Annual Gutter Cleaning To Avoid Basement Flooding

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For the average homeowner, avoiding a basement flood is the smart thing to do. Unfortunately, many of us tend to neglect certain house maintenance chores leaving it until something breaks or obviously needs gutter repair. The worst of these neglected chores is the drainage, which also includes the gutters. If you can’t clean your gutter yourself, it’s a good idea to hire a professional for the task.

Gutter cleaning is a dangerous and difficult chore. It is time consuming and unpleasant. Unfortunately, most people put off cleaning out their gutter systems until there is a problem. The reality is that your gutters should be cleaned twice a year: once in early spring to clear out any leftover debris that has accumulated during the winter, and more importantly, in late fall. It is very important to fully clean out your gutter system during this time of year in order to clear out all of the falling leaves and things that gather in your gutter system during fall before the rains starts.

It is imperative that you exercise caution when cleaning your gutter system, keeping in mind that it is a potentially very dangerous activity.

Tips For Cleaning the Gutter Yourself

As is common with most home maintenance activities, it is wise to have your entire gutter cleaning materials you will need prior to beginning. Preferable materials to have in order to properly clean out your gutter system include a ladder, a pair of sturdy gloves, a bucket with a hook, a gutter scoop, and a water hose. However, you are able to clean your gutter system with alternative “tools.” This is explained further below.

The first step in cleaning your gutter system is gaining access to the gutters themselves. I cannot stress enough how important it is that you remember to exercise caution and safety precautions. There are many deaths associated with homeowners not using ladders correctly. Gutters themselves are not sturdy, and are often unstable. Ensure that you are using a sturdy, solid ladder. Be sure to lean the ladder against a solid surface. Do not lean the ladder against the gutter system. The aluminum system can, and often will, buckle under the weight of a person climbing on a ladder. The most important ladder safety tip is that the base of the ladder must be on solid ground. A good general rule is that for every four feet high that the ladder is going, the base should be one foot away from the side of the house. Another important safety precaution to keep in mind is to always face forward when moving up and down on the ladder and keep at least one hand on the ladder at all times.

Tools Needed For The Job

Before climbing the ladder, assemble all of the materials you will need in a way that will allow you to bring them up with you as you climb the ladder. It works well to put your gloves on, place the scoop and hook inside the empty bucket, and then sling the bucket over your forearm so that you are still able to use both hands when climbing the ladder. Once up the ladder, place the hook on a rung in front of the ladder that will keep the bucket accessible, and hang the bucket from the hook. It is now time to begin actually removing the debris from your gutters.

Gloves are a very important part of safety. There are many sharp edges in an aluminum gutter system. Additionally, there is no way to know what else you may find that has taken up residence in your gutters. You do not want to be touching the debris, often moldy and quite possibly bacteria laden, that have contaminated your gutters.

How-To Techniques

You are now ready to begin the actual process of removing the debris from your gutter system. If using a gutter scoop, not only will you be able to pick up more debris with each swipe, but your reach will be extended so you will not need to move your ladder quite as often. The efficiency of cleaning out your gutter system will be much quicker if using a gutter scoop. However, often times people do use their hands as a scoop. You are only able to pick up a much smaller amount of debris at a time using your hands. If you are using your hands, then it really is extremely important that you are wearing a sturdy pair of gloves to protect your hands from any dangerous debris that may have landed in your gutter systems.

Cleaning out a gutter system requires many trips up and down a ladder, moving the ladder, and emptying your bucket. Once you have removed all of the debris from the gutters themselves, it is time to give your gutter system a test run using your garden hose. A final and good rinse with a garden hose is essential. It is important to test your gutter system in order to ensure that you do not have any clogs, especially in the downspouts. Start at one end of your gutter system and start running water. Check to make sure that the slope of your gutters is steep enough so that no pools of water form. You want constant movement toward the downspout with no accumulation. The next thing you will check for is that the water flow continues out the bottom of the downspout at the same rate that it is going in. If the water only trickles out or stops coming out all together, then you know you have a clog somewhere.

Be Cautious, Stay Out of The Hospital

Again, it is imperative that you exercise proper safety precautions through this final step. Make sure that all of your materials are now away from the ladder so that the hose cannot get tangled up in or around them. Handling a hose up on a ladder can be tricky and you need to make sure that you always keep at least one hand on the ladder and do not lean. Make sure that the dangling hose is not caught on your feet or in your way when you are climbing up and down. Another potentially dangerous situation to keep in mind is that your ladder rungs will get slippery when they get wet. Anytime you bring water into the equation, the danger level of any home improvement task goes up. Be extra careful of your footing and hang on tight when climbing down a wet ladder.

If you are reading this article and then realize your gutters are beyond simple cleaning and possibly need to be replaced with gutter installation, then we recommend you research a few of the local companies and hire a professional for the job.

Regular Furnace Maintenance Reduces Furnace Repairs

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Did you know that a gas-powered furnace has a lifespan of more than 20 years? An electric furnace can run for much longer. This makes investing in a furnace for space heating in the home sound like a real bargain. The initial installation costs will be almost insignificant compared to the benefits you will enjoy for many years.

There is just one catch: Maintenance. You can’t expect the furnace to continue functioning at its optimum through the years without giving it a second thought. Furnaces are complex pieces of equipment. They need attention if they are to last as long as they ought to. Regular furnace repair kelowna and maintenance is absolutely necessary if you want your furnace to make it past half of the lifespan expected from it.

You should therefore get in touch with a heating repair company in your area and agree on a maintenance schedule. This will ensure that your furnace is well looked after and will therefore last for much longer.

Many people avoid investing in maintenance. They wait for their furnaces to breakdown or exhibit a problem before they get in touch with a furnace repair technician. By this time the damage is extensive and the repair costs will be high. In the end, they spend much more than those who invest in annual/regular maintenance.

Regular Maintenance Helps Prevent Expensive Repairs

Do you want to save money on your furnace? You should invest in annual maintenance for your furnace. Annual checks will result in a reduced need for repair. You will therefore spend less on the total care of your furnace.

Maintenance ensures that your furnace is inspected by a technician at least once a year. The technician can identify problems in their early stages and make the necessary repairs before the problems escalate into expensive repairs. You will therefore spend less on these minor repairs carried out during maintenance.

Maintenance also involves tune-up. The technician will make adjustments that need to be made and clean any parts of the furnace that need to be cleaned or unclogged. They will ensure that all moving parts are well lubricated and unobstructed to prevent them from breaking down, wearing down or burning out. This will prevent malfunctions and breakdowns in the future as well as making your furnace to function optimally.

Additional Savings

Regular furnace maintenance also saves you money on your energy bills. Running a furnace can consume a lot of energy especially when it is overcompensating for one issue or another. It is therefore important to take the time to ensure that your furnace is always in its best working condition. Maintenance will ensure that your furnace is running efficiently. You will therefore enjoy reduced heating bills in the long run.

Perimeter Drains, Your First Line of Defense

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If you’re looking to build or buy a home, particularly in any area that is damp or prone to basement flooding, one important aspect of your home will be the perimeter drains.

Perimeter drains are basically a drainage ditch covered with gravel for the purpose of directing water away from certain areas like foundations. While French drains used to be constructed using spaced tiles, they are now generally constructed with perforated plastic pipes that can carry larger volumes of water and allow water drainage out the entire length of the pipe as well.

The Job Perimeter Drains Perform

The purpose of perimeter drains Vancouver around your foundation is to draw water that would otherwise sit around the foundation and wick into it, possibly creating one very wet basement or crawl space. A properly built outer perimeter drain should be at a lower level than the footings so that capillary action cannot draw the water up and through the walls.

There is also an interior perimeter drain that can be used that is installed around the inside perimeter of the basement as well. The idea with the interior drain is that unlike the outside perimeter drain, there is no dirt and sediment to plug it up, so that it won’t need to be unclogged after a number of years of use and because it’s inside, any repairs are easily made.

Many of these interior drains are basically just a gap around the perimeter of the basement walls that allow the water to collect from seepage and any humidity to drip down from the concrete wall. The big problem with this type of system is that it creates a lot of moisture inside the home and can cause mildew problems.

The French Drainage System

Interior drains can also be constructed with a new type of French drain system that is installed around the inside perimeter of the basement wall that is then covered with cement. The design allows water to drip down or collect in the pipe through the sides and be pumped away by sump pump while avoiding excessive moisture problems in the home.

The Sump Pump

The water is removed from the basement by way of a sump pump; this pump is wired into the home’s electrical system but should also have a battery backup as well. The sump pump should be maintained yearly to make sure it’s in good running order.

Any information about flooding or the state of the perimeter drainage Vancouver system should be provided to you by the homeowners. The more you know about an existing drainage system, the better prepared you will be in case you need to make any repairs to it once you live in the home; and the more you know about drainage systems in general, the better informed you will be when it comes time to put one in a home you’re building as well.

Common Tools Needed When Working on The Plumbing

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If you have ever experienced a blocked drain or a leaking pipe, then you understand the importance of a plumber. The services of a plumber will ensure you do not suffer losses in your business or industry due to plumbing problems. Any Vancouver plumber who knows his stuff will be able to assess the issue at hand and identify the source of the problem. He will then fix the problem ensuring that the activities in the business can continue uninterrupted. If you are thinking of tackling the job yourself then here is a list of tools you will need to get the job done right.

There are a wide variety of tasks that a plumber can carry out and there are also specialties in the trade which require additional training.

Importance of Using Proper Tools

A plumber is required to carry out a variety of tasks, from cleaning blocked drains to installing and repairing hot water systems. For each job, a plumber should know the materials and tools that will be required to carry out the job to completion.

A plumber should be able to have some carpentry skills. These skills will be required when he has to access pipes and other fittings that are concealed behind walls or underneath. He also has to carry out some welding, soldering and cementing and therefore has to have the right tools at hand.

Plunger

A plunger is something everyone should have in the bathroom.  It is a very common tool that is required every so often. It is used to unblock toilets, sinks, bath tubs and floor drains. You create a firm seal by pressing the plunger down against the opening of the drain. Once it is pressed down, a vacuum is created which draws up the clog when the plunger is released. The plungers used to unblock toilets are usually the heavy duty strong types with a double suction cup.

Hand Auger

A hand auger is used to clear any blockage in the drain after unsuccessfully using a plunger. It is a long flexible cable made from steel wires that can easily go down the twists and turns of the drain. Once the blockage is reached, a motor is turned on and the clog is broken down into small particles. The small particles are thus able to flow down the drain. A closet auger works the same way as a hand auger only that the plumber has to manually turn it to break the clog into small particles. You can rent one of these tools from most supply shops that rent tools.

Pipe Wrench

The pipe wrench is a heavy, large tool which is used to loosen or tighten nuts and fittings. This tool has strong teeth which are used to firmly grip the fittings. You half to be careful not to ruin the finishing on the fittings when using this tool. You can do this by using a rug on the jaws before using the wrench on the fittings. Normally, a plumber uses one wrench to grip the item while the other one is used to turn it.

Hacksaws and Cutters

The hacksaw is used to cut plastic and metal pipes, bolts and nuts and other hard material. If the cut is a difficult one, the blade has to be tensed up in the blade.

A tubing cutter on the other hand is used to cut through pipes which are made from copper. The cutter comes in different sizes including the standard size and the mini-cutter which is used to cut pipes that are located in a small space.

Using Handyman Services Can be Very Helpful

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A handyman service is more than just one person providing home repair. While it can be just one person who does independent work, most likely it will be a business that provides more. In order to increase sales and work full time at repair work, there are different ways to promote your business to gain more customers. The quality of services that are provided is the key to obtaining customers and maintaining these customers, while also having them tell others of your quality work.

One resource, both online and off, for a handyman home services business that is becoming increasingly popular is the creation of newsletters. These newsletters tend to focus on house improvement tips and suggestions and may also offer deals and discounts. A newsletter can give a human face to a company and if done right, can be something that is looked forward to each month. These newsletters can be printed and distributed or sent out by email to those who are on a company’s mailing list.

Tutorials are a new handyman service that may be offered by some enterprising individuals. Tutorials can take the form of how-to articles, video tutorials, or can even be set up as training sessions when the person goes on site. While one professional handyman might shudder at the thought of educating people in house repairs, another might embrace this as the way to be successful in the future. On the one hand there is the possibility of losing revenue; on the other, it is a chance to gain more customers through positive word of mouth.

A good referral for a handyman service can’t be overemphasized. If the referral is from a customer who likes what the professional handyman did and tells friends, then business will be gained. Also, such a person may not have all the necessary skills for the entire job to be done, yet if he has knowledge of other professionals, such as an electricians, plumbers, landscapers or qualified painters, then recommending these professionals to a customer will be useful. The customer won’t have to search to find someone else to finish a job and they will be happy with the service that you’ve provided for them.

As you can see, there is a handyman service for everyone. People who are more comfortable online can take advantage of services on the internet, individuals who are big fans of do-it-yourself work can learn more, and those who hate having to do a lot of research to try and find quality services can gain the benefits of a good referral. The internet has helped shrink the world and so there are more choices for people than ever before. A wise handyman will consider what steps they can take to improve their level of service to clients.

Handyman In Vancouver

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The team at Vancouver Handyman Pros has been proudly serving the handyman needs of greater Vancouver area for years, and are experts in residential and commercial handyman services. Whether you, your business, or someone in your family is looking for a professional handyman service, the friendly and knowledgeable staff at Vancouver Handyman Pros will make sure that your repair or installation needs are handled professionally to your satisfaction.

Certified Professionals

All of our staff is expertly trained and ready to assist your home or business repair needs. Our team is passionate about your satisfaction with our services and we work hard to only offer the proper solutions to help meet your needs. Whether your looking for a quick repair, a complex installation, need more comprehensive projects done, the highly-skilled staff at Vancouver Handyman Pros are ready to help!

Service Areas Throughout the Vancouver Area

Our professional handyman team services all of the greater Vancouver area. We can schedule a free evaluation to help you determine which of our services is best for your specific project. Call the handyman professionals at Vancouver Handyman Pros today to learn more about our service areas in Vancouver.

We offer competitive pricing on all our services. All of our handyman technicians are expertly trained and certified to make sure your project turns out exactly the way you want it.

Types Of Handyman Services:

  • Door Replacement
  • Interior & Exterior Wall Repairs
  • Appliance Installation
  • Ceiling Fan Replacement
  • Sink Installations
  • Blinds & Drapes Installation
  • Flat screen TVs Installation
  • Garbage Disposal Installation
  • Garbage Disposal Clean-out
  • Bulb Replacement
  • Lock Replacement
  • Toilet Replacement
  • Washer/Dryer Installation or Replacement
  • Smoke Detector Installs
  • Siding Repair
  • Odd Jobs
  • Deck Repair

The list above is only a small highlight of our services. Don’t see a service you need, give us a call!