The Ultimate Summer Guide & Best Way to Clean Gutters
Summer is a wonderful time of year. The sun is always shining, family gathering become more frequent and relaxing vacations are always a priority.
Another thing which should be prioritized… your gutters and gutter guards.
Your gutter system is a critical part of your home. Properly functioning gutters prevents costly damages to your home. Regular upkeep and maintenance is necessary to keep your home and family safe this summer.
But don’t worry, we have provided you with everything you need to know to ensure you gutters and gutter guards are given the TLC they need during the summer months.
Keep reading to learn information on how to deal with summer weather, pests, gardening, and much more.
The dryer the summer, the greater the problems. For your gutters, that is.
Don’t worry, we got you covered with all the information you need to make sure your gutters and gutter guards are in tip top shape this summer.
Drier Summers Because Great Stress To Trees
Quick Science Lesson:
Trees “exhale” moisture through their leaves in a process called transpiration. The hotter the temperature, the more trees exhale, and the more stress they face.
Trees then rely on the soil to replace the moisture that they lost through transpiration.
The story doesn’t end there.
During droughts and overly hot summers, the soil has no moisture to give, weakening the tree and causing it to drop greater amounts of leaves and/or needles than normal.
Unfortunately, the excess amount of leaves eventually wind up in your gutters causing havoc on your gutter system.
When those thunderous summer showers finally come along, the built up debris clumps together and clogs up your gutters.
The organic material also clumps up in your downspout and prevent the proper flow of rainwater that rushes down your roof to make its way away from you foundation.
The best thing to do is keep your trees pruned and trim. Make sure to keep an eye out for your gutters, this summer. If you find that debris is getting into your gutters, make sure to clean it out to avoid future problems. MasterShield gutter protection is your best bet to avoid potential clogs and gutter issues this summer. The micro mesh filter stops everything (except water) from getting into your gutters and causing issues.
Keep reading to find out more information on how to deal with other summer gutter problems.
Wildfire Gutter Problems
In areas prone to wildfires, a debris infested gutter can be enough to start a fire. An ember flowing in the wind can ignite in a gutter and carry the first onto your home.
Depending on where in the United States you’re located, this issue can be extremely prevalent.
Make sure to listen close.
Residents in wildfire prone areas, such as states west of the Rockies, have probably faced a similar story like this.
You wake up one morning and see a note on your door saying something like, “clean your gutters within 30 days, or risk getting fined”.
No one wants to wake up in the morning with a notice from their local fire department requesting for their gutters to be cleaned or risk getting a fine.
This can be real headache because you have to find the time in your hectic life to clean out your gutters or spend money to have them cleaned professionally.
This summer, get MasterShield micro mesh gutter guard to avoid the hassle, and potential threat of debris filled gutters. Our patented, stainless steel, micro mesh gutter guard allows water to flow like gentle flowing stream while preventing any and all debris from infiltrating your gutters.
Your clutter free gutters will no longer by a fire hazard… nor a concern.
Keep reading for our special tips to protect your roof and gutters from wildfires.
Wildfire Awareness: Helpful Tips for Your Roof
Many areas of the United States suffer from wildfires and proper precaution should be taken to protect your home from these risks.
Here are 5 tips to keep your family and home safe during these summer wildfires.
Tip 1: Keep debris like branches, leaves and pine needles out of your gutters. A flying spark or fire brand can quickly ignite this debris and cause serious issues.
Tip 2: Install a micro mesh gutter guard to eliminate the hassle of dealing with small debris like pine and fir needles. Guards with large openings allow debris to follow the flow of water and slip through the slits.
Tip 3: Keep tree limbs and branches at least 10 feet away from your chimney.
Tip 4: Does your home have a chimney? Make sure to cover its outlet and stovepipe with a nonflammable screen.
Tip 5: Consider installing a fire-resistant roof if you’re considering re-roofing your home. Good options include metal, tile, and fiberglass roofing materials are best for fire resistance. Make sure to check with your local fire department for current roofing requirements.
Gutter guards are covers that go over your gutters to prevent debris from clogging your gutters. A well designed gutter guards allow water to free flow through while preventing other materials from getting inside.
Although protected gutters require less maintenance than unprotected gutters, they still require some kind of work to keep them functioning correctly. Your guards are subject to many of the same problems as the rest of your roof. This means that your guards can also have debris sitting on top of it, blocking water from flowing inside. We recommend that you glance at your gutters every once in a while and if you see debris piling up, take a ladder and brush it off.
Gutter guards make life much easier, but remember, no gutter guard that is completely maintenance free.
Maintaining Gutter Guards
The sad truth is that all gutter guards require some kind of maintenance. Any company that tells you that you’ll never have to touch your gutter guards, again are simply lying to you. But we can say that gutter guards require less frequent maintenance and prevent major headaches.
The holes in MasterShield micro mesh gutter guard are so small that only a single strand of hair can get inside. However, that doesn’t mean that things can pile up on top of your gutter guard.
Does your gutter guard have excess amounts of organic life, tree sap, or other types of summer debris? Are their fir needles, plant seeds, or pollen? Do you feel like it’s functioning properly?
If the answer is “Yes” to these questions, than do some simple spot cleaning on your gutter guard. Simply brushing off the debris from the top of the gutter guard will have it working like new.
This usually only takes a few minutes to do and then are things go back to normal.
If you don’t feel comfortable doing this on your own? Don’t worry, feel free to call your local installer and they would gladly help you get this done.
Chapter Two: Gardening & Gutter Guards
Watering Thirsty Plants
That sizzling summer heat can really cause a drought on your water hungry plants. The rising temperatures and less rainfall has forced several states to restrict the amount of water residents can consume.
Just because it’s a hot summer, does not mean that your plants should go thirsty.
This summer follow these helpful gardening tips to make sure your plants stay hydrated while keeping your water consumption reasonably low.
Tip 1: Mulch to the rescue.
During the early days of summer, add a layer of mulch to your plants. This helps lower water evaporation while preventing weeds from infiltrating your garden and stealing all the water.
Organic material such as leaves, compost, wood chips, and grass clipping can enrich your soil while cutting the amount of necessary water by as much as 50%.
Tip 2: Timing is key.
When it comes to watering your plants this summer, the best thing to do is water them during the morning.
Plants are better capable to absorb water during the morning. Right before work would be ideal. However, we know that is not feasible for all gardeners.
The next best time would be the evenings.
We would like to warn you; however, your garden becomes Mosquito City during the evenings. Be sure to wear long sleeves and full length pants to avoid those obnoxious bites.
Tip 3: Install a MasterShield gutter guard.
Gutters make the perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes. Be sure to install a micro mesh gutter guard to prevent clogs and standing water in your gutters.
Tip 4: Choose your plants wisely.
If you live in a dryer state, don’t get water-hogging plants.
When choosing which plants to add to your beautiful garden, make sure to that you choose ones that require less water for upkeep.
We suggests beautiful plants like African daisies, geraniums, hollyhocks, euphorbia, dusty miller, wallflowers, and zinnias; just to name a few.
These amazing plants will bring life to your garden this summer, while not hogging up all the water.
Tip 5: Location is everything.
Think wisely where you place your plants. It’s best to group plants with similar water consumption patterns near each other.
If your garden has some kind of a slope, make sure to plant the more water-hungry plants towards the bottom, so water from the top can trickle down.
Tip 6: Consider harvesting your rain water.
Adding a bucket to the bottom part of your downspout will allow you to collect clean rainwater for your garden. A MasterShield micro mesh gutter guard allows you to ensure that water flows down freely and clean from your roof.
We will get into this in detail later on, so make sure to keep reading.
Tip 7: Aerate your soil.
When your soil is tightly packed, water becomes trapped and can’t make its way to your plants.
This summer, give your soil a makeover and add in some nutritious compost to bring life into your plants.
Tip 8: Make sure to keep your plants trimmed and pruned.
The healthier the plant the less dependent on water the plant becomes. Plants that are well pruned are stronger.
Minimizing weeds allows your summer plants to thrive and bloom.
These helpful tips will keep your summer garden looking fresh and vibrant, while using less water.
What Is Rainwater Harvesting?
Wondering the answer to this question? Don’t worry, we got you covered!
Rainwater harvesting is the process of collecting and storing rainwater to use for other purposes, such as watering plants.
If you live in an area that is drought prone, than you know the importance of making the most of the water that does fall.
Adding a few elements to your existing gutter system can save you money, make your home greener, and revive your thirsty plants during hot summer months.
Rainwater Harvesting With MasterShield
If you want to collect clean rainwater, installing a micro mesh gutter guard is the first step.
MasterShield gutter guard acts as your personal water filter and allow only water to run through your harvesting system. Micro mesh gutter guards not only allow you to protect your gutters from debris and organic materials, but it also collects clean rainwater.
A barrel or cistern works great for collecting and storing this resource, which can be used to feed your flowers, revive your lawn, and nourish your landscaping.
Those that want to make even more use out of their harvested water can expand their system to lead the stored water to their washing machines and plumbing system.
Quick Note: This water shouldn’t be used for drinking purposes since it hasn’t been filtered, but it’s perfectly fine for toilet water. This requires more sophisticated procedures which professional or skilled handy workers can set up for you.
Natural rainwater is best for your plants since it’s not treated with chemicals like fluoride or chlorine, and is naturally soft.
Rain harvesting during the summer can also save you significant amounts of money.
Have you noticed your water bill going up over the years? Using this natural resource, means you rely less on municipal water supply, saving more of your hard earned money.
Chapter Three: Protecting Your Vacation Home
Beach House Gutter Guards
It’s finally summertime and you want to take full advantage of the sunny days and warm temperatures by taking a getaway trip to your vacation home.
Your family is all packed up and are excited to send some family summer fun.
The only thing that can ruin your getaway trip is water damaged caused by malfunctioning gutters.
Although vacation homes are not used year round, they must be maintained all year. Your gutters can be more susceptible to gutter problems due to the lower occupancy frequency.
Simply put, you spend less time in your beach house mean you can’t see potential gutter issues happening in time to stop them from causing problems. If you are in your permanent home, it is easier to spot potential threats and fix problems in a timely fashion. Something that can’t really be said for your summer vacation home.
Installing a gutter guard to your summer home can prevents your perfect vacation from going sour, due to unplanned damages. Micro mesh gutter guards prevent costly damages while requiring little maintenance.
We recommend installing gutter guards on your vacation home. Gutter guards protect your gutters when you are gone and they can easily be maintained during the times when you are staying there. MasterShield gutter covers act as your personal security guards and provide your gutters with the protection it needs.
Chapter Four: Hurricanes & Weather Threats
Preparing Your Home before a Hurricane
A hurricane can be a scary thing. The best thing to do when hurricane season rears its ugly head, is to prepare BEFORE the storm hits.
Make sure to always keep an ear out to the latest storm warnings and weather reports. Head any evacuation calls and always stay on the side of caution.
Prepare your home for hurricanes by taking a look at these tips.
Tip 1: Remove any and all loose objects lying around the outside of your house.
Your kids’ bikes and lawn furniture laying around, store them in your garage or basement, potted plants on your porch, bring them inside. Objects flying at 50+ miles per hour can quickly become lethal and storm winds can some reach 100+ miles per hour. Protect your home during these summer storms, bring in your outdoor objects.
Tip 2: Park your car away from trees.
No one wants to walk outside their house to see a mighty oak tree on top of their car. We advise that you park your car away from trees until the storm passes. It’s better to walk a little farther away from your house to find a tree free space, than risk complete automobile destruction.
Tip 3: Secure your garage door.
You may not know this, but your garage door is one of the most vulnerable areas during summer storms. A failing garage door can let fierce winds enter your home and cause damage to your walls, ceiling, roof, and possibly harm the people inside– you and your family.
Of course we don’t want to scare anyone, we just want to make sure you and your family are safe.
Tip 4: What’s weaker than your garage door? You guessed it, your windows.
The fast and strong winds of summer storms or a window’s worse nightmare. We recommend re-enforcing your windows with a strip of plywood for homes that don’t have storm shutters.
Tip 5: Clean out your gutters before the storm hits.
Your gutter system is a crucial element to your home, especially during heavy storms. When the heavy rain of hurricanes come rushing in, your gutters must be prepared to put up a fight to avoid potential water damages. Debris infested gutters are likely to be clogged will not be able to handle summer hurricanes.
Don’t worry, keep reading to find out exactly how to prepare your gutters before the storm.
Tip 6: Does your house have a drain near your basement? If so, make sure it’s clear of debris such as twigs, leaves, and other objects which can obstruct the flow of water.
We are saying this again. Stay on the side of caution! This means if authorities advice you to evacuate the area, do so. Sign up for message alerts to stay aware of what’s going on in your area.
Pack Your Safety Kit. Keep a bag filled with essentials such as batteries, nonperishable food, flashlights, and water. It’s always a good idea to stock up on a first aid kit which include bandages, dresses, antibiotics, medication, and painkillers. These kits come in extremely handy and serve great purpose when summer storms hit. It’s also not a bad idea to pack an additional bag and store it in your car, in case of emergencies.
Power Loss. If you lose your power during summer storms, something that happens a lot on our end, make sure to eat perishable foods first. Food remaining in the freezer will remain cold for a few days, if the door is kept shut. Nothing awakens your culinary creativity like a power outage during a storm. Who knew hummus and lime yogurt go great together?!
Summer hurricanes can seem scary but preparing beforehand ensures that you, your family, and your home are as safe as you can be.
Gutter Prep before a Hurricane
So we took care of some of the basic hurricane safety steps, but we also have everything you need to know to make sure you have functioning gutters before a hurricane.
We got all the tips you need to keep your gutters functioning right and your house protected this summer.
Clean Your Gutters Before The Storm. We said this in the previous section, we know. The best way to make sure your gutter system is functioning properly is to clean them out BEFORE the storm.
This is not only a tip coming from our team, but a top tip on the list of every government agency and safety agency. Combine leaf and debris infested gutters with the down pouring rain of a hurricane and you got yourself the perfect recipe for leaky, and costly, mess.
Lengthen Those Downspouts. It’s crucial for your downspouts to extend well away from your foundation. Extending your downspout at least 5 feet from your foundation is best to avoid oversaturating your foundation and causing major problems. Oversaturated ground near your foundation can cause water to seep through the walls of your foundation, leading to serious and costly issues.
Keep A Close Eye On Your Windows. It’s often a good idea to cover your windows, if possible, to keep excess water and debris out. You’ll see the first signs of clogged gutters when your window well fills with water. Additionally, the sealant around your windows may not keep water outside your home. It’s always helpful to keep a bucket handy, just in case.
Be Cautious Of Where You Dump Your Leaves. After cleaning out your gutters, you may be tempted to dump all the debris from your gutters, on the street. Help out your storm drains and wait until after the storm to dump all these leaves. The excess debris can overwhelm your storm drains and cause them to clog. Your storm drains will already be working overtime during the hurricane, don’t make their job more difficult.
Check And Secure Your Basement. Sometimes you can prepare ahead but water still gets into your basement. We think it’s better to prepare for the worst but hope for the best. Take a look at your basement and consider moving things off the ground, in case a flood was to happen. During the storm, check on your basement regularly to ensure that things are functioning as they should be.
Gutter Guard Prep before a Hurricane
Before the storm comes in, take a walk around your house.
Ask yourself these questions: Are your gutter panels looking right? Is one higher than the other?
If so, this is an issue that needs to be addressed quickly. If gutter guard panels get dislodged, the wind can blow them right of your house and can lead to accidents.
Make Sure Your Gutter Guards Are Enclosed At The Ends. During a hurricane, the fierce winds can blow in from the side and cause the guard to rip or lift off the roof.
If You Have a Thick Gutter Guard, Be Cautious. Some gutter covers are very thick, such as Gutter Glove and they can become deadly projectiles if they were to come off the roof.
Know How Much Your Gutter Can Handle. During the heavy downpours of summer hurricanes your gutters and gutter guards may have trouble dealing with the rapid rate of the flowing water. The overflow of water is usually due to the gutter’s inability to handle the heavy volume of water. Your gutter guards are not malfunctioning, it’s just that most gutters can handle about 6 inches of rainfall and hour, as building codes specify.
Prepare Your Downspout Before The Hurricane Hits. Make sure your downspouts extend at least 5 feet from your foundation. If you have already had basement issues, consider extending your downspouts even farther from your house. Keep an eye out for your basement just in case water sneaks its way in.
Do You Have An Insertable Filter? Make sure the filter has enough caulk or is properly sealed in place. If not sealed properly, a huge gust of horizontal wind or rain can dislodge the filter or panel.
Homeowners With Gutter Guards That Lay Flat On Your Gutters Should Be Cautious. During summer hurricanes, water is likely to splash off the flat surface and soak into the underside of your plywood subfloor. After the storm is over, make sure that there is no damage and any damage that has occurred is on the top of your to do list.
And there you have it, everything you need to know to make sure your gutter guards are in good shape to deal with those violent summer hurricanes.
Keep reading to learn what to do after the summer storm has passed.
After A Hurricane: Checking Your Gutters and Gutter Guards
So the hurricane has ravaged through your town and now you have to deal with the aftermath.
Trees have been knocked down, leaves and branches are scattered all around your neighborhood.
So what to do to deal with the summer hurricane aftermath?
Clean Your Gutters. We know we told you to clean your gutters before the storm, we know. However, it’s important to also give your gutters a little TLC after the storm has passed. If there is debris on roof and street, it’s probably in your gutters too. Keep in mind to wait until after fallen trees and power lines are removed and taken care of before going up to deal with your gutters.
Check For Clogs By Spraying A Hose Away Form The Downspout. If water is flowing down the downspout at a similar rate than your hose, than your gutters are clog free. If water is flowing slower or water is still trickling down an hour after you sprayed your gutters that means you have a clog and it should be taken care of as soon as possible.
Do You Have A Flat Roof? If you do, debris is likely stuck up there and it’s not likely to make it down your roof.
Do You Have Gutter Protection Like Leaf Relief Or A Sponge Which Lie Flat On Your Gutters? If you do, take some time to brush debris off the top to resume proper functioning. However, consider getting a micro mesh gutter guard instead, since they increase gutter protection and make gutter maintenance significantly less frequent and painless.
Are There Gutter Screens Or Gutter Guard Panels In Your Yard? Make sure to reinstall them.
Doing these things will help your home get back in tip top shape after a hurricane. Good Luck!
Chapter Five: Hail Damage
Dealing with Hail Damage
Hail storms are common occurrences in the Midwestern states of the United States.
Your typical summer hail storm lasts about 15 minutes, but in that short amount of time costly damages can cause serious problems to your home.
The size of the hail storm, wind direction and your roof pitch all play a role in the amount of damage your home is susceptible too.
Large hail storms can cause serious gutter and gutter guard damages so be aware your insurance company’s policy on hail damage.
One of the first things you should do after a summer hail storm is conduct an inspection. Take a look at your roof and see if anything stands out or looks odd. Check your roof, including vents, drip edge, fascia, and gutters.
Often times you can do your inspection from the ground. If you see dents and cracks on your gutters, you’re likely to have even more hail damage on other parts of your roof.
We recommend contacting a roof contracting company to take a look at your home; they are more skilled at assessing whether your home has been damaged or not.
If other parts of your home are damaged, such as or shed, deck, porch, or outdoor AC unit, you probably have roof damage as well.
If You Have Hail Damage Contact Your Insurance Company. Most likely, your insurance company will send an adjuster to take photos of your roof and survey the area. It’s best to have dated pictures of the actual hail for your records.
Depending on your insurance company and your homeowner policy, serious hail damage can qualify for a roof replacement.
Protected Gutters Are Also Susceptible To The Damages Of Summer Hail Storms. We recommend taking dated photographs of your gutter guard and replacing them, if damaged.
If you have to look for a contractor, make sure to select a reputable licensed contractor.
The roof is one of the most important parts of your home, and only knowledgeable and capable companies should work on it.
Chapter Six: Summertime Viruses & Pests
West Nile and Zika Virus
Summer’s arrival means the start of mosquito season. Mosquitoes mean the risk of West Nile Virus, a seasonal epidemic in North America that starts in the summer and tends to continue into the fall. It also means the threat of Zika virus which is a disease that heavily impacts pregnant women.
We have all the information you need to take preemptive measures to protect your family this summer.
West Nile Virus and Zika Virus are transmitted by mosquito bites.
Mosquitoes become infected when they feed on infected birds. If you see a dead bird, near your home, don’t handle the bird with your bare hands. The best thing to do it contact your local health department and ask for advice on how to properly handle the situation.
Sadly there is no treatment for West Nile Virus but one in 150 people will contract the illness. Of the people infected, 80% of them will not show any symptoms until it’s too late. It’s important to take the proper precautions to ensure your family’s safety this summer.
Severe symptoms include high fever, neck stiffness, headaches, disorientation, tremors, convulsions muscle weakness, vision loss, and paralysis, just to name a few.
Tips To Keep Your Family Safe
Here are some tips to ensure you keep safe from these diseases, this summer.
Tip 1: Diligently remove standing water from your yard. Still water is the perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes. If you have pet bowls, bird baths, or livestock watering tank, make sure to change the water frequently.
Tip 2: Remove all items that tend to collect water such as old tires, cans and containers.
Got a tire swing? Drill a hole on the bottom part to avoid standing water inside the tire.
Tip 3: Cover rain barrels with fine mesh screens
Tip 4: Families with infants should cover strollers or carriers to protect the little ones.
Unprotected gutters can be a huge issue. Even the smallest amount of debris can cause enough standing water to create a breeding ground for mosquitoes. It’s best to install a micro mesh gutter guard, like MasterShield, to avoid standing water and mosquito breeding grounds. Make sure your gutters have no dips along their length; aging or poorly installed gutters can fill with pools without any debris in them at all.
Residents in states that chronic sufferers of West Nile Virus should consider installing a gutter guard on their house. Our stainless steel micro mesh gutter guards have openings so small that mosquitoes can’t get in, ensuring that only water enters the gutters below.
Dealing with Pests & Insects
Knowing how abundant and annoying summer pests can be, we have provided a list of common pests which can hide in your gutters. Here are tips on how to deal with them and ensure your gutters stay pest free.
Mosquitoes Pooling water in your gutters is a mosquito’s version of a welcome mat. Sitting water in your gutters makes the perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes.
Mosquito bites can be way more than just itchy and obnoxious. Mosquitoes can carry various diseases such as West Nile and Zika virus.
Our best recommendation to prevent mosquitoes is to contact a professional to clean out your gutter. Although it’s not that difficult to do, it’s best to leave this particular gutter wash down to the professionals. If you live in areas with heavy vegetation then it wouldn’t be a bad idea to consider getting pest management advice to help this issue.
Mosquitoes are most active during dusk and dawn, so be sure to wear long sleeves and full length pants if you are outside during these points. Mosquitoes are attracted to darker colors, so it’s better to wear lighter colors when going out. The lighter colors are also more likely to keep you cooler during warm summer mornings.
Bees Bees love to make their hives near your home, and your gutters are the most attractive piece of real estate for them. Bees and wasps, form their homes against your gutters, causing serious problems. Not only do these small critters ruin your family BBQs, but they ruin the integrity and effectiveness of your gutters.
MasterShield micro mesh gutter guard is your best bet to avoid these buzzing insects. With our product, your gutters are completely enclosed with a mesh so fine that nothing but water can get through. Your gutters will no longer be a home for pests like bees and you family will remain safe.
Birds Many homeowners love to hear the songs of birds. Because of that, people make their yards hospitable to friendly birds. However, birds nesting in your gutters can be harmful to your family and your home. Bird droppings can stain the exterior of your home.
Nesting birds make your gutter system ineffective. Unfortunately, removing one nest doesn’t stop other birds from building their nest in your gutters too.
We recommend installing a micro mesh gutter guard like MasterShield which completely prevents birds and other pests from setting up shop in your gutters.
And there you have it, everything you need to know to make sure your gutters are in tip top shape this summer.
Be sure to check out our other ultimate guides to get your gutters through the fall, spring and winter.
These are great resources if you want to learn how to keep your gutters functioning properly year round.