Spotless & Seamless Exteriors Blog

Tips for Spring Window Cleaning and Care

Posted on March 25, 2021

Tips-for-Spring-Window-Cleaning-and-Care

With another winter now (hopefully) behind us, Minnesotans are slowly coming out of hibernation. You’ve probably already started jotting down your seasonal to-dos. While checking your home’s windows for any winter damage, give them a good cleanse, too. Ensure they’re ready to shine in the summer sun with these tips for spring window cleaning and care.

The Framework

The glass is probably the most widely recognized element of a window because that’s the part we look through. But the framework that holds the glass in place is just as important and deserves attention as well.

With a soft rag or brush and a mild soap and water mix, wipe down every part of the window framing. That can include the trim, sash, jambs, and sills. Also, wipe down the casings and any ledges on the outside.

If you have wooden framing around your windows, take note of the wood’s condition. Is it flaking or peeling? Is it jagged and rough? You may need to scrape or sand the surface and then repaint or stain it. But this kind of TLC will keep your windows looking great.

If the windows are older or you notice extensive wear and tear, you may want to upgrade to sturdier, more energy efficient windows. The Twin Cities home exteriors professionals at Spotless & Seamless can answer any questions.

The Accessories

To ensure optimal function, be sure to complete some spring window cleaning of the fixtures and accessories. Vacuum the track to remove any dirt, debris particles, or even little bug bodies that may have collected over winter.

Rinse off or wipe down hinges, rollers, and locks and allow each piece to fully dry. Apply a silicone-based lubricant to any moving parts to keep them functional and make for easier window operation. If you notice any missing or broken components, talk to a trained window expert for replacement parts or window replacement.

The Glass

Your home’s windows have likely been sealed up since fall. And maybe you’ve noticed a build-up of gunk or film on the glass over the past few months. Give the glass panes a thorough wash, inside and out to get rid of that winter grime.

Choose your preferred cleaning solution, whether that’s a store-bought cleaner, soap and water, or a homemade solvent. Then go to town, using your favorite method of streak-free cleaning. Maybe that means using a microfiber cloth, sponge and squeegee, or yesterday’s newspaper.

Once your windows are shiny and clean, you’ll feel a sense of accomplishment and be all set for the sunny season.

Are you ready to get your home out of its winter hibernation? You can start crossing things off your list with these tips for spring window cleaning and care. If you notice your home needs window repairs or upgrades, ask the home exteriors experts at Spotless & Seamless for guidance. Our crew can offer recommendations to fit your style and budget. Contact us today with any questions.


Exterior Care To-Dos for Your Spring List

Posted on March 11, 2021

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The calendar is turning toward spring, but your home may still feel the harsh effects from winter. The best way to know for sure is to walk around your yard and take note of anything in need of attention. If you don’t know where to start, we can help with these exterior care to-dos for your spring list.

Roofing

Your home’s roof has endured a lot – cold, wind, ice, and snow – over the past several months.

Give the roof a good examination and look for signs of distress, such as loose, missing, or curled shingles. Pay attention indoors for signs of leaks originating from the outdoors. Take note of the roof’s appearance, as indentations or depressions may indicate larger issues beneath the surface.

Any and all of these issues should be addressed as quickly as possible. Taking care of them now will help you avoid bigger and more costly problems down the road.

Gutters

More than likely, you cleaned out the gutters last fall. Now, you’ll want to make sure the snow and ice melting from the rooftop have a designated and safe route for escape.

Give the gutters another look in case branches or other debris got stuck in them over the winter. Or maybe you notice gaps in the system or loose connections. Replace and repair anything that’s broken or loose or reach out to a trained professional to handle the fixes.

Maybe now is the time to upgrade your gutters and consider a LEAFAWAY® protection system. You won’t have to clean your gutters or worry about drainage again.

Siding

Check the siding for any pieces that may have come loose or become damaged or warped over the winter months.

You’ll want to take care of any issues right away to prevent moisture from getting in as the spring thaw continues. Moisture can wreak havoc by causing wood rot or issues with mold, creating costly headaches and potential health issues for your family.

If your home’s siding is in need of full repair, United States Seamless® Steel Siding provides a superior option for ideal performance and protection.

Windows

Seasonal temperature fluctuations put your windows to the test, and winter’s frigid conditions are especially brutal. Thoroughly clean the windows so they’re ready for warmer weather, and check for cracks in the glass or damage to the panes or sills. Determine what, if anything, should be mended immediately to protect your home. You want to be sure to keep the unconditioned air and water outside where it belongs.

Perhaps this is the year you upgrade to energy efficient windows. Save on heating and cooling costs while increasing comfort, safety, and curb appeal with high-performance Ply Gem windows.

These are just a few ideas of exterior care to-dos for your spring list, but they’re enough to get you started. If you notice any issues that seem troublesome, Spotless & Seamless is here to help. Our Twin Cities home exteriors experts can assess roofing, gutters, siding, and windows and go over ideas for repair or replacement to fit your lifestyle and budget. Contact us today.


Illuminate Your Home with a Bow Window

Posted on February 26, 2021

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In our last blog, we discussed the added light, space, and value a bay window brings to your home. But don’t forget about another type of window that can amplify the amount of sunlight to any room while delivering an old-world feel. Let’s talk a little more about bow windows and how they can help illuminate your home.

What are Bow Windows?

A bow window has a curved design and is usually made up of four, five, or six congruent window panels. If you want to better illuminate your home with natural lighting, extend your views, or add architectural flair, consider installing a bow window.

These structures often use casement windows, which require minimal effort for operation and create a tight seal when closed. Additionally, casement windows open fully to allow for increased ventilation.

Illuminate Your Home

Do certain areas of your home feel a little dark? Not to worry.

With multiple segments of glass panes and less framing between them, bow windows allow for a wealth of natural light in any room. The added sunlight as well as the larger opening will help make the room look larger, too.

Enjoy the Views

Once again, with less framing between the window panels, bow windows increase your unobstructed view to the outdoors. And that curved – or bowed – design gives you an amazing 180-degree perspective.

Stylish Look

Bow windows will certainly enhance your home’s value and appeal and could even garner extra attention for style. A bow window’s rounded angles and obvious elegance bring a hint of the Victorian-era vibe, adding a unique touch to the otherwise standard, modern arrangement.

Depending on your home’s design, you can add a unique, turret-style look by installing a bow window around a corner. This will give your home a whimsical castle feel on the outside and create a cozy reading alcove or eating nook on the inside.

For a distinct and practical upgrade, illuminate your home with a bow window. These beautiful enhancements provide more light, better views, and increased value. Plus, they add exceptional style to your living space. The Twin Cities home exteriors professionals at Spotless & Seamless can answer your questions about bow windows or provide an estimate for installation. Contact us today.


Enhance Your Home with Bay Windows

Posted on February 19, 2021

Enhance-Your-Home-with-Bay-Windows

Thinking about adding a little something extra to your living space but unsure where to start? Take a look at and out your windows. Maybe you want to increase luminosity, capacity, or versatility. Keep reading to learn a few ways you can enhance your home with bay windows.

What Makes a Bay Window?

First off, what is a bay window and is it different from a bow window? We’ll discuss bow windows in our next blog, but for now, let’s talk about bay windows.

Bay windows jut out from your home and usually have three sides set at varying angles. Most bay windows are shaped like isosceles trapezoids, with the smaller side windows – called flankers – set at similar angles and the larger picture window parallel to the home.

More Light

By way of its unique design, a bay window can help add an abundance of natural light to any room. This is essentially a large wall of windows facing slightly different angles, so it easily increases the amount of sunlight coming in throughout the day in any direction.

The additional light can help cut down on energy expenses and improve your mood. You may find you’re using in-home lamps less and saving electricity. Furthermore, the extra daylight aids in the brain’s regulation of serotonin, which helps you feel calm and more focused.

Extra Space

Because bay windows protrude out from your home, the overall space inside seems larger while the actual space increases only slightly. The glass panes provide an unrestricted feel and expansive views that open up the room.

Additionally, the extra space adjacent to the window is often used for seating, storage, a cozy reading alcove, or a place to nurture houseplants. Combine seating and storage with a flip-top bench and really take advantage of that added area.

Value and Versatility

Adding a bay window adds a classic look to your home’s exterior and often increases its overall value.

Large walls are optimal spaces to install these features, and they complement any room in the home. Brighten up your living room or home office. Get better outdoor views from the kitchen. Add a reading cubby to any or every bedroom.

Whether you want to add light, space, value, versatility, or altogether fun, Spotless & Seamless can help you enhance your home with bay windows. Consult with our Twin Cities home exteriors professionals to select a personalized look for your space that fits your needs and budget. Contact us today with questions or to get started on your home’s new look.


Watch for Winter Window Damage

Posted on January 29, 2021

Watch-for-Winter-Window-Damage

When it’s frigid and blustery outdoors, most people want to stay snuggly warm indoors. This is especially true right now, during winter’s coldest months. Your home’s windows are one safeguard from the chilly temps outside. Be sure to watch for winter window damage so you can protect your home and enjoy the season without being left in the cold.

Cracking

Thermal stress cracks are caused by abrupt temperature changes, such as extreme cold. That chilly air can create tension with enough force to crack the glass. A tiny crack can often spread across the window, creating a bigger, more visible, and immediate issue.

Blasts of wind from a wicked winter storm can knock tree branches against and occasionally into a window. This can scratch or even break the glass and possibly require an urgent fix to keep the cold air outside where it belongs.

Warping

Some materials, especially wood, are prone to warping and bending under intense heat (and humidity) or severe cold. Untreated window frames are put through the wringer in areas with humid summers and frigid winters, both of which are staples in Minnesota. That continuous fluctuation can cause wood to lose its structural integrity, putting your windows and your home at risk.

Malfunctioning

In wintertime, window locks, handles, hinges, or other hardware elements may be difficult or impossible to operate. This could be due to ice or snow accumulation or from the cold weather freezing things in place or cracking them altogether. You probably don’t plan to open your windows much if at all in the winter, but for safety and security reasons, you don’t want them rendered inoperable, either.

Icing

Windows can also freeze shut from ice buildup. Moisture seeps through window edges and hardens once it hits the cold air, freezing the window in place and causing damage to the weather stripping. That creates a snowball effect of moisture escaping and freezing, leading to more ice formation in and around the windows.

Ice can also cause problems when it collects on eaves, gutters, or rooflines. Once those icicles or ice formations become too heavy to hang, they can break off and potentially impair or break any nearby windows. Be sure to keep an eye on what’s happening outside so that it doesn’t come crashing inside.

The cold Minnesota weather can cause all kinds of disturbances and destruction, including window damage. But with the right tools, like high-performance windows from Spotless & Seamless, you can be prepared and protect your home. Our team of certified and trained home exteriors professionals is ready to help you add safety and value to your home. Contact us today to learn about window replacement options.


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.