Spotless & Seamless Exteriors Blog

Tips to Help You Lock Out the Cold This Winter

Posted on January 14, 2021

Tips-to-Help-You-Lock-Out-the-Cold-This-Winter

Every year in Minnesota, it feels like winter starts earlier and stays longer than it should. That telltale white landscape and those single-digit temps are clear indicators that we’re officially in full swing. Though we can’t do much about the snow, we can offer ideas to thwart inviting the season’s chill inside. Check your windows and doors for drafts and use these tips to help lock out the cold this winter.

Secure and Seal Windows and Doors

Throughout warmer months, you probably have windows open more often and may even leave them unlocked. To keep the cold winter air outside where it belongs, be sure to lock your windows to create a better seal. A window lock will merge the sashes and close any gaps through which cold air can sneak in or warm air can seep out.

Add some weather stripping to windows to create an even tighter seal. If you notice air coming in around exterior entryways, affix weather stripping to the top and sides of those drafty doors. Add a door sweep along the bottom to eliminate any gaps near the threshold.

Double Up on Window Coverings

The more barriers between you and the outside, the better. Use whatever you’ve got. If your windows have blinds as well as heavy drapes, combine them to provide better protection.

Keep everything closed when the weather outside is blustery and frightful. On sunny days, open up the drapes and blinds. Though the temperatures may be cold, the direct sunlight coming in should help warm up the room.

Use Door Draft Stoppers

Place these elongated and weighted draft excluders, sometimes called a door snake, along the base of an interior door to block a cold draft. On especially chilly days or for extremely drafty doors that require more than a draft stopper, hang a thick blanket on the inside of the doorway. This should help stave off drafts around all the edges.

Prepare with Plastic

A quick and inexpensive way to lock out the cold is with a plastic film window insulation. These DIY kits are readily available and simple to use. Once the film is measured and cut and then secured with a double-sided adhesive, use a blow dryer to shrink-fit the film to a clear layer of plastic insulation. This option can also help save on heating costs.

These ideas can hopefully help you lock out the cold this winter and keep your home and your family snuggly warm. If your windows or doors are older and require constant work, perhaps you want to replace them. Spotless & Seamless offers high quality solutions that will save energy, enhance curb appeal, and increase safety and comfort. Our Twin Cities home exteriors experts can discuss the best replacement options to fit your budget and needs. Contact us today.


Avoid Frozen Gutters with These Ideas

Posted on December 29, 2020

Avoid-Frozen-Gutters-with-These-Ideas

The gutter system on your home is meant to help protect your investment no matter the season. For gutters to effectively work, you should address a few key points. Now that winter has officially arrived, we can expect wicked weather and colder temps. But don’t worry; we can help you avoid frozen gutters with these ideas.

Keep Them Clear

If the channels are clogged, gutters cannot guide rainwater and melting ice away from your home.

Clean gutters at least twice a year and especially after all the trees have shed their leaves in the fall. When the weather changes, remove any icicles from the edge of the roof to prevent those from dropping off and collecting or freezing inside the gutters.

Check the Pitch

Gutters should be sloped a bit to ensure they properly keep water moving down and away from your home and its foundation. Check to make sure your system slopes at least one-quarter inch for every 10 feet of gutter.

Melt Away Ice

Ice that builds up in your gutters can create dams, which can allow melting snow and ice to seep into your home. Melt away any ice and avoid potentially costly damage to your roof and your home.

Try installing heated cables. Most often these cables clip to the shingles and lay in a zig-zag pattern at the edge of the roof, just over the gutter system. They gently warm any snow or ice and prevent it from building up in the gutters.

You can also sprinkle roof melt or sodium chloride to help prevent snow and ice accumulation. Be careful to avoid using rock salt, which is corrosive and may damage your gutters and your yard.

Rake the Roof

Keep the edge of your roof clear of snow so that it doesn’t fall into the gutter system. Use a roof rake and gently remove excess snow from the fringe of the roofline. This will help protect your gutters and decrease the burden of weight on your roof.

Check Insulation

Poke your head into the attic and check to see if your roof is properly insulated. Adequate insulation will keep the shingles cool and prevent melting snow from collecting and freezing in the gutters.

Ice and snow can collect in your gutter system during winter months and cause all kinds of issues. If gutters are frozen, they cannot properly function and protect your home. Furthermore, added weight inside the gutters can cause them to become overwhelmed and buckle, become loose, or break away completely. These ideas can help you avoid frozen gutters and keep your home safe and sound. If you do notice issues with your gutters, the Twin Cities home exteriors professionals at Spotless & Seamless can help. We can answer your questions and even discuss with you how the additional benefits of a LEAFAWAY® gutter protection system. Contact us today.


Tips to Safely Deck the Halls

Posted on December 15, 2020

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The weather outside isn’t exactly frightful just yet. You can still decorate your home’s exterior for the holidays without the fear of Jack Frost nipping at your extremities. From twinkling lights to festive wreaths, here are some ideas to help protect yourself and your home while you safely deck the halls.

Lights

Before you add the shimmering flair of holiday lights, make sure any strings and cords are free from defects. Discard if you find any fraying or other damage that could cause electrical issues. Additionally, check that any lights or extension cords are labeled for outdoor use.

Mounting outdoor lights can be tricky but doesn’t have to be. You want to make sure the lights are well supported without causing damage to the protective insulation around the strand or to your home’s exterior.

If possible, avoid attaching lights with nails, staples, or screws. These fastening tools can damage your siding or fascia and can be especially harmful to shingles. Holes in shingles present entry points for moisture, which can present issues with mold and the roof’s structural integrity.

Instead, try using plastic clips to secure the strands to your home. Available in a variety of styles, these holders slip onto the gutters, shingles, or eaves and hold the lights in place without worry of damage to the siding or roof.

Ladders

The best way to hang lights is by using a ladder but be sure to do so safely. Watch for and avoid overhead power lines. Also, make sure the rungs are clean and dry, and wear nonslip shoes. Keep from standing on your toes. Both feet should be flat on the rungs to help maintain your balance.

The ladder should stretch about three feet beyond your roof, so that you’re not overreaching when attaching the lights. Take note of the warning labels and refrain from standing higher than the second rung from the top.

If you’re using an extension ladder, remember to set the base of the ladder out one foot for every four feet of distance from the ground to the roof or other contact point. With an extension ladder, keep from climbing past the fourth rung from the top.

Wreaths

A wreath can add a festive touch to your home’s entrance. Easily hang one without damaging the front door by using:

  • A self-adhesive hook. Multi-purpose mounting tools like Command™ Brand strips can be affixed and removed with ease.
  • A wreath hanger. One of those fancy (or plain) over-the-door hangers allows for perfect wreath placement without the need for a hammer and nail.
  • A clear hook. If you want your holiday wreath to hang distraction-free, try a clear adhesive or suction cup hook.
  • A ribbon. Loop any ribbon of your choice through the back of the wreath form. Then suspend the wreath at the desired length and attach the ribbon to the top of the door frame with thumb tacks.

However you choose to decorate this season, remember to have fun and protect yourself and your home while you safely deck the halls. If you notice any issues with your home’s siding or roofing, your Twin Cities home exteriors professionals at Spotless & Seamless are here to help. Contact us with any questions or concerns.


Consider Steel Siding When Updating Your Home’s Look

Posted on November 25, 2020

Consider-Steel-Siding-When-Updating-Your-Homes-Look

When it comes to protecting your home, you want to avoid cutting corners to save headaches down the road. This is especially true when upgrading windows, doors, or siding. With the best safeguards in place outside, you and your family can rest easy inside. If you’re thinking of updating your home’s overall look, we can provide many reasons why you should consider steel siding.

Reliable

One of the biggest benefits to steel siding is its all-around reliability.

Steel siding is designed to withstand all of Mother Nature’s elements, from the harshest winter’s cold and snow to the most intense summer heat and sun. And Minnesota’s weather forecast often runs the gamut, so take comfort in knowing this maintenance-free product won’t blister, crack, or warp.

Your home is also safeguarded against moisture damage. United States Seamless® Steel Siding is resistant to water penetration and contains no joints or entry points for rain or melting snow.

Durable and Safe

Tired of painting every few years? When you consider steel siding maintains its sturdy condition no matter the elements, you realize another advantage. This durable material is resistant to fading and chipping, so there’s no need to touch up or repaint anything.

Additionally, steel siding can last up to 50 years when properly installed. That’s a long time to not have to worry about your home’s exterior.

Steel siding also has a high rating with regard to fire safety. This can help give you peace of mind when it comes to protecting your family.

Endless Possibilities

Steel siding offers a host of aesthetic possibilities. Whether you want a modern finish or a classic look, you have endless options for texture, style, color, and design. Choose an authentic woodgrain pattern or something with a shiny finish. Select a sophisticated earth tone or a bright color with dynamic energy.

Increase your home’s curb appeal by adding artistic flair with accent siding or decorative shutters.

Enhancing your home’s exterior can provide a fresh look and long-lasting, valuable conveniences. Ask one of the experienced professionals at Spotless & Seamless about why you should consider steel siding for your home. We can answer any questions and help further explain the proven performance of steel siding. Contact us today.


Helpful Hints for Winter Window Care

Posted on November 12, 2020

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The colder weather is well on its way. You can feel the chill in the air and see the barrenness of the season through any window in your home. Though these portals to the outside will likely be closed up for a while, be sure they get the TLC they need to keep your home toasty warm. These hints for winter window care might be helpful.

Clean

Dirt and other debris often gets trapped in window tracks. This prevents the windows from closing properly and tightly.

Keep your windows clean to make sure they’re doing their best job to maintain comfortable indoor temps. Vacuum the screens, edges, and tracks to remove any grime or other elements that may hinder a secure seal.

Inspect

Look for cracked or chipped glass and repair or replace as needed. Watch for gaps around the frame or the wall where the window sits. If you notice any air leaks or cold drafts, fill them with caulking or apply weatherstripping as a stopper. Check to assure each window readily opens, closes, and locks as designed.

Protect

If you have older windows or detect drafts, consider sealing the windows with plastic insulating film. This simple and inexpensive process, usually done with an at-home kit and a hairdryer, can save a significant amount in utility costs.

Also, condensation buildup on the glass can damage or rot wood window frames. Keep air moving across your windows by arranging vents and fans for directional flow and prevent moisture development.

Replace

Perhaps your windows simply don’t seal and protect as well as they used to. The best fix for overly damaged or drafty windows may be to replace them as soon as possible. Our home exteriors professionals can assess your situation and suggest the best, most energy efficient options.

The team at Spotless & Seamless hopes these hints for winter window care will help keep you and your family cozy this season. If you have questions or need to replace your windows, contact us today to learn more or request an estimate.


Don’t Forget About Patio Door Upkeep

Posted on October 29, 2020

Don’t-Forget-About-Patio-Door-Upkeep

When keeping up on home maintenance, some things are more obvious than others. You probably look through most windows and open the front door or service access on the regular. But don’t forget about your home’s other door. The passageway to the patio, garden, or backyard area deserves attention, too. Here are some things to think about regarding patio door upkeep.

General Care

Keep your patio doors looking their best by regularly cleaning the glass. Dirt and grime become more difficult to remove the longer they’re on the surface.

Also, pay attention to the tracks. Lubricate and clean them as needed to keep the door opening smoothly and prevent rust build up. This is especially important because most patio doors open to outdoor recreation areas where dirt is more easily tracked in.

Check the jamb for any screws that may be loose. Secure them back in place but be careful that you don’t overtighten.

Keep an Eye Open

Like many things, patio doors can wear out or sustain damage. Watch for warning signs and consider repairing or replacing your home’s other door if you notice:

  • Trouble operating. If the door sticks or is otherwise difficult to open or close, it may be warped and in need of replacement.
  • Drafts or visual gaps. Check for adequate weather stripping to keep warm air inside and critters outside.
  • Damage. Dings and scrapes are usually simple fixes, but structural damage to the door’s frame or glass could cause bigger issues.
  • Moisture. An ineffective seal can allow rainwater, melting snow, or other moisture to get into your home.

If your patio door needs replacing, or even if you simply want to upgrade to a new look, the home exteriors experts at Spotless & Seamless can help. A new sliding or hinged patio door can add functionality, efficiency, and beauty to your home. Contact us today to learn about replacement options as you think about patio door upkeep.


Tips for Safe and Effective Gutter Cleaning

Posted on October 15, 2020

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We have reached that leaf-falling time of year, which is a good reminder to keep up on gutter maintenance. Ideally, you should clean gutters in the spring and again in the fall to prevent water flow problems and other issues. The process can be challenging, but we hope these tips for safe and effective gutter cleaning helps you get the job done.

Get Your Footing

Gutter cleaning likely involves working from a ladder. Be sure the ladder you use is sturdy and extendable and that the ground is stable and level. Remember to practice safety; don’t overextend your reach and stay below the second-to-last rung at the top of the ladder.

Prepare to Get Dirty

Depending on what sort of clutter is in your gutters, the task can be messy. Wear a long-sleeved shirt and durable pants. Additionally, a pair of hardy work gloves will protect your hands from potentially sharp twigs, debris, and metal gutter edges. Gloves also create a barrier between you and rough roofing textures and help prevent callouses from handling work tools.

Have a bucket handy for collecting gutter sediment and sludge or spread out a tarp below your workspace. Gathering the gunk this way will also keep your lawn and landscaping looking neat and natural.

Dig In and Flush

Use your hands to clear out leaves and twigs. To dig out the more packed-down muck, use a gutter scoop or small plastic shovel. Make sure the tool you use doesn’t scratch or otherwise damage the gutter surface.

Once the gutters are clean, flush the channels with a garden hose to remove any remaining debris. This is also a good time to check for leaks, make sure gutters are correctly sloped, and ensure the downspout is free from blockage.

Repair as Needed

Seal up leaks in joints or seams and secure any loose sections or brackets. If you find any standing water, you may need to adjust the pitch. Gutters should slope at least ¼-inch but usually ½-inch for every 10 feet. You can also rely on a home exteriors expert to assist with your gutter needs.

Give Up Gutter Cleaning

Hopefully these gutter cleaning tips will help you safely and effectively finish the task. If you’re tired of digging through the debris and gunk twice a year, we have the solution. The LEAFAWAY® gutter protection system keeps your gutters clear all year round. The professionals at Spotless & Seamless can discuss options for your home. Contact us today.


Ways to Protect Your Roof This Fall

Posted on September 30, 2020

Ways-to-Protect-Your-Roof-This-Fall

That crisp air and those colorful trees mean fall weather is officially upon us. With each changing season comes a new list of home maintenance tasks. The roof does its job of protecting you and your home all year, but how do you look out for it and keep it sturdy? Read on to learn simple ways to protect your roof this fall.

Remove Debris

Clear your roof of tree branches, leaves, pine needles, and other debris. These things can hold moisture and eventually mold or rot, which could cause shingles and roofing material to deteriorate.

Use a broom or blower to remove debris. Also, keep an eye on lower areas where slopes meet. Rainwater collects in these valleys to flow off the roof, so it’s important to make sure the passageway is open.

Additionally, look for and trim any low-lying branches or those that hang over the edge of your roof. This will help prevent moisture and debris from resting against or collecting on the rooftop. Remember to use caution: Be aware of and careful around any power lines near your home’s roof. Don’t hesitate to contact the utility company to do the trimming for you.

Look for Damage

Now that your roof is free from debris, check the surface for any signs of damage. Look for broken, missing, or curled shingles and repair or replace them right away. If you find significant flaws, have a qualified expert inspect the area to determine whether you may need a full roof replacement.

Also, check the flashing around chimneys, vents, and skylights. This material directs water away from those vulnerable areas of the roof, so be sure it is in fine working condition.

Clear Gutters

If you have a gutter system along your roofline, be sure to keep it clear.

That debris from your rooftop often ends up in your gutters, which creates clogs and prevents the system from properly draining water. Rainwater can then overflow and damage your roof, siding, and trim boards. If the gutters become too heavy from rain-soaked debris and standing water, the system may start to pull loose or even collapse.

Save yourself from potentially expensive repairs by clearing the gutters throughout the fall. Once the trees around your home have lost their leaves, do another thorough cleaning to ensure the channels are unobstructed.

Or, to avoid the hassle of gutter cleaning altogether, consider installing a LEAFAWAY® Gutter Protection System.

With cooler weather finally here, be sure to get outside and keep up with home maintenance. These simple suggestions will help protect your roof this fall. If you have concerns about possible roof damage or questions about gutters, the Twin Cities area home exteriors professionals at Spotless & Seamless can help. Contact us today to learn more.


New Home? Protect it This Fall with Traditional Tips

Posted on September 17, 2020

New-Home-Protect-it-This-Fall-with-Traditional-Tips

If you have recently purchased a home, congratulations! Homeownership offers a host of opportunities, with some required maintenance and upkeep. Now that you’re situated in your new place, you’ll want to be sure it’s ready for the changing season. Use these traditional tips to protect your new investment this fall.

Windows and Doors

As the weather turns cooler, keep your home’s warm air from escaping. Check around doors and windows for gaps in caulking and weather stripping. These materials depreciate over time, so perform regular checks to ensure a proper seal.

Repair or replace any gaps with the appropriate materials. Additionally, check the seals around cable, gas, and electrical entry points to be sure they are properly secured.

If you feel your home may need new, high-performance windows or doors, schedule a free consultation with one of our experienced professionals.

Gutters

Safeguard your home’s exterior – and interior! – by keeping the gutters clean. Clogged gutters can lead to water buildup that can damage roofing and siding. Be sure to clear out leaves, branches, nests, and other debris. Also, consider covering your gutters with a LEAFAWAY® gutter protection system and never clean gutters again.

Prevent potential foundation issues by checking downspouts. Keep them free from obstructions and make sure they’re directing water several feet away from your home, sidewalks, and driveways.

Roofing

If you notice sand-like particles in your gutters, this may signal a shingle issue. That grit protects the roof’s shingles from sun damage. Inspect the condition of your shingles to make sure they’re still protecting your home from the elements.

Also, look for cracked, missing, loose, or warped shingles and replace them as needed. Check areas around ventilation pipes or chimneys to be sure the flashing is intact and secure. If it’s not, water can seep in and lead to expensive repairs.

Siding

Clean any dirt, mildew, or other debris from siding to protect its durability and keep insects away. Check for any damage, especially in corners and areas where trim boards connect. Any cracks or holes in siding should be addressed and fixed as soon as possible.

Trim tree branches and shrubs, especially if they’re close to the house. This will prevent scratches or other damage during high winds and help keep moisture from potentially seeping in through constant contact with exterior siding.

For better peace of mind, consider installing United States Seamless® Steel Siding. This maintenance-free option provides proven performance and offers a wide range of design and color choices.

Your new home is a big investment. These traditional tips should help you protect that investment this fall. If you have questions or concerns about your home’s windows and doors, roofing, gutters, or siding, the home exteriors experts at Spotless & Seamless are here to help. Contact us today for recommendations or to schedule an estimate or installation.


Be Informed with These Gutter Fundamentals

Posted on August 31, 2020

Be-Informed-with-These-Gutter-Fundamentals

As a homeowner, you want to do what you can to protect your investment. You have probably planned for everything under the roof, but what about alongside it? Perhaps you haven’t thought about the ways in which a gutter system provides protection. We can help with that and keep you informed with these gutter fundamentals.

The What

Simply put, gutters help safely drain water from your rooftop. Think of it as plumbing for your home’s exterior. The system collects rainwater and channels it to the ground, away from your home and its foundation.

Gutters should be correctly installed, accurately positioned, and free of debris to function properly. Clogged or damaged gutters can cause water to build up or overflow and seep into your home. Check gutters regularly to ensure they are securely fastened and free from leaves, twigs, animal nests, or other debris.

The Why

Minnesota sees its share of spring and summer rains, and we know about those winters. All that melting snow needs to go somewhere. A gutter system helps protect many areas of your home.

  • Roof. A roof is designed to shield the structure but not to sustain water buildup. Gutters gather that water and carry it away from the roofline and your home.
  • Siding. Rain and roof drainage can take a toll on your siding. Gutters help keep it from becoming saturated, which could lead to issues with mold and rot.
  • Basement and foundation. An effective gutter system will direct water away from your home’s foundation to help prevent structural deterioration and damage. Rainwater that drains too close to the home can pool along the foundation and seep into cracks or other openings in the basement. Downspouts should extend six feet from your home.

The Where

Installing a gutter system will help protect the overall investment in your home and help give you peace of mind year-round. Be sure the work is done by a qualified professional, like the experts at Spotless & Seamless.

Go one step further with a LEAFAWAY® Gutter Protection system and eliminate the need to clean your gutters – ever. Ask us about this or any other gutter fundamentals, and contact us today for a free estimate.