Our Current Blog Articles
July 26, 2017
Are Residential and Commercial Gutters the Same?
Alpine Gutters & Downspouts is here to answer all your questions and concerns, and some of you may be wondering, are residential and commercial gutters the same? Well, we are here to inform you that both are unique. Read on below to find out more.
The Legal Aspect
The most basic answer to this query relates to how most municipalities typically classify buildings and property.
Commercial buildings are subject to a unique set of laws and codes, and some of these differences may affect the installation and function of the gutters on commercial buildings. Commercial buildings require gutters of a certain size or material, and there may be rules concerning where and how gutter downspouts can discharge runoff water, so they don’t affect nearby businesses or create safety hazards.
Both commercial and residential gutter systems function almost equally. They direct roof runoff water (or melting ice and snow) away from the building to avoid costly foundation damage inside and outside of the home. Also, most residential and commercial gutters are constructed of aluminum or galvanized steel. Copper and vinyl gutters are mostly chosen for residences, not commercial buildings. Vinyl is a much cheaper option for homeowners who are looking to save money and not too concerned about aesthetics.
Gutters come mostly in 5 and 6-inch widths, therefore, commercial properties will most likely choose the larger version for more run off and the size of their building, there is even an option for 7 inches. They often come in 2 different shapes too; the K style and the U style. Both function equally well, but again it is up to the appearance you want to give your home or commercial building. K-style is the more popular choice for commercial buildings.
Guarding your Gutters
Commercial and residential gutters differ regarding what types of gutter protection system is recommended. For residences, gutter guards are designed to last a lifetime so that homeowners never need to clean their gutters again and find themselves struggling with a ladder. And for commercials properties, there are heavy-gauge, aluminum construction gutters that withstand the volume and debris pouring into them.
Determining what works best for you, whether it is residential or commercial, is something you really should sit down and discuss with your gutter company. Go over the costs, installation, materials, pros and cons, and even the aesthetic aspects of it all. There are so many varieties to choose from, with technology ever advancing. Be sure to ask about ongoing maintenance and the costs.
Remember, gutters protect your home from:
- Cracked/damaged foundation
- Infestations of mosquitos and insects breeding in standing water
- Staining of your fascia, soffits, walls, decks, patios, driveways
- Paint damage
- Rotting, rusting
- Landscaping damage
If you ever wondered, are residential and commercial gutters the same? We at Alpine Gutters and Downspouts, hope you know that they do have their similarities, but also their differences. Give us a call today, for a free quote on a new gutter system for your home or commercial dwelling.
July 11, 2017
10 Symptoms of Gutters in Need of Replacement
Alpine Gutters & Downspouts knows the importance of a properly running system, and we want you to be aware of these 10 symptoms of gutters in need of replacement so you’ll know when something is not right. Our technicians can then come out and get everything back up and running smoothly in no time.
According to the National Association of Homebuilders, gutters made of galvanized steel or aluminum last approximately two decades, and copper gutters usually will last a whopping half a century! To reach these maximums, all it takes is proper gutter maintenance and repairs if you discover any issues.
Eventually, you’ll know they’re reaching the end of the line when they show one or more of these 10 symptoms of gutters in need of replacement.
- Many cracks, holes, or rust spots
Some issues can be fixed using sealant and flashing. But if you see more and more sections where this is apparent, then you may want to opt for all new gutters and call on the professionals.
- Many broken fasteners
These are pieces of metal that hold your gutter to your roof and keep it level. Repairing one or two fasteners here and there is great. But if these problems persist, the gutters may become a problem.
- Nails or screws on the ground
The nails or screws that fasten the gutter to the fascia can work themselves loose, and replacing them is not that difficult a job, but repeated instances of this may indicate the gutter system is wearing.
- Separated gutters
Gutter systems only function if they are fastened together in a continuous channel, allowing water to flow freely. If they begin separating from one another and more frequent times, it may be time for a gutter replacement.
- Gutters that separate away from your roof
You can hammer in the fasteners if you notice this occurring, but if spaces continue to appear between the roofline and the gutters, the fascia boards could be rotting. A gutter replacement may be in order.
- Sagging or improperly-pitched gutters
If a proper pitch is not maintained, the water will pool in various sections and possibly spill over. In this case, consider replacing your gutters.
- Peeling exterior paint
When gutters pull away from the roof, water can seep down over the edge and onto your siding and trim. Peeling paint is a sure sign this has been happening for some time.
- Dirt channels or water pooling
After a heavy rain or downpour, you may notice water spilling over. Alpine Gutters and Downspouts can come out and repair gutters damaged by storms, but if it’s a frequent occurrence, we may recommend going with new.
- Eroded landscaping
Landscaping is not cheap, and most of us spend a bundle on it. If your gutters are wreaking havoc of your garden, you may want to nip the frustration in the bud and get some new gutters.
- Basement flooding
Last on our list of 10 symptoms of gutters in need of replacement is a big one. Water constantly pouring near your foundation could start leaking into your basement, where it can do significant damage. If you find yourself repairing your basement, go ahead and replace your gutters too.
Knowing these 10 symptoms of gutters in need of replacement will allow you to address an issue that if ignored could lead to home damage. Alpine Gutters & Downspouts is here to help every step of the way.
June 12, 2017
What to Do About Bird Nests in Your Gutters
Do you know what to do about bird nests in your gutters? Alpine Gutters & Downspouts can certainly help you out with this dilemma and show you a safe way to get your gutters back in working order. So, if you are unsure about what to do, read on to understand that there is an art on how to successfully and carefully remove nests without causing any issues with a momma bird and her babies.
Thrushes, finches, doves, starlings and all sorts of mid-sized birds fit perfectly into your cozy little gutter systems, and that is why they find these homes just perfect for raising their little family. And while it may seem cute, it will become a major issue eventually. Here are some reasons why this is detrimental:
- CLOGGED GUTTERS: Birds like to build their nests with all the great materials that we are trying to keep out of our gutters, such as, twigs, sticks, feathers, leaves, etc. They also seem to prefer the area of the gutter system that connects to the downspout because it is usually protected by the roof eaves, keeping them dry and sheltered. A clogged gutter poses serious consequences like flooded basements and ruined landscaping and will often require professional gutter cleaning to prevent issues.
- NOISY: Raising little ones is a noisy affair. You most definitely will hear squawking and tweeting most likely very early in the morning, along with scratching sounds on the metal gutters, and countless trips back and forth by mom foraging for food for her babies. As cute as that may sound, it is pretty certain to get old really quick, unless you have excellent insulation.
- POTENTIAL DANGER FOR BIRDS: If an adult or hatchling falls down the downspout, it could be the end of them and your downspout. It is virtually impossible for them to get out of a metal chamber.
CREATURES OF HABIT
When birds find a comfy little home, chances are they will come back time and time again to have their families. So, what can you do about it? The best course of action is to make it as inhospitable as possible, so they have no choice but to go elsewhere. Here are some suggestions for keeping them away from your gutter systems:
- GUTTER GUARDS: These are a great system to have regardless, even if you do not have a bird nesting problem because they keep wind-blown debris such as leaves, seeds, twigs and more out of the flowing system. They also prevent large rodents such as mice and rats from making nests too. These systems are flat on top which makes it difficult to build a comfy nest, and they come in all sorts of styles and colors.
- DECOYS: If you don't mind the look of plastic animals on your roof, this can sometimes deter birds from nesting, or you can also invest in sensor decoys that sense when they are near and make a noise to scare them off.
- BIRD SPIKES: These are most often used in commercial building to stop birds from landing on their gutters. They have a similar appearance like barbed wire, and generally, the birds will not come close to landing on them when close enough.
- BIRD REPELLING RIBBONS: A holographic ribbon tied in the corner of your eaves, a popular and humane way to send birds a “no trespassing” sign. These high-sheen ribbons bounce 3D colors and images off them as natural light hits and the display they emit freaks birds out. These ribbons also emit noise that bothers their sensitive ears when even the lightest breeze blows through your yard. These ribbons are effective against pigeons, crows, gulls, woodpeckers and everything in between. These are available at most hardware stores.
- NATURAL REMEDY SCENTS: Some are still on the fence on this one, but it may be worth a try (as opposed to having to call us for gutter repair). An application of garlic oil and mixing ground child-peppers into water and spraying branches closest to your gutters might just do the trick; however, while this may keep birds away you may notice the strong garlic smell outside.
- MECHANICAL SPIDERS: Yes, it does sound strange, but someone has come up with the concept, and it actually can work. Bird spiders are mechanical, not real; when motion is detected where you placed your bird spider, mechanical legs will spring out and scare whatever is in its path away.
- BIRD SLOPES: Sometimes called bird slides are slippery PVC or aluminum panels that can be installed at an angle at all 90-degree corners where birds love to set-up shop, such as your gutters. They prevent birds from landing on the nooks and sweet spots that birds love so much by making them slide down the slope, and they blend in nicely.
- PUT UP A BIRDHOUSE: If you make it nice enough and place it in a good spot, perhaps they will be satisfied with the construction and move in, staying away from your gutters.
BIRD NEST REMOVAL
Remember, some states have laws pertaining to bird nest removal, so be sure to contact your local wildlife conservation office if you are unsure what to do in the situation. Some species are protected or endangered and should be handled by the professionals.
In the case that you can remove the nest yourself, ensure that no chicks or eggs are left in the nest. Be sure to wear gloves in case there is any bacteria or mites. Discard the nest properly in a bag or compost pile, and clean the area with bleach and water to disinfect. Obviously, if the nest was in a tree, you can skip the cleaning. Moving nests if they have eggs in them is not a good idea, you are best to wait and let them leave the nest so as not to disturb the cycle.
If you are just witnessing the parents build a nest in your gutters stop construction and destroy it, she will hopefully get the hint that this place is not suitable.
With all these great tips on what to do about bird nests in your gutters, we are confident one of these ideas will suit you just fine. At Alpine Gutters & Downspouts, we always recommend first and foremost that you install gutter guards for many reasons that can extend the life of your gutter system and provide less maintenance and wear and tear on them. Give us a call today for a free quote.
May 9, 2017
Summer Maintenance for Healthy Gutters
At Alpine Gutters & Downspouts, we wanted to share a few tips on important summer maintenance for healthy gutters giving you pointers on how you can keep your gutters and downspouts running smoothly all year long. As you might know, maintenance plays an important role on how long and how well your gutters function, so do not delay, when it comes to these important and straightforward tasks.
Why is it so important to clean your gutters? Well, gutter systems play a significant role in keeping water, snow, and ice away from your home's interior and surroundings. If water works its way into the home, the damage can be irreversible and supremely disappointing. Standing or stagnant water is also a breeding ground for mosquitos that could potentially carry the Zika virus. Let's not forget, that gutter systems can be expensive, so if you properly maintain these systems, you can look at getting at least 20 to 30 years out of them, and that is worth the effort!
Here is a checklist of what can be done to help get you started:
CLEAN: This may be the most important factor to maintaining your gutter system. You will need to get rid of all debris such as leaves, twigs, nests, pests, needles and muck. Grab a small soft brush and soap to gently scrub away dirt, and in the meantime check for damage to the system. Carry a marker with you to mark the points of concern so that a professional can have a quick guide as to where there may be a problem. Next, you need to grab a hose and pour water down the gutters and the downspouts to check for any leaks. Check your roof at this point to see if there is any damage, as the roof and the gutter system usually works hand in hand. Remember to visually inspect the entire system for any weak areas.
CHECK THE SLOPE: Gutters need to be sloped towards the downspout at about 1/8" per foot to keep the water flowing properly. Improper slopes are generally the cause of leaks entering the home, so if you are unsure, have a professional check it out. That could be a grave mistake made if overlooked!
PROPER DRAINAGE: Ensure that your system is draining well, away from your home or landscaping. If you see any pooling or standing water, this will need to be addressed immediately to avoid sidewalk and driveway damage, plant and tree damage, and even roof damage.
REPAIRS: Have a professional like Alpine Gutters & Downspouts come in to do any necessary gutter repair. Sagging gutters could mean an improperly installed system, needing attention immediately, as it could collapse. You can fix a leak quickly by applying silicone caulking or adhesive, but remember, you may need some reinforced components installed to ensure it lasts through the winter months. It is never a good idea to hastily cover up the problem, as the repair usually won't make it through a season.
GUTTER GUARDS: These will most definitely make your life simpler in the long run. You may want to consider a few systems out there, generally coming as screens, inserts or reverse curves. One such system is the Leaf Relief system. This system virtually eliminates maintenance and is completely weather and pest resistant. They will fit standard gutters and are available in a variety of material options. Leaf Relief will always keep water flowing and never clog or overflow, is 100% effective in keeping leaves, debris, and pine needles away, and it comes with a 10-year warranty. Check out our page on Leaf Relief to get a better understanding of why we offer this phenomenal gutter protection system.
You have many options for gutters and downspouts out there, so if you are looking to replace an old or worn out system, summer maintenance for healthy gutters includes doing your research on what gutter system you can afford and which style will work well with your lifestyle and home. From seamless gutters to K-style gutters, half round gutters, and a variety of materials such as vinyl, aluminum, copper, steel, zinc and more, you will never be short of ideas for what will work and look best for your home. Sit down with our professionals to go over all the questions you may have.
HOW OFTEN SHOULD YOU CLEAN: This depends on your area, and the degree of weather patterns during the year, but a general rule of thumb is to have gutters cleaned twice a year at least. The initial cleaning should take place in late fall when most of the leaves have fallen and winter in on its way. And the second cleaning would be in the spring or early summer when pollen and flowers are abundant. Anyone living in a heavily wooded area may find they have to clean 3 to 4 times a year. It is important to examine and visually inspect your gutter systems often and thoroughly.
If you do plan on cleaning the gutters yourself, be sure to have a safe and sturdy ladder, preferably a spotter to hold it, and the proper attire, such as gloves, sturdy footwear, eyewear, a bucket to collect debris, and a scoop of some sort to clean. Remember to not lean the ladder against your gutters which is dangerous and may cause more damage.
HOW MUCH FOR A PROFESSIONAL GUTTER CLEANING? The length and type of gutters, as well as the height of the home, are going to affect the cost of a professional gutter cleaning. Most companies charge a flat fee per foot of gutter, but the price can rise depending on how difficult the job is.
Summer maintenance for healthy gutters is a breeze with the help of Alpine Gutters & Downspouts. We are the gutter professionals since 1977, and our expertise in this industry has made us a leader in the area for all gutter home protection needs. We always suggest calling a professional gutter company for cleaning, repairs and even new gutter installation, because it can lead to dangerous conditions and even avoidable injuries. Call us today for a free quote and leave the gutter cleaning to us!
April 26, 2017
How to Handle Hail Damage to Your Roof and Gutters
Alpine Gutters & Downspouts agrees that it's a good idea to know how to handle hail damage to your roof and gutters if you want to protect your home as a future investment and prolong the life of your gutter systems. Harsh winters and heavy rains can cause a lot of stress and wear on our roofs and gutters, but hail damage is a whole other story that needs to be addressed and dealt with as soon as possible. Read on to learn how to remedy the situation and get your roof and gutters back in action.
If you have just experienced a major hail storm, the first course of action is to do an inspection, from the roof to the vents, the drip edge, the fascia, and of course, gutters and downspouts. Remember, if you have a high sloped roof, you may want to call in the gutter repair professionals to avoid injury or falls. It is not worth the consequence of hurting yourself.
Depending on the type of roof, here is what you may see after a hail storm, and it will indicate damage:
- Shingle Roofs: Indents or missing granules. Check your gutters and the area around the base of downspouts for excessive granule build up.
- Cedar Shake Roofs: Look for scrapes or indents, splinters or cracks, and chips on the cedar shakes.
- Gutters and Downspouts: Again, look for dings and dents in your gutters as well as granules forming at the base on the ground below them.
- Slate/Tile Roofs: Usually will withstand hail much better than shingle and shake roofs but look for cracks and chips in the slate or tile roofs.
- Metal Roofs: Look for dings and dents.
So, you have found some damage, now what? Well, if your roof is older and has taken a considerable amount of damage from the storm, you may want to have someone come in and assess it for a possible new roof. It is unfortunate, but the damage that can ensue afterward will be much costlier if you do not fix the root of the problem. In some cases, you can call your insurance company about coverage or repairs. Whatever the case may be, do not neglect the situation and deal with it promptly.
One situation to be aware of after such a storm, are individuals or "companies" that target homeowners who have just gone through this. These so-called repair or replacement experts tend to prey on people's misfortunes and will try to sell you anything that is not covered under warranty or are just plain deceptive. Always go with reputable gutter specialists that have served the Denver area for decades. Your insurance company can also suggest businesses that are approved and credited.
When you know what signs to look for and how to handle hail damage to your roof and gutters after the storm has passed, you are one step ahead of the game! At Alpine Gutters & Downspouts, we are extremely knowledgeable and confident in this area and have dealt with many hail damage situations. Call on the professionals today, and get honest and helpful advice from professionals who know.