5 Points to Consider When Cleaning Your Gutters

Gutters on home

Cleaning gutters is a big job and it’s no wondering many people neglect it year after year. Most of us dread this annual or semi-annual chore. It’s dirty, disgusting, hard work, not to mention dangerous. One wrong move and you could be spending the day in the emergency room – or worse. If you’re a homeowner it pays to know how to do this job as safely as possible. We developed a five point guide to cleaning your gutters safely and efficiently, the same way the professionals do.

Rust

The first point isn’t about the tools of the trade for cleaning gutters; it’s about what happens if you don’t clean them. In many cases they will rust out. Standing water leaves, and dirt in many types of gutters will cause rust holes. These will have to be repaired and eventually the whole gutter system will have to be replaced. Prevention goes a long way. Cleaning or, better yet, using aluminum or plastic gutters will prevent rust. A thin coat of zinc will also prevent rusting.

Ladders

It should go without saying that your ladder should be sturdy. You’ll want to use a four legged ladder (three legged orchard ladders are definitely not a good choice), preferably aluminum or fiberglass. Wooden ladders tend to be less stable than these other options, although if the ground around your home is exceptionally flat, a wooden ladder might be OK.

For a single story home, a taller stepladder is an excellent choice. A strong, wide shelf is also a good thing to have, since you can use this for a bucket to hold the debris you’re cleaning out of your gutters.

Before you get up on any ladder, make sure that it’s stable, any fasteners are secure and the hinges are locked firmly in place. If necessary, place a piece of plywood underneath the ladder for added stability. Better still, have someone else there to hold the ladder and keep it stable. Keep three limbs on the ladder at all times so that you don’t lose your balance – forgetting this is what leads to the majority of gutter cleaning injuries.

close up of clean gutter

The Right Tools for the Job

Heavy duty work gloves help keep your hands clean while you’re dealing with all of the decaying leaves and other muck that ends up in your gutters. Gloves will also protect your hands from sharp edges, bee and wasp stings and anything else you might come across while cleaning out your gutters.

A scoop is also a good tool to have. You can find plastic gutter scoops at nearly any hardware store and they can save you a lot of time and trouble. They’re usually only a few dollars and would be a bargain at twice the price.  A garden trawl will also work in pinch.

gutter downspout

Check the Downspouts

Before you finish, use a hose to spray out the gutters and check to see if the water is draining properly through your downspouts. If not, you’ll need to clear whatever is clogging it. These clogs can usually be cleared by tapping on the side of the downspout and giving it another flushing out with the hose – repeat as necessary.

Avoiding Cleaning Your Gutters In The First Place

Cleaning out the gutters is a lot of work, but it doesn’t have to be. In fact, if you install a high quality gutter guard, you won’t need to clean them as much! A micromesh guard like Gutter Glove can protect your gutters by keeping out leaves, dirt and other debris, which means you may never have to face this dirty and dangerous job again.

Give Your Home a Designer Look on a Budget

Designers don’t have a set of rules that they use. While they understand colors and patterns, they aren’t pigeonholed with a few ideas. Instead, they look at the size of the room and begin to design a room based on the potential it has. Here are some of the tricks they use when designing the homes of the rich that you can incorporate while sticking to your budget.

The first thing to remember is that rooms need breathing room. When you walk into a room, have a few places for seating and fill empty space with objects of interest. A room with a couple of couches and a handful of unique statues and vases will have more of an impact that a room littered with items.

Another trick that designers will tell you is to pick an item to be the central focus of the room. This is something that you want people to instantly look at when they walk in. Once you’ve determined that item, incorporate wall colors, flooring and patterns in the room around it. This can also reduce the amount of time spent trying to find shades and styles of paint and flooring. That item should also be place towards the front of the room when people enter.

As you are setting up your room, know the right height to hang artwork. Don’t just toss something up and say it looks good. The mid-line of any piece of art should be approx. 57”. This is the average height of the human eye. This brings a room together and gives it a professional feeling.

Rugs are another item that can make or break a room. When you have a rug, furniture should be placed on it so there is 12” – 18” of surface on all edges of the furniture. This gives it a natural look. The rug should also accent the rest of the room and not command attention. Otherwise, visitors may end up focusing on a floor that needs to be vacuumed when they walk in.

If you follow these tips, you can have a home that looks like a top home designer came in and helped you to redecorate your home. All without the hefty price tag that they often come with.

Carpet Tiles – All You Need to Know

carpet tile squares - color samples

Carpet tiles are a modern alternative to traditional carpet rolls. They may be listed as modular carpet, or carpet squares, but their overall design is generally the same. Each individual square is installed on its own and this carpet has its own unique set of pros and cons associated with it.

Carpet tiles are becoming a popular choice for both residential and commercial flooring. They are found in airports, schools, and even the rooms of a home. Since you don’t have to struggle with a traditional roll of carpet, you can use them in more confined spaces. You can even set them in rooms that aren’t an even size with ease.

These Tiles Come in Different Styles and Colors

As you look at carpet tiles, you’ll notice they aren’t all the same. Each of these tiles has variable sizes, shapes, fibers, and types associated with it. That means you can mix and match these items as needed for your business. Traditionally, these tiles are backed so that they can be installed easily on any surface you’re looking to install them on. This is usually options like fiberglass, urethane, woven polypropylene and even recycled vinyl. When you consider any tile, you’ll want to look at the backing and how well it will hold up in the room it will be used in.

The backing may also be designed to simply peel and stick, or it might require glue. While both styles work in a do it yourself setting, you’ll want to consider that the application of glue will extend the amount of time it will take to install these carpet tiles.

How to Choose Carpet Tiles

When you choose the carpet tiles for a room, think about the big picture. You don’t want to think about a single tile and how it will look. Think about the finished floor and how it will look with the layout and design of the space. You might find that one individual style or design will appear significantly different from another. Your goal is to take the time to make sure that you have the right tile size, color, and even pattern in a room before you even start to lay it.

In addition to the visual considerations, also look at the warranty associated with the tile. You’ll want to make sure you are fully covered beyond the safety aspect of it. Make sure there is a warranty in place for concerns like curling, buckling, and even shrinking. That way if something does happen, you’ll have a warranty to back you up so that you can get the tiles replaced.

The Pros of Using Carpet Tiles

When you look at carpet tiles, you’ll find that there are definitely some benefits that are associated with using them. They include:

  • The simplest installation available, often with do it yourself kits available.
  • Little prep work is required, as you can install these tiles over most other types of flooring.
  • They are simple to clean and care for. Just remove a damaged tile and swap it out for a new one.
  • There is the ability to be more creative and to design a room according to your unique needs.

Cons of Using Carpet Tiles

While the majority of the things to consider are good, you will encounter some cons when using carpet tiles.

  • The seams in this type of carpeting tend to be visible.
  • They do not do well in areas with moisture, mildew, and mold are problems.
  • They are often more expensive than traditional carpet rolls.

Where Should You Install Carpet

Carpet tiles can be used in most rooms of the home. Some spaces just have a few additional benefits.

Take for example, the basement. If you ever have a floor or want an easy to clean and install tile, then carpet tiles are the best choice. You can remove them if the area floods and this will save you time and money. More importantly, when things dry out, you can also quickly reinstall it.

Screened porches are a transitional room from the outdoors to inside of your home. Carpet tiles can be used to give the comfort of the indoors, while having a durable option that will work in most cases. They can install on a deck and if they become too worn, you can replace an individual square, rather than having to carpet the entire space all over again.

As you can see, there are plenty of benefits that are associated with carpet tiles. Take a moment to consider the right approach for your home and choose a color, pattern, and design that will meet your needs.

Our personal experience with carpet tiles started with samples from Best Carpet Value (www.bestcarpetvalue.com)

Installing Carpet Tile

carpet tiles sample

In the past we discussed using carpet tile in your home. Here is the follow-up on installing it yourself.

Installing carpet tiles is a much easier do-it-yourself job than stretch-in installation, as long as you follow the correct procedure. This type of carpet is installed piece by piece, so finding the starting point is perhaps the most difficult part. Once you get started, this job will go by very quickly and you will have your new carpet ready to use in no time at all.

Find the Center of the Room

Use a chalk-box to snap a line at the midpoint of the opposing walls in the room. You will begin the installation at the center of the room and then work towards the outside. Once you find the midpoint between both sets of walls, the lines will intersect in the center of the room.

Square Your Lines

Before you begin the installation, make sure that the lines are squared. Measure four feet out from the center point on one line and three feet out on the other line. The two marks should be five feet apart for your lines to be squared. If they are not, make the necessary adjustments.

Equal the Edges

Make sure that the tile closest to the wall will be at least half a tile wide. Do this by laying out tiles towards the wall and then stopping when you cannot fit an entire tile between the last tile and the wall. You can then adjust the tiles so that you have room for half a tile on each side. This ensures that both sides are even.

Start Laying Tiles

Begin by laying the center tiles. Put one tile in each quadrant of the center of the room. You will then build out from the square that you have formed. Once the first square has been completed, you can move onto the second and third squares. Continue forming squares until you get close to the wall.

Trim the Tiles to Fit

The tiles that border the walls will have to be trimmed, unless your room is perfectly shaped for these tiles. Measure the area between the last tile and the wall and draw a matching line on the back of the tile. Continue this process until every space has been filled.

Roll Your Floor

Use a 75-pound roller to press the adhesive down and keep the tiles in place permanently.

A Short Guide to Carpet

carpeted room with red couch

If you’re in the market to purchase carpet for your home or business, you will find you have many choices. Which carpet should you choose? Below is a brief explanation of the choices in flooring.

Carpet comes in many different types. Aside from the fact that carpet comes in set sizes or “room sized” rugs, carpet tiles, and carpet sized to fit the room exactly. When carpet rolls become low, the store may sell remnants. These remnants may be large enough to fill a room wall to wall. Remnants can also be bound on the edge and converted to a small rug.

The types of carpeting are: Residential, Commercial, Hospitality, Hotel and Motel, Public Spaces, Indoor / Outdoor or Grass, Berber, Church Sanctuary, Builders, Glow in the Dark, Woven Wilton, Spike Proof, Man Cave, and Boat. Carpet supplies include padding, carpet tape, carpet tacks. These are all in place to work with the carpet and to help keep the carpet in place.