Is it time for new gutters? 8 signs to look for

OverflowingGutter3When the spring rains start to pound, it’s only natural to look up and wonder how your gutters are faring. How do you know when it’s time to replace them? Here are 8 signs you need new gutters.

  1. Cracks or splits
    Although small cracks don’t seem like a big deal, they will eventually get bigger and allow water to seep into the fascia boards, shingles and foundation, rotting the wood and causing serious damage.
  2. Peeling paint
    Failing gutters will wreck a good paint job every time, so check the painted surfaces of your gutters for signs of bubbling or peeling paint. Check the sections of gutter nearest the signs of damage — if there’s damage to the gutters, you might need to replace them.
  3. Clogs
    In gutters without Gutter Helmet, some clogging is natural. Sometimes, though, clogging indicates that is a crack in the gutter is allowing debris to build up and block the flow of water, or that the gutters haven’t been installed correctly. If you’re always cleaning out clogged gutters, take a closer look.
  4. Watermarks or water damage under the home; wet basement
    When water leaks out of your gutters, it lands on the ground next to your house. Overflowing water can seep through your foundation and into your basement, and we don’t have to tell you why that’s a bad thing. If you notice water on the ground outside your house or dampness in your basement, your gutters might be the culprit.
  5. Gutters are separating from the house
    If your gutters are pulling away from your roof, you might have to replace at least the affected sections and possibly the entire gutter system.
  6. Mildew, rust or organic growth
    When rainwater sits in a damaged gutter, it encourages plants and bugs to take up residence there. If you see mildew on walls or around windows, doors or trim, check your gutters carefully. Rust on the grass or concrete under your gutters indicates corrosion. If any of these things are visible, get your gutters inspected.
  7. Rotted shingles
    When blockages cause rainwater to back up in your gutters, it can seep upwards into the shingles and cause the outside edge of your roof to rot. If you see shingles curling or disintegrating, this is probably why.
  8. Broken fasteners, missing nails or screws
    If one of the pieces of metal that attaches your gutter to the roof breaks, it can probably be replaced. If it happens repeatedly, you have a problem. And if you’re finding nails or screws on the ground, that means your gutters aren’t holding to the fascia the way they should be.

If you’re unsure about the quality of your gutters or if you spot any of these warning signs, give Nyhof Custom Gutters a call. We’ll inspect your gutters and give you a trustworthy assessment of what your issues are and what you should do about them.

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Condensation: does it spell disaster for your windows?  

condensationWhen the cold weather shows up in solid form inside your windows, does that mean it’s time for new windows? The answer is: Sometimes.

If condensation is the issue, the problem is caused by excess humidity in the house that shows up on the inside of the window because the glass surface has the lowest temperature in the home.

Window condensation is a problem that often crops up in cold weather. According to the published research, it’s more likely to occur where the average January temperature is 35 degrees or colder because there is a greater extreme between indoor and outdoor temperatures.

The condensation – water droplets that form on the inside of the window – obscures your view, drips onto the windowsills and freezes on the glass. And if you’re in a newly constructed or newly remodeled home, if heating season has just started or if you’re enduring a rapid change of temperature, your problem is probably temporary.

You can try waiting it out, or you can try to lower the humidity in your house. Some things to try include: use exhaust fans or open windows briefly; make sure all gas burners and clothes dryers are vented properly; install kitchen and bath exhaust fans if you don’t already have them; waterproof the basement to keep it dry.

In contrast, if it looks like there’s a foggy residue between the panes of your windows, you probably don’t have temporary humidity issues. That foggy look is a sure sign of seal failure, and that new windows are the only cure.

New windows are a great way to improve the look and energy efficiency of your home, and if eligible new windows are installed before Dec. 31 of this year, you’re eligible for a tax credit. One of the requirements is that the windows meet Energy Star requirements. Lindsay Windows, which Nyhof Custom Gutter & Aluminum stock and installs, are Energy Star products.

Lindsay Windows, a line that includes models Pinnacle, Earthwise and SunView, are made to be highly energy efficient. They are vinyl replacement windows that boast some noteworthy special features:

> A foam spacer inside the frame, which adds another layer of insulation and reduces condensation and frosting

> A magnetic seal between the bottom sash and sill, which provides a solid “refrigerator effect” seal

> Fusion welded frame and sash, which create an impenetrable barrier to air and water

> Tilt-in sashes for easy cleaning

All the Lindsay Window models have a full line of options, such as double hung, casement, slider, picture and sliding patio, bow and bay. Geometric and specialty custom windows are also available.

Every window option also offers a range of grid patterns and types, interior and exterior color choices and screen varieties. Glass can be ordered in four different textures — normal, obscured, aqua and rain — and hardware, extension jambs and window casings also offer an array of options.

All Lindsay Windows are made in the USA, are Energy Star products and have the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval. Some models are also certified by the National Fenestration Rating Council for superior energy performance, the Better Business Bureau the American Architectural Manufacturers Association.

For nearly any budget, style, color or size need, there is a window to fit the bill. We might be best known for gutters but we are experts at installing replacement windows, too. We can help you choose the right windows for your home and your checkbook, and install them with a minimum of disruption to your household.

For more information about tax credits for window and door installations, click here: www.energystar.gov/products/building_products/residential_windows_doors_and_skylights/tax_credit 

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