How the Right Windows Can Save You Money

Windows are a critical component of a well-constructed home. They protect your house’s interior from harsh weather and external invaders like birds and bugs. Windows also work hard to keep your home as energy efficient as possible. If you have older, unkempt windows, you’re probably losing an excessive amount of energy. Replacing your existing windows with an energy-efficient option will ultimately save you a significant amount of money over time

Windows 101

Think about all of the homes and buildings you’ve seen in your life; there are probably hundreds of thousands of them. Among those countless residences and business locales, you’d be hard-pressed to find a home without any windows at all. Windows are an essential part of every home, and local laws and regulations require homeowners to install them.

Windows are visually appealing, but also offer protection from the elements and can make your home incredibly energy efficient when installed correctly. There is a wide variety of window styles to select for your next window replacement. New, energy-efficient windows will not only increase your curb appeal significantly but will also save you money.

Different Types of Windows

Finding an attractive window replacement option is challenging when there are so many styles available to homeowners. Whether your home is modern, traditional, contemporary, or anything in between, there is an attractive type of window to suit your style. Some popular, modern window styles include:

  • Picture windows
  • Bay or bow windows
  • Double-hung windows
  • Slider windows
  • Casement windows
  • Clerestory windows
  • Awning windows
  • Single-hung windows

Each type of window serves different functions. For example, double-hung windows open from both the bottom and the top of the sash to allow extra airflow. Picture, bay, and bow windows are an attractive option that will enable tons of extra natural daylight to flow into your home. Work with a window company in your area to decide on the best style to serve the purposes you require.

Choosing the Right Window Replacement

Installing new windows probably seems like a pretty hefty investment. Homeowners typically put off this task to keep some extra cash in their pockets. However, this is ill-advised, because inadequate windows can cause your home to lose immense amounts of energy, which equates to alarming amounts of money lost as well.

Choosing the Ideal Window for Your Home

Finding the perfect window replacement for your residential or commercial property can seem like a daunting task if you don’t know exactly what functionalities and aesthetics you prefer. You might be inclined to think there are only a few simple styles of windows to choose between. However, it’s essential to be aware of all the unique types of window materials and glass available so that you can choose a window replacement that works best for you.

Window Materials

  • Wood
  • Vinyl
  • Aluminum
  • Wood-clad
  • Fiberglass
  • Composite

Glass Types

  • Float glass
  • Safety laminated
  • Obscured
  • Annealed
  • Tinted
  • Tempered
  • Insulated
  • Mirror
  • Low-E
  • Wired
  • Heat-strengthened

Certain window materials and glass types work well in specific climates or environments. Ideal options for residential homes are float, tempered, obscured, insulated, and low-E glass. Tinted, mirrored, and wired glass options are a more common option for commercial windows. Working with a trusted window replacement professional will help you determine the best window and glass materials for your home to save you money.

Ways Your Windows Can Save You Money

You might believe that replacing your windows has to be a costly expense. This belief leads many homeowners to let window repairs and replacement fall by the wayside. In reality, old, unmaintained windows are actually the main culprit in costing homeowners excessive energy bills. Even the smallest cracks can cause heat and cold air to escape, requiring your HVAC system to work harder to replace the lost energy continuously. Replacing your damaged windows with an energy-efficient window option will actually save you a lot more money than you’d think.

Energy Efficient Window Options

When deciding on the ideal window option for your home, consider which window materials will work best in your local climate. Aluminum and metal-framed windows are made from extremely durable materials and appropriate for tropical settings. However, these window types are not typically very energy efficient. The most common window frame materials that offer increased energy-efficient in a home include vinyl, composite, and fiberglass frames.

Vinyl is probably the most popular type of window frame material found in residential homes. Vinyl windows frames and air-tight and insulated, so you won’t lose energy through them unless installed incorrectly.

Another affordable choice is composite window frames. These frames are manufactured from recycled glass and wood materials, so they’re an incredibly eco-friendly option. Fiberglass window frames are also popular, although much more expensive. Fiberglass window frames offer low thermal conductivity. For this reason, many consider fiberglass the most efficient alternative to help reduce energy loss.

If you notice cracks, dents, or other damage present on your windows, it’s crucial to replace them quickly. Leaving your windows broken, cracked, and damaged is going to cost you more money in the long run than if you just replaced them right away.

How Window Damage Can Happen

When appropriately installed, a window should last between fifteen and twenty years. Some vinyl windows are known to last upwards of 25 years. However, outside forces can cause severe damages to your windows that are beyond your control. Take time to check your windows thoroughly throughout the year for any indications of damage, like cracks, dents, mold, mildew, or a wholly shattered pane. Understanding how windows can become worn or broken is essential if you own a home.

Climate

The climate where your home is located plays a crucial role in affecting your windows’ durability and longevity. Different environments can often have excessive precipitation or temperature fluctuations that impact your window’s stability.

Temperature

In locales where temperatures are known to fluctuate significantly, cracks can easily form on your window’s pane. Both the outside and inside temperatures impact the integrity of your windows. When you fill a glass bowl with ice-cold water immediately after it’s been scalding hot, it will likely crack or shatter completely. Windows work in precisely the same manner. On unseasonably cold days, cranking up the heat to its highest setting may result in small cracks near the frame’s corners.

Two commonly found cracks in windows are stress and pressure cracks. You can tell them apart in the following ways:

Stress Cracks:

These types of cracks typically form slowly around the edges of the pane near the window frame. If left untreated, pressure cracks will grow into a more extensive network of fractures before shattering.

Pressure Cracks:

Pressure cracks are most commonly found on double-paned or insulated glass windows. If you notice an hourglass-shaped slice across your windowpane, it’s likely a pressure crack and needs immediate replacement.

Weather Events

Another way your windows can quickly become damaged is during severe weather events like intense rainstorms, hail, hurricanes, gale-force winds, and more. Things like tree branches or hail chunks can cause dents or cracks in your window. Storms also leave behind moisture, so if your window is installed incorrectly, you might experience mold, mildew, or other rot around your windows.

Physical Force

It’s fun to watch your children play from the comfort of your home’s interior. However, sometimes a softball or other object can come flying seemingly out of nowhere and hit your window. Windows impacted by physical force typically incur severe damage like shattering. This kind of damage usually requires a total window replacement.

Age

Many homes in America have ancient, worn-out windows. Although windows are one part of a house that can last incredibly long, they still need replacement after a certain amount of time. Call a local window installation company and see if your older home requires window damage repair or replacement now.

Annual Window Maintenance

You can save a significant amount of money when you replace your windows after damage or age wears them down. However, your windows won’t maintain their energy efficiency if you don’t provide adequate seasonal window maintenance. Check your windows for signs of damage and wear during all seasons, so you can continue to save money throughout the year.

Fall and Winter Window Maintenance

Fall and winter are when your windows typically withstand the harshest weather conditions. Prep for the cold by taking a few precautions before the severe winter weather hits. Seal your windows to keep the chilled air out while keeping warm, heated air inside. Sealing your windows in the winter will help save a fortune on your heating bill.

Spring Window Maintenance

As the winter thaws out and warmer, sunnier spring days become more commonplace, take time to clean your windows of dirt, debris, and streaking. Little bits of debris left behind from the winter will impact your window’s integrity. A broken window is a costly item to replace, so keep them clean throughout the year to avoid unexpected expenses.

Summer Window Maintenance

Summer is a time for relaxing in the warm weather. However, it’s also a season where windows can be subject to physical damage from children playing outside or unexpected summer thunderstorms. Run through a summer window maintenance checklist to ensure your windows are working correctly and don’t have any damage to them:

  • Check weather stripping for any deterioration that leads to increased energy loss. Replace cracked or dry strips right away.
  • Inspect window caulking for wear, which can allow unwanted cold air into your home.
  • Check that all windows operate correctly; this is especially important for fire safety.
  • Ensure there is no damage to window panes or frames. If there is, replace your windows before the weather gets too cold.

Saving Money Starts With Window Maintenance

There is a vast array of window options available to help increase your home’s energy efficiency. Choosing the right frame and glass materials for your next window replacement will reduce energy consumption and stop unwanted cold air from entering your home in the winter.

While replacing your old, worn windows is a fantastic first step to take to reach maximum energy efficiency in your home, the real savings start with window maintenance. Disregarding damage to your windows and ignoring necessary maintenance might lead to even more costly expenses over time. You can avoid incurring unnecessary and expensive repairs by monitoring and maintaining your windows throughout the year.

If you notice any damage or feel that it might be time to upgrade your home’s existing windows, contact an experienced window installation company to come to assess your home’s windows. Work together to decide on the best materials and window styles to both suits your home’s style and save you significant amounts of money over time.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Why Attic Insulation Is Essential in Minnesota

Many homeowners spend most of their time concentrating on improving their home’s curb appeal or interior design. While these cosmetic home improvements are important, you can make other changes to your home that improve energy efficiency while putting a little extra money back into your bank account.

For places like Minnesota, where temperatures fluctuate significantly throughout the year, installing the proper amount of attic insulation is essential. Attics that are appropriately insulated help homeowners save money by reducing energy loss and maintaining level temperatures throughout the year.

Benefits of Attic Insulation

Attic insulation is integral in keeping your home’s internal temperature maintained throughout the year. It works with existing heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems to keep your home cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Other benefits of an adequately installed attic insulation system include:

  • Reduction of energy loss resulting in lower heating and cooling costs
  • Improved home energy efficiency rating
  • Prevention of ice damming when partnered with proper attic ventilation
  • Floors and walls stay cooler in the summer and warmer in winter
  • Protects roof shingles from accumulating moisture or overheating in warmer months
  • Reduces prevalence of mold, mildew, and wood rot
  • Allows for even snow cover on the roof during winter

There are several ways that attic insulation can improve your home’s efficiency and reduce energy costs throughout the year. It also helps prevent dangerous occurrences like ice damming and snow pile-up in the winter. Attic insulation is an extremely beneficial addition for any home, but it’s especially important to install in areas like Minnesota, where the temperature fluctuates significantly throughout the seasons.

Why Attic Insulation Is Essential for Minnesota Homes

Insulating an attic can improve a home’s efficiency in any climate. However, it’s especially essential that homeowners in Minnesota install adequate insulation to keep their homes comfortable and cost-efficient all year long. Minnesota homeowners should work with a professional to install the right amount of insulation for their attic. It’s easy, affordable, and saves homeowners extra money at the end of the day. Let’s discuss some other positive impacts of proper attic insulation in Minnesota homes:

1. Reduces Heat Loss

Any Minnesota homeowner will attest, the winters in the Midwest are brutal. The last thing anyone wants to do is trek through the cold, snow, and wind after a long day of work, just to come home to a cold house.

It’s estimated that over 40% of your house’s heat escapes through the attic. This is because attics often contain bypasses or pathways for air to travel between heated and conditioned spaces and an unconditioned attic. Bypasses can include leaks around pipes, wiring, outlets, and HVAC systems. Adding insulation around these areas reduces the amount of air that can escape.

In the frigid Minnesota winters, you want to maintain as much heat as possible in your home. Attic insulation is essential for Minnesota homeowners who want to keep their house warm and comfortable in the cold winter months.

2. Prevents Ice Damming and Moisture Accumulation on Roofs

If you’re concerned about ice dams forming on your roof during the winter, add attic insulation to reduce the prevalence of this annoying problem. Ice dams form along the edges of rooflines when melting snow freezes and prevent excess water from draining off the roof. Ice dams are often found around vents, skylights, and other areas where the roof’s inclined sides meet.

Ice dams are dangerous because they allow excess water to pool along your roof after the snow has melted. If this water lingers for too long, it can seep through the roof into other parts of your homes, causing excessive damage to your property. Moisture accumulation can lead to mold, mildew, or wood rot, which results in costly removal and repairs.

Unless you get rid of ice dams, they will continue to accumulate throughout the winter without adequate attic insulation. Your roof’s temperature has a significant impact on the size and prevalence of ice dams. Attic insulation keeps your roof’s temperature regulated in the winter by allowing cold air into the attic while sealing out the warm air from below. So, with the right amount of insulation, you can keep your house warm inside while keeping your roof cold to prevent ice dams in the winter.

3. Cuts Down Energy Costs

The number one reason we recommend attic insulation for all Minnesota homeowners is the vast reduction in energy costs year-round. Attic insulation helps keep a uniform temperature throughout your home in the cold Minnesota winters and during sweltering summer months. Minnesota’s climate can swing from one extreme to another in a matter of days, hours, or sometimes even minutes. Having to switch on and off your AC and heating apparatuses frequently is costly and wastes energy.

When your attic lacks insulation, heating and cooling systems have to work incredibly hard to replace the lost air continually. This results in an expensive energy bill at the end of the month. Attic insulation prevents warm or cold air from escaping all the lived-in areas of your home so you and your family can remain comfortable in all seasons. When your home’s temperature is regulated, the HVAC systems don’t have to work as hard, saving you immense amounts of money over time.

Insulate Your Minnesota Attic Now

An uninsulated attic can have costly effects on your energy consumption. Over 40% of your home’s heat is lost through bypasses into uninsulated attics. Without attic insulation, your HVAC system will have to work twice as hard to replace the escaping air inside your home continually.

Insulation is especially essential for homes in Minnesota because the climate is so unpredictable. Homeowners need adequate insulation to keep their homes cool in summer and warm in Minnesota’s unforgiving winters. Stop wasting money and energy through your inefficient attic. Contact a professional to provide input on the ideal amount of insulation for your Minnesota attic. Once you install insulation, you’ll see improvements in your home’s energy efficiency immediately. Stay comfortable in your Minnesota home all year long with a perfectly insulated attic.

4 Ways Your Windows Can Become Damaged (And How To Repair Them)

Windows are one of the first lines of defense for any home, and they take quite the beating throughout the year. Windows often withstand weathering from extreme temperatures, rain, hail, wind, snow, sleet, ice, and more, so it’s no surprise that they incur damage sometimes. While window technology has vastly improved in recent decades, there are still unforeseen events that can lead to you requiring an immediate window replacement.

Whether they’re small or large, cracks in windows are visually unappealing. What’s worse is that even the smallest crack can cause your home to lose precious amounts of energy. There are several different ways a window can be damaged, from natural elements to human-caused events. However, just as easily as damage can occur, windows can be replaced. Watch out for flying Wiffle balls and weird weather events and know what to do when damage does happen, so you can make sure your home remains safe and energy-efficient.

Common Causes of Window Damage

We all expect the windows in our homes to remain fully intact, even though they withstand some of the harshest weather and other potential impacts throughout the year. Although new technology allows for more assurance that your windows are incredibly durable, there is still a chance that they receive damage from things like weather, temperature, age, and other outside forces. Always complete a thorough check of your windows during the different seasons to ensure there is no damage present, and you’re not losing any energy. The following are common causes of window damage to look out for during the year:

Temperature and Climate

The most significant contributing factors to window damage are often temperature and climate. When fluctuating temperatures and weather impact your windows, cracks begin to form. There are two common types of cracks found in windows:

  • Stress cracks: These cracks start small, around the edges of the window frame, and continue to grow into a network of fractures if not repaired properly.
  • Pressure cracks: Most commonly found on insulated glass or double-pane windows, pressure cracks break in an hourglass shape and require immediate window replacement.

Extreme temperature fluctuations can significantly impact the integrity of your windows. Just like a piping hot glass will break when filled with cold water, large temperature differences can cause a window’s glass to break too. Suppose it’s an unseasonably cold day, and you turn up the heat to combat the falling Fahrenheit. In that case, small cracks may start forming near your window frame because of the significant temperature discrepancy.

The outside temperature can also impact your window’s integrity. Even if your house’s temperature is at an average level, if the external degrees begin to drop rapidly, your windows could be affected. If damage occurs and you need to replace your windows, take time to understand your local climate conditions. Windows in sunny Florida serve a much different function than those in frigid Minnesota.

Weather Events

Storm damage is a costly impact of weather events, both large and small. Depending on where you live, the likelihood of some of these events occurring is much lower. However, in some locations, like Minneapolis and the rest of Minnesota, snow, ice, hail, and high winds can all affect the integrity of your windows in the wintertime, while tumultuous thunderstorms create havoc in the summer.

After a hail or ice storm, look for any dents, cracks, or other damage along the glass’s pane. If a falling tree branch comes into contact with your windows, ensure that no damage has occurred. If you notice small dents or cracks or complete shattering of the window, call a professional to repair or replace your windows right away.

Another way weather impacts your windows is by leaving behind moisture. Especially in humid climates, it’s essential to ascertain any level of damage through a window inspection. Humidity can lead to lingering moisture, which causes mold, mildew, and other damages that can cost you in the end.

Physical Forces

Although you hope they are few and far between, accidents are bound to arise that cause impact damage to a window. Physical forces like a rock thrown from under a lawnmower, birds flying at high velocity, or your children’s game of catch gone awry can all cause cracks or shattering in a home’s window. There is a slight chance of intruders damaging your windows in an attempt to break into your home (although, hopefully, that never happens).

Windows are also easily damaged if they’re slammed shut sharply. Slide your windows open and closed gently, with care to ensure they incur no damage during their use. Damage caused by physical forces is often unexpected and usually results in a total window replacement.

Window Age

Another common way that window damage occurs is due to age. Older homes outfitted with outdated windows are more susceptible to damage during everyday use. Simple acts like sliding the sash open and shut can cause cracking. If your windows are older and worn down, consider replacing them with more durable and efficient alternatives.

Replacing Your Damaged Windows

When damage occurs to your windows, it’s essential to move quickly in getting them repaired or replaced. After severe temperature fluctuations, storm damage, or outside forces affect your windows, call a professional for a window inspection.

Although a contractor might say only a quick repair is required, don’t waste your time temporarily treating broken glass. In most situations, a total replacement is necessary. While this might seem like a more costly option than a simple repair for a small dent or crack, it guarantees that your window will continue to work well for years to come. When appropriately installed, windows protect from the weather and help keep warm and cold air in, so your home remains energy-efficient.

The bottom line is that you need to replace your windows when damage happens. Windows are one of your home’s best lines of defense against harsh weather and the outside elements. Whether your children accidentally broke the window playing ball or a large branch broke through and shattered the entire pane, you need to act fast to replace them. Contact a professional after a storm or any other window damages occur to replace them properly.

8 Beautiful Windows To Make Your Home Stand Out

Windows are an essential interior and exterior element of a home. Whether you’re inside or outside, the windows of your home are going to be visible. Windows are beneficial because they allow air and natural light to flow inside while still allowing you to look out at a beautiful backyard or keep your eye on playful pets and young children.

Every home needs windows for functionality, but the type and style of window you choose can make your home truly stand out from the rest of the neighborhood’s houses. Whether you’re building a new home or choosing an ideal window replacement for your existing property, the type of window you decide on often determines the stylistic choices you make in other areas of your home’s interior and exterior designs. Choosing the perfect windows for each room in your home is challenging, but the results after replacement or installation are outstanding.

8 Beautiful Windows To Make Your Home Stand Out

There is a wide variety of window types available to make your home stand out. There is an option available for any room in your home from dramatic picture or bay windows to typical single-hung windows. Let’s look at some beautiful residential windows that can take your home to the next level.

1. Picture Windows

Perhaps the most popular choice among our window options on this list is the picture window. People love this beautiful window option because it maximizes the amount of natural light entering a room throughout the day. Picture windows are large, fixed-pane windows that typically sit low and wide, or even span floor to ceiling. Fixed-pane windows do not open, which is one drawback of otherwise impressive picture windows.

If you have a gorgeous backyard you want to see every day or you want to improve the natural lighting inside your home, this window option might be the right choice for you. While picture windows are indeed beautiful, it’s important to keep in mind that they can be costly.

2. Bay and Bow Windows

Another fantastic option to increase your home’s natural lighting levels is bay or bow windows. Bay windows consist of three windows: one fixed window in the center and two operable windows angled on each side. Bow windows typically consist of four or more windows.

Homeowners often install bay windows to create warm, inviting window seats in living spaces. Bay and bow windows are a popular choice for fans of more traditional interior styles.

3. Double-Hung Windows

While big bay and picture windows are beautiful and architectural, nothing beats the functionality of double-hung windows. The sashes slide from both the top and bottom in the frame with these fixtures, meaning they won’t protrude out into the home when opened.

Since double-hung windows can open from the top and bottom, they allow for excellent ventilation throughout the home. They are also extremely easy to clean and maintain throughout the year for any homeowner. There is a vast array of colors and styles of double-hung windows, making them a top pick for any room in your home.

4. Slider Windows

If you’re going for a more sleek, modern aesthetic within your home, look at slider window models. Also known as a glider window, the glass in these windows slides along the frame horizontally to open. Slider windows are incredibly easy to open and clean from the inside but can be challenging to maintain outside. However, with proper glazing, they offer immense energy efficiency, saving you more money over time.

5. Casement Windows

Casement windows offer a classic look in any room of your choosing but are an especially excellent option for the upper levels of a home. Open casement windows outward from either the left or right using a simple hand crank.

Some casement windows only protrude to a certain point, making them popular in houses with small children who could potentially fall out. Casement windows seal on all four sides when shut, so they’re efficient at keeping cold air out too. If you want an unencumbered view of your backyard, choose casement windows, as they don’t require grilles for support either.

6. Clerestory Windows

Another modern option seen in many contemporary homes is clerestory windows. Literally translating to “clear story,” these smaller, narrow windows are situated high above the floor, often along the ceiling’s edge. Clerestory windows allow a lot of natural light and adequate ventilation to flow into the room while still leaving plenty of wall space for art and other home decors. Clerestory windows are also an excellent option if you prefer increased levels of privacy around your home.

7. Awning Windows

Awning windows are similar to casements in that they open outward on a hinge. The top edge of awning windows is fixed, and the bottom extends outward when cranked. These are great windows to install if you live in an area with an excess of precipitation. By opening upward, they allow for adequate ventilation even when it’s raining.

8. Single-Hung Windows

We saved the simple, standard single-hung window for last because it is still such a fantastic option for any home. Unlike the double-hung window that opens from both the bottom and the top, single-hung windows only open up from the bottom. These are the typical types of windows seen in most houses. They are incredibly versatile and more durable than ever, thanks to today’s technology.

Single-hung windows look lovely in bedrooms, bathrooms, living areas, and almost anywhere else. They’re popular because they are affordable and stay flat in their frames, so they don’t take up any space. Accurately installed single-hung windows are also incredibly energy efficient because they eliminate air leaks, block out UV and infrared rays, and are low maintenance.

Choosing Your Next Window

Before you begin a window installation or replacement, take the time to consider your options. Each type of window has different efficiencies and aesthetic impacts. They can significantly affect a room’s style, so it’s essential to understand your options.

If you prefer a clear sightline into your beautiful backyard or garden, fixed picture windows, bay, or bow windows are probably the best choice. If you need functionality over fashion, opt for a more traditional option like casement or single-hung windows.

New windows are a significant investment but have numerous benefits both in beauty and functionality. The perfect window can truly make your home stand out from the rest. Once you’ve decided the type of window best for each room in your home, contact a professional to get started on improving your home’s efficiencies and aesthetics.

5 Costly Effects of Failing to Insulate Your Attic

The attic in your home or commercial building does much more than just store old items when you’ve run out of space. In reality, attics provide a protective barrier to keep heat and cold air from escaping your home, while also keeping humidity and moisture out. However, to access these attic functions, insulation must be installed properly.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, heating and cooling account for 50-70% of the energy used in an average American household. Yet the North American Insulation Manufacturers Association (NAIMA) estimates that nearly 90% of existing homes in America are under-insulated. It’s no wonder that energy use is so high since uninsulated homes waste so much of it.

A lack of insulation in your attic can be extremely costly since it allows for increased energy waste. Homeowners can avoid expensive repairs over time and benefit in various ways when they choose to install insulation in an attic. Installing insulation can result in the following improvements:

  • More money saved
  • More limited resources conserved
  • Helps to maintain a uniform temperature throughout the house
  • Cooler walls, ceilings, and floors in the summer
  • Warmer walls, ceilings, and floors in the winter

As energy efficiency moves to the forefront of home buyers’ checklists, it is clear that uninsulated attics will not make the cut. The costly impacts of failing to insulate an attic are unappealing. Whether looking to sell or just make some money-saving improvements, homeowners should deal with a lack of attic insulation swiftly to improve their home energy rating.

The Costly Effects of Failing to Insulate Your Attic

Failure to insulate an attic can be incredibly expensive over any period since it results in a significant amount of wasted energy and lost air. The following are five costly impacts of failing to insulate your attic:

1. Loss of Heat

Heat naturally flows from warmer to cooler spaces, making attic insulation a necessity during the wintertime. It’s widely known that hot air rises, making sense that it will move towards an attic space. Without proper insulation, warm air from a home’s heating system will flow directly to the house’s colder areas, like attics, garages, mudrooms, and basements. In fact, nearly 40% of the heat in your home is lost through the attic.

Without proper insulation in the attic floor, you will find that rooms in the upper levels of a home will become colder quicker, making for a long, uncomfortable winter. With an insulated attic floor, the temperatures in the house’s upper levels are heated evenly, and much less warmth is lost through the attic.

2. Loss of Cool Air

In the summertime, the opposite phenomenon occurs. The cold air pumped out from an air conditioning system is easily lost through uninsulated attics because the cool air flows towards warmer areas.

Without adequate attic insulation, homeowners will have an uphill battle all summer long, trying to continually replace infiltrating warm air in the main areas of the home with cold, which can result in costly energy bills in the long-run.

3. Moisture Accumulation

Older homes that lack insulation often experience an increase in moisture accumulation in their attics. While small cracks and areas where air can escape might not seem detrimental, the impact of infiltrating moisture into those areas can be incredibly damaging.

Not only is moisture damaging to your roof and attic walls’ structural integrity, but it also creates a breeding ground for mold, mildew, and other funguses. In attics where moisture is present, there is a higher risk for ice dams on the exterior of the roof in the winter, requiring professional removal.

Leaky attics are also less ideal for storing items than an accurately insulated attic since there’s potential for significant water damage. A properly insulated attic will have fans to ventilate the attic throughout the seasons.

4. Increased Energy Costs

Heating and cooling systems of a home have to work double-time to replace lost air during temperature fluctuations when insulation isn’t present. Unfortunately, the result is almost always going to be an expensive energy bill.

When hot and cold air is lost throughout the different seasons, your heating and cooling systems have to work extremely hard to replace them, which becomes increasingly expensive as the cost of electricity increases in America.

Insulated attic floors help regulate the temperature within a home during all seasons and are instrumental in cutting energy costs throughout the year.

5. Decreased Property Value

Nowadays, potential home buyers are especially concerned about the energy efficiency of the houses they view. While more recent construction has to meet specific standards, older homes might not be up to local energy codes, especially if they lack the proper insulating materials in the attic.

Homes that lack adequate attic insulation may experience a significant decrease in property value if ever put on the market. If you are looking to sell your property, compare the costs associated with installing insulation versus the property value lost if you skip out on that home improvement project. You may realize just how worthwhile installing insulation in your attic can be when selling your home.

Conclusion

As energy efficiency moves to the forefront of priorities for homeowners and buyers, attic insulation has become increasingly important. Homes that lack adequate insulation in attics are at risk for a range of expensive and irreversible impacts like water damage and heat or cold air loss.

Utilizing the Owens Corning Atti-Cat Blown-In Insulation system, Advantage Construction can transform your attic into a healthy, hassle-free structure that helps you save up to 15% on heating and cooling costs. The Atti-Cat insulation system allows natural airflow throughout the attic, allowing it to stay cool and ventilated during the winter and summer months.

Homeowners are highly encouraged to seek professional assistance in insulating their attic, to ensure that there is appropriate ventilation and air circulation. Without the right insulation system in place, you could be experiencing costly repairs and energy bills for years to come.

The Pros and Cons of Engineered Wood Siding

Throughout history, real wood has been an extremely popular choice for siding a house. Cedar siding is often found on the outside of stunning, hand-built homes like log cabins. While the unique textures and finish of traditional wood siding are beautiful, the material usually experiences damage or deterioration after a while, regardless of the care and maintenance it receives.

To eliminate these issues, contractors began to encourage homeowners to install and maintain engineered wood siding, which is a beautiful, human-produced siding option.

Say Goodbye to Traditional Wood Siding

Traditional wood siding is typically made from cedar or redwood because these softwoods are more resistant to water damage. However, over time, water damage and other issues in traditional wood siding products are unavoidable.

Besides susceptibility to water damage, traditional wood siding products are also prone to pest and mold infestations. Damage from termites and other wood-boring pests is a significant concern for homeowners with wood siding. While there are some ways to protect your traditional wood siding from a pest infestation, installing manufactured wood or vinyl siding is your best bet to completely bypass that possibility.

Traditional wood siding also requires continuous maintenance and re-staining to retain its durability. With proper care, wood siding can last up to 25 years. However, it will require professional staining and painting every 2-3 years to prolong its lifespan. To sidestep these potentially detrimental and expensive issues, engineered wood siding products came to fruition.

What is Engineered Wood Siding?

Engineered wood siding is an excellent alternative to traditional wood products. It is available in a vast array of colors, textures, and finishes to mimic the aesthetics of traditional cedar or redwood siding.

While they’re technically all the same product and are manufactured using the same process, there are a few different names for engineered wood siding, including:

  • Manufactured wood siding
  • Composite wood siding
  • Synthetic wood siding

Despite the varying names, each of these products is virtually identical and has the exact same benefits of durability and damage resistance.

To make engineered wood products, strands or fibers of wood are bound together with a resin composite material. Then, extreme levels of heat are used to press the binding agents and wood components together. The pressurized heating process increases the strength and durability of the siding.

After the heating process is over, a wax coating is adding to help increase the engineered wood siding product’s resistance to moisture and mold damage.

Finally, the last step of the process is to treat the siding material with zinc borate. This compound improves the engineered wood siding’s resistance to fungal decay and other infestations. Once the entire process is complete, the siding is easily cut into various shapes and sizes. Engineered wood siding can be cut into panels, planks, shakes, and can be made into the trim for windows.

The Pros and Cons of Engineered Wood Siding

If you’re looking for a low-cost, low-maintenance siding solution for your home, but are unwilling to compromise on the aesthetics of wood siding products, engineered wood siding might be a fantastic option.

Available in a wide variety of colors, textures, and finishes, engineered wood siding is durable and incredibly resistant to damage. However, since engineered wood siding products have only been on the market for a short time, the longevity of the siding is unknown.

With proper maintenance, any type of siding, such as vinyl siding or Hardie Board, should last through the duration of its expected lifespan. If cared for properly, engineered wood siding should last between 20 and 30 years, with a fresh coat of paint every 10 years.

There are many upsides to engineered wood siding and just a few downsides. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of the product:

ProsCons
  • Inexpensive installation
  • Durable
  • Low maintenance
  • Resistant to:
    • Water damage
    • Weather damage
    • Warping
    • Fungus
    • Pests
    • Mold and mildew
  • Doesn’t peel or chip easily
  • Can withstand temperature fluctuations
  • Available in a wide range of colors, textures, and finishes
  • A cheaper alternative to real wood
  • Easy to cut and install
  • Made from recyclable materials
  • Only requires re-painting every 10 years
  • 20-30 year lifespan
  • Long term warranties available
  • Vibrance of colors can fade over time
  • It’s a relatively new product so the longevity of it is not entirely known
  • Resin coat may crack over time
  • Any cracks or damage to the product can allow moisture in
  • The binding agents within the engineered wood product are not eco-friendly
  • Dioxins, a carcinogen, are released during manufacturing of the products
  • The finish can look unnatural
  • Lacks the natural variations in the grain of real wood

Things to Consider Before Installing Engineered Wood Siding

The benefits of installing engineered wood siding on your property are numerous. It’s an inexpensive and long-lasting product that adds a beautiful, rustic touch to any home or commercial property. However, before you embark on engineered wood siding installation, consider these key factors:

  • Cost: Engineered wood is a cheaper option than traditional wood, but remember to factor in all costs including labor, materials, and potential removal of existing siding, as this will affect your final project price.
  • Project Size: Another impact on pricing is the size of your project. Depending on the size of your house or commercial building, more or fewer materials need to be purchased, which will affect final costs as well.
  • Style: With synthetically manufactured materials, the style possibilities are endless. Peruse all the various options for colors, stains, textures, finishes, and cuts before making a final decision.
  • Upkeep: This is one of the most crucial factors to consider when installing new siding; how much work do you want to put into maintaining your new siding? The answer can look a lot different for a younger couple of DIYers versus older folks in retirement age. Even though engineered wood siding is durable and long-lasting, it still requires some maintenance throughout the years to prolong its longevity, so keep this in mind.

From shakes to planks, the aesthetic options of engineered wood siding are endless. Additionally, the durability and damage resistance of the synthetic wood products makes this an attractive option for any property owner. Professional installation is affordable and efficient so you don’t have to waste any more time getting started on your siding project.

Choosing the Right Shingle

Roof replacement is a major undertaking that requires considerations of budget, building location, and style. There is a multitude of shingle styles to choose from when replacing your roof. Shingles can be made from asphalt, which is the most typical material used in the American home. Cedar shakes and metal shingles are also durable and unique roofing options.

Each type of shingle material can have different functionality and also can come in different colors, cuts, and styles. There are a few things to consider when choosing which shingle material is right for your property.

Budget

Whenever a property owner takes on the responsibility of a big job like a roofing replacement, budget is always a key consideration. New roofing is easily one of the most significant investments you can make into your home or commercial building, so it’s important to set and adhere to a realistic budget.

Asphalt shingles are the most typical and budget-friendly roofing options in the American market for both commercial and residential properties. These types of shingles are versatile in design, durable, and easy and inexpensive to install.

Metal shingles are even more durable and extremely energy efficient, but the initial installation costs are much higher. Metal shingles have an incredibly long lifespan, so the higher upfront cost may be worth it in the long run.

Cedar shakes are another type of unique roofing material that has been used since the 1800s. Though the installation of cedar shingles is affordable, they do require a fresh coat of water sealant every five years to ensure their longevity. Remember to factor this added maintenance into your original budget.

Location

Roofing is the first line of defense for your house or building. Durable shingles will protect against harsh weather, heavy sun exposure, moisture, and strong winds. When deciding on the right shingle type for your property, consider the location and property type before installation.

Weather Considerations

Shingles are the shield that protects your house from unexpected weather events. It’s necessary to consider the weather patterns in your area before deciding on the right shingle for you.

Rain, wind, and hail can all impact roofing on structures very quickly. If the area you live in has strong winds that blow debris around or often has hail storms, consider impact-resistant shingles for your home or building.

For buildings in warm, sunny climates, sun exposure is a factor to consider when choosing new shingles. Explore energy-efficient, highly reflective shingle types that reflect the sun’s rays and keep your attic and upper levels much cooler.

If your property is in an area that is prone to wildfires, consider choosing metal shingles. Metal roofing has a high fire rating and can withstand extreme temperatures and conditions.

Metal shingles are also a fantastic option in areas where the seasons change noticeably. Metal roofing keeps releases absorbed heat in the warmer months and retains the heat in colder temperatures.

Property Type

Another essential factor to consider before choosing a new shingle style is the property type. Commercial buildings may require different functionalities compared to those needed at a residential home.

Certain shingle styles are also better suited for specific style homes. For example, a quintessential Mediterranean-style home would look silly with your typical asphalt shingles installed. Instead, the homeowner may opt for a more classic and aesthetically pleasing option, such as barrel tiles.

Style and Aesthetics

Whether they are made of asphalt, metal, or wood, shingles can come in a wide variety of styles and colors. A simple roofing replacement can easily upgrade your property’s curb appeal, and it gives homeowners the ability to add a little personal flair to their property’s exterior.

However, some home owner’s associations have limitations on the types of roofing that can be installed, so review your neighborhood’s policies before you take on an extensive renovation.

Architectural Shingles

Architectural shingles are a fantastic shingle option for the American homeowner that is made from recyclable asphalt. Slightly less common than the classic three-tab shingle, these types of shingles are made from a thicker, heavier material.

There is a lot of variety of styles available in architectural shingles. The shingles can be cut into many shapes, such as rounded or hexagonal, each resulting in a unique vibe. They are also available in a wide variety of colors as well.

Cedar Shakes

Cedar shakes are another excellent roofing option. This type of shingle gives a unique and rustic look to the property. Cedar shakes also come in a wide variety of cut options, such as:

  • Square
  • Diagonal
  • Diamond
  • Rounded
  • Arrow-tipped
  • Half-cove

Cedar shakes have a lovely, pastoral feel to them. However, they require a bit more maintenance than standard architectural asphalt and metal shingles.

Metal Roofing

Another great, but less common shingle style is metal. Metal shingles give a building a more industrial feel, making it an excellent option for commercial buildings or modern, architecturally-styled homes. Unfortunately, many home owner’s associations do not allow metal roofing due to its industrial feel.

Metal shingles can come in an array of colors and cuts to personalize your home or building. It can be corrugated or tiled or even molded to resemble asphalt or wooden shingles.

Using Design Visualizer Tools

Before diving headfirst into a roofing installation, utilize one of the many available online design visualizer tools to see how each style of shingle will look on your structure. Use these online tools to explore colors, styles, materials, and brands.

Wrapping Up

Before deciding on the right shingle for your property, remember to consider your desired style as well as price and durability in inclement weather. First and foremost, your home or building’s roof should provide protection. Luckily, modern shingles can be produced in durable and stylish ways to fit the needs of any property owner.

Tips for Choosing an Ideal Window Replacement

Choosing an ideal window replacement for any home or commercial building can be incredibly difficult if you don’t know exactly what you are looking for. When choosing a window replacement, multiple factors need to be considered.

There are many reasons why residential or commercial windows could need replacing. Perhaps your home has cheap, single-paned windows that are not performing efficiently. Or maybe your home has older, wooden windows that could benefit from replacement or storm window installation. There is also the possibility of safety hazards with improperly cared for or older windows. If any of these issues are affecting your home or business, it may be time to consider a window replacement.

These days, home and business owners alike find value in energy efficiency as well as aesthetics. Due in part to improvements in window technology and because of high demand in the market, style no longer has to be compromised for efficiency when it comes to replacing windows.

Construction professionals can help guide home and business owners to the proper solution for their needs. When choosing a window replacement that works best for you, your home or business, and your budget, think about the following factors.

Know Your Budget

Many homeowners become leery at just the thought of embarking on a window replacement endeavor. It is a costly upfront expense, but when installed correctly, energy-efficient replacement windows can ultimately help your bottom line over time. A good replacement window should last nearly 20 years if maintained properly.

The type of window chosen for a replacement will determine the cost of the replacement process. There is a multitude of window materials to choose from for both residential and commercial buildings.

Window Materials:

  • Wood
  • Vinyl
  • Aluminum
  • Wood-clad
  • Fiberglass
  • Composite

Each of these types of windows may vary in cost and serve unique purposes, so understanding those functions is essential in deciding on an adequate window replacement.

Vinyl is the most budget-friendly option available for replacement windows. Similar to vinyl siding, vinyl window frames are pigmented all the way through the product, meaning it will never chip or need painting. This makes it a virtually maintenance-free option. Composite windows, made from scrap wood shavings and plastic resin, are another budget-friendly and maintenance-free option.

Solid wood windows offer a classic look, but may not be the best option budget-wise. Though strong, they need regular, sometimes costly maintenance. Solid wood windows also need replacing more often than other materials because they are prone to mold and mildew, so they become more costly over time.

Metal-framed and aluminum windows are other more “middle of the road” options budget-wise. These types of windows are less common but can be useful in a variety of locations.

To find the best window replacement for your budget, it is necessary to understand the benefits and pitfalls of different types of frames and glass in different climates. Installation, maintenance, style, frame, and glass type will all factor into the final cost of window replacing, so it’s best to speak with a professional about your budgetary constraints.

Understand Your Location

It is important to understand how location can impact the efficiency and longevity of replacement windows. One frame or glass type may be more useful in a certain climate over another.

For instance, aluminum and metal windows are a great choice for humid, rainy, hurricane-prone locations because of their strength. However, due to heat transfer and loss, aluminum is not the best option for someone in a cold, dry climate.

Alternatively, wood and wood-clad windows are prone to waterlogging and rot if not installed and maintained properly. They should be avoided in humid, rainy climates.

Vinyl, composite, and fiberglass window options are going to be the most versatile and energy-efficient options. With insulated glass and low thermal conductivity, homeowners can save on their energy bills throughout the year. The tight construction of these windows stops any air leakage and reduces condensation build-up. These three options are recommended in almost any climate.

Choosing the Right Glass Type

Another essential consideration when replacing your windows is glass type. There are many different glass types that serve unique purposes in cars, homes, and commercial buildings. Understanding the different types of glass available will make it easier to decide on the best window replacement option for your needs.

Types of Glass:

  • Float Glass
  • Safety Laminated
  • Obscured
  • Annealed
  • Tinted
  • Tempered
  • Insulated
  • Mirrored
  • Low-E
  • Wired Glass
  • Heat-Strengthened

Float, obscured, tempered, insulated, and Low-E glasses are all ideal types of glass for residential buildings and homes. Tinted, mirrored, wired, and insulated glass options will work well for commercial building use.

Float glass is the large glass panel pieces commonly used in picture and bay windows. It is inexpensive and colorless, and incredibly common in residential houses. Obscured glass is another popular option for bathrooms and entryway doors because it is coated or frosted, making it impossible to see through.

Tinted, mirrored, and wired glass options work well for businesses and commercial buildings. Each of these types of glasses offers privacy and protection that may be needed by a storefront or office.

Insulated and Low-E glass options are going to be the most energy-efficient of the glass types. Insulated glass is ideal for windows as it helps maintain interior temperatures, whether cool or warm, throughout the year. Low-E glass is specially formulated with heat treatment to reflect radiation and infrared beams. In summer, it keeps the hot out and in winter, it keeps it in. Low-E glass is the most pricy option, but it may also save the most money in energy over time.

Choosing the Right Frame Type

Similar to glass type, the frame type is also an important factor when selecting the ideal window replacements. There are fewer options for frames than glass, but each type can play a critical role in the longevity of newly replaced windows.

Wood frames are a classic selection, both in terms of style and function. Unfortunately, as beautiful as wooden windows are, they can pose serious issues if not installed and maintained properly. Wood windows are prone to leakage and condensation build-up, meaning that mold and mildew can become a serious issue in the future. Also prone to weathering and warping, these types of frames would not be recommended in a humid, tropical climate.

Aluminum and metal-framed windows are a better alternative for tropically located buildings. Though not as energy-efficient, these durable windows will withstand strong winds and hurricane-level storms. These would be ideal for buildings in coastal or tropical areas where serious weather events are common

Vinyl, composite, and fiberglass frames are the most popular window frame options. Vinyl frames are budget-friendly and energy-efficient due to their airtight, insulated structure. Unfortunately, vinyl can also warp over time if not installed properly.

Composite frames are an eco-friendly choice, being made from recycled glass and scrap wood materials. Similar to composite windows in their construction, fiberglass windows are the most expensive option. They are durable and have low thermal conductivity, making them extremely efficient. Additionally, they can be painted over to match any house or building’s aesthetics.

Style and Aesthetics

While it might seem like the most important factor, since windows are visible from the exterior of buildings, aesthetics are actually the last thing to consider when choosing the ideal replacement window.

With today’s technology, windows can be shaped and molded to fit virtually any opening. Understanding what glass best works for what location is much more vital to the lasting success of the installed windows. For example, float glass will be much better suited to a bay window on a second floor, while insulated or Low-E glass is a better option for bedroom and living area locations.

Owners of older homes may prefer the look of wood or wood-clad windows. Easily painted, wood windows pair wonderfully with vintage shutters. If desired, already existing wood windows can be preserved and further insulated by storm windows.

Vinyl windows are an inexpensive, modern option. Fully pigmented through the product, vinyl never needs to be sanded or repainted. However, the available choices for vinyl window colors and styles are limited.

A great, but more expensive alternative to the look of vinyl windows are fiberglass windows. Made from recycled materials, these window panes and trims can be painted to suit any style. From plain white to hot pink, the possibilities are endless for fiberglass window options.

Final Considerations

Whether you’re looking for an eco-friendly option or need to protect your home or building from harsh weather, there is definitely a window option out there that is right for you. Understanding the distinct window glass and frame types and how they function in a particular location will best aid in window replacement decisions.With a multitude of window vendors to choose from, finding the proper fit and style for your new windows doesn’t have to be such a daunting task. Determine your budget and desired functions with a window replacement specialist and your home or business can be transformed in no time.

Vinyl Siding: The Maintenance-Free Solution for Your Home

In today’s fast-paced world, many homeowners lack the time, money, and energy to keep up with unexpected home improvement costs. With full-time jobs and other life commitments, spending valuable time on grueling home improvement projects is not efficient for the modern homeowner.

Therefore, durability, cost, and upkeep are key factors when choosing a type of siding for a home. Consider premium or insulated vinyl siding as a great alternative option to standard wood siding.

Fashioned out of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and mimicking the look of wood siding, vinyl is perfect for homeowners looking for a durable and virtually maintenance-free option. There are numerous benefits to installing premium vinyl siding, easily making it one of the top options for homeowners across the country. Insulated vinyl is a cost-effective choice as well.

Modern vinyl siding products offer style and protection to the exterior of a house. Many pitfalls of older, outdated wood siding products are improved upon through updated vinyl siding technology. However, it’s always important to make an informed decision about which siding option works best for your home.

Let’s take a look at the benefits of vinyl siding so you can see why this low-cost, maintenance-free option is great for your home.

Durability

Premium vinyl siding is extremely durable and helps protect your home from extreme weather and other potential hazards throughout the year. Both available vinyl options can protect against the following:

  • Harsh Weather: Vinyl siding can protect from harsh weather like rain, snow, sleet, hail, and high winds.
  • High Winds: While vinyl siding in the 70s was thin and flimsy, modern vinyl siding is much thicker and stronger. In fact, vinyl siding is rated for winds as high as 110mph.
  • Lasting Color: New technology allows for vinyl siding to be pigmented completely throughout the product. This means the siding won’t need any priming or painting, as it won’t chip or wear like older vinyl siding products.
  • Insulation and Energy Efficiency: Insulated vinyl siding, another type of premium vinyl siding, is also extremely durable. The strength of insulated vinyl siding allows for exterior protection while also increasing energy efficiency within the home. Insulated vinyl siding also requires very minimal maintenance.
  • Mold and Mildew Resistance: After heavy rains or a good hosing off, vinyl siding will not retain water. If installed correctly, it actually allows water to easily run off and escape. Mold and mildew are costly and detrimental issues often faced by owners of older, wood-sided homes.

When installed and cared for correctly, premium and insulated vinyl siding can last decades. Through even the heaviest of snowfalls and most ferocious storms, durable vinyl siding will withstand the test of nature and time.

Maintenance

Both the premium and insulated vinyl siding options available for residential homes and commercial buildings are incredibly durable. Each type requires minimal maintenance; every homeowner’s dream. The installation process is simple and seamless. Typically layered over already existing vinyl, highly trained professionals make the “re-siding” process as smooth as possible.

Older vinyl siding products used to lose color over time. With improved technology, this is no longer an issue. Due to the thorough pigmentation of each piece of vinyl siding product, the coloring never chips or peels away. Thanks to this modern process, homeowners don’t have to worry about sanding, priming, or re-painting the siding of a home ever again.

It’s expected for the exterior of any house to go through normal wear and tear, including homes with vinyl siding. However, the vinyl cleaning process couldn’t be more straightforward. When made dirty by dust or storms, vinyl siding can be easily cleaned with water. Wash away any dirt, dust, or debris with a garden hose. Wiping down the siding panels with Windex or other household cleaners will get out other tough stains.

Affordability

Installing vinyl siding is a fantastic way to reduce home improvement costs. With very little maintenance and high energy efficiency, the switch to vinyl siding practically pays for itself. Polyvinyl Chloride, or PVC, is the third most-produced synthetic plastic in the world, so it is very common and very affordable.

Premium vinyl siding is easy to clean and never needs to be repainted, helping homeowners to save even more on repairs or improvements. Foregoing the cost of painting an entire house puts a lot of money back into a homeowner’s pocket.

Insulated vinyl siding is also an economical option. The contoured foam insulation increases energy efficiency, so homeowners can save on heating, cooling, and electricity throughout the year. Similar to premium vinyl siding options, insulated vinyl never needs re-painting and can withstand harsh weather conditions with little to no maintenance or repair.

Both options offered by Advantage Construction are affordable and require very little maintenance after installation, ultimately helping homeowners to save more over time.

Aesthetics

In addition to their durability and affordability, vinyl siding products are incredibly aesthetically pleasing and can add tons of curb appeal to any home. Made to look like classic wood siding, vinyl siding is offered in a wide variety of colors, patterns, and textures. There are also plenty of trim options available to accentuate and protect the windows and doors of the home.

With such an expansive variety of colors and textures available, a homeowner’s personality can really shine through on the exterior of their home. Vinyl siding will make a statement door pop or can easily match an existing shutter color.

Plus, if a homeowner plans to sell in the future, professionally installed vinyl siding can help to increase the property value. Potential buyers will gladly accept the passed on beauty and benefits of professionally installed premium vinyl siding.

Choosing a Maintenance-Free Solution

Replacing the siding on a home is not an easy task. It requires research, planning, and a reliable contractor to properly install whatever product you choose. Homeowners must consider costs, maintenance, and design aesthetics when choosing a siding option.

Taking all of these factors into consideration, either premium or insulated vinyl siding products are the perfect choices for a homeowner looking for a maintenance-free solution. All the time and money saved on painting, repairs, and utilities can be put towards other more desirable home improvement projects – or you can just spend more time relaxing with family at home.

Taking the time to replace the outdated siding with premium vinyl siding on your home will ultimately result in a beautiful, durable, cost-effective siding solution that will last years to come.

A Comprehensive Guide to Residential and Commercial Roofing

The Effects of Inclement Weather

Whether it’s severe weather or just the typical day to day conditions, the elements can take a toll on your roof over time, causing the material to look aged and not perform as accurately. Property owners must conduct regular inspections, either by themselves or through a roofing contractor. Any issues with your roof must be caught early on, to prevent further costly damage.

Regular Inspections

Yearly checks of roof shingles are encouraged to ensure your roof is in optimal shape. If you live in an area where inclement weather frequents, you may have to inspect your roof more often. With regular inspections, you can identify any weak points, areas of uncertainty, missing or broken shingles, and much more. Conducting regular inspections will ensure your home or business has proper protection and continually remains safe for household members.

Trim Branches

Account for any trees that have overhanging branches and trim these areas before the winter months. Over time, snow and ice can build up on the overhanging branches causing them to break, which can lead to damage to your roof and shingles. Be proactive and trim the branches in question early in the year, so you’re fully prepared.

Gutter Maintenance

It may be a sign of issues with your roof if you’re noticing bubbling paint, rotting wood, and water damage in your home or business. Gutters play a vital part in the functioning of your roof by ensuring rainwater and melted snow or ice can travel efficiently and not pool. It’s essential to clean your gutters every spring and fall to clear excess leaves, bugs, and other debris to allow for proper drainage.

Moss Prevention

Moss can be extremely damaging to any roofing material if given the time to establish and grow. Over time, moss grows between shingles, which causes them to lift away from your roof. This gap allows water to enter under your roofing structure and possibly seep into your attic and other parts of your home or business. If you notice moss on your roof, it’s encouraged to contact a professional to prevent further damage and destruction.

Insulation and Ventilation

Choosing advanced insulation and ventilation systems is incredibly important to prevent excess moisture and wood rot from occurring. Your attic should be inspected regularly to ensure adequate amounts of insulation are in place as well as a proper ventilation system. Proper insulation and ventilation will help you save money on your electric bill throughout the year, as these systems won’t have to work as hard to heat or cool your home or business.

Ice Dams

Insulation and ventilation also play into the chance of ice dams occurring on your home or business in the colder months. Regular attic checks will help you monitor the temperature and make adjustments accordingly, so there is a lower chance of ice dams occurring. Ice dams can be extremely damaging to your property and a hassle to remove. If you notice ice dams beginning to happen, it’s encouraged to contact a professional to conduct proper ice dam removal services.

Flashing Care

The material used for flashings can vary by roofing contractor from roof cement and tar to aluminum or galvanized steel. Flashings are in place to divert water and guarantee proper drainage to prevent buildup around essential areas of your roof, such as chimneys or skylights. Over time flashings can deteriorate and break down, so it’s incredibly important to monitor these areas and conduct maintenance as needed.

What Poses a Threat to Your Roof?

Many things can damage your property and roof, aside from inclement weather. Property owners must be aware of the different threats to look out for and be knowledgeable of the signs.

Inclement Weather

Many roofing systems can withstand severe weather and damaging conditions; however, over time, damage and regular wear and tear can occur that require expert attention. From heavy snow and rainfall to hail and strong winds, inspecting your roof regularly is recommended to determine if any damage has occurred.

Incorrect Installation

Cross-check the roofing company you’ve chosen for your installation, replacements, and repairs. It’s also encouraged to get recommendations from friends and neighbors to ensure the company you’re working with is accredited and completes quality work. While it may be tempting to complete work on your own, having an experienced and qualified team is essential to confirm the project is done correctly and accurately.

Improper Maintenance

If your roof isn’t properly maintained and cared for, any damage can spread through to your attic and other areas of your home or business. Once your ceiling begins showing damage or leaking occurs, it can lead to a costly repair. As mentioned before, a reliable, easily accessible roofing team must be hired to conduct regular full inspections and address any underlying issues.

Invasive Wildlife

Unwanted wildlife and critters can cause extensive damage to your roof. It’s encouraged to watch for squirrels, nesting birds, raccoons, and many more animals to ensure they’re not making a home out of your costly investment. Monitor where they travel and conduct regular inspections as there are times when these creatures could be ripping off shingles or making a home in your vent covers.

Replacing and Repairing

Continue maintaining the structural integrity of your property and providing a safe environment for household members by regularly inspecting and repairing your roof. It’s encouraged to check your roof each season to ensure there are no maintenance requirements and that any issues are caught early on. There are many warning signs property owners can look for and should be aware of when performing roof inspections from the ground or through a roofing professional.

Warning Signs

Regular, thorough checks of your roof either by yourself from the ground or through a roofing company are incredibly important to properly maintain your roof and keep it in optimal shape.

  • Age of Roof: Whether you’ve moved into a new location or have been in your current home or business for some time, it’s encouraged to continually account for how long your existing roof has been in place. The type of roofing material factors into your roof’s average lifespan, and if you’re nearing the estimated time frame, it is likely time for a new roof.
  • Curling and Buckling Shingles: If any of the shingles on your roof are curling, buckling, or losing granules, the shingles have likely reached their life expectancy, or there is a more significant issue occurring with your roof.
  • Condition of Roof Valleys: Roofing contractors design valleys to help guide snow and rain to the gutters to allow for proper drainage. It’s time to call a roofing professional if shingles are falling apart or missing in the valleys on your roof.
  • Missing Shingles: Inspect your roof from the ground regularly to account for any missing shingles and to verify all shingle tabs are intact. If you can’t see your entire roof or are unsure about what you’ve found, it’s encouraged to contact a roofing contractor to assist you further.
  • Deteriorating Flashing: Flashing is installed on your roof to direct water away from any areas that can be damaged by standing water. Roof cement or tar are typically used, but there are other materials companies use as well. It’s encouraged to monitor these areas to be sure flashing isn’t breaking down or deteriorating.
  • Shingle Granules in Gutters: Over time, granules that fall from your shingles can build up in your gutters. If you notice an abnormal level of granules in your gutters, it’s likely your roof is reaching the end of its lifespan. Any color inconsistency is also a sign that shingle granules have started to wear away.
  • Sunlight Through Roof Boards: It’s encouraged to check your attic for any sunlight passing through the roof boards and if any existing insulation is showing signs of moisture. Over time, shingles and roofs can separate, and if sunlight is visible from the inside or any moisture is present, it’s likely time for a new roof.

Your property requires a substantial investment making it incredibly important to keep your roof in tip-top shape. Your roof is the protection for your property, and residing individuals, meaning regular maintenance and inspections are a must.

Metal Roofing vs. Asphalt Shingles: A Comparison

There are many different types of roofing materials available on the market today, each coming with its own pros and cons. Metal roofing and asphalt shingles are two of the most popular materials chosen by commercial and residential property owners. When selecting your roofing material, it’s incredibly important to consider a few details before making a decision, from budget and roof design to your location’s climate and finding a qualified contractor. These are among a few of the details home and business owners should explore before deciding to upgrade and enhance your property.

Metal Roofing

Many property owners choose metal roofing for several reasons. Metal roofing is a lightweight material that comes in a variety of designs, allowing property owners to select an option that adds to their property’s curb appeal and extends the life of their establishment. Metal roofing is easy for contractors to handle and install, which puts less stress on the structure of your property. With this, metal roofing has an impressive fire rating, is exceptionally durable, and is environmentally friendly and energy-efficient. If you’re interested in metal roofing, you can expect to spend more upfront, and contractors may be more difficult to find as a precision-driven installation process is required. Additionally, if your property is located in a homeowner’s association (HOA) community, metal roofing may not be allowed due to its industrial appearance.

Asphalt Shingles

Both commercial and residential property owners have found asphalt shingles to be very useful and practical for their properties. This roofing material comes with a lower initial cost, along with a lower requirement for time and labor, which is appealing to many. Asphalt shingles are one of the most popular roofing materials chosen by property owners today. If you choose asphalt shingles for your roofing material, your roof will last up to 25 years before any major repairs or replacements are necessary. The only significant downfalls of asphalt shingles are the aggressive install process that can potentially compromise your home or business’s structural integrity and the chance for mold, mildew, or algae growing over time due to excess moisture.

  • Versatility in Design
  • Affordability
  • Easy Install
  • Readily Available
  • Uniformity

The Benefits of Cedar Shakes

This popular roofing material is created from cedar lumber logs. Cedar shakes are split on one or both sides with special crafting tools. Due to their natural design, cedar shakes are incredibly versatile when it comes to design, making them an excellent roofing material for home and business owners.

  • Improved Insulation: Cedar material has natural insulating properties that prevent differing temperatures from passing through either side. Many property owners have reported lower heating and air conditioning bills because of cedar’s protective barrier capabilities.
  • Lasting Durability: Cedar is impressively tough and strong when comparing wood types available on the market today. Choosing cedar shakes for your roofing material will enhance your property’s structural integrity while creating a safe environment for you and your family in inclement weather.
  • Damage Resistance: Due to its impressive strength, cedar is incredibly resilient when it encounters any potentially damaging situations. Cedar contains many natural preservatives that help it keep its shape and coloring regardless of how frequently ultraviolet rays, moisture, wind, and moss growth try to take a toll.
  • Customization Opportunities: Cedar shakes are incredibly versatile when it comes to design as property owners can treat the material or leave them natural. Cedar can be finished with stains, oils, coatings, and paint to help property owners achieve the appearance they’ve been hoping for. Cedar shakes also come in a variety of shapes and styles from square and diagonal to arrow-tipped and rounded.
  • Insect Repellant Capabilities: Termite infestations can lead to costly repairs and destruction. Luckily, cedar has proven to be resistant to termites because of a natural chemical that exists, which isn’t palatable to termites. Even in areas where termite infestation is prominent, cedar makes an impactful difference for properties with cedar shakes.
  • Environmentally Friendly: If you’re environmentally aware, cedar shakes stand above other roofing options regarding sustainability, energy efficiency, and recyclability. Chemicals aren’t required in the production process, meaning fossil fuel use is lowered, and every time a tree is reduced, a new one is grown, which creates a self-sustaining supply chain. Additionally, used cedar shakes can be broken down into bark dust and wood chips for gardening and other purposes.
  • Adds to Property Value: The property value of your home or business will be increased with cedar shakes because of the low maintenance requirements and long lifespan. While cedar shakes require a significant initial investment, the benefits that come hand in hand make it worthwhile for all property owners.
  • Lightweight and Appealing: Cedar shakes are incredibly lightweight and won’t compromise your home or business’s structural integrity. This roofing material also smells wonderful which will add a sense of comfort to your new or already established property.

Leaving a strong first impression with visitors and passersby is essential when it comes to your home or business property. Cedar shakes are an excellent addition for property owners to choose to bring an eccentric, long-lasting touch to their home or business. Cedar shakes provide property owners with a variety of benefits and is an excellent choice despite the high initial cost.

Last Words

Your property means a lot to you, and likely plays a significant role in your life. It’s incredibly important to properly care for and maintain your roof to ensure it is continually in optimal shape. There are many factors to consider when caring for your roof, and being aware of them is the first step to success. If you find yourself continuing to have questions about residential or commercial roof care, it’s encouraged to contact a roofing professional.