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Vinyl vs. Steel vs. Aluminum Gutters

By | Gutter, Homeowners

Gutters perform the important role of safely dispersing water away from your property. They run horizontally along the rooflines of your home, collecting runoff from rain and snow melt, then direct this runoff to downspouts that work to take it away from your property. A well operating gutter system helps avoid the likes of water intrusion and foundation degradation, which are important to avoiding home water damage and mold growth. That’s why it’s so important to ensure water is able to travel freely throughout your gutters and downspouts – and that’s why routine maintenance becomes essential.

Man measuring gutter

But gutters don’t last forever, and when it comes time for replacement, you may be surprised to learn that you have various material options to select from. In this post, we’re going to take a closer look at three popular types of gutters: vinyl, steel and aluminum. We’ll take a look at the pros and cons of each style so that you can make the best decision on what type of new gutters to purchase when it comes time. Here’s a closer look:

Vinyl Gutters

Vinyl, or PVC, gutters are among the most popular types of gutters today for a variety of reasons. But perhaps the No. 1 reason is their affordability, making them ideal for property owners looking to stay on budget with any home improvement project.

Pros

  • Ease of installation: Vinyl is a lightweight material, so it shouldn’t surprise you to learn that vinyl gutters are also lightweight components. This makes them easy to install because they’re easier to handle. This can help you save on labor costs if you choose to have vinyl gutters professionally installed. The lightweight characteristics can also make installation a DIY project.
  • Low maintenance: You won’t have to worry about rust, denting or corrosion when it comes to vinyl gutters.
  • Range of color selection: The options are plentiful when it comes to selecting a color for vinyl gutters.
  • Low cost: Just because it’s worth mentioning again, vinyl gutters are the most affordable type of gutter. The average price is $3 to $5 per 10-foot section.

Cons

  • Not ideal for all climates: Vinyl gutters aren’t recommended for areas that see heavy winters, strong winds or heavy seasonal rainfall. They’re best intended for dry climates.
  • They don’t last long: Though the lightweight nature of vinyl gutters makes them easier to install, they also don’t tend to last as long as other types of gutters. Furthermore, while they avoid some issues, they’re still likely to sag and crack over time. In the right climate, vinyl gutters are a viable option that can last at least 20 years. In the wrong climate, however, they may not even make it a decade.
  • May be more likely to leak: Unlike with metal gutters, vinyl isn’t able to be soldered or properly sealed in areas with seams. This can lead to leakage issues.

Steel Gutters

Though steel is a more expensive choice than vinyl, it makes up for it in durability.

Pros

  • Durability: The biggest benefit of steel gutters is their durability. Steel excels in inclement weather and can stand up to the likes of snow, hail, high winds and heat without damage. If you live in an area that is prone to inclement weather, steel is a great choice for your gutters.
  • Leak proof: Another nice thing about steel gutters is that the seams are often soldered together, forming a seal that helps prevent leakage.
  • Long lasting: Stainless steel gutters can last for several decades with proper care. Because they’re so durable, they won’t sag and they’re not easily dented or damaged.

Cons

  • Steel can rust: Steel gutters typically come in two varieties: galvanized and stainless. Galvanized steel will rust – even if a protective coating is applied. Stainless steel, however, will not rust.
  • Cost: Like we noted earlier, better quality also comes with a higher cost. Steel gutters average $9 to $20 per linear foot, with downspouts costing about $10 per linear foot. It’s a significant price jump from vinyl. Because steel is a heavier material than vinyl, it also costs more to have steel gutters professionally installed.
  • Can be hard to find: A lot of companies don’t carry stainless steel gutters due to their high price, limited selection variety and difficulty to install.
  • Must be painted: Unlike vinyl gutters, which come in just about any color you could want, color options are much more limited with steel. In fact, you may even need to paint stainless steel gutters yourself if you want an exact match.

Aluminum Gutters

Aluminum is an ideal middle option when it comes to gutters. They’re more durable than vinyl, and easier to install and find compared to steel. They’re also the most popular choice for gutters today.

Pros

  • Long lasting: Though they may not last for several decades like stainless steel gutters will, when cared for properly, aluminum gutters can last for at least 20 years.
  • Easy to find: Aluminum gutters are easy to find and come in a range of color options and other styles. And if you can’t find the color that you want, they’re able to be painted.
  • Easy to handle: Like we said in the intro, aluminum is a perfect middle point between vinyl and steel – and this includes weight too. Aluminum is lightweight, yet durable, and easy to handle and install.

Cons

  • The material may corrode: Aluminum won’t rust, but if the gutters are routinely subjected to salt – as is the case in coastal areas – then they may corrode over time.
  • More damage prone than steel: Aluminum is a material that tends to dent fairly easily. While minor knicks and dents aren’t a big deal from a functional standpoint, they may be from an aesthetic standpoint. Hence, you may have to invest in repairs to your aluminum gutters.
  • Color can fade: Over time, it’s common for the color of the gutter to fade. This may require repainting to keep them looking great.

Have questions or need assistance installing your new gutters? Contact us today!

Can I Install Gutter Guards by Myself?

By | Homeowners

Typically, it’s recommended that homeowners clean out their gutters in early spring and late fall. But many homes require more regular cleaning to ensure that the gutters are doing their job of safely distributing water runoff away from the home. And if you’re seemingly always cleaning out your gutters because debris constantly accumulates in them and causes problems, then gutter guards are something you should give some serious thought to.

Gutter guards install over your gutters and essentially work to ensure that any large debris (leaves, pine needles, etc.) is not accumulating in your gutters, while still allowing water to enter and adequately drain away from your home. But one of the questions that we receive often is whether or not installing gutter guards is a DIY job. We’ll get into some of the pros and cons of DIY gutter guard installation later in this piece. But first, we’re going to take a closer look at why gutter guards are a smart investment for many homeowners. Here’s a look:

Why Gutter Guards Are a Smart Investment

Like we hinted at in the intro, gutter guards are ideal for homes in areas with a lot of foliage. When leaves, needles and other debris fall from trees, it doesn’t necessarily always make it to your lawn or the pavement — but anywhere and everywhere. And the leaves, needles and debris that fall on your roofline are eventually going to make their way into your gutters. If too much builds up in your gutters, it’s going to clog your downspouts. This can lead to some significant issues, which may include:

  • Gutter overflow: When gutters can’t distribute water runoff properly, water will pour over them. This can lead to water pooling around your home’s foundation and potentially lead to foundation degradation or even home water damage on the lower levels of your property.
  • Gutter damage: When wet, leaves and debris represent a significant weight within your gutters. If this weight becomes too great, it could cause your gutters to begin pulling away from the roofline and require repair or replacement to the gutter system. This issue can be even more significant during the winter cold weather months when standing water has the potential to freeze and cause even more problems within the gutter system.

Additionally, properly installed gutter guards help eliminate regular cleaning of the gutters, which is often necessary for areas with heavy foliage. If you hire someone to clean your gutters, you can save money in the long term from installing gutter guards. And if you elect to clean your gutters yourself, you can save time and effort, and also reduce your chance of being injured when working at heights. Even if you have gutter guards, you’re still likely to have to clean your gutters out on occasion, but cleaning and maintenance is much less than if you didn’t.

Is Gutter Guard Installation a DIY Project? Pros and Cons

The biggest advantage to installing gutter guards yourself is the cost savings. If you’re confident that you can correctly install gutter guards, you’ll only be paying for the materials and not for the labor. For the average home that has about 200 feet of gutters, this represents a savings of about $1,000. However, depending on the type of gutter guard that’s being installed, the cost can be upwards of $2,000. Generally speaking, the more costly the labor to install gutter guards, the more complicated the installation.

However, there are several potential hazards associated with DIY installation of gutter guards. Here’s a look at what you need to beware of before making the decision to do it yourself.

It Can Be Dangerous

In order to install gutter guards, you’re going to have to be able to access the roof of your home. And depending on what kind of a home you have, this can be dangerous. If you have mobility issues, a steep roofline or just don’t do well at heights, this is a project you’ll likely want to leave to the professionals. If things were to go awry, you could end up seriously injured.

Correct Installation is Key

If you have some general handyman skills, you should be able to install most types of gutter guards without a problem. But keep in mind that some gutter guards are more difficult to install than others, so the difficulty of installation can vary based on the style that you select. Incorrect installation of gutter guards can essentially nullify the purpose of why you wanted them in the first place. You could also experience roof damage if the installation were to go wrong with certain types of gutter guards.

It’s Often More Convenient to Hire a Professional

Most people purchase gutter guards at the same time they’re having new gutters installed on their home. Noting this, it’s often much more convenient to just have the professionals who hang the gutters also install the gutter guards. Additionally, professional home improvement companies generally have access to better types of gutter guards versus the ones that you can buy over the counter at your local hardware store.

For more information on gutter guard installation, contact K-Guard today.

fascia and soffit

Fascia Board And Soffit Board Replacement

By | General

Soffits and fascia boards are important to your home for many reasons. One, they help make it look great and can truly help complement the overall decor of your home’s exterior. Two, they help enclose the home from the outside — keeping pests and any weather at bay. They can also help increase ventilation into your attic, which can help increase its energy efficiency. And three, in certain areas of your home, your gutters are installed onto the fascia boards, providing key support for this important system.

However, fascia and soffit boards have to be replaced from time to time. Replacement often comes after noticeable damage has been discovered. Another time when it makes sense to perform fascia and soffit board replacement is if you’re getting new gutters.

In this post, we’ll further discuss the importance of fascia and soffit boards, why they matter to gutter installation and more. Here’s a closer look:

Fascia Board, Soffit Build-Out: A Key Part of Gutter Installation

Like we noted in the opening, gutters install into the fascia boards on your home — so these boards have to be in good condition in order to support the weight of the gutters. Even if your fascia boards are in good condition, it can still make sense to have them replaced when you’re getting new gutters to match any new color or design scheme that you’re aiming for.

The soffits are installed underneath the rafter tails of your home. Depending on the current condition of your soffits, the ventilation in your home and any problems your existing soffits may be causing in your property, it often makes sense to have the soffits replaced and built out at the same time you’re having the fascia board work performed.

Cost of Soffit and Fascia Build Out

The cost of any home improvement project depends on a variety of factors, and soffit and fascia board build-outs are no exception. On average, it costs anywhere from $20 to $30 per linear foot of soffit installed, but costs can vary based on material. Fascia boards generally cost anywhere from $15 to $25 per linear foot that is installed. Again, the cost can vary based on material.

Traditionally, soffits and fascia boards are made from the likes of aluminum and wood. However, there is a range of material options that property owners can select from for these build-outs today. Some of the more popular options today include vinyl and UPVC.

When to Replace Soffit and Fascia Boards

So how do you know when to replace soffit and fascia boards? Like we said in the introduction, sometimes it makes sense based on any other significant projects you’re carrying out around the home.

For instance, if you’re getting new gutters, it might make sense to look at replacing at least the fascia boards to match the color or style of your new gutters. If you’re having new siding installed on your home, replacing the soffit and fascia boards is typically part of the service that’s included in such work.

But there are other situations where it makes sense to replace your soffits and fascia boards outside of the aforementioned situations. Here’s a look at the situations you should note:

  • If they incur damage: Mold, mildew and other stains can typically be easily cleaned off with a little bit of cleaning solution or elbow grease, but if you notice rusting or areas where the soffit is peeling away from the property or completely missing, repairs or replacement should become a priority.
  • If your soffits and/or fascia are made of wood, you’ll want to replace them if rot is noticeable.
  • If you have a pest infestation in your attic, it’s likely that the soffits and/or fascia were not installed correctly or have been damaged to the point where pests can invade.
  • If there’s mold growth in your attic, it’s a sign that your soffits likely aren’t doing a good enough job ventilating to the attic. While professional remediation is likely necessary, it’s also important to take the necessary measures to ensure the mold doesn’t come back. Replacing the fascia to improve attic ventilation can help.
  • Chipped or cracked paint is a sign of old fascia and soffit age. The older these building materials get, the more prone they are to fail.

Can I Replace Soffits or Fascia?

Often, it makes sense to let a professional handle replacement or new build-outs, simply because they’re often already at your home to replace the gutters or add new siding. Additionally, installing soffits or fascia incorrectly can lead to significant problems, such as home water damage, mold growth or a pest infestation. However, if you’re handy, don’t mind heights and have the proper materials, it is possible to carry out this work yourself.

For more information on fascia board and soffit board replacement, contact K-Guard today.

What Are Some Signs That You Have Clogged Gutters?

By | Gutter Maintenance

Gutters play a key role in protecting the siding and foundation of your home. The gutters help to collect water as it falls from the roof and transports the water to a downspout, where it can be discarded away from your home. This keeps excess water away from the foundation and siding of your home. This can help to prevent soil erosion problems that can lead to sinking or shifting foundations, or problems associated with flooding in crawl spaces and basements. Keeping water away from the siding of your home helps to prevent rot and mold issues as well. While gutters are extremely important, they cannot do their job if they are clogged. Learning the key signs of a clogged gutter can help you to prevent that problem.

Water is Spilling Over the Edges of Your Gutters

The number one sign that your gutters are clogged is that water is spilling over the sides or edges of your gutters. The next time it is raining, step outside for a minute and look at your gutters. Do you notice water sloshing over the edges of the gutter and falling out? If so, your gutters are likely clogged. Clogs in the gutter system prevent water from flowing through the gutter channels as it should. When it rains, water builds up in the channel and has nowhere to go but over the edge.

Plants Are Growing in Your Gutters

Another common sign of clogged gutters is plants sprouting or growing in your gutters. You should not notice any type of growth peeking out from your gutters. However, if water is sitting in the trough, along with dirt and a single seed, one or more plants may begin to sprout. It is important to remove the growth quickly, as the root system can damage the gutter system, and the plant itself can obstruct water from properly flowing through the gutter system as it is designed to do.

Water is Not Coming Down the Downspout

One of the top misconceptions about clogged gutters is that if you do not notice water spilling over the edges of the gutter system, the gutters are not clogged. This is not true. Gutter systems can hold a lot of water, and in some cases, your gutters may be clogged, but there may not be enough water present to flow over the edges of the gutter. When it rains, step outside and watch the gutters. Does the rainwater actually come out the downspout? If you notice very little to no water coming out of the downspout, you may have a clog in the downspout or within your gutters.

Your Gutters Are Starting to Sag

One of the dangers associated with having clogged gutters is that the gutters can become so full of debris and water that the weight of these items starts to damage the gutters. Typically, before the seams of your gutters start to split or separate, you will notice that they start to sag from the weight of excess water and/or debris. This is a clear indication that your gutters are full and that they need to be cleaned. If you do not do so in a timely manner, the gutters may split at the seams, and then you will need to install new gutters.

Pests Are Hanging Out In or Around Your Gutters

One of the lesser-known signs that you may have clogged gutters is the appearance of pests by your gutters. You may notice the pests actually hanging out in the gutter, or see them hanging out on the edge of your roof. The types of pests may range from birds to small rodents and squirrels to insects. Clogged gutters are attractive to pests for a few reasons. First, clogged gutters may have small amounts of water in them that the pest can drink from or use to bathe in. Secondly, clogged gutters often have debris in them, such as leaves, sticks and mud. A pest can use those items to make a nest or shield themselves from predators. If you notice pests hanging out in or near your gutters, you may have clogged gutters.

Stain Marks Are Present On the Siding By Your Gutters

The final common sign that your gutters are clogged is stain marks on the siding underneath your gutters. If water is sitting in the gutters with debris, that water may become very dirty. As the water slowly seeps out of the gutters, it may start to stain the side of your home, leaving behind brown or black stains. Additionally, sitting water in a gutter channel can lead to rust issues. If the gutters rust, you may notice brown or red rust stains on the siding of your home. Rusted gutters should be replaced to ensure they can hold and transport water and to prevent staining on your home’s siding.

Gutters are a vital part of protecting your home, but traditional gutters need to be cleaned regularly to ensure they function properly. If you do not have the time to regularly clean your gutters, there is a solution that may help you. Installing gutter guards by K Guard is a great way to reduce the amount of debris that winds up in your gutters, in turn, reducing the frequency in which they need to be cleaned. Gutter guards cover a large portion of the gutter, allowing only water to seep into the gutters, and not items such as leaves and sticks. If you are ready to reduce the frequency in which you need to clean your gutters, reach out to us at K Guard to learn more.

10 Gutter and Downspout Runoff Drainage Tips

By | Gutter Maintenance

downspoutGutters play an irreplaceable role in maintaining your home’s excellent condition all year long. By diverting excess water away from your home, gutters work to protect a number of your home’s crucial structural elements, such as landscaping and hardscaping.

Gutters are instrumental in protecting your home’s foundation, preventing flooding and avoiding erosion. What is more, gutters have a positive impact on your home’s exterior, given their ability to reduce paint damage, stains, mildew and mold. Check out K-Guard’s top tips to maximize your gutters’ effectiveness and performance for years to come.

Prioritize Regular Inspections and Maintenance

One of the best ways to ensure that your home’s gutters are in good condition is to perform regular inspections and routine maintenance. Gutter care is a year-long commitment, but it is most pressing at the beginning of the spring and fall months.

During the spring, gutter checks primarily serve to check for damage after intense winter weather, such as snowstorms. Water is prone to freezing within the gutters, which can impair the gutters’ efficiency. During the fall, the priority during gutter checks is removing debris and leaves that may cause blockages.

Checking your gutters during these two times of the year will help ensure that your home is not subject to relentless water flow. That being said, homeowners can facilitate optimal gutter performance by watching out for obstructions of any kind throughout the year. Leaves, in particular, are known to clog gutters, ultimately impeding water flow, which can create more significant issues for your home.

Generally speaking, gutters last between 25-30 years with the proper maintenance. To make the most of your gutters’ lifespan, double-check their connections each year. Homeowners should also take the time to seal or repair any loose joints in the gutters.

Adapt Your Landscaping to Optimize Water Flow

Yet another way to ensure that your gutters function correctly is to adapt your home’s landscaping to ideal water flow and runoff patterns. Start by inspecting your property for any low spots that may be surrounding your home. Fill these low spots as quickly as possible in order to avoid unnecessary water accumulation.

On a larger scale, evaluate your property’s slope and grading. If your property’s grading or slope makes it easier for runoff to accumulate near your home, you may need to hire a professional excavator. Keep in mind that it’s best to keep water flowing away from your home whenever possible.

Homeowners can also take steps to reroute water flow so that it goes into a dry well or a storm drain. This is possible by installing a so-called sump pump, which takes water that’s accumulated in your basement and pumps it in another direction. A plumber can install a sump pump to direct water to a storm drain or dry well near your home.

Last but not least, homeowners can utilize a variety of water collection recipients, including rain barrels, rain gardens and cisterns. These solutions help limit the amount of water that is flowing toward your home, therefore helping you avoid potential long-term damage.

Install High-Quality Gutter Guards

In addition to these strategies to maximize gutter efficiency and optimize water flow, homeowners can also invest in gutter guards. As the name suggests, gutter guards are designed to facilitate water flow into gutters while eliminating outside debris, trash and pests.

By investing in gutter guards, homeowners can considerably prolong the life of their gutters and their home. This is because the longer that your gutters function efficiently, the longer they can protect your home from unwanted water flow and damage. These factors threaten homes’ foundations, exterior, basement flooding and much more.

With these factors in mind, gutter guards are an outstanding solution to the seasonal issues that negatively affect gutters each and every year. Homeowners have the option of different types of gutter guards, depending on their specific needs and preferences. A few options include metal screens, micromesh, sponge guards, reverse curve and slit guards. It’s best to know what kind of debris you are hoping to keep out of your gutters before choosing your gutter guards.

All things considered, gutter guards are a proactive way to extend the life of your gutters and your home. They effectively reduce the amount of maintenance needed on your home each year, ultimately saving you money every year.

Trust K-Guard for Durable, Efficient Gutter Solutions

Established over 25 years ago in Broomfield, Colorado, K-Guard is an established industry leader in gutter protection systems. K-Guard dealers are strategically located in 37 states, making superb gutter protection products widely available for homeowners nationwide. K-Guard prides itself on producing top-of-the-line gutter protection products that make homeowners’ lives easier and reduce the amount of gutter maintenance required annually.

With an unwavering commitment to quality and customer satisfaction, K-Guard continues to provide spectacular gutter solutions to customers across the United States. For more information about K-Guard’s exceptional offering, call (614) 964-4925 or fill out this quick contact form today.

 

White Gutters

Why Choose Seamless Gutters?  

By | Tips

 

Though your home’s gutters are likely one of its more taken-for-granted exterior features, this is an incredibly important system when it comes to protecting your home from water damage and your property’s foundation from degradation. As you likely know, gutters serve the role of distributing water runoff from your home’s roof safely away from your property. Gutters that leak or are clogged are likely to lead to water pooling in areas around your home’s foundation — and water does a great job of finding its way into the likes of basements and crawl spaces.

While gutters are important in preventing home damage, you might not know that there are different types of gutters you can select from. One popular type of gutter is seamless gutters. In this post, we’ll take a closer look at what seamless gutters are, how they differ from conventional gutters, their benefits and more. Here’s a closer look:

Seamless Gutters Explained

There are two main types of gutters: seamless gutters and sectional gutters. Sectional gutters are usually cut into 10 to 20-foot sections and connected during installation on the home. Seamless gutters, conversely, are all one piece. In other words, there are no connections along the gutters — just think of them as custom-made to fit your home. In fact, they’re usually either formed on-site or in a special prefabrication shop.

Though seamless gutters are often a bit more expensive than conventional sectional gutters (more on this later), property owners can realize ROI in several significant ways. We’ll discuss this as well as other benefits associated with seamless gutters in the next section.

Benefits of Seamless Gutters

As we hinted at in the previous section, there are a variety of benefits to selecting seamless gutters over the more conventional sectional gutters. Here’s a look at some of them:

Enhanced Strength, Rigidity

Seamless gutters consist of single pieces of gutters, which are essentially custom-made for your home. Because of this, and their aluminum or copper makeup, they offer enhanced strength and rigidity compared to conventional gutters. Most seamless gutters are made from aluminum, which offers a great strength-to-weight ratio and can last for up to 20 years before replacement is necessary. Copper gutters can even last upwards of 50 years.

For comparison’s sake, conventional steel gutters tend to last for as little as 10 to 12 years before replacement is necessary.

Reduced Chance of Leaks

One of the biggest benefits of selecting seamless gutters for your home is that the one-piece makeup significantly reduces the chance of leakage. Remember, the main purpose of your home’s gutters is to safely distribute rain and snowmelt away from the foundation of your property. With conventional gutters that are joined together in 10- to 20-foot sections, there’s a chance that these types of gutters will leak at the connections over time. When this occurs, gutters will need to be properly repaired or else water could pool around your home’s foundation, potentially leading to water intrusion and mold growth.

Wide Range of Color Options

Gutters these days are available in a wide range of color options, and seamless gutters are no exception. It’s easy to match seamless gutters with the trim of your home to ensure they complement the design of your home and enhance its curb appeal. If you don’t like the color palette that seamless gutters are available in, it’s easy to paint aluminum.

Ease of Maintenance

While we hit on this benefit to an extent earlier in this piece, it’s worth mentioning again: Seamless gutters are incredibly easy to maintain. Since their makeup consists of the minimum amount of connections possible, these gutters are far less prone to leaks compared to conventional gutter systems. As a result, you can have more confidence that your gutters are serving their role of safely moving water away from your property’s foundation.

Additionally, the durability of aluminum gutters ensures that they’re long-lasting. Aluminum is also a material that will not rust and is corrosion-resistant. Conventional steel gutters have a tendency to rust and corrode over time, and vinyl gutters can warp and become brittle.

Seamless Gutters Pros & Cons

Though seamless gutters have plenty of advantages, many of which we covered in the above section, there are also a few notable drawbacks that are worth considering as well. Here’s a look at some of the considerations that you should be weighing when it comes to selecting what type of gutters are right for your property:

  • Cost: Because they’re custom-made and involve a different fabrication process (and different materials) compared to conventional gutters, seamless gutters are often more expensive. Additionally, installing seamless gutters isn’t typically a DIY job that homeowners can carry out — it takes a professional to fabricate the gutters and install them to ensure a perfect fit.
  • ROI: It’s important to consider ROI when making your gutter selection. Though seamless aluminum or copper gutters are more expensive than conventional sectional gutters and the materials they’re made from, they also last longer, are more maintenance-friendly and do a better job of preventing household damage. It’s important to ask yourself whether or not paying a bit more upfront is worth these aforementioned benefits.

 

Contact K-Guard today for more information on seamless gutters and the advantages that they hold over conventional gutter systems.

Why Your Overflowing Gutter Is More Harmful Than It Seems

By | Gutter

At first glance, a gutter that has water flowing over the sides instead of through the downspout may not seem like a big deal. Sometimes, in a torrential downpour, overflow inevitable because the water is collecting in the gutters faster than it can get through the downspout.

Overflowing gutterIf you see overflowing water in your gutters on a consistent basis though, it’s probably time to identify the problem and enact a solution. After all, gutter systems are in place for a reason, and even though they may seem like a minor aspect of your whole home health, the amount of damage that can occur without proper drainage can be devastating.

Why Is My Gutter Overflowing?

It doesn’t take a home improvement professional to understand that the reason why water isn’t going out through a downspout is because there’s blockage. Probably 90 percent of gutter overflow is caused by leaves, whirlybirds, roofing granules, and other materials that create a roadblock to the drainage system.

It’s important to note that it’s not always debris that is causing your gutters to overflow. Gutters also need to have a slight pitch to them, roughly 1/2 inch for every 10 feet of length. Gutters that are leveled will overflow because the water isn’t forced anywhere, but it should also be noted that too much of a pitch isn’t good either. Not only are radically pitched gutters an eyesore, they’ll also force out water at a faster pace than the downspout can drain it, which also causes overflow.

Dangers of Overflowing Gutters on a Home’s Exterior

Some homeowners might think it’s not that big of a deal that their gutters are overflowing, because who cares if all the water doesn’t get into the drain, right? That sentiment is not true even one bit, because it’s where the water goes instead that can be very damaging.

Storms that bring rain also usually bring wind. The water that is overflowing over your gutters is then almost inevitably going to get blown into the most vulnerable spots on your exterior – around windows and doors.

Even before leaks around these areas start, the moisture exposure will start to rot the wood framing around the windows and doors, which is ultimately either going to lead to a costly replacement ($21,000 national average for the windows alone, according to a 2020 “Cost vs. Value” report published by Zonda) or air leaks that could drive up utility bills and cause early replacement of HVAC systems.

Even if there isn’t always wind blowing water toward windows and doors, soffit and fascia will almost always see some exposure. When soffit and fascia start to rot, there’s some risk of water trickling down interior walls, but you’ll almost assuredly see rodent and insect infestation.

Foundation and Basement Water Damage From Gutter Overflow

Believe it or not, the costliest damage from water flowing over your gutters isn’t necessarily in your windows, doors, or fascia – it’s to your foundation. When gutters are clean, pitched, and properly fastened, they collect water off the roof and disperse it safely away from the home, either out in the yard or the street.

When the rainwater doesn’t make it to the drain, it overflows all around the house, collecting near your foundation. When soil isn’t graded away from the house, that water will all run toward your house. Eventually the soil around your foundation will become soft and saturated, which will allow the concrete to shift and ultimately crack. Once those cracks form, it’s not long before all that water starts finding its way into your basement.

It’s pretty obvious how damaging water in the basement can be, especially in a finished space. Mold, mildew, bacteria, and even the potential for electrocution soon follow. That’s not even mentioning the costly foundation repairs that must be performed to prevent future floods.

Fixing Gutter Overflows

What can be so frustrating about the damages (and costs) that result from overflowing gutters is that they are so easily preventable. The #1 step a homeowner can do to prevent these issues is to simply clean the gutters. An annual cleaning in the spring should be the bare minimum, but it would greatly benefit your home to remove the leaves and other buildup before winter as well. Some people clean their gutters every three months based on their climate and the amount of foliage in the area.

Debris clogging isn’t the only issue that causes overflowing gutters, though. Gutters may need to have pitch adjusted from time to time, may need to be re-fastened/have fasteners reinstalled, or may require the damaged fascia that is the structural support replaced as well.

Perhaps the easiest way to prevent gutter overflow and also avoid the maintenance costs associated with having to hire a company to clean out the blockage is by installing gutter guards. These simple products attach overtop the gutters and allow water to enter while at the same time blocking leaves and debris from entering the gutter.

Gutter Overflow Summary

The good news is that the fixes for gutter overflows (in the early stages) are much more convenient and less costly compared to the damage that can result if left unchecked for years. Window replacement, foundation repairs, basement remodeling, siding replacement, etc. are much higher end projects than picking some leaves out of a downspout – something to consider.

6 Most Likely Causes of Water In Your Basement

By | Homeowners

When you’ve got water in your basement, the two likely sources are pipes or rain – that’s pretty obvious. Aside from figuring out the best way to clean up the water, it’s important to know how to prevent this mess from happening again.

In order to do preventative maintenance, you first need to find the source. Sometimes a pipe just breaks due to age and there’s nothing a homeowner can do to prevent that from happening. For most of the other causes though, there are fixes or at least ways to identify that a problem may be building. Here are some examples:

Window Well Leaks

A basement has windows to allow in light and air, and in some cases for emergency escape. These windows aren’t always completely above ground though, so a window well is needed to create a barrier between the window and the soil.

This window well can, unfortunately, absorb water during heavy rains or if there is drainage problems. The well is designed to be sturdy enough to hold the soil away, so of course that pushes the water towards the window. Gaps around the window will then start to leak.

Solution: Make sure windows are caulked and fix drainage problems around window well.

Soil Grading

Concrete is thick and durable, but cracks can also form because the Earth around your foundation is always shifting. The last thing you want to do is force rain water towards that foundation which is why soil needs to be graded away from the concrete.

Solution: Build up dirt around the foundation to slope away into the yard.

Clogged Gutters

A perfect gutter system collects rain water off slopes of the house, funnels that water to a downspout, and the downspout forces the water safely away from the foundation or to a drain that sends it to the street.

When leaves and other debris clog that water path in the gutters, the whole system is disrupted. This water then overflows the gutters and not only starts to rot the soffit, but also settles near the home’s foundation which can cause basement leaks.

Solution: Have a leaf guard installed so that debris can not build up in the gutters.

Cracks in Foundation Walls and Floor

Even if your gutters are cleaned and the soil graded away from the foundation, it’s still possible to get water in your basement if there are cracks in your foundation walls. This happens most often during extremely heavy downpours or with melting snow when the soil absorbs the water pushing that moisture closer and closer to the foundation. Something called Hydrostatic pressure means that water eventually needs somewhere to go, and the only spot left is in cracks in the foundation floors and walls.

Solution: Improving drainage will help, and putty will be needed to fill the cracks and make sure the basement is waterproof. It never hurts to call a professional in case the flaws are caused by structural issues.

Sump Pump and Drainage Issues

Many newer basements are designed to deal with at least some sort of water issues. There are drains in utility rooms and sump pumps that evacuate moisture out of the basement. Sometimes water in a basement is nearly inevitable either from rain/snow or condensation, but a sump pump helps to rid the space of that moisture to prevent mold growth and further damage.

Of course if there is water forming in the basement, a likely cause is that a drain and/or sump pump has failed. Drains can clog up anywhere from the source to the exit point, and sump pumps that are hard wired to the home’s electricity can get tripped at the breaker.

Solution: Have the drain ‘snaked’ to remove clogs. Check the sump pump breaker, install a battery backup, or have a professional inspect it to see if a replacement is needed.

Interior Pipe / Appliance Leaks

Many causes of water in the basement can be prevented. Whether it’s installing gutter guards, grading the soil away from the foundation every few years, or even just having the sump pump regularly inspected, there are great ways to avoid unwanted water.

When it comes to old pipes just breaking, there’s not much you can do. The same goes for a washing machine or dishwasher that malfunctions. You can prevent pipes from freezing by unhooking exterior garden hoses and running the water a bit in extreme cold, but sometimes accidents simply happen in a home.

Solution: Take proper precautions in cold weather. Inspect appliances and fittings regularly. Hope for good luck.

Water in Basement Summary

Having water infiltrate your basement is unfortunate, but especially if the proper methods weren’t taken to prevent this catastrophe. It’s better to spend a little time making sure the water won’t enter your property than a lot of time after the fact trying to clean it up.

How Gutters Can Protect Your Home

By | Gutter

One of the most important parts of your home is undoubtedly the roof because it keeps the water from pouring inside! But what happens to all of that water that runs off? If you don’t take steps to move it effectively and efficiently away from your home you could face serious damage, from cracked and shifting foundations to rotting soffits and sidings.

Gutters and Gable corner of homeThis is where gutters come in. By providing an efficient channel to move water away from your home, you can prevent significant damage.

There are many different kinds of gutters out there, with many different styles and construction, but not all are created equal. The K-Guard Gutter System is the industry leader when it comes to moving water away from your home.

How do rain gutters protect my home?

Every building requires gutter protection to make sure that excess rainwater is dealt with appropriately. Leaking water from gutters or overflowing gutters can cause damage to your home, so alongside the roof and well-fitting windows, gutters are a critical part of your home’s protection.

When the system is in proper working form, it maintains the structural integrity of your home. The rain gutters collect the runoff water and channels it safely and efficiently to the downspouts and out and away from your home.

The problem arises when the system isn’t properly maintained. If you have regular, open gutters, you can expect them to collect twigs, leaves, and other debris, which can lead to:

  • Rot developing around your soffit, fascia, and eaves.
  • Leaks appearing around doors and windows.
  • Water constantly seeping into the ground near your foundation, which will lead to basement flooding and cracks.
  • Insects, critters, pests, and mold finding the perfect habitat to thrive.
  • Dangerous conditions that you’ll face by climbing a ladder several times a year to keep them clean.

All of these issues can be avoided by installing the appropriate gutters, like the K-Guard Gutter System.

What are the benefits of installing gutter guards?

When you choose to install a gutter guard system like the K-Guard Gutter System you are adding an extra layer of protection to your home. They are designed to make sure that debris and litter don’t get into your gutters to start with.

Gutter guard systems also eliminate the need to conduct routine maintenance on your gutters. Not only does this save you time, but it helps to keep you safe. Think about it – gone is the need to climb a ladder perched precariously on your roof a couple of times a year just to keep your gutters clean!

With the right system, you’ll realize significant savings not only in the time you’ll save, but also by reducing your maintenance and repair costs. While the initial investment may be more than with a regular gutter system, the long term benefits are substantially more valuable.

Not to mention that gutter guards will protect your home from many dangers, including rust and corrosion, fire, insect infestation, and pests. The reduction in standing water takes away the prime ingredient for inviting insects and pests, and the lack of soggy and wet leaves lingering in your gutters will prevent rust and damage to your gutters and prevent rot on your roof.

Another significant benefit is that gutter guards help protect against the dangers of freezing water and ice dams. By making sure that water continues to flow freely without obstruction, you mitigate the damage that could be caused during freezing weather.

How do I know what kind of gutters will work best on my home?

The best thing you can do when it comes to knowing what kinds of gutters will work best on your home is to seek the advice of a pro. The expert technicians that provide K-Guard Gutter Systems will come out to you, conduct an evaluation of your home’s needs, and provide you with a free estimate on what it would take to install a worry-free gutter system.

The trick to navigating all of the many different gutter systems that are out there in the market is understanding that the personal touch and guarantee of a system like K-Guard will permanently remove thinking about your gutters from your list of home maintenance chores.

We continue to stand behind our products with a 100% guarantee, which is what makes us a market leader. We are so confident in our products that we’ll come out and repair them free of charge if you ever encounter a problem.

By installing the right gutter system on your home, you can take away one source of potential damage and danger, while freeing up the time you would normally have to spend maintaining them.

Give us a call today and learn more about how the K-Guard Gutter System can protect your home.

Seamless Gutters

By | Gutter

When you purchased your home, the chances are good that the thing furthest from your mind was the difference between regular and seamless gutters. That difference, however, can be critical in keeping the maintenance needed on your property to a minimum.

White gutters and blue sidingUnless you are the kind of person who enjoys spending time cleaning and maintaining gutters, installing seamless gutters, like the K-Guard Gutter System, allows you to spend more time enjoying your home and less time taking care of it.

Why not spend less time on ladders, and more time relaxing? Learn more about how the K-Guard Gutter System helps you with this goal.

Why are seamless gutter systems better than “seamed” gutters?

The most commonly installed gutter in the United States is the regular, seamed gutter. This is the case because they are inexpensive and easy to install as a do-it-yourself project. Also known as sectional gutters, seamed gutters are installed around the roofline by attaching small sections of gutters that are joined at the seams, hence the name “seamed” gutters.

Though this may be the cheapest and easiest solution, it can cause significant problems down the road. The seams where the gutter sections are joined collect debris, which in turn cause clogs and water leakage.

Unless you clean them out on a very regular schedule, the gutters will fill up and cease performing their intended function, allowing water to pool and potentially cause significant damage to the roof and structure of your home. Without regular cleaning and maintenance, seamed gutters will cease providing any benefit at all.

When it comes to seamless gutters, you avoid this problem altogether. While they may be slightly more expensive, seamless gutters systems provide an exceptional level of protection, and the benefit of avoiding dangerous and frequent maintenance is worth well more than the added cost.

Put most simply, seamless gutters, like the K-Guard Gutter System, are installed in long runs that are fitted exactly to your home, minimizing the chances of leakage caused by seams and requiring no maintenance for upkeep.

How do seamless gutters provide benefit to my home?

Prevent accumulation
Not only do seamless gutters prevent the accumulation of debris in your gutters, but they also stop the nesting of small inhabitants and other unwanted guests. This means you can completely ignore them, and they’ll keep doing their job year after year!

A perfect fit
Another benefit is that they are custom-fit for your property. Since they are created and installed by pros onsite, measurements are exact and a perfect fit for your home no matter how unique your roof-line may be. By providing an exact fit, the gutters perform their function optimally, moving unwanted water away from your home without the need for regular maintenance.

Say goodbye to leaks
As mentioned above, seamless gutters also mean fewer leaks. Since there aren’t any joints that can come loose, there is no need to worry about leaks. It also means less clogging since the main cause of clogs is when leaves, twigs, and other debris becomes snagged by seams and cause a build-up.

These clogs are the primary cause of blockages that prevent the gutters from moving the water away from your home. They are also the primary cause of gutter-related damage to your property.

Without the worry of unwanted clogs, you’ll have less need for upkeep. You can rest assured that your gutters are working right season after season, year after year.

Why should I consider installing K-Guard seamless gutter guards?

While there are many different seamless gutter guards out there on the market, K-Guard Gutter Systems offer significant benefits. Others can be very basic, often without hoods and only available in limited colors or materials.

The whole package
K-Guard, on the other hand, gives you the complete package needed to provide complete coverage. They are designed and constructed as a single, complete system, rather than attaching to existing gutters.

Every piece is custom-formed to provide unbeatable performance and optimal quality. Not only that, they come in a wide variety of colors guaranteed to match your home!

Professional installation
Finally, K-Guard Gutters are only installed by professional contractors who are part of the K-Guard team. You can rest assured that your seamless gutters will last for years, minimizing the chance of having to request a repair. With a well-deserved reputation for quality and excellence in gutters since 1998, you can trust that your property is in the best of hands.

How do I make sure I have the best seamless gutters installed on my home?

The goal of K-Guard Gutters is to bring you back to that state of bliss you felt when you purchased your home, that time before you even considered the importance of seamless gutters.

Contact us today to schedule a free consultation. A K-Guard pro will come out and give you a free estimate, laying out a plan to install the last gutters you’ll ever need to worry about again!