So, the snow begins to melt and we think we are in the clearing. But, what lurks behind the end of a snowfall? The unfortunate answer is MOLD. Mold can be devastating to you and to your home. Perhaps it is not evident right now, but once the conditions are safe enough for the crews begin to do vast roof repair, this is what many of them may find in your home.
Molds exist in most places and indoors; mold can pose a number of issues and even health risks. At the very least, it is nasty and annoying. Mold lives in moist areas and you can often find it in many spots in your home: duct work, exhaust fans, basements and garages and in the ceilings and walls where water has leaked in from the rooftops.
The mold you see is not the problem; it’s the mold you cannot see that can make your life miserable. We suggest that you start thinking about this potential now because if there is mold in your setting, you will have to find the source that caused it and get rid of the water problem. Mold has a sure thing – it will return if not addressed and resolved. For more information on how you can take proper precautions during these times, call Reg or Tom at 703-916-8372.
We have heard about this in the news and have seen it ourselves, but who would want to hurt a senior citizen? Lots of people apparently, and amongst them unfortunately can be the neighborhood contractor. Hurting seniors has come in various forms – Êfrom physical abuse to verbal abuse or to taking advantage of their situations. We are talking hereÊabout the latter.
For example, we heard recently from one of our senior customers that when he decided against going with a particular local contractor for replacement windows and doors in his home, the company representative said to him point blank: “Buy or we’ll sue you.” The order had not been placed; in fact, the measurements had not been taken. The contractor had not lost any money. And, to top it off, the prices were exorbitant – criminal, really. But, the customer was afraid not to go ahead, so he bought some of the windows from that contractor and came to Windows Plus for the rest.
What everyone needs to know is that there are always better companies to work with when you have doubts about a particular company or product. No homeowner should feel pressured into spending money and at the time of a sales presentation, every homeowner should have a good education on the products and services before taking any steps. And, although there is a period ofÊ3 business days to get out of the home improvement contract once signed, it is nothing short of good faith andÊcourtesy prior to placing an order that a contractor should extend to a homeowner when things just are not going to work out. It’s always in everyone’s best interest to make a situation favorable to both parties, and if there are glitches that occur in between the sales presentation and the ordering of the products, well, then, contractors, let’s be fair, particularly as it relates to senior citizens.
Senior citizensÊoften areÊat a disadvantage in many cases – they may not have as much access as othersÊto resources through the internet or be in a circle of people where the information on home improvements is shared more readily. They may be more vulnerable to fast-talking sales reps and feel rushed into making a quick decision. This is not right, short and simple. And, when we say that we educate the customer and make sure that he or she is comfortable with the proposed changes to be made, that’s exactly what we mean.
This last example of abuse drove aÊhomeowner to us, soÊin this case, we get to build the long-lasting relationship with the consumer. But,Êeveryone beware of who is in your home and talking you into doing something that you are not ready to do. Making such large changes in a home is costly, time-consuming and stressful, but the process and outcome should be a great one. After all, these changes are not made frequently, but when made correctly,Êthey make a tremendous impact on the quality of life – savings in energy and costs, comfort, beauty and most importantly, security and safety.
Consult Reg or Tom at Windows Plus – 703-916-8372 – for more information on how we can help you make the best decisions to make changes in your home.
We are hearing from many homeowners about the build-up of iceÊ in your gutters and water then entering somewhere into your home. This is called “Ice Damming.” Ice gathers in the gutters and the gutters act as a dam for the water build-up. As the snow melts, moisture builds and water must find daylight. This is worse when the temperatures stay cold because the melting continues slowly due to the heat of the roof. It actually is a better situation when the temperatures warm up, the ice melts quicker and the situation can be handled at once.
In any event, homeowners needs to know that this is a common occurrence right now. Many experts will advise the homeowners to remove the gutters when this ice damming happens and let your insurance companies know what is going on. For those who have expensive gutter systems, the dilemma is worse as to what to do. The damages that can occur by not taking immediate steps can be devastating, but in the case with copper gutters, for example, the costs of losing those gutters weighed against the potential lost from the ice dammingÊneed to be considered. A homeowner should contact the insurance company in all cases to see what is a covered situation.
Remember that no snowfall of this natureÊhas occurred in 100 years, so it’s not likely to be a repeat performance for years to come…perhaps.
Contact Reg or Tom at Windows Plus – 703-916-8372 – Êfor any information on your home improvement needs. For gutter work and ice damming situations, we also can refer you to others for expert advice if we cannot address the problem ourselves.
Starting in April, 2010, new rules issued by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) take effect. These rules will require contractors to follow specific precautions for work on all pre-1978 structures. Although there is some question as to the extent of some of the provisions, one fact is very clear: The mandate does require that contractors in a number of industries (replacement companies, for example), be certified and follow work practices in order to prevent lead contamination.
The overall goal is to ensure lead-safe environments and keeping this in mind, affected contractors should become aware of the rules as soon as possible. An infraction will be quite costly for a company, but more importantly, an infraction can affect a person exposed to the dangerous elements.
Homeowners need to be aware that compliance with these rules will also impact the time and costs that a company incurs to provide utmost safety. Certain contractors must undergo training courses and certification processes. All of this will only serve to improve the work environment and the homeowners’ safety, so if we work together, we will all be in a better situation. Look for more information as the time gets closer and the regulations become clearer.
Call Reg or Tom at 703-916-8372 for more details. Trust Window Plus for your home improvement needs.
I ci cle. A noun. A “tapering spike of ice formed by the freezing of dripping or falling water.” This is how icicle is defined by The American Heritage College Dictionary. Now, doesn’t the word “spike” elicit some form of fear in each of you? Think about a “spike” of anything falling from above, headed toward you. Undoubtedly, that impact would hurt, and in fact, since our snowfalls these last couple of weeks, a number of ice “spikes” have injured people and damaged properties.
At one of our condominium projects in Arlington, a resident called us today to say that an enormous icicle had fallen through her skylights. Fortunately, the glass broke the potential impact of harm to anyone in the home, but it certainly did its share of damage.
Just look up and make sure you are not in harm’s way of a dangerous icicle. They are decorating many buildings these days. We like you as our customers and we are here to help you with any of your home improvement needs. But, we want you to stay safe, so practice safety!
Call Reg or Tom today with your home improvement questions: 703-916-8372.
Most of you have heard by now about the various tax credits under The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 that a homeowner can claim for certain purchases made during tax years 2009-2010. In many cases, the credit relates to a one-time purchase made during combined tax years. But, we caution you to have enough knowledge about these credits so that companies don’t take you for a ride.
We have witnessed representatives from companies tell consumers that their products “qualify” for the tax credits. It would appear that this tactic is used just to get a sale, when in fact, consumers may not be purchasing tax-credit eligible products. The most important element to your peace of mind is to be sure you are aware of the requirements and to do this, you can just check with energystar.gov/tax credits. Not all EnergyStar(tm) products qualify for the tax credit, but keep in mind that EnergyStar ™ products provide measurable efficiency results. Certain manufacturers also provide rebates and incentives with their products, so it pays to do your homework!
Also, you do not need to purchase a report to know what is available to you as a homeowner. You do not need an “energy usage report,” as some contractors might tell you, to learn about ways that you can enhance your home’s value and live in the most energy-efficient way. We recognize that many homeowners today are very savvy about energy and know how to protect energy usage at home, as it has become a way of life. We recommend that you be sure to know your contractor and who you are dealing with up front so that you can be assured of excellence in service and products and can count on reliable follow-up.
Windows Plus is here to help you with your home improvement needs. Contact Reg or Tom at 703-916-8372 and see how Windows Plus can assist you with these critical changes today. You may count on us, our 20-year history in the industry, our technical knowledge and our fair and honest services. We may just be more than what you expect. www.Windowspls.com