Gutter Cleaning Palatine IL
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Types of Gutter Guards
Most gutter guard products can be grouped into these basic categories:
• Various types of screens that filter the debris from the water, from expensive micro-mesh screen systems to super-cheap screen panels.
• Solid gutter covers that deflect leaves and debris while capturing rain runoff
• Gutter inserts made of foam or brushes that prevent leaves and debris from clogging the gutters but allow water to drain through the channels.
Within each of these categories, there are many different manufacturers, each touting the benefits of their products. In making a selection, you will be faced with some major decisions, beginning with budget. You can spend as little as $.30 per lineal foot for simple screening that you install yourself and as much as $30 per foot for professionally installed, solid gutter covers. As a rule, fine-mesh screening and solid covers requiring professional installation will run from $20 to $30 per foot.
Depending upon the product, gutter guards will have varying degrees of effectiveness. Some are foolproof at blocking debris but may allow considerable rainwater to spill over the eaves, for example.
Some reject most but not all leaves and debris, so they need to be cleaned occasionally. Depending upon their design, this can become a bigger hassle than cleaning gutters with no covers if the guards can’t be removed easily, for example.
Some gutter guards work great beneath broad-leaf trees but marginally at rejecting needles or seeds. Others are good for low-sloped roofs but allow too much spillover on a steeply pitched or metal roof. Still others encourage massive icicles in snowy, freezing weather.
Unless you’re going to opt for the least expensive, easiest-to-install options such as simple screens available at home improvement centers, it’s wise to check with neighbors who are happy with their gutter control systems, especially if their homes have a similar architecture and roof pitch to yours.
Repairing Damaged Soffits
Soffits are the horizontal boards that fit under the eaves of the roof. They cover exposed rafter tails and can serve as part of a house’s attic ventilation system. Since they are exposed to the elements, wooden soffits may decay if you don’t take good care of them. The best way to repair damaged soffits is to remove the old wood and replace it with new. Before you replace rotten soffits, try to determine what caused the damage and correct the problem. For example, overflowing gutters might be one reason you need to repair your soffits.
Don safety glasses. Slide a pry bar under the molding between the vertical fascia board and the shingles. Gently raise the pry bar to pull off the shingle mold. If you don’t damage the shingle mold, you can reinstall it later. Not all houses have shingle mold.
Pry off the fascia board from the ends of the rafters. If the soffit needs replacing, chances are good the fascia has wood rot as well. If it does, replace it the same time you repair the soffits.
Slide the soffit out of the molding holding it horizontal against the house. If there are nails holding it in place on the molding or from the rafter tails, remove the nails with the pry bar.
Inspect the rafter tails now exposed with the fascia and soffit removed. If any show signs of rot, cut off the damaged areas with a reciprocating saw. Cut a matching length of lumber from a piece of pressure-treated lumber, using a circular saw.
Cut a piece of 1-inch-wide lumber approximately 8 inches longer than the replacement rafter was. Hold the cut replacement rafter in position on the rafter with the 1-inch lumber behind it. Extend the ends of the 1-inch lumber on either side behind the replacement board. Use wood clamps to secure the boards together as well as to secure them to the rafters. Insert several screws into the rafters and the 1-inch lumber to hold it to the rafters. Put several screws into the pressure-treated lumber and the 1-inch lumber behind it to secure them together.
Measure and cut the replacement soffit out of thin hardboard, using a circular saw. If the old soffit is in one piece, you might be able to use it as a pattern. Coat the entire piece of wood with a waxy wood sealer or primer, applied with a paintbrush. Let the sealer dry following manufacturer’s directions.
Measure and cut a new fascia, if necessary, from wood the same thickness as the original fascia. Use the old fascia as a guide if it is in one piece. Give it a coat of primer on all sides and let it dry.
Set the soffit back onto the molding that holds it against the house. Fasten it to the molding and the underside of the rafters with 6d nails.
Reattach the fascia to the house with 6d nails. Put the shingle mold back in place.
Examine the soffits and fascia for any seams where water might leak behind them. Caulk those areas with paintable caulking. Cover nails with wood putty and smooth it in place. Let it dry for at least 30 minutes.
Give the soffits and fascia a coat of exterior paint. Allow the paint to dry. When the first coat is dry, apply a second coat of paint.
Things You Will Need
Lumber, 1-inch in width
Drill with screwdriver bits
Waxy sealer or primer
It might be necessary to remove the guttering before you remove the fascia, if the gutters hang along that side of the roof.