Builder's License: #2101068252 | Contact Us: (734) 374-2100 | West Michigan: (616) 554-1575 | Fax: (734) 374-2218

Yearly Archives: 2015

Brackets vs. Spikes: Choosing The Best Gutter Fastener for the Job

Today, most aluminum gutters are attached to the house with brackets. However, many old timers remember when spikes were the standard fastening method. On rare occasions, we get a call asking for spikes. Alloy Gutter Company does recommend using brackets but the choice is yours. Gutter brackets are commonly referred to as hidden hangers. The brackets use screws instead of nails. Using screws provides a much more secure connection to the roof or fascia board. Temperature changes have little to no affect on the brackets. Gutter spikes are long nails that are hammered inside the gutter and attached to the fascia board. Gutter-Brackets-vs-Spikes Changes in temperature can cause the spikes to expand and contract. After a while, they can pull out of the fascia board. The fix for this is to pound them back into the fascia board. However, most of the time the nail hole has enlarged and the spike pops back out again. If you have ANY gutter questions give Alloy Gutter Company a call. We have been in business for over thirty five years. Way back in the day before there were brackets!

Clean the Gutters – Evict the Critters

Are your gutters doing their intended job of keeping rain water away from the foundation of your house or have they become a habitat for small animals? Debris in gutters makes great nesting material for small animals like birds and squirrels. Also, mosquitoes lay their eggs in standing water. Don’t be that neighbor who provides the critters and bugs a condo. The most effective way to discourage critters from nesting in your gutters is to keep them clean. Leaf-Guard-Protection Gutters that are debris free and dry between rain showers are your best defense against pests. However, we occasionally get a call asking for advice on how to stop birds from nest building in their clean gutters. Most of the callers say that they have tried everything. However, birds can be VERY persistent. Leaf protection products will usually hinder the nest builders. Also, you will be able to stop the never ending job of cleaning the gutters. Have Alloy Gutter Company install leaf protection on your house. Alloy can stop debris from getting into your gutters AND evict the critters!

A Finishing Touch

Half a century ago, many stately homes and churches used scupper boxes as part of their standard gutter systems. At that time, scupper boxes were necessary to control the large volume of water flowing off the massive buildings. Today we rarely have an actual need for scupper boxes. However, some architects specify them for their decorative appeal. Alloy Gutter Company occasionally gets a request to include scupper boxes on a job.  We are a full service gutter company and can install this ornamental embellishment for you. If you want your "castle” to have the look of a classic gutter system, give Alloy Gutter Company a call.

HELP…My Basement is Leaking!

“My basement is leaking and I need someone to come out right away and fix my gutters.”  We occasionally get phone calls that start with these words. The following is a list of questions we will ask you to determine if your gutters are the problem or if it may be something else:

  • Are your gutters clean or do you have a waterfall coming from your gutters when it rains?
  • Are you sure the downspouts are not clogged and water is flowing from them during heavy rainfall?
  • Do all the downspouts have at least 3’ extensions?
  • Are the gutters leaking?
  • Are the gutters free of standing water/correctly pitched?

If you can answer yes to all these questions, you don’t have a gutter problem.  You will need to contact a company that specializes in basement leaks. However, once your basement is dry again, the staff at Alloy Gutter Company wants to help you keep your gutter system operating properly. Make sure to call Alloy for any gutter cleaning or repair work you may need in the future.

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Word

We occasionally get a phone call that starts with the caller describing an unusual situation. They want to make us aware of a specific problem area. Because it’s important for us to have a clear understanding of what you are describing, it’s very helpful if you can send us a photo.  Just email it to us at alloygutterco@aol.com.

The office staff at Alloy Gutter Company is constantly monitoring our email account so that we can update information that is needed for jobs and quotes. Our experienced staff will take a look at the photo and get back to you promptly. In most cases, the unusual situation turns out to be something we have dealt with many times.

After over thirty five years in business, Alloy Gutter Company has the experience to troubleshoot any special needs. Give us a call, send us your pictures and we will make your gutter troubles a thing of the past!

An Ounce of Prevention

About 5 years ago, the neighbors behind me put an addition on the back of their house. The addition included new gutters. Their backyard has lots of big trees. Their house is a light gray brick house.  However, at the corner where the addition connects to the original house, the brick is now a mossy green color. This area always looks wet and green. There is no doubt that this moisture has found its way down to the foundation walls of the house. The soil has even eroded away in this area. This could easily be avoided if the homeowners simply cleaned out the gutters. Yes, they do have newer gutters but they can’t do their job if they are full of debris. Gutters, like everything else on your house, have to be maintained. When I look over in that direction, all I see are future $$$ signs. This is going to be an expense fix if it’s left go much longer. Foundation problems on a house can get real costly. They could simply call Alloy Gutter Company if they don’t want to do their own gutter cleaning. When Alloy cleans you gutters, you avoid paying the high price of deferred maintenance. As the old saying goes, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

Material Drops

Alloy Gutter Company provides material drops for both contractors and homeowners wanting to install their own gutters.  We will need some information from you so that we can provide you with an estimated price BEFORE we get to your job site. Also, this will assure that we have all the items that you need loaded on our truck. The following is a list of information we will need:
  • WHEN do you need the material drop
  • WHERE do you want the material dropped (the address)
  • What COLOR gutters
  • TOTAL length of all the gutters
  • Number of downspout pipes
  • Number of A & B elbows
  • Number of inside and outside miters
  • Number of left and right end caps
  • Number of brackets
  • Number of outlets
  • Rivets (do you need them?)
  • Caulk (do you need it?)
Don’t be too concerned if your measurements are not exact. We will measure everything up once we arrive on site. We will make any adjustments that are necessary before running off any materials. Your quoted price will be adjusted according to the final amount of material that is run off. Of course, Alloy Gutter Company installs gutters. However, if you’re a contractor who wants to install your own gutters or a DIY homeowner, give Alloy a call. Depending on the color and location, most material drops can be done on the same day or the next day!

Common Gutter Problems

The most common gutter problem we hear about is clogged gutters.  Clogged Gutters can cause a number of problems for homeowners.  Your gutters can get so clogged that they will be rendered useless.  The weight of the debris can actually cause your gutters to sag and pull away from your house.  Debris in you gutters can also create a solid bridge causing water to cascade over the gutters ruining your foundation.  We recommend you get your gutters cleaned at LEAST once a year to avoid such problems and if you have many trees around home we would suggest you get them cleaned twice a year.  If you choose to do nothing it will likely result in some expensive repair costs.  Another suggestion we often tell our customers is to install leaf protection.  We offer 3 different types which can suit your needs. Another very common problem we receive about gutters is leaking at the corners.  This problem can easily be fixed by sealing the corners from the inside with gutter sealant.  Small holes in the gutters can also be repaired with the gutter sealant.  If you have a larger hole you will require a patch.  Again, if leaks are not taken care of your foundation will start to erode away causing you some expensive repair bills. We receive many calls for improperly pitched gutters. What this means is that the water is not draining properly into the downspouts and is collecting in the gutters themselves.  If you notice that you are experiencing any of these problems call Alloy Gutter Company to take care of them.  We will gladly come out and give you a free estimate.

What to Expect on the Day of your Gutter Installation

New Residential House; Architectural Asphalt Shingle Roof, Vinyl Siding If you’re a homeowner, we will call you a day or two before to set up an installation date. Also, on the day of your installation, we will call to give you the timeframe of when the installation crew will be arriving at your home. You DO NOT need to be home for the installation. However, some homeowners prefer to be on site. If you are not on site and questions arise, we will contact you by phone. When the crew arrives at the job site they will park in the street. If street parking is not available they will park in the driveway. If you have any special parking concerns let us know and Alloy Gutter Company will be happy to accommodate your requests. The crew will set up and start running out your seamless gutters. During this time, they will be in contact with the office staff.  If you have any questions or concerns during the installation, please call the office or let one of the crew members know. Once the work is complete, the crew will clean up the job site and haul away your old gutters. If you are at home, they will knock on the door to let you know the job is complete. They will collect any money due at this time. Any COD’s can be paid by cash, check or credit card. For credit card payments you can call the office to give credit card information or we will be contacting you shortly. Your receipt will be mailed or emailed to you on the next business day. Alloy Gutter Company will do everything we can to assure that your gutter installation goes as smoothly as possible. Just ask if you have any other questions. We are confident that once your installation is complete you will refer your friends and family to Alloy!

Home Inspections and Gutters

Are you purchasing a new home? If so, you are most likely going to have the property inspected before signing the final paperwork. One of the most crucial things every house needs is a properly functioning gutter system. The following is a list of things that the gutter portion of your home inspection should include:
  • gutters should be free of clogs
  • gutters should not have holes or gaps at the joints
  • gutters should not be sagging or pulling away from the house
  • gutters should be properly pitched
  • downspout drains should have extensions
The gutters will be unable to do their job if anything on this list needs to be corrected. You don’t want to put off any necessary repair work; improper water drainage can damage the structural integrity of your new house. This could result in thousands of dollars of damage. Let Alloy Gutter Company repair or replace the gutters BEFORE you move into your new home. With over thirty five years of experience, we are the company to call. Congratulations on your new place!