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Protect Your Gutters from Ice and Snow

ice and snow in gutters

Did you know that Linden, Virginia gets around 20 inches of snow per year? Even though that’s slightly lower than the national average, it still means a lot of snow and ice hanging out in roofing gutters throughout the city. As a homeowner in Linden, you don’t want to deal with roof and gutter damage from heavy snow. With this helpful guide, you can protect your gutters from the winter elements and reduce your chores come spring.

4 Steps to Protecting Your Gutters

  1. Clean your gutters.

It can be a chore, but someone has to do it. You’ll want to clean your gutters ahead of a winter storm to prevent unnecessary blockage. You’ll also need to remove any snow or ice buildup during the winter since it causes added weight and can pry the gutters off the fascia of your home. Cleaning your roofing gutters before winter weather occurs helps to prevent ice dams and protect your gutter system.

  1. Check for weak spots.

If you have an older, more traditional gutter installation, it has probably started to fail. Before snow and ice storms strike the area, make sure that your gutters are secured to the fascia. In addition, check the seams for sags, dips and cracks that could loosen and break from the weight of snow and ice. Seal the seams with caulk, and then use a cordless screwdriver and screws to secure the gutters into place.

  1. Insulate the attic.

A well-insulated attic prevents hot air from escaping and promotes snowmelt during the winter. Take the time and have your attic properly inspected and insulated. By keeping the hot air in the attic, you’re heating the snow on your roof and preventing it from causing everything from ice dams to roof collapses.

  1. Use a roof rake.

Keep excess snow off your shingles and out of your gutters with a roof rake. It has a long extension that allows you to reach up high and rake away the snow that could cause problems for your gutters. Take care as you near the edge of your roof as you could accidentally pull the gutters away from the fascia.

You can protect your gutters from snow and ice even more with a new LeafGuard gutter installation. With the gutters’ patented design, the snow and ice roll right over the edge just like leaves, pine needles and any other debris. Although you may only see a few heavy snowstorms in Linden, Virginia, one is enough to go with LeafGuard and prevent ice and snow damage all winter long.

Prevent Pine Needle Buildup in Your Hudson Home

pine needle buildup

You may enjoy the smell of your Christmas tree and don’t have a problem picking up scattered pine needles on your floor during the holiday. However, when it comes to removing pine needles from your gutters, it’s not as easy. As a homeowner in Hudson, Massachusetts, why would you spend your weekend cleaning gutters when you could watch the New England Patriots on Sunday? If you’re tired of pine needle buildup, we’ve got a solution for you: LeafGuard gutter gaurds.

Getting to Know Your Gutters

Gutter cleaning dates back to the early cavemen who would have to spend long weekends doing chores after a busy week killing saber-toothed tigers. Okay, perhaps that’s a stretch, but people have been cleaning their gutters for quite a long time and for a good reason. Clogged gutters wreak havoc on homes and cause everything from soil erosion, basement flooding and mold growth. Some homeowners have placed screens over their gutters only to find out that pine needles not only cover the screens but still slip into the gutter system.

A Better Way to Clean Gutters

Cleaning gutters isn’t a chore when you let your gutter system do the work for you. LeafGuard gutter guards do what traditional gutters do not – they stop pine needles and other debris from entering and clogging the gutter channels. They’re made using a patented technology that keeps leaves, pine needles and other debris out and lets the water flow easily through the channels and the oversized downspouts.

As the pine needles wash down the roof, they contact the gutter hood and slide harmlessly over the side. The unique shape creates liquid adhesion and collects the water without the debris, keeping you from having to do boring weekend gutter cleaning.

Cleaning Gutters is Easy With LeafGuard

Numerous pine trees litter the yards throughout Hudson, Massachusetts, and these trees produce millions of needles that end up in your gutters. If you have a traditional gutter system, those pine needles can create terrible clogs and cause serious damage to your home. With gutter guards from LeafGuard by Beldon, you can sit back, enjoy your weekend off and watch your gutters do all the work.

5 Safety Tips for Holiday Decorating

holiday safety

The lights shine more brightly in Cleveland, Ohio when the holidays roll around. People everywhere gather their stringed lights and hang them up around the house, creating visual displays that blink and twinkle in the night. While you’re whistling a festive tune and hanging the decorations, it’s important to keep in mind these safety tips so you can protect your home and family this holiday season.

Check the labels for outdoor use.

When you’re hanging decorations outside, use extension cords and lights that are labeled for outdoor use. Using indoor-only decorations and cords may pose a fire risk as they are subjected to the rain and snow in Cleveland Ohio.

Inspect the decorations beforehand.

Inspect your lights, extension cords and other decorations for damage. Exposed wires can spark fires or create an electrical shock if you touch them. You’ll save yourself and your home from a devastating fire by checking your decorations before hanging them on your house.

Don’t use metal ladders.

Metal ladders conduct electricity, so use a wooden or fiberglass ladder when stringing lights along your gutters and other areas. In addition, take care not to hang your lights or stretch extension cords near power lines. Keep your ladder at least 10 feet from power lines to avoid a serious accident.

Use safety clips instead of nails.

Using a hammer and nails to hang decorations not only damages your home’s exterior but also poses an electrical risk. Use safety clips to hang the lights from the gutters or to attach decorations to doors and windows. While you’re up there, take a peek at the condition of your gutters, too. Call a professional gutter service if your gutters show signs of sagging as they could buckle under heavy snow and bring down your lighting decorations.

Avoid overloading electrical outlets.

Don’t plug in more decorations than your electrical outlet can handle. Plugging in too many electrical cords may lead to overheating and a house fire. You should also turn off your decorations before bedtime to prevent any electrical accidents while you sleep.

Take precaution when hanging decorations outside your home this holiday. Whether it’s using a fiberglass ladder or having a gutter service check for a damaged system, you can never be too careful when it comes to wrapping your home in electrical wires. With the help of LeafGuard gutters you’ll be safely celebrating the holiday season.

LeafGuard’s Winter Gutter Maintenance Checklist

gutter maintenance

It’s that time of year again when the leaves fall and fill up the gutter systems throughout Washington D.C. You don’t want to skip your gutter-cleaning chore as it could spell disaster for your home. Leaf buildup causes clogs in the gutters and prevents the water from flowing easily to the downspouts. These clogs put extra weight on the gutter system and cause sagging in areas; these sags also lead to breaks and expensive repair costs. If you want to maintain your gutters more efficiently this year, it’s good to have a checklist to go by.

1. Get the right tools.

You’ll need a ladder if you want to reach your roof gutters. You’ll also need some sort of trowel, small shovel or scoop on hand to scoop out the mess. Heavy-duty gloves also come in handy for reaching in and pulling out nests and other debris. Other tools include:

  • Step ladder
  • Hand saw or lopper
  • Bucket
  • Hammer and nails
  • Hose
  • Caulk

2. Start with the branches.

You should remove any hanging branches over your roof gutters. These branches are the first to drop their leaves into your gutters and cause stubborn clogs. If you can’t snap them off by hand, use a lopper or a saw to create a clean cut.

3. Remove the leaves.

Put your gloves on, and reach into the gutters. Pull out all the matted leaves, random pine cones and other wind-blown debris. Place the debris into your bucket, and continue removing the leaves until you know that the water can flow more easily.

4. Check the downspouts.

The channels aren’t the only parts of gutter systems that collect debris. Move your ladder to the downspout, and inspect the opening for any clogs. Use your garden hose to blast water down the spout and to wash away any debris that has collected on the inside. If your downspout doesn’t rest on a splash block, consider placing one beneath the opening. A splash block will prevent soil erosion as the water exits the downspout.

5. Repair problem areas.

If you see any sagging areas, use your hammer and nails to secure the piece into place. Fill the channels with water using your garden hose, and test for leaks. Caulk the seams if you see water seeping through the channels.

No gutter system in Washington D.C. is safe from clogs. Though it’s a good idea to clean your gutters once or twice a year, it’s even better when your gutter system does it by itself. With gutters from LeafGuard by Beldon, you can say goodbye to gutter cleaning and enjoy clog-free gutters for years.

Make the Ultimate Gingerbread House with Our Secret Finishing Touch

gingerbread home

In Hampstead, Maryland, everyone is getting ready for the holidays. If holiday crafts are your favorite part of the season, we have a treat for you. This year, we’re helping you get in on the fun by sharing essential steps and expert decorating tips to help you create the ultimate gingerbread house. We’re even revealing how to add roofing gutters and downspouts to give it a unique and realistic final touch.

Crafting the Ultimate Gingerbread House

  • First, choose a template and recipe that you will use to create the basic forms for your gingerbread house. You can choose templates from popular magazines or online forums like Pinterest.
  • Shape and bake all flat and solid pieces, and allow them to cool and harden for at least 24 hours.
  • Create white frosting from powdered sugar and shortening. Place it into a pastry bag with a small or medium nozzle. The frosting will act as glue to hold your house together and make decorations stick.
  • Assemble your house according to your recipe’s instructions.
  • You can leave the cookie surfaces plain and decorate with trim, or you can use colored frosting as paint for special effects.
  • You can also use icing to make latticework. Assemble your lattice before you place it on the house.
  • Here’s our favorite secret addition. To create realistic gutters and downspouts, use ropes of licorice candy. The pull-and-peel variety is more pliable and works better with smaller houses. For larger ones, use the original grooved pieces cut in half to create the look of open gutter trays.
  • It’s traditional to use gum drops as roof decor, but feel free to get creative. Try a light blue frosting to make a tin roof, or use shredded wheat to create a thatched look. Sliced almonds also make great roof shingles.
  • Use marzipan and marshmallows to create figures such as trees, snowmen, plants, gifts and other objects.
  • Employ a variety of candies and nuts to create a unique look. Chocolate bars make great doors. Peppermint sticks look just like columns. Don’t forget the red hots to use as berries and tree decorations. Check your grocer’s cake decorating section for sprinkles, solid shaped candies and edible metallic decor.
  • When you’re happy with the house itself, landscape around it. Use powdered sugar to emulate snow. Crumbled brownies make perfect mulch. Toss green food coloring with flaked coconut to create grass. Dot your landscape with candy flowers.
  • Most importantly, remember that everyone’s ultimate gingerbread house is different; yours should reflect your unique taste and personality. Incorporate the themes, colors and flavors you love.

Learn More About LeafGuard by Beldon

Your Hampstead, Maryland, home isn’t made from gingerbread, but it’s still vulnerable. It deserves the best protection, and caring for it means finding the best gutter installers available. If it’s time to upgrade your home’s most important defense against water damage, contact the professionals at LeafGuard by Beldon to learn more about their patented, seamless gutter system and how it can make your life easier.

10 Things to Look for When Buying a Home in Winter

home in winter

Buying a new home in Orland Park, Illinois is a huge undertaking. With so many houses to view, forms to fill out and variables to think about, it quickly becomes overwhelming. If you’re shopping during the winter months, it’s even more difficult. Snow and ice can hide exterior problems that might be obvious when temperatures are higher. To make the task as simple as possible, we’ve put together a checklist for bewildered home buyers. The following items should be examined carefully when buying a home during winter – and even at any other time of the year.

Winter Home Shopping Checklist

  1. Check the condition of the roof. It will be your home’s primary protection against the elements. If it’s covered in snow, make a note to come back and check later. Signs of roof damage include sagging, discoloration, impact marks from hail, missing shingles and fallen shingles in the yard. Inside the home, look for sagging ceilings and water stains on ceilings and walls. If the snow sticks around for a while, you can always ask the realtor when the roof was last replaced.
  2. Examine gutters and gutter downspouts for signs of damage or poor function. If gutters are bent, sagging, loose, rusted, warped or otherwise damaged, they need to be replaced. Long-term gutter clogs can cause significant structural damage. Look for signs of rotting fascia, mold and water damage on the home’s exterior. Check the landscape for erosion and muddy areas near the house.
  3. Look at the home’s siding and fascia. Search for warped areas, chips and cracks, condensation, weak spots, peeling, flaking, rot, insect damage and discoloration.
  4. Check the foundation. Exterior signs of damage include zigzag cracks and unusual gaps. When you’re indoors, look for misplaced molding, cracks on interior walls or hard floors and signs of recent wall repair. Check basements and crawlspaces for pooling water.
  5. Make sure the home’s HVAC system is in working order. Test both its heating and cooling abilities, and ask the realtor when it was last updated or serviced.
  6. Walk through the home to check for temperature consistency. Stand near windows and doors to detect drafts. Check interior and exterior window quality and stability. Visible condensation, windows that don’t open or close easily and deteriorating casing are signs of trouble.
  7. When possible, check water pressure and hot water availability in the kitchen and all bathrooms. Look under sinks for signs of mold or water damage caused by plumbing problems.
  8. If you can’t observe evidence firsthand, talk to locals to determine how icy road conditions and seasonal storms and power outages are typically handled.
  9. Be aware of the steepness of the driveway, and how water runoff may cause ice build-up on it, or any exterior stairs.
  10. Regardless of the season, do some research on the area to obtain information on what it’s like living in the area. If you have kids, find out as much as possible about local school quality. Look up crime rates, traffic conditions, property values and future development plans. If you do your homework, you’ll be less likely to get unpleasant surprises later.

Gutter Installation Services for Your New Orland Park, Illinois, Home

It can be difficult to find the perfect home, but there’s no need to abandon your favorite prospect just because it has a few flaws. For example, if your future home needs new gutters, just contact your Orland Park LeafGuard distributors to schedule replacement. With a seamless, clog-free system and a lifetime guarantee, you can’t go wrong.

Five Things You Don’t Want Hanging from Your Gutters

leafs in gutters

When you suddenly notice something hanging from the gutters of your Dundalk, Maryland, home, many questions may pop into your head. Is it something that bites? Will it be expensive to remove? Are you going to have to drag out your ladder? In most cases, it’s not a good idea to ignore a dangling object attached to your gutters or gutter downspouts. Some things that hang around can cause major issues with your gutter system, and that could lead to water damage. Here are five dangling objects you need to take seriously.

Things You Don’t Want to See Hanging from Your Gutters

1. Bats

Hanging is one of a bat’s favorite things to do. Unfortunately, seeing bats hanging upside down on your gutter means they may also be nesting in gutter debris or your attic. Because their droppings present a serious health hazard, you need to manage the problem quickly and thoroughly. Be sure that all debris and bat excrement is removed from your gutters, and call your local animal control department for advice on getting rid of the bats.

2. Tree Branches

Tree branches can easily impede water flow if they fall directly into gutters, but what if a small branch is just hanging off of the side? The weight of it could potentially cause the gutter to bend, or the branch could fall unexpectedly and take part of the gutter down with it. If a hanging branch is small enough to handle by yourself, remove it carefully. Larger, heavier branches may require the help of a tree service.

3. Leaf and Debris Buildup

If so many leaves have built up inside your gutters that there’s a visible mass hanging over the side, you have a seriously clogged gutter system. Immediate gutter cleaning is essential to prevent water and structural damage. If the problem recurs frequently, consider installing a LeafGuard gutter system to halt it permanently.

4. Icicles

Unfortunately, when ice and snow melts and starts to drip over partially frozen surfaces, large and intimidating icicles can form. Ice may back up in gutters and prevent water flow, and dripping icicles may redirect water to form dangerous ice patches on the ground. Icicles can also fall suddenly, and they’re just as lethal as they look. Since clogged gutters can contribute to the problem, it’s important to keep them clear in winter. Heating cables installed in gutters and downspouts may also help.

5. Shingles

Your shingles should hang over your gutters in a way that allows rainwater to flow into the gutter trays. If they’re hanging so far over that water is simply running off of your roof and onto the ground, your gutter system is rendered ineffective, and either the roof or gutters require adjustment. Contact your roofing contractor for a professional assessment.

Don’t Let Bad Gutters Hang Around

Despite the great variety of potential danglers, leaves are still the most common culprit. Dundalk, Maryland, gutter installers know what to do when too many problems are caused by leaves and debris collecting in gutters. They recommend a more effective gutter system. The patented LeafGuard system features a seamless, one-piece design that redirects leaves, twigs and other unwanted items so that water can flow freely away from your home. Contact your local LeafGuard distributors today to learn more.

How Winter Weather Can Damage Your Gutters

winter protection

When harsh Aurora, Colorado, winters hit, area gutter systems face a new set of challenges. Gutters work by channeling rain water away from your house and depositing it at a safe distance. If temperatures drop while your rain gutters aren’t free and clear, damage to both the gutters and your home’s structural stability may occur. Fortunately, there are ways to prevent winter weather damage.

How Winter Weather Can Wreck Gutter Systems

As fall turns to winter, accumulated leaves and twigs in gutters cause more problems than ever. Clogged gutters allow water to back up into your home’s fascia and soffit areas; this causes water damage even before temperatures drop. When the first freeze hits, water drains slowly and eventually turns into accumulated ice, which can overload and bend, break or damage your gutters. As ice expands, structural damage to gutters and fascia can become severe. If melting snow causes ice dams to develop, your clogged, frozen gutters compound the problem. A frozen gutter system doesn’t just harm the top portion of your home. It can lead to ice accumulation around your home’s foundation, and this may result in cracks that cost thousands of dollars to repair.

Winter Maintenance for Your Rain Gutters

The following maintenance tips can help you prevent structural damage and keep your rain gutters working properly during the winter months.

  • Inspect your gutters and remove all debris. It’s best to perform this task before winter weather begins or after ice and snow thaws. Be sure to check and clean all corners and junctions where leaves can gather easily.
  • Check anchors and seams for leaks.
  • Ensure that your gutters are firmly attached to your house by gutter spikes and there are no gaps between gutters and fascia.
  • Look for signs of structural damage. Check your siding, fascia and foundation for stains, rotten wood and signs of mold or mildew. If you find damage, determine the source of water flow and make repairs immediately.
  • Inspect downspouts and diverters. Water should be flowing away from your house, and it should not pool on any surface.
  • If you normally divert water into a rain barrel, consider taking a break during winter and reattaching the downspout when warm weather returns.

Don’t Spend Another Winter with Inferior Gutters

If winter weather results in severe and costly damage to your gutters or your home, don’t wait for it to happen again. Replace your existing gutters with a superior LeafGuard gutter system. Even Aurora, Colorado, winters are no match for LeafGuard’s patented, seamless gutter system that eliminates messy, dangerous leaf and debris clogs and makes routine gutter cleaning a thing of the past. Contact your authorized LeafGuard distributor for details.

Overgrown Gutters: How Growths in Your Gutters Can Cause Major Problems

overgrown gutter

Afternoons up on the ladder cleaning gutters and downspouts are part of a homeowner’s life here in Akron, Ohio. It’s easy to keep putting the work off for another day, but that will only make the job harder in the long run. If you let it go too long, your roof’s drainage system turns into a mini ecosystem that rivals our Cuyahoga Valley. Overgrown gutters breed major problems that affect your home from foundation to roof. LeafGuard has the details on the dangers of overgrown gutters, and what you can do to stop them.

Leaves, Needles and Twigs

You expect the annual fall leaf drop from maples, poplars and sycamores around the house, but keep in mind that trees shed leaves and twigs all year. It’s the same kind of natural maintenance that brings down sticky needles from our beautiful pine trees. Add spring storms and summer rains to the mix, and a constant drift of debris fills up the gutters. Left alone, it all turns into a rich compost ready to nurture airborne seeds that land and take root. When gutters turn into planters, they overflow with rainfall that then saturates the ground and soaks your home’s foundation, which can cause major problems.

Algae, Mold and Slime

Overgrown gutters add cleaning insult to clogged injury by creating an environmental petri dish. The conditions are perfect for algae and mold growth, and the stuff forms a thick slime that coats gutter materials. It’s hard to remove the stubborn mess especially around seams and joints. Give algae a little room to grow, and it quickly finds its way out of the gutter to shingles on the roof. Mold creeps into soffits and stains the wood as well as siding below. Slimy gutter growth isn’t as hair-raising as a science fiction movie, but cleaning it up is a scary chore. The best way to handle these situations is to not let them happen in the first place.

Bugs, Birds and Critters

The miniature garden growing in your gutter attracts insects that nest, breed and add to the unwanted pest population. Roaches and carpenter ants use dirty gutters as highways into the house, but they have to dodge hungry birds looking for an easy meal. The bugs up there serve as a buffet for all kinds of wildlife including snakes and rats. Squirrels enjoy easy pickings from the nut and seed selection, and standing water completes the invitation for a wildlife invasion. All that activity and extra weight can buckle seams and pull gutters loose from their hangers.

If you wish the City of Invention would come up with a solution for overgrown gutters, give us a call instead. LeafGuard by Beldon specializes in roof gutter installations that keep debris out, and maintenance to a minimum. Wherever you’re located in Summit County, contact us today for more information about our patented systems, and set yourself free from all that stuff growing in your gutters.

Easy DIY Shelving with Gutters

leaves in gutter

You love the way the house looks with its new custom gutters, and you’re a Thorton, Colorado, homeowner committed to responsible recycling. Put those two facts together, and they add up to a DIY project that repurposes the old gutters into smart shelving ready to work inside and out. Your crafty, homemade mantles might even be a big hit at the next Harvestfest Bazaar. It’s fun, it’s easy, and it’s something the family can enjoy doing together.

Converting Gutters to Shelves

Both aluminum and vinyl gutters are great shelf candidates, and the conversion doesn’t require special tools or construction expertise. You’ll want to give the old troughs a good washing, and then let them dry overnight. Meanwhile, stop by the home improvement store for end caps that close up the open ends of your new shelves. Cut the clean gutters to size with a hack saw, pop on the end caps, and you’re ready to prime and paint. Adding color isn’t a requirement, but it brightens up recycled shelves headed for the kids’ room or your kitchen wall.

Hanging Storage for Convenience

Most gutters measure 5 or 6 inches in depth and offer a surprising amount of handy storage space. Hang your new shelving from pegboard over a workbench, and insert dividers to keep the home handyman’s nails, nuts and bolts neatly organized. Small tools that disappear in the garage are easier to find when they’re put away in an aluminum gutter shelf mounted at eye level. Save your attractively painted conversions for kitchen duty where they can catch everything from extra cooking utensils to neatly folded dish towels.

Decorating With Purpose

Inspire the kids to keep their rooms neat by hanging colorful gutters at a level that inspires quick picking up. The recycled lengths make perfect bookcases for little ones too. Showcase their favorite volumes with covers facing forward, and turn blank walls into picture galleries of favorite books that encourage reading. Add interest to your own tight spaces by creating tiered nooks of shelving that meet in a corner. Gutter shelves don’t mind returning to outside duty either where they make perfect wall planters around the patio or deck.

We proudly support recycling and applaud DIY projects, so we enjoy sharing ideas that add functional fun to your home. When you’re ready to repurpose the old roof troughs and replace them with attractive seamless gutters, LeafGuard by Beldon is at your service. Our custom installations protect homes and businesses all across Adams and Weld counties with maintenance-free good looks. Give us a call today and get to the DIY fun.