Spotless & Seamless Exteriors Blog

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

Tips-for-Safe-and-Effective-Gutter-Cleaning

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.


Tips for Late-Summer Window Care

Posted on August 25, 2020

Tips-for-Late-Summer-Window-Care

Regular maintenance check-ups are useful for keeping just about anything – or anyone – in stable working order. This includes your house. Inspecting your home’s windows can help reveal any issues that need to be addressed before outside temperatures plummet. Stay one step ahead with these tips for late-summer window care.

Clean More Than the Glass

Standard household chores usually involve cleaning windows. Be sure to clean the non-glass areas as well. Dirt, dead insects, and other debris can collect in the sill or track and prevent an adequate seal, allowing conditioned air to escape. Check these areas thoroughly and clear them with a vacuum hose or soft brush, as needed.

Examine the Frame

A good coating of paint or stain can shield window frames from the harsh weather elements. But look for signs of deterioration, such as peeling or chipping, and plan accordingly for repair or replacement.

If the window frame can be repaired, follow these steps:

  • Scrape off any loose paint or stain and sand the surface smooth. Take care to avoid scratching the glass.
  • Wipe the frame with a rag to remove any dust.
  • Prime the surface.
  • Apply two coats of new paint or stain.

If you need to replace all or some of your windows, the installation experts at Spotless & Seamless Exteriors can help determine the best option for your home.

Look for Signs of Moisture

Storms or high humidity can cause moisture issues. Keep an eye out for cracked walls or floors or other damage in your home that could be signs of water damage. If you notice water seeping in around your windows, have a professional assess the situation and recommend a solution.

Fix Sticks and Strips

Open and close the windows to determine if any of them slide irregularly or stick. If you notice sticky windows, spray a dry cloth with a silicone-based lubricant and wipe the window tracks. Avoid applying the lubricant directly to the window, as this can be messy and leave a permanent mark.

Additionally, replace any missing or torn weather stripping and secure any pieces that have come loose.

Survey the Seals

Some of your cool air in the summer and warm air in the winter can escape because of poor air seals. Check for old, cracked caulking around your windows, especially in areas of direct sunlight or high-impact rain. Remove any defective caulking and replace it to create a tight seal.

Protect your home and be ready for changing temps with these tips for late-summer window care. Your Twin Cities home exteriors professionals at Spotless & Seamless can answer your questions or discuss repair and replacement options for your home. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.


Common Causes of Shingle Curling

Posted on July 30, 2020

Common-Causes-of-Shingle-Curling

You may have noticed tattered or curled shingles on some homes. Perhaps the shingles on your roof are beginning to curl. This is often an inconvenient indicator for replacement. We’ll look at some common causes of shingle curling and things you can do to get the most out of your home’s dome.

Installation

Improper installation may cause shingles to curl. Either methodical or procedural errors during install can establish an initial issue, leading to bigger problems down the road.

For instance, you might save time by placing a new set of shingles over an existing layer. But if the original layer is damaged or already curling, chances are the new shingles will curl as well. Additionally, the newer shingles may not line up properly with the old. Without a proper seal, the new shingles may become loose and blow away in a heavy wind.

Flaws in the installation procedure can also cause shingle curling. Roofing materials are designed for specific requirements, including the type, length, and number of nails used per shingle; weather elements like temperature and humidity; shingle alignment; type of underlayment; and more. Failure to adhere to the manufacturer’s installation guidelines could mean headaches later on.

Ventilation

Inside your home, hot air – and moisture – rises to the attic. A well-ventilated space allows that moist air to circulate and disperse. If the air is trapped due to poor ventilation, heat and moisture can cause mold growth and lead to roof and shingle damage.

Deterioration

One of the most common reasons for shingle curling is also the most obvious: your roof is simply deteriorating from age. Asphalt shingles can last about 15 or 20 years. If you’ve noticed several spots of shingle curling, you may want to have your roof inspected and consider having it redone. Weakened shingles will allow water into your home, so replacing them now will help prevent further complications.

Prevention

Your home is an investment. To fully protect it and to get the most from your roofing, don’t take shortcuts.

Keep an eye on your shingles and clear any debris after a storm or heavy wind. Also, have an experienced company complete any roofing work to ensure it is done correctly and under warranty. Stay up to date on routine inspections and repairs, so that small issues don’t lead to big trouble.

For your roofing repair or replacement, trust the experts at Spotless & Seamless for fast, high quality, and personalized service. Whether you notice shingle curling or other issues, contact your Twin Cities roofing contractor today for a free inspection.


Siding: 3 reasons to choose seamless

Posted on July 16, 2020

Siding-3-reasons-to-choose-seamless

Your home is an investment. When building or making upgrades, you want to consider the best quality materials to assure the best possible result inside and out. Keep reading to learn about protecting your home’s exterior and three reasons to choose seamless when weighing your siding options.

What is seamless?

Seamless siding is specifically cut to the precise measurements of your home, so each panel is one continuous, seamless piece. This attractive option is one of the best siding choices – especially if it’s steel – for many reasons, including its performance and simplicity.

Durable and efficient

Minnesota climates can be extreme, but seamless steel siding is durable enough to hold up against the drastic fluctuations between hot and cold. In addition, this exterior covering is impervious to fading or chalking and resistant to pests, such as ants and termites.

Because it’s seamless, this multi-layered system helps prevents moisture from getting into your home and wreaking havoc on your indoor air quality or causing rot or structural damage. What’s more, the siding keeps drafts out, so your inside air stays comfortably cool in the summer and toasty warm in the winter. This will help save on energy costs as well.

Easy to maintain

Caring for your seamless steel siding is about as uncomplicated as it gets, because this product is virtually maintenance free. If the siding gets dirty, simply rinse it with a garden hose. Yes, it’s that easy.

And forget about putting on a new coat of paint. You won’t have to prime, stain, or seal anything – ever – because its fresh look will last for decades to come.

So many colors and styles

United States Seamless® Steel Siding comes in a variety of colors and finishes to match your personality, preference, or taste. Color options range from subtle earth tones to rich, dynamic hues. Also, select a basic finish or one that’s textured or woodgrain.

Small touches like vertical accents or a peak herringbone design can add dramatic flair to your home’s exterior and increase curb appeal.

The Twin Cities home exteriors professionals at Spotless & Seamless Siding have the answers to your questions when it comes to seamless siding. Still wondering whether to choose seamless? Contact our experts to learn more or to schedule a free estimate.


Invest in Gutters to Protect Your Home

Posted on June 26, 2020

Invest-in-Gutters-to-Protect-Your-Home

If you built or purchased your home with gutters already installed, you know the value of such a system. But if your roofline isn’t currently equipped with gutters, do you need them? Keep reading and discover some of the benefits of these water-draining methods to help you decide whether to invest in gutters to protect your home.

To Gutter or Not to Gutter

According to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources website, the average annual rainfall in the state ranges from 20 inches in the northwest to 35 inches in the southeast. With such a wet climate, it’s probably worth your while to invest in gutters for your home.

A gutter system can protect your property in more ways than one.

Preserve the foundation. Minnesota summers are notorious for storms and heavy rains. When that rainwater pours down from your roof, it can lead to erosion as more soil washes away time and again. This can eventually cause damage to landscaping, sidewalks, and even your driveway.

Erosion that extends too close to the house can damage the foundation. Indicators include cracks in walls and chimneys or warped and uneven floors, all of which could be costly to repair.

Keep the basement dry. Rainwater that drains straight from the shingles often collects around the home’s foundation. As the soil becomes more saturated, it gets heavier and can cause cracks in basement walls. Those small cracks allow water to seep in, which may cause flooding or moisture buildup. This presents a danger on its own. Damp basements often harbor mold growth, which could affect the health of your family.

Safeguard your siding. Water streaming down can carry with it all sorts of debris, which over time can damage or discolor your siding – depending on which type you have. Stains, chips, or cracked paint can affect your home’s curb appeal.

What’s more, water damage can wear down the siding and cause it to crumble or rot, inviting unwelcome critters and pests inside. Compromised siding also allows in moisture, which again leads to issues with mold.

Installation

Once you make the choice to invest in gutters, be sure they’re property installed by professionals, like the experts at Spotless & Seamless, to ensure proper measurement, fastening, and fitting. Also, be sure to keep your new gutters free of debris and in working order.

To avoid gutter maintenance, ask about the LEAFAWAY® Gutter Protection system. Our Twin Cities home exteriors professionals are here to help with all of your home exterior needs. Contact us to learn more or to request an estimate.


Hinge-Style Windows: Open the Possibilities

Posted on June 16, 2020

Hinge-Style-Windows-Open-the-Possibilities

Summer is an ideal time for home renovation projects, and maybe a window upgrade is on your to-do list. Two common types have similar hinge-style openings and offer many of the same benefits. Keep reading to find out more about casement and awning windows and how these modern modifications can open the possibilities of function and style.

Casement Windows

Homeowners often install casement windows in main living spaces, such as the family room, kitchen, and dining room. They are ideal for areas in which the window opening is taller than it is wide. Casement windows have hinges on either the left or right side and open with the use of a crank.

Advantages to installing casement windows include:

  • Ventilation. Sliding windows open halfway vertically or horizontally, but casement windows open completely to allow for greater ventilation throughout your home.
  • Efficiency. These windows have an air-tight seal. When closed they prevent air from seeping into or flowing out of your home, keeping your conditioned air where it should be.
  • Effortless operation. No need to push, slide, or reach to open casement windows. Easy-to-use hand cranks are conveniently found at the window base.
  • Security. The locking mechanism on these types of windows is encased within the frame for increased security.

Awning Windows

Like casement windows, awning windows have a hinge opening. The windows hinge along the top and open outward from the bottom, like an awning. These types of windows are used for spaces in which the width of the opening is greater than its height. Homeowners choose awning windows for bedrooms, in bathrooms, and above kitchen sinks for many reasons.

Awning windows allow for greater airflow. Because of their design, they can remain open even on a rainy day. The sash prevents rain from coming into your home while the fresh air streams throughout.

Since awning windows are usually smaller in size, they can be placed higher up on walls. This creates added security and privacy while still allowing plenty of natural light and ventilation. Additionally, you have more wall space available for home décor or for placing taller pieces of furniture.

Views from these windows are less obstructed, if at all. The single-sash design makes dividers unnecessary, so all you see is everything when looking out the window.

Awning windows are extremely efficient. They have a weathertight seal that prevents air seepage in or out. Many of them use energy efficient Low-E glass that helps keep heat out during the summer, so your home stays comfortable.

Whichever hinge-style window option you prefer, the home exteriors experts at Spotless & Seamless can help make sure you’re making the best choice for your needs. Contact us for an estimate and let us explain how to open the possibilities of function and style with casement or awning windows.