Spring Checklist – Exterior Home Maintenance

With spring in full swing I’m sure you have many items on your to-do list. However, your home is the most important purchase you will ever make, so to keep it looking good and functioning properly for years to come it’s a good idea to pay attention to certain chores while the weather allows. You don’t want any unpleasant surprises in the winter months, do you? Also, if you take care of these things now, you will have more time in the summer months to actually relax at the beach and spend time with family and friends. Am I right?

Below you will find your Vancouver Island Gutter recommended spring tasks. These tasks focus on the exterior of your home and its ability to properly channel water away and prevent things like mold, mildew, rot, and pesky critter invasions.

  1. Clean debris from gutters, make sure they are secure and check the caulking at the corners and, if you don’t have seamless gutters, at the seams.
  2. Check fascia and bargeboard for rot. If your gutters are not secured properly, have leaks at seams, or the roof overhang does not allow for sufficient drainage into the gutter system, you will most likely have water running behind the gutters and causing rot on your fascia boards. Fixing these issues during the spring and summer months means you will not have to deal with emergency situations in the fall and winter, and doing so will save you money in the long run as water will be properly directed away from your home instead of damaging your siding, making it’s way into your attic, or pooling around your home and seeping into your foundation.
  3. Check your downspouts. If you are able, it is a good idea to check your rain leaders (pipes that come up to your downspouts from your drain tile) and clear them of any debris that may have made its way down from the gutters. If your rain leaders are backed up with water, you need to seek a perimeter drain expert as water backing up in your rain leaders indicates crushed or blocked drain tiles and could cause you major issues. Check out this Shell Busy video for more information: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EYoSxyd8MgU
  4. Check for loose soffit or holes in your soffit system. You don’t want critters (whether mice, wasps, bats or birds) making their home in your attic, so now is a good time to check that all soffit is secured properly, that no j-trim is loose or coming away from the building and that all vent holes (if you have wood soffit with round vent holes) have their metal mesh intact and properly secured.
  5. Trim back trees and large shrubs or bushes that may be dropping debris into your gutter system. We all love our trees and shrubs, but having them too close to the house can cause problems. Tree debris can blow or fall into the gutter in the winter, and during storms there is always the risk that a branch or section could break off and cause damage to your roof, gutters, fascia or bargeboard. Trees and shrubs too close to the house can also cause issues with their root systems, crushing drain tiles or even cracking foundation footings.

We hope this list his helpful to you as you work your way through your spring home maintenance list, but should you have any questions or need a gutter or soffit install, give us a call at 250-538-7714 or send us an email at vanislgutter@gmail.com.

With Sub Trades, as with all things, you get what you pay for

What do you look for when shopping around for a contractor or sub trade? Are you just looking for the lowest price? If so, we recommend that you rethink your strategy.

As a sub-trade, Vancouver Island Gutter sees many projects at various stages of completion, from repairs to renovations to new home starts, and the quality of the craftsmanship we’ve seen varies widely. Don’t get us wrong, there are many qualified, quality carpenters and trades people here on the Island and they do exceptional work for their customers. But there are also those who have jumped on the construction boom bandwagon solely for the purpose of capitalizing on the current trend, and many of them don’t really know their craft.

That’s why we here at VIG would like to encourage all home owners shop around and utilize the tools available to them when looking for a contractor or trades person. Below we have listed a few pointers that might help you determine whether or not you can trust a company or trade individual.

First of all, we know your eye is always on the bottom line, and well it should be, but don’t let that be the only factor in your decision making process. Keep in mind that whatever you are looking to have done to your home will need to last a long time, possibly the rest of your life and beyond. And while there are always some areas where corners can possibly be cut, you don’t want to compromise when it comes to using products that are quality and up to code, or people who really know their craft.

When looking for a contractor or trades person, we recommend that you:

  1. Check if the company or individual has a website or at least a Facebook or Twitter page. If not, you might want to ask yourself why. If they are a small one-person company, can they offer you any references?
  2. Are they listed in the Yellow Pages?
  3. Do they have any reviews on any of these platforms? What are other customers saying about their work?
  4. Always get more than one estimate. If a company’s estimate seems “too good to be true”, it probably is. And even though you may be tempted to save a whack of cash now, you will definitely pay for it later on. You get what you pay for with every trade, so if you are looking to save some money, go with the company whose estimate came in at the midway point. That way you can be pretty sure that they know their industry and are trying to stay competitive while still offering quality products and sound craftsmanship.
  5. Check with the Better Business Bureau. Does the company you are looking to hire have any complaints against them? Even if they are not registered with the BBB, they can still have complaints filed against them. On the other hand, not all good companies have taken the time to go through the process of becoming a BBB accredited member.
  6. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. How long has the company been in business? Are they a Jack-of-all-trades or do they specialize in one or two areas? Can they source the product/s you want or do they give you a story about only having one or two colours or styles available to them? And do they respond to your email or phone inquiries in a timely manner? 
  7. Do they offer any kind of guarantee or warrantee for their work? Don’t be afraid to ask their policy when it comes to issues that could arise down the road. Will they come back and at least assess a faulty installation and work with you to determine the next steps? Will they take responsibility for any faulty craftsmanship?

We hope these pointers prove to be helpful in your search for quality contractors and trades people to work on your home. To help you navigate through the process, we have now set up a Referrals Page where we have listed the contractors and sub trades that we have come to know as trustworthy. Just don’t expect them to be the lowest price.

Let’s talk Fascia!

In case you are new to construction talk, fascia is the board that runs along the ends of the trusses (your roof supports) and is the structure that your gutters are attached to.

Fascia is typically a treated wood called Comb Face and sizes range from 1″ X 6″ to 2″ X 6″ (as shown in the image above) and up to 2″ X 10″. The size installed is usually dictated by the overhang of your roof shingles or the ends of your metal roof beyond the ends of the roof trusses. The edge of the shingles should hang over a roof at least an inch and a half.

If, when the roof was installed, not much overhang was left by the roofers, usually a 1″ X 6″ fascia board is installed. This also depends on the age of your home and the contractor in charge of the project (and thus who he hires and how much the home owner or project manager was willing to spend on sub-trades).

Sometimes, under the above mentioned circumstances, it seems that fascia is an afterthought and not really considered as important as other aspects of the house. However, your fascia performs an important role in the overall health of your home when it comes to keeping moisture out.

The integrity of your fascia boards matters. A 1″ X 6″ fascia board is really the “cheap” way to go. 1″ X 6″ tends to warp in both heat and cold, and especially when moisture is present. When warping happens the boards move away from each other at the seams causing gaps, and they can twist or bow outward. This then effects your gutter system, causing the gutters to warp as well. When the gutters warp water can run behind them allowing moisture to get into your roof, rot the fascia boards, and even drip (or flow) down to your siding causing even more damage. Ultimately this water can eventually make its way down to the ground and can then make its way into your foundation and even cause flooding of your basement or crawl space.

Now, sometimes, as mentioned above, a 1″ X 6″ is the only option because of the overhang of the roof. But if the roofers have left enough overhang choosing a fascia board that has more strength, like a 2″ X 6″ or 2″ X 8″ (depending on how much of the board you want to show below the bottom of the gutter) can extend the life of your gutter system and thus your truss ends, your roof, your siding and your foundation.

If you are looking to have your gutter system replaced for practical or aesthetic purposes, take the time to look at your fascia boards to determine their size and if they are performing as they should. Look for areas of rot, especially at the corners where fascia meets bargeboard, and at seams in the gutter system (if you don’t have a seamless gutter system installed). You don’t want a gutter company to install a new system to rotting fascia boards as it will only cause headaches for you down the road. And if you have 1″ X 6″ fascia boards, discuss options with your gutter installer and get them to help you determine whether or not you should replace your fascia boards with something more substantial that will last the life of the new system and help protect your home from the insidious creeping of water damage.

If you are concerned with the state of your fascia boards, Vancouver Island Gutter can help you determine whether or not you need to replace all of the boards, just some of them (which is often the case and will save you money), or if you need to look at upping the size and whether doing so is feasible with your current roof overhang.

And if you are having your roof replaced, make sure to discuss these issues with the roofing company you choose to go with. We have encountered far too many homes that have had their roof replaced and not enough overhang was left by the roofing company.

We hope you found this article helpful. If you would like to discuss the state of your fascia boards with one of our professionals, give us a call to set up your free estimate.

 

Rain Chains – The artistic downspout

copperbells3124_largeYour home is your sanctuary. It’s where you can relax, be yourself, and have things exactly how you want them. And if your a gardener, this is especially true for your outdoor areas including the exterior of your home.

Though most of us don’t give a second though to the downspouts that channel water away from our gutters, they do add to the overall look of a structure. Downspouts can enhance the clean lines of a home’s exterior or distract the eye because they are old or have been damaged. And believe it or not, downspouts can tie into landscaped areas, acting as a transition between greenery and building.

This is especially true when it comes to rain chains. More and more homeowners are being inspired by the creativity that rain chains allow them when designing their outdoor spaces.

Picture this: a honeybee copper rain chain spilling water into a shallow copper basin, from which the bees that frequent your flower beds come to drink on a hot summer day. Surrounding the basin you have planted vibrant carpet thyme and perhaps some alyssum.

Rain chains come in many different styles, from traditional copper links to cups, butterflies, umbrellas, flowers and more. And while some are more functional than others, there is certainly something to appeal to every style and water flow requirement.

While it’s not recommended that rain chains be used to replace every downspout on a building, they can be used to enhance the look and feel of certain areas like front entrances or at either end of a deck or patio.

Rain chains have a wide price range and can be ordered in any length needed. At Vancouver Island Gutter we source our rain chains through Rain Chains Canada, a Vancouver Island company that supplies top quality, hand crafted products made from copper, aluminum, stainless steel and brass.

Check out our selection of Rain Chains and give our office a call to discuss ordering and installation.

How to impress Dad with your soffit shop talk this Father’s Day

Did you miss our article in the Cowichan Valley Voice this month? Don’t worry, we’ve posted it here for your reading pleasure:

We all know that fathers like to talk shop, no matter what kind of shop talk they are talking. So seeing as Father’s Day is this month and the summer weather is upon us and your dad is probably thinking household maintenance, why not impress him by talking soffit?

Yes, I said soffit. You know, the aluminum, wood, steel, or vinyl sections that are installed between the outside wall of a house and the inside overhang of the roof? You might not know it (your dad probably does), but soffit plays a vital role in protecting a home from moisture, debris and pests.

Because you know that Dad has spent numerous hours improving his castle, here’s where you impress him with your shop talk.

Soffit, you tell him, is also a component in the overall aesthetics of a home’s exterior. The trick is to choose a product that is functional, low maintenance, will last, AND will add to your home’s external beauty.

Here he’ll mention that he has been wondering which product is the best. He’ll say he’s heard that Vinyl is cheaper (sadly, this is not always true—vinyl can cost twice as much as aluminum, you can tell him), and that steel offers superior moisture protection and longevity. Here you can nod and agree with him. Steel is much stronger, you can say, but if it get’s any nicks or scratches it’s prone to rust and will be hard to maintain. Plus it’s pretty expensive, you can add when he’s not quite persuaded.

At this point, Dad will probably tell you he’s been considering aluminum. Here’s where you can really impress him. Vented aluminum is supposed to be the best, you can tell him. It’s lightweight and durable, needs minimal maintenance as it won’t attract mold and mildew like vinyl will.

Here he might still look a little skeptical. You can add that unlike vinyl, aluminum will not get brittle in cold temperatures and crack and spit over time.

By this point, Dad will most likely be so impressed with your shop talk that he’ll probably suggest that you come and help him install new aluminum soffits this summer.

Oh, Dad, you’ll say—trying to think of any way to get out of this predicament, you shouldn’t strain yourself with that much work! Why not just let Vancouver Island Gutter do it?

Happy Canada Day!

25 per cent off Downspouts throughout the month of July!

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Happy Canada Day!

We here at Vancouver Island Gutter would like to wish you a very happy Canada Day! We hope you have a safe and relaxing weekend with friends and family.

Because we love where we live and work, and because we want to say thank you for your business and support, we are offering 25 per cent off downspouts throughout the month of July!

From July 1 to July 31, if you book the installation of a new gutter system with Vancouver Island Gutter, you will automatically receive 25 per cent off the cost of your downspouts.

Why are downspouts so important? These seemingly unimportant components of a gutter system actually play a vital role in their functionality. When properly installed they channel moisture away from your siding and foundation, saving you thousands of dollars in future repairs.

Why not take advantage of this July weather and take care of your household maintenance to-do list? You don’t want to have to deal with a leaky gutter system again this winter, do you? Let us help!

Vancouver Island Gutter uses only top quality products while keeping our prices competitive. We offer our customers the reliability and durability of 5″ and 6″ K-Style Performance Aluminum seamless guttersGutter Sentry gutter guard, and Kaycan Aluminum and Vinyl Soffit. Choose from a wide variety of colours to provide the final touch to the aesthetic look of your home.

Vancouver Island Gutter is fully insured, and we offer a 40-year product warranty, and a 5-year work guarantee!

Pick up a copy of the July issue of the Cowichan Valley Voice to see our ad and a business profile. We would like to thank the Valley Voice for their support as we work to provide southern Vancouver Island residents with quality gutter and soffit installation services. And don’t forget! We serve the Gulf Islands, too!

To book a free estimate, give us a call! For north of the Malahat call Barney at 250-538-8330. For south of the Malahat call Chela at 250-858-0800. Or email us a vanislgutter@gmail.com.

Hello and Welcome!

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Your gutter and soffit professionals on Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands.

Vancouver Island Gutter is proud to offer our professional, top quality gutter and soffit installation services to Southern Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands!

Spring is here, and it’s time to start thinking about replacing your tired, old gutter system— or installing a new system on your new home—before winter  rears its cold, wet head yet again.

If you are looking for a professional, reliable, and local company to install a gutter system on your home, you have come to the right place! Take a minute to browse our site, see what we have to offer and then give us a call to set up a free estimate.

Vancouver Island Gutter is an island based gutter and soffit business. Our goal is to provide our customers with quality gutter and soffit installations services at affordable prices.

That means that we work with only top quality products while keeping our pricing competitive. We offer our customers the reliability and durability of 5″ and 6″ K-Style Performance Aluminum seamless gutters, Gutter Sentry gutter guard, and Kaycan Aluminum Soffit. Vancouver Island Gutter is fully insured, and we offer a 40-year product warranty, and a 5-year work guarantee!

Vancouver Island Gutter is based out of the Cowichan Valley and Victoria, but we also serve customers on the Gulf Islands and as far north as Nanaimo.

At Vancouver Island Gutter, we understand that home exteriors should not only be beautiful but also that they should be made from durable, low maintenance products that you can count on. This should include your gutter system. A reliable gutter system will go a step further toward protecting your home from the elements and help ensure that your siding, trim, and foundation will continue to last for years.

Our products give you peace of mind by strengthening your gutters and keeping debris out, allowing water to flow freely and maintain the beauty of your home.

Whether you are a commercial property owner or residential home owner looking to replace an old gutter system or install a new one, Vancouver Island Gutter is the choice on the South Island and the Gulf Islands. We have the equipment to handle both large and small projects, and our 5″ and 6″ Performance Aluminium seamless gutter systems, Gutter Sentry gutter guard, and Kaycan Aluminium Soffit come in a variety of colours and styles.

See our Gutter and Soffit pages to view our services. You can either call Barney or Chela to set up a free estimate, or you can send them an email.