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Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Gutter Cleaning & Installation Tips


We all know how important it is to install gutters properly and keep them clean.  But do you know the best ways to accomplish these tasks?  Here are some tips of the trade every homeowner and professional should know.

Gutter Cleaning Tips 

Dress for the job – To stay both safe and comfortable while cleaning a gutter system, it is important for you to come prepared.   Always wear a long-sleeve shirt, rubber-soled shoes, and protective gloves when working.

Clean gutters before the rainy season – Don’t leave the gutters full of leaves and debris right before the wet season.  No matter which region you live in it is important to clear the way for the increased amounts of precipitations ensuring your gutters can handle the extra load. 

A gutter scoop is the best tool to remove debris –While hosing down a gutter and using your hands to get rid of debris both work, the best and most efficient way to remove clumps of leaves is with a gutter scoop.  Gutter scoops are specially designed to glide on the bottom of the gutter to clear the space.  A good one to try is the Gutter Getter Scoop.

Ladder stabilizers can be a great investment – A ladder stabilizer can be very helpful when cleaning your gutters.  Products such as the Ladder-Max Stand Off Ladder Stabilizer not only help keep you more safe when high up but also prevents dents and scratches on the gutters themselves. 

Gutter Installation Tips

Figure in waste – Since many gutters come in standard lengths and sizes there will likely be some waste as you cut them to fit.  When calculating materials for a gutter installation project add 10% more to the final total to account for waste and trim. 

Use a chalk line to stay straight – Draw a chalk line and align the top of the gutters with it during installation.  This not only keeps your gutters at the proper slope but also ensures a straight line.

Plan the placement – To make hanging the gutters go more smoothly, lay out the placement of each piece on the ground first.  This helps to visualize and plan out the downspout locations as well. 

Use the right supplier – Rather than going to a big box retailer for your gutter supply needs, head online instead.  Online suppliers such as GutterSupply.com offer large selections at great prices and their shipping is quick, easy, and affordable.  They also have many resources such as toll-free phone support to help you find the right products for your project.

At GutterSupply.com, we make shopping for your gutter tools and supplies quick and easy.  As a leading online supplier in the gutter industry, we provide both professionals and homeowners the quality products they need to complete any size job.  We also offer bulk ordering and toll-free assistance.  Contact us at 888-909-RAIN or email us at info@guttersupply.com to learn more about how GutterSupply.com can help with your next gutter project.

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Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Smart Solutions for Common Gutter Problems



A home’s gutter system performs the important function of funneling rainwater away from the home’s foundation and leading it safely to the surrounding ground for absorption.  A home without a proper gutter system can sustain many issues including cracked and damaged foundations, flooding into the home or basement, mold growth, and more.  Many homeowners will experience gutter problems at some point during the ownership of their home.  Some may be easily fixed by the homeowner themselves while others may require professional help.
 
Here are some of the most common gutter problems and smart solutions to remedy them.

1. Sagging Gutters - Sagging gutters are not only a nuisance to the home but also unsightly.  The cause of this problem is often the hangers used to support the gutters.  Over time these hangers can deteriorate or lift away from the home. Some may have even been spaced too far apart during installation.  Replacing them is often the best solution to a sagging issue.

2. Gutters Pulling Away from Home - Many homeowners begin to notice their gutters pulling away from the frame of the house.  Although not uncommon, this problem can make your gutters weaker and more prone to damage from heavy storms. While the source of this issue is often faulty installation, there are ways to remedy the issue.  Many professionals suggest rehanging the gutters properly and testing for adequate drainage.

3. Leaks or Holes - Few things are worse than a leaky gutter system.  Leaks often occur near the gutter joints.  If small, they can be easily fixed by sealing the area with caulking.  Smaller holes can be filled with gutter sealant.  Larger holes may require the installation of a patch to secure the area. 

4. Improper Pitch - To successfully drain water away from the home’s foundation, the gutters must be properly pitched.  Industry standards suggest at least a quarter inch pitch every 10 feet.  If sagging, clogging, and leaking issues have all been addressed and the gutters still have standing water in them then the gutter is likely improperly pitched.  Sometimes the gutter can be simply pushed back into place and others times it needs to be rehung. 

5. Clogged Gutters - Clogged gutters are one of the most common complaints contractors run across.  When gutters become filled with leaves and other debris, they are less able to efficiently funnel the water away.  Gutters must be cleaned on a regular basis to keep the space clear and open.

6. Animal Infestation - There are many types of critters that take refuge in gutter systems.  Squirrels, birds, insects, rodents, and even snakes can all quickly become a nuisance when they begin infesting a home’s gutter system.  The animals must be removed to prevent damage to the area.  A professional expert in the field can help relocate the pests or offer extermination services.

GutterSupply.com is the leader in online gutter supplies and materials.   We are dedicated to keeping both professionals and homeowners educated on the best practices for gutter installation, maintenance, and repair.   

To view our large inventory of quality products visit our website or call us at 888.909.7246 to learn more. 

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Friday, June 19, 2015

The Basics of Ladder Safety

As professional gutter contractor, climbing up and down a ladder hundreds of times a day is just part of the job.   It can be an exhausting and treacherous task and one of the main reasons why homeowners hire a professional to do the work.  In fact, the Center for Disease Control reported that 43% of all fall fatalities in the last decade involved a ladder.*  The height at which the fall may occur only makes the risks of this jobsite hazard even more dangerous.  For this reason, it is important that all contractors keep ladder safety in mind each and every time they climb.

Follow these guidelines for proper ladder safety:

Before you begin working
:

Prior to setting up your ladder, check out the area in which you’ll be working.  Is it a high traffic area where adults or kids may be passing through?  Are there any signs of bee’s nests, birds nest, low-hanging branches or other environmental concerns?  

Visually inspect the existing roof, gutters, and building’s general exterior for signs of deterioration.
Assess the levelness of the ground looking for areas of unevenness or dips.

Consider the weather conditions.  Ladders should not be used during periods of high wind or storms.

Wear the right gear to stay safe.  Slip-resistant shoes are a must.  For better traction, clean the bottoms of the shoes soles prior to working.  You also want to utilize gear which helps you remain hands-free while climbing up and down. Consider wearing a tool belt or having a helper hand you tools and material.

Selecting the right ladder:

Size the ladder right for the job at hand. The ladder’s Duty Rating should be sufficient enough to handle the climber as well as all tools and supplies.  It should also be tall enough that the climber does not need to use the top rung to reach the working area.

Inspect the ladder prior to use.  Check for loose or damaged parts.  A ladder that leans or sways should never be used. 

Using the ladder properly:
When climbing a ladder, use slow, deliberate steps avoiding sudden movements.

Never attempt to move a ladder while you are on it.

Avoid overreaching while on the ladder.  A good rule is to keep your belt buckle in between the ladder’s side rails at all times.

Follow the Three Point-of-Contact rule at all times.  To minimize your risk of falling maintain three points of contact to the ladder while climbing up or down or working from it.  Keep either two hands and one foot or two feet and one hand on the ladders steps, side rails, and/or rungs.

At GutterSupply.com, we know how important ladder safety is to your business.  Helping keep you and your employee’s safe on the jobsite, we offer equipment such as the Ladder-Max ladder stabilizer and more.  Browse our extensive website to learn more about our large selection of safety products.  We make it convenient to order right online for all of your gutter supply needs.

*Occupational Ladder Fall Injuries – United States, 2011

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Thursday, June 4, 2015

A Professional’s Guide for Soffit Installation

If you have a home plagued with peeling or rotting soffits and fascia, installing new aluminum replacements may be the best solution to this common problem.  It can also save you the time and hassle of scraping and painting the wood edges. Like many home renovations, the quality of the installation has a great impact on the durability and overall finish of your soffits.  Knowing which materials to use and how to best install can help leave you with long-lasting results.

Before Beginning
Before beginning a soffit or fascia installation it is important to fix any underlying roof issues.  If the home experienced water damage in the past the problem is likely to persist into the future.  Although aluminum is less susceptible to the damaging effects of water, the wood underneath is still prone to it.  Ice dams, sagging shingles edges and broken shingles are all common problems to look for. 

Your Materials Matter
To take on this type of project you also need both the right materials and the correct quantity of them.  Most soffit panels come in 12’ lengths and are 12” wide.  Purchase a good mix of both solid and vented soffits.  A good rule to follow is 80 percent solid and 20 percent vented.  Aluminum soffits are often pre-painted so make sure to choose a color that will blend well with the existing exterior.  You also want to consider the profile of panel you choose.  At GutterSupply.com, we carry both Double 6 and Triple 4 profiles to fit every need.  

Here are a few soffit installation tips to follow for a professional finish:

  • For better end results, follow an installation sequence. Many suggest starting by leveling your existing wood soffit with the bottom of your fascia board. Install the J-Channel then moving to the soffits, then fascia, then drip edge.
  • If installing vented soffits, remove any existing vent covers in that area for better airflow.
  • Use the right trim nails for the job.  Make sure your trim nails are at least 1 ¼” long.  Also make sure to select a color that matches the materials you are installing.
  • Utilize a carpenter’s square to line up the first panel correctly. Install the panel perpendicular to the home with the groove side facing the direction you are installing.
  • If you have an existing frieze board below your wood soffit you can cap this with the material you will be using for your fascia. When bending your frieze board you should create a (Z bend) allowing the aluminum soffit to be level with the bottom of your fascia. Then install your J-Channel over the aluminum frieze board.

When installing soffits and fascia onto a home it is important to both prepare and plan for the project.  One way to make sure you have the right materials and tools for a professional finish is by choosing the right partner for your supply needs.  GutterSupply.com is one of the nation’s largest online suppliers in the gutter industry.  We not only carry a large selection of both soffits and trim but also the quality tools you need to install them including tin snips and utility knives.

If you have any questions contact us or call us at 888-909-RAIN.

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Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Gutters and Gutter Guard Myths Debunked


How much do homeowners really know about their gutters and the guards installed to protect them?  What they think is fact can be a far cry from the truth.  It is important to be aware of these misconceptions so that, as contractors, we can inform our customers on how gutters work, the function and purpose of a quality gutter guard system, and the best practices for maintaining both.  Below are some common myths about gutters and gutter guards.

The best person to clean my gutters is me….

Gutter cleaning is not just another chore that easily be accomplished by any homeowner.  The height at which you work and the difficult of this task can both make cleaning the gutter virtually impossible for some people with limited abilities or range of motion.  An experienced contractor with the appropriate ladder and tools to complete the work is often the best person for the job.

Few trees mean no debris in my gutters….

Just because a home has few or no trees, there are still many ways debris can get into the gutter system.  Wind-blown leaves from surrounding homes are often the common culprits  While properties with less trees may require fewer cleanings, they still need regular maintenance and inspections.

Gutter guards eliminate the need to ever clean my gutters again….


Installing gutter guards or gutter toppers can make necessary cleanings less frequent but does not completely eliminate the need for them. Virtually any system will allow at least some debris into the gutters themselves.  Gutter guards do however greatly reduce the amount of buildup while reducing the likelihood of blockages occurring. 

Gutter guards are ineffective….

Despite being a growing, thriving industry, many still believe that gutter guards are unnecessary for the average homeowner.  While every home and property is unique, many people can benefit from installing a quality guard system onto their home’s exterior.  These systems can greatly reduce the amount of debris within the gutters especially for homes with many trees and foliage.   For these types of properties, they can also lower the frequency in which gutter cleanings are necessary.

Metal is best when it comes to gutter guards….

Many believe that metal guards are far superior to any other type of system including vinyl.  While metal is a smart, durable choice the most important aspect to consider when choosing your gutter guards is which overall system is best for your unique home.  The climate in which you live, the foliage around your property, and the home’s architecture all play important parts in determining the right system for you.

If common myths have lead your customers to ignoring this important part of their home’s exterior, inform them on how to best to care for their gutters and gutter guards.  Stress to them the importance of annual maintenance and inspections.  Also make sure they know how critical quality installation by a trained professional can be to the durability and effectiveness of their system.  At GutterSupply.com we are dedicated to keeping both professionals and homeowners informed on the best practices within the gutter industry.  Click here to learn more.

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Wednesday, May 13, 2015

6 Reasons to Become a Registered Contractor Today

Have you heard about GutterSupply.com’s contractor program?  In a continued effort to better serve our customers, we have a special section of our website just for professional contractors and other businesses in the industry.  Our contractor partners enjoy many benefits from special pricing to custom printed materials and more. Whether you have shopped from us for years or have just recently discovered our site, we invite you to learn more about this special program.

Here are 6 reasons to become a registered contractor today:

  1. Enjoy Special Pricing – Want to get quality gutter supplies at great prices?  Our contractors enjoy special pricing on our large selection of products. You can also buy in bulk for those bigger projects.

  2. Receive Free Customer Sell Sheets – Customized sell sheets can help take your business to the next level.  We can add your unique business logo and contact information to sell sheets for our most popular products such as Gutter Guard, Micro Mesh, and Filter Flow.  Our sell sheets come in full color with a custom imprint made just for you.

  3. Easy Online Ordering – Entering in your contact information, address, and payment each and every time you order is a pain not to mention time-consuming.  Registered contractors enjoy easy online orders with much of their information securely saved for future use.  All you need to do is select the products and quantities you need for that specific order.

  4. Access to Thousands of Products – Those in our professional contractor program enjoy access to over 3,000 gutter products.  GutterSupply.com ensures each of the products we offer are made with quality and durability in mind. Our gutters come in 12 metals along with hundreds of different sizes and styles.  We also carry some of the top brands in the industry including Van Mark brakes, New Tech gutter machines, and more.

  5. Quick Online Quotes – We know that the professional gutter contractor is often busy and on-the-go all the time.  That’s why we offer instant online quotes so that you can get what you need and fast.  No need to wait around for an emailed response.  You can take care of all of your ordering needs right through our website.

  6. Support from Our Technical Experts – If you have a question about a specific product or need help in selecting the materials for a unique application, contact our team of technical experts for help.  Whether you prefer to email or call, we have people standing by during standard business hours ready to help.  Learn more about how to contact us by visiting here.

If you are a professional contractor looking for great products at affordable prices, sign up for our contractor program today.  Just fill out a quick questionnaire and provide one business reference to get started on enjoying all the benefits of our professional partners.   If you have other questions about our contractor program or want learn more about it, visit us here or call 1-888-909-RAIN (7246). 

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Thursday, April 23, 2015

Selecting the Best Brake for Your Business


A quality brake can be one of the best investments you make for your gutter contracting business.  Being able to bend materials on the jobsite can save you valuable time and money.   When making a large purchase it is important to consider which features you will need.  Finding the perfect fit for your business will ensure that you’re left with a product you are happy with for years to come. 

Here are 7 features to look for when researching which brake is the right fit for your business:

    http://www.guttersupply.com/p-portable-brake-van-mark-Mark-I.gstml
  1. Throat Depth – Make sure the brake system you choose has the throat depth needed on the jobsite.  The Mark I, II, and IV Series each have a throat depth of 14” which allows for more custom bends.
  2. Easy Adjustment – An important aspect of any large machinery is how easily it is adjusted.  Especially for a one-man job, being able to quickly adjust for each bend is critical.  Van Mark promotes that their brakes never need adjusting but include independently-adjustable UHMW plastic wedges when the need arises.
  3. Bending Power – Both the bending capacity and bending power of a brake are essential features to consider.  The Mark II series features POWERslot technology offering greater bending power with less force making for a smoother, better end-product.
  4. Durability – Durability is often determined by the type of raw materials the brake is constructed of.  Using quality materials and a construction that is built to last will ensure your system will be dependable for the long-term.
  5. Portability – You don’t need to sacrifice the portability of a system for better quality.  In fact, there are many brakes available on the market today that are both durable and lightweight.  A lightweight system with handles makes for easier transport from jobsite to jobsite.  
  6.  Maintenance Needs – Servicing a brake system can take a lot of time and energy.  Brakes with minimal parts require less maintenance and repair needs, allowing you to stay on the jobsite and working. 
  7. Commercial vs. Residential – Do you need a brake that will work for both your residential and commercial needs?  Both the Mark I and the Mark II come in commercial and contractor models and feature dual locking, bending handles.
A quality brake can be one of the best investments you make for your gutter contracting business.  Being able to bend materials on the jobsite can save you valuable time and money.   When making a large purchase it is important to consider which features you will need.  Finding the perfect fit for your business will ensure that you’re left with a product you are happy with for years to come. 

Here are 7 features to look for when researching which brake is the right fit for your business:

The alloys and tempers of metal vary, resulting in a wide variety of bending capabilities.  For further questions on specific metals, contact our team at 1-888-909-RAIN (7246). 

At GutterSupply.com we are proud to carry Van Mark brand brake systems and accessories including the Mark Series.  Van Mark has been a worldwide leader in the brake industry, producing not only a superior product, but also making the job of the contractor easier.  To learn more about the features of each brake system we carry, visit us here.  You can also view our selection of quality brakes in our product catalog.

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