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What you should know

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 eweb-admin

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.

drainageblog

 

14

Mar

What is Tiger Striping on Gutters?

By eweb-admin

What is Tiger Striping on Gutters?

From time to time we get calls about gutters having dirty streaks.  Many think it’s the paint turning a different color and going bad. That is not the case with tiger striping.

Naturally, pollution and dirt continuously build up on the top lip of the gutter. When moisture combines with these pollutants, it streams down the face of the gutter. Future precipitation will continuously follow this same path. Over time, the buildup becomes alternating light and dark streaks. Which is generally referred to as “Tiger Striping” and is experienced by manufacturers of cars, trailers, motor homes, commercial architectural aluminum, metal roofing, siding and gutters.

Metal surfaces with baked on painted finishes require periodic cleaning. Industry guidelines state that regular maintenance is required to prevent the “normal buildup of soil deposits and oxide accumulations.”  The level of maintenance depends solely on the atmospheric conditions in a geographic region.

HOW CAN IT BE MAINTAINED?

Simple cleaning procedures should be performed to reduce the buildup of these deposits. Tiger striping implies an already heavy buildup on the gutter system and will require a strong cleaning solution.

For surface soil and stains, such as those resulting from industrial fallout, tree sap, insecticides, or chimney fumes, use ordinary nonabrasive household detergent. The solution should be applied to the soiled surface by means of a soft rag, sponge or soft bristle brush with a gentle rubbing action. Do not rub vigorously so as to create glossy areas over the satin finish. Soft bristle brushes equipped with long extension handles may be used to reach some of the higher areas.

It is important that immediately following all washing operations, the entire surface is thoroughly rinsed with fresh water from a garden hose.

Stubborn Stains…

If stubborn stains are encountered, use a heavy-duty cleaner such as “Totally Awesome.” Heavy soil deposits may not be removable in one application and may require repeated cleaning over some length of time. Do not use cleaners containing abrasive particles, ammonia, solvents or paint removers for cleaning. These materials may soften or remove the finish.

 

14

Mar

When is it time to replace your gutters?

By eweb-admin

When is it time to replace your gutters?

Changing and replacing your gutters can prevent a lot bigger and more expensive issues with your home. Yet, it can be hard to tell when it’s time to replace your rain gutters and downspouts. Gutters might not be the first area that comes to mind when considering issues that can lead to severe damage to your home. However, there are a host of issues that can present themselves if older gutters are not replaced when warning signs arise.

While a firsthand inspection is obviously the preferred method of detecting issues, there are plenty of other warning signs for which you should look to determine if your home or structure might be in need of reguttering.

  • Sagging gutters or bowing of the gutter itself
  • Gutters pulling away from roof line brackets
  • Pooling or puddles of water in spots under or around gutters
  • Rusted or rotted spots on or around guttered areas
  • Home flooding or seepage
  • Exterior paint damage
  • Siding and trim damage
  • Lack of water flow from downspouts

Warning Signs of Gutter Damage

The deterioration and damaging of gutters are often a slow and gradual process that can occur over years. Which this means that during this time, the effects of a malfunctioning gutter can slowly be taking a toll on other areas of your home as well without you ever knowing it. A few of the major, more costly issues a breakdown in your gutter system can cause include:

Stubborn Stains…

  • Siding or Trim damage
  • Rotten Wood
  • Peeling, flaking, missing exterior paint
  • Termite or similar bug infestations from rotting wood
  • Seepage into a structure causing interior damage, flooding, foundation weakening
  • Seepage into a neighboring structure
  • Mold or mildew issues
  • Standing water in yard or driveway

Types of Damage if Gutters are not replaced

By replacing gutters on a home, these types of damages can largely be avoided. The cost of reguttering your home significantly less than the cost of repairs on damages like these, plus a lot fewer headaches as well. By reguttering a structure before these types of issue present themselves, you can ensure peace of mind when leaving your home for an extended period or when weathering Texas torrential downpours. The added bonus of reguttering is that you generally add to the appeal and value to your home, which is the single most important investment generally made.