Monday, April 13, 2015

4 Things to Know About Overflowing Gutters

Overflowing gutters can be a headache.  Left unchecked, they can become a nightmare. But how do we know why or how gutters overflow?  Here is what I discovered.

The number 1 reason is trash from leaves, pine straw and shingle granules. Once they stay start to accumulate in your gutter, they impede the flow of water to the downspout.  Over enough time unchecked, rain water will start pouring over the gutter.

#2  The second reason for gutter problems is small. (2"x3") builder's grade downspouts on the gutter system.system.  This is especially true when your home has upper gutters dumping onto lower roof gutters.

#3  A third reason is improperly pitched gutters.  Water will "stand" or "pond" in the gutter, away from the intended downspout if the gutter is not pitched correctly,  In heavy storms, the rain water will over flow the gutter at the low end. Proper pitching and alignment of the gutters requires using a level to ensure correct water movement in the gutter.

#4  The last reason for an overflowing gutter is inadequate amount of downspouts for the gutter system.  As today's homes incorporate more intricate designs, managing rain water becomes involved and complicated.  It is imperative to ensure proper drainage from the roof to the ground by maintaining an adequate number of 3"x4" downspouts for the gutter system.

Once these (4) items have been inspected, evaluated, repaired and modified, you can have the piece of mind knowing your gutter system is providing you the best possible protection.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Allen and Deans recently completed a shutter project in North Raleigh.  The shutters were a raised panel, manufactured by Mid-America Building Products.  The shutters were securely anchored into the mortar joints with hidden clips.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

5V Metal Roof

We recently replaced a section of metal roofing in North Raleigh.  The recent rains this summer in the Triangle produced several leaks in an old 5V metal roof.  Due to the roof's age we determined the best approach was to replace it.

The original roof slope was comprised of a 7' and 4' section, transitioning into a lower 2/12 pitch slope.  Most of the leaks were in the transition. After removing the metal panels, we installed "ice and water shield" along the 30' horizontal transition.  Instead of replacing the metal panels the same way, we decided to use a 12' panel, folded at the transition, extending 12" into the lower panel,  providing seamless, water-tight protection for the client.

Here is a photo of the completed project.

For more information, call us at Allen and Deans.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Gutter Strainers

The recent rain storms in the Triangle have blown pine straw from the nearby trees into gutters a little earlier this year.  I know what you're going to say next.  "There's always pine straw in my gutters".  For many homeowners here in the Raleigh Durham area I know that is right.

In any event, I would like to discuss gutter or outlet strainers.  These are the light-bulb shaped, mesh devices placed in the mouth or throat of the gutter's outlet, just above the downspout.  They are designed to keep debris out of the outlet and ultimately, the downspout. They are readily available in all the big box stores and some hardware stores in the area for several dollars each.

Over the last 10+ years we have seen hundreds of them in gutters we have encountered.  In nearly every case the strainers work very, very well.  Except when they are neglected.

Rain water pushes the gutter debris toward the outlet, where the strainer lies, providing the gutter is pitched correctly.  The strainer prevents the trash or debris from entering the outlet, as designed. So far, so good.

However, if the strainer is not cleaned on a regular basis (which most are not), the gutter and outlet are now clogged preventing rain water from entering the outlet because debris is packed so tightly around them.  The result is water literally pouring over the top of the gutter rendering the gutter useless.

The bottom line is if you clean and maintain strainers on a regular basis, they perform very well.  If you forget about them for a season or two, you can expect problems.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

A Roof Replacement May Require Removal and Reinstallation of Gutter Protection

When considering installing a gutter guard, which is installed under a row of shingles, the inspection of the roof is a necessary component.  If the shingles are brittle or curling, or if the homeowner knows that their 15-year shingles are now 20 years old, serious consideration should be given to replacing the roof  first.  This is an important consideration to avoid a removal and re-installation of gutter guards in the near future.

Gutter covers have to be taken off before a roof is replaced. In many instances,  in order to not void the warranty, you must have the installing company do the removal and re-installation. Most companies will not be comfortable with warranting other company’s re-installation of their gutter guards.  It is not uncommon for a roofing contractor to volunteer with the best of intentions to remove and re-install the gutter protection for free.  Then when the systems fails and the homeowner calls the original installing company, they find out that the system was reinstalled improperly.  In some cases, the system was damaged and unusable due to improper removal and re-installation. We see this all too often.

There usually is a charge for this service.  The removal and subsequent installation involves the gutter installation crew to come out twice, once for the removal and again for the re-installation.  The installing company incurs set up fees twice for each service. 

Sometimes material has to be replaced.  Gutter covers don’t always go back on properly, once they are removed, especially if you are dealing with an inexperienced crew or a crew which has never worked with that type of guard.  Sometimes, the color of the roof is changed, so the color of the gutter protection is changed as well requiring all of the panels to be replaced.

There is usually a nominal fee for the removal and re-installation.  A gutter cover installer or contractor has already made a profit on the original installation and usually just covers the cost on materials and labor.  Some gutter cover installer or contractors that also do roofing will perform the service at no charge as long as you purchase your new roof from them in the future.  This is a good situation if you really need gutter protection, and your roof still has a few years of life left to it.

You can avoid an unpleasant surprise in the future if you consider the condition of your roof before purchasing a gutter protection.  You need to plan out what is going to happen when you eventually replace your roof to avoid extra expense or loss of warranty.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Avoid Rain Water "Fly-Over" on Gutter End Caps

If a gutter is lined up to the edge of the shingles then water tends to flow over the gutter end cap.  Through the process of water surface tension, water will flow down the gutters to the fascia board, soffit and down the siding or wall of the home.  Water damage is very common in this area.

Gutters should extend beyond or past the edge of the roof line at least 1" in order to catch every drop the rain water coming down the edge of the roof instead of trickling down the side of your home's siding or wall.  More often than not, the gutters are not positioned properly at the ends of the run of gutter.  We see this problem too frequently when gutters are either installed by unqualified "contactors" or gutters are purchased in sections (10' or 15') from big box stores.

This problem needs to be taken into account when installing gutter protection (gutter guards) because the problem if unattended, will become much worse.  Here are some solutions:
  • Position the new gutter(s) to extend beyond the roof line, if the gutters are being replaced.
  • You can have the gutter(s) extended by adding an outside mitred corner that will wrap around the edge of the roof line and is more likely to catch the dripping from the sides of the roof edge.
  • The edge of the first row of shingles can be shimmed slightly to direct the flow of water away for the edge and into the gutter(s)
  • A diverter can be installed on the roof to direct the flow of water back into the gutter(s)
You can perform a simple inspection from the ground to see if you have this problem on your home.  Look (perhaps with binoculars) at the ends of both your roof line and the gutter end cap.  If the roof line extends beyond or past the gutter end cap, the gutter is short.  If in doubt, call a gutter professional to evaluate.  Most will do this at no charge.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Chimney Chase Covers

As some homes near their 20th year of service, not only are the roofs are losing their serviceability so are
the chimney chase covers.These are the metal covers that are placed on top of the chimney.  They are designed to keep water from entering the chimney and fireplace. They are usually metal, mostly steel.

As you can imagine, with steel comes oxidation and rust.  Many times the rust is so pervasive, it leaves
severe rust stains on the siding of the chimney.

Here is a photo of a nearly completed chase cover we recently installed here in Raleigh.  The cap still has to be reinstalled above the flue.

If you look carefully, you will see the top is "partitioned" or bent in order to prevent water from "standing or ponding" on the top.  Also, we provide a  3/8" "kick-out" on the vertical edges to prevent water from falling directly on the siding below.

This chase cover will provide another 20 years of uninterrupted service.