The Inspector Newsletter
March 2017: Spring Cleanups and Maintenance
Maintenance Matters
Gutter Maintenance

Keeping gutters clean and free of debris is essential to preventing them from failing. When gutters fail, water may be allowed to run into walls and windows, damage the paint, or filter into the foundation. However, not everyone has the time or the skill to balance on a ladder to periodically clean out the gutters. Several products are available to cover or guard the gutters and reduce the amount of maintenance.

  1. Open gutter guard systems use mesh screens, or screens with diamond or circular shaped holes to cover the top of the gutter. Water drips through the screen, while larger debris, such as leaves and nuts, falls over the sides of the gutter or eventually blows away in the wind. These systems must be properly anchored and rigid enough to avoid sagging under the weight of wet debris.
  2. Closed gutter guard systems have solid tops. They rely on the principle of surface adhesion. Water flows over a curved edge into horizontal holes on the sides of the guard while unwanted debris simply rolls off the edge.

Before selecting a specific gutter guard, consider the variety and amount of vegetation that exists on a particular property. Gutter covers or guards are good at keeping large and medium-sized particles out of the gutter. Smaller particles may find their way through the holes. Other options are increasing the size of the gutter itself, or hiring someone to periodically clean the gutters.

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Be On The Lookout For These If You’re A Homeowner

Your home may be the largest purchase you ever make, so it’s worth your time to keep it in good repair. What you don’t want to do is create more work for yourself. The following are some common mistakes home owners often make in the name of maintenance or home improvement:

Ceiling fans: Ceiling fans are not ordinary light fixtures. Their weight, size and motion require extra support. Never hang a ceiling fan from a light fixture box or install it without the proper electrical connections or support. Improperly installed ceiling fans will be noisy and potentially dangerous.

Wooden fences: To help prevent wood-destroying insect (WDI) problems, keep wood — including fences — away from the walls and foundation of your home. Use decorative rocks or other materials instead of wood mulch, and avoid nailing wood fence posts to the walls of the house.

Permits: Before starting any home remodeling project, determine what permits and inspections are necessary. Check with your local building department or other regulatory agency to ensure that your project adheres to the proper safety and local building codes. This can save you money in the long run, and prevent problems when you sell the house.

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Proper Length of Downspout Extensions

What is the proper length for downspout extensions? The short answer is, “as long as it needs to be to divert the water away from the home’s foundation.” But how long is that?

It depends on the grading around the foundation. Gutter extensions will need to be longer for yards that slope toward the house than ones that slope away. Typically, the rule of thumb for downspout extensions is a minimum of 2 to 3 feet; however, if your grading is sloped toward the house, the extension may need to be 4 feet or longer to prevent water from accumulating around the foundation.

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To preserve its natural beauty, one of these 3 states has banned all outdoor advertising billboards.

  1. New Jersey
  2. Alaska
  3. Rhode Island

Be the first to answer correctly and win a $10 Starbuck’s gift card. Submit your answer to your local NPI inspector to find out if you’ve won.

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Sent by National Property Inspections - 9375 Burt Street, Suite 201, Omaha NE 68114

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