5 Points to Consider When Cleaning Your Gutters

Cleaning gutters is a big job and it’s no wondering many people neglect it year after year. Most of us dread this annual or semi-annual chore. It’s dirty, disgusting, hard work, not to mention dangerous. One wrong move and you could be spending the day in the emergency room – or worse. If you’re a homeowner it pays to know how to do this job as safely as possible. We developed a five point guide to cleaning your gutters safely and efficiently, the same way the professionals do.

Rust

The first point isn’t about the tools of the trade for cleaning gutters; it’s about what happens if you don’t clean them. In many cases they will rust out. Standing water leaves, and dirt in many types of gutters will cause rust holes. These will have to be repaired and eventually the whole gutter system will have to be replaced. Prevention goes a long way. Cleaning or, better yet, using aluminum or plastic gutters will prevent rust. A thin coat of zinc will also prevent rusting.

Ladders

It should go without saying that your ladder should be sturdy. You’ll want to use a four legged ladder (three legged orchard ladders are definitely not a good choice), preferably aluminum or fiberglass. Wooden ladders tend to be less stable than these other options, although if the ground around your home is exceptionally flat, a wooden ladder might be OK.

For a single story home, a taller stepladder is an excellent choice. A strong, wide shelf is also a good thing to have, since you can use this for a bucket to hold the debris you’re cleaning out of your gutters.

Before you get up on any ladder, make sure that it’s stable, any fasteners are secure and the hinges are locked firmly in place. If necessary, place a piece of plywood underneath the ladder for added stability. Better still, have someone else there to hold the ladder and keep it stable. Keep three limbs on the ladder at all times so that you don’t lose your balance – forgetting this is what leads to the majority of gutter cleaning injuries.

The Right Tools for the Job

Heavy duty work gloves help keep your hands clean while you’re dealing with all of the decaying leaves and other muck that ends up in your gutters. Gloves will also protect your hands from sharp edges, bee and wasp stings and anything else you might come across while cleaning out your gutters.

A scoop is also a good tool to have. You can find plastic gutter scoops at nearly any hardware store and they can save you a lot of time and trouble. They’re usually only a few dollars and would be a bargain at twice the price.  A garden trawl will also work in pinch.

Check the Downspouts

Before you finish, use a hose to spray out the gutters and check to see if the water is draining properly through your downspouts. If not, you’ll need to clear whatever is clogging it. These clogs can usually be cleared by tapping on the side of the downspout and giving it another flushing out with the hose – repeat as necessary.

Avoiding Cleaning Your Gutters In The First Place

Cleaning out the gutters is a lot of work, but it doesn’t have to be. In fact, if you install a high quality gutter guard, you won’t need to clean them as much! A micromesh guard like Gutter Glove can protect your gutters by keeping out leaves, dirt and other debris, which means you may never have to face this dirty and dangerous job again.

Improving Your Home’s Value for Resale

home-for-sale-okWe are all aware that home sales for the last few years have been abysmal. The good news is that sales are picking up dramatically and homes are selling. The bad news is that the best homes are the ones that are going to sell first. Is that really bad news?

Take a Close Look

If you’re considering selling your home, take a good hard look at the house. Think about what you can do to make the house the appealing. Look at it from the eyes of your prospective buyer. What do you see? Is the carpet clean and pristine? Is the paint chipping? Are the gutters sagging? Does it look like somewhere that you’d like to live? You can fix that and it may not cost as much as you might think.

New Carpet and Paint?

One of the best ways to improve the value of your home is with new carpet and a fresh coat of paint. All of the staging crews in the world will tell you that quality carpet and a very clean interior are going to sell the house. New carpet and paint tells the buyer the home is well kept and  is going to provide solid value.

If want to make a great first impression and your carpets aren’t all that they should be, consider whether you should be having them professionally cleaned or whether it might be most cost effective to simply replace the ones that are most worn.

Replacing just one carpet in your home, specifically the living room carpet, can give the impression of a very well kept home. Most of us have entry way stains that may not be easily removed. Professionally cleaning the rug can have a good effect in some cases, but in others, replacing the carpet is going to be the best option.

The average living room carpet can cost between 400 and 800 dollars to replace. That same small expenditure can bring in an additional 4 or 5 thousand dollars when it comes to pricing your home.

The cost of most updates to your home, particularly carpet, will be well covered in the sale price. If you’re considering a home sale, making your home look its absolute best is the surest way to raise the market value of the home and to give it the kind of appeal that is going to sell the home rapidly.

Changing Floor Coverings During Remodeling

carpet tileHome repairs and remodeling can go a long way in increasing or simply maintaining the value of your home. Adding such touches as cork flooring, bamboo flooring, carpet tiles and other remodeling techniques to the home have a way of adding warmth and a personal touch to your domicile.

Flooring is such an important element to the home, that it should never be overlooked during any remodeling process. You may already be aware that by adding color to your walls, and furniture you bring something of yourself into the décor, but this is also accomplished through the use of the appropriate floor covering as well.

Here is some information about a few different types of flooring.

Cork

Many home owners today are realizing how comfortable and appealing cork flooring really is. It absorbs shock and spring back into shape easily after being stepped on, and do to its shock absorption, it also acts as sound insulation as well which lends itself well to maintaining a quiet and serene environment.

Laminate

Laminate flooring brings the look of hardwood floors into the home, but they resist scratches the way wood never could. They are easy to install at much lower cost than traditional wood floors, and they are also resistant to water damage. Their color does not fade in direct sunlight, and make the perfect addition to a home that is filled with kids and pets.

Carpet Tiles

Carpet tiles are similar to wall to wall carpeting except that they are easier to clean and maintain. When remodeling, they make an excellent alternative to carpeting because each tile can be removed for cleaning stubborn stains, or replaced without having to replace the entire floor. the best way to determine what the child should be diagnosed and what the best course of action will be for them to take.

Home Repairs Save Money In The Long Run

Through daily use and constant wear and tear, things in the home wear out and get broken. For this reason a constant attention to maintenance and repairs are required if your home is going to remain in good condition and retain its value. When needed repairs are deferred, they can turn into an unnecessary expense that could have been avoided. Many repairs can be completed by the home owner, but there are some that should only be tackled by a professional.

While it is true that many items on the home can be repaired, there are some that should simply be replaced. Often times, window screens only require the spline to be run back in the groove, but there are other times when a whole new screen must be manufactured to completely cover the opening. The same is true for doors. A good craftsman may be able to repair a broken door, but before agreeing to this, make sure that you will not be losing any security when this is completed. Otherwise, it may be a better idea to just install a new door.

Cost is always a factor when considering home repairs and the wise home owner will certainly want to save money by doing some of the work themselves. However, not everyone is a do-it-yourself with enough experience with to accomplish home repairs correctly. When that is the case, remember that by putting off small repairs now you could be setting yourself up for more expensive ones in the future. It is never a good idea to let your home and your security suffer simply because you want to save money.

Installing Carpet Tile

Recently I added a post about using carpet tile in your home. Here is the follow-up on installing it yourself.

Installing carpet tiles is a much easier do-it-yourself job than stretch-in installation, as long as you follow the correct procedure. This type of carpet is installed piece by piece, so finding the starting point is perhaps the most difficult part. Once you get started, this job will go by very quickly and you will have your new carpet ready to use in no time at all.

Find the Center of the Room

Use a chalk-box to snap a line at the midpoint of the opposing walls in the room. You will begin the installation at the center of the room and then work towards the outside. Once you find the midpoint between both sets of walls, the lines will intersect in the center of the room.

Square Your Lines

Before you begin the installation, make sure that the lines are squared. Measure four feet out from the center point on one line and three feet out on the other line. The two marks should be five feet apart for your lines to be squared. If they are not, make the necessary adjustments.

Equal the Edges

Make sure that the tile closest to the wall will be at least half a tile wide. Do this by laying out tiles towards the wall and then stopping when you cannot fit an entire tile between the last tile and the wall. You can then adjust the tiles so that you have room for half a tile on each side. This ensures that both sides are even.

Start Laying Tiles

Begin by laying the center tiles. Put one tile in each quadrant of the center of the room. You will then build out from the square that you have formed. Once the first square has been completed, you can move onto the second and third squares. Continue forming squares until you get close to the wall.

Trim the Tiles to Fit

The tiles that border the walls will have to be trimmed, unless your room is perfectly shaped for these tiles. Measure the area between the last tile and the wall and draw a matching line on the back of the tile. Continue this process until every space has been filled.

Roll Your Floor

Use a 75-pound roller to press the adhesive down and keep the tiles in place permanently.