FALL GUTTER CLEANING – WINDOW SAFETY TIPS
Fall Maintenance Gutter Cleaning
It is important that your gutters are functioning properly at all times but especially so during the rainy autumn season. The gutters on your home are designed to catch the rain water that runs off your roof and distribute it away from your home´s foundation. In the fall, gutters can quickly become clogged from the leaves falling from the trees. If debris from nearby trees collects in your gutters it can impede the water from draining properly and cause water to run over the edges which can lead to basement leaking and foundation problems.
Most types of ´gutter screening´ devices or ´gutter guards´ that we have encountered are ineffective at keeping debris out of the gutters. The wire and plastic mesh type ´guards´ have holes large enough to allow pine needles, maple seeds and other plant debris to fall through the screening and collect in the gutter. With other types of gutter protection the leaves and debris collect on top of the devices and stop water from ever reaching the gutter.
Wire downspout guards (used over the downspout drain holes) are a good idea if your gutters are run underground at the base of your home. Although debris can collect around the downspout guard and impede water flow, it will stop the debris from clogging the drain tile underground.
In the winter months, clogged gutters can also contribute to the formation of ice dams. An ice dam is an ice barricade that forms from melting snow and blocks water from reaching the gutter. Ice dams form on the roof´s edge and can cause standing water behind an ice dam to run under roofing shingles and penetrate the wood roof planking. This type of water penetration can cause significant damage to both the roof as well as extensive damage inside the home if the amount of water leaking in is great. To prevent ice dams, keep your gutters clean and make sure that your home is adequately ventilated and insulated in the attic areas.
To avoid costly repairs, be sure to have us clean the gutters on your home at least twice a year, late in the spring and fall seasons.
Call us for a FREE gutter inspection any time, we will inspect your gutters free of charge when we are at your home for window cleaning services.
WINDOW SAFETY TIPS
- Make sure that your windows are not painted or nailed shut. You must be able to open them to escape in an emergency.
- Keep your windows closed and locked when children are around. When opening windows for ventilation, open windows that a child cannot reach, or in the case of a double-hung window, open the top sash only.
- Casement windows that have the bottom sill lower than 36” from the ground should not be opened where small children can access them.
- Set and enforce rules about keeping children´s play away from windows or patio doors.
- Keep furniture – or anything children can climb – away from windows.
- If you have young children in your home and are considering installing window guards or window fall prevention devices, be aware that the window guards you install must have a release mechanism so that they can be opened for escape in a fire emergency. Consult your local fire department or building code official to determine proper window guard placement.
- Homes with window guards, security bars, grilles or grates pose a threat in an emergency if the devices on them do not have a functioning release mechanism.
- Do not install window air conditioners in windows that may be needed for escape or rescue in an emergency. The air conditioning unit could block or impede escape through the window.
- Always be sure that you have at least one window in each sleeping and living area that meets escape and rescue requirements.
- The degree of injury sustained from a window fall can be affected by the surface on which the victim falls. Shrubs and soft edging like wood chips or grass beneath windows may lessen the impact if a fall does occur.
- Finished basements that do not have an exit or patio door should have an egress window for quick escape in the event of an emergency.
- A window screen will not prevent children or pets from falling through an open window. Never rely on the window screen as a safety measure.
- Placing a dowel rod inside the lower track of sliding patio doors will provide an extra security measure in addition to the locking device to prevent unwanted entry.
- Windows provide a secondary means of escape from a burning home. Determine your family´s emergency escape plan and practice it. Remember that children may have to rely on a window to escape in a fire.