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What you should know

25

Oct

HOW CAN A RAINWATER COLLECTION SYSTEM BENEFIT YOUR LAWN AND GARDEN?

By ajsgutters

HOW CAN A RAINWATER COLLECTION SYSTEM BENEFIT YOUR LAWN AND GARDEN?

It is significant to look at rainwater differently because it is source of precious resource called water! Rain water harvesting is a technique which provides homeowners a great opportunity to store and repurpose it for yard and garden area.

 

  1. Ensure you have the greenest lawn: Droughts, water shortages and lawn watering bans from municipalities are not good for the health of your home landscape. With your own water source, you can ensure to maintain your lawn and keep it green and blooming even on hot summer days. The mineral content in rainwater is low and thus it acts as a great cleaning agent for your yard area too! Rainwater collection and repurposing its usage for lawns and gardens is not only cost effective but an environment-friendly solution which is encouraged by municipalities and government of each and every state.
  2. Healthier growth of plants: The pH of rainwater is neutral which means it is softer than normal tap water and if free from chlorine. Chlorine and some of the other contaminated components in main supply of water inhibit the uptake of nutrients and reduce the growth of the plants and do not prove to be nutritious for the health and life of the plant. Hence, rainwater acts as a perfect agent for the budding plants in your lawn and garden area.
  3. Lessens the burden of erosion: Generally, the lawn and garden are among the low lying areas of the home and are thus impacted the most by the stormwater run-off. Harvesting rainwater helps in reducing flooding and soil erosion. This means that your plants stay protected from the risk of erosion due to rainwater especially in sloping gardens.
  4. Drive down your water bill: Last but not the least, collecting rainwater will decrease your water bills significantly. The average usage of water in lawn and garden area is about 30% of total usage of water by the family and if the same is sourced through the water which mother nature drops then it would not only decrease your expense but would also save water. Also, the cost of operation and installation of rainwater collection system is very affordable. The amount which you otherwise invest in artificial pumping systems for your garden is much high!

The practice of collecting rainwater has existed since ever in one or another way but due to easy availability of water in the modern era, it has taken a back seat! Rainwater helps in watering down lawn and garden area in dry and hot summers when your plants need moisture the most!

A.J.’s Seamless Gutters is a division of A.J.’s Construction Services L.L.C. A.J.’s Seamless Gutters has been providing residential and commercial gutters, to Houston, The Woodlands, Conroe & Bryan/College Station and beyond since 1994. We provide a variety of rain barrels and rain tanks in several different sizes and colors.

 

19

Sep

Using a Home Gutter and Drainage System to Save Your Yard or Garden

By ajsgutters

Using a Home Gutter and Drainage System to Save Your Yard or Garden

Some owners have gardens outside right where the gutter water drains off.  This can lead to soil washing way, bugs and mold. There are some extra steps and measures that can be added to your home gutter system that you, the homeowner can use to prevent this from happening.

One quick way is to have installed splash guards below the open gutters so that water can find the right way to flow away from home. This technique is not effective for areas that are affected by the heavy waterfall near gardens and yards. The best solution to all these problems is to install a well-designed Houston gutters drainage system so that rainwater can be directed away from your property. The task must be completed after proper planning and the best idea is to take help from professionals as they can provide best suggestions based on their experience. Note that, the simplest method to direct this rainwater is to connect your drainage system pipes to the sewer system of the city but legally this is not possible in all cities so it is good to confirm the criteria first. Otherwise, homeowners need to identify the lowest area in their property so that it can serve as drainage outlet but make sure that you are not creating trouble for your neighbors.

Few builders prefer to install black corrugated pipes for the home gutters drainage system outlet but they use to be weak enough so cannot bear heavy flow of water. Also, they use to be little difficult to clean when getting clogged. Professionals recommend installing high-quality SDR 35 or Schedule 40 PVC pipes. The Schedule 40 PVC pipes use to be thick enough so they are suitable for inside home installations; these pipes never create leakage issues as their joints are fixed with solvent welding. On the other side, SDR 35 pipes do not have thick walls but they also fall into the category of strong pipes. In order to ensure safe seal on joints, it is good to select male and female ends for connection. For points where you need to make a 90-degree diversion for the flow of water, it is good to use two elbows of 45 degrees instead of using only one with 90 degrees. It will help to maintain the smooth flow of water inside so that cracks and leaks can be avoided.

 

21

Aug

How Seamless Gutters Increase the Value of Your Home

By ajsgutters

How Seamless Gutters Increase the Value of Your Home

Homeowners that are planning to sell their old house are looking forward to getting great value for their property. There is no doubt to say that good condition of kitchen and toilets add extra value to your house and you can ensure a better price in a competitive market. Yet is also the outside of the home, from the looks to the functionality that also factors into home value. Seamless gutters for your home is a wonderful addition that not only fits with helping with the looks of the home but functionality as well.

Gutters not only add value to your home rather it also increases curb appeal and at the same time, it improves protection of your home. When gutters are not working well then they can lead to many expensive problems in your house. Improper drainage system leads to water logging in the earth around the home and it further starts decreasing the strength of foundations.

You might have hired a professional home remodeling team to renovate your home to improve its value but it is important to call specialists to manage the gutter system at your home. An expert team that knows right procedures for installing Houston Gutters systems and they can keep them functional for years. These gutters allow the flow of rainwater away from the house and it also manages melting snow. In this way, these seamless gutters protect foundation, siding, and roof of your house from water damage. When these gutters stop working then a house becomes vulnerable to significant damage and owners may have to make an additional investment for repair.

Here are few reasons how seamless gutters increase the value of your home:

  • However, seamless gutters for home appear costly choice as compared to the traditional systems but it is just a matter of initial investment. When you have seamless gutters at home then there is no need to do additional maintenance so you can save the cost of repair in future. They can be maintained with ease so the value of your home gets naturally increased.
  • Some old gutter systems are made up of cheap plastic material and they cannot be customized as per house construction but the professional quality seamless gutter systems are capable enough to enhance aesthetics of your home as they provide premium and cleaner look with easy customization. You can also find them easily with variable colors and materials.
  • A good quality gutter system can provide right direction to rainwater so that foundation of your home can stay protected from logged water. The traditional leaking gutters are not able to provide enough security that is why professionals recommend the installation of seamless gutters that are durable and easy to maintain.
  • These seamless gutters can be installed professionally and they can be cut as per the requirement of the site. That means the gutter installation is completely customizable to meet the requirement of homeowners.

With all such advantages, it becomes essential to install a seamless gutter system at every home. Your buyers will definitely inspect this factor and it will make the more satisfied so you can avail great value for your house.

A.J.’s Seamless Gutters is a division of A.J.’s Construction Services L.L.C. A.J.’s Seamless Gutters has been providing residential and commercial gutters, to Houston, The Woodlands, Conroe & Bryan/College Station and beyond since 1994. We provide a variety of gutter services, including seamless aluminum and copper gutters, commercial property Gutter Installation, Gutter cleaning and repair services. We offer over 30 different gutter colors to compliment your home’s trim color.

 

21

Jul

Avoiding Contractor Fraud

By ajsgutters

Avoiding Contractor Fraud

In the last few years the Houston area has been rocked with some storms of historic proportions.  Unfortunate some contractors take advantage of the situation, committing fraud just to make a quick buck off people who need help the most. Here is some tips on how to protect yourself from contractor fraud.

First, call your insurance company. Send any photos of the damage to them. Keep any documentation on the damage, and any receipts if you’re staying in a temporary location. You need to know what your insurance will cover and won’t and for how much. Once you know what you are covered for, then you can start looking for contractors that will meet the budget.

Any contractor you get quotes for, get their licensing information and verify it if applicable. You will need to learn which types of contractors are required by the state to be licensed.  For instance, roofers and general contractors are not required to have licenses but electricians and air condition tech are required to have licenses. If the type of job you have required a licensed contractor, verify that their license is up to date and has had no complaints to that government agency.

If the contractor is trying to give you a high-pressure sales pitch, avoid them. Most likely they are in it just for the money and will either commit fraud or do a bad job.  Anyone that just “shows up” ( the basic door to door salesman type) also need to be avoided. Many of those are opportunists. When you have narrowed it down, Google their name and see what comes up. It not uncommon for a contractor to have one or two bad reviews considering not everyone can be pleased, but if there is a bevy of bad reviews, are the bad reviews all have similar bad points it is best to avoid that contractor. Avoid letting your emotions rule your decision making.

Also, when you hire a contractor, make sure the agreement is in writing. Make sure it is detailed in what work is to be done and covered by the work. This should include materials needed, labor and any oral agreements that were made.

 

13

Jun

Tips On Working With Your Contractor

By ajsgutters

Tips On Working With Your Contractor

Communication is key in order to get the results you want from your contractor. The first and foremost start to effective communication is becoming a virtual expert.  Learn the terminology and the process. You may find out you may not know a lot about this stuff, but it is a good way not to get lost in jargon when your contractor talks to you. This will also allow you to talk to your contractor in a way that lets him know that even though you may not be able to do the work yourself, they can’t pull the wool over your eyes. Let your contractor know you want to be kept in the loop.

Get your project details in writing. Document Well.

You always want as much detail of the project in writing, that way nothing is left to chance. This way you can monitor what is going on, and if there are any unapproved changes or materials being used. Document anything that is being done that has not been approved. If you notice this happening, also take pictures when you can. Any written and photographic documentation will come in handy if you have to have “the talk” with your contractor or make a complaint to a licensing board. Get emailed project reports from your contractor. That paper trail will help you if you have any problems and help you sleep better at night if there is not.

Always have both involved.

Whenever possible, have both parties involved when talking to the contractor. If the contractor only sees and talks to one party during any decision making, then when the other party raises concerns to the contractor, that contractor will not respect what is being said.

If you have to have “the talk”.

If you have to confront your contractor, keep your emotions out of the conversation. Do not have the conversation with your contractor in front of the crew either. Nothing creates problems faster than a crew that has lost confidence in their boss. Instead of placing blame, come from a point of view of problem-solving. Constant communication is key in getting the job done. It is usually a lack of communication that has caused the problem and as long as all parties agree to solve the issue, everything usually goes smoothly.

 

23

May

Three Reasons why your home needs gutters

By ajsgutters

Three Reasons why your home needs gutters

Gutters can add style to you home, yet did you know about why you home needs gutters besides it adds to the look of your home. Here are three reasons your home needs gutters.

Saves Your Foundation

The soil around your home’s foundation contraction and expansion is typically the cause for foundation failure.  After a rainy period, the soil right around your home expands when it becomes saturated. During the summer, when it dries after the rain, the soil contracts away. This cycle compromises the foundation, leading to masonry walls cracking, doors sticking and all other kinds of problems.

A gutters system directs the stream of water that comes down from your home during rain away from the soil right at your foundation. This keeps a more consistent moisture level in the soil right at your foundation.

Staining of Brick Walls or Siding

Rainwater cascading off an un-guttered roof will hit the soil with enough force to cause backsplash. This throws up dirt, grass, and other containments onto your brick walls or siding. In now time at all this can cause stains to the exterior of your home and those stains can be very hard to remove.

Damage to your Landscaping

Your plants, flowers mulch and other landscaping can suffer if you do not have a gutter system in place.  If they are under the drip line, this could mean the plants and soil become over-watered, and can lead to fungus, ants, and termites.

 

09

May

Considerations for Hiring a lawyer for Contractor Disputes

By ajsgutters

Considerations for Hiring a lawyer for Contractor Disputes

You may think you would never need a lawyer, yet there are those times and circumstances where it might be best to have one. For instance, if you and your home contractor or in dispute. What considerations do you make when choosing one? How do you go about choosing a lawyer when there is so many? We have a few answers for you.

First, ask around for a recommendation. It may seem in this digital age to just jump on the internet first, but it is best to ask people you know first before just doing a random Google search. Ask friends, family, and neighbors if they know any good lawyers that have helped them or someone they directly know out. If that doesn’t work out, try texasbar.com and search for a lawyer that matched your specifications. Whether it’s the site or recommended to you, always Google their name afterward to see what come up.

Another consideration is the size of the firm.  Law firms range from 1 person offices to large firms with hundreds of lawyers that handles large amounts of cases at a time. Larger firms are usually the ones that take on larger companies, cases and government cases because they have a larger amount of resources. Smaller firms offer more personal touch and one on one time.

When you have narrowed down your choices, ask for a consultation. Essentially you’re interviewing the lawyer. Ask about their background, if they have handled cases similar to yours, how easy it is to contact them, and how often they will update you on the process. Make sure you have a clear summary of your case and provide any documents to support your case. Ask who specifically will be handling your case. This is also the time you get your cost breakdown. This includes hourly, fees and any other costs.

When you decide on a lawyer, make sure they draw up an agreement that has everything in writing. Read it thoroughly and ask any questions BEFORE signing the agreement.

 

25

Apr

What to do about heat buckling

By ajsgutters

What  to do about heat buckling

Most materials are subject expansion when heated.  This is called Thermal Expansion. Thermal Expansion is the tendency for a material to expand and contract when exposed to changes in temperature. The bigger the temperature change is, the more a material will expand or contract. A 50 foot aluminum rain gutter subjected to a 50°F change in temperature can expand or contract almost 0.5 inches. Though that may not sound like a lot, it’s enough to cause serious issues. It is important to note that wood material used on the fascia or soffit can expand or contract even more than aluminum material.

The expansion or contraction of either of these materials may be enough individually to cause heat buckling of gutter material if precautions are not taken during gutter installation.  In fact, when both materials experience expansion and contraction simultaneously, the almost 2″ combined effect could have severe consequences to the gutter material.

So What to do about heat buckling?

1: Gutter Machine Adjustment

Gutter machines need to be regularly adjusted to ensure that the gutter that they run out is straight with no curving or rippling.

2: Run Out Stands

When running gutter out of a machine it should be supported with run out stands with the first stand 8 feet from the machine, then a stand every 15 feet to keep the gutter level. This helps prevent it from stretching or deforming.

3: Length of Gutter Run

It is recommended that a single run of gutter should not be longer than 50 feet. For jobs that require longer runs consider using an expansion joint or two shorter runs with ends caps butted together and joined by a piece of aluminum.

4: Temperature

Installing at extreme hot or cold temperatures will increase the chance of heat buckling. The optimal temperature for installing gutter is 60-90°F.

5: Hangers

When using internal hangers, do not screw the lip of the rain gutter to the hook of the hanger. Adding a screw to the lip and hook increases the risk that the rain gutter will rip or tear during expansion.

By following these simple suggestions you can reduce the chance of heat buckling, helping your gutters look like new for as long as possible

 

11

Apr

New Coat of Exterior Home Paint?

By ajsgutters

New Coat of Exterior Home Paint?

Spring time is great time to get the exterior of the house refreshed. A lot of times this means a fresh coat of paint. We have some tips and information on how to determine oif you need a fresh coat of paint and best way to go about it.

Examine Your exterior

It doesn’t take a magnifying glass to see if you need a new coat of paint to the exterior of your house.  Some things to look for are cracking or peeling, especially at corners or edges. You can also look to see if the color of the paint looks old or faded. Lastly, you can always change the paint if the color does not match your style or taste. Remember, color is the first thing people see of a home, so a fresh coat of paint can go a long way in maintaining curb appeal and resell value.

Considering hiring a professional

The quickest way to waste money and time is to have someone paint the house that really does not know what they are doing. A professional can go over your needs and concerns, look over the exterior of the home and help pick the right kind of exterior paint for the house. They can go over color scheme, prep the structure for paint and finish the job efficiently. A residential painting contractor is the safest way to invest your money into getting a new paint job. If you do hire one, do some research into the contractor you are considering so you can feel confinement in who is painting your home.

Some considerations of color.

Many people choose an exterior color based on their taste and style. While this all well and good, if you live where there is an HOA, you may want to check if they have limitations as to exterior colors. Also consider your landscape, such as shrubbery, trees, and flowers. You want a color that is going to make your whole landscape and exterior sing!

House Painting Process

Once you have chosen your colors, and the house is ready to be painted, it usually takes about a week. This process can take more or less time due to considerations such as size of the house and weather. They will start by cleaning the exterior and removing any old paint that is cracked or chipped. They will apply primer and let that dry. Then they will paint the house, top to bottom to catch any drips. The finish should look smooth and consistent, without signs of brush strokes or previous color.

 

21

Mar

What Properly Installed Gutters Can Do for You.

By ajsgutters

What Properly Installed Gutters  Can Do for You.

What can properly installed gutters do for you? Here is some things for you to know and why it’s important to have properly installed gutters. Read this article and learn what you do to eliminate problems with your home or business. We have the right answers for you. But the best thing you can do to is give A.J.’s Gutters a call. We are the experts you need.

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