Tag Archives: downspouts

Spring Home Maintenance Checklist

Ready to get a jump on your spring home maintenance projects? The following checklist will help you get started.

Inspect home’s exterior for winter storm damage and needed repairs

Flush and inspect gutters & downspouts

Power wash siding, porch, deck, patio, walkways, and driveway

Trim trees/bushes near buildings & power lines; remove dead/damaged branches once new growth is apparent

De-thatch lawn with a good raking prior to first mowing; mow lawn down to 2 inches before grass is over 2 ½ inches tall, leaving no less than ½ inch of growth; lightly apply quality fertilizer with weed killer

Clean carpeting

Wash windows inside & out (check for mold around windows and moisture between panes); remove storm windows and install screens

Organize garage or storage areas

Replace furnace filters monthly, or as recommended by manufacturer during heating season

Test smoke alarms & carbon monoxide detectors monthly

Home Emergency Services, Gutters & Storm Drains – Post 1 of 6

High tides, wind, and a failed drainage system flooded this West Seattle home

The first day of winter is nearing and with it comes wind, rain, and snow storms. Are you and your home ready for winter? Having a contingency plan and knowing who to call can save valuable time and money when reacting to an unexpected home emergency.

You must act quickly to minimize damages when faced with an unexpected home emergency. We can assist in getting you the right help, right away. You will have plenty to do on your own securing personal items and possibly even safely relocating children, seniors, and pets. Immediately contacting a professional who specializes in home emergencies will help minimize property loss, reduce costly repairs, and help keep your family safe and healthy. Once the emergency is controlled, they can provide a scope of repairs and detailed proposal to submit on your behalf to your insurance company.

We and our team of talented emergency service providers have your back when you least expect it. Over the next week we will post tips to prepare for winter, and if you need them, emergency services we have available to get you through those unexpected moments.

Gutters & Storm Drains

The first step to avoid water getting into your home and causing damage involves some simple maintenance procedures. Keeping gutters, downspouts, and storm drains clear allows water to be properly diverted away from the home. When full of debris or improperly positioned, gutters and downspouts can overflow or divert water to unwanted places, such as along the foundation and into the basement. Some leaks are slow and difficult to detect until they become a bigger problem. Other times, extensive flooding and damage can occur in just a matter of hours during a hard rain.

Cleaning gutters and keeping drains clear is a simple and inexpensive task that can save thousands of dollars in costly repairs. The do-it-yourself type can usually complete the job with no problem. You can also hire someone to help, often for as little as a couple hundred dollars. A small price compared to what repairs could cost by neglecting this basic home maintenance item.

If after taking these steps you discover water intrusion problems it is best to consult with someone who specializes and understands how the drainage system works around your home. Sometimes these systems fail below the surface of the ground and around the foundation and can be difficult to detect without proper investigation.



Gutter & Downspout Cleaning, Gutter Repair, Gutter Replacement

How to Clean Rain Gutters & Downspouts

 CleanGutters-SeattleContractorReferrals.pngGutters and downspouts should be kept clear of debris and properly diverting water away from your home. If you don’t mind working from a ladder, this is a job you can do on your own.

First clean out any lose debris using a scoop or simply by hand. Once clean, flush the gutters with a hose, checking for leaks at the seams. If you notice any leaks, thoroughly clean and dry the area before applying a quality outdoor caulk.

Check that the gutters are fastened securely to the home and make any necessary repairs you are comfortable doing on your own. Significant gutter repairs or gutter replacement is best left to the experts.

It is also important to make sure downspouts are positioned properly so water is diverted away from the home and not slowly leaking through the foundation and into your crawl space or basement.

Don’t forget to check and clear storm drains at the same time. Monitor gutters, downspouts, and drains regularly throughout the rainy season to ensure they remain clear and working properly.


Protect your Home for Winter

Fall is right around the corner and if you haven’t done so already, now is the time to prepare your home for winter. Spending some time doing a few simple and inexpensive things will help make your home more comfortable, give you added peace of mind, and save you money on your heating bill.

The following tips will help guide you through the process. We hope you find it useful as you make your way through your fall ‘to do’ list.

Outside Your Home

Tree Trimming: Take special care to have any dead or Tree overhanging roofdiseased branches removed from trees that may fall and cause injury, damage property, or take down power lines. For large trees this task is best left to the experts. Trim any trees or bushes away from the side of the house or hanging over the roof and gutters.

Chimney: Have the chimney inspected and cleaned, especially if you use a wood stove or fireplace regularly. On average, your chimney should be cleaned after every two cords of seasoned, dry wood is burned. Stock an adequate supply of dry, seasoned firewood and store away from the side of your house in a location where it will stay dry and has good air flow.

Roof and Gutters: Inspect the roof of your home and buckling shinglesoutbuildings for any signs of leaks or damage including buckling, curling, or missing shingles. Shingles and metal flashing around chimneys, vents, and in valleys should be firmly adhered. Gutters and downspouts should be flushed and inspected.

Siding, Doors, and Windows: Take care to remove any soil or organic matter in contact with the siding. Check siding, doors, and windows for any gaps where air and moisture can pass through. Remove any old caulk and thoroughly clean areas that need repair. Allow the areas to dry completely and apply a quality, exterior caulk to seal any gaps. Check and replace worn weather stripping on all doors and windows. Install storm windows if you have them.

Outdoor Faucets: Remove, drain, and store hoses for winter. If you have an inside valve for each outdoor faucet, turn these off and open the outside faucet slightly to drain any water left in the pipes. Attach insulated covers over outside faucets. Blow out sprinkler systems.

Tools: Check that all summer tools have been cleaned and stored away for winter and that winter tools like snow shovels and blowers are accessible and ready to use.

Inside Your Home

Air Leaks: If you don’t have insulated windows you can buy inexpensive and easy to install ‘shrink & seal’ insulation kits to reduce heat loss. Changing light weight curtains with heavier drapes helps reduce heat loss and gives the room a fresh look. Add insulated plates to electrical outlets on exterior walls.

Heating System: Have a professional inspect and service your heating system each year to ensure it is operating efficiently. Replace air filters as recommended by the manufacturer. Buying a season’s worth of filters and marking your calendar in advance will help prevent overlooking this important task. Consider installing a programmable thermostat. This can save a lot of money by eliminating those times you forget to turn the heat down when leaving the house for extended periods. Walk through your home and make sure all vents or baseboard heaters are clear of furniture.

Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors: Inspect all smoke and carbon monoxide detectors to ensure they are working properly. Replace batteries in each device annually or sooner if needed. Check batteries monthly at the same time you change your air filters.

Insulation: Consider having your home’s insulation inspected to ensure it meets the proper R-value specification and that there isn’t any water or rodent damage. Wrap your water heater with an insulated blanket. Wrapping exposed water pipes in the crawl space or basement and garage will cut your energy bill, as well as help prevent pipes from freezing. Be sure and check for air leaks where pipes enter the house on exterior walls and caulk or add insulation as needed.

Emergencies: Last but not least, prepare an emergency kit for you and your family in the event of a power outage or other emergency. Click here for important tips from the Red Cross and a comprehensive list of essential items to include.