Protecting Your Investment

  • Leaky Windows - Find the Cause

    12/13/2010 12:00 AM

    The windows in your home can leak for a variety of reasons.  The flashing could be installed incorrectly around the outside of the window.  Your gutters could be inadequate or your roof could be faulty, causing water to run down behind the siding and into your home.  Your windows could be manufactured without adequate j-channels to direct water around and away from the window.  During the winter months, ice dams can develop on your roof, causing water to leak behind the siding and into your home through a window.  Or your windows could simply be leaking somewhere around the frame or glass itself. Leaky windows can cause many problems in your home, and are compounded the longer you let the problem go.  Wood frame rot, mold, damaged siding and the sheathing underneath, are all problems associated with water leaking in through your windows. To eliminate the leaks you have to identify the root of the problem.  Replacing gutters, repairing window flashing, or preventing ice dams from forming can all help solve the leak. You may have to replace the faulty windows themselves.  When looking at replacement windows, you want to be sure they’re manufactured with vinyl sashes that are welded together rather than screwed together.  Also look for drainage holes and spaces for air circulation to avoid moisture accumulation in window frames and sashes. Thompson Creek windows are manufactured using the best materials and techniques in order to guarantee you a lifetime of maintenance-free efficiency.

  • Winter Weather and Your Windows

    12/9/2010 12:00 AM

    Winter weather is upon us and high utility bills are right around the corner.  If your windows are old and drafty, they can send your utility bills through the roof. Even if you can’t necessarily feel the air leaking in from your windows, there’s a simple way to check if they are drafty.  On a breezy day, take a lit candle and hold it around the perimeter of your windows.  If the flame flickers, you are throwing more money than you should at your utility bills.  Covering your windows with plastic really won’t make them more energy efficient, but replacing them will.  Vinyl replacement windows are air-tight, keeping out drafts as well as outside noise and pollution.  Vinyl replacement windows are maintenance-free so you don’t need to regularly sand and paint them like wood windows.  New windows will keep the heat inside your home this winter.

  • Gutter Problems – Wet Basement

    11/3/2010 12:00 AM

    Wet or damp basements are a common problem in homes.  Wet basements create mold, mildew, and ruin flooring and wall materials. It’s easy for water to find its way into your basement, merely from gravity – water flows down hill and along your foundation, stopping when it hits the basement.  The wet soil all along the outside of your foundation walls creates pressure, finding its way through the smallest crack, or worse yet, the pressure creates its own cracks in the wall.  Often homeowners will turn to more expensive fixes such as waterproofing the entire basement, which requires extensive excavation and landscape repairs. But before deciding on such an expensive fix, the source of the water in your basement should be identified, possibly offering a much cheaper solution.  Ground water can seep through floors and foundations due to heavy rain or seasonal run-off, or it could be constant water seepage. Often the source of this water is your home’s gutters. Rain gutters can overflow because of excessive rainfall, clogging from leaves or debris. Improper installation, for example, can cause draining from the second floor gutters into the first floor gutters, overflowing them. Sometimes homeowners install gutters in one or two locations but not all the way around the house. This causes an overload of water into your gutters which cannot drain away from your house properly. Water problems can also be caused by disconnected downspouts or downspouts that aren't long enough to direct water away from the house. So before deciding to undertake an expensive basement waterproofing project, first check your gutters and downspouts to make sure they aren’t causing your wet basement problems.    

  • Gutter Problems - Foundation Damage

    11/1/2010 12:00 AM

    In homes with clogged gutters or downspouts, foundation damage is the single biggest problem.  Ground erosion allows rain water to work its way to the foundation, creating structural damage.  If your home develops foundation damage, you’re faced with a very costly repair.  The uneven settling of the house or damage to part of the foundation can also compromise the plumbing and electrical systems and cause settling and cracks on solid surfaces such as sidewalks and driveways.  In addition, you’re looking at tens of thousands of dollars deducted from the resale value of your home. An efficient and properly maintained gutter system channels rainwater off your roof and away from your home’s foundation.  You’ll also have the added benefit of avoiding the damage created by ordinary rain gutters that are easily clogged with leaves, twigs, granules from shingles and other debris that cause overflow and more costly damage.  

  • Gutter Problems - Damaged Fascia, Soffit or Outside Wall

    10/28/2010 12:00 AM

    Non-existent, leaky or poorly-installed gutters can not only damage a home’s exterior paint job, but also its structural integrity.  This allows water to penetrate and damage the fascia, soffit or the actual framing of the house, causing thousands of dollars in damage. A properly constructed and maintained gutter system reduces mold, mildew, oxidation, dry-rot and insect infestation in and around your home – including your basement, foundation and crawl spaces. An efficient rain gutter system will not only channel water away from your home but you’ll avoid the damage created by ordinary rain gutters that are easily clogged with leaves, twigs, granules from shingles and other debris that cause overflow and more costly damage.

  • The Leaves Are Coming!

    10/5/2010 12:00 AM

    The colors of fall leaves are beautiful.  The damage they can do can be costly.  Fall leaves can clog your rain gutters and downspouts preventing your gutter system from properly routing rain water away from your home.  You can either climb a ladder to clean your gutters yourself, or pay someone to do it for you.  Better yet, you can install a gutter system that is guaranteed never to clog. Clogged gutters can lead to: Damaged fascia, soffit or outside walls Foundation Damage Wood Rot Mold and Mildew Wet Basements Landscape Erosion Shingle and roof damage Driveway and walkway damage Mosquito and termite breeding grounds Protect yourself and your home from the costs associated with clogged gutters.  Now is the best time to act so that you don’t have to worry about clogged gutters this fall.

  • Hurricane Preparedness: Gutters, Windows, Doors, Yard

    9/3/2010 12:00 AM

    With Hurricane Earl barreling up the east coast this week, those of us in the mid-Atlantic area are thinking about what to do to prepare for possible high winds, heavy rains and flooding. There are a few steps you can take in preparation for a hurricane or tropical storm making landfall.  According to FEMA, check in around your yard for potential problems.  Clear loose and clogged rain gutters and downspouts.  Assess your property to ensure that landscaping and trees do not become a wind hazard. Trim dead wood and weak or overhanging branches from all trees. Consider landscaping materials other than gravel/rock. Besides having clear gutters and downspouts, you want to ensure that there are no loose siding boards on the outside of your home. You’ll also want to look at your windows and entry doors and address any problems with leaks, loose trim, or other issues that might allow rain or wind to penetrate your home during a big storm. We’re fortunate that we don’t frequently encounter hurricanes in our area, and rarely with the same force as other areas of the country.  But with Hurricane Earl predicted to impact our area in some way later this week, now is a good time to evaluate your home’s gutters, windows and doors. Thompson Creek’s double-hung windows can withstand 11.53 inches of rain per hour and stand up to sustained winds of 153.09 miles per hour - the same winds you'd find during Category Four hurricane.  For more information on Thompson Creek’s quality vinyl replacement windows, doors, siding and gutters, visit our website at www.thompsoncreek.com.

  • Clogged Gutters

    8/23/2010 5:13 PM

    Gutters are often overlooked because they are above your head, and out of sight.  It is important that your rain gutters are clear so that water can be properly routed away from your home.  Clogged gutters and downspouts can cause numerous problems for your home including wet basements, cracked foundations, damp ceilings, wall damage, mold, mildew and insect infestation.   Cleaning your gutters is dangerous.  According to a study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, more than 2.1 million people were treated in US emergency rooms for ladder accidents from 1990 to 2005.  And during the study period, the number of incidents continued to rise, going up about 50 percent in 2005 compared with 1990. Choose a gutter system that is guaranteed never to clog to avoid ladder injuries and protect your home from potential damage from faulty gutters.    

  • Gutter Problems - Wet Basement

    8/11/2010 12:00 AM

    Wet or damp basements are a common problem in homes.  Wet basements create mold, mildew, and ruin flooring and wall materials. It’s easy for water to find its way into your basement, merely from gravity – water flows down hill and along your foundation, stopping when it hits the basement.  The wet soil all along the outside of your foundation walls creates pressure, finding its way through the smallest crack, or worse yet, the pressure creates its own cracks in the wall.  Often homeowners will turn to more expensive fixes such as waterproofing the entire basement, which requires extensive excavation and landscape repairs.   But before deciding on such an expensive fix, the source of the water in your basement should be identified, possibly offering a much cheaper solution.  Ground water can seep through floors and foundations due to heavy rain or seasonal run-off, or it could be constant water seepage. Often the source of this water is your home’s gutters.   Gutters can overflow because of excessive rainfall, clogging from leaves or debris. Improper installation, for example, can cause draining from the second floor gutters into the first floor gutters, overflowing them. Sometimes homeowners install gutters in one or two locations but not all the way around the house. This causes an overload of water into your gutters which cannot drain away from your house properly. Water problems can also be caused by disconnected downspouts or downspouts that aren't long enough to direct water away from the house.   So before deciding to undertake an expensive basement waterproofing project, first check your gutters and downspouts to make sure they aren’t causing your wet basement problems.

  • Gutter Problems - Wood Rot, Mold and Mildew

    8/10/2010 12:00 AM

    When rain water is not properly diverted from your home, the water can work its way into your walls—absorbed like a sponge by your home’s wooden framework or decking. This moisture creates a perfect breeding ground for fungal deterioration and wood rot. The most effective way to prevent fungal deterioration of wood is to keep it dry.   A clogged rain gutter or downspout is also the perfect breeding ground for mold and mildew.  Mold can cause respiratory illnesses, and black mold can also be one of the toughest objections to overcome when trying to sell your home.  Mold and mildew damage is becoming a large and challenging issue for homeowners and insurance companies. A gutter system that remains free of leaves and debris and drains well is the obvious solution.  Diverting rainwater off of and away from your home prevents it from seeping into the wood framing of your home.  And when water doesn’t sit stagnant in gutters you can prevent mold and mildew from growing.      

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