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High Temps? Keep Your Cool

Thursday, June 07, 2018
Summer has struck early in Carrollton, Plano and the rest of North Texas. Struggling to stay cool? Here are some tips for beating the heat without breaking the bank:

  1. Close Your Blinds. Over 30 percent of the unwanted heat in your home comes through your windows. Using shades, curtains, and blinds can help reduce this heat and even lower temperatures in your home by a whopping twenty degrees. Invest in blackout curtains for additional benefits - these curtains block the sunlight to reduce ambient heat by 33 percent.
     
  2. Close Off Rooms. Shutting the door to rooms you are not using during the day will help cool your home by preventing cold air from going into these areas and concentrating it in areas you are using. This hack will also help keep you cool at night, too!
     
  3. Install Ceiling Fans. Consider installing ceiling fans to help circulate air through your home and reduce the strain on your air conditioner. Set your ceiling fans to move counter-clockwise to keep you cool in the summer and clockwise in cooler months to keep air circulating without giving you a chill.
     
  4. Another Word About Fans. Also, you can use box fans to help move air around and reduce temperatures. Here's a fan hack to help you stay cool: Place a large bowl of ice or a bowl with an ice pack in front of your box fan at an angle, so the fan picks up that cool air over the bowl and sends it your way.
     
  5. Stay Hydrated. If you're going to be outside this summer, be sure to drink enough water to keep your body cool and hydrated while you're out and about. Take frequent breaks inside in cooler temps, too.
     
  6. Think About New Windows. Do you have single pane windows? If so, it may be time to think about an upgrade. Single pane windows allow more heat into your home, raising the temperature and making your air conditioner work harder. If you want to upgrade your windows and lower your cooling (and heating costs), contact Scott Exteriors at 214-503-7663 for more information on your window replacement options.

Power Wash to Perk Up Your Property

Sunday, May 20, 2018
If you're making your list of spring improvement projects, we have a project that is worth mentioning: power washing. Power washing is a task you should take on once or twice a year to clean your driveway, sidewalks, decks, fencing, and siding. 

Here are a few reasons why power washing is important:

Environment. 

North Texas can be dry for long periods - which means dust can accumulate on your exterior and make your house look dingy or dirty. If left to build up, dirt and grime can damage your exterior. 

Stains. 

Power can help remove stains from your fencing, patio, or driveway from dirt, spilled food and beverage, or oil. 

Pollen. 

Pollen is bad during the spring, fall, and well, the rest of the year. Power washing pollen from your home's exterior can help improve the health of family members with allergies, asthma, other respiratory illness by removing irritating pollen and dust and reducing the development of mold. 

Renovations. 

If you're planning on painting, staining, or doing any other kind of refinishing of your home's side or other parts of the exterior, power washing will help you thoroughly clean and prepare the surface.

Curb Appeal. 

Washing away dirt, grime, pollen, bugs, and leaves that build up on the outside of your property will make your house look more beautiful and more appealing.

Power washers are pretty, well, powerful, so it is important to say that while you are working on washing away dirt and grime for your exterior, you should avoid power washing your gutters and roof to prevent accidental damage. The high pressure of the water can knock down gutters and cause the protective granules covering asphalt shingles to fall off.

Don't want to power wash, but want to spruce up your home's exterior?
Consider new siding, windows, or a new roof from Scott Exteriors. Call us today for a consultation at 214-503-7663.

Remodeling and Return on Investment

Wednesday, May 02, 2018
It is no surprise that the real estate market in North Texas is booming, but did you know that many homeowners are choosing to remodel their homes instead of moving? Remodeling has its benefits, such as cost savings, staying in a home you love and the ability to customize your space to get exactly what you want. But are all remodeling projects created equal when it comes to paying off when you do decide to sell? 

According to a survey by Remodeling Magazine, renovations have a 65 percent pay off if the home is sold soon after remodeling is complete. But the amount of payback can vary widely with the type of renovation, depending on the type of improvement you choose. 

Here are four home improvement projects found to pay off:

Updating the Kitchen. In many families, the kitchen is the hub of the home, so it only makes sense that remodeling this area means a payoff. Updating the look and functionality of the kitchen is critical, so combine quality appliances and modern features with comfortable seating and work areas.

 

Upgrade Your Windows. 

New windows are a great investment to make in your home. Updated windows make your home look great and offer energy efficiency and temperature control. Energy efficiency, in turn, will help keep your cooling costs low. 

Seek Out New Siding. 

Siding is a project that pays off because it gives your home an instant facelift and boosts your curb appeal - which will attract future buyers when you decide to sell. Popular options for siding updates include durable fiber cement such as Hardi Plank or a high-quality vinyl siding product. Both Hardi Plank and vinyl siding are available in a wide array of colors and finishes to complement your home. 

Don't Forget About Your Garage Door. 

Like other exterior updates, adding a new garage door can pay off down the road. According to Remodeling Magazine, a new garage door returns 90 percent of your investment when you sell. 

But what about replacing a roof? 

While replacing your roof may not be the remodeling project of your dreams, it still has its benefits when it comes to returning your investment. Studies have shown on average, replacing your roof can mean more than a 50 percent return when it is time to sell.

Considering updating your exterior? Call Scott Exteriors at 214-503-7663 for a consultation today!

The Secret to Streak Free Windows

Thursday, April 19, 2018
Spring is here - and so is spring cleaning. One of the tasks you may tackle this season is cleaning your windows. While we know that cleaning your windows is not the most glamorous chore on your to-do list, and cleaning windows can be especially frustrating after you step back and notice all your hard work has resulted in streaks. If you follow these steps for streak-free cleaning, your windows will look great - and you may not have to clean them again until fall.

The Secret to Streak Free Windows

The secret to streak free windows is not expensive cleaning products. It is vinegar. That's right. Plain white vinegar that you probably already have in your pantry or laundry room. Here is a recipe for a window cleaner that will have your interior windows and mirrors sparkling and streak-free:
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar 
  • 1/4 cup Isopropyl rubbing alcohol
  • 2 cups hot water
Combine all ingredients in a spray bottle. Spray on your window glass, coating the entire surface, and wipe away with a lint-free cloth.

For cleaning exterior glass, you can also use white vinegar. Mix white vinegar and warm water in a 1:1 ratio and apply with a large sponge in a backward "S" pattern, starting at the upper left corner. Remove the solution with a rubber-bladed squeegee. Dry off squeegee in between strokes.

For especially dirty exterior glass, you can use a bucket of hot water with a squirt of dish soap. Sponge on, hose off, and then apply the white vinegar and water solution. Squeegee off.

After cleaning your windows, take time to dry off the edges of the glass and frame with a chamois cloth.

Scott Exteriors is your go-to resource for residential windows in the North Dallas area. Learn more about window care and window replacement options by calling us today at 214-503-7663.

Spring Is Here, and so Is Storm Season

Wednesday, April 04, 2018
Spring is here, and that means an increased risk of severe weather in Plano. Knowing what to do when severe weather strikes can keep you and your family safe. Here are some tips from Scott Exteriors to stay safe this spring and how to handle getting your roof repaired if you have storm damage.

1. Have a plan. Before a severe weather alert is issued, have a plan for where your family will go inside your home to stay safe. Common safe places include closets, pantries, or interior bathrooms. Choose a room on the ground floor with no windows or one that has the most number of walls between it and the exterior.

2. Pack a bag. In a backpack or small waterproof bin, pack bottled water, snacks, copies of your identifying documents, insurance information and other important paperwork. If you have small children, pack a few games or small toys to keep them occupied until the storm passes. In your safe space, it is also a good idea to store a weather radio. While gathering your family to go to your safe room, grab any medications or other items you may need until the storm blows over.

3. Check the weather. Use your weather radio to listen to alerts and to find out when it is safe to come out of your safe room.

4. Check your property carefully. After the storm passes, carefully walk the inside and outside perimeters of your home and check your property for damage. Look for broken windows, downed gutters, damaged siding, and loose or damaged shingles.

5. Call a professional roofing company. If you notice damage to your roof that cannot wait such as a leak or hole from the storm, call a professional roofing company like Scott Exteriors to tarp your roof or other area until damaged can be assessed and repaired. Then, after the storm, schedule an appointment with Scott Exteriors to walk your roof and thoroughly look for signs of damage. Scott Exteriors can prepare a professional quote for you to repair any damage.

6. Contact your insurance company. Call your insurance agent to start the claim process and let them know that you have a quote from Scott Exteriors for repair.

Keep our number handy during this spring's storm season. We hope your home never suffers damage from severe weather, but we are here to help.

Call us today at 214-503-7663 for all your roofing needs.

Recognizing the Signs of an Impending Roof Collapse

Monday, March 19, 2018

In North Texas, it seems that we are living under one extreme or another; either we are under drought conditions or seemingly in the middle of a monsoon season. Downpours for days like we have had the last few weeks can throw a wrench in our daily lives, increase the number of accidents on the road, cause dangerous flash flooding, and lead to roof leaks. Lots of rain can also mean the risk of a roof collapse.

What Causes a Roof Collapse?

In many cases, a roof collapse happens when the components of your roof become saturated with rain as a result of an untreated roof leak. When rain permeates your roof and impacts these components, they weaken and fall into your home.

What Are the Signs of an Impending Roof Collapse?

Knowing the indications of a potential roof collapse is critical to prevent injuries or fatalities. Here are seven signs you may have a potential roof problem that could mean a collapse:

1. Water. If you are experiencing a roof leak, this is a sign that you have water pooling between your ceiling and roof. This pooling water puts added weight and stress on your beams, drywall, and insulation, causing sagging or drooping which could lead to a collapse.

2. Signs of Structural Problems. Bends, ripples, or other evidence of stress on your roof supports are an indication that your roof is experiencing a structural dysfunction. If you notice these signs, you need to call a professional roofing company to investigate.

4. Masonry Issues. If you are seeking cracks in your masonry, you may automatically think you have a foundation issue, but your roof could also be responsible for your damage.

5. Interior Cracks or Gaps. There are also signs in your home and business can also indicate that a roof collapse may be imminent. Cracks in your walls or across your ceiling may be evidence of a structural problem caused by your roof.

6. Noise. Do you hear popping, creaking, and cracking? Unless you have a ghost, you probably are experiencing a problem with your roof. Don't call Ghostbusters, call Scott Exteriors instead.

7. Shifting Sprinklers. This one is more noticeable for business owners. If you have sprinklers that have moved out alignment, you need to find out why - and fast.

Don't be caught off guard. If you recognize these signs, take action immediately and schedule an inspection with Scott Exteriors. Call us today at 214-503-7663.

Pests Can Leave Your Roof Damaged

Thursday, March 01, 2018

At Scott Exteriors, we talk a lot about the potential for roof damage caused by the extreme weather conditions of North Texas because sun, hail, rain, and high winds can negatively impact your roof and shorten its lifespan. But what about damage caused by rodents?

Roof damage from rodents and other pests can be detrimental to your roof and very costly to remediate. If pest invasions are left untreated, you may end up with damage inside your home - putting your family at risk for serious illness and costly repairs.

How Different Pests Can Damage Your Roof

  • Bird. Bird droppings are highly acidic, which over time can break down your shingles and roof sheathing. This leaves you at risk for water and other elements penetrating your roof and creating damage below.
  • Bats. If you didn't know, bats are native to this part of Texas. Bats are excellent at eating mosquitos and other bugs that bug us, but they also have unique ability to squeeze into small spaces - even as small as 3/8s of an inch! - and make your home their home. Bats are not very destructive by nature, but their feces carry a fungus that can cause a fungal lung infection in humans. Some bats also carry rabies which they can transmit to humans and pets.
  • Rats. Birds, bats, and rats - oh my! Rats may be one of the worst pests for your roof. Like bats, rats can squeeze through very narrow openings, so if you have any gaps or spaces around your roof, you're leaving an open door for rats and other vermin to enter.
  • Rats are also incredible chewers. They can chew through your roof, leaving holes and your home exposed. Once inside, they love to chew through wiring and make nests in your insulation.
  • Squirrels. Squirrels are cute, but did you know that they love to chew on your shingles? It is true. These bushy-tailed creatures can chew through your roof and make themselves at home in your attic. While they are living in your home rent-free, they are also urinating in your home. Over time, this urine will leak down into your ceiling, leaving you with a smell situation. It can also cause your roof to collapse.
  • Termites. Termites are a problem in North Texas and they are a big problem for your roof. These tiny, annoying pests can cause a ton of damage to your roof by eating wood beams and rafters, roof decking and trusses.

If you see or suspect a pest infestation, we suggest you schedule an inspection today by calling 214-503-7663. 

We also recommend that you have your roof regularly inspected by a professional roofer to spot potential problems before they start.

Windows and Ways to Reduce Cooling Costs

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

If you've lived in North Texas any amount of time, you know that summers are scorching. High temperatures and the blazing sun often translate to hundreds of dollars in higher cooling costs each year. In fact, solar heat gain (the amount of solar radiation absorbed through a window) through windows account for 30 percent of the cooling costs in your home or business. There are a few steps you can take to reduce solar heat gain, keep your home or business cool, and reduce your cooling costs.

1. Add Solar Screens. One way to reduce the amount of heat transferred through your windows is to use solar screens. Solar screens are made of a type of unique screen mesh and installed on the outside of the windows of your home or office. While solar screens can help reduce heat transfer and keep your home cooler, they are not the most efficient way to reduce temperatures in your home. Since solar screens also "blackout" your windows from the outside, using them can make your home darker and can limit viewing from the inside. Solar screens can fade over time, too.

2. Or Try Window Film. Window film is another option you can use to reduce the amount of heat transferred through your windows. Window film is a self-adhering polyester film applied directly to the window glass. Window film can also reduce heat transfer through your windows and minimize glare. Some people prefer window film over solar screens because it is easier to clean that solar screens, but you should keep in mind that it is critical to install window film correctly, or you will end up with bubbles. Some window manufacturers also state that window film violates their warranties.

3. Upgrade Your Windows.
Many homes in North Texas were built using single-pane glass windows because they cost less than double-pane and triple-pane options. While they do save builders money, they cost you money because they are a poor insulator and allow the sun's rays to heat up your home. Upgrading your windows to double or triple-pane glass is an investment, but will lower your cooling costs over time.

You already knew that Scott Exteriors is the name you can trust for professional roofing repair and replacement, but did you know we also do windows?
Call us today at 214-503-7663 to schedule your window consultation.

Spruce Up Your Siding Before Selling

Tuesday, February 06, 2018
Are you thinking of selling your Plano home this spring? If you're considering putting your house on the market and want to get top-dollar, you should consider taking a few steps to spruce up its curb appeal such as manicuring your lawn, planting new flowers, painting your trim, and updating your older vinyl siding.

Really? I Should Update My Siding Before Listing My Home?

Yes, you at least should consider it. Updating your vinyl siding with new vinyl or Hardie Plank is like giving your home a facelift. It will make your home look new and fresh, which will, in turn, attract potential buyers. 

But Will My Investment Pay Off?

According to Remodeling magazine's 2015 Cost vs. Value Report, yes. The magazine reports that replacing your home's older vinyl siding will return between 72 and 80 percent of your investment. Also, replacing your vinyl siding will most likely increase your home's value.

Replacing your siding will also help you through the inspection process and gives you leverage when reviewing offers. 

What Kind of Siding Should I Consider?

Scott Exteriors offers both high-quality vinyl and Hardie Board fiber-cement siding options to update your home. Vinyl siding is a popular choice because it installs easily, comes in a wide variety of colors, and requires very little maintenance. It is also very cost-effective. 

Hardie Board siding also has its benefits. Hardie Board is a bit more of an investment than vinyl siding. Hard Board is also very low maintenance and comes in a wide range of colors. Hardie Board is popular with many homeowners because it has a natural wood look and texture. It is also weather resistant and can withstand hail and the Texas sun.

Are you considering selling this spring and want to upgrade your siding? 
 Call Scott Exteriors for a quote today at 214-503-7663

Insulation is Everything

Thursday, January 25, 2018

How often do you think about the insulation of your Plano home? If you’re like most homeowners, you probably never think about your insulation or only think about it when you receive a higher-than-normal heating or cooling bill. If you fall into either of these camps, you probably want to read this blog.


What is insulation?

Insulation is a physical barrier that helps to block the heat of the sun's rays in the summer (a very important factor for North Texas homeowners). Insulation also helps to keep heat from escaping through the roof during the winter. 

What are the different types of insulation?

The most common types of insulation materials include fiberglass, cellulose, polyurethane foam, mineral wool, and Styrofoam.

Fiberglass insulation is very common in homes and businesses. Fiberglass insulation is made from spun glass and is extremely dense. Its density helps to block out heat the sun's rays and prevent heat or cool air from seeping out of your home. Fiberglass insulation also does not absorb water.

Cellulose is a less common insulation material than fiberglass insulation, but is more expensive than fiberglass insulation. Many people like cellulose because it is eco-friendly compared to other materials. However, cellulose insulation consists of wood fibers that are flammable.

Polyurethane foam is the best insulation material available and is an excellent sound insulator. Polyurethane foam is also very expensive, flammable, and negatively impacts the environment.

Mineral wool insulation is made of spun minerals such as steel or basalt stone. This type of insulation is more in Canada and Europe, but is slowly making a comeback in the United States. Mineral wool is very dense, which makes it a great material to insulate your home. Mineral wool is also not flammable or damaging to the environment.

Styrofoam insulation is another type insulation material available for insulating your home. Styrofoam insulation is the cheapest of all insulation material types, but there are considerations to make if you're thinking about using it. Styrofoam is bad for the environment, it is difficult to install, and is flammable.

Why should you think about insulation?

Making sure you have enough insulation can also help extend the life of your HVAC unit, as high temperatures created during the summer make your HVAC system work harder to reach and maintain the temperatures you set on your thermostat. Over time, this additional wear on your HVAC can shorten its lifespan and means you will have to replace it sooner.

How does insulation affect roofing?

Inadequate or old insulation can also lead to the premature deterioration of the materials used to construct your roof, like roof underlayment and decking.

When these materials decay, your roof is more susceptible to leaks which can lead to even more repair bills.

Do you have questions about what type of insulation can help extend the life of your roof? 


Call Scott Exteriors today at 214-503-7663.

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