Megan Tolland's Blog
There are a few common problems that occur often in rain gutters. These problems include leaking, sagging, and overflowing gutters. Some gutters even cause a pool of runoff to form in areas around the outside of the house.
The good news is that gutters are fairly easy to fix. You can complete most of these repairs yourself even if you’re not the savviest DIYer.
If you have leaking gutters, you should first check the joints between each section of the gutter. Standing water in the gutters can rust the steel or seep right through the seams of aluminum gutters. There are a variety of ways that you can fix this problem including:
Caulking the gutter seams
First, you should adjust the gutters and allow them to dry. Brush the seams of the gutter clean and apply caulking to the seams to seal the leaks.
You should patch up any holes that can be found in the gutters with roofing cement material. Apply the mixture round the holes generously. It’s best to use the roofing cement on a warm day. If the weather is cooler, you can warm the cement to room temperature for easier spreading.
You can repair larger holes with patches or sheet metal. Apply roofing cement to the patches. Make sure the substance is applied generously over the patch so it is secure.
Create A Dry Well
Running your spout into a dry well can be very effective if you live in a region where there is a large amount of rainfall. The well should run about 2-4 feet wide ad 3 feet deep. Alternatively, you can use a large drum or barrel (about 55 gallons). Both ends of the container should be punctured with holes and filled with rocks. Creating a downspout like this can help to keep water away from your home’s foundation. You may need to check on local building codes and regulations in order to complete this project.
If your gutters overflow, they can cause some serious damage to your walls and foundation. This problem can be caused by clogged gutters, sagging gutters, or the downspouts not being large enough to handle the rain runoff.
To fix these issues, you should first do the obvious and clean the gutters out. Wider downspouts can also be installed to handle more runoff. A dry well can also be very useful in these cases.
One of the most important things that you should do for your gutters is to perform regular maintenance on the gutters. Be sure to inspect the gutters for any issues and clean them regularly. This can help you to prolong the life of your gutters and stay away from any problems that may occur around the house.
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Why start a community garden?The benefits for having a community garden in your neighborhood are endless. First, it allows people to grow their own food--a rewarding process in itself. You'll learn about sewing seeds, caring for plants, and harvesting the vegetables. When it's all said and done, you'll save money as well, since it's much cheaper to grow your vegetables than to buy them from the grocery store. Gardens are also a great way to build a sense of community in your neighborhood. You'll meet new people, make new friends, and have something to be proud of together. Plus, talking about what you're planting is a great ice-breaker when it comes to meeting the neighbors for the first time. Aside from helping you and your neighbors, community gardens are also a modest way to help the environment. A garden means more food for bees, a refuge for local critters, and more plants producing oxygen. Plus, when you get your vegetables right from your garden you cut back on all of the resources used to wrap, pack, and ship vegetables across the country to grocery stores, reducing your carbon footprint in a small way. Excited yet? I hope so! Now that you know why to start a community garden you need to know how.
Steps to making a community garden
- Get the neighborhood together Invite your neighbors to a local cafe or library to talk about starting a garden. To build interest and awareness, start a Facebook group and post a few flyers in your neighborhood.
- Figure out the funding and logistics At this meeting, start talking about how the garden is going to be funded. Seeds, tools, fertilizer, and other expenses don't have to put a damper on your fun if you're prepared. The three main sources of funding for a community garden are finding sponsors, running neighborhood fundraisers, or having a membership fee for plots in the garden.
- Find a spot for your garden The best places to turn into gardens are plots of land that currently bring down the aesthetic of the neighborhood. Find an area that could be cleaned up and approach the owner of the land with the idea. You can offer them free membership or whatever other resources are available in exchange for being able to use the land.
- Throw a cleaning and a kick-off party To build the garden, invite everyone from the neighborhood over to the plot of land for pizza. Then once they're there stick a shovel in their hand (okay, maybe let them eat a slice or two first). Once the garden is ready to be planted, you can host another "kick-off party" so everyone can celebrate their hard work.
- Rules are made to be spoken Community gardens are a ton of fun. But to keep them that way you're going to need to decide on some ground rules for things like open hours, membership acceptance, tool usage, leadership, and so on. Post the rules on the Facebook, website, and at the garden itself so everyone can see them.
- Keep the momentum If you want your garden to last you'll need to do some work to keep everyone excited. Make a Facebook group, a website or whatever else you think will help people stay connected. Ideally, you want your messages to include everyone involved in the garden so that everyone feels involved.