I recently read that a homeowner should expect to budget 1-2% of their home’s purchase price for annual home maintenance. For example, a $300,000 home would cost the average homeowner roughly $3,000-$6,000 annually in home maintenance and renovations.
Not only does Top Dog Home Pro aim to provide premier home exterior services in Prince William County, we also aim to provide common maintenance tips to help you save money in the long run.
Gutter Maintenance & Gutter Guards
Why should you maintain your gutters?
Before getting into the most effective ways to maintain and clean your home’s gutter system, understanding the importance of gutters is a must. At first glance gutters really don’t seem that important… but they serve a huge purpose.
In a nutshell, the main purpose of a gutter system is to channel and funnel water off your home’s roof and a AWAY from the home. Worst case scenario, without gutters, water runoff could erode the soil around the home causing the foundation to possible be compromised.
On the lighter side, without a properly maintained and cleaned gutter system, debris accumulation and build up can cause unnecessary stress on gutter fasteners.
Recent Example: Debris accumulated at the end of a gutter where it met the home’s downspout. With all the recent rain, the water could not funnel down the down spout, therefore water was running off the corner of the home. This caused the downspout to disconnect from the gutter, and partially detach from the home. One large rain had already started to create erosion on the ground surface below.
Simply maintaining and cleaning your gutters 1-2x a year can decrease the likelihood of the gutters detaching from your siding or roof.
Common problems of improperly maintained gutters:
-Moisture damage to plywood on roof/side of home
-Shifted soil near patios & walkways
While some of the problems caused by gutters might seem self-explanatory, the others might seem shocking…. Like the mosquitoes. Believe it or not, clogged gutters can result in stagnant water – a perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes.
Additionally, water runoff that is not properly funneled away from the home can cause soil shifts that can impact the foundation, walkway, or patios adjacent to your home.
However, here is how to simply avoid any of the above mentioned issues.
How do you clean and maintain your home’s gutter system?
In order to reduce the chances of problems with your home’s gutters, consider the following:
Cleaning gutters in the Spring and Fall.
Installing gutter guards
It is safe to assume that if you live in a area where there are more leaf and pine needles debris, such as well-established areas like Reston, Fairfax, Springfield, Woodbridge, Dumfries, etc, you will have debris in your gutters.
By cleaning your gutters out in the spring and fall, you will prevent any real build-up from severely impacting your exterior home.
To clean your gutters, you will need gloves, a hose and most likely a ladder. Depending on the layout and height of your home, this can be an extensive project. Remember to always be safe when getting on you roof, and it is best be to give us a call if you are hesitant about checking your gutters.
Why use Gutter Guards –
If cleaning your gutter sounds like a problem or a task you just don’t have the time for, consider installing gutter guards to save time and money in the long run.
Sometimes customers think the price of gutter guards might be a little high. However, if you were to take the average single family home gutter guard cost – approximately $1100, and compare that to an annual gutter cleaning – $250, in 4 years your gutter guards pay for themselves.
For starters Top Dog Home Pro offers a 20 year non-clog warranty, paired with a 20 year Raindrop warranty. Essentially you save 16 years of cleaning when you use gutter guards with Top Dog Home Pro!!
We have teamed up with Raindrop® to deliver gutter protection and make home maintenance easier. The Raindrop® gutter guard fits on every home, roof style and gutter system and is essential in providing a maintenance free & self-cleaning gutter protection system.
What makes Raindrop® Gutter Guard stand out from the rest is the system’s capacity to handle any amount of water – from a spring mist to a torrential downpour. Keeping gutters clean and free of leaves using a gutter guard, is an excellent low-maintenance method to protect your home and gutter system.
If you have questions about your homes gutters, don’t hesitate to fill out the contact form or just reach out to us on our Facebook page!
As the summer heat approaches, keep in mind that it is always best to apply sunscreen when your outside. All kidding aside, just how sunscreen helps prevent damage to your skin, the exterior makeup of your home works the same way.
The exterior home includes your roof system, windows, protection around the home (siding or brick typically), and doors. Additionally, gutters and gutter guards can be included as well.
While a lot can be said about your home’s roof, today’s topic will actually be more focused on windows. How do you select the best windows for a ranch style home?
3 Tips for Deciding on Window Replacement
Many ranch style homes are simple in design which is why every last design element matters. From the landscaping to the front door, and from the windows to the eves troughs, every last detail makes a statement.
If you feel that your home looks a little blah compared to your neighbors’ homes, there are a few updates you can make, starting with window replacement. Before you replace the windows in your home, however, there are a few considerations you should make first.
1. Window Function Comes First
Though you may have opted to replace your windows because you want to improve the appearance of your home, you should not negate function. Depending on where you live and what the weather conditions are like, you may need double or triple pane glass.
If you live in an area that receives a lot of sun, pay particular attention the UV rating. The more energy efficient your windows are, the more you’ll save in the long run.
2. Window Style
Once you have found a type of window with satisfactory energy saving features, it is time to shop styles. Keep the style of your home in mind first and foremost—which, in this case, is ranch style. If you need a window that closes and locks firmly for security purposes, casement windows are ideal. Casement windows also provide clean lines that match the sweeping style of your home.
Picture windows are also nice in the front as they add a cottage charm to a ranch style. However, awning windows are also favorable as they provide for a nice breeze. A window replacement company can go over all of your options and help you decide on the best style for your needs and home.
3. Window Frames
Window frames impact the look of a home more than most people think, which is why you should never overlook the type of frame that comes on each window. Most wood windows aren’t designed for ranch style homes, but because they’re the cheapest option, many homeowners opt for them anyway.
If you do go with wood frames, know that you can always paint them (We do not paint, but I am sure you can find painters if you ever paint your windows, just check out Home Advisor – Painters Near Me!)
Are you considering window replacement to revamp your ranch style home?
Keep the above tips and mind to find a style that works for you. Be sure to call or email us at Top Dog Home Pro. We can help you select a design and customize windows for your home. Even if you don’t have a ranch style home, we can help you out!
Windows and doors are two features that can make or break a house. The best thing about exterior home renovations is the return on investment for resale purposes. A brand new roof, front door, or new windows can be a huge selling point when you decided to sell you home.
Have a great summer & as always feel free to reach out if you have any exterior home questions!
P.S. Thank you for some of the recent reviews on Google! We love when people give us great reviews because one of our core values is to provide excellent service as a contractor. Thanks again!
In less then two weeks Americans around the country will celebrate the Independence Day Holiday. Independence Day is synonymous with great food, friends and memories. However, July 4th is also known for something else – FIREWORKS!
At the bottom this article, find a complete list of firework shows in your area!
And while fireworks can be a great time and a sight to see, it is important to keep in mind that safety is always number one when it comes to July 4th and fireworks!
It is also important to know your localities laws. In the state of Virginia for example, there are laws when it comes to what kind of fireworks you can use at your celebration… sorry no mortars Virginia residents.
So what about Fireworks and your home? Keep Reading!
More fires on July 4th then and other day.
There are more fires on July 4th then any other day of the year. Each year fireworks cause 1,300 structural fires, and over 17,000 other fires resulting in 1,000’s of injuries. Due to the significant uptick in fires on Independence Day, it is important to keep a few things in mind when it comes to your home.
Bottle Rockets, Sparkles, Roman Candles – you name it – have all been linked to causing home fires. Properly lighting and discarding fireworks is essential for you and your home’s safety.
Read about improperly discarded fireworks causing a house fire in Loudoun County in 2015 here.
Firework Home Safety 101
The following is comprehensive list to help keep your home and family safe on July 4th. Knowing potential problem areas in advance is key.
1.Inspect your home for dry debris in your gutters and roof.
There is no better place for a random spark to go then a patch of dry leaves in a gutter or the valley of a roof. Bottle rockets especially, often find themselves on roofs and in gutters of homes. Hot summers and dry debris on roofs can be a recipe for structural fire.
Did you know you should clean your gutters yearly? Read here
2. Properly dispose of fireworks.
This is the number one cause of fires on July 4th – improperly disposed fireworks. It is recommended to soak all used fireworks in water for a few hours before discarding. NEVER bring the trash can with used fireworks into your garage. Leave your trashcan on the street until trash pickup.
3. Keep a hose and bucket of water handy when lighting fireworks.
Keep a hose close by to the area where you are lighting fireworks as well as a bucket of water just in case. After lighting off fireworks, dispose of the used fireworks by placing them in the bucket of water.
Just to be extra safe, keep the fireworks in the bucket of water overnight, then dispose of them the next day.
4. Other Firework Safety tips to consider:
- Anyone using fireworks or standing nearby should wear protective eye-wear
- Never light them indoors
- Only use them away from people, houses and flammable material
- Only light one device at a time and maintain a safe distance after lighting
- Never ignite devices in a container
- Do not try to re-light or handle malfunctioning fireworks
Enjoy the 4th & Be Safe!
We hope you have a great 4th of July and spend lots of time with family and friends. Enjoy the cookouts, weather and memories. Most importantly, it is great to celebrate our countries independence.
While firework safety as adults might seem silly, it is important to keep in mind that most fire incidents that occur on the 4th were because of improper disposal or improper handling. Best recommendation – go watch professional fireworks with a blanket and friends!
Here is a list of local events and firework shows:
Dale City – link here.
Falls Church – link here.
Herndon – link here.
Manassas – link here.
Manassas Park / Signal Hill – link here.
Mt. Vernon – link here.
Vienna – link here.
Washington D.C. – link here.
Alexandria – Saturday July 7th – link here.
Feel free to share this article with friends and have a happy 4th of July from the Top Dog Home Pro crew!