The Gutter Shutter Co.

GutterShutter is North Americas leading manufacturer of leaf & debris free systems. We use only the highest quality materials. Our manufacturing facility utilizes cutting edge technology, to ensure precision.


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Money-Saving Tips for Your Lawn & Landscaping

bigstock-newly-designed-garden-95119667-300x200Maintaining your lawn and landscaping takes time, effort and resources that can get quite expensive over the course of a year. Here are four money-saving tips for caring for your lawn and landscaping.

#1 Be Smart About Water Usage

Figure out how much water you need for your lawn. For example, the average lawn requires just one inch of water a week. This in turn translates into a certain amount of time running your sprinkler. You can test this out by running your sprinkler for 20 minutes in a bucket. Measure the amount of water that fills the container. If you are able to collect about one-quarter inch of water in 20 minutes, you can estimate that watering your whole lawn will take about 60 minutes per week.

#2 Time Your Watering

Water evaporates fast during the middle of the day, when it is hotter outside. Set your sprinklers on a timer or water your lawn only during the early morning hours or early evening hours, thus saving on water consumption. In terms of potted plants, you will need to water them frequently as they dry out faster within the pots. Again, be sure to water during the early morning or evening hours.

#3 Use Auto-Watering Systems

You can set up an automatic watering system that saves you time and effort. They also can cut down on the amount of water you use as they regulate the flow of water. Using a soaker hose that snakes around the garden can also be efficient as you can set it to a timer.

Targeted drip systems cost more, but are permanent and can water plants right at the roots. You can add them to potted plants and hanging baskets, which also will save you time.

#4 Install Gutter Guards

When you have a gutter cover installed, you also ensure that rainwater flows properly down from the roof, through the gutters and on the ground without damaging the roof, sides or foundation of the home. It is important to install well-made, high-quality rain gutter guards like GutterShutter that provide excellent functionality and do not require extensive maintenance.

Proactive steps like installing gutter guards will help you keep water flowing smoothly away from the home and prevent depressions and stagnant areas from developing in your lawn and landscaped areas.

While there is a fee to purchase and install gutter protection systems, you end up saving significantly over time because you prevent water erosion and protect your home from water damage.

Gutter guards can help significantly in preventing water pooling in the lawn and landscaped areas, ensuring that your lawn remains green, smooth and well-maintained. Call GutterShutter at 513-671-4000 to learn more today!!

 


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Every New Homeowner Should Know These 3 Things…

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New homeowners have a lot more responsibility than renters. You can no longer rely on a landlord to do repairs, maintain the property, or add gutter guards or gutter screens to prevent clogged gutters. For first-time homeowners, there are many things to be aware of to protect your investment. If your house is brand-new, there is less need to do maintenance and repairs at first, but as time goes on, you need to keep an eye on certain weaknesses in a home. If not, your new home will quickly become like an old one!

 

Here are three important things to know.

1. Know where your shut-offs are.

If there is ever an electrical fire or bad plumbing leak in your new home, you don’t want to be running around, desperately looking for a way to shut off the power or water! In addition, before doing electrical or plumbing repairs, you need to know where shut-offs are. Locate your main electrical and water shutoffs and make sure they are easily accessible.

  • The main electrical shut-off should be at the main breaker panel or outside near a service entrance.
  • The water shut-off valve should be on a wall of the house facing the street. Also, learn where all the individual valves are for all of your sinks, toilets, dishwashers, etc.

2. Know your electric circuits.

Most house fires are caused by electrical failures. Before moving into a new home, make sure the electric system has been inspected by a licensed electrician.

  • Determine which outlets serve which circuits and then label the breakers.
  • Look for any tripped circuits and read appliance labels to know how many amps each one draws.
  • Make sure GFCI outlets (ground fault circuit interrupters) are installed near all sinks, in the laundry room and garage, and on exterior outlets.

3. Know the risks.

The greatest danger to a home and family is fire.

  • Make sure there is a plan for evacuation and a meeting place in the event of a fire.
  • Have emergency numbers readily available.
  • Place fire extinguishers strategically around the home, especially in the kitchen.

The next greatest risk to a home besides fire is water. Ninety percent of a home’s problems will be found in basements, foundations and the roof, as they are the most susceptible to expensive water damage and corrosion.

  • Inspect the bathrooms, laundry rooms and kitchens regularly for water leaks. Fixing leaks can be as simple as tightening a nut.
  • Make sure all doors and windows are properly caulked and sealed to prevent water from seeping into the walls.
  • Maintain your home’s gutter system.

Rain gutters are a major line of defense against water damage. Leaves, debris and granules from shingles can result in clogs that force water out and down around the foundation.

  • Check a new home’s landscaping to make sure the slope of the ground around the foundation doesn’t send water from the gutter system toward the house.
  • Check to make sure all downspouts have extensions that keep water routed at least five feet from the foundation.
  • Clean out the gutters regularly, and make sure they drain properly.

Interested in Gutter Guards?

To ensure your gutters are always free-flowing, install gutter guards or, at the very least, gutter screens. GutterShutter gutter protection is the best way to ensure gutters do the job they are supposed to do. Be proactive and call 513-671-4000 to learn more!


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How to Improve Your Indoor Air Quality

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Most people think of air pollution as an outside condition like smoke or smog. However, what people don’t realize is that the air inside your home can be more polluted than the outside air! Indoor pollutants can include lead from old paint, formaldehyde, fire retardants, radon or volatile chemicals from household cleaners.

One major pollutant that can cause all kinds of health problems is mold or mildew. Mold in a home can make you sick, especially those who have allergies or asthma. Occupants of a house may be experiencing symptoms of colds and allergies, when the cause is actually mold spores inside the home.

Mold forms where there is excess moisture. If there are wet spots on the ceiling or walls and that unsightly green slime is growing, you need to find the source of moisture and stop it. A leaky roof or a clogged gutter system is the likely culprit.

EPA Recommendations

Give your roof a thorough inspection for leaks and check to make sure your gutter system is working properly. If your gutter is clogged, water can be backing up and leaching into your walls and ceilings. If this is the case, add a leaf filter or gutter cover to prevent debris from stopping up your gutter system.

Let’s look at some other things we can do to improve the quality of the air we breathe in our homes, and improve the health of our families.

According to the EPA, there are three basic strategies to improve indoor air quality.

  1. Source control
  2. Improved ventilation
  3. Air cleaners

Source Control

Controlling the source is the first and most basic thing that can be done. Determine what the individual sources of pollution are and eliminate or reduce their emissions. Sources can be common household items such as:

  • New carpet – emits a range of volatile organic compounds (VOCs).
  • Broken compact fluorescent lights – emit mercury, a neurotoxin, in small amounts into the air.
  • New electronics and other plastic products made with polyvinyl chloride – can emit phthalates.
  • Glues and adhesives – emit VOCs such as acetone or methyl ethyl ketone.
  • Heating equipment such as stoves, heaters, fireplaces and chimneys – especially gas stoves, can produce carbon monoxide causing, headaches, dizziness and fatigue.
  • Upholstered furniture and pressed-wood products.
  • Radon – from earth and rock under buildings or from private wells.

These types of indoor air pollution can be controlled in several ways: by covering them up, removing them completely or, in the case of heating equipment, adjusting them to release fewer pollutants.

Improved Ventilation

As we said earlier, outdoor air is often cleaner than indoor air. Introducing outdoor air is one way to improve your home’s air quality. This can be done in several ways:

  • Natural ventilation – such as through windows and doors.
  • Mechanical means – such as through outdoor air intakes associated with the heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems.
  • Fans – window, ceiling, attic and bathroom fans.
  • Infiltration – air that passes through openings, joints and cracks in walls, floors and ceilings, and around windows and doors.

Air Cleaners

Air cleaners range from complex whole-house systems to simple tabletop models. Some of these air cleaners can be very effective at removing particles, but most tabletop models are not that effective. Moreover, most air filtrations systems don’t remove gaseous pollutants such as carbon monoxide or VOCs.

Carefully evaluate if there may be outdoor sources of pollutants nearby, such as smoke or refuse, when using ventilation to reduce indoor air pollutants.

Breathe Easier with a Leaf Filter

Usually, the most effective way to improve indoor air quality is to eliminate the individual sources of pollution or to reduce their emissions. Do a thorough evaluation of your home and eliminate or control as many of the sources as you can. Then add some ventilation and effective air filtration. The air you breathe is very important to the health of you and your family. Don’t overlook moisture as a possible source of pollutants, as it often a major cause of health issues. Remember: a leaf filter or gutter cover can solve moisture problems that cause mold, a source of indoor air pollution. Call 513-671-4000 to learn more about GutterShutter for gutter protection solutions.


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Prevent Costly Home Repairs with GutterShutter

One of the primary causes of roof damage is lack of maintenance. Many homeowners don’t have a gutter leaf guard yet neglect to clean their gutters on a regular basis, often because it’s a time-consuming and dirty task. Without proper maintenance, gutters may become blocked by leaves, dirt and debris, which prevents water from draining safety away from the home when rain falls and snow melts. This can quickly lead to damage to various parts of the home, with repairs running in the thousands of dollars.

You Can Avoid Serious Home Repairs

A crack in the concrete foundation of a residential houseThe GutterShutter system prevents a number of problems that lead to costly repair expenses.

  • Foundation damage. You might not think of gutters and the foundation as being related, but gutters have a major impact on the well-being of a foundation. The purpose of gutters is to channel water off the roof and away from the foundation. When the gutter system does not function properly, water can press against the foundation, causing bowing and cracks that compromise the structural integrity. Even if the foundation doesn’t fail, water can still seep into the interior.
  • Siding damage. If water from clogged gutters pours over the surface of your home, it will begin the process of deterioration and rot. This most often affects wood fascia boards that hold a gutter system in place. If a home has wood siding, the result will be excessive peeling paint, water marks on the wood, and eventually rot that necessitates complete replacement of the siding.
  • Ice damming. Ice dams cause water to back up onto a roof in the winter. GutterShutter helps stop ice dams from forming by ensuring that your gutters remain clear of obstructions, so snowmelt will not be caught inside clogged gutters and refreeze.

 


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Prepare Your Home for the Fall Season With These Tips

Summer’s in full swing and it’s time for barbecues, outdoor dining, fresh flowers, green lawns and beach trips. The days may be hot but you’ve got long hours in the sunshine and can enjoy outdoor activities again. Summer is also perfect for getting a few things done around the house that will help improve your home and keep it in great shape for the rest of the year.

There are several home improvement and home maintenance tasks that you can do in the summer to get ready for the fall. These will also help you avoid problems commonly experienced in the autumn, such as extensive gutter cleaning that comes with falling leaves and changing weather.

Clean Out Dryer Vents

Dryers can cause fires if vents become clogged with dust and lint. In fact, as many as 16,000 dryer fires occur annually, according to the U.S. Fire Administration. Avoid house fires and damage to your property with just a few preventive steps. In addition to cleaning out the lint vent after each load, you can also clean out the housing with a vent-cleaning brush kit once a month. After you have cleaned out the dryer lint trap, disconnect the dryer duct from the dryer and the wall. Clean with a brush. Also clean the vent on the outside of the house.

Backyard & Pool Maintenance

If you have a pool, it is important to keep it clean both for hygiene and to extend the lifespan of the pool. Backyard and pool maintenance also prevents the formation of algae, mold and mosquito breeding grounds, and the accumulation of debris in the water and surrounding areas.

Clean Your Gutters & Add Gutter Guards

The gutters of your home can fill up with debris over the winter and even in the spring with heavy rains. This can lead to water damage in your home if left unaddressed. Knowing how much to clean gutters does require some skill and practice.

When gutters are well-maintained, they do a terrific job of regulating water flow from the roof down through the gutters to the ground. If, however, they get clogged with debris, plant matter, dust and other materials, gutters stop functioning. Water can pool around the foundation of the house, leading to structural damage and costly repairs.

Use gutter guards to keep your gutters clean and also proactively prevent clogs and ice accumulation in the future. Enjoy peace of mind this fall when you install GutterShutter.

Call GutterShutter at 877.677.4888 now to discuss your gutter cleaning and protection needs.


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Is Your Home is Ready for Storm Season?

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If you live in an area that is prone to hurricanes, tornadoes or severe storms and weather, you need to be prepared in many different ways. Take these steps to ensure storms do as little damage as possible to your home and family.

Roof & Gutters

Your roof and gutter system is your first line of defense against rain. Look from the ground to see if any shingles on your roof are loose or warped. Look in your attic to see if it has any areas with mold growth or visible stains, a sign of leaks. Repair or replace sections of your roof where water is getting in.

Check your rain gutters and make sure they are clean and water can flow unimpeded to the downspout. Improperly functioning gutters cause water to back up onto your roof and leak down your walls, particularly during a heavy downpour. Overflowing gutters also damage landscaping and the foundation.

Add a gutter leaf guard to your rain gutter system to ensure it stays free and clear of clogging debris. You certainly don’t want to be climbing a ladder in the middle of a hurricane to clean out your gutters. Get gutter guards! Also, examine your downspouts and add an extension to move water further away.

The GutterShutter system will handle the downpour. You can be confident it will protect your roof, walls, foundation, landscaping and flowers.

Landscaping

Examine your landscaping. One of the most destructive elements of high winds is flying or falling branches from large trees and bushes. Examine any trees in your yard and make sure they are not in danger of losing branches or, even worse, falling down altogether. Trim and remove loose branches.

Pay particular attention to trees close to your house. Trees falling onto roofs can cause major and expensive damage, as well as injury and even death to a home’s occupants. Moreover, the roof will then no longer keep out any rain, causing water damage inside the home.

Also consider removing lawn furniture or other objects in the yard that can be picked up and hurled at your windows and other vulnerable areas. Think how other structures such as sheds, garden benches or ornaments will fare.

Emergency Plan

Be ready for the worst. Before storms come, you need to prepare an emergency plan for your family. Include phone numbers and a meeting place, so that if a severe storm comes when you’re at work or your children are at school, you’ll all know where to go. Don’t forget to add your pets to the plan.

Make sure that you have basic supplies to last several days at your home. A basic disaster supply kit should include food, water, flashlights, a phone and a radio, and a first aid kit. Also, consider getting a portable emergency generator to use in the event of a power outage.

Call 877.677.4888 for a free quote for a gutter leaf guard with your nearest GutterShutter dealer.