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.


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.


Helpful Hints for Winter Window Care

Posted on November 12, 2020

Helpful-Hints-for-Winter-Window-Care

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

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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.


New Home? Protect it This Fall with Traditional Tips

Posted on September 17, 2020

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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.


Tips for Late-Summer Window Care

Posted on August 25, 2020

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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.


Hinge-Style Windows: Open the Possibilities

Posted on June 16, 2020

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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.


Cultivate Character with a Garden Window

Posted on May 14, 2020

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Want to give your home a bit of added whimsy and charm this summer? Consider a small but unique upgrade that will bring in an abundance of natural light while being both functional and practical. Keep reading to find out how to cultivate character with a garden window.

Unique portal

Garden windows are designed to extend a few inches beyond the edge of your home’s exterior. Encased in glass from every side, these unique portals allow light to shine in from every direction. The bottom panel can serve as a shelf for storage, while adding a middle shelf provides extra space for display.

Adding openness

The addition of a garden window helps open up any room and makes it feel larger. This brighter and welcoming environment can also provide a pleasant and positive energy.

Some homeowners may choose to put a garden window in a home office, adding sunlight and a sense of nature by way of impressive views to the outdoors. In most cases, these types of windows are installed above the kitchen sink. This way, the contents on display are easily accessible, making the idea of a garden window even more appealing.

Multi-purpose

Add quick and easy flavor to home-cooked meals by growing herbs in a kitchen garden window. Keep fresh chives, basil, rosemary, or oregano within arms’ reach and away from backyard garden pests.

With a garden window, you can also grow houseplants year-round to:

  • Breathe easier: English ivy and peace lilies naturally help purify and remove mold from the air. Likewise, the Boston fern helps filter airborne toxins.
  • Quiet your mind: Geranium plants are pretty, and their scent is thought to promote calmness.
  • Help with anxiety: The aroma of lavender helps with relaxation. Additionally, studies have shown that looking at roses creates a sense of comfort.
  • Boost your mood: The year-round bloom of an orchid helps increase positive energy.

Furthermore, a garden window provides space for displaying trinkets and collections, for storing books, or for showing off arts and crafts projects.

If you want to bring in more light and add some unique flair to your living space, cultivate character with a garden window. The Twin Cities home exteriors experts at Spotless & Seamless install top-quality windows designed with a weathertight seal. Available in two styles, these windows will maintain their charm for years to come. Contact us today for a free estimate.


Score Style Points with Home Exterior Trends

Posted on April 30, 2020

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With temperatures on the rise and summer on its way, you’re probably outside tending to chores around the yard. Another way to keep your property looking spiffy – and increase curb appeal – is to give your home an outer spruce-up. From a simple doorway upgrade to a full siding replacement, we have some tips on scoring style points with home exterior trends.

Front Door

Your home’s front door is an invitation that greets and welcomes your guests. Adding a new coat of paint or even a pop of color can make a visual statement or offer a warmhearted reception.

If you’re ready for a whole new look in the entryway, consider replacing the door with one that looks stunning and is more energy efficient. Let the sun in by choosing a door with multi-pane windows. Moreover, accenting the doorway with sidelights and transom windows will really make your exterior – and especially your interior – shine.

Go Dark

Go with dark colors and bring a new sophisticated look to your home.

Dark colors – like charcoal gray, navy blue, deep burgundy, hunter green, or even black – complement any style of home and have an ageless feel that adds to their popularity. Darker exterior colors can bring simplicity to a modern-era home. Likewise, they can make the conventional feel somewhat unconventional.

Stay Fresh… Forever

Give your home’s exterior the look of timeless beauty and the assurance of performance against the elements with new siding. United States Seamless® Steel Siding products come in a variety of designs and colors – including dark hues.

  • Platinum Series™: More than beautiful, this energy efficient exterior outperforms vinyl, wood, or fiber cement products. For added value and durability, this unique siding alternative is enhanced with DuPont™ Teflon® surface protector.
  • Mountain Cedar®: Offering the look of natural stained cedar, this product goes one step further and resists the elements better than its namesake. Engineered specifically to resist hail and extreme temperature changes, this option won’t deteriorate like real wood.
  • Northwoods Collection™: Get that cozy, rustic look with this log cabin steel siding. Available in four natural wood colors, it won’t rot, splinter, corrode, or fade.

What’s more, seamless steel siding is maintenance free, which will save you time and energy over the decades.

No matter your style, color, or home exterior trend preference, the Twin Cities exteriors professionals at Spotless & Seamless can make the transition a simple one. Contact us to find out more about front door or siding options or to schedule a free consultation.


Ideas for Your Home’s Spring Maintenance Agenda

Posted on March 31, 2020

Ideas for Your-Home’s-Spring-Maintenance-Agenda

Singing birds, warmer temps, and longer days means spring is here – finally! Now is a great time to get outside and take inventory of any toll winter may have taken on your home’s exterior. If you’re unsure what to look for, we’ve put together some ideas to include on your home’s spring maintenance agenda. Keep reading to determine which projects you need to tackle.

Roofing

Your home’s roof is the main source of protection from the elements. Check for any broken or missing shingles and any damage from ice dams. Also, check the condition of the flashing around vents and chimneys. Make appropriate accommodations for repair as soon as possible. Delaying fixes could lead to water damage inside your home from forthcoming rain and storms.

Gutters

If your roofline has a gutter system, you know how valuable it is for protecting your home from water damage. Gutters catch and direct rainwater away from the foundation but not if they’re clogged. Make sure gutters and downspouts are free from leaves and other debris to ensure they’ll function properly. Also, check for loose or leaky gutters and tighten, repair, or replace them right away.

If you’re tired of cleaning your gutter system, ask us about the LEAFAWAY® gutter protection system.

Windows and Doors

Check weather seals around your home’s windows and doors. If they’re cracked or missing, replace them. Doing so will help protect your home from water damage. You will also save on air conditioning costs and keep that cooler air inside where you want it.

Opening windows at night helps keep your house cool while reducing your energy bill. Make sure your windows are summer-ready by cleaning dirty screens or patching any small holes.

Paint

Exterior paint dresses up your home’s curb appeal and gives it a protective barrier from wind and rain. Check for any areas of cracked or chipping paint and do touch-ups as needed. If your home’s exterior needs substantial fixes, consider maintenance-free Seamless® steel siding. Get the look you want and the protection you need.

Make sure your home’s exterior survived winter and is ready for summer. Create an agenda for spring maintenance and take care of any small issues before they become big problems. The Twin Cities home exteriors professionals at Spotless & Seamless Exteriors can handle any repairs or upgrades. Contact us for a free estimate.