Tips for Safely Cleaning Your Gutters

Owning a home can feel like a never-ending list of chores and to-dos. And with every season comes a new list of priorities to consider. 

When the autumn weather starts to turn the outdoor leaves, and they slowly begin to fall, many of these to-dos involve cleaning up—one of the major ones being your gutters. Though you might be spending most of your weekends raking and bagging these leaves off your lawn, now is the time to ensure they are removed from your gutters too. 

However, like any other household project, you’ll want to keep some safety measures in mind, especially if you don’t plan to hire a professional for the job. 

So, before you get out the ladder and begin your season cleaning, you’ll want to keep these three gutter tips in mind: 

1. Remember Proper Ladder Safety 

No matter what the task at hand is, when you take out your household ladder to use, you should always inspect it for any damage. Look for any dents, loose parts, and sturdiness. A wooden ladder should be avoided, as they are often challenging to balance.

Before you start, inspect the surrounding area, make sure you have a dry, steady surface to place it on, and consider always having a spotter or someone nearby if an emergency arises. 

Chances are, the leaves you’re cleaning from the gutters are sitting on the ground around your home, too. If it recently rained, these wet leaves can create the perfect environment for a careless ladder slip. So, make sure that you inspect your surroundings and take all safety precautions before your climb. 

2. Consider Protective Gear

Leaves might not be the only debris living up in your gutters; a good pair of gloves will help ensure your hands stay dry and unharmed through the process. Consider wearing your spring and summer garden gloves to get the job done.

Proper footwear is also a must. In some cases, you might need to take a few steps on the roof, making rubber-soled slip-proof shoes the best and safest option. Not to mention, it can also help your feet stay sturdy as you climb the ladder. 

3. Look for Signs of Damage 

As you begin declogging your gutters, keep a close eye on the shape they are in, and check for any damage. Look for any leaks in the seams, and if there is any standing water, your gutters might not be adequately sloped. Check that they are securely attached and schedule a repair before winter hits. 

Gutter System Install in Norwalk, CT

If you notice any damage during your seasonal gutter cleaning, the team at Landmark Exteriors is here to help. From professional gutter cleaning to custom systems, Give us a call at (203) 838-3838 or contact us to see how we can keep the exterior perfect for the season to come. 

Tips for Raking Up Leaves

It’s about that time of the year; time to get out your rakes! Fall can be one of the most exciting and beautiful seasons, but it can often be overshadowed by the overbearing chore that is raking. Raking up all the fall leaves can be time-consuming, challenging, and put a real strain on your body, but we want to help!

We want you to spend more time enjoying the outdoors with friends and family, so here are some useful tips to make raking less of a hassle: 

Health And Safety Come First

Raking can be a real workout and strain your body, so make sure not to overexert yourself with this laborious task. A few ways to take care of yourself include wearing gloves to protect your hands, wearing a mask if you suffer from allergies, staying hydrated, taking frequent breaks, and not doing more work than you can handle; it’s not worth pushing yourself too hard and getting hurt.

Divide Your Lawn Into Sections

Make a plan and consider dividing your property into sections before you start. Take on one area at a time, and if you have a large lawn, don’t do it all in one day.  

Use a Tarp

Rather than bending over every few minutes to pick up leaves and strain your back while doing so, take out a tarp and rake the leaves onto it. Grab the tarp and drag all the leaves into the area you want to collect them.

Rake With The Wind And Downhill

Raking is already a tough job; don’t make it more difficult than it needs to be. Leaves are light and can easily blow in the wind. Make sure to rake with the wind, so they don’t blow away from you, and rake downhill to let gravity help out too.

Pull The Leaves Toward You

Don’t twist or turn as your rake. Be conscious to pull the leaves toward you and stand more straight. You want to be careful not to bend your back over too much. Your muscles will thank you later.

Stomp On The Leaves Before You Step Away

Don’t let the wind ruin your hard work! If you need to take a break or step away from your leaf piles before collecting them, walk and step all over them to prevent them from blowing away.

Utilize Your Lawnmower

If your lawnmower has an attachment that can shred leaves and collect the clippings, use it! This will cut down heavily the amount of raking you need to do, which will be a lifesaver for your back. Collecting the leaves will also be a breeze since the clippings will go right in the bag attached to your mower.

Happy raking!

Home Exterior Care in Norwalk, CT

Spend your autumn season focusing on family fun and not taking care of your property. The experts at Landmark Exteriors are here to help your home’s exterior look and perform its best this fall season and all year long! Give us a call at (203) 838-3838 to learn more.

Family Fun Fall Activities

Colder weather may be quickly approaching, but that doesn’t mean the fun has to stop! Autumn is a wonderful season filled with many exciting activities to do as a family. The colors of the leaves are changing and Halloween is nearing; it’s time to get started on enjoying all that fall has to offer!

Give these family fun activities a try this fall season: 

Visit an Apple Orchard

Apples are in season, and you can’t go wrong with this delicious and nutritious fruit. Take a family trip to a nearby apple orchard to get some fresh air and pick out or buy some fresh apples. The perfect fall family fun day!

Pumpkin Picking

You can’t have autumn without some pumpkins! Visit a Connecticut farm or your local store to pick out a variety of pumpkins and gourds. Use them to decorate your home or maybe even cook with. 

Pumpkin Carving

Now that you have gone pumpkin picking, why not have some fun and test your carving skills? Clean out your pumpkins, get the proper tools, pick out your best design, and carefully, of course, begin your carving. Don’t forget some candles to show off your beautifully carved pumpkin to the neighborhood.  

If making jack-o-lanterns isn’t your forte, try painting your pumpkins instead!

Go Picnicking

While the nights are getting chilly quick, the weather during the day is perfect for a relaxing outdoor picnic. Head to a local park with your packed autumn treats, snacks, and drinks for some outdoor enjoyment. And who doesn’t love a good meal with family?

Go on a Nature Hike

Autumn is filled with so many beautiful surprises to find in nature, starting with the color-changing leaves. Take a family hike on one of the many trails throughout Connecticut to enjoy some leaf-peeping, bird watching, fresh air, and exercise. 

Bake a Fall Treat

Autumn is filled with so many wonderful flavors and foods to eat. Enjoy a day of baking some yummy fall treats as a family! There are so many wonderful and delicious treats to indulge and enjoy making together in the kitchen from apple, pecan, or pumpkin pie to caramel apples and pumpkin cookies.  

Roast Marshmallows

Enjoy some warm time by your fireplace or fire pit on those chilly autumn nights. Grab all the marshmallows you can get your hands on and have some fun roasting them over the flames. Don’t forget the chocolate and graham crackers to make the perfect s’ more!  

Home Exterior Care in Connecticut

Spend your autumn season focusing on family fun and not problems with your home. The experts at Landmark Exteriors are here to help your home’s exterior look and perform its best this fall season and all year long! Give us a call at (203) 838-3838 to learn more.

What Questions Should I Ask my Roofing Contractor?

Picking a roofing company can be a hassle, but it doesn’t need to be. Knowing exactly what to ask and look for can make this process much easier and help ensure that you’re getting the best work done possible. 

Here are the most important questions to ask a roofing contractor before you hire them:

Are you a licensed roofing contractor?

Codes and licensing requirements vary from state to state. It’s good to ask and be certain that your roofers are licensed, their license is up to date, and they abide by all codes.

Do you carry general liability insurance?

Workman’s compensation insurance covers the employees while working on your roof. However, you still have to worry about potential damage to any part of your property that can occur during the installation. Don’t be afraid to ask them to verify that the roofing company has general liability insurance that will pay for repairs if part of your property is damaged in any way during the work process.

How will you protect my home’s exterior driveway and gutters from damage?

A lot of equipment, tools, and people are required when redoing a roof. On top of insurance, you can ask what exact measures the workers will take while working to protect your gutters, driveway, and house from damage.

Will you remove my old roof?

In some cases, roofers will make the call to shingle over the existing roof, leading to problems such as soft or rotten spots throughout the roof. If these issues aren’t resolved, severe damage can occur to your home. Make sure that your old roof is being completely removed before replacement.

What is your physical address and phone number?

Make sure your roofers have a physical location and local phone number before hiring them. It’s important to make sure that they are a legal operation, and if there are any problems, you can contact and locate them.

What is the warranty for my new roof?

Don’t forget to ask about your roofing material’s longevity and the warranty time for the roof. A properly installed roof with shingles should last at least 25 years.

Will you provide a written estimate?

Before you sign or agree to anything, make sure you have a detailed estimate in writing for all the different aspects of the job. You’ll want to be aware of any surprise costs when the work is finished.

Will there be someone on-site that I can speak with and ask questions?

It’s logical to have questions while the work is happening. Be prepared ahead of time and know who will be on-site that you can ask any questions you have.

Roof Installation in Connecticut

Hire a roofing company you can trust, is reliable, and will do an exceptional job, so you don’t have to worry. The experts at Landmark Exteriors can help you fix any problems or fully replace your roof without any hassle, and you’ll be more than pleased with the results. Give us a call at (203) 838-3838 to learn more.

Why Do The Leaves Change Color in the Fall?

Autumn is here, and there’s so much to look forward to such as pumpkins everywhere, Halloween decorations, spice-scented candles, and the leaves changing color! From red to yellow to orange to purple, there are so many gorgeous and vibrant colors that will be taking over the trees soon. Especially in beautiful Connecticut, it’s impossible not to be surrounded by the fantastic fall foliage.

But why exactly do the leaves change color this time of year? And why do they fall at all? Here’s the reason for this nature phenomenon: 

Why Do Leaves Fall During Autumn?

It takes a lot of energy and water for trees and plants to maintain healthy leaves, and this water and energy can be hard to come by as the temperatures drop. Winter is cold, dry, and there isn’t as much needed sun for healthy leaf conditions. 

Instead of struggling to hold on to their leaves, trees and plants drop them and seal the spots on the branches where the leaves were attached so that new ones can grow when there’s more sun, water, and optimal weather available.

Why Do Leaves Change Color in Autumn?

The pigment, chlorophyll, is what gives leaves their bright green color. Chlorophyll is essential for plants to make food from sunlight. Trees and plants make a lot of this chlorophyll during the warmer seasons, but as the temperatures start to drop and the sun is out for less time, they have to stop this production.

When autumn starts and the weather gets colder, trees and plants instead break down the chlorophyll into smaller molecules until it goes away entirely, and new pigments begin to show, like yellow and red. The colors will change just before the leaves fall off.

Home Exterior Care in Connecticut

The experts at Landmark Exteriors are here to help your home’s exterior look and perform its best this fall season! Give us a call at (203) 838-3838 to learn more.

8 Tips For Preparing Your Home For The Fall Season

Of course, the autumn wreaths, pumpkin spice candles, and Halloween decorations are important for celebrating the fall season’s arrival. But, is your home ready to handle the quickly changing weather? Chilly weather, falling leaves, and potentially damaging storms are on their way, so it’s best to be prepared and make sure your house is ready to handle it all.

Take a look at these helpful tips to ensure your home is fall-ready:

Clean and Cover-up Your Outdoor Furniture

Give your outdoor furniture a quick wipe down and clear off any debris that has fallen on them. Use tarps or furniture covers to place over them and protect them from the elements until you’re ready to take them out for spring. If needed and you have the available space, bring them indoors for ultimate protection.

Inspect and Repair Your Roof

Give your roof a quick look-over and search for any signs that it is damaged and needs to be fixed. Start by looking for curled, broken, or missing shingles, moss growth, or rust. Notice any of the mentioned issues or have concerns? Consider having your roof professionally inspected as soon as possible.

Clean Your Gutters

It is generally recommended to clean your gutters at least twice a year. Especially when fall starts, leaves will indeed find their way into your gutters and likely clog them up. Gutters work hard to remove rainwater and melting snow safely off your roof and away from your home, so it’s essential to be sure they are properly functioning.  

Take Care of Your Outdoor Water System

Be sure to drain and turn off all your outdoor faucets and sprinkler system. A frozen pipe could lead to a burst and some costly damage. Make sure to drain out and store away your hoses, so they’re ready for next year!

Inspect Your House For Drafts

Prevent heat loss by taking a walk throughout your entire house and looking for any areas where there could be air coming in from outside. Seal up gaps in doorways and windows and fill in any spaces missing proper insulation. Your energy bill will thank you!

Inspect Your Furnace, Water Heater, and Change Filters

Nothing works harder in the winter than your home’s heating system. Inspect your furnace and water heater and ensure they are properly functioning before the weather gets too cold, and have them fixed as soon as possible. Fall is also a great time to change out your dirty filters to make sure your home has fresh, clean air for all the time you’ll spend indoors. 

Prepare Your Fireplace

Who doesn’t love getting all cozy by the fireplace when the cold weather arrives? Though you might be getting the firewood together already, schedule an inspection and check that your chimney is clean and free of blockages. That way, when the first cold day hits, you’ll be all ready to go!

Check Safety Equipment

Another part of the fall season we look forward to is daylight savings, which is also the perfect time to make sure your home’s safety equipment is up to par! Replace batteries for your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, checking expiration dates and replacing fire extinguishers if needed, stock up and be prepared for power outages, and review an emergency plan with your family. 

Home Exterior Care in Connecticut

The experts at Landmark Exteriors are here to help your home’s exterior look and perform its best! Give us a call at (203) 838-3838 to learn more.

How Your Roof Affects Your Home’s Value

Over the years, you’ve worked hard to ensure that your home is a happy and inviting place to live. Now that you’re looking to sell, the quality of your roof is something that shouldn’t be last on your list. 

Problems with the roofing can be a major deal-breaker for houses on the market and significantly affect the overall value and chances of selling. You’ll want to make sure your roof is adding value rather than decreasing it.

How a Roof Affects Your Home’s Value

While most homeowners are mostly concerned with the roof’s ability to protect you and their valuables underneath it, there are other functions the roof is designed to do for your home, such as insulation and protection from the elements, making it a crucial factor.

Home inspectors always pay careful attention to the quality of your roof as it does play a major role in the home’s overall value. A roof that needs to be fixed or replaced soon will negatively impact the property’s appraisal value and could potentially be considered a “fixer-upper” for home listings.

How a New Roof Can Improve Your Home’s Value

If you are planning to sell your house, make sure to look into the roof’s condition. Newer roofs add plenty of value and make a big difference in your payout. In general, a new roof can add between 15% and 40% value to your home! Here are the ways a new roof contributes to an increased home value:

  • Function – A new roof ensures that the house will be properly protective over the rest of the home for years to come.
  • Curb appeal – The look and attractiveness play a significant role as well in your home’s value and sale potential. An improved and good-looking roof can add to the overall appeal and interest more buyers.
  • Fit into the neighborhood – Few people want a home that sticks out like a sore thumb from the surrounding houses. If you’ve chosen a roofing material that differs from the rest of the neighborhood, your resale value will likely decrease, especially if the houses are close to one another.
  • Energy Efficiency – An old roof doesn’t offer the same value in regard to energy efficiency and insulation as a new roof does. 

Knowing what to look for as well can help you determine whether or not you should be looking to get your roof redone. Make sure to look for various signs and damages to your roof that means it needs to be inspected or replaced!

Roof Installation in Connecticut

The experts at Landmark Exteriors can help you fix any problems or fully replace your roof, so it has the highest value possible! Give us a call at (203) 838-3838 to learn more.

6 Signs You Need Your Roof Inspected

With colder weather and storm season approaching quickly, your roof will be what protects the rest of your house, so you’ll want to make sure it’s in tip-top shape! While roofs can last you decades at a time, damage can cause severe and costly problems for your home at any time.

Here are some signs to look for that will tell you that you need to have your roof looked at by a professional:

Curling or Missing Shingles

One of the telltale signs that your roof is deteriorating is if you notice shingles are starting to curl around the edges or shingles are missing and have fallen off your house. If you notice any patches of black asphalt exposed on the roof, it means that shingles are missing from that spot.

Excessive Granules

Another sign of shingles aging is when granules fall off. One way you can tell if this is happening is by checking the gutters and downspouts for small granules that have ended up there after falling off the shingles.

Missing or Cracked Tiles

If you have a tile roof, cracked or missing tiles are a sign that some renovations are needed. Cracked or missing tiles can lead to leaks and serious damage.

Ceiling Stains or Leaks

If you notice any stains on your ceiling, it could be a sign that a leak has sprung. The stain will likely be yellowish or brownish and should tell you that you need to have your roof looked at quickly.

Sounds of Wind From Inside

Another sign of an unstable roof would be the sound of the wind whistling from inside the house. This could mean shingles or tiles are missing, or there is a hole.

It’s Been a While…

If it has been a long time, more than 2 decades, since you’ve had your roof done, it’s time to get an inspection done. In that time, your roof has taken a lot of hits from weather, debris, and regular wear and tear. 

Roof Inspection in Connecticut

Are you noticing any of these problems? The experts at Landmark Exteriors can ensure that your roof is at its best and help you fix any problems. Give us a call at (203) 838-3838 to learn more.

How Often Should I Water The Lawn?

Everyone loves seeing a bright green lawn to frame your home! Ensuring your yard gets plenty of water is essential to achieving happy and healthy grass. While it might sound simple, there is a method to how you should water your lawn to ensure it grows properly and as healthily as possible!  

When to Water

Watering in the morning, before 10 a.m. is the perfect time to make sure your lawn gets the hydration it needs. This is the ideal time because the temperature is cooler, winds tend to be calmer, and the water has the best chance of soaking all the way into the soil to reach the roots before it can evaporate. If you aren’t able to water in the morning, try between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m., so the water still has time to dry before nightfall. Watering overnight is when your lawn is most likely to develop disease causing serious problems.

In general, grass is very resilient and can survive for weeks without being watered before turning brown! Rain can also help ensure that your lawn is well hydrated, so watering every day is not essential.

How Much Water to Use

For an established lawn, it’s recommended to use enough water so that the top 6 to 8 inches of the soil is wet. Ideally, your entire yard should receive 1 to 1.5 inches of water each week from watering or from rain to soak that deeply. Make sure not to overwater!

How to Tell if Your Lawn Needs to Be Watered

If you notice your grass has lost its vibrant green color and is more dull or even grayish or brown, it’s asking to be watered! Another tip for seeing if your lawn is begging for water is by simply walking across it. If your footprints don’t quickly disappear, then the blades of grass don’t have the moisture they need to spring back up, and it’s time for a good watering.

How to Tell if You’ve Watered Enough

Use some of these techniques to see if your lawn has gotten the water that it needs:

  • Check the soil – Use a screwdriver and push it into the soil to test how deep the water has soaked in. Once you’ve determined the water has soaked in about 6 inches, then that’s how long it takes for your lawn to be watered thoroughly.
  • Use cans to measure – Believe it or not, empty tuna cans can be very useful in helping you see how much water various spots on your lawn are getting. Spread them across the grass and see how long it takes the cans to fill up.
  • Do some math – If you use a sprinkler, doing a simple calculation can give a very accurate estimate of how much time it takes to thoroughly water your yard. Start by multiplying the square footage of your lawn by 0.62 gallons (which equals 1 inch of water per square foot). Next, divide that number by the sprinkler flow rate (which should be available on the packaging or from the manufacturer). This calculation will tell you how many minutes to run your sprinkler! Invest in a water time so that your sprinkler can be preset to water the correct amount all on its own!

Home Exterior Care in Fairfield County

The experts and Landmark Exteriors are here to help your home both look and function it’s best. Give us a call at (203) 838-3838 to learn more about how we can help you.

5 Ways to Protect Your Home From Storm Damage

There’s always the potential of another severe storm to do some serious damage. While your house protects you from the elements, make sure there’s no lasting damage by taking the proper preventative measures beforehand. 

Here are 5 ways to protect your home from serious storm damage:

Check Doors and Windows

Ensuring that your doors and windows are properly sealed and locked is a must for any type of bad weather. Any small break or gap in the seal can let wind and water in causing potentially dangerous damage.   

Check Your Home’s Exterior

All the elements of your home’s exterior will be what’s directly bracing the elements, so you’ll want to make sure they’re in proper shape to withstand any severe storm. Check your roof regularly for any loose or missing shingles to prevent leaks or gaps. As well, inspect that your siding doesn’t have any breaks or loose pieces that can be taken off by the wind. Most importantly, check that your gutters and water drainage systems are properly functioning to keep water from building up anywhere.

Check Your Yard

Do you notice any debris, furniture, or items in your yard that could be lifted by strong winds? Make sure all those items are properly secured or removed before the storm arrives. Check your fence and look for any broken or loose pieces that could come off. Keep your trees properly trimmed to prevent branches from flying off and hitting your home or power lines.

Be Prepared

You can never be certain of how a storm will affect your home. Maybe you’ll lose power, or your basement will get flooded? Invest in a sump pump to drain out any built-up water from areas of your home that have started to flood. If you have a generator, check that it is in proper working order and have a safe spot outside for it ready to go. Gather flashlights, water, and other necessary supplies to have at the ready if your home doesn’t have power.

Update Your Insurance Policy

Make sure you know exactly what is insured for your home if there is damage from a storm, so you don’t have to worry later! Be sure you’re covered for all different weather-related damage and be certain your home is well-protected.

Home Exterior Care in Fairfield County

The experts and Landmark Exteriors are here to help your home both look and function it’s best. Give us a call at (203) 838-3838 to learn more about how we can help you.