May

22

Spring Cleaning Tips for Sparkling Windows

Spring Cleaning Tips for Sparkling Windows Window cleaning is one of the essential spring chores for keeping your home looking neat and fresh. It’s especially important if you’ve had a window replacement recently to keep your new windows looking as beautiful as the day they were installed. Fortunately, cleaning windows isn’t complicated. All it takes is a few common household cleaning supplies and a little elbow grease!

Phase One: The Cleaners and Supplies

Most people attack their windows with a bottle of store-bought window cleaning solution and a roll of paper towels. While many commercial sprays do an adequate job cleaning off dirt and smudges, a more effective and economical method for cleaning windows involves using common household cleaners you probably already have: alcohol, vinegar, and sudsy ammonia. Plus, ditch the paper towels, which will leave behind lint. Instead, use clean rags or coffee filters.

  • The cleaners: Alcohol, vinegar, and sudsy ammonia.
  • Other recommended supplies: Two buckets, rubber gloves, a squeegee, clean rags or coffee filters, and a ladder (if needed).

Phase Two: The Cleaning Solution

Squeaky-clean windows require a lot of hot water, so start by filling two buckets with 1-2 gallons each of hot water. Make it as hot as you can tolerate with your rubber gloves on.

To the first bucket, add one cup each of vinegar and ammonia; this will be your wash water. For your rinse water, add two tablespoons of rubbing alcohol. This will give your windows that streak-free shine by helping the water evaporate more quickly.

  • Bucket 1 (wash water): 1-2 gallons hot water, one cup vinegar, one cup ammonia
  • Bucket 2 (rinse water): 1-2 gallons hot water, two tablespoons rubbing alcohol

Phase Three: The Cleaning Process

Now it’s time for the real work to begin. Dip a clean rag in the wash water. Starting at the top and working your way down, use circular motions to clean the whole window. If you encounter sticky spots or dried-on materials that don’t want to come off, try using a synthetic scraper (metal ones will scratch your glass).

Quickly rinse down the window with your rinse water, then immediately use a squeegee to clear off the water, using solid vertical strokes. Be sure to clean off the squeegee between each pass to avoid leaving behind drips and water lines. Finally, use a dry coffee filter or rag to catch any water left in the corners or on the sill.

If you need a full service window replacement company, Callen would be happy to take care of that for you. Just call 414-765-2585 and we’ll have your new Infinity® from Marvin fiberglass windows installed and ready to enjoy in no time!

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Mar

13

Installation of Energy Efficient Windows Continues to be a Popular Home Improvement

Does your home seem cool in the winter and warm in the summer? If so, it may be worth your while to investigate this inconvenience, rather than ignore it. Chances are, the culprits of your discomfort are outdated windows.

Older windows often leak air between your house and the outdoors, which makes your heating and cooling systems work overtime. “Replacing your home’s old windows with properly sealed, energy efficient replacement windows is a step in the right direction,” said Christopher Wittmann, CR, an exterior product specialist with Callen. “Installing energy-efficient windows will not only lower energy bills, but also improve your comfort and reduce condensation,” Christopher said.

Faulty windows are one of the primary sources of energy drain in an average home. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, traditional windows can waste up to 30% of energy used to heat or cool a building. “If you don’t want your energy dollars to seep through the cracks, it’s important to replace your out-of-date windows with Energy Star rated windows,” Christopher said.

Installation of Energy Efficient Windows Continues to be a Popular Home ImprovementThere are two main ways in which new windows can increase home energy efficiency and comfort. First, they eliminate air exchange. When windows are sealed improperly, there is an exchange between the warm and cool air in your home and the outdoors. “Every time your home loses air, your heating and cooling systems have to work overtime to replace it and maintain the optimum temperature,” he said. “Properly sealed windows will eliminate these leaks and seal any drafts.”

Second, they provide proper insulation. Even with storm windows installed, single paned windows allow radiant energy to leave your home, while newer windows with insulated double-paned Energy Star rated glass provides a proper insulating seal around your home.

“The window replacement process is enjoyable and hassle-free at Callen,” Christopher said. “We offer a one-stop shopping experience, with knowledgeable guidance from your first visit all the way through installation. Whether it be a vinyl, wood or the more prevalent fiberglass products, Callen offers all the popular energy efficient patio door and window styles – double-hung, casement, glider, awning, bow, and bay.”

For more information or to arrange an initial showroom consultation, call Callen at 414-529-5509.

Nov

28

Keeping Your Home Warm in Winter

When you’re an adult, the fun of winter activities like sledding, ice skating, and building snowmen with the kids doesn’t quite make up for the high utility bills that come with Wisconsin’s cold winters. Check out these tips from Callen, the top Lake Country remodeling company, to make the winter months a little easier on your pocketbook.

Let the sun warm your home naturally. An easy (and free!) way to help heat your home this winter is to take advantage of the warmth provided by the sun. Make sure that curtains and blinds are open in rooms that receive direct sunlight during the day. Just don’t forget to close them when the sun goes down, or the warmth you gained will be lost. Consider purchasing thermal curtains for the winter to help keep the heat in.

Keeping Your Home Warm in WinterInvest in a programmable thermostat. A programmable thermostat is a great tool to help keep the temperature in your home consistent. Setting the thermostat to lower temperatures when your home is unoccupied and when you sleep at night will help conserve energy and lower your energy costs. Cooler nighttime temperatures may even contribute to better sleep. Simply program your thermostat to the low- to mid-60s for the hours you’re asleep, then set it to start warming the house up again within an hour or so of when you usually wake up.

Keep the doors closed to rooms used the least. Most people spend the majority of their time in two or three rooms, such as the kitchen and living room. By keeping the doors closed to rooms that aren’t frequented as much, as well as closing the vents in those rooms, you are reducing the amount of space that needs to be heated. This will help your home heat up more quickly and stay warm longer, plus save on your heating bill.

Reverse the direction your ceiling fans spin. By changing the direction your ceiling fans rotate, from counter-clockwise to clockwise, warm air that rises to your ceiling is pushed back down into the room. Be sure to keep the ceiling fan at a low speed to prevent it from cooling the air too much.

Get Assistance from the Top Lake Country Remodeling Company. To save more money this coming winter, take stock of your windows to determine if your home would benefit from window replacement in Milwaukee. When you are ready to invest in energy-saving replacement windows, call Callen 414-765-2585 to get started.

Oct

03

The Top 4 Outdoor Maintenance Projects for Autumn Days

Cooler weather makes autumn the perfect time to complete a multitude of home improvement projects. Taking care of these projects before really cold weather hits will drastically reduce the amount of time you have to spend on home maintenance in the winter months. Here are several tips from Callen Construction on the most essential fall projects to help get your home settled in for winter.

Examine the Roof

Winters can be brutal. Having a sturdy, leak-proof roof is vital to protect your home from the elements. Autumn is a good time to have a roofing professional do a yearly inspection to make sure your roof is in tip-top shape, and take care of repairs if necessary. If you prefer doing it yourself, keep an eye out for missing, cracked, or curling shingles.

Protect Lawn Furniture

Even the highest quality lawn and deck furniture will fade, rust and break down quickly when left to the mercy of the sun, wind, and other elements. Before winter sets in, make sure your furniture gets a thorough cleaning, then store it in a protected area or at least make sure it has an adequate cover. Check your deck or patio at the same time for loose or broken boards, nails that have popped, and bricks or stones that are cracked or loose.

Prep Your Lawn

Just like your house, your lawn needs to be prepped for winter. This is a little more involved than just raking leaves. Start by clearing out gardens and flowerbeds, then move on to aerating the lawn and fertilizing grass, bushes, and trees. The shortened days, cool temperatures, and heavy dews of autumn make it ideal for root development, so it’s a great time to plant cool-season grasses, flower bulbs, and trees.

The Top 4 Outdoor Maintenance Projects for Autumn DaysInspect Windows

It’s important to check your windows yearly to determine if they are performing well and whether window replacement in Waukesha is necessary. Check the locks to make sure they are secure and in good shape. Examine the weather-stripping on the interior and the sealant on the exterior to make sure that heat will stay in and drafts will stay out.

Get Help from the Pros

Not sure where to start? Need help with home exterior remodeling in Muskego, WI? Just give Callen a call at 414-765-2585 and we’ll be happy to share our home improvement expertise.