5 Problems Caused by Clogged Gutters

cleaning clogged gutters

You may be wondering what sort of problems can develop from clogged gutters and if it’s really worth it clean them.  The answer is that regular gutter cleanings prevent a number of problems from occurring in your house and roof and ultimately save you money. Here are five problems that can be prevented by regular and frequent gutter cleanings.

 

1. Water Damage

 One problem clogged gutters can cause is water damage including mold as well as rot, especially to the siding and windows of your home. This rot and mold can even creep inside, affecting both the interior and exterior.

2. Roof Damage

Overflowing gutters will cause the wood sheeting beneath the surface of your roof to rot, causing leaks. 

3. Cracked Foundation

If water overflows your gutters it will pool around the surface of your foundation. Then it can seep into the foundation, and if it freezes it will cause cracks. This is extremely expensive to repair.

4. Damaged Brackets

Clogged gutters put more weight on the brackets holding them to the house than clean gutters. The extra weight can cause clogged gutters to separate from the brackets, damaging them. 

5. Pests 

Clogged gutters make an attractive nesting ground for a variety of pests that you probably don’t want living that close to your house. The easiest way to prevent them from moving in is to keep your gutters clean.

 

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Exterior Painting Questions

exterior painting

If you’re looking to do exterior painting on your home or business you may have questions. Here are the answers to three common questions on exterior painting. Whether you’re painting your home or business, knowing more about exterior painting can only help you. Be sure to also read about the benefits of exterior painting. 

 

How often should I paint the exterior of my home or business?

This depends on a wide variety of factors, including climate and material of the exterior of your building. If your building is in the sun, you may have to paint more often due to the heat affecting the paint. In general, guidelines for exterior painting by material are as follows:

 

Wood siding: 3-7 years

Aluminum siding: 5 years

Stucco: 5-6 years

Brick: 15-20 years

 

Can I do it myself?

Before committing to paint your building’s exterior yourself, you should factor in time and safety. Professional exterior painters have experience on ladders and are insured for falls. It is also a major time commitment to do it yourself. That being said, if you wish to do it yourself it is doable. 

 

How do I pick a color?

First check with any homeowners associations you belong to and see if there are any rules about house colors. Then take into account things that will not be changing color (plants, patio, etc) and look for a color that will complement them. Of course you can always stay with the same or a very similar color as what you have now.

 

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Benefits of Exterior Home Painting

Exterior painting of a house

Are you unclear on the benefits of exterior home painting? Here are four benefits for you to think about. 

1. Home value

Did you know that according to exterior touch ups and curb appeal, including painting, add 2-11% to a home’s value? In addition exterior painting can make a home sell faster by increasing curb appeal. On average homes with good curb appeal sell faster and for more money. 

 

2. Protection from elements

It’s not just about looks, paint is your home’s first line of defense against the elements. Snow, rain, and humidity can all damage your home and the right paint helps keep them out. When older paint ages and cracks it lets more moisture in, which damages your home, then a new coat of exterior paint will protect your home.

 

3. Identify and prevent insect damage

The process of exterior painting includes checking for insect damage. Then, fresh paint will actually prevent wood eating insects such as termites from getting into your house. This is because termites will not eat through paint. In fact, painting is one of the recommended things to do if you have termites. 

 

4. Increased lifespan of siding

With the protection from the elements and prevention of insect damage, it’s no wonder that regular painting leads to an increased lifespan for siding. Increasing siding’s lifespan, saves you money in the long run.

 

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Should you hire a solar panel cleaning service?

Solar panel being cleaned

Are you wondering if it’s worth it to clean your solar panels and hire a service to do so? The answer is a definite YES! 

 

Why do solar panels need cleaning?

Dirt, pollen, bird droppings, and grime all collect on your solar panels. You may think your solar panels will be cleaned by the rain, but that is generally not true. Think about it this way, do your house windows end up sparkling clean after it rains? 

Efficiency

All that dirt on solar panels makes them less efficient, and cleaning them fixes that. The increase in energy production after cleaning is debated, but some experts say a cleaning can make them 30% more efficient.

Manufacturer’s Warranty

One reason to clean your solar panels, is that not doing so might void your warranty. Some manufacturers require annual or twice annual cleanings. If you need to make a warranty claim, you may have to prove that you’ve done those cleanings. Check your warranty to see if this applies to you. 

Do it yourself, or hire a solar panel cleaning service?

Now that you know the benefits of cleaning, the question becomes to do it yourself or hire a service?

Risks

Aside from the general risks of getting on your roof, there is also a risk of electrocution if the cleaning is done wrong. Because of that it makes sense to hire a professional solar cleaning service.

Doing it yourself

If you do decide to do it yourself, check the manufacturer’s directions first.

 

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Composite Deck Maintenance

red chairs around a table with an umbrella up on a low to the ground composite deck

So you’ve heard that composite decks require less maintenance, but how much is less?

Unlike a wood deck

First off we must set the bar for what is considered “less.” Wood decks require sealing every one to three years. Before being resealed, they must be deep cleaned and sanded. This is time consuming and expensive. 

In addition, if boards rot on a wood deck they must be replaced, lest they become a safety hazard. 

Composite decks maintenance

A composite deck like a Trex deck just requires a wash once a year. This can be done with a hose and mild cleaner or with a pressure washer. If you do it with a hose and mild cleaner, it can easily be done without the assistance of professional companies.

Because they are not wood, there is no need to worry about moisture getting in and warping the boards.

Composite deck boards will not rot or attract insects which make their home in wood, saving you money on replacing boards or pest extermination.

 

 

 

 

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Are Gutter Guards Worth The Cost?

Are gutter guards worth the cost?

So you’ve heard about how they can save you  time and money, but are gutter guards worth the cost? Will gutter guards pay for themselves in saved money from gutter cleanings? Let’s take a look.

What are gutter guards?

If you’re not familiar with them, gutter guards are an addition that can be added to your gutters to prevent leaves and debris from falling in and getting stuck. The designs vary, but they all let water still access your gutter, allowing your gutters to work as intended. They drastically reduce the amount your gutters need to be cleaned, because leaves and dirt don’t get stuck inside. Read more about the benefits of gutter guards here.

How do they save you money?

Gutters without guards need to be cleaned a minimum of twice yearly, they may need to be cleaned more often depending on what kinds of trees you have in your yard. Gutters with guards need to be cleaned a minimum of once every two years. Just like regular gutters, the trees in your yard may mean you need to clean it more frequently. 

So are gutter guards worth the cost?

This depends on two factors, what you’re paying for your gutter cleanings and what you pay for your gutter guards. You should already know what you’re currently paying for gutter cleaning (and if you’re not using a professional gutter cleaning company, read about the benefits of doing so here). Now how much do gutter guards cost? This of course depends on the company you go with. Chevy Chase Exteriors offers very reasonably priced gutter guards, with the average being about $1250 (some of course cost more or less, depending on variables like the size of the gutter system). Most companies charge more, but we’ll assume you’re hiring us for our math.

Now, assuming gutter guards last six years, you’ll need to clean them three times. Compared to twelve times if your gutters were uncovered. That will save you the cost of nine gutter cleanings. Depending on what you’re currently paying for gutter cleanings, this could save you a LOT of money.

Further, if you read this article, you’ll see that gutter guards can save your gutters from damage like rust and ice blockages. If you factor in the potential cost of those, you’ll be saving a lot more money and hassle. 

What else can gutter guards save you?

It’s not just about money though, gutter guards also save you time and trouble. From saving you from potential disaster with damage, to cutting down on routine maintenance time, gutter guards are an investment in your peace of mind. 

 

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A short statement on BLM

Chevy Chase Exteriors condemns police brutality as seen in the killings of George Floyd and Breona Taylor and the tear gassing of peaceful protestors at Lafayette Square. We stand with our Black staff in their struggles; we remember and say Black Lives Matter.

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Wood and Composite Decking in MD and DC

red chairs around a table with an umbrella up on a low to the ground composite deck

Wood and Composite Decking in Maryland and DC

Chevy Chase Exteriors can resurface your deck with either composite or wood boards in Montgomery County, Maryland and Northwest DC. Both composite and wood decks have their advantages and disadvantages and it is important to know the pros and cons of each in order to make an informed decision. 

Composite

Composite decking is made from recycled plastic and recycled wood.

Pros for Composite Decking in Maryland and DC

Environmentally Conscious

Because no new trees are cut down and plastic is kept out of the landfill, composite is a great choice for the environment.

Less Maintenance

Rather than worrying about sealing and staining on a routine basis, composite decks just need to be cleaned with mild cleaner once a year and swept on a regular basis.

More Resistant 

Composite decks are more resistant to mold and rot than wood decks, a definite plus when in a climate such as Maryland or DC.

Barefoot friendly

Because composite doesn’t splinter, it is safe to walk on barefoot. 

Cons

Upfront cost

The upfront cost of a composite deck is significantly more than that of a wood deck, though over the lifetime of the deck it is likely to average out about the same from save costs in maintenance. 

No Changing Color

The color you pick when the decking is installed cannot be changed down the road. This is in contrast to a wood deck where the stain or paint color can be changed periodically.

Wood

Wood is another popular decking material in the Maryland and DC area. 

Pros 

Classic

Wood offers a traditional and classic look to a deck.

Cost

The upfront cost of wood is significantly lower than that of composite. 

Changing looks

Whatever color you want you can have. And you can change your mind in a few years too. (Although this is much harder if you’ve painted the deck rather than stained it).

Cons

Maintenance

Wood decks require regular staining and sealing in order to keep the wet out–a definite concern in the Maryland and D.C. area.

 

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An artist and a pressure washer

What happens when you give an artist a pressure washer? You get art of course!

Dianna Wood was gifted a pressure washer from her husband for her birthday and used it to create amazing works on her driveway.  The North Carolinian has been creating unusual art since she was five, according to a story here. 

Wood is working with her county art association to hold an event; which would feature kids coloring in the art in her driveway, according to this story.

While Wood’s driveway in North Carolina may be a long way away from Montgomery County Maryland, there is plenty of local arts events to attend right here.

Bethesda Fine Arts Festival  features 130 top artists, live entertainment, and local restaurants. In 2020 it will be held May 9th and 10th and admission is free.

Chevy Chase/Washington, DC National Fine Arts Festival will be back for its second year in 2020. This year it will be on April 18th and 19th. Their show flyer should be posted soon. Admission is also free.

Rockville Arts Festival is managed by VisArts, a community arts organization. It will be on the streets of Rockville Town Center and will be held May 2nd and 3rd in 2020.

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Pressure Washing vs Power Washing

a pressure washed brick patio

Pressure Washing vs Power Washing

We’re here today to tell you about pressure washing vs power washing and how the two differ.

Pressure washing

Pressure washing uses a high pressured stream of water to blast away grime. You should always hire a professional rather than attempt it yourself, to avoid damage to your property. While some surfaces cannot handle very high pressure, here at Chevy Chase Exteriors we have a range of pressure levels available to us, allowing us to clean almost anything.

 

Power Washing

Power washing is like pressure washing but the industrial machines used have a heating element which means the water used is hot. Therefore with a power washer it is easier to blast away stuck on grime. However some surfaces can be damaged by the heat. At Chevy Chase Exteriors, we always check the levels of dirt, mold, and mildew, as well as the type of surface, before making a decision as to which type of machine we’ll use for a project.

 

Hiring a Professional

For both types of service it is best to hire a professional company.

If you are in Northwest DC or lower Montgomery County, including Chevy Chase, Bethesda, North Bethesda, Kensington, Garrett Park, Takoma Park, Downtown Silver Spring, Rockville, Potomac, and North Potomac please give Chevy Chase Exteriors a call at 202-470-3762

 

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