Get Your Mind In The Gutter!
They are easy to forget. They’re just kind of “there” on your house, up high, where you don’t really give them much mind, and since we don’t get a lot of rain here in Idaho they are even easier to not think about.
Truth be told however your gutters provide an important function when it comes to keeping your home safe from the elements. Gutters serve two main purposes: to keep water from gathering on your roof and to divert water away from the foundation of your home – and if they are clogged or not in working order you could be looking at some costly repairs later on.
Possible consequences of poorly function gutters include:
When water accumulates around the base of your home it can cause foundation and even structural damage. As water sits around your foundation, especially over the seasons, it can cause cracks to form in the foundation, and if not remedied even cause the concrete to crumble. This could not only cause flooding in basements and crawlspaces but could even cause structural damage to the house, costing thousands.
Clogged gutters can cause water to accumulate and moisture to stay close to the eaves of your home and attic spaces, making prime conditions for mold growth to take hold. Fungi and other growth can weakened not only shingles but even the roof itself, causing leaks and allowing mold to penetrate your roof space to grow inside your home. Mold is difficult to deal with once it takes hold and may require you to hire a professional.
When gutters aren’t clear and working properly water has no place to go and can accumulate on your roof. If neglected long enough water accumulation can cause surface decay as well as damage to shingles and structure. It’s easy to overlook with such long dry seasons here in Idaho, but a clogged gutter can lead to a much more costly repair – even a roof replacement – if left unchecked long enough.
Erosion is one of the biggest, most frequent kinds of damage you will see from a non-functioning gutter. If a gutter is clogged it can overrun, or if the downspouts are not open or connected, water can dump down with a lot of force eroding the ground. This problem can lead to large puddles in the corners of your home, standing water rife for mosquito breeding, and even loss of lawn or other decorative plants. Make sure your gutters drain properly or install water spout catches to disperse water over an area rather than letting it drill into the ground digging a hole.
Gutter guards can help cut down on how often you need to clean your gutters but the best bet is to get them serviced regularly as the seasons change. All Valley Window Cleaning does more than keep your windows sparkling clean – they also offer pressure washing services for your home or business as well as great gutter cleaning and maintenance! Contact Kevin at All Valley Window Cleaning 208-323-6187 today!
Boise Home Help: Water Stain Removal
By Kevin Kelso of All Valley Window Cleaning
There are many ways to ruin your windows. Every year I am called to try to remedy window cleaning problems due to a lack of knowledge by the homeowner.
One common problem I run into are homes in which the homeowner took it upon himself to clean his windows by hosing them down. He has seen window cleaning companies who pressure wash windows, so he figures he can save some money by doing the same.
What he does not know is that window cleaning companies who pressure wash windows use specially treated water that has no hard solids in it. The water is usually treated by running it through de-ionization tanks or by reverse osmosis. Tap water in the Treasure Valley is laden with iron and calcium carbonate and other solids that will dry on your windows, leaving a milky appearance.
Other homeowners are simply plagued by sprinklers leaving hard water residue when the wind blows sprinkler water onto the glass.
However the stain gets there, it is important to get it off as soon as possible. The longer the stain is left on the glass the more time it has to actually react with the glass and cause etching. Once glass is etched, it is difficult and time consuming to restore clarity. Full clarity may not be possible.
Removing hard water stains can be a real chore, and is usually not a pleasant task. Most window cleaners I know say they “hate water stain removal”. However, it does account for a significant amount of work for us, putting groceries on the table.
In the old days, window cleaners commonly used very harsh water stain removal chemicals containing hydrofluoric acid. Twenty years ago many window cleaning companies discontinued the use of hydrofluoric acid because it was revealed to be one of the most dangerous chemicals know to man. I do not recommend hydrofluoric acid to anyone for this reason.
One window cleaner I know told me a story of when he stored a little hydrofluoric acid in a coffee can over the weekend in his van. When he went to work on Monday morning, he discovered the bottom of the coffee can burnt completely through, then where the can was setting, the hole continued through the floor of his van. When he looked into the hole, he saw that the tail pipe was burnt completely through, then there was a white line on the concrete where the acid had run, followed by an 18 inch diameter circle of asphalt that had turned into gravel. My guess is that it is probably still burning a hole through the center of the earth and out the other side today.
There are safer products on the market today. Most of them seem to work ok on water stain that has not been on the glass for a long time. However, the longer the stain has been there, the more difficult it is to remove. I suggest trying a paste such as “A-Maze”. Put it on a white pad or a piece of “0000” steel wool. Wear nitrile or neoprene gloves. If it does not work, you may have to resort to an electric polisher with a white pad. Put the past on the white pad and try polishing the water stain off. Remember to use safety glasses when polishing.
It is important to determine if the product you are using is compatible with the glass. I received a call one day from a homeowner whose windows had a cloudy appearance he after he used a water stain removal product on all of his brand new windows. The windows had been lightly water stained from sprinklers, and the product was applied without first testing for compatibility. Little did the homeowner know, there was a low-e coating on the outside of the glass that the product reacted with, producing very cloudy looking windows. I was later called to see if there was anything that could be done and was able eventually to restore clarity to the windows, but only by removing all the exterior low-e coating.
Water stain removal is not a fun job to say the least. Many professional window cleaners are prepared with other chemicals and techniques in their arsenal against water stain removal. We may not be able to always remove 100% of the stain, but most of the time we are able to get most of it off, to where what is left is hardly noticeable.
Boise Window Cleaning and Social Media Management
As part of our regular monthly Boise Builders Group meetings we’ve been learning more about our own members as well as inviting guest speakers to come and share their talents with our group. This past month our group speaker was Kevin Kelso of All Valley Window Cleaning and Debbie Morris of Strategic Mobili!
Kevin Kelso has been cleaning windows for over 20 years and has a wealth of knowledge about keeping windows looking their best. He shared with us myths and truths about the 3 common ways homeowners clean their windows:
Vinegar and newspaper.
Strip washer and squeegee.
Believe it or not vinegar and newspaper can do a decent job in some cases, and is very affordable. Sprayaway is a great in the can method for small jobs, and the good ole washer and squeegee is still the go to way to get off the gunk.
One of the most common questions he gets from people is “what do you use in your water” ? While we don’t want to reveal any industry secrets we will suffice to say that because of the special mix they us All Valley helps keep windows cleaner, longer! Call All Valley today at 208-323-6187 to get your windows shining, or visit their website for a free estimate!
We were also honored to get to learn more about social media marketing from Debbie Morris. Debbie is the owner of Strategic Mobili – a great local resource for business owners looking to put social media to work for them!
Strategic Mobili specializes in facebook performance marketing for business, and had these interesting stats to share with us:
Of the 1 billion users Facebook has every month 60% login every day and spend an average of 6 hours a day using their accounts.
Over 700,000 of them are in Idaho.
272,000 ages 25 and up in the treasure valley.
Over one million businesses market on Facebook.
Facebook is a social environment, people do not like hard marketing.
A lot of people want to know how to get better exposure for their website or business online. It’s done using effective social media marketing. With billions of websites online you can no longer simply build your site and expect people to flock to it – you’ve got to advertise! That is where Strategic Mobili excels!
Their Services Include:
Building custom professional business pages for Facebook
Social management services.
Paid Social Advertisement Management.
Ghost posting, and more!
Get connected to this powerhouse of social media knowledge! Call Debbie Morris today at (208) 640-1331 or visit her online!
Homeowner Tip: Make Your Ladder Safe
Homeowners: Three Ways to Make Your Ladder Safer
By Kevin Kelso
All Valley Window Cleaning 208-323-6187
One of my most memorable moments on an extension ladder came many years ago when I first started cleaning windows. I was on a twenty-four foot. ladder inside a house and the ladder was set on a slick hardwood floor. There were no problems as I climbed the ladder. However, as I started cleaning the window, I felt my ladder slowly slip a couple of inches. I quickly grabbed onto a beam and held on until the homeowner came to hold my ladder after hearing me call for help. Shortly after that incident, I heard of another window cleaner that actually went down with his ladder because he set his ladder on a throw rug. He climbed his ladder to the top, but took a quick ride down because the throw rug did not have a non-slip pad under it.
Both of those incidents sent me on a quest to insure my ladder safety. To this day, after twenty-seven years, I have not had a ladder accident, nor has anyone in my company ever had a ladder accident. As homeowners invariably attempt to clean their own windows, I would like to pass on a few tips on making your ladder safer.
Read the Rest of the Entry…
Tip 1: Use a non-slip pad on slick surfaces.
This one is so easy and inexpensive, and it will increase your ladder safety a hundred-fold on slick surfaces. For about $5.00, you can go to Walmart’s throw rug department and pick up a non-slip pad that is made to use under carpets. However, instead of using it under a carpet, you simply set your ladder on it. It will keep your ladder from sliding down, even on very slick surfaces. I use this all the time.
Tip 2: Outfit your ladder with adjustable ladder legs.
Adjustable ladder legs are essential for setting your ladder on uneven ground or even on a stairway. Without the adjustable legs, many a window cleaner or painter has resorted to hunting around for sticks, rocks or boards that can be put under the short leg on uneven ground. Setting up a ladder this way is not only much more time consuming, but it is far less safe than good set of adjustable ladder legs. There are two types of ladder-legs I have used. The one from Home Depot is less expensive, but heavier, making the ladder more difficult to carry. Last time I checked, they are not available in the stores, but may be purchased from Home Depot’s website for $89.00 + free shipping.
Northline Express sells a lighter weight set of ladder legs for $129.00. I have used these legs for many years and am very happy with them.
Link to Northline Express
If you are interested in purchasing a ladder already equipped with adjustable legs rather than replacing legs on a traditional ladder, check out the Werner Ladder website. http://www.wernerladder.com/newprods/equalizer.php
Tip 3: Outfit your ladder with ladder stabilizers.
You’ve seen them before. They are the antler-looking devices that attach to the top of an extension ladder. Those who depend on ladders for their livelihood swear by them.
The main benefit is that it will keep your ladder from tilting side to side. It will also keep you away from the wall or window where you are working, making your task easier to perform. With the non-slip pad and the ladder stabilizers, your ladder is not going anywhere. It will be very secure. These “antlers” are also useful for setting on a ledge or a roof, preventing any possibility of the ladder slipping. They do make the ladder heavier, but they are well worth it in terms of safety. The best ladder stabilizer is the “Quick Click Stabilizer”, because of it’s ease in quickly attaching or removing from the ladder, priced at $42.00. Less desirable is the stabilizer that is fixed onto the ladder with nuts and bolts. This one is available for $25.00. Lowe’s carries both types, while Home Depot carries only the “Werner Quick Click Stabilizer”.
Link to Home Depot Quick Click Stabalizer
Also check out Amazon’s ladder page for more price comparisons.
These three tips have helped make our safety record at All Valley Window Cleaning impeccable. They will go a long ways too in keeping you safe on your home projects.
Visit All Valley Window Cleaning today to learn more about our outstanding window cleaning services for Idaho!
All Valley Window Cleaning