Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Happy Earth Day 2014!

North Shore Eavestroughing prides itself on finding ways to operate with less impact to the environment. Protecting our children's future has to be a guiding principle. Operating a small business the old fashioned way is to disregard the impact we have on the world around us. Finding new earth-friendly ways to do business may raise our operating costs slightly but we feel it's well worth it!!

Today we donated $75.00 to the David Suzuki Foundation to aid their Got Milkweed Campaign. That will translate into 25 milkweed plants.

It's an effort to plant milkweed across the city of Toronto. This will be a source of food for the migrating Monarch Butterfly. The butterflies really need our help right now as their main source of food, milkweed is in short supply.

Here is the link to the campaign if you would like to learn more or donate.

http://www.davidsuzuki.org/media/news/2014/04/got-milkweed/



We are excited and thankful to our clients who use our services which in turn enables us to give back.

 
 

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

HomeStars Best of 2013 Awards Party

HomeStars is an awesome tool for you to connect with quality contractors. A homeowner can visit Homestars and see a list of contractors in many different categories. The best part is that you can see the reviews that other homeowners have wrote about a contractor, good or bad. With that information you can pick contractors you feel comfortable reaching out to and talk or meet about a project you need completed.
 
I personally use HomeStars when hiring contractors around my home. Years ago, before I used HomeStars I hired a heating and AC contractor as a referral from our real estate agent. It was not a good experience and I regretted hiring them but since the project was underway I felt I had to tough it out and let them finish. It's never a  pleasant feeling to realize you hired someone to work on your home and then realize the work is not being done to a high standard or the contractor has an unpleasant attitude. Thankfully, online review tools like HomeStars exist today and make the hiring process much smoother!
 
HomeStars gives out awards to contractors who have won in their category. This win is based on many different criteria some of which include number and quality of reviews they have collected over the year.
 
The event for the Toronto 2013 Awards was held at the Fairmont Royal York in downtown Toronto. It was a very generous to have this event at such a fancy location and shows how HomeStars gives back to the contractor community. 
 
 
 
 
 Nancy Peterson, the co founder and CEO of Homestars giving her opening speech to the crowd.

 

I am a firm believer in HomeStars and feel that Nancy shows professionalism and determination to help home owners meet qualified successful contractors. This video clip is an example of her integrity and commitment to the homeowner which I believe flows through the HomeStars organization.



After a great meal contractors were given their awards and a photo opportunity. Seen below is Elite Concrete. We often meet homeowners who have already had Elite Concrete do work for them so we see first hand the quality of their work and how happy their clients are. Congratulations on your win!
Visit their website: www.eliteconcrete.ca

 

Insta-Insulation is another company who we frequently work along side, sometimes on the same project. With all the ice and snow build up on roofs this season they were in high demand for inspecting attics. Well done Insta- Insulation!
Visit their website: www.instainsulation.com

 
 
Jeff of Toronto Home Theater with their award. Jeff also runs Inview Marketing and helps small business with their marketing and online presence. Nice to see you Jeff!
Visit their website: www.torontohometheater.ca


 
 
The awards night is a great opportunity to meet other contractors who are working hard and striving to be the best they can be and help as many homeowners as they can. Paul from The Duct Cleaning Specialist. Congragulations Paul on your "Best Of Award". I had Paul's crew come in to my home and clean our duct system and they did a super job!
Visit their website: www.ductcleaningspecialists.ca


 

Adel from 416-SO-CLEAN. Nice to see you and happy for your win! Adel works hard to revolutionize the carpet and upholstery cleaning business.
Visit their website: www.416soclean.com


 
Thank you HomeStars for the wonderful night and a chance to meet many inspiring small business owners. 
 
I also would like to mention some other awesome contractors we met at the event (but missed getting photo's) and know well or have used personally in my own home:
 
Brent from Classic Home Inspections: www.classichomeinspections.ca
 
Mark from Victorious Carpet: www.victoriousflooring.com
 
Javier and Hilary from the moving company Cargo Cabbie: www.cargocabbie.ca
 
Visit www.homestars.com to connect with great contractors.

Our company North Shore Eavestroughing has won "HomeStars Best Of" many different years in the Gutters and Eavestrough category for Toronto and would love to provide you with a quote for your eavestrough and leaf guard needs.

Visit our website www.eavestrough.ca

Friday, January 3, 2014

Toronto Ice Storm 2013


For most Torontonians it was a holiday season they will not forget anytime soon. Across the city a ravaged tree canopy caused many branches to fall on homes and streets. A major power outage left many wondering if they would have to vacate their homes.

I suspect there is a lot of damaged eavestroughs around the city due to falling trees.  Pictures like the one below could be seen in many neighborhoods with mature trees. Amazingly this home suffered no damage to roof or eavestrough.

ice storm toronto 2013 tree falls on house
Trees falling on homes.

One thing that may have saved some eavestroughs is the amount of snow and ice that formed along the roof edge. This would help keep many eavestroughs sturdy in the event of a heavy limb hitting it. Below is a typical damage from a falling tree. A dent like this is fixed by replacing the entire piece of eavestrough. The dent is not something that can be pounded out and have it resemble what it originally looked like.

If your home has a lot of ice build up on the edge of the roof a repair may have to wait until the ice melts off in some warmer weather.

damaged eavestrough falling tree
Typical storm damage to eavestrough.

If the eavestroughs are older, like 15 to 20 years old then you may consider replacing all the pieces that attach to this damaged piece. A more reliable seal is obtained from joining new eavestroughs together as compared to joining new to old eavestrough. We give a 2 year warranty when joining new to old and a 10 year warranty when joining new to new.

You may want to consider calling your insurance company to see what's covered on your home. Personally I had some damage to our backyard furniture and shrubs. After talking to our insurance company we decided to repair and replace things out of pocket. A $2500.00 deductible and a 20% hike in our premium for 5 years for making a claim soon made me realize we are not going to save much by going through insurance.

The trees were very pretty and the ice stuck around for about a week! We were fortunate to have supplemental power and heaters due to the nature of our business. North Shore Eavestroughing equipment was able to provide some power to 3 separate homes and heat to another. Wiring a heavy duty cord from a generator to a furnace was relatively easy and made the ice storm much easier to handle. We also had on hand about 600 feet of extension cords which made accessing neighboring homes possible.

ice storm toronto 2013
Ice storm Toronto 2013. So beautiful!

A 5000 watt generator gives ample power and worked well. It burned around $75.00 per 24 hours of runtime.

generator in eavestrough trailer
Trailers make good shelters for generators. 

A power inverter and battery bank was able to power our furnace through the night so we did not have to run the generator as much. The batteries were recharged via the generator and or solar panels on the roof of the trailer during the day.

Power inverter in eavestrough trailer
Solar powered eavestrough trailer.
 
 
Some of the holidays were spent helping neighbors clear trees that had fallen or were badly damaged from the weight of the ice.
 

Cutting damaged trees from ice storm toronto 2013
Many trees were lost to the ice storm,

Some news report told of people getting hurt using chainsaws during the clean up. Chainsaws require proper safety gear to prevent injury. See below proper cut resistant boots and pants. Even the occasional operator should consider wearing if using a chainsaw.

cut proof safety pants and boots
Safety gear for chainsaw operation is a must.
 
 
Things I learned/experienced during the 6 day power outage in my community:
 
1. Driving any distance when most lights are 4 way stops is very slow and somewhat crazy as some cars seem to motor right on through like there was no stop required.
 
2. The gas stations that had power were very busy and had line ups. Gas cans were impossible to find for sale.
 
3. Our kerosene heater was handy to have but was only good to us because I had a stock pile of kerosene by chance. Also sold out of most places like Lowes, Rona and the Depot.
 
4. After about 3 cold nights with no power, some homes had ice forming in their sinks. Most people on our street left their home for hotels and friends.
 
5. Finding a new generator to purchase around Toronto was tough.
 
6. Not every furnace will start easily with a generator and its best to plan ahead with an electrician to ensure a generator is hooked up safely.
 
6. Toronto's electricity system is very much vulnerable to a harsh ice storm. A study by Toronto Hydro in 2012 predicted more power outages due to freak storms due to climate change: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/toronto-hydro-study-warned-of-increased-risk-of-power-outages-due-to-climate-change/article16118600/?utm_source=facebook.com&utm_medium=Referrer%3A+Social+Network+%2F+Media&utm_campaign=Shared+Web+Article+Links
 
7. An ice storm/power outage is a great opportunity to get to know your neighbors better! Its a chance to come together as a community and help those who could use a hand.
 
We hope that we can help you with any repair or replacement work you may need performed to your eavestrough system. Just as a rough idea of cost: a 35 to 40 foot section of eavestrough replaced will cost on average $675.00. This of course depends on ease of access and height.
 
We will come by to assess the damage, determine the matching color and give a free quote. For an immediate quote feel free to send along a few pictures and often we provide a quote on the spot.
 
Our office number is 416 615 0443 and our email is info@eavestrough.ca or you can fill out an estimate form on our website: www.eavestrough.ca 
 
 

Monday, October 7, 2013

Baeumler Approved

 We are happy to report that North Shore Eavestroughing is now Baeumler Approved! It's another step  showing our commitment to outstanding service and quality work.

We have been accepted as Baeulmer Approved due to our record of quality and integrity, and because of the trust we have established with our clients in the past.

We have agree to abide by the Code of Conduct they have established to ensure quality and consistency in order to maintain the high caliber of service that clients have come to expect from the Baeumler Approved brand.


Steve Baeumler
Darren Perry and Steve Baeumler

 




Baeumler approved
North Shore Eavestroughing is Baeumler Approved

To see other Baeumler approved businesses check out http://www.baeumlerapproved.ca/

If you are own a home in Scarborough, North York or other areas in or near Toronto, check out our website and what we can do for you.
www.eavestrough.ca

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Greening Our Business

We at North Shore have asked ourselves how we can make changes in our day to day operations that make a difference in our environmental impact and lessen our footprint.

The good thing is that most of the steps we have taken or are looking at implementing in the near future, make good business sense. Cutting back or finding more efficient ways to do business is also good for the health of any business. Our energy saving and waste reduction efforts are also making us more competitive.

We challenge small business like us to make positive changes in any way possible. If you decide to implement any new strategies or have some creative ideas we haven't thought of please comment below so we can all benefit. We are all in this together!

We will go through some of the steps we undertake to be a little more earth friendly:

1. This might seem very basic but we sort all of our construction and office items into recyclable and waste. About 75% of what we sort is recyclable. Plastics, lots of cardboard as this is what all our downpipes and elbows are shipped in, and paper from our office. We ensure that everything is sorted properly on a daily basis. Then we ensure that when we go to the City of Toronto Waste Drop Off Facilities, all bags go into the right recycling bins. Since most everyone at North Shore is used to recycling at home it comes naturally to sort into the proper bins we have located in our office and shop.


All our aluminum and steel is recycled.


All our eavestrough supplies are over 90 per cent recycled. Aluminum is easily recycled and all eavestroughs on the market today have recycled content in them.



We have a hazardous waste bin located in our shop so things like old paint and caulking and batteries do not end up in a landfill.




2. We buy either recycled or an alternative to paper that was created by cutting down forests. This one is super easy and doesn't really cost much more but you feel better every time you have to print something off.







3. In Toronto the amount of water that goes into the storm sewers when it rains heavy is a serious problem and results in raw sewage and waste flow directly into our waterfront. One of our objectives when designing a rain water management system is to get the downpipes disconnected from the city. We design systems that work, keep water away from your home, and safely absorb as much as possible on your grass or beds. We go the extra mile to make disconnects happen when other companies say it's not possible. We can get as creative as the homeowner likes to make this happen. We mostly make this happen with larger downspouts, proper grading, and sometimes 2 pipes in one location as shown below. We feel we can make a big impact on the storm water problem in Toronto, and this opportunity is open to all eavestrough companies in any city that has these common problems.



4. Water conservation through the installation of rain barrels. When configured professionally they operate trouble free for many years and will aid in the watering around your home. We hope more of our future clients will be interested in using them. They are great way to make a difference and maybe you might actually look forward to the rain when you know you will be restocking your barrels. Its not that common to see rain barrels but we hope that will change as we move forward. Why can't having barrels be cool?





5.  We try to buy green cleaning supplies as well. Recycled bags and paper towels, and earth friendly cleaning supplies when possible for our Scarborough headquarters and show room.





6. All our shop lighting and outdoor lighting has been changed over to LED.



7.  Coffee is organic and bird friendly. Who knew  the way conventional coffee is grown is destroying bird habitat.

Our Kuerig is only used with reusable cups to reduce waste.



8.  Our AC has only ran a couple of weeks this summer as we like to let a breeze blow through the office when conditions allow.



9. All our 4 computers are turned off every night.


10.  We are Bullfrog Powered. Bullfrog charges a slight up charge on our electric bill to pay for introducing green power sources onto the grid.  




11.  Do you know that washing your car can send polluted water straight into lake Ontario. Water going into sewer grates flow untreated to the Lake.




Good idea to use a car wash, or waterless car wash products available at Canadian Tire. They work great!



12.   Our Smart car is great for jigging around and doing estimates. Running trouble free since 2008.




13.  All our vehicles have a fuel additive added which claims to reduce emissions and slightly boost mileage. Hope it works as claimed. Also all our vehicles are kept well tuned to reduce pollution.



14. Our service area has been reduced slightly to reduce travelling. Years ago we used to travel pretty much from our shop to areas like Oakville and Aurora and Brampton. A lot of fuel used for estimating and plus sending a crew out. We hope people can think local if possible to reduce traffic congestion and reduce fuel consumption. Now we focus on Scarborough, North York and other areas in and near Toronto.

15.  We donate $10.00 to the David Suzuki Foundation for every Homestars review we get. Check out David Suzuki at http://www.davidsuzuki.org/  Our goal is to get 100 reviews this year which will total $1000.00 for environmental causes.

16. We used to by water in plastic bottles by the truck load and now we buy all our water in glass and is set up in our office and in all our eavestrough trailers. Team members are encouraged to bring a reusable bottle and refill from the glass bottles.




 17.  We now use job signs infrequently as most of these get thrown in the garbage by the homeowner. We use them sparingly and ask that the homeowner contact us so we can pick them up instead of throwing in the trash.




18.  All our power bars in the office are equipped with timers that turn the power bar off after 6 pm and turn back on at 6 am from Monday to Friday and off for the weekends. Computers and printers are powered off completely this way. This reduces our power consumption.



19. We are converting our jobsite trailers to solar power. No more plugging in to power our eavestrough machines or power tools. It work amazing. Three 100 watt panels are all thats needed to charge to deeep cycle batteries which powers an inverter.





 20.  We use biodegradable 2 cycle oil for our leaf blowers used to clean up your property.





If anyone has any other ideas for greening a small business we would love to hear about it! If we all make small changes they will add up towards a big impact. Lets work to make our future a positive healthy one! 

Visit our website at www.eavestrough.ca or email us at info@eavestrough.ca as we would love to hear from you.









Monday, August 26, 2013

Free Silver Maple Trees ( All Gone)

We have 40 Silver Maple Trees to give away to a good home.



Silver Maples grow fast and are an excellent shade tree. Having a tree like this on your property can offer shade and reduce your AC bills.

They grow super big so keep them back from your home a bit!

We hope that you will take advantage of these free trees and come and get some for your property.

Planting trees is a great way to green our city of Toronto!





You can come to our office anytime of day to pick them up as they will be left outside. Once they are gone I will update this blog post. ( They all found new homes)

Happy planting!! Maybe someone can email us a picture of a tree in its new home? That would be fun to see.

Located at 133 Manville Rd Unit 19 near Warden and Eglinton.



Monday, April 8, 2013

Bullfrog Powered

We are proud to say that we have been powered by green electricity since 2009. Bullfrog power allows businesses and homeowners to utilize green energy.



Like many people we are very concerned about how we can lessen our impact on the environment. For a minimal monthly increase in our electricity bill we can ensure that all our energy consumption gets put back into the grid by means of green energy from sources like wind, solar and hydro electric. 



North Shore Eavestroughing replaces and repairs eavestroughs, leafguard and other aspect of rainwater management in Scarborough, North York and other areas in and near Toronto

Visit Bullfrog Power's website: http://www.bullfrogpower.com/

Friday, April 5, 2013

Clean Outs For Pine Needles

We recommend the use of clean outs when installing the T-Rex leaf guard in an area that has pine needles. Pine needles are long and slender and a few do make it through the small round holes in the leaf guard. Only a small percentage go through and the vast majority stay out of the eavestrough.

The T-Rex is not removable so clean outs are important in some cases.

In 10 years we only had one person contact us because there was a blockage under the leaf guard. Since then we have added trap doors over the downspouts to allow access to any needles that may get caught up in the outlet. This way, in the rare event a blockage occurs, there is an easy way to remove the debris.

This is how we create a trap door in the T-Rex:

First off, we leave a space over the down pipe outlet. We do this by leaving a 6 inch gap between two sections of T-Rex. I should mention that we can install clean outs over any section of the leaf guard for minimal cost. Most likely they will never be needed but you can have peace of mind knowing that they are there. Also there is access to under the leaf guard where there is a corner as there are corner covers which are easy to remove.

eavestrough with cleanout


This will give easy access to any debris caught at the outlet. 

eavestrough outlet


Then we take a slightly different version of the T-Rex call Gutter Clean and cut it at about 10 inches so it will completely cover the gap.

T-Rex Gutter clean leafguard



It fits perfectly and is screwed down with 2 screws so it is secure.

cleanout installed on leafguard


Now for a demonstration of why trap doors come in handy when there are pine trees next to your home.

Pine needles like the ones below can get through the small holes.




If the pine tree is hanging over the home then you can expect to see a build up of pine needles
on the leaf guard. Even with this much sitting on top the rain water can easily pass through as these needles are very coarse. With a good wind some will blow off. You may still have to have someone do a brush off the top every fall. This is still much easier then scooping out a full, plugged downspout and eavestrough. This T-Rex leaf guard will drastically reduce the frequency of cleaning, if you have a full tree canopy. If the trees are back slightly from the home then you may not have to clean at all as the wind will blow most debris off.




A cross section view of a few pine needles getting through the T-Rex

cross section of eavestrough and leafguard


Its possible after many years to get a blockage because the pine needles have clogged the top of the pipe. All debris flows along the bottom of the eavestrough and ends up at the downspout. Alu-Rex, the makers of the T-Rex require a minimum downspout size of 9 square inches which is a standard 3x3 inch downspout for warranty in a pine tree area. Alu-Rex is an excellent company and will follow up on any warranty claims.  If you have a blockage and you have 3x3 pipes they will come out and clean the outlet! Alu-Rex has a 40 year warranty on the product and performance of the product.
In this blog post we show a 3x4 inch outlet.





Spruce needles are of course much shorter and do not cause a problem. The few that make it through the small T-Rex holes will easily wash out the downpipes. They are not long enough to get hung up at the top of the downspout. The same applies to shingle grits. They will wash out in the heavy rain.



Spruce needles will never cause a blockage of the downspout because they are so small they will never block an outlet. They easily flow out the downspouts.




Clean outs will be a good choice with any leaf guard that has any hole large enough to let a pine needle in. That applies to the hooded type leaf guards like K-Guard as when the water wraps around the nose due to surface tension, some debris gets pulled in as well.

The old style mesh products we used to install 15 years ago (because there was no better option on the market) had holes that were too large and let way to much debris in. Eventually someone would have to clean underneath them. This leaf guard is responsible for giving leaf guard a bad rap when in fact the new versions work so much better.



Below is a side by side comparison of the Alu-Rex Gutter Clean and the Smart Screen. Smart Screen on the left has much larger holes then the Gutter Clean. Bigger holes may allow more pine needles to go in so clean outs will be a good idea with this product as well.

leafguard comparison in Toronto



Products like the Leaf Solution on the left and Rhino Guard on the right will keep all shingle grit and needles out of the eavestrough but they come with a significant extra cost as compared to the T-Rex. These products have a fine mesh over a aluminum frame which keeps everything but the water out.
The T-Rex is by far our most popular product with our clients and gives excellent value as it costs much less than most leaf guards on the market.


The T-Rex costs an extra $3.00 per linear foot when you are getting new eavestroughs. Compare that to many other kinds that cost $9.00 to $12.00 and the choice will be easy for most.

North Shore Eavestroughing services Scarborough, North York and many other areas in and around Toronto.

Visit out website www.eavestrough.ca or call us at 416 615 0443 for a free, no obligation estimate in the Toronto area.