Gutter Cleaning Mistakes You Are Making

This is not a fun job. But it is a job that must be done, because “prevention is better than cure”.

Not cleaning gutters can result in problems including flooding, damage to foundations, structural damage, rotting fascia, and ground erosion. All this is preventable, provided you, the homeowner, attends to the following costly mistakes.

Don’t bother cleaning the gutters until they are full.

This is the number 1 error. If your gutters are full, and heavy rainfall or a storm comes along … yeah, it is much too late to do anything about it. When the gutters are full, the water has a hard time getting to the downpipe, and it has to go somewhere, so guess where it goes. Some will overflow and make big puddles around your foundations, or it will go into your roof area, and into the ceiling. Then what happens? You will need to spend big on repairs to restore and repair your house. If you are not keen or physically able to get on a ladder and clean out the gutters yourself, there are people who will do it for you. Compare the cost of paying a cleaner to repairing the roof and ceiling.

I don’t need to check the gutters, do I?

Severe storms do damage, we all know that. You can’t make an inspection while the storm is raging, but it is certainly a good idea to get up there and see what happened, without too much delay. Ensure that no damage has happened to your roof and gutters. Any problems will come to light the next time it rains or storms, with the same unwanted result to your ceilings. If you’re not sure about anything at all, call in the experts again. You don’t want a nasty surprise next time a storm hits.

Get the cheapest quote

The job needs to be done, so I don’t want to pay too much. However think of this before you go along that line. Sometimes all you need is someone with a leaf blower to do a basic clean out. But if you want a proper clean, including all gutters, downpipes and drains, to ensure grime, dirt and debris is completely removed, you need to go to a reputable gutter cleaning company. You will find different websites quoting basic prices, which seem to be cheap, but there is the possibility that those basic prices do not include everything that needs to be done. Contact a local roofing company known to have a good reputation, and known to do a good job, and ask for an inclusive itemised quote, so no hidden costs can be added on afterwards.

I’m depending on the gutter guards

These are promoted as the solution to keeping leaves out of the gutter. They help, but they are not the ultimate solution. Cheap gutter guards have large grids that don’t even notice the dirt and grit that easily gets through. Some without UV protection will disintegrate over time. Even the most expensive gutter guards still allow dirt and debris fall through. This builds up in the gutter, and in a cursory observation you won’t see it under the guard.

Let’s go back to the reputable cleaning company. They know all the facts about what works and what doesn’t. You will be spending money on something that no-one will see unless their windows are above your roof level, but you will be protecting your investment in your home.

Common Problems With Your Carpet

New carpet makes a big difference to your room, and not just because it is a different colour. It renews the room, and makes you want to keep it looking new and fresh for ever. But like everything else, carpet gets old, but there are some solutions to give it a pick-me-up.

Indications of wear

Sooner than you expect, there may be indications of wear, such as a thinning appearance. Basically, this is the fault of the underlay. Underlay’s purpose is intended to cushion your carpet, and make it feel soft and plush underfoot. But if the wrong underlay is used, you will find that your carpet wears more quickly than expected. Make sure the underlay is the best quality, most suitable for your type of carpet. Some underlays are made from natural rubber or foam. Do you have a multi-storey house? You might like to know that there is also acoustic underlay, so it can muffle sound between floors. Ask your carpet retailer. Tell them what you have and what you need, and they can advise you.

Pile thickness

This is the length and thickness of the fibres of your carpet. Shag carpets have long fibres, and Axminster carpet is short fibres. In high traffic areas it is most obvious when your carpet pile is losing thickness. It is probably because the wrong carpet was put in that area where traffic is most likely to be heavy. Tell the carpet retailer where you want the carpet to go. Tell him if you have children or pets, and where they usually spend a lot of their time and energy in the house.

So what to do about it? One solution is to place a piece of furniture to disguise the worn area. However the results of high traffic on carpet are only there because that’s where everyone needs to walk, and putting furniture there will just move the high traffic to another part of the carpet. Another solution is to put an area rug over the worn out area. There are so many choices of size, colours and patterns. The ultimate solution is to rip up the old carpet (maybe it’s been there for a long time anyway) and put down new carpet and underlay which is totally suitable for the area.

Indentations from furniture

When you rearrange the furniture, you can see indentations left by the heavy furniture in the carpet. Low quality carpet contributes more to this problem. This is another question to ask your carpet retailer, how to withstand indentations from furniture. A possible solution is to move the furniture just a bit every so often to spread out the indentations. Otherwise, don’t move the furniture at all. Just be sure the furniture is in the right place to start with. But if you must move it, put load spreading supports under the furniture to distribute the weight. Or you could put a rug between your furniture and the carpet.

When you are buying carpet, be sure to put all these questions to the salesman and trust that he knows what he is talking about.

Last piece of advice – vacuum your carpets weekly, and have them professionally deep cleaned by a company like these professional carpet cleaners in Wollongong. This will increase the life of your carpets.

How You Can Help Your Trees

Droughts and floods, one extreme to the other, and this is what we have come to expect in the Lucky Country. The purpose of this article is to show you how your trees and garden plants can survive through the extreme weather in Australia. It can be difficult to predict what the weather is going to do, but we have to plan for any outcome, and be ready to deal with it.

Plants need water

To keep your trees and garden plants in top condition, ready to fight against whatever the weather throws at us, the first and most important requirement is water. On hot days, in particular, watering in early morning and in the late evening is the best plan. This will allow the plants to take in the water early, before the heat comes; and the heat will evaporate the surface water. Watering again in the evening after the sun goes down will give them that extra reprieve from the heat of the day.

So does the lawn

Hot, dry summers can be challenging when you want to keep your lawns green and healthy. Grass does respond quickly to watering, as you would notice when there is a day of rain after weeks of dry weather. To help your grass to remain green, think about setting up an irrigation system, or even a basic sprinkler that you can move from place to place. Set the sprinkler so that it releases the water slowly, for a longer time, so that the water can gradually soak into the ground.

Plan your plants

Don’t plant delicate plants if you live in a hot, dry area. There is a lot of information out there about what sort of plants would do well in the various environments in this country. Put in the wrong plants, and you will certainly be discouraged and disheartened when they do not thrive. But be careful of planting something that may become a weed, and take over your garden when you don’t want it to.

A storm in a treetop

We know what storms can do. The TV news is quick to show the damage that occurs when a major storm strikes an area. You can storm-proof your trees. Start by pruning the trees before summer storms strike. Regular tree care service and maintenance, for example getting rid of dead branches, is essential. Make your tree strong by watering them regularly, feeding them regularly with good fertiliser, as well as looking after their upkeep. The stronger the tree, the more likely it is to survive the storms.

You can protect a tree from storms, and the debris and winds that come with the storms. Think “Tree Wrapping”. This is practised by people who want to protect young trees, or thin-barked trees, from damage caused by extreme weather. A recommended wrapping is burlap or hessian, both easily available. You could make a protective “fence” by inserting stakes in the ground and attaching the material to prevent debris stirred up by the wind from damaging the tree. Don’t leave the wrapping on the tree forever, it could lead to rotting.

Some Real Benefits of Pressure Cleaning Your House and Property

Did you know your home is in a constant battle? That battle is with the environment, and without your help, your home will always lose. Years upon years of blazing hot sun does its damage, as does hundreds of rainstorms, tonnes of wind blow dust and debris, the work of burrowing insects, trees with fallen leaves and sap, and animals and birds, as well. All of this, over time, degrades the look of your house and the strength of its protective coatings.

Pressure Cleaning your house can make it look clean and sparkling and an envy to your neighbours. That’s a very major positive benefit, but not the focus to this blog.

We’re going to look at some of the other benefits that Pressure Cleaning can give your home and property.

Pressure Cleaning Your Home Can Help Prevent Expensive Damage

Water is a funny thing. On the one hand, we need it to live. On the other, it can destroy. Water causes wood to rot, metal to rust and it can erode rock and soil.

It can also cause mould to form and spread over your surfaces, both interior and exterior. One of the many negatives about mould is that it can eat away at the paint covering your exterior surfaces. That paint isn’t there just to make your house stand out and look pretty. It’s like a protective skin between the environment and the surface itself. Once the mould starts eating away at the paint, the protective surfaces becomes more and more compromised, leaving behind the unprotected exterior surface underneath. The unprotected exterior is now open to the environment, and as we’ve already said, in a battle with the environment your house will eventually lose.

It will just lose far faster without the paint protecting it.

Pressure Cleaning Can Actually Improve Your Health.

We talked about one of the negatives about mould in the previous example. This is a second negative. Mould can also be harmful to your health; as can algae, dust mites, pollen, bacterium and fungus and many other things, particularly to people who have underlying breathing issues, such as allergies or asthma.

Making sure you have a scheduled pressure cleaning of your exterior surfaces will get rid of these things, thereby improving the health of everyone living inside.

Pressure Cleaning Can Prepare Your Exterior Surfaces For Other Work

If you want to paint your surfaces, whether they be exterior surfaces, or wooden surfaces like your fence or decks, you first need to ensure you have a completely clean, smooth surface. Painted wooden surfaces are usually not something that you would pressure clean using a high pressure cleaning water jet, because the force of the water will scrape the paint right off … but if you are going to repaint it anyway, then high pressure cleaning will ensure a complete clean and smooth surface ready for your first coat.

Also, if you want to seal your concrete driveway, performing a high pressure driveway clean on the driveway will ensure the driveway surface is clean and smooth and real for the seal.

How Important Are Good Gutters?

Are your property values affected if your gutters aren’t doing the best job?

Buyers expect that the gutters are in good nick. Gutters are expected to be able to easily catch and remove the rain water that falls on the roof. They are not listed as an asset in the real estate advertisements. “Four bedrooms (great), two and a half bathrooms (also great), large kitchen with a huge island (wonderful!!), working gutters (huh??)”.  Because gutters are supposed to work properly. Do we have to promote the fact that the lock on the front door works properly? Do we have to show that there’s a space for a refrigerator? Of course not, those things are expected. Same with gutters, buyers would expect that they work. Therefore they do not add to the value of your home.

There is a but

But if your gutters are broken down, obviously looking very ugly, that will have a negative effect on the value of your house. When gutters are good, they are barely noticeable. When they are ugly, they are very noticeable.

When the gutters don’t do what they’re supposed to do, which is to transport the rain water from the roof to the downpipe and subsequently to the drains, that can lead to costly problems, and your potential buyer will not want to buy into that situation. Water brings life, but in some circumstances it bring destruction. In the natural world, erosion caused by water is obvious. Water has power.

It can cause similar erosion, albeit on a much smaller scale, to your home’s foundations, which could result in subsidence and cracks forming in your foundations and or walls. That will result in expensive repairs.

Water that can not flow through blocked gutters will back up onto your roof or overflow, spilling down the walls. Water pooling on your roof will, in time, cause damage to your roof, rafters, ceilings and everything it can get close to. And water which spills over down the walls will pool on the ground and even get into your foundations.

Conclusion

We have to conclude that good gutters don’t have any effect on the value of your home, since everyone would expect that the gutters would do what they are supposed to do. They don’t get included in the “selling points”, such as “3 car garage”, “in-ground pool with sauna and spa”, etc. Gutters are important, but they sit there, surrounding your home, doing their job without fanfare.

But bad gutters … that’s a different story. Get your gutters checked. Actually the Building & Pest Inspector who has an important role to play in the purchase of a house, is likely to put a big red X on their report if they feel that the gutters are not up to scratch.  Before getting ready to go on the market, make sure your gutters get a pass mark by having a professional gutter cleaner get up there to clean out your gutters. It is not a great expense, but it may mean that there would be no further, and much greater, expense if the roof or foundations need to be repaired.

Your Pets and Your Carpets

Pet ownership in Australia rates highly. Really there are more homes that have pets, than homes that don’t have pets. So pets have to be taken into consideration in so many ways in our lives. A big consideration is getting the flooring that is right for you and your pet.

You might think that tiled floors, or timber floors are better choices. You think they are easier to keep clean. But they might be difficult for pets to deal with. They are hard on their feet, and may cause discomfort. They can be slippery, and again cause discomfort, perhaps even accidents if your excitable pup loses traction and slides across the floor into the china cabinet. The sound of doggy nails against the hard floor will give you a clue that Fido is in the room, if you think that is a good thing.

But for comfort, for less strain on feet and legs, both for yourself and your pet, carpet is a very popular choice. Especially if you and your pet are in the habit of stretching out (in summer) or curling up (in winter) on the floor for a nap.

Carpet retailers will give advice on the types of carpet that you can use. Loop pile carpet should be rejected, as should the shaggy pile. This can be snagged on the pet’s claws. Nylon carpet is durable and cleans well, and is usually cost effective. Wool carpet also is worth considering. A carpet tile floor can be easily repaired by replacing individual tiles, as necessary.

Some carpets have been treated to be water resistant, so that quick clean-ups can get rid of stains from pet faeces, urine or vomit.

Should you match your carpet colour to your pets?

This is the ultimate answer for those situations where the pet is the most treasured feature in the room. Of course you should! Fifi is a beautiful blonde with golden highlights. Give me a carpet that will match her colouring!  Then we won’t notice when her hair falls all over the carpet.

However probably the best choice is a shade in the range from mid to dark colouring. In this way you might disguise the appearance of pet hair, and reduce the need to vacuum so often.

That’s all good for the pampered lap dog who spend their days indoors. What about …

The Outside Dog

They run around outside, digging in the garden, getting grass and foliage in their fur, and dirty feet. Most of the time they stay outside, but there are times they want to be inside. Put down doormats so they can wipe their feet …. Good for you if you can train them to do that. But some of the better quality doormats can remove the better part of the dirt that the dogs might try to introduce into the living room.

In any situation, lap dog or outside dog, your carpet will develop a doggy smell.  It is advisable to get your carpets deep cleaned regularly by a professional carpet cleaner with a stain and odour removal service, who has the equipment and the knowhow to restore any and every type of carpet to look and smell its best.

How To Properly Dispose of White Goods

White goods? What is meant by “white goods”? That term usually refers to electrical appliances that are big, bulky and burdensome. Think washing machines, refrigerators, ovens, clothes dryers, air conditioners and the ilk. They may not actually be white, but their predecessors usually were, hence the overall nomenclature. Now their connection is their size. Whatever their colour is, doesn’t matter.

Because of their size, white goods are difficult to remove, either from one room to another, or to get them out of the house altogether. Refrigerators and washing machines (etc) don’t last forever, so eventually they will stop working, and they have to be removed when shiny new ones have to be brought in to replace them.

We usually don’t have any reason to keep the old appliances, they are just going to take up valuable space. Even if they are not working, they can be recycled. If done properly, recycling prevents toxic materials from contaminating and affecting the environment. They can also use recycled materials to make new products. Consider this option, and how you might be able to make it happen.

If your appliance is still operative, there might be someone in the family, or a charity, who could use the appliance you don’t want any more. Check around before you consign the appliance to the scrap heap.

HOW TO DO IT

So now that you have decided what to do, the question is, how to do it.

They are usually heavy, as mentioned earlier, so you and the spouse can’t just pick it up and carry it out of the house. Can you make it any lighter, for example removing parts that can be easily removed?

Next, work out the logistics. How are you going to get it out of the house? Is there enough space to move it through the house without bumping into walls or doorways? And down the stairs?

You need the correct equipment. Most likely this will mean at least one other human being who has suitable muscles and strength. You may also need a lifting trolley, and don’t depend on the appliance just resting comfortably on the trolley. Strap it in. Don’t give it an inch of moving room.

PLAN AHEAD

Don’t be in a hurry. If you rush, mistakes may occur, and by extension, injuries. Make your plan before you start, and move items, pets and little people out of the way.  Do you think you will be able to do this on your own? Do you think it would be a good idea to ask a professional to help?

“I don’t want to pay a professional remover!” OK. Would you prefer to hurt yourself, your family, your home? That would possibly be a heavy cost you can prevent. Professionals, like the white goods removal Canberra experts, have the knowledge and equipment (and the muscles) to do it properly, quickly, safely. They also know about how to recycle the items safely. Think about it.