Inspecting New Windows
As the owner of a Window Cleaning Service in Knoxville, I have probably seen about every type of window out there, some good, some bad and some I hope I never see again. This also means I’ve seen everything that can go wrong, from Low-E failure, Seal failure, warping and sash rot on wooden frames. I decided to write a brief check list on things to consider when replacing your windows. Some of this is also what we do as an inspection on an estimate when cleaning windows.
One of the first things to consider is the warranty. Not only what it covers, but also for how long. Since we mainly do residential, that is what we will focus on since commercial usually as a completely different warranty. Often times Window Manufacturers have anything from 10-20-year warranties and even a few have a lifetime warranty on Low-E and seal failure. Those are the two most common problems that can affect your glass, while seal failure is easy to spot (looks fogged up), Low-E failure is a little different but easily seen from the outside as it will have a color change, much like oil on water. And YES, I have seen this happen in Brand NEW windows.
The next thing is repairing if something does go wrong, for example, one manufacturer has a code on every window which you can call and give the code and they will send out a replacement part, while another locks up ALL replacement parts and you have to use their provider. Personally, I prefer windows that your local handyman can fix if needed or the home owner themselves. In the ‘mechanical’ side of the warranty, check with the company and see what exactly is covered, as couple companies will cover this as well.
So you’ve picked your brand, you’ve picked a date for installation, now what. ALWAYS inspect! And don’t make the mistake of testing the window and calling it good. Go outside and look for that color change (low-E failure). Also inspect with certain angles of light. Light scratches can and Do happen, these can be hard to see till later down the road. Check to make sure they are secure in the frame and the operation is smooth. A poorly installed window will be tight and not work properly. Check the caulking, both inside and outside (if needed).
After all of that, the most important thing is to enjoy your new view! But don’t forget to maintain that view. With new windows your going to want to keep them clean. Although we do recommend hiring a professional with the first few cleanings, as this will help remove fabrication debris which can scratch the glass if not cleaned properly. It is important to mention, that ALL window companies have a clause in their warranty that does not cover damage caused by fabrication debris In fact this can void all warranties. Written by James Long with Innovative Glass, Knoxville,Tn.
Roof Cleaning, Knoxville Tn.
Drive through any Knoxville neighborhood and you can see those black streaks on just about every roof, mainly on the North side of the roof slope. These black marks on a roof can make your home unsightly and cause your home to lose curb appeal and if your home is for sale, this could possibly cost you a sale.
What are those black stains? They are a form of algae that grows in the shady areas on your roof. The good news is they can be cleaned using the proper mixture as well as technique, restoring the look of your home’s shingles and giving you that extra WOW factor. We here at Innovative Glass have reached out to just about all shingle manufactures that cover our area as well as local roofing companies and have discussed how to remove them and maintain your roof.
First off, and I have seen this many times, do not use a normal pressure washer on your roof, recently many pressure washing services have begun to offer roof cleaning, but using a high pressure on your roof will damage the granules on the shingle and your 25yr warranty just went to zero as this voids it. Using very low pressure (or soft wash) which operates at around 40 psi, using a mixture of high concentrate bleach and surfactant, gently spray on the effected areas and let sit for 20 minutes, then begin rinsing again using no pressure, although this will clean the roofing surface, over time they will come back.
For the home owner, if the roof is walkable a pump sprayer will suffice and rinse with a water hose. It is very important to spray with clean water all plants around your home, as well as use proper PPE, i.e. Safety glasses, mask, and clothes you don’t mind getting ruined.
For us, learning the proper processes to clean your home was very vital. We teach our employees to inspect a roof for damage, and this is also a great time for the home owner to brush up on roof damage and inspect your own roof.
The recommended Roof Cleaning mixture should be close to a 50/50 ratio of bleach to water, with a surfactant to help it ‘stick’ to the roof while it does its job. For tougher areas where lichen and full on algae growth has formed, you may have to come back and gently remove that dead algae being careful not to damage the granules.
After speaking with roofing manufactures and roofing companies, they do offer a algae resistant shingle, but this only covers certain types of algae and mold, not all. But it is recommended to get your roof cleaned occasionally to maintain the roof as well as appearance.
If you live in Knoxville or the surrounding areas, give Innovative Glass a call 865-455-9871 for a FREE estimate on all your roof cleaning or Pressure Washing needs. We are happy to assist you, even if it is to just answer questions.
How to Pressure Wash your home
I’ve read many articles about pressure washing, from How to’s to the DIY power washing, so today were going to talk about want NOT to wash, when getting your home ready for spring. Last time we made some points on If you should Hire a Professional, and with temperatures warming up, its about time to think about getting your home ready for the year.
As you’ve pulled your power washing machine out of the garage, hooked up your hoses, got your wand, which tip should you use? Well first off DO NOT use the little red tip, I have seen more damage caused by that guy then any other one, While the Yellow is great for concrete this too can cause significant damage, Now the green may ‘be good for brick, depending on if mortar is cracking the white tip will suffice, Now for siding and higher areas, Lowes sells what’s called a Second Story kit, a pink / light blue tips that are great for soaping and rinsing the high areas and its gentle enough to use on siding if you stand back away from your home at lower levels.
When it comes to chemicals, most professionals all use the same basic soaps to wash your home, there is NO “secret mix”. The primary ingredient is Liquid Pool Shock, which is 12% Sodium-hydrochloride, diluted with water and add a surfactant to help it stick to the surface longer. IMPORTANT: Always make sure you use Sodium-Hydrochloride, some pool shock is Calcium-Hydrochloride, and this has a severe chemical reaction when mixed with water. ALWAYS insure you are using Sodium based. It is also important to rinse off plants around your home with water both before and after as these soaps can cause damage to plant life.
Now that you are ready to wash your house, we look at some of the things you should avoid. Some may seem common sense but are often over looked. The first is electrical outlets, not only should you not directly spray but I have seen (even professionals) have runoff that gets behind the plug and start a fire. Another area to avoid is use of pressure on windows, you can blow out caulking, seals, glazing, and cause sever damage to your windows. Also, be mindful of doors, using a high pressure on the door causes it to ‘break’ the weather seal, allowing water to enter the home, before you know it 5 to 10 gallons of water is on your floor if your home is brick, be gentle around the mortar as you can cause the joints to be exposed. This also applies to EIFS. Roofs???
So now you have all the proper power washing equipment, Soap the sides of your home starting with the bottom and working your way up. Leave the soap on and give it time to dwell, usually around 20 minutes, its important not to leave the soap on too long as this can cause damage as well, it’s okay if you must soap it twice, if needs be just do one side at a time, as this will be more manageable. Now that your ready to rinse, start from the top and work your way down, A good tip to remember is ‘Soap up, rinse down’.
Now when it comes to your roof, I HIGHLY recommend hiring a professional, this is one of the most dangerous area to work. Also this requires specific equipment that we use called ‘soft washing’ machine, that operates at roughly 60psi. Never ever use, or let a company use pressure on your roof.
This article was written by James, owner of Innovative Glass Window Cleaning & Pressure Washing, located in Knoxville, Tn.