home. The easiest solution is to upgrade your weather stripping, door skirts and install foam gaskets behind light switches and outlets. Some older homes may benefit greatly from insulating existing stud cavities with injection foam or other types of insulation that can be installed after home construction.

While this project is often done in the fall, it’s a shame to wait. These type of improvements not only save you money on your heating bill in colder months, but also help to keep precious cool air from escaping your home in spring and summer.

4. Smart Heating & Cooling

Connected Thermostats like Nest, Lyric and Ecobee3 conserve energy by learning your heating and cooling preferences and automatically adjusting to keep your home comfortable year-round. They can be conveniently controlled from your smart phone and are very affordable.

Smart thermostats have an auto-scheduling feature that allows users to decrease the heating or cooling of their home while they’re asleep or away. Many also include a geo-fencing technology that uses your smart phone to recognize when you’re near your home and anticipate your arrival by adjusting the temperature to your preferences. By adapting the temperature of your home often, these thermostats can cut your energy consumption by up to 15%.

Water Damage Knowladge

Water damage are two of the scariest words a homeowner can hear. We all know what it entails, but few, unless you have unfortunately lived through a burst pipe, storm or leaky roof, know exactly what caused the flood, how much it costs to repair, how to replace the damaged floors, walls and insulation and finally, how to ensure it never happens again.

Below is everything you need to know about water damage inside the home. I will go over some of the most common causes, the costs to repair and a few safety/precautionary tips for all water damage.

Get It Fixed Fast!

If you took one piece of advice away from this article, it’s that you must remove the water and get it fixed as soon as possible. The longer you wait when dealing with water damage, the worse the overall damage will be. Unlike fires that you can put out, water will continue to flow throughout your home, through your walls and floors until it is completely removed. This leaves a lot of different, and complicated, repairs to be made.

Once called, a good restoration company will remove the standing water using various pumps, water suction tools and high-powered fans. They may have to cut into walls and insulation to see how high the damage goes. Additionally, the specialists or an electrician may have to cut wires and repair certain electric lines throughout the home.

As you can probably guess, if you do not call a pro right away, mold could grow, cause health problems and greatly increase your water restoration bill.

Water Damage Repair Costs

Given the extent of the damage, and the health issues at play (mold), repairing water damage is not cheap. Furthermore, more often than not, the process of removing the water and actually repairing the damage usually come in two separate expenses.

According to our disaster recovery cost estimators, it costs just over $2,000 to remove standing water and $1,796 to repair a water-damaged home. As I said, this price can largely fluctuate based on the extent of the damage, the size of your home and of course, how much water infiltrated the foundation. Moreover, the longer the water remains standing in the home, the more extensive and expensive the repairs will be.

Common Causes of Standing Water & Water Damage

There are obvious causes of standing water, but others many homeowners would not guess. Those causes include:

  • Floods
  • Burst pipes
  • Leaky roof
  • Frozen pipes bursting
  • Failed bathtub or toilet seal
  • Broken sump pump
  • Blocked drainage pipe
  • Failed gutters and downspouts
  • Foundation malfunction
  • Improper grading
  • Broken irrigation system

 

Removing Standing Water

The process of removing standing water largely depends on the cause. If a storm caused the flooding, you may have to wait until the water recedes from around the home. If it was a pipe, a plumber and/or electrician needs to get to work right away. Just know that if this occurs during non-business hours, expect to pay overtime fees.

While we do encourage our fans to try out as many DIY projects as possible, removing standing water is not the safest. On top of the hidden hazards such as rats, live electricity and other dangers, the overall risk of mold and further damage to the home is not worth the DIY experience.