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5 Reasons Why You May Need a New Roof

5 Reasons Why You May Need a New Roof

Every roof has a finite lifespan, just like all other components of your home such as siding or even your appliances. But age isn’t the only sign that you need a new roof. Anything from water damage to granules in your gutters can signal the need for replacement. Check out these five reasons why you may need to replace your roof.

1.  Age

This is the most common reason for replacement. But many homeowners don’t know exactly how old their roof is. A good rule of thumb for asphalt shingle roofs is that they can last up to about 20-25 years with good care. In addition to age, other factors that will determine how soon you get it replaced include improper ventilation systems and whether there’s already another layer of shingles under the top one. If you aren’t sure how old your roof is, consult with a trusted roofer in MA for an inspection.

2.  Shingle Wear

If you have an asphalt shingle roof and those shingles are curling or buckling, you may need a new roof. This usually happens with age but could signal a defect in the roofing material if the shingles aren’t all that old. Other signs of wear include shingles that frequently drop off or go missing.

3.  Wear on Chimney and Siding Flashing

Improperly fitted or corroded flashing can introduce leaks into your roof. If you notice the flashing around your chimney is rusted or bent, roof replacement is probably imminent. That’s because that by the time you have noticed this, the damage to the roof has already been done. A simple patch job likely won’t suffice.

4.  Failing Roof Valleys

If you take a look at the weaving where your roof valleys come together and see shingles that are falling away or missing, you may need a new roof. Roof valleys are important and their integrity must be maintained over their lifespan. That’s because moisture from snow and rain flow down through your roof valleys and into your gutters. If you have a failing roof valley, this will result in leaks.

5.  Granules in Your Gutters

If you are noticing small black granules clogging up your gutter, this is a sign your asphalt shingles are degrading well past their useful life. Those granules are necessary because they shield your roofing material from the sun and other elements. When they are stripped bare, you don’t get that same protection and your roof is vulnerable to leaks and other damage.

As your roof gets on in years, the loss of granules is accelerated as they naturally approach the end of their life cycle.

Contact Gutter Helmet of New England

Have you noticed any of the above signs? Our team specializes in roof replacement, thanks to GAF’s Lifetime Roofing System that gives you a longer lifespan for your home. To book your consultation, contact us at 833-710-2933.

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Newsletters

Why Keeping Your Gutters Clean is Essential For the Health of Your Home

Your gutters can make or break the health of your entire roof and home. Playing an important role in channeling rain away from your home, properly installed gutters can keep water from infiltrating your foundation and exterior trim. They can even reduce ice build-up and damage to roofing while preventing unsafe conditions on walkways.

Clogged gutters prevent the smooth run-off of rainwater, which can compromise not only your home’s structure but your family’s health as well. Check out these reasons why clean gutters translate to a healthy home.

Keep your gutters clean to:

Prevent Roof Damage

When water pools inside gutters that are clogged with debris, that water will begin to collect on the bottom of your roof. The result? Moisture buildup and the possibility of wood rot. Rot leads to wet insulation, mold growth and costly structural damage. Plus, when water is allowed to sit on your shingles and roof valleys, leaks can happen. The costs associated with roof damage and leaks inside the home are very high. It’s best to avoid these high costs in the first place, and you can do that with the right gutter system.

Keep Out Pests

Rodents and insects love damp areas. It stands to reason that if water sits for a long time in your gutters, it will attract termites, mosquitoes, and other insects and pests. If those critters make their way into the house, you could have a health problem on your hands as it impacts your family. Pests can carry disease, bite or sting, and nest in your belongings, so use the right gutter system to keep them out of your interior.

Prevent Damage to Fascia

Fascia — the long, straight board that runs along the roof’s lower edge behind the gutter – can fall victim to splashing from overflow. This will eventually cause your fascia to rot, allowing access to your attic by pests of all kinds.

Avoid Overwatering Garden Beds

If you, like many homeowners, have fruit, vegetable, flower and other plants in your garden, they can be compromised and destroyed by a malfunctioning gutter system. Essentially, your plants will drown from all the excess water falling onto them – in severe storms, the water runoff can come down in powerful sheets. Clean gutters will carry that rainwater off the roof and divert it elsewhere so your plants can thrive.  

Prevent Cracks in the Foundation

Water can damage your home’s foundation if the gutters and downspouts don’t properly direct rainwater away from the house. That water will saturate the soil around the foundation, making it unstable over time. Pooling rainwater also freezes and expands with extreme temperatures, leading to cracks in your foundation. Foundation damage is not cheap to fix!

Contact Gutter Helmet of New England

If you need a new gutter system to boost the health of your home, ask us about our Gutter Helmetsystem designed to keep leaves, debris and pine needles out. To book an inspection or to get a free quote, contact us at 833-710-2933.

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General Home Improvement Newsletters

Assessing Winter’s Damage: 7 Things That Need Fixing Now – March 2021 Newsletter

Hello!

Winter is just about done (yay). I hope your home escaped without any severe damage.


Either way, now is the time to inspect and repair the parts of your home that are most vulnerable. There are no guarantees, of course, but if you pay attention to these trouble spots each spring, you’ll be well protected when Old Man Winter returns.


Stay well, see you at Fenway soon!

Jim Moon
President
Gutter Helmet and Quality Roofing

Assessing Winter’s Damage: 7 Things That Need Fixing Now

The 2020-21 winter season looks to be comfortably behind us! And with the exception of an early season snow, this winter had seemed to be following the pattern of the past several years: Mild temperatures and some snowfall in the early part of the season, with forecasters predicting warm conditions for the remainder of the winter.

That is, until everything changed: An Artic blast hit and we New Englanders were plunged into severe winter weather, with heavy snow loads and freezing temperatures.

Unfortunately for many homeowners, this meant damaging ice damsleaking roofs, and the need for immediate repairs. Whether this happened to you or not, severe winters remind us to inspect our homes and fix any damage! 

Here are the 7 most common forms of winter damage…

#1. Ice Dams. Even though you may not have seen leaks in your house this past winter, you may still have experienced ice dams. Inspect your attic and crawl spaces for moisture or water stains. If ice dams happened once, they’ll happen again, often with more severity. It may be time to upgrade your roof or install heating elements.


#2. Roof Damage. High winds and freeze-thaw cycles can damage your roof, causing leaks or early system failure. Visually inspect your roof for signs of damage, things like missing shingles or damaged flashing. A simple repair may be all that’s necessary to ensure your roof continues to protect your home for years to come.

#3. Detached Rain Gutters. Ice loads like those experienced this winter can separate gutters from your home’s fascial (to which they are attached). When spacing occurs between the gutters and the roofing shingles, water can work its way behind the gutters and start damaging fascia boards, trim, and even siding. Inspect your gutters for obvious signs of damage and watch how they perform during the upcoming spring rains.

#4. Peeling or Blistering Exterior Paint. Even with a functioning roof and gutter system, your home’s exterior paint can be damaged by winter weather. The tell-tale signs are peeling paint or pockets of water which have formed behind the paint. Identifying and repainting this early can limit additional damage and increase the time between exterior painting cycles.

#5. Window and Exterior Door Damage. Winter snow and ice may have worked its way into your home’s windows and doors, a process that starts a slow and often invisible cycle of rotting. Junction points between windows and siding are typically protected by thin beads of caulk which can break down over the years. Be sure to inspect the integrity of these junctions and re-caulk where needed. Soft or damp areas on windows and doors may indicate that the problem has advanced, and replacements may be required.

#6. Tree Damage. Strong winter winds and heavy ice loads can weaken trees and limbs. Weakened trees are more susceptible to falling, potentially damaging homes and cars, not to mention knocking out power. Visually inspect the trees on your property for damage. It may also be time for a major tree trim to short-circuit potential future problems.

#7. Cracks in Foundation. Your home’s foundation is also subject to freeze-thaw cycles, especially during winters with heavy snow loads like the one we just experienced. Inspect both the interior and exterior of your foundation for cracks; you can repair these with a two-part epoxy which chemically seals them. Delays can lead to basement leaks or can even compromise the integrity of the foundation.

There you have it; the seven forms of winter damage that can cause the most trouble. All of them are fixable, so give your home a good look and stay safe, warm, and dry next season!

Categories
Newsletters

How to Prevent Ice Dams This Year – January 2021 Newsletter

Hello!

With the possible exception of, “my parents are coming to live with us,” no phrase is more frightening to a New England homeowner than, “we have ice dams.”
Hard to deal with once they arrive, these perennial visitors are legendary for the damage they can cause (the dams I mean, not your in-laws).

Despite ice dams’ notoriety, few homeowners understand how they occur and, more important, how they can be prevented. In today’s newsletter, we explain.

Stay well,

Jim Moon
President
Gutter Helmet and Quality Roofing


How to Prevent Ice Dams This Year

“Ice dam” refers to ice that builds up on the lower edge of your home’s roof, preventing water (or melting ice and snow) from flowing into your gutters and downspouts. Since the water can’t flow off the roof harmlessly, it backs up, eventually finding its way into your home (see diagram).
The ice dam damage usually shows up as water leaking into rooms that are directly beneath the roof, or as water stains on your ceiling, walls and insulation. 

What Causes Ice Dams?

In short, ice dams are the result of temperature differences between the main sections of your roof and the roof’s lower edges or eaves. 
Since hot air rises (think back to high school physics!), the heated air in our homes eventually escapes into the attic (especially if the attic is under-insulated). From there, this warmer air melts the snow on the roof (high snow loads where evaporation cannot occur exacerbates this problem), with the resulting water running down towards the gutter.

As water flows down the roof, it has a tendency to refreeze at the eaves (which jut out several feet from the outer walls and are therefore colder), forming ice which can trap future water flows. Eventually, this water may pool and back up onto the roof, causing the ruinous damage associated with ice dams.

How to Prevent Ice Dams

Unfortunately, if you live in New England, ice dams cannot be completely eliminated – the snow and cold see to that. You can, however, greatly reduce their onset and resulting damage by taking appropriate steps.
First, and since ice dams form because of the temperature differential between your attic and roof edges, make sure your attic is properly insulated.MassSave recommends 18-20 inches of blown-in insulation. Not only will this save on heating and cooling costs, it will keep your attic – and, therefore, your roof – colder during the winter months.
Second, make sure the fall season’s leaves have been removed from your gutters, either manually or (shameless self-promotion coming up!) through the installation of The Gutter Helmet® Gutter Guard System. This will keep them free-flowing, reducing ice buildup as a result.
Finally, consider installing our Heated Helmet system – a self-regulating coil that turns on and off as needed, melting the ice in your gutters before it has a chance to form a dam.

Final Thoughts

As with most home-related issues, a good offense is a good defense! Should snow build up on your roof, inspect your attic and keep a close eye for signs of roof leaks. 
If ice dams are found, immediately remove the snow from the trouble spot(s). But please be careful – climbing ladders, especially in the winter, is dangerous and best left to the professionals!

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Newsletters

A Healthy Roof is More Than Just Shingles – November 2020 Newsletter

Hello!
Like a good waiter, the best roofs are the ones you don’t notice – they do their job professionally and efficiently. Over time, however, they need repair and/or replacement.
Read on and I’ll explain how roofs work (it’s a lot more than just shingles!) and their nine essential components.

This will help you keep yours in good shape and, if nothing else, allow you to impress your children with your roof knowledge. (I’m kidding, of course, impressing one’s offspring is not possible.)
All the best,

Jim Moon
President
Gutter Helmet and Quality Roofing


A Healthy Roof is More Than Just Shingles

To the untrained eye, an asphalt roof looks like nothing more than several rows of neatly arranged shingles. Yes, these are an important roof component – but there’s a lot more going on beneath and around them.
I like to think of a roof as a system of materials and procedures, all designed to protect your home – for up to a quarter of a century! Each component and process is an essential cog in the system, the failure of any one of which can result in a leak or premature failure.

Here are the elements…

#1. Decking. In most cases, decking is made of plywood attached to your home’s rafters. Everything else sits on top. Whenever a new roof is installed, it’s important to have the decking inspected and any damage replaced with new material.

#2. Drip Edge. This goes along the bottom (eaves) and sides (rakes) of the roof and performs several functions. It channels water away from the house while closing gaps between the roof deck and the fascia (boards which cover the end of roof rafters). Drip edge adds a finished look to an asphalt shingled roof.

#3. Ice and Water Barrier. This material typically comes in 3-foot-wide rolls with self-adhering backing and is installed directly on the roof decking. Ice and water barrier protects against leaks caused by roof settling and extreme weather. In harsh climates (like ours!) or vulnerable areas, additional barrier can be installed for added protection.

#4. Flashing. These small pieces of sheet metal are installed over roof penetrations and at junctions with siding, skylights and chimneys. Flashing is installed on top of the ice and water barrier and prevents water from entering vulnerable areas where the roof and other materials meet.

#5. Roof Deck Protection (Underlayment). This is a breathable, but watertight material installed directly onto the decking (above the ice and water barrier), providing a secondary weatherproofing barrier.

#6. Starter Strip Shingles. Installed on the edges of the roof, starter strip shingles are used to minimize the chance of wind damage. Starter strips are nailed onto the ice and water barrier and have an adhesive which bonds to the roofing shingles.

#7. Roofing Shingles. Finally, we get to the shingles! These are the most visible component, providing years of durability and weather resistance, while enhancing the appearance of your home.

#8 Ventilation. This is an often misunderstand element, since many people don’t realize that proper ventilation is crucial to the long term health of the roofing system. Venting reduces temperatures in the summer months by allowing for airflow around the roof decking. It comes in many forms, including ridge venting, soffit venting and gable venting.

#9. Ridge Cap. This finishing material is installed over the ridge (the place where the two sides of your roof meet) and over the ridge vent (if there is one). They enhance the beauty of your home while guarding against leaks at the hips and ridges.
There you have it. Nine essential components, all coming together to create a system for keeping your house safe and dry, 365 days a year!

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Newsletters

Do I Need Rain Gutters? – October 2020 Newsletter

Hello!

Welcome to the first (of many) issues of The Home Maintenance Journalour new monthly newsletter to help you protect your home. Each month, I will share insights and suggestions for maintaining the well-being of your most valuable asset.

I got involved in this business 27 years ago, after my dad had Gutter Helmet installed at his house and invited me over to check it out. I was so impressed with the technology (and it’s come a long way since then!) that I got into the business myself. I’ve learned a lot about home maintenance along the way and look forward to passing that knowledge along to you.

Also, as a Gutter Helmet and Quality Roofing customer, you’ll receive exclusive offers and savings on a range of home protection products and services (scroll down to see our October special).

In today’s newsletter we talk about gutters — how they work and why you need them!

All the best,

Jim Moon
President
Gutter Helmet and Quality Roofing

P.S. You are receiving this newsletter because you are a Gutter Helmet and Quality Roofing customer. If we have sent this to you in error, please accept our apology. You can unsubscribe with one click in the footer of this email.


Do I Need Rain Gutters?

I never gave much thought to gutters until my dad invited me over to his house to have a look at his newly installed Gutter Helmet. I liked how it looked, but I really liked how it worked.

I remember standing on a ladder dropping handfuls of leaves onto the gutters and then running a hose on the roof to see if the leaves would get caught (they didn’t).

That was 1993. Since then, I’ve been to thousands of customer homes, some of which had suffered extensive water damage due to clogged or missing gutters. On the list of things that can destroy a house, water is right at the top (along with fire).

It does its damage in any number of ways:

  • Foundation damage. If it’s not channeled away from your house’s foundation, water begins to seep into it, eventually deteriorating the structure. Water can also wash away underlying rock and soil which can lead to shifting and cracks in the foundation.
  • Fascia, trim, siding and exterior door damage. When water runs over the exterior surfaces of your home, it can penetrate these surfaces, causing them to rot. This is especially true of wood-based materials.
  • Landscaping. As it falls from your roof, water can erode the landscaping, washing away mulch and vulnerable plantings.
  • Ice buildup. Here in New England, we’ve got the added threat of ice. Unchanneled water flowing off your roof can cause ice to form on driveways, decks and walkways. Ice will then force its way into these materials, causing cracks in the surfaces and creating slip hazards.

The purpose of your gutters is to prevent all that. The rain still falls off the roof (obviously), but it’s channeled safely through the gutters and away from your home.

Does every house need gutters?

No. It depends (mostly) on where you live. If you lived in a very arid climate — Arizona, for example — things like porous gravel under the roof edge and pitched concrete away from the foundation are usually enough.

On the other extreme, certain northern climates or mountainous regions with long winters and high snow loads often don’t have gutters because the potential for ice buildup and resulting roof damage outweighs the benefit.

But here in good old New England, most houses should have them!

How do I maintain my gutters?

The thing to keep in mind is that they only work if the water flows freely through them. 

Otherwise, not only does the water not flow safely away from your house, the gutters themselves (if filled with seeds, branches and other things that fall into them) can make water and ice damage worse than having no gutters at all.

So you need to keep them debris-free, especially prior to winter. That means either climbing a ladder and cleaning them out a couple of times a year, or installing something like our branded product, Gutter Helmet. (Beware of inexpensive products like wire mesh screens which don’t work well and can be difficult to remove and clean.)

Overall, given the damage that water can do to a home, gutters are very much a worthwhile investment. Keep them in good shape and debris-fee, and they will protect your home for years to come!

Categories
General Home Improvement

Avoid DIY Nightmares With Professional Installation

Some home renovation projects seem easy to do at first. You may feel confident that you have the skills to handle the project, and it will be cheaper to do it yourself. All too often, however, unforeseen difficulties can make even the simplest project more complicated (and expensive) than you ever thought it would be.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t take much for a renovation project to go wrong. In untrained and inexperienced hands, what contractors can do easily ends up taking much more time and work than it needs to. One slip of a saw or hammer can cut into a wall or pipe and cause more expense and more work than it would have cost to hire a professional in the first place. One wrong measurement can mean that materials must be bought twice, or that you will need to rip them out and start all over again when the work is nearly done.

Why DIY Often Isn’t

One reason it’s gotten more difficult to do your own home renovations is that technology keeps advancing. Renovations that used to be simple now have complex parts and procedures to follow. New rules about lead paint and other chemicals were set up to protect consumers and contractors from harmful exposure. These make installing new windows, sinks or other fixtures much more difficult. The permit process has also become more complex, but professionals are familiar with the process and can navigate it easily.

In the end, advances in technology have given us products that work better and are often more efficient to use, but may be more difficult to install initially. Home improvement professionals have been trained on all the ins and outs of these complex installations, and their experience allows them to complete your project quickly and with far fewer mistakes. Not only that, but if a costly or time-consuming mistake does occur, it is unlikely that the expense will be passed on to you because you have already agreed upon a price.


DIY
Even simple projects like installing a new door may be better left to a professional.

Professional Installation Can Save You Money

Hiring a professional to renovate your home is often thought to be more expensive than doing it yourself, but that may not always be the case. If you take a day (or week) off from your job to do a project yourself, how much is your time worth? And if you injure yourself, there are medical bills (and additional lost wages in some cases) that can also add to the cost of doing it yourself.

Professional installers can often get materials at a lower cost than you could get on your own, since they may have access to wholesale suppliers or contractor discounts. Another way installers can save you money is by buying the correct materials the first time, instead of the common DIY practice of buying the wrong thing, trying to use it, then having to go back and buy a second item that will actually work.

Sure, there may be simple projects you can do around your home with confidence and efficiency, but for many renovations, professional installation is the best way to avoid a DIY nightmare. The professionals at Moonworks will give you an estimate for your installation so you can avoid a DIY nightmare. Call 1-800-975-6666 to talk to a Moonworks professional.

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General Home Improvement

5 Home Projects No One Could Mess Up

Although replacing a roof, windows or your HVAC system is a job best left to the professionals, there are some DIY projects that homeowners can tackle without much risk of damage or mess-ups. Here are some home projects that are just about foolproof for even the most novice homeowners.

1. Painting a Room.

With some painter’s tape and quality brushes or rollers, it doesn’t take a great deal of skill to repaint a room and give it a whole new look. Use spackling paste to smooth over cracks, and be sure to use primer if you are covering stains or painting a light color over a darker color. Most paints require two coats for optimal coverage, and using a quality paint will help it last longer and look more professional.

2. Replacing Hardware on Cabinets or Dressers.

Changing out the cabinet handles or dresser pulls can give your fixtures a whole new look with minimal effort. You might need a screwdriver, but that should be the extent of required tools. Just be sure the new handles have the same hole distance as the originals when purchasing.

3. Painting the Front Door.

If your front door is old and allows drafts to enter your home, you may want to consider having it replaced. Steel entry doors have one of the largest returns of any home improvement, with an increase in home value nearly equal to the cost, as well as energy savings. If your existing door is newer and airtight, you can paint it inexpensively to give your entry a whole new look and your home more curb appeal.


Home projects

New cabinet hardware can change the look of your kitchen.

4. Weatherstripping Your Windows

Over time, the seals and gaskets that keep windows airtight break down and degrade, and the caulking that was applied upon installation can crack to allow cold air to get in (or hot air in summer). The good news is that you can replace weatherstripping or even re-caulk your windows yourself to keep much of the air outside where it belongs. If your efforts don’t seem to yield much improvement, you can have the windows replaced professionally to increase your energy savings.

5. Upcycling Vintage Finds and Wood Pallets.

If you can use a table saw (or know someone who can help), you can cut pallets into bookshelves, wine racks or shoe holders that you can paint or leave rough to complement your existing decor. Old windows can become picture frames or rows of hooks for coats, while an old door can turn into a coffee table or side table by adding some legs to the bottom. Even vintage picture frames can become chalkboards by adding plywood and paint. These pieces can give flair and style to your home and change your look without much expense.

Minor projects like these can provide a creative outlet for your inner designer and save you some money on your renovation while leaving the more complex work to the professionals. Moonworks offers a free estimate on any home renovation project by calling 1-800-975-6666.

Categories
General Home Improvement

Expert Interview Series: Allison Hester of eClean Magazine

Allison Hester has been writing for the exterior cleaning industry for over 20 years, and her publication, eClean Magazine, has quickly become the online resource for professional exterior contract cleaners.

We recently checked in with her to learn more about her magazine and how homeowners can clean their homes more thoroughly. Here’s what she had to say:

Tell us about eClean Magazine. Who should be reading it? What will they find?

eClean Magazine is a publication designed for the professional exterior contract cleaner (i.e., pressure washing, window cleaning, gutter cleaning, roof cleaning/soft washing, etc.). While knowing how to properly clean is important, so is knowing how to properly run a successful business, which is why eClean Magazine provides a mixture of both technical and business related articles.

What are the most-neglected areas of the home when it comes to cleaning?

When people think of cleaning their home, they primarily think of the interior. But keeping the exterior clean is also important.

Pressure washing and window cleaning not only make the house look better, they help protect the home from germs and bacteria and mold/mildew. Roofs and gutters especially need cleaning to prevent damage to the home. Also, oil and other spills in the driveway can cause slips and falls.

Wood decks and fences can add huge amounts of value to a home, but they must be properly cleaned AND sealed with a professional-grade sealer to protect against the sun and other weathering effects.

What are the risks of not giving these spaces/places TLC?

Not cleaning gutters can cause major problems like flooding; stained walls/siding/floors; rotting doors and other wood elements; cracking walls and foundations; warping or bowing floors; plus it can lead to mosquito and pest infestations; frozen gutters (i.e., “ice dams); and damage caused from heavy gutters ripping off of the home.

Those ugly black streaks on roofs are are actually caused by bacteria that are eating away at shingles, destroying the roof in the process and potentially increasing electric bills in the summer.

Decks and other wood surfaces will decay if not properly protected. Plus, cleaning and sealing wood makes a huge aesthetic difference and adds value to the property.

What are the biggest mistakes homeowners make when cleaning?

Homeowners will often attempt to clean their homes, decks, driveways, patios and roofs themselves using a pressure washer. The problem is that in untrained hands, a pressure washer can do more damage than good. Homeowners tend to focus on maximizing the pressure, which can cause damage to surfaces. Water can shoot up behind siding and cause the siding to warp. Too high of pressure or improper procedures can cause damage to wood surfaces and concrete. And high pressure can destroy roof shingles.

The other concern for homeowners is the danger of working from a ladder. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, over 90,000 people receive emergency room treatment every year due to ladder injuries. Homeowners are risking injury or death when they choose to clean gutters, windows, etc., from ladders.

What cleaning tasks should homeowners consider enlisting the help of a professional?

There’s the potential for damage any time a pressure washer is used in untrained hands. Beyond that, though, there’s also the risk of falling any time a ladder is used. I recommend hiring a professional for all these tasks.

What should homeowners look for when hiring a professional? What types of training/certification should they be on the look out for?

I would start by making sure the contractor is insured. They should not only have liability insurance, but care, custody and control coverage.

As for training and certification, those are generally not required by the industries I serve. There are trade associations that offer some certifications, but there are no uniform industry standards for gaining certification. Hiring a certified pressure washing contractor indicates that they have training and/or experience, but there a lot of good contractors who have not been certified. Likewise, there are various trade associations, and if a contractor is a member of such a group, they have likely gained some sort of education through these groups. But this isn’t always the case, and again, there are a number of quality contractors out there who are not members of any organizations.

When selecting a contractor, I would say look at their website, look at their uniforms, look at their trucks and equipment. Do they appear to be professionals, or do they look like they bought a pressure washer and threw it in the back of the truck in order to earn a few extra bucks? Ask them about their cleaning processes and see if they seem educated in what they are doing.

Again, are they insured? That will also help you know how serious they are about their business.

What should a good home maintenance schedule look like? What areas of the home should homeowners be addressing regularly?

Gutters should ideally be cleaned twice a year, usually in the Spring and the Fall. As for the rest of the home’s exterior, it’s going to vary from location to location, but generally falls into the once a year or once every other year. Window cleaning is going to vary by client, climate and personal preference.

Contact us for help protecting your home.

Categories
General Home Improvement

House too Hot? Here’s How to Get Relief

The dog days of summer have arrived, and it’s hot outside. But what about the temperature inside your home — is it as comfortable as you would like? As the weather heats up, your house may feel too hot for your liking. Here are some things you can do to cool it down, or save money by running your central air conditioning less.

Block Out the Sun

When the sun beats down on your house, it can raise the indoor temperature by 10 to 20 degrees. As the indoor temperature rises, your electric bill can spike along with it. Installing shades, tinted window film or insulating curtains on all south and west-facing windows can lower your cooling costs up to 7 percent each year or keep your home up to 20 degrees cooler.

Shade trees are another way to block out the sun. They should be planted on the east and west sides of the home. If they are large enough to shade the roof as well as the windows, homeowners can save up to 30 percent on cooling and heating costs every year.

Air conditioning

Minimize Heat Generation Indoors

Everything that plugs in around your home generates heat, so you can minimize that heat by unplugging things that you aren’t using. Power strips can make this easier — just flip the switch when you don’t need them to be on.

Your lighting also generates heat. Incandescent bulbs produce up to 10 times more heat than more efficient lighting like LED or compact fluorescent bulbs. They can add up to 11 degrees to your indoor temperature, depending on how many lights you have. Switching to efficient lighting is a small initial investment that can make a big difference on your electric bill.

Cooking is another activity that generates heat inside the home. The stovetop and oven create the most heat. Thankfully, there are plenty of other options for cooking that won’t leave your home feeling hot, including using the microwave, crock pot, or grilling outside. If you have to use the oven, try to cook early in the morning and be sure to turn the oven off as soon as you’ve finished. Another good option is to cook several meals at once, and then reheat them in the microwave as the week goes on. If you’re going to turn on the oven, you might as well fill it up so you can avoid using it again the next day.

Tune Up (or Replace) HVAC System

If your central air conditioner is more than 10 years old, chances are that it is inefficient and is causing your electric bills to be higher than they need to be. All units should be serviced and cleaned yearly for maximum efficiency, and replacing your unit if it is older may lower your cooling bills 30 to 50 percent.

Moonworks can help with all your HVAC needs as well as other renovations that can keep your house cooler. Call 1-800-975-6666 get a free estimate.