If you live in the Northeast and your home was built before 1978, there is a good chance you have lead in the paint of your house. Before the 1978 ban on the use of lead paints, lead was used to speed drying, increase durability, maintain a fresh appearance and resist moisture. For a homeowner looking for the best bang for their buck, a paint with lead in it was the smart choice. But was it? The warning signs have been around for centuries and not heeding them has left many homes in the Northeast with a ticking time bomb hidden under wallpaper and new paints.

Warning Signs

The use of lead in paint has been around for a very long time. Lead white can be dated back to the 4th century BC through the pen of ancient Greek author Theophrastus. Medieval texts speak of workmen having apoplexy, paralysis and epilepsy from working with lead white, but that didn’t stop artists before the 19th century from using it to make their paints denser and able to cover a large surface with a small amount. In the beginning of the 20th century Sherwin-Williams reported in their monthly publication that a French expert had deemed lead paint “poisonous in a large degree, both for the workmen and for the inhabitants of a house painted with lead colors.” But it wasn’t until 1978 that U.S. officials placed a ban on paints with lead in them.

The Dangers

In April 2010 the Federal government passed a law requiring that any contractor performing renovations, repairs or painting where lead-based paints are disturbed, must follow specific work practices to prevent lead contamination. These drastic measures has come about because of the many health issues families have reported after renovations, where dust particles from disturbed paint has rested on rugs, furniture, and other interior items, resulting in health problems for families. It can cause permanent damage to children, like nervous system, kidney and brain damage, as well as reduced intelligence and learning disabilities. It is also a danger for fetuses in pregnant women.

If your home was built before 1978 and you’re considering home improvements, contact Window Nation. We offer lead testing services. If lead is found, we employ renovators that are skilled in the removal of these contaminants and that follow the procedures required by the EPA.

Protect your family from lead poisoning. Don’t risk permanent health problems. Stay informed. Stay safe.

Busy, busy, busy! Everyone is so busy. Who has time to do house maintenance? Not me. Scraping, washing, sanding and recoating wood siding is not in my schedule, let alone part of my skill set. How about those old windows that stick and are cracked and leaky? I certainly don’t have time to do anything about those! Maintenance is something that most of us don’t have to do. We buy maintenance plans for our appliances, vehicles and other things, but just what do we do about our homes?

The three biggest maintenance issues for homes are siding, doors and windows. These areas are crucial to your home’s energy efficiency and curb appeal. If any of them are not performing correctly or are an eye sore than it effects your whole home.

Siding is aesthetically like the frosting on top of a cake. The style and color of your siding is a center point of your homes’ curb appeal. Quality vinyl siding covers your home with beautiful color. Available in tons of colors and styles, your home’s siding will surely reflect you. Maintenance is not an issue with quality vinyl siding from us here at Window Nation. Our vinyl siding does not need to be sanded, scraped or repainted, EVER! Virtually maintenance free, vinyl siding is most assuredly the way to go.

You may not think of doors as a maintenance issue at first, but if they become scratched, dented or need to be refinished they certainly are a maintenance problem and are ugly. This is not exactly the impression you want to give people when they enter your house. Wood doors need a regularly scheduled maintenance of refinishing. This, just like wood siding, means that your door will need to be sanded, scraped, washed and recoated. Yet again a process that takes time and specific skills. Here at Window Nation we know that time is of essence, so we offer a huge selection of steel and fiberglass doors. Available in all the popular styles, such as:

  • French doors

  • Sliding doors

  • Entry doors

  • Storm doors

Both steel and fiberglass doors have a minimal maintenance schedule when finished per manufacturer’s recommendations. These extremely efficient doors will also help pad your wallet because they will out preform an old leaky door in both energy efficiency and keeping insects outside.

Wood, aluminum or sub-par vinyl windows have maintenance written all over them! They all require an annual maintenance. Some need intense repair, some need painting and some just plain ole’ gotta go.

Our vinyl windows come in hundreds of styles, color and combinations to meet your needs. Each vinyl replacement window is custom manufactured to meet your requirements. These high quality vinyl windows will never need to be repainted, EVER.

Life in the 21st century is busy enough. Why add more to it than you have to? Replace your windows, doors and siding with the low-low-low maintenance products from the experts here at Window Nation!

Having air and water leaking through your window can be hazardous for the structure of your house. Seeing these leaks may seem obvious on a big scale but even the smallest leak can damage the window frame and start to create rot. It is also easier to fix a leak if you catch it in the early stages. Once you have determined there is a leak, you can call in a professional to help you establish the extent of the damage and set up a plan for repairs.

These small window leaks can let in cold air while you are trying to heat your house. They can let in moisture that will start to eat away at your window frame. Repairing the leak quickly and efficiently is the best choice. Even if it means a higher upfront cost for replacement windows. It will save you more in the long run.

There are two ways that you can detect these leaks on your own. There is a home air pressure test you can do and a DIY energy audit. These tests can be performed by you. They are a simple way to detect a small leak and start working on a solution.

Air Pressure Test: Start by sealing up your home. Lock windows and doors. Close vents and dampers. Turn of any exhaust fans. Light a candle and bring it around your home to find where the drafts are coming from by watching which way the flame moves.

DIY Energy Audit: Check your windows to make sure they have a tight seal and do not rattle or shake. Make sure that the frame around your window and door is sealed as well. You should not be able to see through the frame. Inspect the window panes for any cracks, even the small ones. Make sure windows lock properly and slide smoothly.

After performing these checks around your home, set up a plan for action. Call a professional window installation company to help you make your windows leak free. Having a home with energy efficient windows is ideal for saving money. With today’s economy, every penny counts. Start saving money today, give Window Nation a call and set up an appointment to start making your home energy efficient.

Drafty windows can become a real pain in the cold, winter months. It becomes a battle between hot and cold. You have to turn up the heat, while your windows keep letting in cool air. It can become very expensive to try and heat your home in the winter. Making your home more energy efficient is always a plus for you and your bank account. Having energy efficient windows can improve the overall energy efficiency of your home. It will save you money in the long run and keep those drafts away. There are a few tips and tricks to keeping your drafty windows at bay as much as you can.

Here are a few tips to help you cut the drafts down.

  • Weather Stripping: Adding an extra lining a protection between your windows and the cold, winter air can help save you money in heating costs.

  • Caulking Windows: Adding a layer of caulking between the window and the frame can help to keep drafts away.

  • Curtains: Adding curtains to your windows can help protect from drafts. They sell thicker curtains, specifically for draft protection. They are more expensive but worth the protection.

  • Shades: There are many different types of shades that you can invest in to help lessen drafts. There are different styles for you to pick from to match your home’s unique style.

These tips will help you in the fight against drafty windows. However, they do not completely solve the drafty window problem. They only lower the amount of cold air that your windows let in. They are a temporary fix to a long term problem. The best thing you can do is replace your drafty windows. It will be a larger upfront cost but new energy efficient windows will save you money in the long run.

Call the helpful professionals at Window Nation today to get started on a plan to end drafty windows for good and begin enjoying new, replacement windows for years to come.

Many home repairs are perfectly safe for homeowners to complete. Adding a little sweat equity into your home helps your home’s value, as well as your budget. But what should or shouldn’t you do with your own hands and tools? Well, here are five repairs that we feel should certainly be left to the pros.

Roof repair. Do you have shingles lifting on your roof? Or water leaking into your home because of some imperfection in your roof system? Roofs are an intricate part of your home. They are the front line to protecting your home’s interior and exterior from the harsh elements of weather. If your shingles are pulling away or curling they can be letting in moisture and wind. You may look up and think it is a simple job to tack them down or replace them. Don’t make that mistake. You roof is a complex system of trusses, tie downs, underlayment and fasteners that all work together to keep your home weather resistant, secure and strong. If you think that your roof system has failed in any way, contact a professional for repair.

Electrical Wiring. Any issues that you may be having in electrical matters should most definitely be handling by a professional electrician. Electricity is a powerful and dangerous force that can be deadly, if not handled correctly. Sometimes electrical problems present themselves by breakers being tripped and needing to be reset on your breaker box. This is not normal. They should not be tripped regularly. This shows that the circuit is overwhelmed and something is not functioning correctly. If you have a GFI outlet, one with its own breaker on it, and it regularly trips itself and needs to be reset, this too is an indication of a problem. If you desire another outlet or light in your home’s wiring system, please call a professional electrician. This additional electrical source will need to be safely added to your electrical system. There is no electrical or wiring issue that shouldn’t be handled by a professional electrician.

Plumbing problems. Beyond plunging a clogged toilet or drain; all other plumbing problems should be handled by a professional. Just like your electrical system, your plumbing system is an intricate and powerful part of your home. You have pipes that bring in your water, take away waste, and move cold and hot water. If this pipe leaks or bursts because of improper installation you can have thousands of dollars of damage and even injury. If your pipes aren’t working well or leaky, or your drains are slow or leaking, call a professional as soon as possible.

HVAC system repair. If your heating, ventilation or air condition system is acting up, calling a professional is the optimum choice for repair. These systems are often an intricate system on their own, as well as they are directly hooked into your plumbing and or electrical system. Each type of HVAC system has its own intricacies and not all systems are the same. Calling a professional service that is specifically trained for yours is the best and only answer.

Window or door replacement. How hard can it really be? Well, quite hard. Windows and doors are holes in your home that need to be installed as tightly and correctly as possible. If your door or window is not installed correctly, wind and moisture can enter your home’s walls and floors. Wind will allow unwanted air exchange, increasing your HVAC costs. Moisture in your walls and floors can cause damage that can rot, warp and alter your home’s structure, costing you thousands in repairs. Replacing a door or window is most definitely a job best left to the professionals.

Repairing, improving and renovating your home can have aspects that are completely safe and do-able as a do-it-yourself homeowner. Knowing when to call a professional for your safety is the key. Leaving these five jobs up to the professionals will save you money and keep your home safe for years to come.

Summer is coming to an end and fall is not far off. Is your home ready for the cooler fall months? Fall is a busy season for most families with kids going back to school. Preparing your home for fall can be one of the last chores on your to do list. Fall is a great time to get some of these home maintenance chores accomplished. Take a minute and look around your home to see what you might need to do to prepare for fall weather. Things are getting cooler, leaves are changing colors and getting ready to fall, your home’s landscape is changing greatly. Is your home ready for this change in weather?

Here are three helpful ideas to get started preparing your home for fall:

  1. Clean windows: The end of summer is a great time to clean your windows before it gets too cold out. Some windows are even easier to clean from the inside because they flip in so you can clean them from inside your home.

  2. Clean out gutters: Cleaning out your gutters at this time of year is essential. It prepares your gutters for the leaves that are coming. Fall is a big time for leaves to fall. Cleaning your gutters out before these leaves fall helps you get a head start on your gutter maintenance. This will help to prevent them from getting clogged over the colder months. If your gutter clogs, it could freeze and create water and moisture build up in your walls.

  3. Do some general lawn/landscape maintenance: This is a great time to do some general landscaping maintenance around your home. Your lawn could use some extra seed and fertilizer to make it through the colder months. Your garden could also use some extra fertilizer to help root growth. This is a great time to trim and prune shrubs before the colder months. Taking care of your lawn and gardens before the colder months will help you have an easier spring.

These are just a few things you can do to prepare your home for fall and the colder weather. For more information and help accomplishing this maintenance, contact your local lawn care professionals today. Preparing your home for fall can seem like a very daunting task. Getting help with this task from a professional can make all the difference. Get your home ready for fall and don’t let the cold weather affect your enjoyment of this new season.

There is just something empowering about being able to say I built that with my own two hands. Do-It-Yourself home improvement projects are becoming more and more popular these days. Especially if your home is on a tight budget, like many are with today’s economy. Projects that you can do yourself can save you the expense of labor and give you a sense of accomplishment. There are some set backs to DIY projects if you have not done the proper research and invested the appropriate amount of time, they can be dangerous and more costly in the long run.

Here are a few DIY safety tips for getting things started on the right track. Take a minute to look these helpful tips over before diving into any DIY project.

  • Safety First: The number one thing to be aware of when starting a DIY job is unsafe work conditions. It is easy to think you have to cut corners on safety when doing a DIY project. Safety is the most important part of any home improvement project. It could not only make the difference between getting the job done but also it could save your life. It is important to read all safety material when using power tools, have a spotter available when using ladders or heavy equipment and also go through the right safety routes when dealing with things like electrical wiring.

  • Tools: Having the correct tools for the project will not only get the job done faster but also keep things safer. You can purchase or sometimes even rent the right tools to get the job done. Make sure you read directions fully before using any unfamiliar tools. Safety is always the first step to getting any project done. If you are unsure about how to use a tool ask a local hardware store clerk for tips and ask a friend to be present when using major equipment.

  • Materials: having the correct material for your DIY project is essential to getting the job done right the first time. You can ask professionals at your local hardware store for help picking proper material. It is not always best to choose the cheapest material. This could slow down the project later on. Asking for help and choosing the right material for your job is the best place to start picking material.

  • Measuring right: Making proper measurements for your DIY project is essential for a good outcome. If measurements are off by an inch it can hurt the projects outcome. The rule of thumb is to always measure twice and cut once. If your measurement is off you may need to buy more material or start the project over.

  • Building Permits: Having the proper building permits are very necessary to any project. If you have not secured the proper permit and you build on an addition. The town will tell you to take down the whole project and redo it with the appropriate permits.

These helpful tips are just the beginning of your DIY project. Local hardware store staff can help assist you further with project questions. Safety is the number one concern when starting any DIY project. Keep things safe and enjoy the learning experience.

For some of us, hurricanes are one of the seasons of the year. We have winter, mud, spring, hurricane, summer, and fall. The Atlantic hurricane season lasts from June to November, with the peak of activity being from mid-August to late October. Hurricane season actually encompasses spring, summer and parts of fall.

Preparing for hurricanes can be an involved and multifaceted topic. Hurricanes affect so many different areas of our lives that thinking about damage minimization and preparation can seem overwhelming.

Hurricanes can pack a double punch. They bring with them severe high winds and a lot of rain. Picking up ocean water as they travel along and storing it until it makes landfall. Once the storm hits land, it starts to quickly dump all its water. This fast and furious rain fall has the potential for floods, flash floods, rock slides, and coastal erosion.

Strong winds is the other major part of a hurricanes double punch. With winds upwards of 119 mph these forceful storms can literally uproot and remove stationary objects, making them into flying projectiles. The wind combined with the driving rain makes visibility all but zero.

F.E.M.A. (Federal Emergency Management Association) has a printable hurricane preparedness list and tips on their website; click here.

Some of these steps and suggestions are:

  • Subscribe to a weather alert service to stay as current as possible to any weather changes and alerts.
  • Communicate with your family regarding you plan and prevention tips.
  • Educate your family about all the dangers that a hurricane can pose.
  • Know your area and all the possible flood threats and evacuation routes.
  • Check your home for loose siding, shingles or trim boards and secure or replace any that may easily become detached during a storm.
  • Check all window and doors to be sure that all latches, security locks and parts are working properly. Repair or replace any that need it.
  • Consider building a ‘safe room’.
  • Assemble an emergency storm kit/stash that includes such things as batteries, lamps, water, non-perishable food, medical supplies and anything else that you need to survive for three days if necessary.
  • Be sure that your home’s roof is securely attached to the frame with steel anchoring ‘hurricane clips’.
  • Trim trees and shrubs.
  • Clean all gutters and water drainage systems.

 

When a storm is heading your way here are few tips to help ready your family,home and property:

  • Protect windows and glass doors by covering with ⅝” thick plywood or exterior shutters.
  • Make sure all family members are in communication with each other and wearing current I.D.’s.
  • Fill vehicle’s gas tank.
  • Follow and listen to all public service safety announcements.

Remember, that a hurricane watch and a hurricane warning are two distinctly different terms. A watch means that the onset of hurricane conditions is possible within 36 hours and warning means that the window of time has dropped down to 24 hours.

Hurricanes can be a scary and deadly force to reckon with. Help keep your family and property more safe by making and following a proper hurricane preparation plan.

While summer is here, now is a good time to take advantage of the beautiful weather and give the exterior of your home a little TLC. This can help make sure that your home is in tip-top shape and is ready to handle all that summer can throw at it- including high temps and crazy rain storms.

Here are some helpful tips to keep the exterior of your home maintained through the summer months:

  • Make sure that the exterior of your home has proper drainage. Pooling water can damage your landscape and your foundation, as well as decks and patios. To make sure that rainwater is carried away from your foundation and your home’s exterior, be sure the soil around your home slopes away; you can achieve this by bringing in fill dirt and top soil to build up a slope.

  • Make sure that your gutter system is free from clogs and that your downspout is pointed away from your home. Remove debris from the gutter and rinse with a garden hose to remove any leaves or branches that may have occurred over the last few months. This is best done several times a year for maximum gutter efficiency.

  • You want to make sure that your home is air-tight, especially if you run an air conditioner in your home. Windows are one of the worst culprits for air leaks so if you have old and leaky windows, having them replaced is a great solution to help save you money on your energy bills and to make your home more comfortable.

  • Keep tree branches and shrubs trimmed away from your home. When branches and other vegetation touch the sides of your home, pests like ants will find it easier to access your home. Pest infestations are one of the biggest problems that homeowners deal with in the summer, so whatever you can do to protect your home from pest invaders should help make your summer a more enjoyable one.

At Window Nation, we are window replacement experts. We can help you choose the right windows for your home that offer all the energy efficiency that you require. Contact us today to learn more about our replacement window options. Along with windows, we can offer vinyl siding, siding accessories and even new storm doors, sliding glass doors and entry doors for your home. Give our pros a call for a consultation and start improving your home today!