20 September 2017
Window Woes and DIY Solutions
DIY projects to fix your windows

 As a home owner we can all appreciate a repair that we can tackle ourselves.  Besides saving a bit of money, there is a personal satisfaction in looking back at the repair and saying “I did it myself”.  This guide aims to address several common window woes and arm you with clear instructions plus a materials list so you go in prepared.  With any repair, know your own DIY comfort level.  When in doubt, seek a professional's advice.  


Removing Residue

Materials: Single edge razor blade, Goo Gone/Lift Off, Rags, Work Gloves

Step 1: Wearing work gloves, use your razor blade to gently loosen as much of the residue as possible.  Keep the blade clean by wiping occasionally with a rag, if necessary change the blade if it becomes dull.

Step 2: Apply a thin layer of residue remover like Goo Gone or Lift Off with a rag. These mixtures are often citrus based and are non-abrasive.  Allow the remover to soak a few minutes and then gently wipe off with a clean rag.  A more stubborn residue may need a solvent such as rubbing alcohol to be completely removed. 

Step 3: A quick spritz of window cleaner wiped with a paper towel completes the job.

 

Freeing a Stuck Wooden Window

Materials: Plain candle wax/Vaseline, 2'' putty knife, finishing hammer, small wooden block

For swelling due to damp weather:  Open the window as high as you can.  Working gently from one side to the other, place a small block under the window and tap with your hammer. This method avoids harming your window and  breaking any glass.  Once the window is raised apply a thin layer of Vaseline or rub candle wax on the track.  Lower and raise the window until the lubricant works in and you feel the window opens smoothly.

For painted shut windows: Using your putty knife, gently work the knife between the window joint until the window is free from the dried paint.  If the paint is really thick applying a solvent may help in prepping the area first.  Always test a small area to ensure no damage will occur to various surfaces.  When the window is moving again, gently scrap away any paint residue you can.

 

Removing a Broken Window Pane

Materials: Gloves, goggles, small pliers, masking tape, utility knife, vacuum, old towel

Step 1:   Safety first!  Before you begin, place a towel underneath to catch debris.  Wear goggles, gloves and footwear to protect yourself.

Step 2:  Crisscross the area with masking tape.   As you remove the broken shards this will help keep smaller pieces from dropping or flying in the air.

Step 3: Remove the larger pieces first.  Line your trash bag with some leftover newspaper so glass does not poke through.  As you begin to remove smaller pieces you may need to loosen them from the putty with your utility knife.  Grasp these smaller bits with a pliers using gentle force to avoid shattering.

Step 4: When all the glass has been removed, use your vacuum to suck up the remaining pieces.

 

Replacing a Torn Window Screen

This video from ACE hardware store shows you how to repair both small and large tears. 

 https://youtu.be/t7emMleueHg 

 

Now that you have tackled your windows, let's keep the momentum going with this excellent piece on ailing doors from Paul Bianchina of the Morning Call.  He will have your doors back in swing in no time. Read Paul's article below.

Easy fixes for ailing doors

By Paul Bianchina

 
If you have some doors around your house that aren’t working quite right, don’t despair. There are a number of quick and easy fixes that will take care of whatever’s sticking, squeaking, swinging or otherwise ailing your doors.
 
The door binds in the upper corner of the jamb: This is a common complaint, since the weight of the door wants to pull it down at an angle from the top corner, opposite the upper hinge, causing the door to bind against the jamb in that corner.
To fix it, remove one or two of the screws that hold the hinge to the jamb. Replace these screws with new ones that are long enough to reach all the way through the jamb and into the stud behind the jamb; you’ll want to predrill new pilot holes through the existing holes in the jamb to make it easier to drive the screws. These new, longer screws will pull the jamb back up against the stud and take the angle out of the door frame, relieving that pinch point in the corner.
 
The door binds against other parts of the jamb: First of all, ask yourself when this started happening. Is it only in the winter? If so, it’s probably due to seasonal swelling, which happens when the wood absorbs moisture from the air. Check to see if the door is being directly exposed to moisture, such as a drip from a leaky gutter, or perhaps it’s constantly shaded by overhanging trees and rarely dries. If you can identify the cause of the seasonal moisture, correct it. Be careful about planing a door during the winter — when it dries out again, it’ll be undersized for the opening.
If the binding isn’t seasonal, look for stress cracks in the drywall or moldings around the door. This can indicate settling issues, which may be caused by shifts in the home’s foundation, or simple drying of the wood framing, especially in newer homes. If the settling doesn’t continue and the binding doesn’t worsen, you can relieve the bound area by tapping against the door frame with a hammer and a block of wood, or by removing the door from its hinges and sanding or planing it a little. If the settling is worsening, consult with a contractor or structural engineer.
 
The door won’t stay latched: If the door won’t stay latched or needs to be pushed hard to get it to latch into the strike plate, first look at the way the door is fitting in the jamb. If you see that it appears to be leaning down at the upper corner, try installing longer screws as described above. Otherwise, it’s a matter of readjusting the strike plate. Site the latch to see where it’s hitting the strike plate, to determine if the plate needs to move up or down. If necessary, coat the latch with lipstick or crayon and then close the door — the resulting marks on the strike plate will help indicate where it’s hitting.
If only a small adjustment is needed, use a small file or a rotary tool with a metal grinding bit and enlarge the strike plate opening as needed. If a larger adjustment is necessary, unscrew and remove the strike plate, then reposition it on the jamb and reinstall it. You may need to chisel the jamb slightly to accept the plate in its new position.
 
Screws are coming out: If the screws that hold the hinges are coming out of the jamb, or you’ve had to reposition the strike plate and the screws want to go back into the old holes, you need to create new wood for the screws to grab into. This is easily done by drilling out the old screw holes to the size of a standard hardwood dowel, typically 3/8 inch. Apply glue to the dowel, insert it into the hole, allow it to dry, then cut it off flush with the surrounding surface. Drill a new pilot hole into the dowel, and re-insert the screws.
 
The door swings and won’t stay open: This is caused by a door that’s out of plumb in its opening. To correct it, you need to insert a small amount of shim between the back of the hinge and the door jamb — usually the bottom hinge. Loosen the hinge screws almost all the way, so that you have some play between the hinge and the jamb. Insert a piece of wooden shim or other material, such as small pieces of plastic laminate, behind the hinge, then retighten the screws.
 
The door latch hits the strike plate: This is caused by a strike cylinder that’s worked loose, or by a loose doorknob. If the strike cylinder that goes into the edge of the door is held in place with a small rectangular plate and two screws, first try tightening the screws. If they’ll tighten and hold okay, that will pull the cylinder back into the door and hold it. If the screws won’t hold, then you’ll need to install dowels as described above.
First, loosen the screws holding the doorknob, so that you have a little play in the knob. Set a block of wood against the strike cylinder, and tap it with a hammer to drive it back into the door until it’s flush with the door’s edge. Finally, securely tighten the doorknob’s screws to hold the knob and cylinder in place.
 
The door hits the wall: You need to install a door stop. The simplest type is a solid or flexible stop with a screw on one end and a rubber cap on the other, which is screwed into a pilot hole that’s drilled into the door or into the baseboard. Another style is a hinge stop, which is used when you want to stop the door before it can open far enough to contact a stop on a wall. To install this type of stop, remove the top or center hinge pin, slip it through the hinge stop, then reinstall the pin in the hinge. The hinge stop has an adjustable rod that screws in and out to contact the door at different points.
 
Have a home repair or remodeling question for Paul? He can be reached by email at [email protected].
 
 
22 August 2017
Hang in there…Curtain Solutions for every Room

 Carol Burnett immortalized  the humble curtain when she wore it, rod and all, during her infamous “Gone with the Wind” parody sketch.  With so many styles, colors and lengths to choose from it can become a daunting task.  Let's help simplify that process so your windows are the best dressed in town!

 

Begin by assessing the rooms function.  If privacy is the main goal, then choosing a heavier fabric will ensure no one is peeking in.  These denser fabrics are also great options for blocking sunlight.  If sleeping in on a Saturday morning is your weekly treat, you may want to consider a lined curtain to really block out those early morning rays. 

Cotton or linen allow natural light to filter through while letting you to enjoy the view from your window.   These fabrics are also easy to maintain, which is a plus if the room sees many an active child or furry pet.  If you are concerned with fading, a neutral hue will hold its color longer.  

Now that you've chosen your fabric let's move on to length.  You may see terms like brushing, breaking and pooling.  Brushing means the curtain is slightly touching the window sill or floor.  Breaking is when the curtain goes an inch or two on the floor.  A curtain that drapes over the floor by more than two inches is pooling.  Again, looking at the rooms function will help you decide on length.   A well-used room may not benefit from large pools of fabric on the floor. 

 

When measuring, start from the rod to the floor to get an accurate length.  Don't forget to account for rings or hardware that may be used to hang the curtain. Many designers hang curtains close to the ceiling for the illusion of added height. 

 Generally speaking, you want a curtain to be a few inches wider than the window for a nice full effect. In the room’s you are seeking privacy or darkness you may want to choose a curtain that is 3X the width of the window to create a bigger barrier.   

 

Now the fun part...choosing a material or pattern to complement your décor.  If your furniture already has a pattern, going with a solid, complimentary hue is a good choice.  Patterns and bright colors mix well in a room with classic elements.   Make sure your material matches the other fabrics in the room.  A light and airy room will not mesh well with wool or velvet.  If you find a fabric you love, bring a swatch home and hold it up against the window to see how it looks in the light.  


 Pull the look together with fun hardware.  Curtain rods that have a brushed silver or wrought iron finish can be charming. The addition of finials or using clip rings to hang the curtain add interesting details.  A child's room gets an amusing pop when you use something out of the ordinary as a tie back, like a chunky necklace or pretty ribbon.

     

 

 A great window treatment should provide a balance of function and beauty.   We hope this guide will help you choose a curtain with confidence. 

 

 

23 July 2017
Don't lose your cool in a hot garage!

 You just finished dressing and fixing your hair in the coolness of your home only to become hot and flushed by the time it takes you to hop into your car to begin the day.   Don't sweat it.....here's a host of great tips to lower that temperature and keep your cool. 

Let there be air flow!

If you are fortunate enough to have a window, install an exhaust fan to help pull the hot air out.  If you feel comfortable with the idea, you can open the garage door about a foot to help with circulation as well.  Even a well placed box fan can help with air flow if you are doing some tinkering in the garage.  Always make sure the garage door is closed and any fans turned off at the end of day. 

Don't be full of hot air.

Think of the ceiling of your garage like the attic in your home.  Hot air rises and gets trapped in that space.  Adding a vent to the roof will give all that hot air a way to escape, thus keeping the overall garage cooler.  Insulating your ceiling is an another way to keep that hotter air from coming into the working area of your garage.  

If these walls could talk.

They would say “add some insulation to us too”.   If you choose this option, make sure to encapsulate the insulation with some wall board material. This would prevent tearing and wear from pets and younger children.  Applying weather stripping around an entrance door or the bottom of the garage door will help keep the warmer air out.  You could also caulk around a window or door if you saw small gaps in those areas as well.

Consider some shade.

If your garage is used as an extension of your home in terms of living space maybe consider adding an adjustable roll away awning to the sunny side of the garage to keep that summer sun at bay.  If you are revamping your landscaping, a well-placed tree can provide leafy shade during the warmer months and the loss of leaves in the winter will allow the sun to peek through and warm the garage...bonus!

Think light.

Darker colors absorb heat.  Painting your garage door a crisp white, beige or cream will help reflect the heat.  Another choice is a cool roof system.  A more costly selection, these materials help absorb the sun's energy and reflect more heat.  Available in the form of paints, tiles and sheet coverings, this option would be more suited to a garage that has been converted to a home gym or living space.

We hope these tips will make your garage a bit more tolerable in the summer months or at least a little less rumpled till you get to work.  

21 June 2017
National Garage Door Safety Month
Garage Door Safety

 

The International Door Association has deemed June National Garage Door Safety Month. Your garage door is the largest heaviest moving object in your home. Over 77% of garage door related injuries occur at a person's own property.  Keep your family, pets and automobiles safe all year round by following these simple tips.

 

 

Every month inspect your garage door and the surrounding mechanics.  Look over your cables, springs, rollers and tracks.  Look for any objects, such as leaves or other debris, that may be in the way of these areas that would cause a problem.  If you hear a lot of grinding or scraping apply a spray lubricant to keep the tracks running smoothly.  The average life span of most springs and cables is approximately 10,000 cycles or roughly 6 to 10 years.  Please consider calling a professional to replace these items, as they are tension mounted and may cause injury to the do-it yourselfer.  Do not operate the door if you feel there is an area that needs repair.

Since 1993 overhead garage doors are required to have auto reverse sensors to indicate if an object is in the way of the door as it closes.  Check these sensors monthly by placing a soft object, such as a roll of paper towels, in front of the sensor.  If the door does not automatically move back up, check the wires to make sure they have not been chewed on or disconnected in any way.  Over time the sensor itself may become dirty, wiping each lens with a soft cloth ensures the beam does not get interrupted.  If the beam seems broken it could indicate the brackets have become misaligned. Tightening the brackets may solve the problem, if not, you may have to replace them.   If your garage door does not have sensors it may be time to upgrade to a door that does to avoid an injury.  

 

              

Talk to your children about garage door safety.   Encourage them not to play with the opener or the remote.  Make sure your opener is placed at a height that small children cannot access.  Instruct your kids not to leave bikes or toys in front of the garage or inside where they could get run over.  Never open or close the door when kids or pets are close by.   If you have older children, teach them how to use the emergency release pull.... make sure you know how to use this as well!

Staying safe extends to when you go on vacation as well.   Inform a trusted neighbor of the days you will be gone and have them notify you if they see any odd activity near your garage door.  Take remote controls out of your car and keep them in the house until you return.  Some newer garage door models have a vacation mode feature that can be activated so your remotes are disabled.  Upon your return, simply deactivate this setting from the wall control in the garage and you are back in business.  

 

 A little prevention and knowing what to look for can save you and your family from a garage door related injury.  A.B.E Doors and Windows cares about you and your home, if you feel your garage door could use a little love please contact us at 610. 398. 2430.  

 

 

19 May 2017
Organize Your Garage to Fit YOUR Needs
Have fun Organizing

 Organize Your Garage to Fit YOUR Needs

 Now that you have spring cleaned your home from top to bottom, let's move your focus outside the home to your garage. Has it been awhile since you were able to park your car in it?  If your car does fit, are you tip-toeing around stuff to get to your car door and hoping you don't knock anything over?  If the answer was yes to either of those questions, let’s look at some practical solutions that translate well for any garage space. 

                   

                                   Before                                                                                          After

The first step is to clear out the garage from top to bottom.  As you remove items place them into three piles.  Trash, Keep and Donate or Sell.  Really assess the item...when was the last time you used those roller-blades?  If it's been over three years, it's probably time to let it go.  Have some bags and boxes handy for the items you donate and make a plan to drop them off later that day.  Try not to bring it back into your home or garage. While the garage is empty give it a good sweep.  It is also an excellent time to check your garage door opener for wear and tear. Make a note if you see something that needs repairing.

 

The next step is to sort the items you are keeping.  Grouping them into like categories will help you determine how to organize your garage area.  Examples would be: toys and sports equipment, lawn & garden, tools and perhaps holiday items.  Now that you have your groupings, take a look at the garage space and create different zones for those items.  If your garage is attached to your home you may want to designate that space near the door to be used as a pantry or an area for coats, shoes and school belongings. 

                    

 

Utilize vertical and overhead storage solutions to your advantage.  A simple pegboard with an assortment of hooks can hold all your tools.  A clever trick to remember what goes where is to trace the outline of the tool onto the pegboard!  A solid shelf and some sturdy S hooks can help create a sports zone for bicycles, golf equipment and sports gear that may only get used at certain times of the year. When installing any overhead solution, always make sure they do not impede the opening and closing of your garage door.  

                                

 

Wooden pallets and PVC pipe are two inexpensive ways to corral all your long handled garden tools.  A small shelf can hold potting supplies, gloves and smaller gardening implements.   As you put things away it's a great idea to label things.  That way everyone knows where items belong. 

 

                                                

 You've worked hard.  Take a moment to enjoy the fruits of your labor and the reclaiming of your car's parking spot.  If you have energy left, lace up those roller-blades and take a loop around the block.

01 May 2017
A.B.E. Doors Mother's Day Contest
Read below for specific instructions on how to enter and win our Mother's Day Contest with a beautiful flower bouquet provided by Dan Schantz Greenhouse & cut flowers.

 

To enter, please visit our Facebook Page
and "LIKE" the contest post pinned to the 
top of our FB page.  
Please share with your friends so 
they get a chance to enter too!
The contest will run through May 10th with the winner announced on May 11th.

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