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How to Choose the Right Replacement Windows for You

Posted by on Oct 29, 2018 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How to Choose the Right Replacement Windows for You

Before choosing replacement windows, it’s important that you thoroughly research all of your options, so you can be sure to choose windows you love. There are so many more affordable options when it comes to high-quality replacement windows than there used to be. If you know where to look, you can find windows that look high-end and expensive without breaking the bank in the process.

The first thing you need to think about when choosing your replacement windows is energy efficiency. Well-insulated windows can dramatically lower your monthly energy bills by keeping the heat in during winter and the AC in during summer. Consider choosing low-E glass for added insulation and double or triple-paned windows if you live in a particularly cold climate.

You should also look at the window’s U-factor – also called U-value – which will typically range from 0.20 to 1.20. The lower the number, the better the window will be at keeping in heat. You can also talk to your window installation company of choice to see if they can provide any additional weather stripping or insulation that will increase your home’s energy efficiency.

The next thing you need to consider is the style of your replacement windows. You’ll want to choose something that fits in with the style of your home and meets your practical needs. Casement windows hinge open like little doors and offer excellent ventilation. If you live in a temperate climate and love to let the fresh air into your home, casement windows may be a good option for you, especially if you favor a more modern, contemporary feel.

Sliding windows are typically a more cost-effective option and require very little maintenance. If you have beautiful views outside your home that you want to look at unobstructed, sliding windows could be the way to go. Double hung windows give you that traditional, classic look. These days double hung windows are much easier to open than in the past because they have a spring mounted mechanism instead of the old weight and pulley style.

Blue Ridge Exteriors is the best place to go for replacement windows in Chesterfield, VA. Their highly skilled replacement window installation team guarantees excellent workmanship and results with every job. They value honest salesmanship and will never push you to purchase more expensive windows that you don’t need. Instead, they’ll help you find replacement windows that are right for you and your home. Blue Ridge Exteriors offers a wide range of replacement windows in different styles and finishes. If you’re looking for replacement windows in Chesterfield, VA, you’re sure to find something you love at Blue Ridge Exteriors.

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What Should You Look for in a Carpet Cleaning Service?

Posted by on Sep 28, 2018 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on What Should You Look for in a Carpet Cleaning Service?

When you decide it’s time to invest in professional carpet cleaning, it can be hard to know where to turn. There are so many different carpet cleaning companies out there, and you want to make sure you’re hiring a service that’s trustworthy, effective, and fairly priced. You might be wondering – what else should I look for? These three things will help you narrow down your options and choose a professional carpet cleaning service that’s right for you.

Deep Clean

This is a no-brainer. If you’re paying a professional carpet cleaning service, you’re going to want great results. Look at each company’s website and check to see if they have any information about their cleaning process and how it gets your carpets deeply clean. If you have any special concerns – like removing allergens or bacteria – make sure those issues are directly addressed in the company’s website.

Fast-Drying

No one wants to pay for professional carpet cleaning only to be left with carpets that are completely saturated with soapy water and take days to dry. You’ll have to stay out of all carpeted rooms in your home, and mold and mildew may start to grow underneath your carpets if they’re left sopping wet for days on end. Look for a carpet cleaning service that guarantees a quick dry time and backs it up by explaining how their process allows for carpets to dry quickly.

Eco-Friendly

It’s always best to choose the most environmentally friendly option available, especially if you’ll still get great results. Look for a carpet cleaning service that uses a low-water carpet cleaning method and natural cleaners. That way, you’ll be choosing the option that’s kind to the environment, and your carpets will be able to dry in less time.

Carpet Cleaning in Brentwood, TN

TNT Chem-Dry offers professional carpet cleaning in Brentwood, TN, and they work hard to make sure every customer is completely satisfied with the end result. TNT Chem-Dry uses a unique carpet cleaning method called Hot Carbonating Extraction to give carpets a deeper, long-lasting clean without resorting to spraying them with gallons upon gallons of soapy water. Their low-water cleaning method allows your carpets to dry in just two hours. With traditional services like steam cleaning, you’d be waiting up to two full days for your carpet to dry.

An independent study found that the Chem-Dry method removes an average of 98% of common household allergens from carpets and upholstery and 89% of airborne bacteria in your home when a sanitizer is added to the process. TNT Chem-Dry also uses their own all-natural cleaner that’s free from soap, detergent, and harsh chemicals. When it comes to carpet cleaning in Brentwood, TN, TNT Chem-Dry is the best option for a deep, long-lasting clean that dries in less time and is kinder to the environment.

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Smart Ways to Save on Your Air Conditioning Bills

Posted by on Jun 8, 2018 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Smart Ways to Save on Your Air Conditioning Bills

When the mercury reaches the mid-nineties in the middle of May, you know that you’re in for a long, hot summer. I don’t mind a bit, as long as I can always retreat to a refreshingly cool home when I need to. But as much as I love my air conditioning, I’m not willing to just throw money at it. Here’s what I do to give my air conditioner a break – and reduce your energy bills – here are some helpful tips:

Turn on your fans

We all know that fans can help keep us cool. But we tend to forget that running a small fan is less expensive than cooling an entire house. So, sit next to a fan – even if your air conditioning is on. You’ll find that you can stay perfectly cool even if you turn the thermostat up a few degrees. With each extra degree, you’ll lighten the load on your air conditioner.

Close curtains & blinds

We all love natural light, so by all means, enjoy it whenever you can. But if you’re not in a room, keep your curtains and blinds closed. Each room you shield against the warm light will be a cooler room helping to keep your entire home cool.

Apply window film

Today’s window films can selectively block out light, allowing natural light to pass while reflecting away heat-carrying infrared light before it enters your home. Unlike older films, modern window films offer a much more natural appearance both indoors and out. Consider applying film to windows that let in a lot of direct sunlight.

Get an annual heating and air tune-up

Most air conditioning systems require annual inspections and tune-ups in order to run at peak efficiency and as inexpensively as possible. If your heating and air system hasn’t been expected within the last year, you should arrange a visit from a local heating and air specialist. Your specialist should be able to make some quick, inexpensive adjustments to help your system run better; he’ll also help you and your system avoid future problems.

Turn-off heat-producing systems & appliances

Ovens, computers, TVs, stereos, washers, dryers, and dishwashers are just some of the household devices that generate heat. Making sure that these devices are turned off when not in use will help to keep your home cool (as well as save energy). Running devices in the cooler evening, when there’s less demand on the air conditioner, can also help to save energy and money.

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Get Your Home Ready For Winter

Posted by on Nov 8, 2017 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Get Your Home Ready For Winter

Winter is coming… Is your home ready for cold weather? Here’s a quick checklist of things you can do to make sure you and your family stay warm this winter.

  1. Make Sure Windows and Doors are Sealing Properly – This can often be overlooked, as we don’t necessarily think about the seals on our doors and windows all that often, but drafts can be a huge contributor to heat loss in your home. Make sure your doors and windows shut tightly and have a good seal around the edges to maintain comfortable temperatures in your home this winter.
  2. Have Your HVAC System Serviced – Most people don’t think about their HVAC system all that often, but it’s critical to have yours serviced before it starts getting cold out. You don’t want your heat pump to die in the middle of a snow storm when it’ll take days to get repairs. Call your local HVAC company and ask about getting a maintenance check to make sure everything is working as it should before it’s too late.
  3. When Temps Drop, Leave A Drip – If temperatures in your area are dropping below 20 degrees, it’s a good idea to leave a couple faucets in your home dripping overnight to keep the pipes from freezing. Frozen pipes can be a huge hassle to deal with, and in many cases can cause excessive water damage to your home.
  4. Bring in Plants – If you’re a plant lover, you probably already know you need to do this. Be sure to bring in any plants that you want to keep alive through the winter before the first frost hits.
  5. Winterize Boats – If you’re the seafaring type, make sure to winterize your boats if you’re not planning on taking them out during the colder months. This will ensure that your boat stays in great condition for when you plan to take it out again in the spring!
  6. Locate Your Snow Gear – If you’ve got a snowblower or snow shovels, make sure they’re accessible for the first snowfall of the year. You don’t want to have to trudge out to the shed and go looking for stuff when it’s freezing out. Keep them in the garage or nearby for the winter, and then put them back into the shed in spring.
  7. Make Sure You Have Firewood (or Gas) – Nothing is better than curling up by a warm fire when it’s freezing out. Unfortunately, fires require a little bit of planning beforehand. If you have gas logs then this isn’t as much of a concern. You’ll want to make sure your gas is filled up before any big snowstorms, but other than that you should be fine. If you have a wood stove, make sure you have plenty of firewood on hand so you aren’t caught with nothing in the middle of a snowstorm.

If you follow these steps, you’ll be comfortable and warm all winter long. Not to mention you’ll save some time and money by taking care of these things ahead of time, and your family will thank you when temperatures in your home are consistent and toasty.

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What’s Your Emergency Plan?

Posted by on Oct 19, 2017 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on What’s Your Emergency Plan?

It’s essential for all homeowners to plan for various types of emergencies. You and your family should discuss emergency plans for fires, floods, tornadoes, and hurricanes. That way when disaster strikes, you are prepared to deal with it quickly.

There are a couple of different ways you can prepare for emergencies, namely getting things together to evacuate your home quickly, and putting systems in place to keep your home safe in the event of an emergency. We’ll discuss both briefly in this article.

Preparing to Evacuate

Some natural disasters require evacuation. It’s as simple as that. Obviously, we’d all rather stay put in times of emergency, but for large weather events like hurricanes or flooding, it may not be feasible to stay put. You could be putting yourself at serious risk if you choose not to follow evacuation orders from the state, local, or federal government.

Many people put together what’s called a “bug-out bag” with various essentials ready to go in the event of an emergency. These bags should include:

  • Some amount of cash
  • Flashlight or glow sticks
  • A change of clothes
  • A space blanket
  • Bottles of water
  • A phone charger (battery powered if possible)
  • A knife
  • A list of important phone numbers in case your phone dies
  • First Aid Kit
  • A lighter
  • Sleeping bag
  • Copies of Medical records and birth certificates for everyone in the family
  • Map of your area

You may want to add or remove various items from the kit, but this is a basic list that should function for most evacuation situations. Generally, it is expected that you will be able to get to shelter fairly quickly. If it seems that you will not be able to get to shelter quickly you may want to bring additional supplies, especially food.

Luckily, this kind of emergency is rare. For most emergencies, you’ll be able to stay in the comfort of your home, but you might want to take some extra precautions.

Readying Your Home for an Emergency

There are many different things you can do ready your home for a natural disaster. Preparedness, in part, comes down to research, so it’s a good idea to find out how often your area experiences natural disasters to determine how much you need to prepare.

Here are some ways you can prep your home for a disaster:

  • Install a Whole House Generator: This one seems obvious, but many people don’t think to have a generator put in until after an emergency. Call your local generator installation company, like H.O. Feild Electric Co, and see what deals they’re offering on whole house generators. These will automatically turn on in the event of a power outage and keep your family safe and comfortable until the power comes back.
  • Keep Sandbags On Hand: Sandbags are a cheap and effective way to keep flooding at bay. Keep enough sandbags around to be able to firmly cover the bottoms of any doors that are at ground level and susceptible to flooding. This will help to keep floodwaters at bay in many situations.
  • Keep a Stock of Non-Perishables: Keeping your pantry stocked with enough canned goods to make it through an emergency is always a good idea. If your power goes out and you don’t have a generator, you want to make sure you have enough food to keep you and your family fed for at least several days. If you can find non-perishable food that doesn’t require cooking that’s always a plus, though a small camp stove can be useful for heating up canned soups and similar food items.
  • Keep Flashlights and Extra Batteries Around: Always have a stash of emergency supplies that includes battery powered flashlights and lanterns.
  • Make Window Covers: If you have plenty of storage space and live in an area that’s prone to high winds, you can easily create window covers out of 2x4s and particle board that you can cut to fit in your window spaces. Then you can pop them in whenever a hurricane or high winds are forecasted to protect your windows through the storm.

There are a multitude of things you can do to prepare your house for various weather emergencies or other disasters. Some of your preparation will depend on where you live and what kind of natural disasters are common in your area. Obviously, preparation for a hurricane is totally different than prep for a tornado. So take the time to research what you need to be prepared for in your area, and make the necessary arrangements to make sure your family and your home stay safe during emergencies and disasters.

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Dealing with Pet Stains in Your Home

Posted by on Sep 13, 2017 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Dealing with Pet Stains in Your Home

Pets are wonderful, but no matter how good they are, all pets have their little accidents now and then.  When those accidents happen on your carpet or hardwood floors, they can cause lasting damage if not dealt with properly.

Pet urine, if left to sit, can not only stain your carpets or hardwood floors, but will also seep into your padding and subfloor. In addition, the odor left behind will encourage your pet (or pets as the case may be) to resoil the same area in a continued effort to maintain it as “their territory” which can lead to serious and lasting damage to your flooring.

Simple and Effective Home Remedies

Vinegar and Baking Soda – Who knew that this standard elementary school science experiment could help lift pet stains out of your carpet? The trick to this one is the bubbles created by the chemical reaction, which penetrate into the fibers of your carpet and break up stains and odor molecules. All you have to do is pour enough vinegar on the stain to soak it, and then add a helping of baking soda on top. You should hear it bubbling up and starting to dissolve the stain. Let it sit overnight for the best effects, we usually put something over the spot so baking soda doesn’t get tracked all over the house. Once it’s been left to sit for a day or so, wipe up any any excess that you can get with a paper towel and vacuum up the rest. Your carpet should look good as new!

Hydrogen Peroxide and Baking Soda – This works basically the same way as vinegar and baking soda. Pour enough hydrogen peroxide on the stain to completely soak it and then sprinkle deodorizing baking soda on top and let it sit. After it has absorbed most of the stain, wipe up the excess and vacuum up whatever is left after that. Easy peasy!

Citrus Enzyme Cleaner – This one is a little bit different, and takes some time to prepare. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 7 tbsps brown sugar
  • 5 cups of lemon and orange peels
  • 1 liter of water
  • A bottle to hold it all

Mix the ingredients together and give it a good shake. Loosen the cap a little bit to release pressure so the bottle won’t explode while it sits. The solution takes about 3 months to become fully incorporated, but when it’s finished it works just like the other solutions. Spray onto the affected area and let it sit for a little while. Blot it up with paper towels until dry. The enzymes in the citrus peels work to break down urine crystals, destroying stains and odors.

What If Those Don’t Work?

If you find that none of the home remedies are working on your pet-related stains, it might be time to pull out the big guns. Home remedies are most effective on fresh spots, but what happens when you don’t find a problem spot until well after it has happened. Chances are your animals have been using the same spot for a while, and the stain is crusty and ground in at this point.

To take care of more advanced stains, we recommend using a professional carpet cleaning service, such as Palmetto Chem-Dry, to remove the stains as well as the odor. Trained professionals have the know-how to peel up a part of your carpet and check the padding and subfloor for further staining, odor, or in serious cases, mold and rot. They have specialized equipment and cleaning solutions that are specifically designed to break down odor-causing urine crystals and remove them from your carpet, padding, and subfloor.  In serious cases, this may be the only way to fully remove odors and staining related to pet accidents.

Pet accidents in the house are certainly a nuisance, but it doesn’t have to be the end of the world. With these homemade remedies you should be able to deal with the majority of pet stains, and if those don’t work you can always fall back on calling a professional. When dealing with pet stains on oriental rugs or specialty area rugs, you should always default to calling a professional, as home remedies can sometimes make dyes run or fade, forever damaging your expensive specialty rugs.

I hope these tips have been helpful, and I wish you the best of luck dealing with your next pet stain!

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