Why is it important to clean out your gutters?
The purpose of installing a gutter system in your house is to divert rain water from the roof away from the property. As debris piles in the gutters, it prevents the gutters from doing their job. This can end up in serious issues like roof damage and basement flooding. A regular check and maintenance of your gutter scan avoid expensive home repairs.
A clogged gutter system can result in basement flooding. As the gutters get clogged, the rain water overflows from the roof and finds its way to the basement – causing water damage. The accumulated water in a basement weakens the foundation and can result in the formation of cracks. As the accumulated water freezes during the cold season, the cracks become severe which can be an expensive repair. In order to avoid basement leaks or flooding, clean your gutters on a regular basis to avoid recurring expensive repairs.
When Is The Best Time To Clean Out Your Gutters?
The time to clean your gutters can depend on the trees around your house, the debris they drop and time of the year. It is recommended to inspect your roof regularly and clean the debris at least twice a year.Late autumn and late spring are the best times to clean your gutters. By late autumn, the gutters get clogged by leaves and by pollen and seedlings in late spring.During your inspection, if you notice any clogs or damaged gutters, it is best to contact a professional to make the necessary repairs to avoid any further damage.
Contact a Winmar Georgian Bay Muskoka Property Restoration Specialist for any assistance at 1-888-656-6062.
Ice damming occurs as a result of a temperature difference under and above the roof of a house or building. The warm air from inside the house or building heats the roof and melts the snow above it. The melted snow then re-freezes at unheated areas of the roof resulting in the formation of icicles at areas like eaves troughs. As the snow above the heated surface continues to melt further, it forms water pools on the roof as the icicles prevent the water from draining outwards from the roof. Eventually, the pool of water finds its way into your house through sheathing, insulation and wall cavities.
Damages Caused by Ice Damming:
The formation of ice dams on the roof can cause different types of damages. Water that seeps into the house can damage ceilings, walls and cause structural damages. It may damage roof coverings as well. Dampness on ceilings and walls attract mould growth, which can cause further damage to your house. On the other hand, as more and more ice re-freezes on the gutter, pressure builds-up and can collapse the gutters, damaging the exterior structure of your house.
- Structural Damage
- The water from ice dams flows under the shingles resulting in water leaks. Water leaks damage ceilings, walls, floors and insulation. As the leak gets severe, it causes wood rot and ends up as severe structural damage.
- Gutter System Damage
- Ice damming damages the exterior of the house also. The increasing weight of snow and ice on the roof puts pressure on the gutter system resulting in its misalignment. As a result, the gutter system will no longer effectively drain off water from the roof. In extreme cases, part of the gutter system under the pressure of built-up ice can collapse as well.
- Growth of Mould
- Mould thrives on surfaces with dampness. Moist wood, wall paper and ceilings are favourable surfaces for mould to germinate and grow, which damages your house further. In short, ice damming badly affects the structural integrity of your house.
Preventing Ice Damming:
Ice damming is preventable. Taking proper precautions will prevent ice damming and the damages resulting from it.
- Heat from inside the house or building comes to the attic and warms up the roof. This is how ice dams start to form on the roof. Insulating the attic properly will minimize this heating process.
- Ensure Proper Ventilation
- To avoid ice damming, the roof of your house needs to be vented at the peak and at the eaves. Cold air moves freely above the insulation in the attic or ceiling. This keeps the roof cold and prevents the snow from melting to ice dams.
- Snow and Ice Shield
- Installing snow and ice shields beneath the shingles or on the top of the roof prevents water from routing its way into the interiors of your house. It is the protective feature of the shield that seals the attic and stands as a barrier to water making its way in.
In order to properly remove icicles, ice dams or snow that is accumulated on your roof, it is best advised to contact a restoration expert to avoid any further or possible damage from occurring. For more information on how to best prevent ice damming or for a quote on the installation of preventive measures, please contact your local Winmar Georgian Bay Muskoka at 1-888-656-6092.
Sump Pump Failure
A sump pump is an electrical device installed in the basements of houses or buildings to pump out water accumulated in the basement.The main function of a sump pump is to prevent the basement from flooding and to keep the area dry by pumping the water outside the building or house. Based on the structure of the building, the water can be pumped out through a pipe into storm sewers or to the yard. Sump pump failure results in an accumulation of melted snow or rain water in the basement leading to flooding as they do not get pumped out properly.This accumulation of water in the basement causes water damage in your home or building resulting in further damage like mould growth.
Common Causes for Sump Pump Failure:
- Excess wear and tear of the primary pump which can cause sump pump motor burn out
- Presence of clogged pipes due to the accumulation of mud or debris
- Presence of clogged switches that gets stuck in the ‘ON’ position which could prevent the pump from functioning properly
- Broken drive shafts or impeller can result in sump pump failure
How to Avoid Sump Pump Failure:
Water damage caused by sump pump failure can be avoided through proper maintenance. Regular checks and fixes can prevent any future sump pump failure which can cause a lot of damage.
- Keep Sump Pit Free from Debris
- A sump pit is a hole drilled in the basement into which the sump pump is installed. The pit must be cleaned on a regular basis in order to prevent any possible build up which could prevent the sump pump from performing properly. You can test the proper functioning of the pump by filling the pit with water and make sure it starts and stops correctly as designed.
- The impeller is a small filter in the sump pump, which is connected to the pump with bolts. This filter and bolts must be cleaned on a regular basis for the pump to function properly. Failing to do so may result in sump pump failure followed by flooding in the basement.
- Sump pumps cannot perform without a power source so they will not function during a power outage. Power outages are quite common during heavy storms. It is during this storm and rain that you need a sump pump the most. Installing a back-up power system will take over the sump pump during power outages, there by preventing water from flooding in the basement.
Once installed and maintained properly, sump pumps free you from potential water damage caused by basement flooding. Regardless of whether water intrusion is caused by sewer backup, basement flooding or any other reason, a well maintained sump pump can easily pump out the water and protect your home or office from water damage. If you experience sump pump failure or want an experienced professional to check if your sump pump is maintained properly, contact Winmar Georgian Bay Muskoka today at 1-888-656-6092.
Signs of Mould: How to Detect Mould in your Home
Have you traced mould growth in your house? Do you find it hard to identify the mould to know the degree of harm that it can cause? There are different types of mould, some of which can cause serious harm to your health. Mould can be categorized into different classes based on the health risks that they impose. The categories are broken into Hazard Class A, Hazard Class B and Hazard Class C.
Hazard Class A – Mould belonging to this group are hazardous to health. If such mould types are found in your house or office, they must be removed as early as possible.
Hazard Class B – Mould belonging to this class can cause allergic reactions that last for a longer period of time.
Hazard Class C – Though mould belonging to this class do not cause any health hazards, they can cause structural damage to your house or office.
Common Mould Types:
- Cladosporium - is a very common mould found in houses or offices. It appears brown, black, grey and/or green in colour. It usually grows on walls, dust, insulation and wood. Exposure to this mould results in allergic reactions and so they can be classified as Hazard Class B.
Aspergillus - can appear brown, green, black, yellow or white in colour. Aspergillus has many species in its genus and fall into Hazard Classes A or B. Aspergillus germinate and grow on paper products, walls, soil, insulation, clothing and many such places. In people with weak immune systems, these cause lung infections, asthma and fever and in others it may cause only allergic reactions.
- Penicillium - The term Penicillium may be quite familiar as it is from where antibiotics were discovered. It does not mean that it is a harmless type of mould as it can be hazardous as well. You can find this mould in green, blue or white in colour. It usually grows on food substances like cheese, or on walls and insulations. These are classified under Hazard Class B or C.
- Alternaria - is also a common type of mould growth found in a grey or black colour. This type of mould is classified under Hazard Class B as these can cause allergic reactions. Inhaling this mould can cause hay fever and asthmatic reactions as well. Mould found in dusty areas, windows, soil, plants, walls and windows can be categorized as Alternaria.
- Stachybotrys - looks black on surfaces. This type of mould grows on damp areas and is classified as Hazard Class A mould as it creates toxins. Stachybotrys is usually traced on wood, paper, cardboard, hay and wicker. This mould can cause headaches, asthma and cancer.
- Mucor - growth is usually observed in soil. In houses and offices, this type of mould is found on ducting and air conditioning. Mucor grows thick and can be found in a whitish to a greyish colour. This mould can also cause a disease named zygomycosis, which is an infection that affects the face.
Mould of any type is a serious concern and should be dealt with immediately. If you think you have mould in your house, office or anywhere else, contact an experienced professional to have it assessed. Contact your local Winmar Georgian Bay Muskoka specialist at 1-888-656-6062.