20 April 2017
Window Cleaning Tips and Tricks

Whenever a cleaning person is being interviewed for hire in the movies they are always asked what they won't do.  Often times the answer is “No windows!”  Seeing as this task is going to be on your to-do list, we hope to provide you with some easy solutions to get those windows sparkling in no time. 

Gather your tools:

 

If your plan is to tackle all the windows in the house, gather up all the items you will need so they are at the ready and you are not wasting time searching for more paper towels.  We suggest the following: 

Bucket, sponges, squeegee, ladder, hose, soft cloth, newspaper or paper towels, vacuum and soft bristle brush. 

 

There are many window cleaning detergents on the market.  Pick one you feel has done a good job in the past or consider making one for a more green approach.  One solution that gets great raves is 2 cups of water, ¼ cup vinegar and ½ teaspoon of dish soap.  Pour that into a spray bottle and you're set.  

 

 

Ready, Set....Wash 

Window washing is best done in the early morning before it gets too hot out.  Too much heat can dry your detergent too quickly which will leave streaks.  Do a quick inspection of your windows, door frames and glass to check for wear, cracks or screen damage and make notes of anything that may need  repairs. 

 If you have windows that allow you to wash them from the inside of your home, work from top to bottom.  Do the outside of the window first and wipe horizontally, wipe the insides vertically, this way if there is still a patch of dirt or a streak you can tell which side needs extra attention.  If your windows are really grimy, consider using one sponge or cloth with some soapy water to get that initial layer of dirt off, then proceed with another cloth with your cleaning solution.  Newspaper is one method of drying that does not leave fibers behind.  Special micro-fiber cloths are also absorbent as are good ole paper towels.

If you have larger outside windows that need attention, we recommend using a bucket full of warm soapy water....2 gallons to a few tablespoons dish soap.  Adding 4 tablespoons of rubbing alcohol can help to prevent streaks, but that is optional.  If you are working on a ladder please have someone assist you to prevent falls and injury.  After scrubbing clean with your sponge, use a hose to rinse your window.  A long handled squeegee is the key to get rid of excess water and make drying a breeze.    

Use your soft bristle brush to gently loosen dirt from door and window screens, then wipe down with a wet cloth.  Don't use paper towels or newspaper on your screens as they will leave bits of paper behind.

Your vacuum will come in handy by sucking up dirt and bugs from the window sills.  

Don't neglect your garage door!  Tackle that with your bucket and soapy water and a good rinse. 

Enjoy the view. 

 

Make washing the windows a family activity and it won't seem like such a terrible task.  Play your favorite tunes, as the day gets a bit warmer the kids may like to get spritzed with the hose a bit.  Many hands make for a lighter load.  When the chore is done, break out some snacks and lemonade and admire your crisp clear view of the garden.  

06 April 2017
As we wrap up Window Safety Week

 

Over 3300 children are injured each year from window falls.  As you begin to open your windows to let the fresh air of spring in, please take a few minutes to make sure your windows are safe and pose no risks for small children. To wrap up National Window Safety Week we offer these guidelines to ensure your family is safe. 

  • Always supervise small children that may be playing in an area that has open windows. Perhaps consider designating a play area that is further away from open windows.
  • Kids love to climb!  Keep furniture away from windows to avoid potential risks.
  • Never rely on a screen to prevent a fall.  Let's keep the bugs out and your sweet children in.
  • If you have double hung windows, open the top sash to allow for cool air to ventilate the room.
  • Home stores offer limited opening hardware kits, that allow for fresh air, but limit opening to only a few inches to prevent falls.
  • Always lock windows when not in use.
  • Cords are another potential hazard to small children.  Keep cribs and furniture away from corded windows.  If a long cord is present, wrap it up in a manner that does not pose a risk.  The Window Covering Safety Council offers free retro fit cord devices.  Please visit their website to learn more and obtain a kit for your window. http://windowcoverings.org/ 

Mark your calendars to check your windows at least once a year.  A few invested minutes could prevent a serious injury.   Have a safe and happy Spring!

 

16 March 2017
Ways to Re-purpose Your Old Doors and Windows

 You've heard the phrase, “When one door closes, another one opens”.  What if we tweaked it a bit to: 'When one door or window closes....it's time to re-purpose!”  There is so much charm in the patina of an old door or window.  Keep your eye out at yard-sales, flea markets and thrift stores to score a great find.  Look for wood that is still solid, don't worry too much about peeling paint, that can lend some character to the piece or be repainted. We recommend asking the age of the door or window, items before 1978 may contain lead paint, which can be hazardous. If you proceed, wear goggles and gloves if sanding and consider using the item more as artwork that won't be handled.   We choose several DIY projects.....a few simple ones and several that might take an afternoon to complete.  Be inspired by looking at things in a new light. 

1.     Just a few modifications will give you a sweet little seat to put on your boots and store away your kids gloves and hats.  Choose a solid, not hollow, door for this project.  Sand and paint the door a cheery color or allow the older paint to stay.  You can take measurements to add a bench or small shelf.  Some decorative hooks for purses, coats and scarfs complete the look.

  

Entryway Bench

2.     Look for a slender door or even an old cabinet door for this project.  Sand, stain and paint as you choose to match your décor.  A trip to the hardware store can provide you with legs that can be simply attached with mounting hardware and a few tools.  If the door has a key hole or interesting knob, leave it on for some pizzazz.  

Coffee Table

3.     A paneled door works best for this design.  The panels are cut out and attached to the back of the door to make the shelves.  Hinges and hardware can be left on for added appeal.  When sanded and painted this idea would work well in a child's room or library.  

Shelf Unit

4.     An older window frame can be used in lots of clever ways throughout the house.  If you can find an old 6 paned window simply paint with chalkboard paint and utilize it as a weekly memo board or menu.  A large four pane window can show off family pictures or beautiful prints from an antique book.  In this example, sheet music and birds combine for a lovely look.  Even finding a window frame with no glass can be used as a unique frame for artwork. 

             

Many of these projects and other DIY inspiration can be found on Pinterest and the internet.  We hope you can always look at something in a new light and transform it into something functional. 

 

 

 

16 February 2017
Why Choose an Insulated Garage Door
Insulate Your Garage Door

Bundle up!   That's what you heard from your mom as you walked out of the house every day in winter. She was determined to keep you warm and comfortable as you ventured into the chilly air.  The same principle applies to areas of your home.  Having sufficient layers can help keep the heat in and make your home more comfy as well.  Insulation in your walls and attic is common place, but what about your garage?  An insulated garage door can afford you many benefits. Here are a few to consider.

As the humble garage space has evolved over the years it has taken on a multipurpose use.  No longer is it just a space to house a car or two, but it has become an extension of your home.  Many of us use this area to do woodworking or tinkering on our cars. Some utilize the space as a workout area or a place where your teenagers can play their drums or guitars without deafening the entire household.  For these very reasons an insulated door can help maintain heat generated by a portable heater so these activities can be enjoyed all throughout the chillier months. 

A warmer space can also mean the difference of your car starting or not.  If the temperature outside is 20 degrees, your garage is about 30 degrees.  An insulated door increases that temp to around 42 degrees, which gives your vehicle a little extra edge when temperatures are below freezing. 

If your garage is attached to your home, you probably have a door that connects to a small mudroom or hallway off your kitchen.   Each time that door is opened your home feels the effects of that blast of cold air.  Having an insulated garage door can help buffer that cooler air so your home maintains it's temperature.  

Does anyone in your home work the early shift?   Or perhaps you have a night owl in your midst?  Insulated doors are denser and therefore rattle less.   That means less disturbance for those of you already asleep.  The denser door is also a great sound barrier......those drums that are being practiced on will cause less rift in the neighborhood.

Let's be real, your garage door takes a lot of abuse.  Besides the daily opening and closing, it receives the occasional bump of a basketball, catches the falling bicycle and sometimes feels the back bumper of your car.  The stronger core of an insulated door adds rigidity to the panels and helps it absorb these impacts better.  The less damage done to the door over the years can equate to less repairs and longer duration in general.

A.B.E Doors and Windows carries the Raymor Innovation Series garage doors which offers a polyurethane insulation.  Please contact us at 610-398-2430 if we can be of assistance in selecting a garage door for your home. 

 Other articles you may be interested in:

www.abedoors.com/blog/1/2016/09/index.cfm

www.abedoors.com/blog/1/2015/02/index.cfm

19 January 2017
Why do my Windows Always seem Wet?

 Are your windows dripping with condensation?  Cooler temps outside reek havoc on the inside of windows causing poor visibility, peeling paint and when left untreated.....rot and mildew.  This article will help you understand why windows do this and how to prevent it. 

Let's start with why this happens. Windows themselves don't cause condensation, high humidity does. Condensation occurs when water vapors come into contact with a cooler surface.  Your homes humidity levels are increased now that winter is here.  Gas and propane release moisture when burned, so heating up your home contributes to the excess moisture.  Other factors that can contribute to more moisture are:  fireplaces, a large grouping of plants, pets and our day to day activities.  If you own an older home you may not experience elevated levels of humidity because older homes tend to be a bit draftier.  This enables your home to “breath”, thus removing some of the moisture.  Newer homes, even with more energy efficient windows, can be subject to condensation as well.  Materials such as wood and concrete can release moisture in the home for up to 12 to 18 months, depending on the area you live in.  

There are several solutions to controlling the moisture in your home.  The first step is to determine the humidity level in your home.  An electronic hygrometer is an inexpensive purchase that can calculate levels in all areas.  Your home should be measuring around 40% humidity. If readings are higher, then a dehumidifier is a great choice if the affected area is one room or a particular space.  Make sure you choose the right size for your room for maximum efficiency.  If you are finding that most windows in your home are prone to condensation, then it may be time to examine your exhaust system.  A new fan motor or the installation of a timer to achieve the necessary air flow may help the overall area of your home. 

 If you are finding that neither of these solutions are helping your windows or you notice areas that are already effected with peeling, mildew or rot, it may be time to examine the window and surrounding area.  A.B.E Doors and Windows carries Anderson and Provia windows that offer you a wonderful selection to match your budget and homes décor.   Our knowledgeable team is ready to assist you and make sure your home is well cared for.

 

 

22 December 2016
Winterizing Windows
A How-To for Saving Money with Windows

By now, most of you know that Energy Star ratings are an integral way to gauge the quality of a window's thermal and energy efficiency, and we are proud to provide dozens of models that receive the highest Energy Star ratings.  Among these, we are especially proud of our line of ProVia Endure windows, which can be seen here .

Two things that make ProVia Endure especially smart solutions as replacement windows involve obscure, but incredibly important, factors in the estimation of an Energy Star rating, these factors being "air infilitration" and "condensation resistance."  

Air infilitration denotes a measurement of how much exterior air flow passes through the window pane, thus decreasing internal temperatures.  Factory-tests conducted by ProVia ensure that all their windows exceed the industry standard for this measurement before they are released on the market.  

Condenstation resistance denotes the material ability a window has to avoid condensation formation, which is a function of ambient humidity.  Just like the case of air infiltration, laboratory tests on condensation resistance are performed on all ProVia windows before they are sold and installed by ABE Doors.  

There are many ways to save on energy costs during winter, and purchasing replacement windows, such as ProVia Endure, through ABE Doors is just one way among many.  Please call, return to our site, or visit our offices for more helpful tips on saving money during the winter seasons.

 

  

16 December 2016
How to Hang that Beautiful Wreath on your Front Door

We all have the urge to hang that big holiday wreath on the front door at this time of the year. However, how do we properly hang it in order to prevent damage to our door?

There is no reason to hammer a nail into your wooden door. You do not want to end up with split wood. Purchase an Over-the-Door Hanger. They have come along way over the years; you can find them in all types of finishes. Be sure to choose a strong metal hook that has a curve, so that it hangs clear of decorative door panels. To prevent the hanger from scratching the door, here are some simple suggestions:

·        Use felt behind the hanger. Cut the felt to the size of the hanger and be sure to use a color similar to the hanger.

·        Attach little bumpers, those like the ones that are on the inside of your kitchen cabinet doors. Line these up and down the hanger.

If you have a metal or steel front door, you can purchase a Magnetic Wreath Hanger. Hang it where you want to display your wreath and then hang the wreath from a small hook. Most magnetic hangers hold up to 10 lbs.  That is quit a big wreath!

The easiest solution is if you have a storm door. You don’t want to hide your wreath between the two doors, all this does is flatten the beauty of the wreath. Instead, hang it on the outside of the storm door. If you do not want to use an Over-the-Door Hanger, there are other simple solutions:

·        Use a suction cup hook on the door that can be removed when the wreath is ready to come down.

·        3M command adhesive strips also serve the purpose in this case. They attach nicely to glass and can be removed easily. Just make sure to purchase the proper strips for the weight of your wreath.

These handy tips can be used all year round for your seasonal wreaths.

16 November 2016
Tis the Season - Tips for Holiday Lighting

It’s that time of the year. Christmas lights make the holidays festive and bright, but they come with their own safety and fire risks. Follow some important safety and energy-saving tips and have a happy holiday season with your family, neighbors and friends. 

 

Before you hang outdoor Christmas lights, decide what you're going to work on first and gather everything together. This is where having a helper comes in handy. Start with bushes, then trees, any windows, the doors and finally the roofline. 

 

Decide on the type of lights that work best and most efficient. Light-emitting diode, or LED, Christmas tree lights emit a bright, vibrant light that uses 80 percent less energy than conventional tree lights. They are also longer-lasting and stay cooler than traditional bulbs because they don't have a filament. 

 

Another option is energy-saving bulbs that use around a quarter of the electricity of standard bulbs and last up to 12 times longer. When you shop, look for government and industry-approved energy-saving logos to find the most energy-efficient products in either option in addition to rebates. 

 

When hanging lights, make sure you have firm support and never use tacks, staples, or nails. Instead, use plastic clips and insulated holders. 

 

Make sure your holiday lights are secure enough to withstand heavy winds and that you use UL approved extension cords specific for outdoor use and look for lights rated for indoor/outdoor use. 

 

Do not allow plugs and cords to sit in puddles and snow. 

 

Use a non-conducting fiberglass or wooden ladder when working with strings of lights, and stay clear of all overhead wires. 

 

Never let light bulbs touch flammable materials such as plastic or dry grass and leaves. 

 

You will probably not run into the same problems that Griswold had to deal with, like stapling your cuff to your house and nearly falling off a tall ladder, but following safety guidelines can make sure you and your family stay safe and get to enjoy this time with those you care about.

 

24 October 2016
Lead Poison Prevention Week - what you should know.

Today, childhood lead poisoning is considered the most preventable environmental disease among young children. A simple blood test can prevent permanent damage that will last a lifetime. Lead Poisoning Prevention Week is October 23rd-29th. We wanted to discuss the dangers of children being exposed to lead and how to take proper precautions.

According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) potential risks of lead poisoning can cause damage to the brain and nervous system, slowed growth and development, learning and behavior problems and hearing and speech problems.

Lead can be found in all parts of our environment – the air, the soil, the water, and even inside our homes. Lead and lead compounds have been used in a wide variety of products found in and around our homes.

Lead is particularly dangerous to children because their growing bodies absorb more lead than adults do and their brains and nervous systems are more sensitive to the damaging effects of lead. Babies and young children can also be more highly exposed to lead because they often put their hands and other objects that can have lead from dust or soil on them into their mouths. Children may also be exposed to lead by eating and drinking food or water containing lead or from dishes or glasses that contain lead, inhaling lead dust from lead-based paint or lead-contaminated soil or from playing with toys with lead paint.

You can lower the chances of exposure to lead in your home, both now and in the future, by taking simple steps like keeping your home clean and well-maintained.

Check out the link below on Lead Poisoning Home Checklist and ask yourself the questions and make sure your home is safe. If you think your child has been exposed to lead, seek out medical attention through your pediatrician or family physician for immediate attention.

https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/documents/parent_checklist3.pdf

 

22 September 2016
Stay Warm this Winter with well Insulated Windows

 Stay Warm this Winter with Well Insulated Windows

Cooler temperatures are quickly approaching and we’ll be seeking warmth and shelter indoors. Keep the cold air out by making sure your homes are well insulated, especially your windows. Leaky windows may cause colder nights and it can really impact your energy bills. Weather you live in a home or small apartment, it’s always a good idea to save some money, here are few things to consider to do just that.

You can determine if you have drafty windows by holding a lit candle or incense around the windows to determine where the leaks are coming in. There are a few temporary things you can do to insulate your existing windows if you are on a budget.

Add weather stripping or caulking around the window sides and sashes can help eliminate the cold air coming in. There are DIY window shrink wrapping that can be applied on each window.  Storm windows are always a great option to have layered protection against the elements. Available for purchase at most retail stores are insulated window treatments or coverings.

All of the above can help with temporary fixes until you are ready for a permanent fix that will eliminate your drafty breeze. New purchased and properly installed energy efficient windows can reduce air infiltration which will bring comfort to you and your loved ones, as well as reduced heating and cooling costs, tax incentives and increased value of your home.

You’ll find that you have several options to consider when selecting what type of windows you should use in your home. Before selecting new windows, determine what types of windows will work best and where to improve your home’s energy efficiency. It’s a good idea to research and understand what energy performance ratings you need for your windows based on your climate, home’s design and window orientation.

Quality Replacement Windows give your home a fresher look, easier maintenance, and added Energy Efficiency. A.B.E. Doors & Windows has a wide selection of Windows for your home remodeling or construction project to get you ready for those cold winter months.

 

25 August 2016
What to Consider when Purchasing a New Entry Door

Are you thinking about purchasing a new entry door for your home?  Your entry door is one of the first things most of your guests see and probably the most used door in your home. For this reason, you want to be sure you get exactly what you want and need for your investment. There a few variables to consider when purchasing a new entry door; design, material, safety, energy efficiency, budget & warranty, just to name a few.

Each home has its own unique look. With that being said, you want to make sure your door design compliments the rest of your home. When shopping, consider color, style, whether you want window inserts or not, while at the same time making sure you combine beauty and durability for the perfect fit.

The most popular material options for doors are steel, fiberglass & wood. Did you know fiberglass and steel doors are three to five times more efficient than most wood doors? Another great quality for purchasing a fiberglass or steel door is that they offer less maintenance than most other door options.

Any door you choose should always have the safety of your family in mind. You can choose additions to add to your door like steel frame construction, reinforced handle and deadbolt, all which provide added security.

Consider purchasing a certified energy efficient product. This will save you money while lowering your energy bills at the same time. It will add comfort and efficiency that will shield you from the cold winter months and the hot summer heat. Lastly, it can protect your belongings and valuables from fading or discoloring should you decide to go with glass inserts in your front door.

It is very important to make sure you find a reputable company that makes your home improvement project as easy as possible. A reputable company will help you select and install the best products and assist you with financing options to stay within your budget

A warranty is only good as it’s company. Each manufacturer has warranties specific to their products. In addition, some retailers may provide extended coverage on the installation of the product.

There's no greater peace of mind than knowing you have one less worry by having your doors installed by professionals.

Picking the right entry door is a huge decision. But once installed, you will have an elegant entry that make a great first impression for years to come!

 

15 July 2016
Window Care and Maintenance

There are many things around us that require regular maintenance like our car, heating & air units, garage doors and the list goes on. The correct operation and maintenance of your windows will ensure that they will perform as expected for many years to come. Here are a few tips to help protect your investment.

Wash windows regularly, avoid harsh chemicals or abrasives on the windows as well as the window hardware. Use a damp cloth with an approved cleaning solution.

Security alarms are a great addition to any home. Be sure to check your warranty to confirm what is covered, applying adhesives to attach your security sensors can damage your windows and void certain parts of your warranty.

Be careful with nails and screws around your windows, you can damage window frames, weather stripping and reduce energy efficient performance.

If you paint or stain the window frame, make sure to keep up with regular maintenance as needed to ensure windows work properly.

Keep sharp tools away from your windows, especially to clean them, like razor blades or steel wool, they can damage your windows. Keep your windows clean by using safe non-chemical cleaners.

Safety tip if you have small children, do not remove operational levers and handles off the windows to keep your little ones from opening them. This is a safety hazard and could prevent your ability to exit your home quickly should there be an emergency.

We feel an informed customer is our best customer. We hope you find the information above on window care and maintenance helpful in keeping your windows looking beautiful and performing well for years to come.  

 

07 June 2016
It's Garage Door Safety Month
It's Garage Door Safety Month

 

Can you believe it’s June already? We’re all excited for some fun in the sun! In all the excitement, let’s not forget safety first. Did you know that there is a whole month dedicated to garage door safety, you guessed it, it’s June and it’s here! Garage doors are the largest moving object in our homes. We want to make it a priority to always keep you informed of garage door safety tips to ensure a safe and happy home.

Garage doors and openers are not toys, make sure openers and control buttons are kept out of reach of children and are in clear view of the door, at least five feet from the floor. Make sure your kids and you don’t try and beat the door while it’s closing, it could be fatal!

Thousands of injuries happen each year that involve garage doors, make sure you avoid any joints or moving sections of the garage door so there can be no accidental pinching or crushing of hands.

Just as every other major appliance wears and tears, the same goes for garage doors. At times, parts of the garage are open to rust or garage sections may fall in disrepair and could cause injury and infection. Be sure to wear protective gloves, consult your owner’s manual if necessary and take action as soon as you see any sign of anything falling apart that could cause serious harm.

In the event that someone should back up into your garage door and yes it happens more often than you think, be sure to have a professional certified technician inspect the garage door even if it looks like there is no apparent damage. It’s better to be on the cautious side.

A.B.E. Doors & Windows is committed to your safety. We offer all of our customers an annual 20-point safety check, which includes checking your garage doors panels, springs, sensors, safety release, hardware, track, wiring, connections, inspect internal gears & belts, keypads and so much more. Please remember – Garage door springs, cables and hardware are under extreme tension and could cause serious injury or damage. For this reason, only qualified technicians should adjust or replace them.

You want your garage door system to operate properly and safely at all times. Make sure that your family knows how to operate and maintain your garage door. The key to safety is knowledge, we’re here to help.

 

It's Garage Door Safety Month
It's Garage Door Safety Month
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03 April 2016
National Window Safety Week
April 3-9, 2016

The goal of National Window Safety Week on April 3-9, 2016 is to help families realize the importance of windows as an escape route in an emergency and to learn to protect against accidental falls. Take some time this week to go through the window safety checklist. If you find you are in need of replacement windows, call A.B.E. Doors & Windows at (610) 398-2430.