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Ultimate Checklist To Prep Your Home For The Cooler Months

Fall is here! Although Autumn can be a busy season for most homeowners, it’s also the best time to take advantage of the moderate weather and make any repairs before the frost sets in.

Use this simple checklist to get your home better prepared for fall and the seasonal changes in the upcoming months. These tasks are valuable, simple, and can be achieved in just one day. By spending time and being productive around the house, you’ll end up saving yourself A LOT in the long run and be able to keep your home maintenance-free for the rest of the year!

  1. Exterior Maintenance

You should always check your foundation or cracks and caulk around the areas where your brick meets the siding, where pipes or wires enter the house, and of course, around the windows and doors to prevent any heat from escaping. Caulking and sealing openings is one of the least expensive maintenance jobs you can do. Openings in the structure can cause water to get in and freeze, resulting in mold build up, or cracks.

  1. Roof Inspection

Inspect your roof for any missing or loose shingles. The combination of ice, wind, snow, and rain with the fluctuation of temperature can cause havoc on a roof. Between all these elements, your roof is the main defense of the home and if it is not functioning properly, it can result in water damage. It’s better to be proactive in determining the function of your roof before fall, rather than waiting until a snowstorm to find out you have a leak.  

  1. Clean Your Gutters

After all the leaves have fallen, make sure you clean out your gutters and downspouts. Flush them with water, inspect your joints, and tighten the brackets if necessary. Clogged gutters are one of the major causes for ice dams. If needed, replace old or damaged gutters, and make sure you invest in leaf guards!

  1. Check For Drafts

Heat loss through windows is responsible for 25-30 percent of heating energy use. But you don’t have to be a part of this statistic! Weatherstripping is simple, and probably the most cost-effective way to keep your heating costs down this season.  

  1. Shut Off Exterior Faucets and Store Hoses

By shutting off the water to your exterior faucets, you’ll protect your pipes from freezing temperatures!

  1. Inspect and Seal Your Deck

Another fall home improvement must-do is to perform a safety check on your deck. In addition to checking your deck, Autumn is also a great time to clean up that patio furniture. Before covering, or storing your deck décor, make sure you spray it down and spot clean any pillows, umbrellas or rugs.  

You’ll want to check for any loose nails or screws and tighten or replace any fasteners as needed. Power wash the deck and check all areas for cracks or splintering. Then add your water-repelling stain to protect from melting ice and snow.

After getting through your fall checklist, you are finally ready to sit by the fire and sip your hot drink, while feeling fully secure in the house. But before you know it, you’ll already be preparing for the next change of season!

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Benefits of Installing New Windows This Fall

Summer is over and the cooler weather is on its way! Fall is such a wonderful season. Some argue that it is the best time of the year. Being able to open up your windows to feel the crisp warm air during the day, and sitting next to the fire at night gives you the best of both worlds. While there are a ton of celebrations and fun activities to be had, there is also a ton of preparation for the upcoming winter months. One of these preparations might be replacing your old, drafty windows.  

Fall is one of the best seasons for new windows.  While many homeowners assume that the best time to replace their windows is during the summer, changing them in the fall is also a viable alternative.  

Energy Savings

The ideal incentive to have your new windows or doors done in the fall is to begin saving money on your energy expenses. The average home spends 40% of its utility expense on heating and cooling their home. New, replacement windows can drop that percentage significantly. Installing brand new, energy-efficient windows will save you money over time and basically pay for themselves.

Perfect Temperature for Sealing

The caulk used to seal your new windows can be sensitive to temperature. For most brands, the ideal warmth for the caulk to set is between 40-80 degrees Fahrenheit. This allows for the best adhesion. In winter, the building materials shrink and in the Summer they expand. Installing new windows at these temperature extremes could impact the stability of the caulk and result in seal failure.

Deals

While most window companies will give you competitive rates on similar products throughout the year, there is no better time to buy than the fall! You don’t want to go with the cheapest offer on the market without doing your research. You want to find windows from a trusted window contractor who has the best brands and the best values.

Getting the best replacement windows takes planning. At The Home Doctor we offer the best prices on top-quality products. You can expect outstanding value and a commitment to your complete satisfaction. We will sit down and walk you through all the materials and product styles we offer to find the best window solutions for your home and wallet. To request a free in-home or virtual consultation, contact us at (866)276-2743

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What Are the Black Streaks on My Roof?

We are a local and family owned business founded in Virginia. This means we know all about the extreme humidity and what it can do to your roof. The black streaks on the roof are cause by algae growth. Many homeowners might mistake it for dirt, or mold. The streaking doesn't mean your roof is defective, but it might be a good idea to treat it properly so it doesn't affect your curb appeal.

What is causing the black streaking?

The black streaks running down roofs are actually a hardy algae called gloeocapsa magma. This is commonly found in the warmer, humid parts of the U.S. They develop a dark, hardened outer coating, which results in the black stains that appear on your roof.  

Can I remove the black streaking from my roof?

When you start to notice the black algae on your roof, you'll want to treat it as soon as you can. If you're looking to sell your home in the future, you will want to make sure your roof looks as good as possible. It is much easier to treat early on, rather than waiting until the stain spreads.  

To reduce the appearance of black algae, create a 1:1 mixture of bleach and water in a spray bottle. Spray the affected area and let the bleach do its work for about 20 minutes. Depending on how thick or dense your streaking is, you will want to repeat these steps to ensure you clean the area thoroughly. Then spray your roof with lots of water to wash away all of the bleach. Make sure your plants are protected and aren't harmed by the run off. You can water your plants to make sure that any trace of bleach is no longer present.

Do not scrub or use a power washer to clean your roof. This could reduce the lifespan of your roof and ruin your shingles.  

If you do not have experience with roof cleaning or have the correct safety equipment, do not try to treat your roof yourself. Call a professional to clean your shingles for you, so you can avoid those costly mistakes.

Care for your roof

In the process of cleaning your roof, inspect it for any damages. A roof is a vital part of your home and if you have any concerns, call an expert. If you have missing shingles or streaking, they can be repaired for a short time, but it would be wise to replace it if it is old. Contact us to learn more about the benefits of replacing your roof.  

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4 Projects Perfect for Spring

Spring is right around the corner!

Let's face it, we all need a fresh start and some inspiration to take on those tasks we've been putting off. Here is a list of 4 things to increase your home’s curb appeal, functionality, and comfort all year long!

New Windows

Many homeowners choose to replace their windows in the Spring, and for good reason! Throughout the winter your entire exterior gets tested a little bit more than it would on a nice Summer day. The drastic temperature changes can cause the materials to contract or expand, leaving you to deal with warping or shrinking due to thermal expansion. There are a lot of repair methods you could do to prevent these issues from happening, but why not invest in replacement windows that will give you that peace of mind for the upcoming year?

Spring is the perfect time for any construction project because of the warmer weather. With warmer weather comes more time in the day! All your upgrades that you have been thinking about and researching all Winter could be a reality by the end of the year.

New windows can instantly boost the curb appeal of your home. Depending on the style and material, you could see your home's value increase significantly, just by replacing your windows.

Another perk for installing new windows is choosing an energy efficient window that will help provide better insulation and more energy savings so you won’t have to drastically lower your air conditioning to keep cool this summer.

Our windows are custom-made in a variety of different materials, colors, and styles to make sure they fit your home perfectly. Contact us for more information regarding your window project.

House Painting

After 2020, we have spent more time in our home than we ever thought and you are probably tired of the same old boring paint in your home. A new color can really refresh your home and give you the update you want. Soothing neutrals and calming tones have been popular according to Better Homes and Gardens 2022 colors of the year.

Gutter Maintenance

A functional Gutter System is crucial because of the crazy rainstorms that come in the warmer months.  You can clear any debris that have accumulated over the last couple months with a garden hose. Make sure your gutters are free from clogs, and your downspouts are pointing away from your home. This is typically done a couple times a year to maximize your gutters efficiency.  

Landscaping

You can probably guess how important your landscaping is when it comes to your home's curb appeal. If you are in an area that is overrun by trees, shrubs, and foliage, then it might be in your benefit to scale down on the greenery for a more open look. This will instantly brighten up your home and minimize the risk of moss growing on your home. However, if you are in a more open area, you might want to add some plants to your front yard or porch to give your home more character and style.

You can also add a little bit of illumination on your yard and showcase all of your hard work! You can enjoy your outdoor space in the evening hours, and it will add a festive touch when you entertain.

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Double-hung VS Casement Windows

When searching for the perfect window for your home, there are a lot of things you need to consider. There are so many options out there as far as style, color, and material. We recommend you do your research to determine all of your options. Both Casement and Double hung windows can offer you a much needed upgrade, but which one is going to be right for you?

Double Hung Replacement Windows

Double hung windows – also known as double sash windows – have the ability to move up and down in the frame. A lot of homeowners choose this type of window for their home because the maintenance and ability to operate is very easy. These windows are the most popular type of window, and for good reason.  

  • Affordable
  • Easy to open due to the spring-loaded balance system
  • Failure rate is lower than casement replacement windows
  • Low maintenance  
  • Adds a stylish look to your home
  • Customizable
  • Lasts longer than other window options

Our double hung windows can be the perfect fit to your home. We offer a wide range of styles, colors, and materials to make your dream home a reality.

Casement Windows

Casement windows – also known as crank windows – open outwards, while double hung windows slide up and down. These windows provide a great, firm seal on all four sides to keep the drafts out. There are a lot of benefits to casement windows. If you are interested in replacing with an energy efficient window, casement windows are a perfect choice.

  • Energy Efficient
  • Customizable
  • Limits the airflow into your home
  • Provides a modern clean style to any contemporary styled home
  • No sash that divides the window like with the double-hung option
  • Great for temperature control
  • Extremely easy windows for opening and closing

These windows are the perfect option for your sunroom, bathroom, sitting room, or kitchen.  

Let's Compare

Style  

Both windows will give you a major upgrade for curb appeal. Both windows are customizable and will give you the option of wood or vinyl, with a variety of colors to choose from. If your home has more of a traditional look, double hung windows might be a great option for you. However, homeowners with a more contemporary aesthetic might choose casement windows to fit their home.

Maintenance

The good news is that both windows are very low maintenance and easy to clean.

Durability

If you live in a more wet climate, you may want to consider double hung as your option for replacement. Casement windows open outwards, so they are more exposed to the elements and will more than likely degrade faster. Double hung windows are in a frame that makes them a little more secure and durable than casement windows.

Energy Efficiency  

When choosing the right window for your home, we understand that energy efficiency might be a priority. Since casement windows are designed to have an airtight seal on all four sides, this would be a great option to consider. However, that doesn't mean that double hung windows lack in energy efficiency. If you are considering double hung windows, we guarantee that you will have that airtight seal on any window you choose.

Interested in replacing your windows?

If you are interested in learning more about what window is right for you, schedule an estimate with one of our Exterior Specialists. We will guide you through the process to make sure you are finding the best windows for your home, wallet, and needs. Schedule your VIRTUAL quote today

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