Oct

09

Tips for Home Winterization

Winter weather will be coming to Wisconsin before too long, so now is the time for area homeowners to prepare their homes for what can be a harsh time of year. Homes can be winterized with these tips from Callen professionals.

Tips for Home WinterizationOutside

  • Homeowners should make sure they have the necessary tools for the season in good working order: shovels, ice melting salt, and a roof rake for removing snow from the roof to help reduce ice damming issues.
  • Checking windows and doors for air leaks should start with a visual inspection of the exterior. Where the old caulking has failed, there will be a gap between the window or doorframe and the home’s siding. If your home has single-paned windows, look for damaged glazing, which is the hard putty that holds the individual panes of glass in place.
  • Clean gutters of any debris, which could add to ice damming issues. Consider seamless aluminum gutters and larger aluminum downspouts to reduce the amount of ice build-up and the possibility of leaks and damage.
  • Water is the enemy to your exterior chimney. Water getting into the masonry, freezing, and then causing failure gets costly to fix. Make sure the concrete cap or crown on the chimney has an overhang and is not cracked.
  • Make sure the flue that vents your furnace and water heater has the proper size liner in it, and that it is in good condition.
  • When the ground freezes, animals that normally seek shelter and food underground may instead cause damage to trees and shrubs. Flowering crab trees and burning bushes are especially susceptible. Protect plants with either wire or netting across or around the plant.

Heating

  • Check your furnace filter and replace it needed. Now is also a good time to have the furnace inspected and tuned up.
  • Regarding the air conditioner, turn off the breaker for the A/C and clean it thoroughly and properly.
  • It is necessary to make sure the fireplace chimney is clean from soot before using it this season to prevent a chimney fire. Also, be sure you close your fireplace damper when not in use. Otherwise the heat you are paying for while running your furnace is going up the chimney.

Dec

12

Four Easy Ways to Add Holiday Cheer to Your Home

Four Easy Ways to Add Holiday Cheer to Your HomeHomes full of holiday cheer aren’t just for those who can afford an interior decorator and fancy ornaments and decor. Bringing the season into your home is possible for everybody, whether you live in a house, an apartment, or a college dorm. Just follow these simple and affordable tips to make your home cheery and bright this holiday season.

Scents of the Season

There are certain scents, such as cinnamon, pine, and peppermint, associated with the holiday season that immediately bring back nostalgic childhood memories. Fill the air with these aromas, and your friends and loved ones will immediately feel at home. While stores have a never-ending supply of holiday-scented candles and sprays, consider instead these fun and easy methods for making natural air fresheners that are chemical- and toxin-free.

Transform with Twinkle Lights

No matter how bare your rooms may be otherwise, adding a few strands of Christmas lights will instantly add a festive element to any setting. There’s just something about the gentle glow of twinkle lights that can make any room seem warm and merry. At just a few dollars per strand, they’re perfect for any budget.

Highlight Your Holiday Cards

Christmas and other holiday cards, particularly photo cards, were meant for more than just a brief perusal. Enjoy the holiday scenes and bright smiling faces of loved ones by stringing the cards on a piece of twine and displaying them across your mantel, in front of replacement windows in Brookfield, WI, or on the back of a door. Simply punch a hole in the corner, thread the twine through, and tie a knot to keep it in place.

Don’t Forget the Tree!

If you love Christmas trees, but just don’t have the time or the space to set one up, don’t give up altogether. Buy a miniature tree! Pre-lit mini trees can be set up anywhere, like on a tabletop, a dresser, or a desk. If your holiday traditions don’t include a Christmas tree, try decorating with fresh pine wreaths, garlands, or swags decorated with pinecones, faux berries, and ribbons. It’s an easy way to bring the sights and scents of nature into your home.

Give yourself the gift of window replacement in Waukesha this season and call Callen at 414-765-2585. What better way to cheer up your home?

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.

Sep

19

Preparing for Winter: Your Fall Home Maintenance Checklist

As summer days get shorter and a hint of fall can be felt in the air, it’s time to start thinking about prepping your home for winter. Before you begin any home exterior remodeling in Brookfield, WI, here are just a few of the essential tasks that should be taken care of before cold weather hits. Simple precautions can go a long way to prevent expensive repairs down the road.

Maintain Your Mower

Before your mower is ready to stow for the winter, there are several things that should be done to guarantee a smooth start when spring rolls around. First, if you haven’t run your mower dry, you will need to stabilize any fuel left in the tank to prevent it from breaking down and damaging the engine. This can be done by adding stabilizer to the tank of your mower and running it for five minutes to ensure that it gets to the carburetor. Add stabilizer to the gas in your gas can too. It’s also a good idea to oil the engine and clean grass clumps and build-up from the deck of the mower.

Callen Preparing for Winter: Your Fall Home Maintenance ChecklistClean Out Gutters

The damage that can ensue from a clogged gutter is harmful to your home as well as your wallet. To prevent this, get out your ladder and clean gutters of all leaves, sticks and other debris. While cleaning, check to see if the gutters are loose or damaged, and tighten or call for replacement as needed. Make sure the areas where the water runs off are clear of debris as well, and protect your home’s foundation by ensuring that downspouts reach beyond the house by at least five feet. To make sure you do not need to worry about this chore in the future, call Callen to have Gutter Topper installed.

Examine the Roof

While you have the ladder out, take a survey of your roof. If you cannot safely climb to the roof line, use binoculars from the ground. Pay close attention to the shingles, noting any that are missing, cracked, or curling. If your roof is older than 20 years and you notice unusual amounts of granule accumulation while you are cleaning gutters, this could mean that your shingles are losing their protective coating. If you have any concerns, be sure to call a roofing professional such as Callen before harsh winter weather sets in.

As the leader in home remodeling and replacement windows in Brookfield, WI, Callen is always ready and willing to answer any questions you might have. Just give us a call today at 414-765-2585 for prompt, professional service.

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