Why You Should Do Your Research Before Hiring Someone Online to Do Roof Maintenance

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Why You Should Do Your Research Before Hiring Someone Online to Do Roof Maintenance

Using apps to outsource your jobs (however big or small), seems like all the rage at the moment. With everyone leading such busy lives there is a big market for these platforms. With the touch of a button you can find someone to do anything from walk the dog, to roof maintenance jobs. It sounds simple enough – post an ad on the app and wait for the offers to come to you.

Yet, there are a few important things to remember when using an app to source a home handyman to clean your gutters and or roof.

Recruiting an ‘unknown’ person from the internet also means their experience level may not be proven. It goes without saying, but a ‘trial and error’ method is not something you want to mess around with on a potentially life-threatening roof workspace.

It may save a few dollars in the short term, but it could cost you thousands in the long run, especially if the person you employ is not covered by adequate insurance.

Insurance cover gives you peace of mind you need. The last thing you need to be worried about is someone who doesn’t do things by the book.

It is not all bad news however. There is a time and place for such apps, and used correctly you can tap into a reservoir of capable workers.

Here are a couple of things to check first:

Make sure to check out their profile and reviews first.

Look for someone who has professional credentials and proof of insurance ready to go.

They should be able to provide a thorough quote at the outset to avoid miscommunication debacles. If their quoted price looks too good to be true, it probably is!

They should have the ability to provide examples of their workmanship. A true professional will be more than happy to showcase their previous work if it is of high standard.

Although it may seem like a simple task to you, one little slip up can lead to a big, far-reaching problem. We have written a few blogs on the dangers of working on a roof without adequate training, which can be accessed here. The statistics on how many people fall from a roof and ladder each year are nothing short of alarming, and can be easily avoided. For more ladder safety information please watch this video.

If you hire someone to carry out roof maintenance, it is imperative they have good quality tools and thorough knowledge of their safety equipment. If someone is carrying out work on your roof they need to wear a harness, as well as have the proper training of how to use one correctly.

It can be difficult to check online without meeting them in person first, but clear, punctual communication instills confidence. Some leading apps will not allow you to post personal information such as your mobile phone number. Instead you may have to rely solely on messaging the contenders via the app. This can make it tricky to ascertain their communication skills and may make it harder to get your questions answered efficiently. Generally speaking, if they respond to messages and questions in a timely manner is a good sign.

If the tradesperson takes pride in their appearance, tools, and manner in which they communicate with you, they are more than likely to also take pride in their work.

Our team will give you honest, knowledgeable advice that is backed by years of experience. We have the right equipment, friendly attitude and know-how.

Our team carries comprehensive insurance and adheres to National and State safety requirements. It is safe to say we have all bases covered.

If you have any further queries please do not hesitate to get in touch.

Finding the Right Gutter for Your Roof

Think one size fits all when it comes to gutters? Think again! There are a variety of gutter types and materials used in houses across Australia. We’ve outlined some of the most commonly used styles to explain what they do, and which one is best for you!

Eave gutters

Eave gutters are the type that usually spring to mind when someone mentions the word ‘gutter’. They are fixed to a fascia or an eave and are prevalent in residential designs. They can be constructed from an array of material such as aluminum, copper and galvanised steel.  So, let’s look at the characteristics of each. Aluminum is usually the leader of the pack with affordability and ease of installation on its side. It is a light metal that is rust resistant and can be painted hassle-free. Copper is notoriously corrosion resistant and has origins tracing back to ancient Egypt when copper pipe was used for plumbing.  The fact that there are still relics of this intact, demonstrates the durability of copper. Though very long lasting and beautiful in form, copper gutters can be challenging on the budget. They are usually used on luxury homes, or heritage restoration projects. Steel gutters are heavier, paint-friendly, and also have rust-resistant qualities. They are strong and less prone to dents in comparison to aluminum gutters. However, because they are weighty, there are harder for the DIYer to install.

Box gutters

If the gutter framework isn’t apparent from the outside of the building on the ground, chances are you have a box gutter. Named after their ‘boxy’ shape, box gutters are commonly utilised on commercial buildings. In recent times though, they have become popular in architecturally designed residential homes as they are ‘hidden’. They can be pricey, but they create a streamlined effect, showcasing the design of the house.

Box gutters are a pertinent topic particularly now in the winter months as rainfall can be higher. Make sure to get the right box gutter sorted for your roof. They are often situated above a room or space in a building, thus there is an increased risk of overflow water damage to the building. If you encounter a leak, it is critical to get onto it straight away. A great deal of rain in a short period of time can be problematic if your box gutter is not tended to regularly. When water pools in an area with incorrect pitch or fall, this is known as ponding. Ponding is definitely not ideal, as it will invite rust to gnaw away at your gutters. When box gutters break down prematurely it can cause mayhem for tenants, landlords and precious equipment housed in industrial properties. Most box gutters are made from metal but they can also be crafted from concrete, and in some cases, asbestos.

Sometimes box gutters can also be implemented to solve complex roofing problems. For example, extensions on the roof can collect more water than standard gutters can cope with. This may also be the case if you have a very large roof area. Standard gutters will be overwhelmed. Depending on your circumstances, a customised box gutter can alleviate troublesome water overflow.

A valley gutter is another style of gutter that may be present on your roof. This style is situated in the valley of the roof and is open and exposed.

Before you commit to a gutter design, it is best to research your options to know exactly what to expect. A blend of attractive form and functionality is ideal. Whatever your gutter cleaning requirements, we are happy to provide individual assessments and customise our service to suit your needs. We are also able to provide a roof inspection report.

Your Seasonal Guide to Home Maintenance

Now that you may be spending a little more time at home, it’s the perfect opportunity to get your home projects sorted. Whatever the weather, here is a step-by-step guide to keep your home in tip-top condition.

Autumn

With the weather cooling down, now is a good time to spend time in the garden and lap up the lovely autumnal afternoons.

If you are into gardening, or just looking for an excuse to get some fresh air, it’s an excellent time to plant some bulbs for spring. Mulch your garden beds to help the soil retain heat. Do some pruning for the coming winter months.

It may also be a time when your trees drop most of their leaves before they go into their winter slumber. Book in for a gutter clean before the leaves decay and cause havoc.

To protect your home, your gutters ideally should be cleaned in preparation for increased rainfall in winter.

Winter

We are fortunate enough in Queensland to have relatively mild winters. Sometimes we experience a few cold snaps though. If you have a fireplace, you will know there is something special about basking in its warm cozy glow during chilly evenings.

Did you know Gutter-Vac also cleans chimneys? A clean chimney means the air in your home is safe and fresh. Aim to book in at least once a year. With our Gutter-Vac technology, your space will be left immaculate and tidy during the process. Check window and door seals around your home to prevent heat escaping. Consider giving surrounding trees a trim to let more winter light permeate your home. This is also an important step to fire-proof your property.

Brisbane City Council outlines August through to December as the fire season. They recommend taking preventative bush fire measures before the season starts, so winter is ideal to get fire-resistant. Leaves in your gutter are definitely a fire hazard. It is important to clear combustible material such as dry grass and tree branches that are low-lying or hang over the property. The gutter guard we recommend, Gutter-Flow, is a V0 rating fire retardant. It does not continue to burn without a flame, and does not dispel burning droplets of material if alight.  

Spring

The arrival of spring signals the start of ‘spring cleaning’ and de-cluttering around the home. Flowers are blooming and baby birds are chirping. Sometimes though, birds will take up residence in your gutter. This is important to monitor, as clean gutters will probably be less enticing for them to make nests than soft, leafy ones. Not to mention, snakes are easily drawn to this environment. Get in touch if you would like to learn more about our bird proofing solutions. Also, after harsh winter conditions, it’s a good plan show your deck and outdoor areas some TLC with a water pressure clean and re-seal.

Summer

Along with outdoor BBQ’s and balmy afternoons, summer can also bring extreme heat and wild weather. Your roof will bear the brunt of hail and heavy rain during our Queensland summer storms. If you have a tiled roof, make sure it is secure as loose tiles and high winds are a dangerous combination.

During summer, a great deal of dust and debris becomes airborne which lands on the outside of your home. Our pressure cleaning service is ideal to refresh your exterior.

The hot and humid summer conditions can also entice pests to breed. Don’t give them an opportunity to forge a home in your gutters as they can quickly infest the interior.

Gutter-Vac can help you keep your home feeling fresh and inviting all year round. Sit back and relax while we get to work on your home beautification.

How mould in your home can be a health risk

It is no secret mould thrives in damp environments, and Queensland has been experiencing a high level of rainfall in the last couple of months. However, did you know hidden mould may be posing a potential health threat to you and your family?

There are a number of ways this unsightly, unwanted visitor can creep its way into your home, and it all starts with damp, ill-ventilated areas.

If your house has insufficient roof drainage, it is quite common to find a coating of mould on roof tiles.  This can then weaken the structure, and may make your roof more vulnerable to leaks.

Also, left untreated, mould on the roof has the potential to spread to other areas in your home. Mould spores produced outside can easily transpire into the home through the air.

Walls and ceilings are prone to mould growth due to poor insulation or rainwater leaking through the roof.

Mould in your home has associated health problems such as asthma, even if you do not have a pre-existing allergy. Pregnant women, children, and those with pre-existing allergies, respiratory conditions, or immune disorders are most susceptible.

The Australian Allergy Centre recommends cleaning your gutters on a regular basis to minimise mould risk.  They highlight the importance of keeping your house structures dry by ensuring adequate roof drainage. 

Symptoms of mould allergy include:

  • Sneezing, coughing
  • Eye irritation
  • Itchy eyes, nose and throat
  • In some cases, fatigue
  • Asthma
  • Eczema
  • Dry skin

You can identify mould by tell tale splotches, spots, streaks, or ‘fuzz’. It can be a variety of colours such as grey, black, brown, green or white. It is also often accompanied by a musty odour.

It should be removed as soon as it is noticed to prevent further structural damage and minimise potential health risks.

It is recommended to get your roof inspected and gutters cleaned at least once a year to stop the problem before it starts. Mould feeds on organic matter such as decaying leaves, and dust. Damp matter lying around in the gutter is a smorgasbord for mould.

Other ways to prevent interior mould include making sure damp areas such as the kitchen and bathroom are well ventilated by opening windows regularly and maintaining general cleanliness. Repair leaking plumbing as soon as the problem presents. Also, make use of exhaust fans if applicable. A natural vinegar solution works quite well to clean areas inside. Pop some vinegar in a spray bottle and spray onto mouldy areas. Wipe off with warm water after an hour. Exercise caution when using commercial bleaching solutions as this may cause tiles to become more porous, which in turn can make them more prone to mould.  Also, sometimes bleach just changes the colour of the mould, without eradicating it.

Externally, if the mould problem is covering a large area, or if members of the household are sensitive to mould, it is best to call in the professionals.

Mould overgrowth on your driveway or other concreted areas can be a serious slip hazard. However, this is easily resolved through pressure cleaning, which is a service we also offer.

Get in touch if you would also like to learn more about EnviroClean, which is a safe and environmentally friendly strategy for exterior surfaces.  It is fantastic for roofs, paths, driveways and walls. Best of all, it reactivates every time it rains so you can keep mould off your mind.

Before and After…

Before storm season hits, you should check that your insurance policy is current and what it covers. Check if your policy adequately covers your home and if your policy includes the clean-up and disposal of debris. It is important to keep in mind that if your gutters and downpipes haven’t been regularly maintained, you could be unwittingly voiding your home insurance! It is worth getting a professional in to service them before the bad weather hits, providing you with a record of having them serviced. At Gutter-vac Brisbane Central we can provide you with Before and After photos and a Roof & Gutter report, which may be vital in the case of an insurance claim. Better safe than sorry!

Gutter-Vac National Multi-Unit Franchisee of the Year 2013

Phil and Leanne Valencour were awarded the top gong for Multi-Unit National Franchisee of the Year 2013 at the recent Gutter-Vac National Conference.

Phil and Leanne own and operate four Gutter-Vac franchises:

Congratulations Phil and Leanne on a fantastic result!