Getting Ready for Winter: Windows and Doors
Are home heating bills during the winter out of control? The cost of keeping the house warm usually increases significantly in the wintertime. One way to lower costs is to properly insulate windows and doors. Sealing gaps could save as much as 10 to 15 percent on energy bills and make the home more comfortable.
Homeowners have several options when deciding how to best prepare windows and doors for winter. The first step is to inspect the house and check for damage. The wood around windows and doors may be cracked, warped, or deteriorated as a result of water and moisture. Damaged materials will need to be replaced.
An inspection will also reveal damage to weather stripping. Weather stripping refers to those protective, insulating materials that fill in gaps around windows and doors and keep out drafts. Loose weather stripping and insulation reduces the energy efficiency of the house. Some of the most common methods of insulation are:
- Rubber Sealant – Rubber sealant is available at most hardware stores. The rubber is cut into strips, peeled, and then applied to window and door frames.
- Insulation Film – Plastic shrink tape is applied to indoor window frames using double-stick tape. The film is then heated and shrunk with a hair dryer to remove any wrinkles.
- Shades and Curtains – Shades that are made out of polyester fabric help insulate windows while still allowing light to come in. Heavier curtains and drapes will also help insulate windows but will block out light.
- Caulk – Caulk is an excellent insulator that is easily applied to gaps and cracks in materials around windows and doors. Exposure to extreme weather, though, causes cracks and other damage to caulking. Faulty caulking will need to be reapplied.
- Storm Windows – Storm doors and windows add extra layers of protection and reduce heat loss. They are typically installed on the exterior of existing doors and windows.
Homeowners also have the option of replacing doors and windows. Older structures and those composed of single-pane glass are notorious for cold air drafts. Consider installing double or triple-pane glass windows and fiberglass doors. The experts of Building Resources, Inc are available now to replace windows and doors with more energy efficient options before winter arrives.
Disaster Planning for Businesses
According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, around 40 to 60 percent of businesses are unable to reopen their doors after a major disaster. Since owners often invest a large amount of time, money, and effort into making their company successful, the loss of a business is devastating. That’s why it is essential for business owners to prepare for emergency situations and be aware of risks.
The first step in preparing for a disaster is knowing what the risks are. Most areas are vulnerable to natural disasters, and part of the planning process is identifying those hazards. Business owners need to keep in mind, however, that major disasters are rare. It is more likely that they will be affected by smaller crises like fires, burst pipes, server failures, and power outages.
A detailed Business Continuity Plan will then need to be developed that addresses the possibilities and how to respond. This contingency plan is best when written down and contains instructions specific to the company. Effective planning includes the following:
- The roles of individual employees and what each of them are expected to do in emergency situations
- An alternate location from which to run the company until the commercial property is restored.
- Contact information of each employee and a plan for how to communicate internally
- Emergency contact information for plumbers, physicians, and insurance companies
- Procedures for the recovery of electronic data and the identification of back-up resources
- Plans to minimize the disruptions to critical business functions like record keeping, accounting, and product or service delivery
- Evacuation procedures and the assembly of a disaster kit that includes essential emergency supplies like food and water
Studies have shown that ninety percent of companies fail within a year unless they are able to resume operations within five days following a disaster. The professional contractors of BRInc help businesses get back on their feet following disaster by repairing and restoring damage. Contact us when disaster strikes for a fast response.
Holiday Remodeling Ideas
As the holiday season approaches, it’s time to consider a home remodeling project. Remodeling can turn any home into a more welcoming and comfortable environment for visitors while helping to cut down on stress for the hosts. Remodeling just might create the perfect atmosphere for fun family memories.
Remodeling projects come in all shapes and sizes including budget-friendly touchups and room makeovers. Here are some remodeling ideas to consider implementing before the holidays are here:
- Kitchens – Probably the most used room in the home, holiday cooking and baking only increase the amount of activity in the kitchen. To be able to accommodate this surge, consider expanding the size of the kitchen and dining areas so they can hold more guests. There is also the option of upgrading kitchen appliances by installing larger ovens or double sinks. Add to the kitchen’s capacity by putting in extra counter space or islands. A fresh coat of paint in the kitchen always helps to upgrade the look.
- Bathrooms – It might be a good idea to replace old faucets and worn out cabinets before visitors arrive. The installation of a low-flow toilet will conserve water and help to save money on utility bills.
- Living Rooms – Consider updating the look and feel of common living areas with fresh paint and new furniture. If that isn’t a possibility, new lighting fixtures can help brighten up a room to make it more welcoming.
- Guest Rooms – Invite guests to relax and unwind after weary holiday travel with inviting and comfy guest rooms. Repaint the rooms with soothing colors and add extra storage for clothes and personal items.
- Fireplaces – For many families, the holidays are centered around the fireplace where stockings are hung and stories are read. Get the fireplace ready by getting it cleaned by a licensed professional. The look of the fireplace is also greatly enhanced with holiday décor.
The experts at BRInc can help turn holiday remodeling dreams into reality. We work with all kinds of budgets in order to complete projects in time for the holiday season.