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Tips for Making Your Windows More Energy Efficient

March 3, 2015

Most homeowners love the idea of lots of large windows in their home (we totally get it, Squeegee Pros loves windows too!), but if those windows aren't energy efficient, it can mean bad news for your home's heating and cooling bills.

Most of the energy loss from windows is due to air infiltration, which is when hot or cold air from the outside leaks into your home.  While ceilings, floors, doors, attics and basements are also common culprits of air infiltration, The Department of Energy reports that inefficient windows can account for "10% to 25% of your heating bill by letting heat out."

Fortunately, there are several things you can do to make your windows more efficient, which will be great for both the environment and your wallet!  

1.  Repair Your Existing Windows

As we mentioned, most of the heat lost through windows is due to drafts (or air leaks) and not actually through the pane of glass itself.  Older windows are especially likely to leak heat due to cracked panes or frames, spaces between the glass and the frame or windows that don't close properly.

In most cases you don't need to replace your entire window--you can get energy efficient windows by investing $1,000 or so in insulation, sealing air leaks, and making other repairs.  Find out if your window has any of the issues above and then make the necessary repairs. 
  • Use caulking or weather stripping to make sure your windows are properly sealed, which will help keep in the warm air in the winter and cool air in the summer.
  • Switch out single pane glass with double pane glass and look for windows with "Low-e" coating.  Low-e coating is a nearly invisible layer on the glass that has great insulation properties that keeps your heat inside in the winter and cold air inside in the summer.
  • Try adding a storm window or window inserts.  If your home has vinyl or aluminum windows that are leaky, these typically can't be repaired because they are all one piece.  But if you add a storm window with Low-e coating it can go a long way toward getting more energy efficient windows.

Squeegee Pros Tips for Energy Efficient Windows

2.  Install Window Coverings

Another way to improve the efficiency of your windows is by installing window coverings.  Window coverings can also be a charming and architecturally appealing addition to your home when done right (as window washers we always have curb appeal on the brain!).  Window coverings do a great job of keeping heat in, decreasing leakage and creating shade during the summer. 
Look into these different types of window coverings to determine which is best for your needs.
  • Awnings
  • Internal blinds
  • External blinds
  • Drapes or curtains hung as closely to your window as possible
  • Shutters

Shutters | Squeegee Pros Blog Tips

3.  Install New Windows

An obvious way to improve the efficiency of your windows is to install all new energy efficient windows.  Replacing the windows on your entire home can cost between $5,000 to $15,000, however, in the long run it will increase the value of your home and cut heating and cooling costs.  

Do your research to find out which windows will work best for your needs and the climate you live in.  Are you more concerned about keeping your home warm or cool?  The Department of Energy recommends installing ENERGY STARĀ®-qualified windows.  You should install double-pane windows with high-performance glass that has low-e or spectrally selective coatings. In colder climates, gas-filled windows with low-e coatings will reduce heat loss.  In warmer climates, installing windows with spectrally selective coatings will reduce heat gain.

When putting in new energy efficient windows, always make sure they are properly installed by a professional or someone with sufficient experience (and make sure the manufacturer's instructions are being followed to a tee!)



4.      Plant a Tree

Shade is your friend when it comes to keeping your house cool!  In the summer, sun streaming through your windows can heat up your home significantly.  Try strategically planting a tree on the side of your house that gets the most sun.  Plant a deciduous tree that will provide shade in the summer but lose its leaves in the winter to let sun into your windows.

Hopefully these tips will help you transform your home from drafty to cozy and make outrageous energy bills a thing of the past.  Squeegee Pros' team of trained window washers is always here to make those new or repaired energy efficient windows sparkle and shine!  For more information on the services we offer check out our residential and commercial services pages or contact us at 980-359-0181. 

4 Reasons Clean Gutters are a Must Have this Spring

February 25, 2015

Squeegee Pros doesn't just clean and polish your gutters to keep your home looking beautiful (that's just an added bonus)--gutter cleaning is necessary to protect your home from serious damage that can lead to expensive repairs.
 Gutters are an extremely important part of your roofing system and they were designed to collect the rain that lands on your roof and shoot it away from the foundation of your home. If your gutter is clogged it can't do its job and this can lead to several problems, including:

1.  Gutter Damage

If gutter cleaning is ignored, gutters will become clogged with leaves, sticks and other debris which can weigh the gutters down and cause them to loosen or break away from your home.  Clogs can also lead to sitting water in your gutter which will eventually cause it to rust and break.  No one wants to shell out the money for a new gutter when it could have been easily avoided with a few gutter cleanings per year.


2.  Home Damage

Damage to your home is a serious issue that can occur when you don't have clean gutters.  If the water can't flow freely through your gutter it can overflow and seep through your roof.  This can create leaks that most commonly run down the walls of your home where the ceiling meets the walls.  If the water is not being pushed away from your home, it can also collect at your home's foundation and seep into your basement.  Not only will this slowly destroy your foundation and create structural issues, the water in your home can create mold, which can be another expensive problem to fix.
 

3.  Ice Damming

When clogged gutters have water in them and that water freezes, this creates an "ice dam" which prevents water from flowing off of your roof (and can lead to some of the issues mentioned above).  It's important to prepare for the winter months with the proper maintenance and a thorough gutter cleaning.   Charlotte, NC and other areas where it typically freezes at some point during the winter (sometimes as early as October) should make it a point to have clean gutters in the late fall. Though icicles forming on your home may make you feel like you're in a winter wonderland, they are actually a sign that your gutters are not working correctly.  Gutters were meant to prevent icicles from forming on your roof because they can cause damage to your shingles.  The weight from the ice can also rip your gutter right off your home.



4.  Critters

Clogged gutters can also look like a comfy spot to call home for a variety of insects including mosquitoes, wasps, ants and even squirrels and mice.  When these vermin build nests in your gutters the clogging issue can become even worse and they may eventually find their way into your home.  Unless you're in the market for some new pets, that's a good reason to have clean gutters!

Gutters should drain your roof, not your bank account!  Maintaining your gutters is much easier than dealing with the problems and expenses a clog can cause.  By the time you notice your gutter is clogged, it's likely that damage has already occurred.
We recommend cleaning your gutters a minimum of twice per year.  Ideally, gutters should be cleaned in early fall and late fall, early winter and spring to prevent clogging.  This can vary depending on where you live and how many trees you have around your home.

We also suggest you hire professionals because of the risk involved in cleaning gutters.  Professionals can spot and take care of any gutter issues before they become a serious problem.  If you decide to do your gutter cleaning on your own, make sure to do it safely and have someone spotting your ladder at all times.

If you have any questions about gutter maintenance or would like to schedule a gutter cleaning, Charlotte, NC is home to the Squeegee Pros and we would be happy to serve you!

Please call 704-799-0313 or fill out the form on our contact page.

Selling Your House: Focus on Curb Appeal

March 17, 2014

When getting your home ready for sale most people focus on interior design and new additions to the home. This can be very time consuming and can put a damper on your bank account resulting in a lower return on your home.
 
Our suggestion is to focus on your curb appeal, which can be relatively inexpensive and time efficient. The outside of the home is what buyers see first and what generally draws them in to further check out the house. One thing that most homebuyers look for is the cleanliness of a home. So regarding this here some things that can be done to clean up the outside of your home.

Rid the following locations of mildew, mold, and staining:

  • Deck
  • Fencing
  • Driveway
  • Sidewalk
  • Gutters
  • Pool area
  • Clean the roof through pressure washing to remove staining and mildew.
  • Spruce up the vegetation to make the front look lush and inviting.
  • Give the front door a new paint job and replace the house number.
  • Give your windows a shine and get a professional window cleaner out to get the job done right.

Whenever you're ready to get a start on improving your curb appeal, we would be happy to help. We can execute a number of these tasks in no time. Contact us via the information below:

Squeegee Pros
1219 River Hwy
Mooresville, NC 28117
Phone: 704-799-0313
Commercial: christina@squeegeepros.com
Residential: ashley@squeegeepros.com
 

Rapel with Ronald at the Ronald McDonald House

September 12, 2013

Ronald McDonald will be helping clean the Ronald McDonald House of Charlotte and there will be no clowning around. He'll surprise families by washing the windows of the House with Squeegee Pros, a locally-owned professional window and exterior cleaning service who are donating their services to the Ronald McDonald House. Squeegee Pros technicians will sport red noses as they help Ronald with his cleaning chores.

"We are thrilled that Ronald is stopping by the House" said Mona Johnson-Gibson, Executive Director at the Ronald McDonald House of Charlotte. "We think families and patients will get a kick to watch him wash the windows from their rooms . He really lifts the spirits of the families that stay at the House and provides some lighthearted fun."

"Squeegee Pros is proud to support the Ronald McDonald House of Charlotte and we're excited about the event," said Squeegee Pros President, Jim DuBois. It's about time we had someone as tall as Ronald to get way up in the window corners. Just need to be sure he doesn't kick over any buckets with those clodhoppers."



Ronald will be at the House from 9:00am-10:30am on September 17th.

About Ronald McDonald House of Charlotte
The RMH of Charlotte opened in May 2011 and serves the families of children being treated at Levine Children's Hospital and Hemby Children's Hospital.  Located on the 1600 block of East Morehead Street on land donated by Carolinas Medical Center, the House features approximately 35,000 square feet of living space complete with 28 bedrooms (one family per bedroom/suite), providing more than 10,000 nights for the families.  It also has a community kitchen, great room, learning center, playground and sitting porch.  The RMH of Charlotte is an independent 501 (c) (3) charity managed by a local board of directors which oversees operation of the home.  RMH of Charlotte is funded and operated by the Charlotte community.  The mission of the RMH of Charlotte is to provide the families of children being treated in area medical facilities with a safe, affordable and caring "home away from home." 

For more information on RMH of Charlotte, visit www.rmhofcharlotte.org.

Pressure Washing Season

July 13, 2013

As we round out the washing season, I would like to reflect back for a bit. We are extremely grateful for all the new customers we have acquired and we are certainly doing our best to to serve them. Our goal here is to build relationships with our customers and give them a worry free exterior cleaning service. We get asked a lot, "when is the best time to have our house washed?" I always tell them that our busiest time is May and then again in September, so it would seem most people opted to have their home washed in either the spring or fall.


Once again this year, we are wrapping up the season with quite a few house washes. As the weather gets cooler, other services are better off waiting till next spring. Roof cleaning does not work as well when temperatures are in the 50's and 60's. Also, deck sealing should not be done when temperatures are dropping down below 40 degrees at night because it can jeopardize the curing process.


Concrete cleaning can still be done and we have even cleaned concrete in the dead of winter, but house washing is certainly one of the more popular services. Typically we can wash houses clear up to mid November or so depending on the weather. The cooler temperatures do not effect the results when cleaning vinyl. If needed we warm the water up a little and coupled with our contractor grade cleaners we are able to get your house just as clean in the late fall as we could in the spring or summer.

Rain does not really effect this type of service either. It obviously makes it a little more miserable to work in, but as long as it isn't lighting and storming out, we are able to provide quality house washing services on rainy days. Wind can be a little tricky. Strong winds may cause more house wash soap to get on the neighbor's house than on the one we are washing. Seriously though, it can be a lot more difficult to wash high area's of your home on breezy days.

Normally, we just play the weather by ear. We have learned that looking ahead a week or so into the forecast is just not effective as it changes daily. I will check the weather 1-2 days ahead and make decisions based on that as to when and where we will wash. We always call our customers a day ahead of time to let them know when we are coming.


So with that said, we are definitely still performing house wash services and will for the next few weeks as long as the weather holds. If you feel like you've missed the 2010 schedule feel free to call, set up an estimate, and possibly get on the schedule for early spring. We do estimates all winter long to schedule for springtime. We thank all of you that used our services this year and we hope to see you again soon.
 

Find out more about Jim DuBois

Second Story Window Cleaning

June 17, 2013

We have heard horror stories about home owners who, wanting to save money, attempted to do their own 2nd story window cleaning and fell.  The result of most of these is serious injury but in one instance in Charlotte a couple of years ago the fall resulted in death.

Professional cleaners have scaffolding and the experience to set it up correctly.  Home owners typically use ladders, many of which are too short to reach the windows properly so the home owner is standing on the top rung and reaching to get the whole window.  This is an accident waiting to happen. 

We understand that for some the cost of cleaning windows can seem expensive and it looks cheap to do it yourself.  The risks just aren't worth it.  If you're laid up for several months before you can return to work, how expensive does professional window cleaning seem.

We would like to sell our services, but that's not what's important when home owners take a do-it- yourself approach to second story windows.  This can be truly dangerous and foolhardy if the right equipment is not used.  Each of us  (yes, myself included), has done some home maintenance that turned out to be more dangerous than we anticipated.  In my case, it turned out okay but it didn't have to. 

I have friends that work in hospital Emergency rooms that provide a picture of home injuries in graphic detail and it's not pretty.  Statistics bear out that most injuries happen in the home, generally while trying to do something that would be better left in the hands of a professional.

My advice for any homeowner considering doing their own second story windows, is to not take the risk.  The cost of a professional window cleaning service isn't that expensive, expecially considering the cost and trauma of a serious injury.


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