8 Inexpensive Ways to Weatherize Your Home

Winterize Home

8 Inexpensive Ways to Weatherize Your Home

As chilly days settle over Chicagoland, heating bills tend to rise. However, there are several inexpensive ways to weatherize your home to reduce costs.

Window Insulation Kits
Window insulation kits offer a low-cost way to reduce and eliminate drafty windows. The kits include clear, oversized plastic that fits over a window’s interior. A hair dryer or similar heat source is used to shrink the plastic for a secure fit that adheres to the window. This approach also eliminates wrinkles and leads to a less noticeable outcome. Some claim it this window insulation can almost double the R-value of a single-pain window.

Weatherstrip Doors and Windows
Weatherstripping, doors and windows, is an easy and inexpensive way to prevent unwanted drafts, dust and moisture from entering your home. Experts suggest that weatherstripping is necessary if you can stick a finger nail into a gap between the window and window frame. (This Old House: The Essential Guide to Weatherstripping)

Seal Window Gaps and Cracks
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, seemingly small air leaks can reduce a home’s energy efficiency levels by 5 to 30 percent a year. Use expanding foam sealants or caulk to seal cracks and gaps around non-moving parts of your home windows.

Cover Water Heater Tank
Simply covering your water tank with a water heater blanket can reduce heat lose by 25%+. This can translate into reducing your water heating costs by 4% or more.

Attic Doors
Many attic doors can, unwittingly, lead to significant energy loss during cold, warm and hot months. The smallest gap in an attic door can lead to significant energy loss all year. There are several ways to insulate your attic door, based on the type.

Switches and Outlets
Surprisingly, nearly 2-5% of air infiltration is caused by outside wall outlets. Homeowners seldomly consider this aspect when winterizing their home. Yet, sealing exterior wall switches and outlets is simple, inexpensive and effective way to eliminate up to 5% of a home’s air infiltration.

Door Sweeps
Experts say that a small 1/8 inch gap around a doors allows as much air into a home as a halfway opened small window. An easy solution is to attach door sweeps to exterior doors. A door sweep seals the gaps between the bottom of the door and the threshold. Not only will you save energy costs, it can also offer protection against dust, moisture and insects.

Change Furnace Filters
It’s important to clean or replace your home’s furnace filters once a month during the heating season because dirty filters restrict airflow and increase energy requirements.

Chicago- 2018 Cost vs. Value Report

Home Remodel

Chicago- 2018 Cost vs. Value Report

Remodeling Magazine’s 2018 Cost vs. Value Report compares the cost of 20 popular mid-range to upscale home remodeling projects in 100 U.S. markets. The annual Cost vs Value reports are based on data gathered on real remodeling projects for the purposes of determining average cost and return on investment for specific project categories.

The 20 project types used in the report include backyard patio, bathroom addition (midrange and upscale), bathroom remodel (midrange and upscale), deck addition (composite), deck addition (wood), entry door replacement (steel), Garage Door Replacement (midrange and upscale), garage door replacement, grand entrance (fiberglass), major kitchen remodel (midrange and upscale), manufactured stone veneer, master suite addition (midrange and upscale), minor kitchen remodel, roofing replacement, siding replacement, universal design bathroom, window replacement (vinyl and upscale), window replacement (wood and upscale).

On average, the return on home remodeling projects varied from 98.3% for garage door replacements to 47.6% for a backyard patio. In general, the return on remodeling projects was calculated at 56.0%, while the return on replacement project hit 76.15.

Overall, the 2018 Cost vs. Value Report revealed a general decline in remodeled project values, compared to prior years. Moreover, the decline in remodel project payback is attributed to the rising cost for all 20 projects.

REPORT HIGHLIGHTS

  • Replacing windows, doors and siding offer respectable payback percentages (74%-98%).
  •  Geography impacts value and cost. The Pacific region (e.g. California, Alaska, Hawaii, Oregon, ect) was the only region that had remodel projects that recoupled 100% or more of cost.
  • Projects that add curb appeal continue to generate the highest return. These are projects viewable from the street such as wood deck addition, garage door replacements, and more.
  • Minor kitchen and bathroom remodels yielded a better return than major kitchen and bathroom remodels.
  • There is a 20-point difference between remodeling and replacement projects: 76.1% for replacement compared to 56.0% for remodels.
  • The return on investment for expensive projects, such as a major kitchen remodel or master suite addition, is decline.

CHICAGO HIGHLIGHTS

  • The highest cost recoup remodeling projects are midrange steel energy door replacement (105.1%) and midrange manufactured stone veneer (111.7%)
  • The lowest cost recoup remodeling projects are midrange backyard patio and upscale master suite addition.
  • The upscale vinyl window replacements have a 72.9% recoup value, while wood window replacement projects recoup 70.9%

Download Chicago’s 2018 Cost vs. Value Report

 

How Often Should Business Windows Be Cleaned?

Restaurant Windows

How Often Should Business Windows Be Cleaned?

Given the demands of day-to-day business operations windows can get overlooked. However, business windows impact the overall aesthetic quality and professional impression. This can impact how clients and customers perceive your business. Moreover, unaddressed dirty windows can negatively impact the lifespan of commercial windows. With the changing seasons and weather conditions, debris can gather on windows.

Savvy business owners work with a professional window cleaning company and make regular cleaning appointments. This allows them to ensure the work is getting done, while freeing their time, resources and focus on more important business matters. Following are general guidelines on how often a business should have their windows cleaned.

Several factors determine how frequently a businesses’ windows need to be cleaned. This includes business time, location, foot traffic, number of windows, weather exposure, landscaping and more. For example, some restaurant windows need to be cleaned bi-monthly because of the grease circulating in the air and heavy foot traffic. Also, businesses near busy streets or highway tend to be exposed to more dirt, grime, and debris; and therefore, the windows need to be cleaned more often than businesses located on light traffic roads.

GENERAL FREQUENCY RULES OF THUMB

-Offices (no visitors/clients)- Once a month

-Offices (frequent visitors/clients- Bi-monthly

-Office Buildings- Twice a Year

-Office Building Lobbies- Monthly

-Retail Stores (Low traffic)-Once a month

-Retail Stores (High traffic)- Bi-monthly

-Restaurants- Bi-weekly

-Healthcare facilities- Monthly

-Healthcare buildings- Bi-Annual

-Healthcare lobbies- Bi- Monthly

Most businesses do not wash their own windows. Instead, they hire an experienced commercial cleaning service, such as My Window Washing. Professional window washers have the knowledge, experience and equipment to properly clean and maintain windows.

 

CHICAGOLAND RESIDENTS AND BUSINESS OWNERS

As an award-winning professional window washing company, My Window Washing Inc., has served residential and business customers throughout Chicagoland for over 15 years. The company offers excellent service with 100% money back guarantee. Contact us for a free estimate (1-800-947-2790).

7 Reasons Why Window Cleaning Is Important

Why clean windows is important.
7 Reasons Why Window Cleaning Is Important

Windows play a vital role in any home in terms of beauty, fresh air quality, functionality and energy efficiency. Experts claim windows should be cleaned at least two times per year. Following are six reasons why it’s important to keep a home or business’s panes crystal clean.

1. Extends the Life of Windows, Panes and Screens.
2. Enhances a Home or Businesses Overall Appearance
3. Improves Energy Efficiency
4. Elevates Comfort Level
5. Better Air Quality
6. Identify Potential Issues
7. Adds Curb Appeal and Increases Perceived Home Value

Why Hire a Professional Window Cleaning Service?
If you dread the idea of cleaning your home’s windows (inside and out), there is an easy and affordable solution- hire a professional window cleaning service. An experience provider will deliver professional results. Following are some reasons why many homeowners choose to hire a professional cleaning service.

1. Relax
2. Save time
3. Service provider is equipped with proper tools and products
4. Ensure windows are cleaned correctly
5. Eliminate possible safety concerns (no need to climb ladders!)
6. No need to move furniture or remove window screens (depends on service provider).
7. Detect potential window issues early, perhaps saving you money
8. Expertise in removing stubborn stains/spots
9. Provider will do all the cleanup work
10. Relax and admire your clean windows

CHICAGOLAND RESIDENTS AND BUSINESS OWNERS
As an award winning professional window washing company, My Window Washing Inc., has served residential and business customers throughout Chicagoland for over 15 years. The company offers excellent service with 100% money back guarantee. Contact us for a free estimate (1-800-947-2790).

12 Facts About Rain Gutters

Facts about Rain Gutters

12 Facts About Rain Gutters

The first gutters were created by ancient civilizations in 3.000 B.C. They started to drain water from one location to another using a system that they made out of stone, brick, and wood.

The Romans established the first drainage systems to drain water away from streets.

Gargoyles were used on buildings to act as rain gutters to guide rain water away from important building areas and some claimed they also warded off evil spirits.

Today’s rain gutters were invented in 1900’s to carry rainwater from the roof of the house and drain it directly into the downspouts.

Rain gutters come in a full range of materials, such as plastic, steel, copper, and aluminum.

Homeowner can choose two shapes of gutters: K-Style Gutters or Half-round gutters.

Gutter cleaning professionals find thousands of children’s toys inside rain gutters every year.

At one time, some vehicles had rain gutters to prevent rain from falling on drivers’ heads when they exited the car. For aerodynamic reasons this feature was dropped in the 1980s.  Located on the roof, the rain gutters dramatically changed the profile of the car, affecting.

Rain gutters with standing water are breeding ground for mosquitoes, insects and other pests.

It is very important to regularly (and safely clean rain guards) to prevent clogs and subsequent structural damage to a home.

Seamless gutters are more durable and stronger than regular rain gutters.

Cleaning gutters comes with some safety risks. Some claim that more than 150,000 people fall from the ladder each year while checking their gutter.

Why Clean Your Gutters?

Only a well functioning gutter system can protect your home from water damage. When gutters and downspouts are filled with debris and/or clogged, they do not perform correctly. Water can back up, become misdirected and damage your roof, basement, foundation, roof, fascia, soffits, paint and siding. Unfortunately, it is often difficult to spot the damage until it’s too late.

Often overlooked, cleaning your gutters is one of the most important home or building maintenance projects you can do. Experts recommend cleaning out your gutters at least twice a year: in the spring and fall. Failing to regularly maintain your gutters can lead to unwanted and expensive problems down the road.

A major problem with clogged gutters is that water doesn’t properly drain away from the home. Instead, it drains in places where it can (and often does) cause damage from the roof to your basement.  Moreover, the weight of water-logged debris often leads to gutter system damages. Acting as Mother Nature’s sponges, as debris absorbs rain water it becomes extremely heavy. This weight puts stress on gutters and fixtures, which can cause them to pull away from your home.

Forgetting or delaying cleaning your gutters can end up being a very costly. Like many other people, you may dread the prospect of climbing up a ladder and cleaning your gutters. Consequently, you may find it easier to have them professionally cleaned in the spring and fall. This will help ensure your gutter system is properly cleaned to prevent costly repairs later.

Serving Chicagoland and surrounding suburbs, My Window Washing offers professional and affordable gutter cleaning services. Call 1.800.941.2790 for more information or to schedule an appointment.

Preserve Your Gutters with Gutter Guards

Gutter GuardsPreserve Your Gutters with Gutter Guards

Cleaning your gutters is an extremely important home maintenance task. Failing to regularly maintain your gutters can lead to unwanted and expensive problems down the road. Only a well functioning gutter system can protect your home from water damage. When gutters and downspouts are filled with debris and/or clogged, they do not perform correctly. Water can back up, become misdirected and damage your roof, basement, foundation, roof, fascia, soffits, paint and siding. Unfortunately, it is often difficult to spot the damage until it’s too late. Consequently, Experts recommend a complete gutter cleaning at least twice a year: in the spring and fall.

Although rain gutters and downspouts are attached to the top of a house, a crucial part of the system is the bottom. This is because it can affect the impact of water on the home’s foundation and it can also lead to unwanted mold and mildew.
It’s important that a home’s gutters be regularly cleaned and kept in tip-top shape. Gutter guards offer a savvy way to prevent gutter clogs. Good guards can successfully prevent dirt and debris from entering your gutters.
The solution to preventing gutter clogs is gutter guards. The use of gutter guards can effectively stop dirt and debris from getting into your gutters. The roof is the brain of the home and needs to stay protected at all times. Debris and dirt can damage a roof as easily as rainwater.

Gutter guards can be beneficial in the following ways to homeowners:
• Prevents Gutter Blockage
• Stops & Mildew Growth
• Save Monday and Time
• Reduce Maintenance Needs
• Reduce/Stop Rusting

Installing a gutter guard is a smart move. It can save homeowners significant time, effort, and money. With a guard attached to the gutters, there is no need to clean out the gutters every month or weekend.
Gutter guards eliminate large build-ups in rain gutters, helping to keep them clear, thereby saving you time, energy and money. Adding gutter guards is really a no brainier.

Based on twelve years of installing gutter guards, My Window Washing recommends and installs two types of gutter guards. They have found these guards to be top performers, easy to maintain and less expensive than similar products.

Plastic Guards with Mesh
Our recommend product keeps leaves and debris out of gutters. It is made of a high quality, rigid PVC and fits any K style aluminum, steel or plastic gutters. This snap-in gutter guard has a mesh filter bonded to the plastic. The filter is designed to keep smallest debris out of the gutter, helping to eliminate clogs. Also, it will not collapse under debris. This guard installs by snapping on to front edge of the gutter and comes in two different colors, dark brown and white.

Aluminum Micro Mesh Gutter Guards
The Micro Mesh Gutter Guard’s convex screen design readily sheds debris; this critical design feature sustains performance and keep gutters free flowing.

It is made from durable aluminum material and coated with an industrial paint system to preserve the finish. Micro Mesh Gutter Guard meets the demand of every contractor and building owner.

Serving Chicagoland and surrounding suburbs, My Window Washing offers professional and affordable gutter cleaning and gutter guard installation services. Call 1.800.941.2790 for more information or to schedule an appointment.

Why Hire a Professional Window Cleaner?

Why hire professional window washers

Why Hire a Professional Window Cleaner?

Save Time and Energy
Cleaning home windows takes time and energy. By hiring a professional cleaner you can focus on other projects or spend time with family and friends. A company like My Window Washing will carefully move furniture, remove/clean screens, clean your windows and clean up. The right experts do all the work, so give your time and energy on something else.

Protect Windows
Dirt and debris on windows can cause irreversible damage. Over time, the outside window glass can become infused with contaminates such as hard minerals, acid rain, oxidization, paint, caulking, and other materials. Regular window cleaning will help to prevent permanent damage.

Along with extending the life of your windows, clean panes enhance the overall appearance and feel of a home’s interior and exterior. In general, professional window washers, such as My Window Washing, will clean windows from the inside and outside, leaving you with an aesthetically pleasing view from the inside, out.

Improve Curb Appeal
Clean windows yields better curb appeal. Whether trying to sell your home, or show off the home to your neighbors, professionally cleaned windows will make your home look well kept. Conversely, dirty windows can make your house look unkempt.

“Washing windows is the number one presale improvement that generates the best return on investment as measured by a higher selling price,” according to Money magazine. This means that, on average, a homeowner gains up to 768% return on their investment.
and streak-free.

Safety Concerns
Hiring a professional window cleaner is safer than doing it yourself. Washing windows often involves climbing up and down a ladder. Experienced professionals are trained to do a perfect job cleaning your windows (inside/out) with the right materials and cleaning solution. You don’t have to worry about your own health and safety. You do not even need to more furniture or remove screens. They will do all.

Better Results
Hiring fully insured and licensed professionals, such as My Window Washing will deliver better results than doing it yourself. Your windows will be fully cleaned with shiny, streak-free results.

Difficult Windows
Often homes have different types of windows. Different types of windows clean sometimes require different techniques and cleaning solutions. Also, some can present unique challenges. Savvy homeowners save time and effort by hiring experienced and skilled pros.

Have your windows professionally cleaned by an affordable and professional company like My Window Washing and enjoy all these benefits and more.

9 Deck Maintenance Tips

9 Deck Maintenance Tips

9 Deck Maintenance Tips

All decks regardless if it’s made of wood, composites or any material will eventually show wear and tear. is bound to start showing some wear and tear over time. They’re daily exposed to harsh weather elements including temperature flux, UV rays, heat, snow, rain, wind and more. Fortunately, there are many things deck owners can do and avoid to protect and extend the life of their deck.

Clear, Clean & Wash Deck
Before making any deck inspections or repairs clear, clean and wash your deck. The most effective way to do this is via a pressure washer and allow it to dry overnight. It is extremely important to correctly use the pressure washer, otherwise it may cause damage.

Inspect Your Deck
Savvy homeowners regularly conduct deck inspections, at least twice a year. Walk around the deck and check for splintered or soft areas, any loose/missing fastens or nails, split or rotten wood. Also inspect to ensure your deck is properly sealed against winter elements. Immediately address any safety related issues and begin making the additional repairs, including replacing any rotting boards.

Regularly Sweep
Water is the most common cause of deck deterioration. Moisture often causes wood to expend and contract when it dries. This may lead to lose or popped out fasteners, warped bards, splits and cracks. Moreover, an often wet deck can create ideal conditions for bacteria and fungus growth which can precipitate rotting wood. An easy way to limit/prevent water damage is to regularly sweep your deck and keep it free of dirt, leaves, puddle water and snow.

Never Use Chlorine Bleach
Chlorine bleach will damage the woods structure and strip its color and damaging its cellular structure.

Seal to Protect
Sealing a deck protects it from cupping, cracking and warping. A clear sealer lasts a very long time. If you use a color tinted stain or sealant it may face quickly if exposed to lots of foot traffic. Some experts recommend having your deck professionally cleaned and sealed at least every three years to protect it against weather elements.

Sand Before Sealing
Following a complete cleaning and proper pressure washing (and drying) of the deck, it is important to sand your deck before sealing it.

Never Use Paint
Never use paint as a sealant. It doesn’t offer the same protection. Also, while the fresh coat of paint might seem appealing at first, it will soon look extremely distressed, making your deck look less than pristine. The same thing can be said about solid stains, which will eventually peel and require a lot of maintenance. In order to switch to proper deck sealant, the paint will need to be removed with stripper or sander. It’s best to save time and money by using a good sealant from the start.

Avoid Grill Grease
It is very difficult to remove grease stains on wood. Make sure to use a grease catcher to limit/prevent any mishap.

Pressure/Power Washing
Pressure washing is the best way to clean a deck. However, it is very important to do it correctly; otherwise it may unwittingly cause damage. To ensure a professional job, some home owners hire an experienced pressure washing company such as My Window Washing.

7 SIGNS IT’S TIME FOR NEW GUTTERS

Signs it's time for new gutters
7 SIGNS IT’S TIME FOR NEW GUTTERS

Gutters play a vital role in protecting your home. A properly functioning gutter system protects your home from water damage. It efficiently drains water from the roof and funnels it away from your home. However, when the gutters and downspouts are clogged water can back up and damage the roof, fascia, soffits, and siding. Cleaning your gutters several times a year will enhance the longevity of your system. However, most will eventually need to be repaired or replaced. Following are seven signs to help you identify when it’s time to replace your gutters.

1. Any Cracks or Splits
Initially, it may seem that small cracks in your gutter are not a problem. However, they can turn into big ones sooner than you may anticipate. These seemingly benign cracks allow the water to further damage your gutters, along with the fascia boards behind the gutters, your foundation and home’s shingles.

2. Peeling Paint and/or Orange Flecks
The paint on your gutters is designed to withstand basic seasonal wear and tear. Peeling paint or orange flecks indicates the beginning stages of rust. This means water is present on a continuous basis and that it’s not properly draining.

3. Water or Mildew Around Foundation
Gutters are designed to keep water flowing away from your home’s foundation. If you notice pools of water or mildew near the foundation, this is an indication that your gutters aren’t performing as intended. This could be caused by something as simple as a clog or by something as complex as a gutter system defect. Water can easily damage the foundation, leading to time-consuming and costly repairs.

4. Water Damage or Water Marks
Experts recommend that you check your gutters at least twice a year. Select a relatively sunny day, free from rain. Any water damage or marks underneath the gutter indicates that water is escaping.

5. Gutters Sag or Beginning to Pull Away
Gutters that sag or start to pull away from the home is an obvious sign that it’s time to repair or replace your gutter. Most people can spot the issue without needing to climb a ladder. Your gutters should never sag or pull away from your home. If they do, it is because the gutters are dealing with the weight of water, which indicates the system is not draining properly or there is a blockage.

6. Several Broken Fasteners
Fasteners are the pieces of metal that hold your gutter to your roof and keep it level. If you notice frequent broken fasteners, the gutters themselves may be the issue.

7. Separated Gutters.
Gutter systems only function if they are fastened together in a continuous channel. If they begin separating from one another frequently, it may be time for a gutter replacement.

Would you like to hire professionals to clean out your gutters? Serving Chicagoland and surrounding suburbs, My Window Washing offers professional and affordable gutter cleaning services. Call 1.800.941.2790 for more information or to schedule an appointment.

6 Top Reasons to Power Wash Your Home

Power wash home

6 TOP REASONS TO POWER WASH YOUR HOME
Removes Allergens
With warm days come open windows. Airborne allergens can attach themselves to exterior home surfaces and make their way into your home. These allergens include dust mites/dust, pollen, smoke, and mold, which can cause unpleasant allergic reactions. Power washing exterior surfaces will help reduce allergen levels in the home, providing fresher air when you open the windows during those warm summer nights.

Saves Money
Power washing saves money by providing helping to maintain the condition of your home’s exterior surfaces. In the long run it can reduce the need for costly repairs to your home and property. Dirt, mold, mildew, debris and grime can buildup on outside surfaces throughout the various seasons, particularly during the winter months. Over time, this can lead to permanent damage. Power washing can clean all needed areas quickly and efficiently.

Saves Time
Most homeowners are busy people, hiring a professional power washing service can save valuable time. Moreover, scrubbing the surfaces by hand will not provide enough power to get maximum results. Also, it will likely take numerous hours to get a less results than power washing offers.

Preserve Property Value.
Along with dirt, mold, mildew, debris and allergens, a home’s exterior surfaces are also exposed to sunlight, rain, and wind. These elements can cause end up eroding, cracking or peeling paint, or they can cause stains. Overtime, this will impact the look and value of a home. Power washing a home is an easy and effective way to immediately improve the look of home, while keeping it in good condition.

Staining or Paint Prep
Prior to painting or staining a home’s exterior, deck, fence or other surface, it is smart to start with a clean power washed surface.

Increase Curb Appeal
Ask any real estate agent will tell you, the exterior conditions of a home (curb appeal) has a big impact on attracting buyers. It is much easier to sell a home that looks good and clean on the outside (and inside). Power washing the exterior is an easy and effective way to increase the perceived value of your home

Do it Yourself or Hire a Professional Power Washer?
Unless you are exceptionally skilled at power washing, hiring a professional will help prevent possible damage, save time, and ensure the job is done correctly. At first glance, pressure washing appears to be a rather easy task. However, it can be a destructive force.

It is easy for novices to unwittingly cause costly damages to paint, screens, window seals, and more. Also, water can be forced through your windows soaking floors and furniture, it can cause cracks in mortar, knock loose various fixtures, and more.

It is advisable to trust the task of power washing your home or building to proven and trusted experts. Hiring a professional power wash company, such as My Window Washing, is an efficient and affordable way to ensure it’s done correctly, so you can enjoy the great benefits.

My Window Washing offers professional and affordable window washing, gutter cleaning and power is washing services. Call 1.800.941.2790 to schedule your appointment.