Categories Uncategorized

Are Gutter Guards a Waste of Money

Are Gutter Guards a Waste of Money

gutter guard

Gutters fill with leaves and debris throughout the year. It is a pain to clean them out so some people will add gutter guards to the home and we wonder if they will work? Are gutter guards a waste of money? The gutter accumulates the debris and becomes heavier, and can cause costly repairs. In all honesty, they are a waste of money. The best thing to do is leave the gutters open and clean them regularly.

Let’s take a look at what gutter guards are and why you don’t need them.

What are Gutter Guards

Simply put, gutter guards are installed on top of your gutter system. The idea is this keeps large debris like leaves from entering your gutters and causing a clog. The part that is forgotten by most homeowners, is the need to clean the gutter system regardless of having a gutter guard set up. This can take a lot longer as you actually have to remove the gutter guards. Consider the type of gutter guard you would install prior to committing money to this project.

Plastic gutter guards are cheap and don't work well.

Different Types of Gutter Guards

Believe it or not, the choices for gutter guards are the same as your choices for a gutter system. It is important to matchup the gutter guards and gutters themselves with the same material and color. Here are the material choices for a gutter and gutter guards.

  • Plastic-not a good product. Cracking during cold and fading during warm only weakens the product.
  • Metal Mesh-the mesh clogs easily and since it is metal, can rust in the elements. This requires constant replacing.
  • Aluminum-this is the best option. It is lightweight and with the right heavy-duty paint, it can last a long time.

As you can see, plastic and metal mesh gutter guards are a waste of money. If you feel the need to install any gutter guards, make sure that you utilize the most effective materials that can last the longest. Reducing the amount of time you spend on the ladder cleaning the gutters is key.

How Much Do They Cost To Install

Even though it may seem like gutter guards are a great idea, there are many other projects that would benefit from you spending money on. The basic cost of a gutter guard ranges from $.50 to $10 per foot. This range is so vast due to the material that you select to use. On average, a gutter guard system can cost you upwards of $2,000 for a complete project. That is typically the cost of the original gutters.

Cleaning the gutters can be expensive if you hire someone.  You can also do it yourself.

Gutter Cleaning Gets More Expensive

First off, anytime you add additional materials to an already installed product, you risk changing the original intentional use of that product. Adding gutter guards to your gutter system sounds good, but isn’t the best solution. Consider that adding gutter guards creates more cleaning for you the homeowner as well as the potential for bigger issues around your roof.

If the gutter system is not cleaned properly, the weight of debris, mildew, and moss can begin to take over your roof and stress the gutter system. This causes substantial damage to the roof and requires an expensive cleanup, thus making the gutter guards a waste of money.

Other Recommended Maintenance

One area of recommended maintenance is to take a look at a roof inspection checklist. This is because the gutters are attached to the roof and you will be up there cleaning them. Some of the areas to look at on the checklist are gutters, vent pipes, downspouts, look for moss growth and lichen.

Did a bad storm just come through the area and not sure if your roof was damaged? There are different things you can do to inspect your roof. Those are checking the shingles (if it is a shingle roof), inspecting penetrations and flashings, flashing boots, flashing around the walls, and also the attic for leaks.

Downspout extensions are important for the gutters to carry water away from the house.

Lastly, if you haven’t added downspouts to your gutters, this is very important. Downspouts will carry the water away from the home and help keep water from seeping into the house. Add on an extension so the water is taken at least 10 feet away from the home if possible.

When Should I Call A Professional

When it comes to anything related to getting onto a ladder, it is a great idea to reach out to a professional. Calling a professional gutter installer to manage your gutter situation is key. Typically, you do not have the tools to install a gutter system and it’s not the best idea to go climbing onto your roof. Call your local home inspection team first as they can inspect your roofing system and recommend a great gutter system professional.

Categories Flooring, Painting

How to Caulk a Kitchen Sink

Caulking kitchen sink

Our kitchen sink gets a lot of use on a daily basis. From washing dishes to filling up the pet’s bowl, to rinsing dishes. It is important to take a look at the caulking around the sink. The caulk is usually white, provides a seal, and is there to protect the cabinets underneath. It also helps to protect against mold, mildew, and water damage. If you notice the caulk is wearing out, you will need to know how to caulk a kitchen sink. To do this, you need to choose a new sealant, remove the old caulk, let the area dry and then add new caulk. Let’s take a look.

Why This Needs to Be Done

Everything ages and needs replacing; caulk wears out and needs replacing. If it isn’t replaced around sinks, bathtubs, baseboards, windows, etc., water or pests can get in. This is why it is important to keep an eye on the caulk around these areas.


Step 1: Choose a Sealant

Depending on the color of your countertops, you will want to choose a color of the sealant that looks nice. Some people will use a silicone caulk however, if you are on an acrylic surface, you will want to use a rubber sealant that is copolymer-based.

Removing old caulk.

Step 2: Preparing the surface

The next step is to prepare the surface. Chances are you have old caulk on there. If you do, you will need a utility knife. You will use the knife to pull the caulk away from the seam, however, do this carefully so you don’t damage the sink or the countertop. Then, any that is left, apply rubbing alcohol and remove it. Letting it dry is important before you apply the caulk as it won’t stick to wet surfaces.


Step 3: Apply Painter’s Tape

Applying painter’s tape in a straight line is a good idea as you can squeeze caulk onto the seam. Then, using mineral spirits, wipe the excess caulk off. This is a good time to

Then, use mineral spirits to rub away any remaining caulk and clear the surfaces of any debris, oils (including those from your fingertips), dirt, grease, mold or mildew. Rinse the area with cold water and dry it with a clean, dry cloth. Leave it to dry fully while you move on to the next step.

Prepare The Caulk

Getting your caulk prepared for usage is fairly simple. Place the caulk tube into your caulking gun and push the spring-loaded rod up to the backside of the caulk tube. Once the caulk tube is secured into the caulking gun, take your utility knife and slice the tip of the caulk tube off. Make sure to do this at a 45-degree angle.

Now you can push the caulk through the tube by squeezing the spring-loaded caulk gun. Double-check to make sure that the caulk is coming out at quarter-inch thickness. This allows you to prime your caulk tube and removes any air bubbles that have accumulated in the tube.

Caulking around the sink.

How Much Does It Cost

Caulking your sink should be rather inexpensive. Your biggest expenses are the start-up costs. Purchasing a caulking gun, caulk, tape, utility knife, and other materials needed could prove costly. Most contractors will charge you $.015 per linear foot. When caulking a sink, you are likely looking at a labor charge as your biggest expense.

Most handymen charge $150 to $400 per project. This all depends on what is involved with the project. Be sure to get multiple quotes from local professional contractors.

While you are in the kitchen, you may find you have chemical stains in the kitchen sink. How do you remove this? Using baking soda, water, vinegar, and soap can help get rid of the stains.

Continue to look around the kitchen and you may notice that there is a sewer smell. This may be because the sink trap is dry and the fumes are being released. You can try tightening the connection and if that doesn’t work, disassemble the sink trap.

Lastly, try running the faucet water. If you find there is low water pressure, it may be the aerator is clogged, the water heater needs to be flushed, clean the shower heads, or the water supply may be too small for your family.


When Do I Call A Professional

Caulking your home and the many projects within it might seem like easy projects. However, there are equipment and material needs that you might not want to invest in. Call on your local professional contractor to ensure that you have all of your projects completed with ease. Caulking a sink takes time and patience. You want to ensure a complete re-caulk is done.

Also, consider reaching out to your local home inspection team. You might have other areas of your home that could use a re-caulk. The home inspection team can point out all of your areas where re-caulking is needed. They can also share a list of reputable professional contractors to accomplish the projects.


Before you begin your caulking adventure, reach out to your local home inspection team. They can inspect your entire home and inform you what areas of the home can benefit from re-caulking. Caulking your kitchen sink does not need to be your only project.

Categories Carpentry, Home Maintenance

How To Market Your Home To Out Of State Buyers

How To Market Your Home To Out Of State Buyers

There is a huge opportunity to not only market your home for sale to your local market, but also, out of state buyers. In this post, we are going to cover a complete guide on how to market your home to out-of-state buyers.

Hiring Your Agent

The first step in this guide is to hire the right agent. Your real estate agent can make the process more enjoyable than ever or, the worst experience you have ever had.

That being said, choose wisely! Here are some great questions to start asking your potential listing agents. Remember, you should also get along well with this agent since you will be working closely together for some time.

  • Check their reviews.
  • Ask them what properties they have recently sold in your area.
  • Ask them what they would recommend you do to the property before selling.
  • Ask them what their marketing strategy is.
  • Ask them how they would target out of state buyers.
  • Ask them if they have any experience targeting out of state buyers.

Ultimately, your real estate agent is going to be the one at the forefront of targeting out-of-state buyers. It is vital you have an experienced agent on your side.

Preparing Your Home

Before even listing your home, you need to prep it. This can include, cleaning, painting, organizing, decluttering, staging, and even vacating the property.

Additionally, you might want to consider a pre-listing inspection. This will allow you to fix the important items before going into contract. This will establish more trust with your buyer, help sell your home faster, and help sell your home for more money

Photos & Virtual Tours

Great property photos and a virtual tour is ESSENTIAL to targeting out-of-state buyers. Most out-of-state buyers cannot even visit the property, therefore, you need to use every resource at your disposal to highlight your home to them.

Be sure to stage properly, use great lighting, hire a professional photographer, and use a system like Matterport to create your virtual tour.

Knowing Your Buyer

Before trying to target your out-of-state buyer, you should first think about who you are trying to appeal to.

For example, is your home a luxury Florida beach home for those who need a vacation spot? Or, is your home built for a family that is wanting to move to the suburbs?

Thinking about who the perfect buyer is before marketing will help your better target your audience.

Create Your Internet Presence

Second, to last, you need to finally list your property online. Use your experienced agent, awesome photos, your virtual tour, and your target buyer at your disposal when creating your online listings. Post your property on every possible listing front you can especially the larger ones like Zillow and

Craft a message about your property that targets those out-of-state buyers who fit your audience. For instance, you might say, “Looking for the perfect vacation home on Florida’s beaches?” This will directly speak to out-of-state buyers looking for that Florida beach home!

Create Your Marketing Strategy

Last but not least, you need to have a marketing strategy to reach those people out of state. You might try digital advertising on Zillow or Heck, you might even try Facebook Ads!

Depending on your real estate agent, they might have strategies they personally like or have used in the past. Some agents, local to Maine frequently use Facebook Ads to reach people in the South looking to make a move to Maine.

It’s important to hire someone professional for this if it is not your real estate agent.

Final Thoughts

Trying to market your home to out-of-state buyers is becoming increasingly important. To start, you need the right agent who has experience with marketing homes across state lines. Next, you have to build the home’s profile. Take awesome pictures, declutter, stage, organize, and take a virtual tour. Lastly, list your home online, target your perfect buyer, and execute a marketing strategy to reach your perfect buyer.

Categories Uncategorized

How To Prepare For An Appraisal (Sellers)

How To Prepare For An Appraisal

Preparing For an Appraiser

Prepare a list of upgrades/improvements:

You should create a bulleted list of any and all improvements that have occurred in the last 3 years or during your ownership.

Here are some examples:

  • new baseboards
  • backsplash
  • water filtrations
  • new exterior paint
  • anything and everything you can think of

A Realtor can help you organize this list better so you can give this to an appraiser.

Treat it like a showing: 

Also, you should prepare the house like you would for a showing.

Here are some tips to showing your property:

  • Turn all the lights on
  • Open blinds in an open position to allow light in
  • Make all the beds
  • De-clutter and make sure the house is clean
  • Remove pets
  • Turn down the A/C so it is nice a cool in the home

Be prepared for pictures:

Appraisers are required to take pictures for the appraisal report. So, they will be going into each room and taking pictures.

This is just another reason why you should treat it just like a showing.

Provide a survey: 

If you have a property survey leave one for the appraiser on the kitchen counter.

Summing It Up

If you have further questions, you can comment down below!

You should always speak with your listing agent to see what else you can do to prepare for an appraisal.

Categories Plumber

What Does Asbestos Insulation Look Like In Attics

What Does Asbestos Insulation Look Like In Attics


Asbestos was mined throughout the United States and is possible in homes built before the 1990s as mines were still active. You can find it in flooring adhesives, roof shingles to pipe insulation. Additionally, it is one of the most common materials seen in attic and wall insulations. What does asbestos insulation look like in attics?  They are loose, lumpy, fluffy, granular, and pebble-like. The two types are loose fill and vermiculite.

Let’s take a look at the different types, what they look like, and if you need to figure out if you have asbestos.

What is Asbestos

Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral from rock and soil. When building construction is made, rock and soil are needed to collect particular materials. During this time, it is collected with the materials and never separated.

Types of Insulation That Contain Asbestos

As mentioned above, the two types that contain asbestos are loose-fill insulation and vermiculite.

Loose-Fill Insulation

  1. This type is also known as blown-in insulation.
  2. This type of asbestos insulation is fluffy, loose, lumpy, or has a texture that is granular.
  3. Different from most batt and blanket insulation because it doesn’t have paper or another type of backing.
Vermiculite insulation
Vermiculite insulation


  1. A common material that contains asbestos
  2. Sold under the name Zonolite
  3. Identified by looking like pebbles, silver gold, and gray-brown in color
  4. Comes from naturally occurring minerals in the earth

Where Did Asbestos Originate

Vermiculite insulation containing asbestos came from a mine located near Libby, Montana. This mine was active from 1919 – 1990 so unfortunately, the raw insulation material that was taken from the mine contained asbestos. This insulation makes up 70 percent of the vermiculite found in homes in the United States. Additionally, the last mine in the U.S. didn’t close until 2002 so it is possible there could be asbestos in your home.

Safe Types of Insulation

Fortunately, there are safe types of insulation. These are cellulose, loose-fill, and rock wool.

Cellulose Insulation

  1. Loose fill
  2. Gray, soft and no shine
  3. Made with recycled paper and doesn’t contain any minerals
  4. Comes in batt and blanket forms
Loose-fill fiberglass insulation

Loose Fill Fiberglass

  1. White and fluffy and very little shine
  2. Glass product and soft

Rock Wool

  1. Often confused with asbestos-containing insulation
  2. Soft, cottony like gray, brownish-white, white, or off white
  3. Usually a loose insulation

Cost to Remove Attic Asbestos Insulation

The cost to remove attic asbestos insulation can be rather high. There is a range that might not seem so daunting. However, the size of the attic space and the amount of asbestos insulation will dictate the amount that it could cost you for removal. The national average range that asbestos insulation removal could cost you is $800 to $15,000. That is a huge disparity, so make sure you are using the right asbestos insulation removal company.

Other Recommended Maintenance

While you are up in the attic and determining the amount of insulation needed to replace or add to the attic space, consider doing a thorough inspection of what needs cleaning. Oftentimes we neglect the attic crawl space and it becomes dirty and full of mold or mildew. Cleaning the attic crawl space is an important part of home maintenance.

While you are carefully looking around your attic, make sure that you don’t see any cloth-covered wires. Cloth-covered wires are a fire hazard and it is very difficult to secure homeowners insurance if these are present in the home.

Lastly, if you notice that your electric bill has gone up, it is possible that air is escaping in the home. It is important to air seal the attic and keep the cool air in the summer and the warm air in the winter.

When Do I Call A Professional

Calling on an insulation professional is vital to the health and safety of your home. Using a professional contractor allows you to have the attic inspected in full detail so they can identify asbestos insulation and it is removed safely and properly.

Typically, adding or replacing insulation is a key component for maintaining the integrity of heat loss or cool air loss. Also, you don’t want to move into a home that has asbestos insulation. This project completion is most important.