I had some specialized requirements on this job and Ernie took it all in stride. On Time and On quoted price with no problems, Thoroughly professional and very high quality workmanship and materials throughout the entire job. I have high standards and Ernie exceeded all of them 5 stars +!!! - Review by David H. in Batesville, AR
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Steps to installation of your Gutters
- We will contact you to schedule a time that works with you to evaluate your home
- We will bring color samples along so you can pick the colors you want
- We will measure up your home and give you a quote, in most cases, right away
- Upon your approval of the quote, we will give you an estimated timeframe that we can come install your gutters
- We endeavor to give you a call a day or two before we come do the install, so you know more exactly when to expect us
- We will remove your existing gutters and install your new gutters
- We expect payment upon completion
- Sit back and watch it rain!
Reasons you should choose Flo-Rite Gutter Systems
- We believe that a happy customer comes before making money
- We only use high quality products that we can stand behind for years
- Our work is done in a timely fashion while paying careful attention to the details
- We believe that integrity is a way of life, not just a good business practice
- We are highly rated on HomeAdvisor by our Customers
Tips to keeping your gutter cleaned out
We all know how frustrating it is to have the water run over your gutters in a heavy downpour. Usually the problem is that the gutter got plugged with leaves and debris. In rare cases it could be because the gutters were installed incorrectly and so the water is running right over the gutter. There are a couple options to make sure you don’t have a problem with this. First of all you could install leaf guard on your gutters to help keep all the leaves and debris from going into the gutter. Secondly, you could hire someone to come a couple times a year to clean them out for you. Or thirdly you can clean them out yourself. If you have a two story house it is more difficult to clean out your gutters and so you might need to hire a professional to do it for you. Here are a number of tips for keeping your gutters clean.
- Eliminate ladders if you can. It is possible to buy handy sprayers or tools from your local home improvement store to clean out your gutters. Some of them connect to your garden hose or pressure washer and you can spray the gutters out. You will need good water pressure so you can blow the leaves out. You can get attachments for your leaf blower that will enable you to blow the leaves out that way. There are also grapples on long poles so you can reach up and get the debris out that way.
- Step 1: Use Ladder Precautions. Watch for electric lines! Make sure your ladder is sitting on solid, level ground before climbing. Tie the top fast before you start cleaning out the gutter because ladders can easily slide on the slick aluminum gutters. Keep your hips between the ladder rails and never lean out or your ladder could fall over. Never stand on the top two rungs of the ladder.
- Step 2: Clean out the gutter. Use a small shovel or scoop to clean the leaves and junk out of the gutter. If you can manage to carry a bucket with you to put the debris in, it will save you the work of needing to clean up the flowerbeds after you are done.
- Step 3: Hose out the gutter. Use a high pressure nozzle on your garden hose and spray out the gutter to remove all the fine debris that you weren’t able to clean out with a shovel. Be careful how you spray or you will get dirt all over yourself and your beautiful home. If anything is caked on you may need to use a brush to scrub it off.
- Step 4: Clean out the downspouts if necessary. Sometimes the downspouts will get clogged with debris as well. Typically it does that at the elbows right below the gutter. If your downspouts discharge into drainage pipes below the ground, you should pull them out so the leaves and debris don’t go down into the ground and plug at a worse place. A Plumber’s auger (snake) work good for cleaning out the downspouts. If it is clogged at the top, you can also stretch out a metal clothes hanger and poke that down from the top to clean out the top elbows. Put your garden hose at the top of the downspout and let the water run in. If it flows down easily, you can be pretty sure it is cleaned out. If it is plugged up underground, you will probably need to hire a professional to use a good ‘snake’ to clean out your drain pipes. But usually the issue is in the downspouts.
- Step 5: Repeat as necessary. Typically if you clean them out 2 times a year you will be taken care of. It does depend though on how many trees you have near your house. If you have a lot of tall trees, you might need to clean them out more often so you can stay ahead of the clogged gutters.
- Step 6: Enjoy the rain. Now you can sit on your front porch and watch the thunderstorm like you used to when you were little. Enjoy the pounding rain, and hopefully the storm will end with a colorful rainbow to remind you of God’s promise to the world.
Maintenance tips for your seamless gutters
If your seamless gutters were installed by a quality professional, they shouldn’t need much maintenance at all. There are a couple things that you should keep your eyes open for to save time and money in the long run.
- Make sure the water is getting away from the house. Newer homes have downspout drain lines that are buried underground to carry the water away from your home. Either they go into a storm sewer, into a creek or drain out away from the home. Older homes often don’t have those and instead the downspouts just dump the water out on the ground. In those scenarios you need to make sure that the water can get away from the house instead of messing up your flowerbeds or worse, getting into your basement. There are various different extenders that you can put on your downspouts to help spread the water out, or get it away from the house. You can look at your local hardware store or home improvement store for different downspout extenders. The crucial thing to note is that the water is getting away from the home in a non-destructive way.
- Keep your gutters and downspouts cleaned out. We already addressed that issue in greater detail in another section. Full gutters render them completely useless.
- Make sure the gutters stay securely fastened to the house. If a professional installed your gutters, you shouldn’t have any issue with the gutters coming loose or falling down. On some gutter systems the gutters were installed with long nails. Over time those nails can work loose and eventually your gutter will fall down. If you are a handy man, you can take a ladder and hammer and pound those nails back in and so your gutter is secure again. The problem that will eventually occur is that those nails will keep working back and forth and eventually just pounding those nails back in won’t work. Either you will need to pound them in at a different place on the facial board or get new gutters. If you see any part of your gutter coming loose it is wise to address it right away before it becomes a bigger issue. A stitch in time saves nine.
- Check to be sure your gutters are sloped the right direction. Again this is an issue that won’t occur with a quality installation. But on some older homes that have cheap gutters on them, over time the gutters can slope wrong. Or worse, is if the installer did a poor job and installed them sloping the wrong directions from the beginning. If you are a handyman you can possibly fix it yourself, but usually it will require a professional gutter contractor to fix them so the gutters perform correctly.
- Keep an eye on your facia board for deterioration. If the edge of your roof isn’t flashed correctly, or if you have wooden facia boards, they can eventually start to rot and consequently your gutters won’t stay fastened. In a situation like this, you will need to hire a contractor to replace the facia board and reinstall the gutter or install new gutter.
History of rain gutters on houses
In the early 1900’s metal rolling machines were invented and became popular in US. They could bend steel into a half circle that would then be installed on your home to catch the rain and bring it all down together in the downspout at one place. Since the rolling machines weren’t very wide they could only roll short sections of gutter and then you would need to piece them together. Hence, sectional gutters are just what they sound like, sections. In the 60’s manufactures learned how to form aluminum a lot more easily allowing them to create longer sections. But hauling restrictions prohibit you to transport 50-100’ long sections of gutter. So instead you need to go to your local lumber yard and buy sections of gutter in various lengths that are more manageable and piece them together. Then you put end caps or corners on them to build a gutter for your home. The advantage to sectional gutters is that you don’t need any expensive equipment or tools to do that. The downside of it is that anybody with a couple tools can make a gutter for you without really having the experience to make sure it is completed correctly. There are quality contractors that can install sectional gutters for you and do a good job at overlapping the sections and caulking them very good, but the reality is that anywhere you have a seam, you have potential for it to leak someday. From our experience, the sectional gutters aren’t much cheaper than what we can install the seamless gutters, making it a no brainer on which to choose.
What are seamless gutters?
Seamless gutters started coming on the scene in the early 1960’s enabling manufactures to fabricate aluminum gutters in a lot more efficient way. But it wasn’t until the 1970’s until portable seamless gutter machines were introduced so contractors could custom build gutters that fit your home right at your place. They start with a coil of aluminum which is fed into the machine which in turn bends it into the shape of a rain gutter. Once the contractor has a long enough piece, they cut if off and install end caps on it, or if there are corners, they will install the corner on. They cut in the drops for the downspouts so they are ready to be installed as soon as the gutter is up. Then they use special gutter hangers that can be clipped into the gutter and screwed into the face board on your house, right below your shingles. After installing your downspouts, your new gutter is ready for your next rainstorm. So, I guess technically, you have seams at the ends of the gutter, but the seamless name comes from the ability to make it as long as you need to instead of needing to piece multiple sections of gutter together to create one long gutter.
Are plastic gutters any good?
There is a third gutter option that some people try, plastic gutters. A lot of your local hardware stores and lumber yards will carry what looks like a cheap way to install rain gutters on your home. They come in sections and then you can screw end caps and corners on them to create your own gutter. The problem is that plastic will expand and contract a lot more than aluminum does. With all that movement you have a continual push and pull against the caulk and screws weakening them. Then before long your gutter is dripping out the bottom instead of down the downspout. So, yes, they may be cheaper in the beginning, but in the long term they will create a lot more frustration for you. So please save yourself some frustration and stay clear of them!
What is the benefit of leaf proof gutters?
We all know how frustrating it is to have it pouring down rain, but the gutters aren't doing any good because the water is running right over them. Usually it is because the downspouts are clogged making the water splash into your beautiful flowerbeds. At Flo-Rite Gutter Systems LLC we are pleased to provide leaf protection to help keep your gutters clean all the time. They help to keep the leaves and sticks out of your gutters and keep your gutters open for the water to run through. The other benefit is that you don't have leaves going down your downspouts and clogging the pipes up underground or adding extra compost in the storm sewer.
Some people just recommend that you keep your gutters cleaned out periodically. That is a good idea, but does have negatives. If you are an older person or physically challenged it is next to impossible for you to do it. Even if you are in good physical health, it isn't necessarily a good idea to be walking around on the roof and leaning over the edge to clean out your gutters. You can buy special poles with brushes on the end or special blowers to clean the debris out of your gutters, but if you have a second story home, it is difficult to do it. And lastly it takes time to keep your gutters cleaned out, and usually we forget about it until it is pouring down rain.
Which type of leaf protection should I use?
The least expensive option is to go to any hardware store or Home Depot and buy the little mesh "plugs" that you can push into to the top of the downspouts. They help to keep the leaves from going down the downspouts, which is good, but they easily clog over when you have a bunch of leaves and shingle stones in your gutter. While they do provide a little protection, they aren't good enough for people that have a lot of trees around their house.
Another option is to fill the gutter with bottle brush "guards", or a foam style gutter filler. These are fairly cheap to install, but they can pose a problem if you get tree seeds in them as they don't keep the gutter completely cleared out, and you might have trees growing in your gutter. So while they can work fairly well, they aren't a good long term solution to your leaf problem.
Lastly you can have a contractor install a gutter cover for you. There are a lot of different options here as well. They are all made to completely cover the top of your gutter. Some are flat on top of the gutter while other ones clip on the front of the gutter and then slide up under the shingles creating a slope that helps the leaves blow off. There are also different levels of protection here as well. We handle 3 different kinds: Leaf Proof, Leaf Exterminator, and Speed Screen that make up 3 different price levels, and 3 different styles. The Leaf Proof is completely covered over with aluminum, but uses the waterfall effect to direct the water into the gutter instead of running over the edge. The Leaf Exterminator consists of aluminum panels that have a bunch of small holes in to let the water run into the gutter. Lastly we have the Speed Screen, which is just a screen that clips in the front of the gutter and up under the shingles. It keeps the big debris out and is cheaper to install.
So the question is up to you. How bad of a leaf problem do you have? How much are you willing to spend to keep the leaves out? As we have discussed there are a lot of different options, all of which provide at least some level of protection, but in the end you do get what you pay for.