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8 energy efficient home projects

by: Kirsten Land on June 21st, 2016 about General

LED light bulbSummer is here! If you’re like me, you’re itching to take on a few projects around the house.

As I consider projects, the ones I get most excited about are those that beautify my home, add value to my property, or enhance my home’s energy efficiency and environmental profile. Sometimes, the projects accomplish all three!

Here are eight great ideas for summer projects to maintain your home and save energy.

Switch to LED light bulbs

This is my kind of project! It’s super easy. LED light bulbs have a lifespan that is longer than regular light bulbs. And they are more efficient.

Rain barrel

Did you know that watering lawns, flowers, and gardens can use as much as 40 percent of your water every summer? Imagine lowering that number. That would be great for your budget and the environment! Set up a rain barrel to store rain water, then you can water your plants from that recycled water.

Faucet check

Indoor and outdoor faucets can spring slow drips over the cold winter months. They may seem small and slow, but lost water adds up. Three leaky faucets in one house can send 104 gallons per year down the drain! Take the time to find and fix those leaks!

Roof ventilation

A well ventilated attic can make your home more comfortable and energy efficient. What’s more, it can cut down on the chances of moisture build-up and possible mold or rot. Consult with a trusted roofing professional to determine if you need more ventilation.

Change filters

Clogged air filters slow and eventually block air flow throughout the house. It wastes energy and makes your house much less efficient.

AC tune-up

Just like your car needs a tune-up to run more efficiently, your air conditioning unit needs one, too. For a tune-up, you’ll want to check the coolant levels and pressure, inspect and tighten wiring, make sure the thermostat is calibrated, clean the evaporator coil, make sure the condenser system is clear and clean, and lubricate as necessary on the fan motor. Be sure to have a trusted HVAC professional come inspect if you need an expert pair of eyes.

Solar panels

Putting solar panels on your roof can not only save you energy, sometimes it can generate energy! You can sell energy back to the power company if your solar panels produce enough. And, there may be tax breaks available for investing in the solar panels.

Skylights and light tubes

Want to save on electrical costs in dark rooms? Look into installing a skylight or a light tube. Adding that natural light means you can use less electricity in those rooms.

One or all of these fantastic projects should get you through the summer and make your house better than it was when summer started. On any of these projects, consult with a trusted professional if you have questions. Have a great summer, be safe, and enjoy whatever projects you take on!

Posted in General       Comments: None

3 pitfalls to avoid when hail damages your roof

by: Kirsten Land on June 7th, 2016 about Roofing Advice

Hands holding hailThis spring, hail has caused billions of dollars of damage across the United States. Storms have pummeled cities from from Oklahoma to Maryland. Was your roof damaged?

If it wasn’t, we’re happy for your good fortune. Chances are, however, if you live in the Plains states, you’ll face hail damage to your home at some point.

Many people wait to file a claim on their homeowner’s insurance because multiple storms will often hit throughout the spring. A newly repaired roof can be damaged again. But if you’re waiting to make the repair, keep in mind these three things that may save you money and hassles in the long run.

1 – Don't use roofing companies that want money upfront

My friend’s roof was damaged badly in the spring hail. She decided to use the small, relatively inexperienced roofing company of a relative. She thought it would be a nice gesture. But now, she’s having some problems.

The company wants to be paid in full before starting the repairs. Normally, roofers will get partial payments as claims are approved. They make the repairs. Then the insurance and mortgage companies make final payments.

In this case, the smaller company doesn’t have the means to get going. While the insurance company has approved the claim, repairs are stalled.

After a hail storm, have a few reputable roofers come assess your roof. And if they want all the money up front before starting, consider that a red flag.

2 – Don't delay in making urgent repairs

The story continues. As my friend waits on the roofer, her damaged roof is leaking. At first, she thought this was no big deal. It was part of the insurance claim that covered the hail damage, right?

Wrong. She found out that it’s considered damage due to homeowner negligence. She hasn’t made timely repairs on the home. With water damage now, and possible mold problems later, she’s in a bad spot.

If you have leaks and damage that need to be repaired, take care of them in a timely manner so you’re not on the hook for any more damage.

3 – Don't pocket the money

When your claims adjuster approves a claim, you’ll get a check from the insurance company. Did you know that some people take that money and pocket it? They cancel the roof repair, and spend the money on vacations, new cars, or cabbage. Some people really love their veggies.

The insurance company has methods of auditing how you spend the money for your roof. It’s true that you might not get caught. But more often than not, you will. And you’ll owe that money back to the insurance company.

Storm damage is awful. It’s stressful when it happens, and it’s stressful taking care of all the details to get it repaired. However, you can save yourself from additional stress by making sure to avoid these three mistakes. When it comes to your roof, turn to a trusted professional. They’ll help you every step of the way.

Posted in Roofing Advice       Comments: None

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