Monthly Archives: October 2016

Tips for Storm Proofing Your Home Before the Winter Weather Arrives

When wintry weather hits, most people would much rather seek shelter indoors rather than perform maintenance duties on their property. If you get prepared ahead of time, you can enjoy the warmth of your home without needing to be too concerned about damage. Going around your property may help you to find some surprising things that could become a problem when winter storms come through. Storm repair Illinois contractors stay especially busy during winter because of the astounding number of homeowners who fail to take affirmative action. You can enjoy the winter months and actually look forward to snow by taking a few simple steps to check on your home’s defenses.


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Seal All Window and Doors

Heat is most likely to escape through windows, doors and the attic, but did you know that sealing all entrances can also help to prevent damage? When freezing rain and snow comes through improperly sealed doors and windows, it can cause water damage and promote mold growth. This water can come directly into your home, or seep into the walls, compromising the frame, insulation and sheetrock that holds up your house. By far, energy star rated windows and doors work best to prevent water damage, while simultaneously working to keep home interior temperatures evenly warm.

For homeowners that have older skylights, doors and windows, preventative measures can still be taken. Caulk, weather stripping and plastic sheeting can be used to form a protective barrier against snow, rain and wind. Door sweeps can be installed to help prevent against both moisture and drafts. You will still need to check the entrances of your homes for damage after winter is over, but taking these types of measures can help to significantly minimize damage.

Check Your Trees

Snow covered trees are a beautiful sight in the winter, but they sometimes present a danger. Long or low lying branches can easily snap off during the colder months, become airborne and smack into your home. If you have trees that are growing close to your home, it is a good idea to have them pruned and trimmed. In some instances, cutting down a tree that is sick and dying or considerably taller than your house is a good course of action. Hire a professional tree trimming company rather than attempting to take matters into your own hands with a chainsaw so that you can preserve the wildlife around your home, while also taking care of your safety.

Prepping Walkways, Stairs and Driveways

While you probably park your car in your driveway and utilize your walkway on a regular basis, you probably never stop to fully inspect the flat, man-made surfaces around your home unless a problem makes itself obvious. Concrete constricts when it gets cold, so if there are any cracks or chips present, the winter weather will make things worse. When you combine harsh weather conditions with salt and ice, you’ll understand how a once intact walkway can turn to concrete rubble by spring.

If you’ve experienced winter in your home before, it is likely that you are already aware of what you must do to prepare. Some winters will be more mild than others, but the same level of preparation is necessary for proper protection. Ensure that your home is prepared to withstand the winter so that you can focus on all the creature comforts that you will certainly enjoy in the coming months.

New Trend in Residential Metal Roofing

Metal roofing is a favored option for many home owners, and you are likely to see many of them with a metal roof. The popularity of metal roofing has been heightened by the ability of this product to withstand hurricanes, wildfires as well as other adverse conditions which tend to damage many houses. The increased use of metal roofing especially for the steel roofs are reported to have doubled in the last five years and further increases are expected at the rate of 5% per year. This report from the Metal Roofing Association just prove that a metal roof is what you need for a guaranteed protection of your house.

There are key benefits that can explain this trend of many people opting for metal roofs, these are:

  • Proven Durability

Compared to asphalt roofs, metal roofs last for a relatively longer time with an estimated lifespan of about 40 to 60 years. The versatility of metal roofs can be ascertained with their ability to withstand the warm and humid climate of the Southern states compared to asphalt roofs. If you correctly install these roofs you won’t experience cases of the roof leaking or rusting. More so metal roofs are able to cope with windy conditions even for gusty winds at a speed of 140 miles/hour.

  • Reliable Protection

Metal roofs are highly recommended and this can be attested by the fact that most of the metal roofing systems have passed the most severe level of the UL 2218 Impact Resistance testing, Class IV. This has made many people in areas commonly affected by hailstorms to highly consider using them for roofing as the cost is reduced due to the discounts offered on the insurance premiums for them.

  • Metal roofs are Environmentally friendly

Data from the National Association of Homebuilders Research Center shows that about 20 billion pounds of Asphalt are deposited to landfills annually. Due to the durability of metal roofs replacements are undertaken after prolonged periods of time eliminating the environmental pollution from metal waste. What is more is that you can lay a metal roof on top of an existing roof and this has the additional advantage of providing insulation.

Metal roofs can also be recycled once they have been removed and you won’t need to use hazardous chemicals since metal roofs are resistant to molds, insects and they won’t rot unlike wood roofs.

  • Metal roofs are energy efficient

The data from Metal Roofing Association indicate that metal roofs have been proven to save up to 40 % of the energy and cooling costs that can be incurred by a home owner, but this is dependent on the location.

With a new invention of reflective paint the percentage is expected to be even more as this has been designed in a way that saves on energy.  Compared to asphalt and cedar roofs, metal roofs do not absorb most of the sun’s heat but they can be able to reflect as much 85% of the sun’s rays. You should note that is also a feature of the modern dark color metal roofs. It is good to also note that an energy Star roof can stay up to 100 degree cooler on its surface compared to other roofs.

  • Metal roofs are low maintenance

The durability of metal roofs is attributed to their ability to withstand natural forces and they don’t curl, rot nor lose impact resistance. It is recommended that you inspect a metal roof annually, clear any accumulated leaves on it and ensure that its drainage is in check.

  • Metal roof owners enjoy Tax and Insurance Savings

The Energy Policy Act of 2005, U.S offers a tax credit to homeowners who use energy efficient roofing systems that are in line with the Energy Star program requirements.  Thus those who use metal roofs are eligible to this.

The above benefits can explain the positive sales of metal roofs as they are considered durable, cost effective, energy efficient and above all they are eco-friendly, an attribute that is highly desirable in the modern times.

Written by True Son Exteriors, the best roofers in Columbia, MO.

Three Ways Smartphone Controlled HVAC Systems Fine-Tune Home Temperatures

Have you ever been snuggled up in your bed on a winter night only to realize you forgot to turn the heat down? Or left for work and not remembered to turn the thermostat up in the summer to save on air-conditioning expenses? If you’re a homeowner, you’ve probably done one or both of those things at some point, and the result is higher energy costs. Fortunately, technology has brought a simple solution to help you better control your home’s temperature and contain energy costs, all through your smartphone.

Program Different Temps for Different Days, Times

Image via Flickr by designmilk

Programmable, Wi-Fi-based thermostats not only allow you to customize your home’s temperature for different times of day, they also enable you to customize those temperatures for different days of the week. For example, say you have your smartphone-controlled HVAC system set to adjust to 80 degrees during the summer at 7:30 a.m. on Monday when you leave for work. If you’re off on Saturday and Sunday, Monday’s scheduled temperature probably wouldn’t work for the daytime on the weekends.

But with a seven-, five-plus-two-, or five-plus-one-plus-one-day model, you can customize different temperature settings for each day of the week, the weekend only, or Saturday and Sunday, respectively. Your thermostat will automatically adjust the temperature to keep you comfortable and your energy costs minimal no matter what your routine is for that particular day.

A Thermostat That’s Smart Enough to Learn

With some smart thermostats, you might not even have to program them to choose the temperature you want at any given time. “Learning” thermostats require you to use them for a week manually, and they automatically learn your patterns and preferences as the time and seasons change. For example, say you turn down the heat every night around bedtime. Your thermostat notes this pattern and automatically adjusts to keep your home warm in the afternoon and evening and cooler around your normal bedtime. You never have to remember to fiddle with the temperature again.

Control Your Home’s Temperature from Anywhere

Smartphone-controlled HVAC systems allow you to monitor and adjust your home’s temperature from anywhere. You simply download the app that corresponds with your thermostat to change the settings no matter where you are. Whether you’re too cozy in your bed to get up to change the temperature or at work and forgot to turn the air-conditioning down before you left, all you’ll need is your smartphone.

One of the major selling points of smartphone-operated thermostats is that they can be retrofitted to almost any existing HVAC system. You don’t have to worry about the expense of replacing your entire systems as long as you have an Air Control Heating and Cooling Inc. trained technician install your Wi-Fi-based thermostat. Having an experienced technician install your thermostat is the best way to achieve optimal results and maximum savings.

Technology has evolved to the point that we can see what’s in the fridge, check up on the family dog while away, and see who’s at the door, all through our smartphones. So why not invest in a smartphone-controlled thermostat to keep your family comfortable and your energy bill low?