Moving into spring means saying goodbye to surprise flurries and puffy coats. We’re ready to say a welcoming “hello” to brighter sun, longer days, and warmer temperatures.

No more leaves and snow

While we deliver a gutter system that requires no work, we can’t bring your yard a “set it and forget it” snow remover. The first snowfall of the year is always so beautiful, but by the last one you’re silently hoping the kids won’t ask to build another snowman—can’t we just watch Frozen under the blankets instead? No more snow means no more shoveling, frozen pipes, or winter ice damage to worry about.

Fresh air

Spring is an uplifting time for renewal and refreshment. We’re ready to “spring clean” with the windows open and feel a pleasant breeze waft through the house. Follow the spring cleaning checklist from Country Living to get your home ready for spring, and connect with us on Facebook for springtime DIYs and tips.

After a clean spree, our immune systems will thank us for getting back into the swing of outdoor activities and breathing more clean air.

Garden time 

The best part about spring is all the new growth and color. Now that the first day of spring has officially passed, it is the perfect time of year to spruce up the garden. You don’t have to wait until the hot summer months to start planting, you can grab some annuals and get them planted as soon as you are confident that the ground has properly thawed. Drop by local nurseries to take advantage of early sales, as Bob Villa suggests.

Our design studio can help you plan better curb appeal for your home, but what about garden appeal? Think outside the foliage box. Rain chains are a hot trend on Pinterest right now because they replace gutter downspouts with charming water features in addition to ornamenting your garden, and they have DIY potential.

Best of luck on your spring endeavors! Commit your time and energy toward something better than cleaning out the gutters. We’ll take care of that.

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Photo credit: andwhosaysyoucant.com

Photo credit: Pinterest, originally pinned by sweetcarolinablues, Tumblr

Photo credit: Sunset.com Rain Water Savers

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Do you ever wonder what our gutters will look like on your home?

The LeafGuard Design Studio allows you to see how our sleek and seamless gutter design will harmonize with your home’s style. Choosing a complementary gutter color can mean enhancing the exterior of your home and maximizing curb appeal. These steps can get you there.

1.  Choose the house style that most closely matches yours

2.  Use the tabs to adjust the colors and styles of the following: Siding, Roof, Trim, and Gutter Colors

  • Set the roof, siding, and trim colors to match your home’s current exterior and experiment with various gutter colors, or invent an entirely new color scheme for an update.

3.  Move the cursor over your image to magnify the design you’ve created and get a closer look at what your house will be looking like!

Design tips from our team:

You can’t go wrong with traditional white.

With white trim and white gutters, you can brighten up your home’s façade and highlight its structural design. This timeless look can be especially charming on colonial, Cape Cod, craftsmen, and Victorian style homes.

  • Try these LeafGuard gutter lights: white, egg shell, and cream.

Don’t want the traditional look? Amp up the drama.  

Gutters can outline and define your home’s features in the same way that trim does. The contrast that is created by opting for a dark gutter color to match a dark roof can add depth and drama to the look of your house.

  • Colonial homes are easily adapted to darker gutter colors for an edgier, stylish look like the one pictured here in the design studio.
  • Darker tones are effective in boosting the thematic elements of Tudor and Shingle styled homes.
  • Slate color palettes are popular right now.  Try these LeafGuard gutter colors: terratone, musket, and grey.

The single-story lighten up

If you’re working on a single level home stick to lighter gutter colors, which will draw the eye upwards and keep the look open. A darker color might cause a “squatty” effect.

Utilize the Design Studio when it’s clear to you that you need seamless gutters. Once you’ve got the look you desire, find the nearest dealer, get a free estimate, and get started on your outdoor improvement!

 

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Gutters require a lot of attention, unless of course you’re using LeafGuard’s seamless gutter system. If you neglect them, any number of issues could arise. Here are some of the many things that can go wrong when gutters break or are left unattended to for too long.

Leveled Off

If a gutter system loses it’s slight pitch, then water is a lot less likely to flow throughout and get channeled out of the downspout. Water will stay in the gutter, weighing it down and potentially un-hinging the gutter from the house where they are attached.

Cracked or Leaky

Whether it’s from ice, clogging, other pressures, or just wear and tear over time, cracks are a real problem for gutters for obvious reasons. Water escapes through cracks and builds up in places near your house where you don’t want it.

Clogged and Overflowing

Clogging is the most notorious problem posed to gutters.

Unfortunately, even the best gutters that don’t have some type of guards or solution in place will be vulnerable to clogging. If they are, they will have to be tended to very regularly.

Ice Dam

An ice dam is not a result of bad gutters, it is a result of bad roofing and insulation. If an ice dam should develop, however, it poses threats to the gutter system. That’s because when snow melts and re-freezes as ice, it normally occurs right around the corner where the roof meets the siding. That is the same spot where the gutters are situated, so a large amount of ice will form in or around them.

Ice puts pressure on a gutter system, potentially causing it to sag from its original position or break off altogether.

On a more short-term basis, the presence of ice around your gutters creates dangerous icicles near doorways and walkways.

These are just a few of the different things that could happen when gutter maintenance goes wrong or neglected. It’s best to keep a constant eye on your gutters, or to upgrade to a system that requires zero maintenance once installed.

To learn more about how to keep gutter problems away from your house, visit our main site and connect with us on Facebook!

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Photo Credit: Clogged Gutters, Flickr, AA Windows and Gutters

Photo Credit: Clogged Gutter, Flickr, Jimmy J Dehart Sr

Photo Credit: Clogged Over Winter, Flickr, Jimmy J Dehart Sr

Photo Credit: Ice Dam, Flickr, State Farm

Photo Credit: Pool full of leaves, Flickr, grantlairdjr

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When it comes to replacing things around the house, the easy part is actually doing it.
The hard part is knowing how frequently different components should be replaced or how often different actions should be performed. LeafGuard’s Maintenance Timeline provides you with the reference guide to how often everything should be done or replaced around your house. Keep it handy and refer to it regularly in order to get everything done in due time.

How Often Should I Replace My Carbon Monoxide Detectors?

Replace carbon monoxide detectors every 5 years. Track those 5 years not by when it was installed, but the “manufacture date” on the detector.

Via Wired.com

How Often Should I Check on My Smoke Detectors?

Check if each alarm is working every month by pushing the test button.

How Often Should I Replace the Batteries of My Smoke Detectors?

Replace batteries once a year unless alarm is chirping, which indicates an immediate replacement is necessary.

How Often Should I Replace my Smoke Detectors?

Replace smoke detectors every 10 years.

Via the Red Cross

How Often Should I Defrost My Freezer?

Defrost your freezer once a year.

That is only if your freezer is not auto-defrosting or self-defrosting. Chest freezers tend to require de-frosting, where as standing fridge/freezer combos tend to be automatic.

Via One Hundred Dollars a Month

How Often Should I Replace My Roof or Replace Shingles?

The lifespan of your roofing depends on a number of different factors. Those include severity of weather, materials, and maintenance. In general, asphalt shingles will last around twenty years, and fiber cement shingles should last around 25 years.

Via BobVila.com and ThisOldHouse.com

How Often Should I Pump Out My Septic Tank?

Pump out your septic tank once per year if you have a garbage disposal.

If not, pump it out every three years.

Via Mass.Gov

How Often Should I Clean My Gutters?

Clean or unclog your gutters every season, if you don’t have a seamless system that never clogs. With LeafGuard’s gutter system, you can forget about this maintenance item altogether.

There are dangers to your gutters every season, but it’s probably best to leave them alone during the cold, snow-filled winter months. So if you live in a climate where snow or intense cold are prevalent, forego the winter and unclog gutters approximately 3 times per year.

Some maintenance is monthly, some is yearly, and some is longer-term than that, but all of these items are important measure that will keep your home safe and in order. This maintenance timeline should help alleviate the stress of knowing when it’s time to replace and repair. LeafGuard supports homeowners everywhere save time, money, and headaches in home maintenance.

(Photo Credit: Smoke Detector Batteries, Flickr, US Army Combat Readiness )

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Do you enjoy getting your hands a little dirty around the house? What about being creative and working outside on a nice spring day? There are countless DIY outdoor projects for homeowners out there. Make sure that un-clogging or fixing your gutters isn’t one of them. Put your effort and creativity and time toward something more fulfilling than gutter maintenance.

The common theme is placing things where you might not expect them, re-purposing materials in new ways, and adding a natural element.

Here are some from a few of our favorite sources. Take a nice spring or summer day, get the family or friends involved, and improve the look of your outdoor space while having some fun!

This Old House offers 75 easy DIY upgrades that are each under $75, showing that you can improve the look of your home outdoors and show some personal style without breaking the bank or taking days off from work. A few of our favorites that relate to gutters include:

  • The water required for the Watery Garden (#10) can be collected in a rain barrel, in an effort to conserve water.
  • Speaking of rain water, keep track of the rainfall with a rain gauge (#46)
  • Instead of a galvanized bed (#19) or hypertufa planter (#64.) consider using old gutter materials as a planter.

Sunset.com’s DIY list includes fun things along with time estimates and difficulty rating. One of those is a DIY outdoor shower. Bob Vila also offers a variety of outdoor shower ideas. Try the “Beneath an Arbor” style for a natural feel, or the “Metal Works” if you’re looking for shine.

Another terrific resource for all things outdoor and DIY is HGTV. You’re likely to find a great project to take up on their main site or their blog. And HGTV Gardens is for the green thumber in you to indulge your planting side. Some fun, easy projects from HGTV include:

Whatever the style is that you prefer for your house, there’s an opportunity for you to upgrade the outdoor appearance and function with a DIY project. The key is finding something doable that will make you happy as you see your new addition every day. DIY projects should be adding something great, not removing something terrible, so leave your gutter cleaning days in the past, and focus your DIY onto something fulfilling.

Share your projects and ideas with us here or on our Facebook page!

Photo Credit: Strawberry Planter with runner, Flickr, Samantha
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If you’ve recently purchased a home that doesn’t have gutters, you may be thinking that you can get by without investing in a drainage system. After all, rain water and melted snow runs off of your sloped roof and finds the ground eventually. However, doing without gutters and down spouts can be rather short-sighted. Allowing water to accumulate and pool at your home’s foundation can lead to a myriad of problems. Below are just a few things to consider when deciding whether you need gutters:

1. Gutters keep moisture away from your foundation

Without gutters, water that runs off of your roof lands at the base of your eaves, usually near your foundation. This can cause a number of problems. It can form unattractive trenches and ruts in your landscaping; it can cause water to seep behind your siding, causing the wood behind the siding to rot; and it can cause water to enter your basement, causing mold and mildew to be circulated throughout your living spaces.

2. Gutters keep water away from your attic

Gutters don’t just keep water out of your basement. They can help at the top of your house, also. Without gutters, some of the water than travels over your eaves is likely to seep behind the boards that protect your attic, allowing moisture to accumulate at the top of your house.

3. Gutters help to prevent insect infestations

Moisture around a home’s foundation creates an ideal breeding place for insects, such as termites and ants. Gutters and downspouts channel that water away from the foundation, making your home less attractive to bugs.

4. Gutters keep water from pouring down on you and your guests

Lastly, without gutters, rain water and melting snow comes down off of the roof right where it falls. That can mean rivers of water cascading down on your head as you’re entering or exiting your home. Gutters divert this water to downspouts at the corners of your house, so you’ll stay dry when you’re opening your front door.

Whether to invest in gutters is a decision that needs to be carefully considered. You don’t want to save a few hundred dollars today, only to spend thousands to repair water damage later.

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Quality gutter brand attending top metal usage & application trade show

 

LeafGuard is excited to be attending Metal Con this week. Metal Con International is an annual trade show focused on the application of metial in industrial, institutional, light commercial and residential projects. It has been running for 23 years in a row, and remains the only international annual trade show of its kind. This year it is taking place in Atlanta, Georgia on October 1-3.

Metal Con is for industry professionals to share ideas, knowledge, and resources. It is also an opportunity for the leading brands in the field to connect and network with each other.

Show highlights include:

  • “Metal In Action”, an expanded interactive demo area.
  • “Metal Magnolias”, Metal Con’s giving back initiative for 2013. Metal Con has selected It’s The Journey as the recipient of its efforts. It’s The Journey is producing Atlanta’s 2 day Walk for Breast Cancer on October 5th and 6th. The donation goal has been set at $25,000. Attendees, exhibitors, and sponsors are encouraged to donate to this cause and to participate in this 2 day walk over the course of conference week.
  • “Green Island”, Metal Con’s hub of green technology and products for conserving energy and resources.

We hope to see many members of the LeafGuard community there, and are looking forward to meeting new faces as well! LeafGuard is a great fit at Metal Con because we believe in quality materials and innovation in metal technology and usage. For more information regarding this exciting event, visit www.metalcon.com.

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It’s that time of year again. The air is getting cooler and the days are getting shorter. One thing that always creeps up on us is fall foliage – so pretty to look at when it’s on the trees, yet so painful to clean up once it has nestled itself all over your property. In order to be better prepared this season, find out when your region expects peak leaffall, as different areas will vary across the months of September, October, and even into November. The Weather Channel provides a tool that can tell you when foliage is at its peak in your area. From there, you can plan that 1-2 weeks later, all those beautiful leaves will be dead brown ones on your lawn. Another resource to use is the Storm Fax Foliage Map, an aggregator of state web-site leaf content.

With this type of projection, you will know when to expect the majority of leaves to fall onto your property, and can plan accordingly for removal. The benefit of planning out a good weekend or chunk of time is that you don’t over-commit or underestimate and then come to regret it later in the season. For example, if you set aside the first weekend of October for yard work and leaf-removal, you’d be regretting it if you spent that time and effort then, only to have “peak” time occur two weeks later and be faced with the decision of cleaning up the yard again or leaving it un-touched. By utilizing a chart that estimates when peak leaffall is, you can set aside one day – and only one day – for yard work and leaf removal, and feel like you’ve gotten most of what will come down this fall.

Hopefully, whenever you plan your yard clean up, it doesn’t also involve un-clogging leaves from gutters. If it does, then it’s time to seriously consider installing a new gutter system that won’t clog. The dangers of clogged gutters are numerous. Stagnant water and damage to the foundation and trim are just a few of the issues you could face if you ignore clogged gutters for long enough.

Remember – plan ahead and only spend one day on yard work and leaf removal. Good luck and be careful.

 

Photo Credit: HDR – Front Yard Fall Leaves, Flickr, @Brendan C

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Have you recently made the switch to a seamless gutter system, and are wondering what to do with your old rain gutters? Or are you considering a new gutter system, but are worried about disposing of the old gutters? The good news is that you can create new life for old rain gutters, namely, as planters. So in case a better, hassle-free gutter system wasn’t motivation enough, now you can get use out of those old gutters.

SF Gate outlines the process here. Here’s the simplified version of the step-by-step process:

  • Use a portion of an old gutter at least 4.5 feet long
  • Mark off 3 equally sized sections of the gutter, as you will be able to plant 3 strawberry plants with this length of gutter
  • Secure both ends with glue or other adhesive, to make a closed planter.
  • Insert soil and then strawberry plants
  • Water with 1.5 inches per week
  • Watch your very own strawberry plant produce fruit!

For the complete instructions to try at home, visit the SF Gate guide. The beauty is that with this little trick, you no longer need a garden to plant and grow Strawberries or any other fruit that will work well in a small planter. You can put these planters on a deck railing, mount them under a window like a flower box, or string them to a fence post, among other options!

The thought of making the transition to new gutters can be hard. If your gutters are in any way faulty, or are just becoming too much of a hassle to maintain, then it is absolutely time for a change.

Solutions like this Strawberry planter make the transition easier, knowing that there are uses for your old gutters once you make the change.

Photo Credit: Strawberry Plant with runner!, Flickr, @Samantha Cy-V

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Summer is in full swing – how have you been spending your time? Has it been all relaxing and fun in the sun, or has the summer been defined by one yard work chore after another? Too often, we spend more time on maintenance and upkeep in our outdoor spaces than we do having fun and reaping the benefits of those spaces. A study done by the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed that on average Americans spend more than 20 hours per week working for their own household without pay. Don’t you want your backyard to be associated with summer-time relaxation and enjoyment? The last thing you’d want is for your only memories out there to be marked by yard work.

One reason to opt for relaxation over more yard chores is the issue of safety. Getting up on the ladder to clean out gutters can be dangerous, as can be handling heavy machinery for landscaping maintenance. Do you really want to take the time to find the appropriate equipment, find a spotter, find solid ground, and then actually get up on the ladder to fix the gutters or unclog them?

Taking the necessary precautions for outdoor work and then actually doing the work takes a lot of time, which is the one thing that none of us have enough of. The LeafGuard Chore Calculator estimates how much time you spend doing certain outdoor tasks, and predicts all that could be accomplished if suddenly that time was re-appropriated. Try it out today to learn all that you could do instead of outdoor chores!

The LeafGuard Chore Calculator

Chores may never go away completely, unless you’re willing to pay through the roof, but we believe that you can significantly cut down on total time you spend doing outdoor work, and put that time towards relaxation.

It’s time for a solution that fixes itself. One way to move away from weekend hassle and towards weekend hiatus is to opt for a gutter system that will never clog once implemented. You could always pay a kid in the neighborhood to mow your lawn, but that’s an issue that needs attention every week. LeafGuard gutters are truly a ‘Get it and Forget it’ proposition, allowing you more free time to do as you please this summer instead of worrying about the gutters.

If you feel too much time slipping away on tasks you don’t enjoy, make a plan before the summer is over to actively reduce the time spent on outdoor chores. Once you’ve made the decision to relax more around the house, here are 10 ways to make your backyard a more enjoyable getaway from Better Home and Gardens.

Enjoy your summer, and always check back with the LeafGuard blog for outdoor tips and updates for the home!

Photo Credit: simple tess

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