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Pest 101: The Critters that Get into Your Gutters

When it comes to your gutters, leaves aren’t the only problem. If left unchecked and neglected, the dead leaves, pine needles, dirt and other debris that collect in your gutters attract bigger pests, and with them come bigger problems. Get to know the different critters that could get into your home’s gutters.

Mosquitoes

Once your gutters are blocked by leaves, twigs and similar debris, these will hold water when the next rain comes. Even if the standing water doesn’t do significant damage, it offers a perfect mosquito breeding ground. These bugs may pose a minor annoyance, but these days, you should take mosquito infestations more seriously as they were found to carry the dreaded Zika virus in 2017.

While there aren’t any new Zika cases this year, there’s been an alarming rise of West Nile Virus cases from mosquito infestations.

Birds

Gutters that aren’t cleared of leaves and other debris attract birds. Piles of leaves and twigs are the preferred nesting material for birds, and they will do exactly that.

Birds don’t really pose a danger to you or your family, but their acidic droppings can slowly corrode metal gutters. When birds nest in your gutters, get them out ASAP. Should you allow them to take up residence, and they spawn any young, you can count on a new generation of birds to instinctively return to the safety of their gutter-home. We’ll also list another problem that comes with birds in a moment.

Bees

It’s possible that bees will take up residence in your gutters. Bees will always seek out any shelter that will protect them from the elements and conceal them from predators. If there aren’t any birds that have claimed your gutters, bees are one of the next likely candidates.

Bees can be dangerous, especially if you have family members who are allergic to bee stings. Should any bees inhabit your gutters, don’t attempt to remove them yourself as there are legalities you may not be aware of regarding this. Consult a pest control expert.

Squirrels

Pests that shack up in dirty gutters aren’t only of the feathered sort, but also the furry kind. Like birds, squirrels make nests in piles of leaves in your gutters. Their constant scurrying about can cause serious damage to your gutters and roof over time.

Rats

house gutter

Another problematic pest that can take up residence in your gutters is rats. These rodents will take to your debris-clogged gutter as it can provide them with shelter and warmth. Rats also enjoy the bonus of being close to your home and will get inside eventually to look for food.

Snakes

What do the presence of birds, squirrels, rats and other gutter pests attract? Snakes. You know you’ve neglected your gutter debris problem for too long when more pests move in, and snakes enter the picture.

Keeping your gutters clear and free of fallen leaves, stray pine cones or any other debris is a task you should never put off for very long. It only takes a few leaves to clog your gutters and you’ll soon have a domino effect of pests.

Avoid the dangerous, difficult work of constantly cleaning out your gutters, and just go for the best solution: get our roof gutter protection from Bruce Andrews Seamless Gutters. Trust us, with this gutter protection system, you’ll never have to worry about clogged gutters, and never have to spend hundreds of dollars for pest control, too.

Call us today at 877-594-7449, or you can set up an appointment with us.

gutter full of leaves

Protect Yourself from the Dangers of Gutter Cleaning

Gutter maintenance is one of the cornerstones of keeping your home safe and dry. Time and the elements lead to the accumulation of debris from the environments, such as dirt and mulch. This leads to blockage, which eventually damage your roof.

Without gutter protection from leaves, you may have to hire potentially expensive professional cleaners or do it yourself.

But gutter cleaning can get dangerous, so before you haul your ladder out of your garage, make sure you’re armed with the following advice.

Always Use Safety Gear

You may be tempted to just climb your ladder and start working, but putting on the proper gear can prevent injuries and even save your life. Make sure you’re wearing these essential safety gear:

  • Work boots: Helps prevent slipping and provide protection from electrical shocks.
  • Safety glasses: Inexpensive wraparound safety glasses prevent eye damage from debris and particles.
  • Work gloves: Gloves made of leather, cloth, or similarly tough material keep your hands safe from sharp objects and bites.
  • Respirator: Moist leaf clutter often hosts mold and other fungi and inhaling their spores could poison you. Wearing a respirator will keep you from breathing in these and other harmful particles.

Beware of Vermin

Unchecked, your leafy gutters could become home to a host of vermin. Some of them damage your home over time and others can attack you and potentially injure you. Beware of the following creatures that may be lurking in your gutters:

  • Bees: Because of their relative shelter, your gutters are an ideal location for beehives. Determine if bees have infested your gutters before you start mucking them out, especially if you’re allergic to bee stings.
  • Rats: The abundance of warm leaf litter and edible plant matter can attract rodents to your gutters. If you aren’t careful, they could bite or scratch, which may call for medical attention.
  • Snakes: Rats and other rodents can draw snakes to hunt in your gutters. Always consult animal services if you’ve spotted a snake on your eaves or suspect that one is living in your gutters.

Beware of Falling

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) labels falling as one of the Fatal Four and was the cause of death of 39.2 percent of workplace fatalities in 2017.

Reduce your risk by following these steps:

  • Check your ladder for damage or flaws
  • Make sure your ladder is in a stable position before climbing
  • When possible, find another person who can hold the ladder, so it doesn’t topple
  • Wear safety gear that could reduce injuries from falls, such as a hard hat and boots with good grip

Look Out for Electric Wires

According to OSHA, electrocutions are another leading cause of death. If a live electrical wire, like power lines or your home’s wiring, is touching your gutters, your body forms the perfect conduit between you and a metallic ladder. 

Before you touch your gutter, check the exterior and interior of your home and see if any exposed wiring or electrical device is touching them.

Cleaning your gutters is an important part of ensuring the integrity of your home, doing it on your own carries a lot of potential dangers. Although you can always prepare to reduce the risk of injury, you should find more innovative ways that could prevent your gutters from accumulating debris at all. By doing so, you’ll prevent any risk of harm both to yourself and your home.

Get Seamless Gutter Protection Today

Bruce Andrews Seamless Gutters helps you avoid encounters with falls, snakes, and electrocution by installing high-quality gutter protection. With our gutter protection systems, you don’t have to worry debris building up, reducing the need for maintenance.

Read our glowing testimonials today and discover how we’ve helped other homeowners.

Finding the Right Contractor After a Major Storm: A Handy Guide

Storms are incredibly destructive. Hailstorms, for instance, produce lumps of ice that can damage various parts of a house, including the roof, window, and siding. Severe windstorms, on the other hand, can hurl debris that may hit and destroy a home’s exterior.

If your home has sustained damage following a hailstorm or a windstorm, you’ll likely need a contractor that can effectively restore the appearance and structure of your property. When doing so, however, you need to choose a reputable and established contractor to avoid falling prey to scams.

Here are suggestions to take note of when searching for and selecting a contractor following a devastating storm:

Steer Clear of Door-to-Door Offers

After a major storm, you may come across home improvement company representatives knocking at your door and claiming that they have leftover roofing, siding, or gutter materials from a previous repair job. They’re likely unscrupulous individuals who want to con you and other disaster-stricken homeowners into hiring them. They could charge exorbitant rates without you knowing it, or use subpar materials to repair your house.  If a worker shows up at your property, declares that it’s unsafe for living, and provides you with a repair offer, politely decline.

Obtain Reliable Referrals

Begin by getting referrals from trusted friends and family members. Alternatively, check with your community for recommendations. Since you’ll have people working in your home for weeks (or possibly months depending on the extent of the damage), you want a contractor you can trust completely.

Check the Contractor’s Work Samples

Apart from getting references, you should obtain a portfolio of your preferred contractors. Checking out the gallery of finished projects, for instance, enables you to determine the quality of their work. Stay away from providers that are all talk and have nothing concrete to show.

Worker fixing the seamless gutter

Verify if the Contractor Carries the Necessary Licenses and Insurance

If you have a few contractors in mind, check their licenses and proofs of insurance. You can usually find this information on their website. Alternatively, look these details up by going to your state or city’s government website.  If the contractor you hire isn’t licensed or insured, you could be liable for any problems, such as repair-related injuries and property damage. By getting an insured and licensed contractor, you’re hiring someone knowledgeable with the building codes and processes.  

Choose a Contractor that Communicates Effectively

Major home repair projects, such as siding repairs and window replacements, may take a considerable amount of time to complete. The contractor that you want to hire should be effective in keeping you up to date on the developments of the job. The last thing you should hear from your service provider is silence. ;

Ask for a Contract

Before your contractor gets to work on repairing your house, make sure that the company draws up a contract detailing important information, including expenses, target start and completion date, and items for installation. This allows both parties to be on the same page.

It will also help if the contract states that the contractor will be the one to take care of your insurance claims. Letting them take care of the process will save you time and trouble with your insurance provider.  

When your house sustains damage from a storm, you don’t need to look far for a reliable contractor. Bruce Andrews Seamless Gutters is the only company you should call. We install quality seamless gutters, standing seam metal roofs, siding, windows, and porches. Count on us to replace your dilapidated exterior and get the work done promptly and efficiently.

Get in touch with us today to obtain a free quote.

Worker fixing the seamless gutter

What to Look for in Your Home Contractor

Your home is one of the biggest investments you’ll ever make, and proper research is needed to guarantee that it pays off. This includes planning, budgeting, designing, and even enlisting the right help. Hiring a contractor may be a considerable upfront expense, but the rewards and sheer convenience of having a professional guiding you through the process are well worth it. 

But with so much hanging on the line, how do you find the right contractor to build you your dream home?

What are the characteristics of a successful contractor?

As in any industry, success in a company is the hallmark of good quality services. In this case, the first thing you want to look for in your contractor is the degree of success they enjoy.c

One can usually tell, even with a small customer base, if a company is able to satisfactorily fulfill the needs of their clients. To begin with, they never overcharge their customers.

Every service has its price, and a successful contractor has no need to jack up their prices because people are more than willing to pay premium when they know full well they will get premium in return. A successful contractor charges according to what they render, and you can expect to get every last cent’s worth with their work.

Second, you want your contractors to be responsible, but especially when it comes to site organization and the proper disposal of trash. Even the smallest disarray in a worksite can lead to costly mistakes, whether in property or even in life, and true professionals know how to avoid or address these. 

Find trustworthy, reputable, and A-rated contractors

Choosing the right contractor for your project entails that you check their licenses, litigation history, and references and customer testimonials. A-rated contractors are reputable and trustworthy, and they have a long list of clients who can attest to the quality of their work.

In the age of Internet and social media, finding such testimonies is a matter of a few clicks and quick browsing; you can easily see what people are saying about a particular contractor simply by going to their page or looking up their name.

Most importantly, see how the company responds. Remember that you’ll be working with these people for a significant amount of time, and there are many nuances and minute details you will need to iron out in the process. If a contractor cannot even be bothered to take a few moments to respond to a legitimate concern aired to them on a public platform, you might want to give their services a second thought. If you want to go the extra mile to verify a contractor, reach out to their previous clients, or ask their subcontractors to make sure you are hiring someone actually fit for the job.

Make sure the company is experienced and locally based 

A good general contractor is someone with experience in all aspects of home construction, from drafting the first blueprint, down to making maintenance work such as metal roof repairs over the years.

It is often a good idea to hire a local contractor, as they tend to have a better understanding of the area. They know the necessary permits, licenses, and regulations unique to your region, and they can also account for local situations such as weather conditions, topographical considerations, and other regionalized concerns. It is also easier to ask for references because a reputable local contractor will most likely be already well-known in your community, and the best ones tend to have been in the business long enough to have a well-founded legacy. 

When it comes to home construction projects, there is no one-size-fits-all route. Even among the most similar-looking residences, each individual house has its quirks and requirements that a good contractor knows how to look out for. And as houses are an integral part of any person’s life, it is only expected that a contractor produces high-quality work worthy of the investment. 

How We Can Help You

At Bruce Andrews Seamless Gutters, we’re proud to offer the best gutter guard system on the market to help your home become a lasting investment that stays with you over the years. We have earned our stellar reputation in the community by providing excellent customer care and top-quality projects. If you need metal roof repairs or gutters servicing, contact us today at +1 877 594 7449 and get a free assessment!

Gutter of a brick home

5 Low Maintenance Gutter Materials You Can Use For Your Home

Homeowners tend to overlook the importance of gutters in the overall maintenance of their homes. Gutters protect the roof and divert water away from the house. The water that will accumulate around your home during the rainy season seeps into the soil and can cause extensive water damage issues to your home’s foundation.

Gutters should ideally be maintained and cleaned on a regular basis to ensure that they are in perfect working condition. However, builders are aware that gutters tend to be forgotten because it is just a small part of a house’s exterior. This is why builders invest in using durable materials in making gutters so that they will require little to no maintenance for long periods of time.

Various types of gutters are available in the market, some with features like leaf guards for protection. Below is a list of the most efficient gutter materials out there.

Copper gutters

Copper becomes more durable over time. It develops a layer that protects it from dust and other harmful elements if it is exposed to outside conditions. It also prevents algae and fungi growth.

Copper is not the easiest material to install, but once you do it properly, you will barely need to readjust it again. Slight changes in its size do not affect its stability and functionality. Copper gutters fit in perfectly with any type of natural material used for your house, including wood, stone and clay.

Vinyl gutters

Vinyl gutters are very economical. They are lightweight and are easy to install. They are available in pre-cut sections that easily snap together at the joints, without the need for any sealant. What is more, vinyl gutters are made of PVC plastic, making them very durable. It will never rust or corrode and is very resistant to dents and scratches.

Aluminum gutters

Brown aluminium gutter

Much like vinyl, aluminum gutters are lightweight and easy to install. They are rustproof and are resistant to corrosion and thinning. On the plus side, they are able to withstand cold conditions, including snow and hail.

Aluminum gutters can be painted to match your house’s design. They have the capacity to hold water, which is important especially during the rainy days.

Zinc gutters

Zinc is more expensive than aluminum but lasts twice longer. Although not necessarily lightweight, zinc is durable, easy to install and is highly sustainable.

Similar to copper, zinc is normally used unpainted because it will develop a layer that protects it from weathering and corrosion. In fact, many homeowners choose not to paint over this material because its natural tone can be visually quite appealing.

Stainless steel gutters

Stainless steel is the sturdiest gutter material but is also comparatively expensive. Stainless steel is very durable. It can handle both hot and cold climates and can withstand harsh conditions.

The shine of stainless steel is retained, keeping your gutters looking new for a considerable amount of time. Stainless steel adds luster and improves the aesthetic appeal of your homes.

Protect your gutter from the elements

It’s true that gutters are made in a way that they will not require regular maintenance but sometimes, even highly durable materials need to be protected.

Experts at Bruce Andrews Seamless Gutters are trained to install Leaflock Gutter Protection System, one of the most advanced gutter protection systems on the market. We also offer hassle-free and maintenance-free gutter drainage systems. Ask us how we can help you keep your gutter protected from the elements. Contact us today.