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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Gutters & Fire Resistance

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As we approach summer, it’s important to start thinking about outdoor fire hazards and how to prevent them. Did you know that unguarded gutters can pose major fire risks during dry periods?

Gutters play a role in providing a means of collecting and directing rainwater from the roof into downspouts, and then away from the house. This helps reduce the amount of water in the soil that can enter the crawlspace or basement and result in moisture-related performance problems such as those from mold and wood decay fungi.

Combustible debris such as leaves and pine needles can accumulate in gutters, especially from nearby or overhanging trees. Due to difficulty in accessing upper stories of a home, gutters two and three floors high are even more problematic, since they will be difficult to clean out on a regular basis. If ignited, combustible debris in the gutter will expose the edge of the roof covering, typically the fascia and or roof sheathing. Depending on the condition of the wood and presence (or absence) of metal flashing at the edge of the roof, debris in the gutter may make it easier for fire to enter the attic. Metal flashing at the roof edge will provide additional protection to the roof edge and therefore is a recommended detail.

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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.