Doing a DIY or home repair, depending upon the component of the home you are working on, may need a little professional advice. If you haven't done much repair, but want to take the challenge, you should first find out the intricate details required for that particular repair.
Drainpipe and gutter leaks
If you call a plumber or electrician, for major electrical or plumbing repairs it is most definitely the best thing.
For things like mold invasion you can take a number of steps to inhibit this, if it's done properly you can eliminate it. Mold is a dangerous health hazard. You can remove it but must take additional steps to make sure it does not return. It is a good idea to get professional home repair advice before you attempt using any chemicals to eliminate mold. Window leaks can cause mold as well as rot.
The homeowner can fix drainpipe and gutter leaks easily. First of all, check the gutters, maybe they are full of debris, like fallen leaves etc. Clean them out and then see if there is still a leak, maybe they were just blocking the entryway for the water to escape. If the drainpipe itself has a hole that is easily replaced and you only need replace the one section. When you go to purchase your supplies speak with an experienced sales person for home repair advice.
Painting should be a great task for a homeowner. This is supposed to be one of the most relaxing repair jobs in the house. From choosing the paint to cleaning away tools and left over paint, you should make any painting project simple. With the correct tools and taking your time for intricate details such as edging, this is where you paint at the top of the wall close to the ceiling or around doors and windows. You don't really want to get paint on the ceiling or the door and window frames. You can either use painters tape, or just go slow and take your time, see just how steady your hand really is.
Once you take the appliance apart, if you can't get it back together you're sunk and you wish you 'd called a professional for some home repair advice before you started. It could end up costing you twice as much because the repair man has to put it all back together before he can find the problem.
It's a consistent theme, almost an axiom - the worse a chore or problem is, the higher amount of proposed solutions to handle it more successfully. For example - because mice are plentiful, carry disease, chew and destroy things, and in general scare a lot of the population, there are many attempts for a "better mouse trap."
Conversely, take something relatively pleasant, such as cutting fresh flowers out of your garden. There are not too many infomercials for the new, handy-dandy "Fresh Flower Harvester!
If asked, most homeowners would group cleaning gutters closer to the first example above. We will take a brief review of various types of gutter protection and point out strengths and weaknesses.
Rolls of mesh screening, whether plastic or thin metal, barely qualify being called gutter protection. In a nutshell, they are cheap - cheap price, cheap materials, and cheap results. This mesh usually won't tuck evenly under the gutter's lip, commonly resulting in large gaps of unprotected gutter. Worse, it almost immediately starts to warp (if plastic) or bend and rust (if metal) so that even more of the gutter becomes exposed. Additionally, the screens openings are so large that much small debris falls right through it. The gutters still need cleaning which is now a more difficult job due to the screening because of this. Since these rolls have no rigidity, they quickly cave into the gutter, actually creating more severe clogging. Frankly, just avoid covering your gutters with this material.
Plastic, Snap-In Gutter Screens
In the interim between cleanings, since they are flat and have jagged surface, debris tends to just sit on top of them. This results in much water overflow. These do not quite qualify as a half-measure as that gives them too much credit.
Convex Hinged Screens
Less common is another inexpensive screen solution - the convex hinged screen. These are usually made of a galvanized metal and come in sections of three to four feet. They are an arch shaped section of semi-rigid screen. The screen is very coarse, with the holes being much larger than the "non-holed" portion of the screen. This allows considerable debris to pass into the gutter. In an apparent concession to their limit capabilities, these screens come with a hinge that attaches to the gutter. The hinge allows for the screen to be lifted up easily for periodic (very periodic) cleaning. This quick access does provide an advantage over the snap-in screens in this one regard. The arched design creates it's own unique problems. At the junction of the pitched roof meeting the gutter, these screens arch back upward, creating a small valley for debris that is slowing coming off of the roof to get stopped. This debris has nowhere to go and just starts accumulating, creating a potential water dam very close to your exterior wall. Overall, we are once again looking a system with very many negatives and limited benefits.
Reverse Curve navigate here Covers
Patented in the early 1900s, there is nothing new about a metal or plastic cover over the top of the gutter that employs surface tension to direct water into the gutter. This approach was the start of serious, thought-out gutter protection systems that can yield more benefits than negatives. As ingenious as they are, they still do carry some significant shortcomings. With medium and low levels of rainwater flow, such systems will indeed direct water right around a cover over the top and right into the gutter. With heavy rains, it is common for the surface tension to break and the water to flow straight over the edge of the cover. This of course, defeats the entire purpose for having a gutter in the first place. You must be aware of the severity of rain encountered in your area when considering such a product. If you usually have just mild, light rains, then these systems might not overflow to often as described above.
One of the other shortcomings of these systems it in what follows the water right around the cover's curve and right into the gutter. If you have fir and pine needles, seed pods and other smaller types of debris, plan on much of it still ending up in your gutter. The difficulty is that with such covers, access to the interior is often either very complicated or impossible. Such systems often will try to accommodate for this by having very large downspouts to accommodate all the debris that still flows down the gutter. This can lead to underground clogs and if indeed the clog develops in the gutter itself, good luck in clearing it. With these systems, it is critical to know the environment around your house well - if it is void of needles and small debris and not subject to heavy rainfall, they can provide a good benefit.
Employing the principal of intentionally filtering the gutter and displacing the volume of the gutter's space with the filter's polypropylene material instead of debris, foam inserts are a more versatile method of gutter protection. Debris is prevented from occupying the gutter because they are already full with a very porous material.
Typically flat across the top and always a jagged surface due to the open cell design, debris can tend to get caught up and not rinse off as easily as if the top surface was smooth. While debris tends to dry out quickly when on top of the inserts (which helps much of it blow off,) some may stay. This results in the need to still periodically blow or clean off the tops of the inserts. This might not be as bad as it sounds as most roofs still require periodic blowing or cleaning for there own sake anyway. Additionally, cleaning off the tops of inserts is much faster and easier that cleaning the gutters themselves. A realistic set of expectations is critical to be most pleased with these systems.
While structurally much different that inserts, micromesh screens employ one of the same primary principals as the inserts. They act to filter the water entering the gutter. Some are even used as first stage filters for water recovery systems. Their design helps address the most notable shortcoming of filters - basically the debris that has the potential to get caught up on the top of filters. Because the micromesh (in it's best presentation, mounted on top of a strong, anodized aluminum frame) is exceptionally smooth, the friction that keeps debris resting on top of foam filters doesn't exist. Additionally, the best of the micromesh screens do not mount flat but rather at an angle similar to the roofs pitch, thus allow much more if not all of the debris to slide or rinse off. Because of the unique structural properties of the stainless steel mesh, the water penetrability is exceptionally good, allowing of rain to flow through it in even the heaviest of rains.
Issues All Systems May Face
There are some issues that may pose problems for every gutter protection system. These issues are usually not a result of any specific inadequacy of the gutter protection but rather simply of the house's design or of unique environmental events.
Steep roof valleys, particularly if very long, can result in large amounts of water running down the roof at accelerated speeds. Often even unprotected gutters in such locations will experience water overshooting them in the heaviest of rains. The combination of the volume of roof field emptying into the valleys, the valley's length and the roof's pitch will determine whether this is a natural trouble spot regardless of gutter system.
A similar problem can occur when there is an over-sized roof field emptying into too little of a gutter. Often, when trying to balance a multitude of design needs, the functionality of the gutter system gets low priority by architects and house designers. Any gutter protection system installed in such areas is not at fault for overflow, as they can not be expected to magically increase gutter volume.
A good gutter protection system needs to be able to handle the small of amount of shingle granule that commonly trickles down over the years. However, when a roof is brand new, it on occasion may temporarily loose a little extra granule. When an old roof nears the point of failure and granules starts to come down at a grossly accelerated pace, much worst though is. When this occurs, no gutter protection system can be expected to shed all of the granule and sand-like material that comes down without experiencing some performance impediments.
If you take all of the pros and cons of these various systems into consideration along with the external environmental factors of your yard, you increase your chance of discovering the best "mouse trap" for your purposes. You may even walk away smelling like a freshly cut rose.
Patented in the early 1900s, there is nothing new about a metal or plastic cover over the top of the gutter that employs surface tension to direct water into the gutter. If you have fir and pine needles, seed pods and other smaller types of debris, plan on much of it still ending up in your gutter. Such systems often will try to accommodate for this by having very large downspouts to accommodate all the debris that still flows down the gutter. Employing the principal of intentionally filtering the gutter and displacing the volume of the gutter's space with the filter's polypropylene material instead of debris, foam inserts are a more versatile method of gutter protection. Any gutter protection system installed in such areas is not at fault for overflow, as they can not be expected to magically increase gutter volume.