5 Tips for Caring for Your Windows So They Last

Window Care and Cleaning

Your home’s windows are among the most important – but most neglected – assets.

They keep rain, snow, and inclimate weather out, while helping you maintain a comfortable temperature inside. On sunny days, you can throw open the curtains and look outside, basking in the scenery.

To ensure that your windows stay in great condition year after year, follow these 5 tips for window care so they last:

Clean Regularly – and Gently

Keep that glass sparkling and avoid conditions that could cause damage by cleaning your windows regularly. Most people do this task twice a year – in spring and fall.

If you have wooden windows, gently wipe them down with a soft damp cloth. This helps remove any dirt and dust that may collect without introducing harsh cleaners. 

Be careful to not use too much water, as that can seep into your window casements and sashes and encourage rot.

Wash vinyl and aluminum-framed windows with a gentle detergent, such as dish soap, and a soft scrubbing brush. 

When cleaning windows, make sure to clean not only the casement but also the area around the window. This removes any built-up dirt that can collect in the mechanism and cause sticking.

Keep your glass sparkling with window cleaner or a homemade mix of vinegar and water. Avoid using cloths or paper towels to clean the glass, as you can leave behind tiny fibers that dull the shine. Instead, use a piece of crumpled-up newspaper to wipe away the window cleaner.

Inspect Often

As you clean your windows twice a year, carefully inspect them for signs of damage or disrepair.

Check the condition of the window frame and sash and, for wooden windows, use a small metal probe to look for soft spots, which mean you’ve got rotting.

If you have double- or triple-paned windows, look carefully for signs of moisture between the panes. This means your seals have broken, reducing the insulation capacity of the window. Replace any broken seals.

Look for signs of peeling or warped paint, especially on windows that get the most daily sun exposure. 

If your windows have weather stripping, check its condition and replace any that has worn out.

Feel around the windows for air gaps and fill with latex caulk.

Check the Sealing

The sealing around your windows helps keep outdoor air out, making your home more energy-efficient. Keeping it in good repair is important to maintaining lower energy bills and a more comfortable inside temperature.

If you notice broken or cracked seals, moisture inside your window panes, or feel air coming in around your window, your sealing needs attention.

Call a window contractor or handyman to replace your window seals, or attempt the project yourself. For air gaps around the window, fill them in with spray sealant or caulk.

Repaint Regularly

Sun and temperature differences can greatly damage the paint on your wooden and metal frames over time.

To keep your window frames looking great and protected from damage, repaint them every three to four years with a paint that’s recommended by your window’s manufacturers. 

Before you begin painting, clean the windows thoroughly and make sure they’re dried. Be careful to not paint over any moving parts, as this can lead to your windows being unable to open.

Repair Damage

If you notice something on your window that’s broken or missing, get it fixed quickly. The longer you leave your window damaged, the more energy you’ll lose and the more expensive the repair may end up being.

Many small repairs, such as signs of rot or missing sealant, can be done on your own. For more extensive problems such as broken glass, you may need to call a professional.

Experienced Window Contractor in Central Maryland

Your home is your biggest investment, and keeping your windows in good condition is part of protecting that investment. Whether you need some window repairs or are looking to replace your existing windows, the team at Select Home Exteriors gets the job done quickly, professionally, and affordably. We work side-by-side with you to select the exact products for your unique job, keeping you updated on the status of your project from start to finish. Call today for a consultation!

4 Tips to Help Your Roof Last for Decades

Long Lasting Home Roof

A roof is such an integral part of any home, and yet it is often overlooked in home maintenance routines.

Your roof acts as your home’s defense against heat, cold, rain, snow and wind. Regular exposure to these elements slowly but surely contributes to its deterioration. But with a little bit of maintenance, and some help from a professional, you can slow down the damage and your roof could last as long as 30 years!

Below are the 4 most important things you can do to maximize the lifespan of your roof:

Perform Regular Maintenance

Regular cleaning and maintenance, about twice a year, will go a long way in keeping your roof looking and working its best. 

At the beginning of fall and spring, sweep off any debris such as leaves, sticks, and any rogue frisbees.

Use a power washer to remove any mold. Roof mold retains moisture which can cause shingles to deteriorate and even rot completely.

Don’t forget to clean out your gutters so that water can drain off your roof, preventing rotting shingles and flashing.

Invest in Preventative Care

Investing in preventative care now will prolong the need to replace the entire roof. 

Start with having any overhanging tree limbs trimmed and removed. A severe storm could send a nearby branch right through your roof!

Next, make sure your attic is adequately insulated to prevent moisture buildup. If it still seems too humid, you may want to invest in a ventilation fan. Any moisture could produce rot and, therefore, leaking.

Inspect Often

The best way to catch problems before they start is to look at your roof! Inspect your roof as often as you think to. Keep an eye out for:

  • Debris buildup
  • Missing shingles
  • Detached gutters
  • Mold
  • Leak in ceiling
  • Sagging

Inspecting your roof does not require you to get on top of it. Simply remind yourself to glance at the roof whenever you are coming or going from your home. Eventually, it will become habit.

You should also take a closer look all around after any strong storm. Check your ceilings as well to make sure there are no new leaks.

Hire a Professional

These days, a search for “how to fix (fill in the blank)” will bring up hundreds of do-it-yourself instructional videos. 

A DIY project may seem like a more cost-effective solution but, in the case of your roof, it could prove more expensive. 

Let a professional manage your repairs. They have been well-trained in how to locate and deal with any problems. 

For the same reason, you should let a licensed roofer inspect your roof annually. Even if you are in the habit of inspecting regularly, a professional will be able to catch potential issues much earlier, ensuring your roof lasts as long as possible.

Your Source for Quality Roofing Repair in Frederick County, MD

At Select Home Exteriors, we’ve seen many different kinds of roof damage due to poor installation, weather, poor maintenance, and normal wear and tear. Our licensed professionals perform a variety of repairs including leak repair, shingle replacement, seasonal damage, and soffit and fascia repairs. Call us today to take care of your roofing needs!

Can You Paint Vinyl Siding?

Painting Vinyl Siding

Maybe you moved into a new house with vinyl siding in great shape, but the color just isn’t you. Or, you really want a new look for your home’s exterior, but replacing the siding’s not in your budget this year.

You may be wondering: Can I paint my vinyl siding?

The Answer

In short, yes, you can paint your vinyl siding!

While vinyl siding is meant to be easy-care and isn’t intended to need to be painted like wooden siding, you can paint vinyl siding that’s in good condition. If you want to change up the look of your home, give things a fresh feel, or just want to fix the fading on that one side of the house that’s always in full sun, painting your siding is a great option when full replacement isn’t necessary.

If done correctly, properly painted vinyl siding can last up to 10 years without needing touch-ups. That’s a pretty good return on your investment!

The Method

Painting your vinyl siding is similar to nearly every other outdoor painting project. Just follow a few steps, get ready for a big job, and you’ll have a fresh look at a fraction of the cost of new siding. 

Step 1: Check the Weather

If you’re painting your siding in less-than-optimal conditions, prepare for less-than-optimal results. It may mean waiting a few days until the weather’s ideal, but that patience will pay off big time when you get the strong, long-lasting finish you want.

Only paint in mild temperatures, low relative humidity, and under an overcast sky. Also, be sure to find a day when the wind is low. If you paint on hot, sunny days or days with high winds, things may look all right for a while, but you’re more likely to see bubbling and cracking down the line, meaning your hard work is ruined.

Step 2: Get the Right Paint

You can’t just use any paint that’s on sale and hope for the best. When selecting the paint for your vinyl siding project, be sure to find:

  • A paint that contains acrylic and urethane resins. These two ingredients accommodate the expansion and contraction of vinyl and help the paint adhere to the surface.
  • A color that is the same shade or lighter than your current siding’s color. Darker colors will retain heat, making your vinyl siding more prone to premature warping.

Step 3: Prepare the Siding

Before you ever lift a paintbrush or roller, you need to thoroughly clean your vinyl siding so the paint can adhere properly. 

In a bucket, mix:

  • ⅓ c laundry detergent
  • ⅔ c powdered household cleaner
  • 1 qt liquid bleach
  • 1 gal water

Use a cloth or soft-bristled brush to clean all the siding you plan to paint, then rinse thoroughly. Let the siding dry completely before you begin painting.

Step 4: Apply Primer (If Needed) & 2 Coats of Paint

If your vinyl siding has completely lost its previous color, is porous, or has become pitted, you will want to apply a latex urethane primer formulated for outdoor use. If your siding is still in good condition, primer isn’t necessary.

Use a roller or paint sprayer to apply the painting evenly to your siding. Be careful not to apply too much paint in one area. Save the brushwork for corners and edges.

Let the first coat of paint dry completely, or mostly, before applying the second. Allow the second coat to dry for up to 24 hours before considering the project done. If you still see areas where the old siding color is bleeding through, you need to give the whole house a third coat of paint.

Step 5: Sit Back & Enjoy Your Hard Work!

While painting siding is a labor-intensive, time-consuming project, especially if you’ve got a larger house, it is something well worth undertaking. You get a spiffy new exterior color that can last for years, all for far less money than you’d spend replacing your siding!

Premium Vinyl Siding Installation in Central Maryland

Siding is one of the things that can make or break the appearance of your home. New, quality siding adds curb appeal, improves energy efficiency, and can even increase the resale value. 

If your siding is old, cracked, warped, or just needs to be replaced, call the skilled team at Select Home Exteriors. We work with only the best national siding brands, and our technicians get the job done quickly and correctly so you can get back to your life. Schedule a consultation today!