Steps You Should Take To Prepare Your Gutters for Winter

Steps You Should Take To Prepare Your Gutters for Winter

Winter’s a beautiful season, giving us more time to stay inside and enjoy the views from underneath cozy blankets. We also eat delicious comfort foods specific to the colder time of the year. However, winter can also be unpleasant. The harsher weather creates catastrophe for homeowners if they don’t prep their home’s exteriors correctly, including their gutters. To reduce the chance of foundation damage in the spring, follow the steps you should take to prepare your gutters for winter.

Inspect Your Gutters and End Caps

Your gutters and end caps—the plastic parts at each end of your drain—need an inspection. Whether it’s you or a professional doing the assessment, you must listen to what the inspector says about the gutter’s condition.

They’ll let you know if there are cracks, leaks, or a heavy amount of debris in the gutters or downspouts. After the inspection, you likely need one part replaced or an entirely new system. The professional will inform you about the cost of replacement parts or a full gutter replacement in Alpharetta.

However, if you don’t hire a professional and want to do this inspection on your own, you should look for these issues:

  • Cracks
  • Tears
  • Loose pieces
  • Leaks

If you want to check for leaks, pour water through the gutter and observe how it drains through the downspout. Record where water escapes from the most and where it lands. If it’s directly above the sides of the house, it’ll pool later and damage the foundation. So it might be best to get a new gutter system.

Clean the Gutters Out and Scoop out Any Dislodged Debris

Removing debris is something you should do on your own to prevent overflow and clogs. Snow packs onto the roof fast, so keeping your gutters clear can help drain the excess snow once it melts. Since your downspouts are the parts that drain the water, you need to ensure you thoroughly clear them out.

Hire a Professional To Install a New Gutter System

If your home doesn’t have a gutter system currently, or if yours has become damaged to the point of no return, then hire a professional to install a new system. A professional gutter installer knows how to install a new gutter structure onto your home safely. Now, you can worry less about heaps of snow piling and creating a huge mess come spring.

Make Changes To Prevent Post-Winter Damage

It’s also a good idea to install new features to your gutter system. You should consider extending the downspouts so that melted snow travels safely and doesn’t flood the ground. Additionally, leaves can become a hassle to remove from your gutters if you wait too long, so prune your tree branches while it’s still nice out.

The winter season is great, but it’s not fun dealing with the aftermath in the spring. After learning how to prepare your gutters for winter, consider hiring a professional home gutter installation specialist from Bear Mountain Custom Painting. We’re here to help clear out and install a new gutter system to protect your home.

4 Warning Signs Your Gutters Have Damage

4 Warning Signs Your Gutters Have Damage

Gutters are an immediate solution to draining water out of the area around your property to avoid flooding. Unfortunately, your property can sometimes still flood. But you may not see the typical indications of damage like broken foundation or siding. Such a situation is worse and more unique than usual. Find out the four distinctive warning signs your gutters have damage. 

Your Paint Is Peeling Off

The first sign you may not consider is peeling paint on your home’s interior. While you may have the best insulation to prevent water from seeping through the walls, it can still soak through and reach the interior. Whether inside or outside, if you notice the paint’s flaky and peeling, you need to check the gutters.

The Soil Has Eroded

The most typical indicator that your property is experiencing flooding is soil erosion. Dirt only absorbs so much water until it ends up getting carried away. In other words, when soil receives too much precipitation, it creates thinner ground. When soil is thin, you have a harder time planting and growing things. As a result, you have to replant and replace the dirt.

Soil erosion harms your yard and the home if enough is lying around the foundation. So don’t just change your soil and drain the water from the landscape; check your gutters as well to avoid further damage.

You Find Random Nails or Screws

Random nails and screws lying around your yard aren’t good signs. You need to reconfigure the gutter’s structure if it’s missing a few nuts and bolts. Sometimes, you may mount the system uniquely to the point that it works itself off its hinges. When that happens, you need to reinstall it.

If you find yourself reconfiguring the joints too often, you may need to bring in a home gutter installation specialist who can review the current work. After looking over everything, they’ll find the best ways to install the draining system precisely.

There’s a Large Gap

Sometimes, it’s the way you install a drain that creates problems. There should never be a gap between gutters. If there is, your home’s susceptible to damage. Replace the channels if you find holes between the roof and the spout.

It’s essential to learn all the warning signs your gutters have damage, including these four you may not immediately think of. Keep your home updated, and be aware of other indications that the downspouts need replacing.

Your home needs to be a place without major issues, but this isn’t always the case. Luckily, you have Bear Mountain Custom Painting to rely on. We take the time to get to know your situation and connect you with the right services to resolve your biggest concerns. Contact us for more insight on our gutter installation services and more. 

When To Know if It’s Time Replace Your Siding

When To Know if It’s Time Replace Your Siding

A home doesn’t need to be pristine every day, but it’s on you to keep it well-maintained. You do not want your home to suffer from common issues, including internal problems. If you haven’t checked the exterior walls in a while, it might be time to replace your siding. If you avoid these vital signs, you may have more problems to face later. So, do what you can right now to enhance your home’s exterior space.  If you need help with siding replacement in Cumming, GA, we can offer you a complimentary quote right away.

1. Your Siding’s Faded

A faded siding is the first thing that tells you your outside walls need updating. People with faded siding must repaint their walls often. If you rush through the job, you might not use primer or finisher. However, you need primer and finisher to prevent damage.

Check your siding by feeling the walls. If the paint flakes off or you see many chips, you need to call a professional who can put in new siding. They will apply the right products to extend the life of your sides.

2. A Mold Problem Has Started

If there’s no barrier protection applied to the siding, you risk moisture and dampness locking onto the material. When siding is too damp, it creates breeding grounds for harmful bacteria. The bacteria grow a fungus that leaches its way through the sides and into the house. Our Alpharetta house painters often catch mold in a client’s siding and recommend replacement.

How To Know You Have Mold

Mold appears in the dark, damp corners of basements, but they also appear on the exterior of homes, generally behind hanging vines and other dark corners. The first way to tell you to have siding mold is the appearance of it. Mold looks slimy, fuzzy, and usually appears dark green or bright red.

The other places you find mold outside are:

  • On your deck.
  • On the side of pools.
  • In your landscaping and on your plants.

Prevent continuous mold growth by identifying the mold early on with weekly inspections. You can tell mold has begun growing if you discover material that appears green or yellow and has a slight smell. If you catch it early enough, it’s easy to remove. Once it’s cleaned up, take safety measures, such as:

  1. Clean off moss or hanging vines that cover parts of the house.
  2. Perform weekly inspections of your siding and fix damages immediately.
  3. Hire a professional cleaning service.

3. The Interior Paint Is Peeling

When siding is damaged, it can actually create problems inside the house, such as peeling wall paint. It sounds like it doesn’t make sense, but when the siding’s damaged enough, it cannot keep heat and humidity out of the house.

When heat and humidity slip through the damaged exterior walls, it’s absorbed into the inner walls, creating damp areas that weaken the paint’s integrity. The interior should never be affected by mold; this is the next sign to inspect your siding and make repairs. We recommend that you keep your siding up to date — otherwise you’ll be placing a call to our house painters in Cumming, GA as well as our siding experts.

4. Your Home Listing Isn’t Impressive

If you’re ready to move, there are obviously things you need to do first. These include renovations, cleaning up the house, fixing things, and removing your personal items. While those things are fine, the one thing that turns any listing off is bad siding.

If you’ve noticed that the home listing you posted isn’t getting good hits, there’s likely something wrong with the home’s exterior. Although there are many things you could check on your own, a home inspector can do a thorough job of the exterior and provide a list of things to improve.

As you make the enhancements to your home, hire a professional to do some siding repairs to improve your home’s appearance and get prospective buyers interested in your listing. A home’s appearance matters more than the enhancements you’ve added.

Other things to do to enhance your home include:

5. The Siding’s Damaged

If you’ve damaged your siding, it’s best to get it fixed right away. Without the proper fixing, you risk the home worsening over time. For example, the cracks become a passage for vermin to enter, and rotted siding invites mold growth.

Decrease the likelihood of vermin entering or mold ruining your home’s integrity by fixing these issues. Hiring a professional helps you learn how to care for your home better and when to know if it’s time to replace your siding.

Your siding may have also been damaged by:

  • An improper installation job
  • Storms and the elements
  • A cheap material choice
  • Your climate

6. Strange Increase in Energy Bills

It’s essential to keep energy costs down. If you’ve noticed a steady increase in bills, there’s a chance your siding’s affecting the change.

As siding only lasts eight to 10 years, it’s best to update it with newer materials as soon as you notice it’s wearing. Replace your siding to decrease energy bills. With replacements, you’ll see a significant decrease in energy costs.

Here are other indicators that your home’s energy debts are increasing:

  • Your lightbulbs aren’t energy efficient.
  • The insulation’s not the best.
  • Your appliances are vampires—they suck up too much power.
  • You don’t control the amount of time you use energy.
  • Your home’s climate requires more energy consumption.

Why Hire Bear Mountain Custom Painting

Overall, finding a solution to your energy bill increase is draining. Sudden increases may be why your exterior siding isn’t performing well. On the other hand, your home’s paint could also be chipping inside the house because of damaged siding.

All of these indications are reasons to call Bear Mountain Custom Painting for an inspection and prompt installation. We’ll check for damages and provide advice on preventing future mishaps.

It’s essential to keep your home repaired and ready to live in or sell. We want to help bring your home back to life and in the best working order. At Bear Mountain Custom Painting, you will find licensed professionals with years of experience in siding installation in Alpharetta. For your next siding fitting or replacement service, give us a call! We can’t wait to service you and repair your house. We are also the leading house painters in Johns Creek, as well as the go-to painting contractors in Roswell, GA.

When To Know if It’s Time Replace Your Siding
What To Look for When Buying a Home in Georgia

What To Look for When Buying a Home in Georgia

‘Tis the year to find the home of your wildest dreams. Whether you’re new to The Peach State or you’re a local, it’s your destiny to find the right home at the best price. However, before you make an offer, find out what to look for when buying a home in Georgia.

This list is far from comprehensive, but it gives you a quick overview of the most important things to look for in a home. As always, please work with an experienced home inspector to ensure the safety of your new house! If you need any help, we are standing by to offer painting services, siding installation, and more.

Keep an Eye Out For Structural Issues

Uneven Floors May Indicate Foundation Issues

Uneven floors in a house can be a telltale sign of underlying structural issues. Such irregularities might result from foundational settlement, where certain parts of a house sink more than others over time. This can be due to soil erosion, water damage, or poor initial construction techniques. Additionally, wooden support beams that have suffered from rot, termite damage, or prolonged moisture exposure can weaken, leading to sagging or sloping floors. Recognizing and addressing uneven floors is crucial, as they can be indicative of more significant, hidden problems that compromise the safety and integrity of the entire structure.

That said, a structural engineer or qualified inspector may note that settling around an older home is natural, and just because your foundation has settled a bit, it doesn’t mean that your house is structurally unsound.

Bowing Ceilings and Cracked Walls

If you see dips in your ceiling, or if there are cracks in your stucco walls (or if your drywall is becoming detached), you might have framing issues or foundation work that needs to be addressed.

Is There Water Damage in the Basement?

Water is the homeowner’s enemy – always. Do you have broken window well guards? Are there streaks below the windows in your basement? Is there mold, rust, or sediment on the concrete floor? All of these and more can indicate past water damage in your basement.

Firstly, you will need to have a professional contractor remove the mold in your basement. But after that, you will need to:

  • Grade the exterior of your home, and perhaps add swales, to move water away from the home
  • Clean or install new gutters and downspouts
  • Repair any cracks in the foundation wall that may have been the result of water damage
  • Build a French drain around the exterior of your house
  • Install a sump pump in the basement

Water can make it impossible for you to finish the basement, and the hydrostatic pressure can destroy your foundation. This is one of the most important things to look for in a house.

How is the Electric in the House?

Hire a professional inspector to take a look at the wiring and electrical technology in your home. If circuits are double-tapped, if your have live wires, if your outlets are outdated, or if there are other issues, you could be endangering your family. Many times, electrical fixes are not very expensive or time consuming, so call an electrician asap.

Dead Trees Surrounding the House

North Georgia is beautiful and wooded, but large trees can lead to large problems. For instance, if you have a large dead treat with branches over your house, you may need to allocated $3K or so just to safely cut down that tree. A storm could cause the tree to fall on your home, or falling branches may break windows and crush shingles.

Inspect Your Windows and Doors

As the leading window replacement contracts in Alpharetta, we see homes every week that have faulty or outdated windows. Fogginess between the pains, frames that are warped or rotted, or other problems can let bugs in and ruin your HVAC efficiency.

Door installation is another important and costly item to check off the list. Doors can rot, need to be shaved because of foundational shifting, or require other maintenance to prevent air passing in and out of your home.

How is the Roof?

Many roofs need to be replaced every 10-15 years, so find out when the last iteration of shingles was placed on the home. you’ll need to check for leaks, missing shingles, damage from trees, rotted wood along the roof, and sagging (the latter being the most expensive thing to fix). If the roof is old, start setting money aside to have it replaced before it becomes a problem.

Termites and Rodents

Get a qualified inspector to look for wood damage that comes from termites and other wood-consuming insects. If you are in a competitive market, you may not be able to use that as a negotiating chip, but you will at least know to budget for an exterminator.

Rodents are also important — looks for signs of droppings, nests, and holes around the exterior of your home and attic. A field mouse only needs the tiniest gap to find its way into your home.

How is the Driveway, Patio, and Deck?

Our concrete coating contractors in Alpharetta help homeowners treat concrete floors with durable polyurea coatings, and we’ve often helped sellers improve the value of their home before putting it on the market. Your driveway may also have cracks and require a re-sealing of the pavement — for a large driveway, you may need to budget $2K-$4K. Decks that are structurally unsound, patios with bad slopes or loose paver stones, and more — this will cost you money down the road.

Check the Appliances

Checking the appliances is crucial. This ensures the home doesn’t have issues. While you’re looking through the kitchen, basement, and garage, make sure any new additions—such as new lights and the garage door—work efficiently.

Additionally, check that these items also work:

  • The Microwave
  • The Dishwasher
  • The Washer and Dryer

Call Bear Mountain For Many of the Most Common Home Repairs

As the leading house painters in Alpharetta and the entire surrounding area, we’ve helped many people who are buying or selling a home make necessary improvements. From house painting services in Roswell to garage floors in Cumming, we would be happy to offer a complimentary quote to you.

Ways To Eliminate Dry Rot in Your Georgia Home

Ways To Eliminate Dry Rot in Your Georgia Home

When we leave wood unattended after exposure to water or moisture, we don’t realize it’s depleting our health. So, to help ensure your home doesn’t develop potential problems from wet or dry rot, here are different ways to eliminate dry rot in your Georgia home. In this blog, our professional custom carpenters in Cumming, GA will explain dry rot, how to avoid it, and what to do if you find this problem in your home.

If you need house painting services in Cumming, professional exterior painters in Alpharetta, or a complimentary quote from our expert door installation team, please get in touch.

What Is Dry Rot?

Dry rot is another name for brown rot decay. Dry rot typically occurs after exposure to excessive humidity, or in flood-damaged wood. If the wood doesn’t cure fully, it can grow a fungus that hardens over a period of seven to ten days.

How To Identify Dry Rot

It’s easy to identify dry rot, as it forms in four stages. When it first enters the spore stage, the fungi begin to develop. The spores create fine orange marks.

If not taken care of, the spores enter stage two, where white strands start to grow from the bacteria—the white strands are called the hyphae stage.

Upon the inception of the white strands, a large mass of strands moves along a home or building’s sides, eventually leading to a fruiting state, which is the final stage.

However, it’s vital to remove the rot in its second stage before it sprouts and spreads throughout your home.

How Dry Rot Creates Damage

Dry rot’s not something you want in your home, mainly if you have dealt with the problem in the past. Many may not know what dry rot does to cause damage to a house. Such damage includes the following:

  • The beams and posts deteriorate
  • Floors rot
  • Roof caves in
  • Ceiling joists break
  • Decks collapse

Don’t find dry rot too late, or else you risk paying more to replace your entire home or deck.

Preventing Dry Rot

Never fear; there are two ways to eliminate dry rot in your Georgia home, as well as some quick tips to help find dry rot in the future.

Limit Water Exposure

Depending on the climate you live in, it’s pretty hard to limit water exposure to any wooden piece, like the deck or roof.

So, the first thing you want to do to prevent rotting wood is to hire local Interior trim carpenters in Cumming, GA to help paint, seal, and prime your wooden surfaces. Also, a carpenter will check the windows and doors and adequately seal them to prevent water from entering your home.

Here are ways to prevent dry rot in the future:

  • Install gutters
  • Check the roof annually
  • Always maintain the HVAC system

Treating Dry Rot

There are three ways to get rid of dry rot in your home. These ways are highly effective in fighting off unwanted fungi.

Here are three methods to treat dry rot:

  • Antifreeze
  • Epoxy treatment
  • Copper compounds

When maintaining the durability of your home, it’s essential to keep out unwanted mold issues and risks with rotted wood. Bear Mountain Custom Painting offers exemplary carpentry services that help restore homes by removing exposed timber. We can also help with door and window installation in Cumming, GA. For more information on our carpentry services and to learn more about dry and wet rot, contact us. If you need other services like siding installation in Alpharetta, GA or anything else, please contact us for a complimentary quote.

How To Cover Dark Paint With a Lighter Color

How To Cover Dark Paint With a Lighter Color

Dark colors aren’t a poor choice for your home’s walls, and they can fit any personality or home décor theme. However, if dark colors get you down or you want something to bring more natural light in, you should learn how to cover dark paint with a lighter color.

Choose Your Paint Color Wisely

When covering up any portion of dark paint, the color you pick makes a huge difference in how the paint job turns out. We recommend going with a shade at least two to three tones lighter than the current wall. If you choose something too light, such as a yellow, your contrasting won’t look sharp. Consider your choice of paint before you start covering the original color.

Prep the Surface Area Thoroughly

Don’t leave any space untouched. If one area has even a speck of dust, it can throw off your entire effect. Also, as you transition from dark to light, the light paint makes it apparent that your walls are dirty, and you’ll need to chip the paint to get any remaining dirt or mildew out.

If you want to prep properly, first clean your surface area with a lathered soapy washcloth and wash away any stains, grease, dust, and mildew. Next, use a scraper or sandpaper to strip away peeling or bubbling paint. Also, cover holes and cracks with spackle.

Prime the Area

Priming your wall is an important step, as it helps cover old paint and prevent stains from bleeding through to the new coat of paint. Also, without a primer, the paint won’t stick well. So, use a primer to keep the surface area smooth.

Once you’ve applied the primer, allow the area to dry. Then, place a coat of white stain-blocking primer on the wall before you get started. If you want to block more stains out, put a little bit of primer into some paint. If you’re at the store, ask one of the workers to tint the color for you.

Use High-Quality Paint

If you’re looking for another way to paint your walls, such as DIYing, then you’re doing more work than you need to. Instead of going in the DIY route, spend a little more on a higher quality color compared to other paints. By using high-quality paint, you won’t have to go to the store five times throughout the day to purchase more paint.

Painting walls is hard enough but painting light colors over a dark color is another task entirely. Aside from doing the job yourself, you can reach out to Bear Mountain Custom Painting, where we have many of the best interior home painters in Cumming, GA.

After reading how to cover dark paint with a lighter color, make sure to contact us for more information on our services—ranging from interior painting to help planning out a skylight. Our serious painters don’t leave a single wall unmarked.