Why It’s Important to Get a Professional to Clean Your Gutter

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Why It’s Important to Get a Professional to Clean Your Gutter

Are you thinking of saving money by cleaning your gutters yourself? Think again.

Not only do you risk injuring yourself, but there are other dangers involved. You could damage your gutters for one, which would incur additional repair costs. You may not even have the right tools and would only end up wasting your precious time and there’s bound to be several other things that need to be taken into account you wouldn’t even be aware of. Read on for some reasons why a professional should clean your gutter.

Faster Service

Professionals know what needs to be done and how. A professional team of cleaners can make quick work of a clogged or dirty gutter. With their training, equipment, and experience, they can carry out the gutter cleaning efficiently and effectively. 

Better Equipment

Do you have the correct gutter cleaning equipment at home? Even if you’re willing to buy all the equipment, learning how to use it safely can be time-consuming. Plus professional equipment does not come cheap.

Safety

Prevent fires, falls, and other accidents.

When you allow an inexperienced person to work on your gutter, you risk their life and yours too. The person could hurt themself or make a mess of the gutter, eventually putting your family in danger. 

Your gutters may also be home to rodents, bugs, wasps, and insects of all kinds. With unclean gutters attracting all sorts of rodents and pests, you risk exposing yourself to bird feces, mold spores, or other disease-causing viruses and microbes. The risk is even worse if you don’t have protective equipment. 

A professional operator will know how to protect themselves. They know what to expect and have years of experience dealing with all kinds of pests.

Trained

There is more to gutter cleaning than simply getting rid of all the dirt. Reports of property damage resulting from untrained individuals DIY-ing such tasks are not uncommon. When it comes to rooftop gutters, climbing the roof or maneuvering yourself on a ladder is not an easy task. And ladder accidents, unfortunately, are too common in Australia. And while it might be tempting to just clean out your gutters yourself to save money, it’s not worth the risk. This could cost you a fortune in property damages in the long run!

Inspect and Repair

While they’re at it, professional contractors can also take a look for other signs of damage that you might otherwise miss out on. And since they’ve got the tools with them, minor repairs can also be done right there and then.

If your contractor provides additional services like trimming the trees or cleaning the windows, all the better for you.

Apart from these benefits, gutter cleaning professionals also carry public and product liability insurance. And if needed, a professional contractor can give you useful tips to keep your gutter clean till the next cleaning appointment.

At Gutter-Vac we ensure that your gutters will be spic and span in no time, ensuring the safety and well-being of you and your family.

What’s the Correlation Between Your Health and Cleaning Your Gutter?

Gutters play a significant role in keeping your surroundings clean. But how do you keep the gutters clean? Gutters, if left unattended, can get clogged with dirt and debris. This can lead to a host of problems for your house and your health. Don’t believe us? Keep reading to know how a dirty gutter can impact your health.

Risks and Dangers of a Dirty Gutter

Skin and Breathing Issues
It doesn’t take long for mould to start growing in your gutter. The dirtier it is, the better environment it provides for mould to grow.

If you keep avoiding getting your gutter cleaned, there’s bound to be clogging. And if the resulting unclean water leaks into your walls, there is no escaping health problems. From skin allergies and infections to breathing issues, you’ll be subject to a whole host of problems you could have avoided.

Recovering from an illness or cold while living in such an environment becomes difficult too. If you have toddlers or aged parents living with you, getting the gutters cleaned regularly is non-negotiable.

Foundation Damage
Have you heard of roofs, walls, and doors collapsing suddenly because of water damage? That’s what you risk when you don’t clean your gutter. Clogged debris increases the danger of water overflowing and leaking into your walls and onto your roof.

Not only do leakages allow mould to grow inside the walls but they also weaken the foundation of your house. Left untreated, the water keeps leaking through the cracks and enters the rest of your property. Your gutter could also break from the weight of the debris accumulated on it. They could decay, rust, fall, or cause damage to the outer walls of your house. Worst case scenario? There’s someone near the gutter when it falls.

Mosquitoes, Rodents, and the Wild
The debris that gets stuck in your gutter is not the only nuisance you’ll be dealing with. Dirt and debris are bound to attract not just mosquitos but also other pests. These are often those that eat through the wood and don’t show themselves until it’s too late. If getting rid of them seems impossible, that’s because your walls allow moisture to help the pests to breed repeatedly.

Clogged gutters are also the perfect spots for rodents, birds, and bugs when they’re out searching for a home. While a bug might not be that big of a problem yet, it could attract wild animals from the surrounding areas. Don’t let them make your backyard their hunting ground. Get your gutters cleaned today.

Going Solar: The Benefits and Challenges of Solar Panels

Solar panels are an excellent investment.

With technology improving every single year, the level of power they can provide for your home is continually increasing and energy storage provides non-stop power come rain, shine or solar eclipse.

Solar panel maintenance is essential though and being aware of the potential issues of rooftop panelling will maintain efficiency and give your panels a longer lifespan, providing free power and better return on your investment.

Follow these five tips to make more of your solar:

1. Clean Surfaces Make More Power

Salt residue, leaf litter and day-to-day grime can build up quickly on your panel surfaces. Over time, the efficiency of your panels will decrease, making less power and reducing your return on investment. By keeping your panels clean, you will maximise their effectiveness and make your money back far sooner.

2. An Added Fire Hazard

As we have mentioned before, leaf build-up in gutters, valleys and elsewhere can create a potential fire hazard and increase your property’s damage risk in the event of a domestic or bushfire. Solar panels also create potential a collection point for loose, dry leaves and increased fire risk. By regularly cleaning around and beneath your panels, you will remove this hazard.

3. Vermin Love Solar Too

It’s warm, it’s cosy and it’s sheltered from the rain – what better place to roost, nest and raise your young than under a solar panel! Birds, mice, squirrels and other vermin view solar panels as prime real estate and this can be a disaster for homeowners in several ways.

Pigeon poo can become toxic over time and can damage your solar panels, surrounding roof, the paving below, and even your health. Nesting materials are not only messy, they will also add to that fire risk we mentioned. Lastly, there’s the noise factor. Between the squawking and squeaking, vermin can make for restless nights and frustrating days, so preventing the issue with wire mesh and other devices has numerous benefits.

4. Smaller Pest Issues

It’s not only larger vermin that can create dramas with your solar panels; smaller bugs and insects can also take up residence around your solar panelling. The issue with this is twofold: firstly, they can damage and decrease the lifespan and efficiency of your panels. Secondly, termites, cockroaches and other pests can migrate into your home, causing damage to timbers and property.

By using pest control products, you can eliminate or deter infestations and avoid these issues.

5. Gutter-Vac is Your One-Stop Solution

Cleaning your own solar panels is an option, but without an angled roofing ladder it can be both challenging and dangerous. Also, if there is a build-up of pigeon mess, protective equipment will be essential to keep you safe.

Without the correct tools, you can risk scratching or damaging your solar panels, reducing efficiency, voiding warranties and potentially breaking them completely.

Pest control products can also be damaging to your health so again, without the correct gear, this can be a risky job to tackle yourself.

Gutter-Vac franchisees are fully equipped to deal with all of these circumstances, removing the hassle and risk of tackling the job yourself.

Using specialised products, we remove and deter pests of all kinds with repellent solutions for insects and long-lasting coated stainless steel mesh to prevent vermin from nesting beneath or around your solar panels. We also use professional clips for vermin mesh, protecting your panels from damage without voiding warranty.

Professionally maintaining your solar panels is essential to help keep them efficient and protecting your return on investment for many years to come.

Contact Gutter-Vac today for a quote on your solar panel maintenance.

Commercial Site Maintenance with Gutter-Vac

With over 20 years’ experience in commercial property maintenance, we have the experience to ensure your property’s management for clean windows, gutters and surfaces with no fuss.

Here are five reasons to talk to Gutter-Vac about your property maintenance.

1. We Know Your Business

We have worked with schools, governments, retail and commercial businesses and more. Because of this, we appreciate the need to work to your schedules, opening hours and other requirements to minimise disruption. Our operators have been trained in workplace health and safety for educational facilities and work sites, undertaking jobs in school holidays, outside office hours or by isolating our work area for the safety of staff, students and the general public.

2. We Are Fully Equipped

Our operators have all the tools they need to provide the highest level of professional service. High windows and roofing are always within reach, power cleaning is all in a day’s work and safety always comes first, so whatever the job, you can be assured that our team will have the gear to make it happen.

3. Workplace Safety

Our providers have to undertake a training program to make sure all workplace safety practices are upheld. From working at height to protecting your property, safety within the work area is an integral part of our service. We also carry a minimum of $20,000,000 in public and product liability insurance, so in the unlikely event that something does go wrong, you won’t be picking up the bill.

4. We provide Clean Cleaning

Our products are non-toxic and environmentally responsible. This helps to protect your local area, your staff and customers and the planet, giving you peace of mind that, whether it is during our service or in the following days, you won’t need to vacate the area or concern yourself with the possibility of nasty chemicals floating around.

5. Professional, Every Step of the Way

We have been providing our service for over two decades, so we know what it means to have a provider you can depend on. We can meet with you to create a customised maintenance schedule, giving you repeat service without the need to remember or book. If you have multiple properties, we can also centralise your service, allowing you to have a single account to cover numerous buildings and regions from the one place. Further to this, we can even consolidate your accounts, so no matter how many jobs you need, you’ll only ever receive the one bill.

So, whatever your business, Gutter-Vac will give you the professional service you require, at the right time and with every consideration already confirmed.

Contact your local Gutter-Vac operator today to discuss your commercial needs.

5 safety reasons to get your gutters professionally cleaned

Clean gutters are safe gutters, but this is true in more ways than you might think.

Here are our top five reasons why having your gutters professionally Gutter-Vac cleaned can improve the safety of your home, and reduce risk to you and your family:

  1. PROPER EQUIPMENT.
    Without the proper equipment – including roof ladders, cherry pickers and our famous Gutter-Vac – cleaning gutters can be risky and even damage your roof. Ladders that are too short, unsteady or incorrectly used can make you job hard, but can also make your gutter cleaning result in a painful fall and a trip to the emergency room.

    Even with tough gardening gloves, jagged gutter edges or foreign objects, including sharp sticks, metal or glass, can lead to cuts and injuries if cleaning your gutters by hand.
  2. PROTECTING YOUR PROPERTY.
    As above, if you don’t have the right gear, you’ll take unnecessary risks. Leaning a ladder against your guttering is not only unsafe, it can also lead to gutter damage, denting or even causing them to be torn from your property. Depending on your roof, without a proper roof ladder, clambering around up top can cause damage to tiling, panelling or roof sheeting. You might even put a foot wrong, leading to a hole in your roof, or a big drop for you.
  3. KEEPING YOU SAFE.
    As mentioned above, lack of proper equipment can lead to personal injury, but the positioning of your gutters can also be dangerous. Over-reaching not only puts you off-balance, it can also put a lot of strain on your body. This can simply result in a few aches the next day, but in some circumstances, it might even cause muscle or joint damage.
  4. FIRE RISK.
    We’ve said it before, but we’ll say it again! Full gutters are fire hazards. It’s obvious that dry leaves catch fire very easily, but if you leave them for a long time and they mulch and then dry out, this dense compost can also lead to slow-burn danger. The embers can stay alight inside the mulch, so even though it may be damp on the outside and no flames will be visible, these embers may reignite hours after you think the danger has passed.
  5. BEYOND YOUR GUTTERS.
    These are all dangers associated with the gutters themselves, but over-spill from full gutters can also be hazardous. If not managed, it can cause a build-up of mould or algae, leading to slippery pavers and other ground surfaces. Even after you’ve fixed your gutters, without thoroughly scrubbing the ground below, this dangerous, slippery surface will remain. It may dry out and seem fine, but the next time it rains you’ll have an ice rink to deal with again. Even without the mould, glazed tiles can be slippery in the wet, and excess water can cause your lawn to turn into a muddy mess, again leading to possible slide-outs.

Some things just aren’t worth the risk! An appointment with Gutter-Vac not only saves you time, it also protects you and your home from injury and damage.

5 Ways Clean Gutters Improve Your Property’s Longevity

A service from Gutter-Vac will obviously clean your gutters, improve drainage and enhance the look of your property. But did you know it can also help you to protect your home and save money? Here are five ways clogged gutters can lead to property damage, even personal injury, and the benefits you gain from clean gutters:

  1. We have spoken before about the fire risk caused by dry leaves collecting in your gutters and roof valleys. These act as the perfect tinder for wildfires, increasing the chance of the fire taking hold in your roof timbers.
  2. The weight of the leaves, especially if left to soak and mulch over time, will add increased stress on your gutter fastenings, potentially leading to their damage or even collapse in the next heavy downpour. Even if they remain in place, the build-up can cause them to warp, affecting their function.
  3. If your roof trusses extend beyond your walls, such as with overhanging eaves, or if you have timber fascia close to your gutters, this damp mulch will also lead to rotting roof timbers and panels. Once this takes hold, no amount of gutter cleaning will prevent it taking hold and seeping deeper into your timbers, which will eventually need completely replacing – a very costly process.
  4. Obviously, if a gutter is full, or even half-full, of organic scrap, there is nowhere for the water to go. Run-off can be really inconvenient, especially around doorways or covered outdoor areas, such as roofed patios, and can also create a slipping hazard.

    More than the hassle of a small waterfall cascading over your front porch, this run-off can damage lawns, turn your backyard into a muddy mangrove and cause water to pool and flood. Again this can become a treacherous hazard and lead to a pesky mosquito infestation! Run-off can also discolour, even erode pavers, tiling or bitumen over time. And, without the rainwater being properly diverted away from your property, it can even begin to damage your walls, leading to damp and mould within the walls and inside your home.
  5. Properly-functioning gutters also have the benefit of taking the water where you want it to go. You can divert it to ornamental ponds, waterways or even top up your swimming pool, if properly treated and filtered. This takes it away from your property, lessening the chance of it causing damage.

    If you’re an avid gardener, you can even collect the water in a barrel to use on your lawn or beds in drier times, saving a significant amount on your monthly water bills.

Keeping your gutters clean is about much more than keeping your house looking good. It is an investment in protecting your home for years to come. So call Gutter-Vac today for a quote and invest in the longevity of your home.

Types of Homes Most Susceptible to Bush Fires

Is your home at risk in the event of a bush fire? There are certain homes that are more at risk than others. Factors such as building materials, access to the home, and regular property maintenance make a huge difference.

Types of design/construction

Yes, good construction is key, especially if you live in a bushfire prone area. Brick homes are the most fire resistant.  Brick walling withstands a higher level of heat radiation. In fact, when they are manufactured, bricks are fired at temperatures as hot as, or hotter than bushfires. Installing metal doors instead of timber may make a difference also.  To protect doors from sparks, they should fit closely to their frames and have a snug-fitting screen door on the outside.

Homes built on concrete slabs offer more protection from an ember attack. The profile of the home is lower in these instances and less affected by wind loadings.

Homes with verandahs are more susceptible. Timber decks and balconies are difficult to protect from flames. If you have these at your home, be sure to minimise potential fuel sources around the property such as dry leaves, timber posts, trees, and garden beds.

Homes with access issues

Last year we saw the devastating effect of the widespread Fraser Island fires. Access was really a problem for firefighters as the larger fire-fighting vehicles get bogged in the sand, and using the smaller vehicles is challenging, as they cannot carry as much water. In Brisbane this can also be an issue if your property is hard to access by emergency services.

Homes in high risk locations

If your property resides next to a lot of vegetation, you are at increased risk.

Also, if you have large overhanging trees or store combustible material such as timber under the house for example you could be in trouble in the event of a fire.

Put simply, to minimise the risk of a bush fire attacking your home, remove the stuff that burns.

A Rural Fire Service report concludes, “burning embers blown ahead of a bushfire are the most common cause of bushfires lighting houses and causing damage,” (NSW Rural Fire Service). So it is very important to not give the embers a chance to ignite and get out of control. 

Here’s what you can do:

Remove garden beds close to your home.

Repaint/repair worn-out timber as embers can get caught in the cracks of the wood and ignite.  The same concept goes for timber decking.

Replace natural fibre door mats with synthetic. While they look great, door mats made from natural materials will stay alight for much longer and have the capacity to spread flames.

Store timber and firewood in a safe place. For example a metal shed, or enclosed metal container.

Get a professional to carry out a roof inspection regularly.  Gaps and cracks in your roof or tiles are prime positions for embers to get lodged and ignite. Your roof is very susceptible to an ember attack, especially if you have combustible material laying around in your gutters. Fire can also enter the roof space via vents, skylights, and eaves. Once in the roof cavity, fire creates its own wind storm. Frighteningly, if fire gets into your roof, it can really take hold, and you risk losing your entire house.

Fire behaviour is certainly unique, and not to be underestimated. Solid design, well thought out construction, and sensible maintenance will help protect your home in a bush fire. Make sure to stay notified of fire warnings issued from your state fire authority, and have a plan in place.

Stick to your goals this New Year

Well, 2020 was an unusual one to say the least. It is not surprising the turn of events may have left you lacking motivation.

Have you ever realised you once had a plan to achieve certain goals, then before you know it, life’s distractions got in the way, and now the year is gone? We don’t know where the time goes either, but what we can tell you is proven strategies to maximise productivity. We’ve gathered up some findings from successful business owners and leading scientists to help give you a head start in the New Year.

1) Write it down

It sounds a bit cliché, but studies show writing down your goal really does work. But why does it work? Surely if you have a goal in mind that is enough, right?

Well, it works on a number of levels. Studies have shown you are 42% more likely to reach your goals by writing them down. You don’t have to be a scientist to recognise staring at a goal every day will help you remember it. And in today’s busy lifestyle, we can be certain you don’t need another thing to remember.

Stick your written down goal somewhere you will see it daily. Such as the fridge. Or if writing is not your thing, try pictures. Set a visual cue as your screen saver on your phone or computer. Or even write it down in your diary then set a daily reminder on your phone to look at it. Most of us are visually driven and respond to repetitively seeing visual cues.  Teach your brain you want and mean your goal by writing it down.

As Steve Jobs said, it all comes down to “focus and simplicity…once you get there you can move mountains.” Research shows what we focus on grows. Have ever had your eye on a particular product, and then suddenly notice this product everywhere?  It is the same with goals.

2) Make it important, and urgent

There are a lot of things that are not important, but seem urgent, like spending time on your phone/computer for example. They are urgent habits in the sense we may do them everyday, but they may not be important. Make your goals both important and urgent. This is an important aspect of goal setting! Write it down so it’s consolidated, and also have some accountability. If breaking a habit is one of your goals, experts say rather than change it, think about what you can add, to improve your lifestyle. Be patient with yourself. Studies have shown consistency is key to reaching your goals. Regardless of how small the steps may be, as long as they are consistent, you always put your best foot forward.

3) De-clutter

Research shows clearing the cobwebs from your house also clears your mind. What do you need to declutter? Is it your clothes drawer? Your pantry? Your outdoor living area? It can be hard sorting through clutter, but it is no secret an uncluttered mind is more content. It also allows for more free space to focus on your ambitions. Experts suggest using three piles to get clutter sorted – keep, throw away, and undecided. Pick one space and start small to avoid feeling overwhelmed.

2020 was a busy year for the Gutter-Vac team. We rose to the challenge of looking after our customers while adhering to social distancing requirements. We look forward to what the New Year ahead brings, and can’t wait to help you achieve your home goals. Happy New Year!

Can Hail Damage Your Roof?

Given the current temperature and weather conditions in Queensland at the moment, there is a high chance we could face more hailstorms.

We all rush around, moving cars under cover and closing windows at the onset of a storm. Yet, thinking of the roof is often forgotten.

Did you catch the footage of hail damaging a tiled roof in the Springfield area recently? In a couple of mere minutes, mango-sized hail smashed through tiles, then gyprock, destroying a lounge room.

Hail can dent metal roofs, (like how your car takes a battering in a storm), and can crack and smash tiled roofs. This can be catastrophic if water leaks occur from the cracks.

Dents in metal roofs caused by hail may not seem like a big problem. However, they can cause structural weak points. Water can pool in the dents and cause corrosion.

Cracks can occur in tiled roofs, which can be tricky to detect. The problem may go unnoticed for some time, perhaps not until the water starts dripping into your ceiling cavity! It is best to get a professional roofer on the job after a significant hailstorm.

Generally speaking, larger hailstones cause the most damage, but don’t underestimate the small stuff! Even small, pebble sized hail stones can damage your roof. Likewise, small leaves and twigs blown about by a storm can easily block downpipes. We often hear of cases where blocked gutters and downpipes have then caused an overflow in the ceiling, and led to internal water damage! This is obviously not a good situation, as repairs can add up, with costly re-plastering and re-painting.  Best to abide by the old saying, ‘a stitch in time, saves nine’.

Following a storm, it is good idea to walk around the property. Inspect for any damages that may have occurred and get onto them straight away, to prevent any associated leakage problems.

The age and condition of the roof also affects the likelihood of it being damaged by hail. A roof that has been neglected in terms of maintenance, will undoubtedly be weaker in a hailstorm.  This can be easily countered by regular cleans and inspections.

The intensity and direction of the wind during the storm will also impact the scale of hail damage. High winds will heighten the angle of impact, causing more damage to the roof and gutters.

Different roofing materials can influence the extent of the damage too. Steel gutters are the most sturdy during a hailstorm, but still not impervious. If your gutters are made from aluminum or copper, they can be dented by hail. If you have a gutter guard or screen, it is best to have it inspected for tears/holes following a storm. Likewise, if your home has skylights – assess the dome, diffuser, shaft, and flashing for any cracks, damage, or leaking.

On tiled roofs – a telltale sign that water is going where it shouldn’t be, is the presence of algae and moss. This may indicate cracks in the tiles. If you suspect your gutters or roof has been damaged by hail, it is best to get it assessed by a professional.

It is also a good idea to download the free SES Assistance app, if you haven’t already, to gain piece of mind ahead of more unpredictable weather forecast for this coming summer.

Most importantly, stay safe and enjoy the holiday season! We look forward to working with you to achieve your property maintenance goals in the New Year.

Your Checklist to Getting Organised this Christmas

The countdown to Christmas has definitely begun. We are making a list and checking it twice! Most of us are spending Christmas at home this year, so we thought we would compile a list to get your home looking great for the occasion. Plus, it’s always a nice feeling to move into the New Year with your home space feeling fresh.

  • Get the kitchen organised. Clean the fridge, freezer, and pantry in anticipation of more leftovers and cooking supplies. More Tupperware containers can be handy. Freeze, label, and date food.  Make sure food is kept at correct temperature. Check out Queensland Health’s factsheet here.  As a quick guide, cooked turkey should be eaten within two days of cooking, and don’t reheat more than once. Smoked salmon should be eaten within three days of opening. Whole cooked ham can be kept in the fridge for five days, and two days if it is sliced. For more info, check out this article.
  • You may also want to consider booking in a service for your fridge given the busy-ness of the kitchen this time of year.
  • Clean the Barbie. From our research, the best method is to use oven cleaner and let it sit for about twenty minutes or so, (depending on the type of cleaning agent applied), before thoroughly washing off.
  • Give the outside of the house a freshen up. Are you considering taking Christmas lunch outdoors this year? Then it is worthwhile considering getting your outdoor entertaining area up to scratch. It is the perfect time to attend to the jobs you’ve been putting off!
  • If you’re filling the Esky, make sure you have adequate ice to keep the drinks cold!
  • Service your air-conditioning system to keep it functioning well ahead of hot summer nights.
  • Get medical appointments sorted, and keep medications on hand before medical practitioners close for the year.  
  • Check Christmas lights and tree. Make sure the lights don’t overload and trip the circuit.
  • Consider having a pest professional treatment for ants and other pests.  
  • Think about a plan to minimise flies ahead of the big day. Make sure fly screens are intact etc.
  • Ensure the car is up-to-date with servicing ahead of any road trips.
  • Keep cooked bones and chocolate away from pets. Many vets can attest to chocolate poisoning in dogs this time of year.
  • Clean the pool/ check the pool filter if you have one. Make sure the pool fence is secure.
  • Make your home smell enticing for guests. You don’t need artisanal expensive candles to make your home inviting. A simple trick is to place home made fragrances, (think condiments, spices, even fruit) into a saucepan, cover with water and leave to simmer away.  Theses natural aromas will make your home smell like Christmas! Just make sure to keep an eye on the pot and top up the water accordingly. A good Christmassy combo is orange peels, apple slices, cinnamon, and start-anise.
  • Lastly, stay safe and keep your wits about you. It is a scary thought, but Christmas is a prime time for home break-ins. Make sure your home is secure to prevent break ins, (apart from Santa of course).

This year has been challenging for many of us. We think a well-deserved break with loved ones is in order! Organising the biggest date of the year is much more simple with some early planning. Whatever your plans, the team at Gutter-Vac wish you a safe and happy festive season!