Time for Portland residents to Consider Gutter Protection

Having just made it through the nastiest part of the winter (we hope!), the memory of gutter cleaning should still be fresh in your mind.

Chances are, the job involved a ladder, maybe a visit to your roof, sticking your hand or an instrument of some sort into your gutter, and piles and piles of wet, stinky debris. Basically, you just emptied out your “roof top compost bin!”

You might think that autumn would be the busy season for Portland homeowners looking to investment in a gutter protection system. While this is true, late winter and early spring are also a popular time, I suspect due to the recent memory I just outlined above. Sometimes, it takes that one last gutter cleaning to reaffirm how much you dislike the job.

Well, timing is everything, or at least a big part of things. The Portland Home Builder’s Association, of which we at All Surface Cleaning Company (GutterFlow) are members, is wise enough to have it’s largest home show of the year during this season. This year, the Portland Spring Home and Garden Show runs from Wednesday, February 18 through Sunday, February 22nd. We will be exhibiting there as we always do.

What I like the most about a show is that is give the homeowner a quick chance to compare the various gutter protection systems on the market virtually side by side.

There are different approaches to the problem and there is nothing better than seeing a system in action first hand. Pleasantly enough, we are always inundated with numerous attendee comments such as “Well, what do you know, here [GutterFlow] is a system that actually makes sense!” We whole-heartedly agree and look forward to seeing you there. Come visit us at the Portland Expo Center, booth 904.

Your Roof and Gutters and the Effect of Severe Weather

We received more calls requesting “snow removal from roofs” during of the last weeks of this past December, than in all the other years we’ve been in business combined!   The Portland area just does not experience this type of weather very often.

With many snow or ice related leaks there is not much “repair to be done.” Typical roof leaks are commonly a result of loose or missing flashing, missing shingles/shakes/tiles exposing the underlayment or some blatant damage from falling branches. What usually occurs with snow or ice related leaks, however, is none of these but rather an ice dam causing water to be pushed upward under the outer roofing layers or over a flashing. This most often happens near the gutter line, one of the easiest areas for water to enter under the roof.

If it is a flat roof that is in danger of collapse, then some type of attempt should be considered if the roof is sound enough to be walked on and if appropriate safety measures can be followed (if hiring a contractor, make sure they are able to follow OSHA safety requirements while performing the work.) Most roofs, short of employing a hi-lift, cannot be safely accessed if any snow or ice is accumulated on it.

Often, but not always, a roof leak that occurs from ice damming will not reoccur under normal rain conditions.

Our instinct is to take immediate action, but much of the time, the best thing to do is simply grab a bucket and wait it out. Once the snow or ice is gone, you or a roofer may want to check whether there was a contributing factor to helping create the ice dam, such as a large moss build up. There are still those occurrences where there wasn’t much of a cause beyond how the snow or ice randomly built up during an uncharacteristically harsh storm.

Roofs are not the only area susceptible to severe winter damage. Gutters can be damaged or destroyed when either the weight of frozen water trapped inside of them or sheets of ice sliding off the roof tear them off. Fortunately, gutters do avail themselves more readily to preventative maintenance that will help avert some types of such damage. Clean, flowing gutters will always weigh less that full gutters. Less water will be in clean gutters at the freeze point, which reduces the frozen weight. Some types of gutter protection, namely cover or cap systems, can be susceptible to being torn off by icing just like the gutters they are supposed to protect. Systems that are polyethylene inserts, since they sit inside of the gutter, are not subject to such damage and also help keep the weight of the gutter lower.

Similar safety considerations need to be assessed with mid storm gutter maintenance – a ladder that is footed on a snowy or icy base, even if it is flat, is not a safe proposition. Interior house damage is never a happy occurrence but just remember: Damage to your own body’s interior is much worse. Always error on the side of your personal safety regardless of how frustrating it is to see your property damaged.

Tis the season…for clogged gutters.

Over the last few weeks, we have continued to perform quite a few new GutterFlow installations. Even though the rains have subsided for most of the period, customers are still realizing the benefit of getting the most effective gutter protection system on the market installed before the heavier winter rains come. These folks are looking forward to not having to clean their gutters during Portland’s  cold, rainy season.

Speaking of winter, we get the occasional question as to how well or compatible GutterFlow is with holiday lighting. We are always happy to point out that with our unique installation INSIDE of the gutter versus over the gutter (as virtually all other systems involve) there is no problem whatsoever. Christmas lighting can be put up and down without any more difficulty that with unprotected gutters. Additionally, there is no concern over damaging GutterFlow with the light clips.

So decorate away – you might even want buy some extra decorations with all the money you saved by choosing GutterFlow.