It Pays to Have a Company That Does It All and Stands Behind Their Work T’boot!

A little history for you…

Growing up, Jim and Mike’s parents taught them to set challenging goals and standards; they were raised to always have high expectations for themselves and their encounters in life. Equipped with the tools necessary to deliver on their promises, the TermiGuard and Fenwick founders are committed to their business and to their customers and employees.

At TermiGuard Services, we practice discipline, determination, perseverance, and a ‘never-quit’ work ethic. We live by these qualities, and by doing so, we’ve fostered that same culture into our company as a whole.

This business was built to be effectively different from the rest – embracing and living the principles and values Jim and Mike grew up with – treating people the way we’d want to be treated.

We offer you a family of home services including real estate repairs, pest and termite inspections and routine control, crawlspace encapsulations, mold remediation, basement waterproofing, structural and foundation repairs, and property restoration and remodeling – such as roofing, siding, windows, kitchens, bathrooms, finished basements and more.

It is our goal to serve as a “one-stop-shop” for homeowners; we take that relationship with our customers seriously.

 

TermiGuard’s Pest Services division, for example, provides a few different service programs which include termite coverage.

  • SeasonGuard Plus
  • No Worries
  • Termite Treatment Warranty Renewal (TTWR) programs.

Depending on what your pest control goals are, each program has its advantages. If you were not aware of, or have questions about, any of these programs, contact us in the office! We would be more than happy to go over each and help you figure out what best fits your needs.

But what happens if or when things go a little wrong?

 

The warranty which we include with any of those programs is what sets us apart from some other choices you may have had in the past.

Normally, I wouldn’t put a price on homeowner peace-of-mind, but in this case I’m going to value it at $75,000 … that’s because our termite protection covers exactly that! If your home ever needs treatment for a new infestation of live subterranean termites – as long as you are covered under a current warranty or program – you don’t have to worry about that additional cost. TermiGuard Services will cover the treatment up to $75,000!

 

But wait… what if that live infestation caused new damage?

Because we have an entire division devoted to reconstruction, remodeling and remediation that our customers take advantage of – that workmanship is also extended to our pest control warranty customers, when things don’t go quite as we planned! Any damages, from a live active infestation, which occur due to those unwanted, pesky wood destroying termites would be addressed by our TG Fenwick division at no cost to you … again up to $75,000!

 

It pays to have a company that can do it all!

Take a look at a recent termite warranty customer who encountered a new infestation… and unfortunately new damage as well. After confirming the insect to blame was in fact termites, we performed a spot treatment of the affected area.

After the product application, we sent in one of our TG Fenwick crews to make this Blackwood, NJ home’s garage ready for use once more.

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And remember…

When things go wrong, you’ll be glad you’re doing business with a company which acts quickly and efficiently to fix the problem! Sometimes, the way a service company handles themselves when things go wrong can tell you more about their character then when the plan goes off without a hitch.

As consumers ourselves, we’ve felt the pain caused by uncaring contractor attitudes and their apparent disregard for old-fashioned customer-centered service. Although we always strive to be, we’re not perfect.

But, it’s what we do when things don’t always go exactly as predicted, how we handle and correct things – to make them right – that separates TermiGuard Services & Fenwick from the many shoddy service providers folks tolerate today.

 

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If you have any concerns related to damages or treatment needed for termites at your home, give us a call! We would be happy to help you set up with an inspection or estimate/evaluation. 856-753-1401

 

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Common Home Mold Symptoms Any Homeowner Should Be Aware Of

mold symptomsAs a homeowner, keeping your home clean and dry is quite a hefty task. With the rain comes a leak if there is no home waterproofing, and with the leak comes toxic mold. Mold is a fungus, and typically begins to grow in 24 to 48 hours in an untreated moist environment. It can be found growing on anything from plants to food to ceilings.

Mold can cause serious health effects if ingested.

Some toxic mold symptoms include:

1. Fatigue and weakness.

2. Chronic headaches.

3. Poor memory and difficulty concentrating.

4. Stiffness in the morning accompanied by joint pain.

5. Sinus congestion, shortness of breath.

6. Chronic coughing.

7. Appetite fluctuations.

8. An unstable body temperature.

9. Abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhea.

10.Increased thirst.

While seniors and children are more prone to becoming affected due to their weakened immune systems, these mold symptoms can be dangerous to anyone in a mold-infested environment. Mold exposure can vary, so here are some common house mold symptoms to keep a look out for.

1. Unmistakable mold odors
Mold typically smells earthy and musty. Typically mold growth starts to smell before it shows up on the walls, so if you smell anything unusual use your nose to identify the culprit.

2. You can see it
When mold growth becomes visible, you know you have a problem. Mold can come in all colors of the rainbow including yellow, green, pink, or black, and can look cottony, leathery, velvety, or granular. Often times it appears as a discoloration of a ceiling or wall, then transforms into a stain or a fuzzy growth. If you notice mold do not touch it and immediately contact a mold cleanup specialist.

3. You notice stagnant water
Mold loves water, so look for any leaks, condensation problems, standing water, or any water stains. Also make sure to look behind furniture and pull up carpets for a hidden growth.

4. The home’s exterior looks wet
If your home looks constantly wet, or takes a long time to dry after it rains, then this could mean you have mold on the underlying walls or cavities. When water is trapped between your walls, it can cause severe structural damage as the water has no place to go.

Mold can be dangerous, but if it is caught early your house will thank you. Just follow these tips to ensure a nice dry home!

customer service

Have you taken advantage of all the services which TermiGuard Services & Fenwick offers?

Recently, I had an experience which made me take a step back and look at the situation with a different view…

Celebrating my friend’s birthday, I sent him a gift basket which was advertised online to be filled with candy bars/bags. I was excited to have found a gift which would be perfectly suited for him… unfortunately, I was also skeptical because I had never used this particular company before. Because I grew up in the computer age, I immediately went to Google and did a little recon!

Everything looked good – Angie’s List, Better Business Bureau, Facebook reviews; they all checked out. So I bit the bullet and placed my order. Confirmation emails were sent for my order, the charge to my debit card, and then even after delivery to ensure I knew their product had arrived on time as agreed upon.

BUT little did they knew, I had already been sent a picture of said product. And I was already quite upset with their company. When the gift basket arrived, my friend – none the wiser – sent me a picture with a note of gratitude for thinking of him. What I ordered and what arrived were not exactly matches.

If you remember, I ordered a basket of candy – and had included a note about celebrating his birthday in a “sweet”way. (Yeah, yeah. What can I say? I enjoy cheesy puns!) What arrived in its place was a basket of snacks including Pringles, Doritos and Oreos. Don’t get me wrong; all of those are absolutely delicious… BUT also not what I paid money for.

 

What happened next spoke volumes about their company.

I emailed the company with pictures of my order and what showed up. I wrote them a concise message clearly showing my disappointment. Now, don’t read into that thinking I became a crazy woman – there was no ranting involved! Working in customer service positions for 10+ years has taught me a hundred times over that being cruel will get you nowhere in life!

Within two hours, I had a reply in my inbox expressing their concern and apologies. Without so much as a prompt for reimbursement, they had already issued a percentage of my cost back to my card and reshipped the correct order.

That was all it took. A simple act of old-fashioned customer service reassured me that maybe I did pick the best company to meet my standards because I had in fact chosen a company which took pride in their services and cared about their customer’s satisfaction.

 

The best part about finding a company you love is knowing you can trust them.

Sometimes, it isn’t about how a company handles themselves when things go right. Sometimes, it comes down to how they handle it when things go wrong. How quickly do they act? How do they offer to make it right? And do you leave the situation feeling better than before?

This stands true for services you’ve used in the past – and even ones you may need in the future! Do you have a company who you can put your trust in 100%?

If you are reading our blog, I hope the answer to that question is YES!

TermiGuard Services & Fenwick offers a full suite of quality home and building services.

Maybe you already know about some of the work we perform regularly, but did you know we have multiple divisions? Between our construction, mold and pest control divisions, we take pride in being a “one stop shop” for homeowners.

  • Basement Waterproofing
  • Sump Pump Installation and Available Maintenance Programs
  • Property Restoration and Remodeling including roofing, siding, windows, kitchens, bathrooms, finished basements and much more…
  • Stucco Remediation and Restoration
  • Pest and Termite Control
  • Flea, Tick, and Mosquito Reduction Programs

And of course, the service we take the most pride in at TermiGuard Services and Fenwick … CUSTOMER SERVICE! For a pleasant experience with a company you can trust, contact us today for help with any of your home’s concerns or projects.

If You Haven’t Waterproofed Your Basement, Here Are 4 Reasons You Should Do It NOW

interior basement waterproofingAll homes built on or below ground level require some form of waterproofing in order to avoid moisture-related issues. A basement that is exposed to moisture will feel damp, giving off a musty odor. It can also provide the perfect breeding ground for mold and mildew, which can pose serious health risks if left untreated.

Damp, musty, moldy — does this sound like your basement? If so, you would be wise to consider waterproofing your basement right away, and here’s why:

  1. Protection from water damage. According to industry estimates, a staggering 14,000 people in the United States experience a water damage emergency at home or work each day, and almost all (98%) of basements across the country will suffer from some type of water damage at some point. When you protect your basement with a strong basement waterproofing membrane, you can rest assured that the room is safe from moisture and water damage. You can be among that 2% who never experience basement water damage.
  2. Lower risk of health issues. Mold typically begins to grow within 24 to 48 hours of exposure to moisture if left untreated. Toxic mold can be extremely harmful to your family’s health. With interior basement waterproofing, you won’t have to waste your time inspecting for mold and you can avoid costly mold cleanup.
  3. Increased home value. Interior basement waterproofing has an excellent return on investment. If you plan on selling your home in the future, having a safe basement can increase the value.
  4. Decreased energy costs. During the winter, warm air produced by your heating units can escape through unintended gaps and cracks in the foundation of the home. Similarly, cold air provided by your air conditioning unit will do the same. This phenomenon causes your HVAC system to work double-time, bumping up your energy bill. By filling the gaps and cracks with waterproofing, less air is bound to escape, resulting in lower energy costs.

Waterproofing your basement can save you a lot of stress and money in the long run. If you have any questions about the process, feel free to give us a call!

Choosing the Right Contractor for Your Home (Part 2)

Protect your home improvement investment dollars…
Choosing your contractor or service provider is a critical decision.

Just like we promised, here’s your next piece on “how to choose your contractor” should you need some guidance when comparing companies…

You’ll want someone you can trust and count on, a service provider who will deliver a quality service and experience, making sure to do what they say they’d do, when they said they would. But with the competition in the home services industry today, it’s not always easy choosing and finding the right service provider…

So when it comes time to start looking, keep these in mind…

  • People friendly, or not so much? – First impressions say a lot – in fact, the first experience you have with a service company can either make or break a future relationship. Friendliness, a ‘willing to serve and assist’, and a ‘how can I help your day’ attitude should be some of the first things you notice. Customer service should be an experience, not another transaction.
  • Please leave a message after the beep… – Are you continuously receiving an answering machine, a series of automations, or unanswered emails? Not being able to get in touch with your contractor or service provider, especially when you need them most, is a nothing more than a hassle and an inconvenience. You’ll want to make sure they’re available to you, especially when it really matters! But if you do happen to catch them after business hours, you’ll want to make sure they return your calls or e-mails in a timely manner.
  • Do they effectively handle complaints or other issues? – Defensive and unapologetic? If this is the type of customer service others have received when things don’t go as planned it should be a warning sign. When things don’t go as planned you’ll want to observe how they work to handle and correct things and what they do to make your situation right. Don’t tolerate the many shoddy service providers out there today who treat homeowners as unimportant.
  • Communication…should be crystal clear – Services, treatments and other jobs should be explained to you in a clear and uncomplicated manner…none of this ‘jargon’ nonsense. You should look for a customer service staff who has plenty of knowledge on the services their company provides. If they really don’t understand or know the “ins and outs”, how are they going to best meet your needs and ensure your confidence?
  • Consistency matters – You’ll likely do some back and forth communication with your home service provider, but you may not always speak with the same person. And while the individual with whom you communicate may change from time to time, the service and experience they provide should not.

While customer service can be a critical factor when it comes to choosing your contractor or home service provider, we know it doesn’t stand alone…

Would you let a stranger into your home?

With the home services industry growing, choosing your contractor or service provider isn’t exactly easy. So, how do you choose? – Especially given all the resources available on the internet, it’s no wonder you may find yourself confused with all the conflicting information out there…

  • Who are they? – Most company websites offer an “About Us” section. This is a great way to get details about the owners, their business, their values, their services and how they operate. Whoever you choose, get to know them before any work begins. It’s also not a bad idea to call in and request to speak with an owner or general manager for some more personable feedback and information.
  • Permanent business location – You’ll want to be sure there’s an actual place of business and that there’s more to ’em than just a truck and cell phone. If there isn’t, who’s to say they’re not here one day and gone the next? Get business hours and address details, drive by, stop in and have a look!
  • Business affiliations – Professional companies are usually members of State, regional, or national service-related organizations…and having such affiliations suggests they’re interested in excellence and progressive thinking – so ask for a list of their affiliations.
  • Check some references – The Better Business Bureau (BBB – 609.588.0808) and sites like Angie’s List can help you find reports on a company’s current standing, registered complaints, and inquiries and how they’ve dealt with them. What they do when a mistake is made often is what separates the good ones from the bad.
  • Insurance, licenses, certifications? – To verify coverage, request copies of insurance certificates from the company. You probably want to hire a professional contractor who is licensed or certified…right? Be sure licenses and certifications are current and applicable. If the company isn’t willing to provide this information, could they be hiding something?
  • Make sure you know who you’re letting into your home – Find out what the employee screening policies are, along with their hiring process. Are employees certified to do the work you need? What does their training and experience look like? You probably wouldn’t let a stranger into your home and the same rule should apply for a contractor or service provider as well!

While it may take some time to do the research, you’ll thank yourself once you’ve done your proper due diligence to protect yourself and your investment. Why settle for anything less?

 

Everything You Need to Know About Mold

inspecting for moldMold is often the bane of a homeowner’s existence. It can be extremely hazardous, and can cause many adverse health issues if someone is exposed to it for too long. Unfortunately, many people do not understand exactly what mold is, what should be done to prevent it from entering your home, and how to go about toxic mold cleanup. Here is everything that you need to know about this harmful substance.

What is mold?
Mold is a form of fungus — there are over 3,000 species! — that grows and thrives in moist environments. Some mold can be especially toxic and can cause many health hazards if inhaled. Mold loves to be wherever water is, and will start to grow after just 24 to 58 hours in a moist environment.

Inspecting for mold
It doesn’t always take a professional to check your home for mold. Some signs that there is mold in your house include:

  • A funky odor. If a room or area of your home smells moldy, investigate until you find the source.
  • Signs of water problems, like wet stains or surface abnormalities on your walls and ceilings
  • Water leaks or condensation. If you have recently experienced a flood, be on the lookout for signs of mold development.
  • Lastly, visible signs of mold growth require immediate attention. Especially if you see black mold — typically seen on carpets, ceilings, walls, even insulation — it may be toxic mold. This type of mold is incredibly dangerous, so contact a professional right away. Don’t attempt to deal with it yourself.

Inspecting for mold can also impact your health. Here are some toxic mold symptoms to watch out for :

  • Consistent coughing and sneezing
  • Eye irritation
  • Rashes
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Nausea

How to prevent mold
To prevent mold from growing in your home, you will need to ensure your house stays as dry as possible. Considering 98% of basements will suffer from water damage in their lifetime, here are some tips to keep your home as dry as you can:

1. Keep your gutters clean. If they are overloaded with dirt and debris, then the water will have nowhere to go and will seep down your walls and pool at the foundation of the house.

2. Keep your roof properly insulated. Ice, snow, and rain can all make their way into the roof and cause cracks and holes in your ceilings.

3. Slope your landscaping away from the foundation of your house. This way the water will flow away from your home, and not into it!

4. Invest in a basement waterproofing membrane. These are installed by basement waterproofing specialists and will ensure that the water stays where it belongs — outside!

Waterproofing your entire home is crucial to limit mold growth. Contact a mold inspecting specialist today if you have any other questions!

Choosing the Right Contractor for Your Home (Part 1)

If you’re like most of South Jersey, buying, selling, owning, or maintaining a home  or building can be among the biggest investment decisions you’ll ever make…

And, when you face a property issue needing immediate attention, the options can be confusing – especially when it’s so hard to know who you can trust. The biggest challenge can be to actually find the right contractor to deal with the issue – one who has the requisite knowledge, skills, and experience.

You need a contractor who will answer phone calls and then do what they say they’d do, when they said they would.

A contractor you can trust, and who will actually give you a no-nonsense warranty on his/her work. While the focus should be on your needs, it’s important that you have a ‘good’ feeling about your contractor too; you want to feel that you know who they are and what they stand for.

As consumers ourselves, we’ve felt the pain caused by uncaring contractor attitudes and their apparent disregard for old-fashioned customer-centered service. That is why we’ve built TermiGuard Services & Fenwick to be effectively different from the rest – embracing and living the principles and values we grew up with – treating people the way we’d want to be treated.

Frankly, we were tired of how so many other companies treat customer service as unimportant and how they take customers for granted.

Although we always strive to be, we’re not perfect. But, it’s what we do when things don’t always go exactly as planned, how we handle and correct things – to make them right – that separates TermiGuard Services & Fenwick from the many shoddy service providers folks tolerate today.

Stay tuned for some great bits of information on “how to choose your contractor” – all of which is great insight to help you while you’re making your selection.

Mold Remediation: How to Avoid Cross Contamination With the Use of Containment

Your dishwasher malfunctions, water leaks and seeps unknowingly beneath your floor for days – maybe even weeks. As you start to notice an odor and some family members start to feel allergy and cold-like symptoms, water stains and very slight dripping appears in your basement. Immediately, you pick up the phone and call in a professional to confirm your worst fear: you have extensive water damage and mold.

Needless to say, colonizing mold and mold remediation inside our homes can be a daunting challenge for any homeowner. So what do you do now?

Take the first step…

A thorough mold inspection, assessing the cause and the extent of water damage, is key to correcting your mold issue. This assessment should not only outline the cause, but also provide a remedy to the problem. But does your inspection report provide you with a detailed, step-by-step plan, a blue print if you will on the proper procedures and protocols outlining your remediation?

Avoid Cross Contamination

Mold spores can travel through your home in a variety of ways; from things like air flow, pets’ fur, or even people transporting them on their clothing as they walk from room to room. The sooner you contain mold spores, the sooner you lessen your chances of cross contamination. This can often be achieved through use of plastic barriers and air filtration devices (AFD).

Cross contamination will occur if remediation is not completed correctly.

Ensure the Safety of Others

The benefits of containment in your home during a remediation project can seem endless…

One of the biggest relates directly to you and your family’s health! During mold projects, there is usually a stage which involves tearing down or ripping out any contaminated building materials. This disturbs the mold spores, making them airborne. Without containment correctly put in place, those spores can make their way through HVAC ducts or other means – introducing your family to something they otherwise would not have been exposed to.

Said plainly, containment prevents cross contamination, and THAT is the key goal to keeping your family healthy!

 

When you chose to address your home’s mold issue, you’ll want to use a company with the prerequisite skills, knowledge and expertise. This is your home. When you encounter a problem, make sure it is taken care of correctly… the first time!

 Learn more about the mold inspections TermiGuard Services and Fenwick offers here.

 

Mold - GibbsboroVoorheesArea
Above, at a recent mold remediation project in the Gibbsboro/Voorhees area, you can see that isolation of treatment areas can span from floor to ceiling. 

 


Here is another isolated area created using containment; this was at a Cherry Hill property we visited:
Mold - Cherry Hill

 

Mold - GibbsboroVoorheesArea2
The containment pictured above protects the bedrooms from disturbed mold spores during remediation.

 

When used in conjunction with AFDs, containment becomes even more effective.
See that partnership in place at this recent Cherry Hill job:
Mold - Cherry Hill 2

 

As always, contact TermiGuard Services & Fenwick with any possible mold questions or concerns you may have for your house!
We are happy to walk you through the process and help get your home healthy again!

 

Watch Out for These 4 Signs of Mold

toxic moldYou have heard the saying “out of sight, out of mind,” and just as it relates to most things in life, this old adage applies to toxic mold. If you have not spotted it in your home, you are probably unconcerned by the issue, but ignoring even the most subtle toxic mold symptoms can lead to a long list of health complications and financial problems.

Four Signs of Mold Growth in Your House

  1. Strong odor
    When you have mold growing in your home, sometimes a moldy smell will be the only noticeable clue. Never ignore any strange odor even if you are unable to find the source. Thoroughly inspecting for mold is essential before the problem gets worse.
  2. Allergy symptoms
    Have you noticed that your allergy symptoms are worse when you are at home than when you are out of the house? If so, it is especially likely that you have mold. Common allergic reactions to mold include sneezing, runny nose, sore eyes, and nasal congestion. In many asthma sufferers, symptoms can be attributed to mold.
  3. Visible mold growth
    This may sound obvious, but many people fail to notice small amounts of mold growth or mistake it for dirt. Small mold patches can spread rapidly and if you don’t take immediate action, you will find yourself with a much bigger mold problem. Immediate mold cleanup is essential. Furthermore, if small amounts of mold can be seen, it is possible that a much larger colony is growing somewhere out of view. Some mold appears white and stringy while other kinds look like clusters of black spots. It comes in a variety of colors, including black, gray-brown, white, gray-green, or even orange, pink, or purple.
  4. Water damage
    If your home has experienced any sort of moisture problem, it is usually inevitable that mold will appear sooner or later. Mold typically begins to grow within 24 to 48 hours of the initial introduction of water in an untreated moist environment. Signs of water damage or moisture problems include discoloration on walls, water stains, or peeling wallpaper. If your walls are bulging or warped it is also an indication that moisture has been introduced.

As many as 98% of basements in the U.S. will suffer from some type of water damage during their lifetime. Water damage alone can hike up an insurance claim to $6,965 and when mold is involved, insurance costs can end up being even higher.

To save money and protect your health, make sure you keep an eye out for signs of toxic mold and have your home inspected when necessary.

Ice Damming in Gutters

Attention South Jersey Homeowners…Read this NOW!

Gutters and Ice Damming – The dirty little secrets you need to know and what you need to do…to prevent unnecessary damage and avoid the heartache and headache of a potential water damage nightmare!

When winter’s disasters strike…too often it hits close to home. Bitter cold, harsh winds, ice and snow can wreck havoc…and at the worst times!

So what do you need to do to stay ahead of the curve and avoid disaster?Jimphoto

Jim Allen (the guy just over there to the right…) co-owner and water intrusion expert – of TermiGuard Services & Fenwick was recently interview by news reporter Carol Erickson of Channel 3 Eyewitness News about winter preparations.

Gutter’s winter role and ice damming:

Gutters are designed to capture roof water run-off to protect our exterior covering materials and to keep it away from our foundation walls. But all too often gutters, and neglected gutters can and do cause a wide variety of water damage issues – ice damming being one of them – and for some reason we all seem to forget about them at winter’s onset.

Winter Gutter Issues:

  • Frozen debris – never cleaned out at the end of Fall
  • Clogged drains – debris build-up over time
  • Underground drains clogged – and frozen!
  • Rain water, snow melt overflowing the gutter – from all the above
  • Sagging gutters or gutters pulling away  from the structure – ice damming

After the feature on Channel 3, I sat down with Jim to talk further about gutters – during the winter months – as well as ice damming and the actions you should take now to stay ahead of the game.

Check out the interview below!

Jess: Jim, what is the biggest problem with gutters and what’s the easiest fix?
Jim: Well, if you’re like me, you might procrastinate and neglect some of the household chores that are vital to do Let’s face it; I don’t know anyone who likes cleaning gutters! I mean, it’s dirty, messy, time consuming and well, dangerous – ladders and gutter cleaning cause the majority of homeowner injuries. But to answer your question, keeping the gutter free of debris is #1. Ya gotta clean them, and the money that can save is big!

But if you do procrastinate…or are afraid of heights, I recommend hiring a service company to clean them. From $60 – $120 is all it will cost. Do it at least 2 times a year. Although I prefer 4 – twice in the spring and twice in the fall.

Jess: That all seems pretty obvious, but what should homeowners do if cleaning was forgotten?
Jim: If the gutters aren’t frozen with water get them cleaned. If they are frozen, see if the outlet can be unclogged. If they are frozen and you can’t unclog them, get them cleaned as soon as there is a thaw. The last thing you need is a flooded basement or crawl space. Besides the damage to building materials and personal stored items, mold can colonize in these areas pretty quickly, 48 hours or less.

Jess: What about the downspouts? Is there anything we need to know about them?
Jim: Great question and this is probably the 2nd thing you should check. Take a look at the discharge end of the downspout…is it clogged with debris? Is it frozen with a block of ice? Is it tied into an underground drain and is the underground drain clogged? All of these issues should be warning signs and will certainly cause some problems. If you can do the maintenance to make these corrections, do so ASAP. If not, hire a professional…underground drains typically require a little more skill and time than most homeowners have.

Jess: What if you think the underground drains are clogged, what then?
Jim: Disconnect the downspout from the drain and install a temporary one on top of the ground. Secure it so it doesn’t dislodge and then make your permanent repairs to the underground drain in the Spring.

Jess: Is there anything else to add?
Jim: If you know you have clogged gutters, and they’re frozen, and the temperatures don’t allow for a thaw to clean them, make sure your soil grade in those areas pitches away from the house. 1″ drop over 12″ of run is ideal for the first 4-6′. If you add soil, be sure to tamp it firmly.

Jess: Ok great, I have one more question. In your interview with Channel 3, Carol Erickson asked you what the ice was at the roof’s edge…you called it ice damming…is that a gutter issue?
Jim: I’m glad you asked that. It’s not a gutter issue per say but it can and will lead to them.

You see, ice damming in gutters is a result of a poorly ventilated attic and most likely an under insulated attic. As heat rises in our home and makes its way into the attic, it causes the snow pack to melt too quickly. As that snow melt (water) hits the eve of the roof it then refreezes causing a back-up of ice and water. This puts added weight on the gutter. This extra weight makes the gutter pull away from the structure – your roof.

Jess: Well after hearing that I’m going to have to ask another question. How is this prevented? It sounds like something we should all be concerned about.
Jim: I kinda gave you the clues just a bit ago – better ventilation and a properly insulated attic are the keys. We want the least amount of heat loss as possible going from our living areas into our attics. Ideally, we want the attic cavity the same temperature as the outdoors but that’s not practical. That’s where the ventilation helps. Ways to achieve good ventilation (to get ride of that warm moist air) are by installing vents in our exterior soffits, vent baffles between our rafters that extend into the eves, and to have ridge venting along the entire length of our roof.

Jess: That sounds pricey?
Jim: It all depends on how you look at it – water entering you home, damaging insulation, drywall and causing mold growth can be a very expensive alternative. And we don’t really benefit from those types of repairs, do we? The number one reason we see so much mold in attics is poor ventilation and ice damming issues. And the worst area for this to happen is on the north facing side of your attic. Those cold, north winter winds just exacerbate the problem.

Jess: Well then, I think personally I would take the precautions and preventative measures now, rather than have all of those problems and have to fork out potentially thousands in repair and mold treatment and remediation costs later down the road!

Thanks a lot Jim for taking the time to talk about this topic in detail! I really appreciate it and I’m sure the folks out there will too! You may have just saved them a bundle!

If you’re having any concerns about your gutters, think that you have clogged gutters, or suspect to have possible water intrusion issues from clogged or frozen gutters, give TermiGuard Services & Fenwick a call TODAY at 856-753-1401 or 609-601-9400.


 

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