Lets Talk Algae
Green on the North Side of Knoxville home
You drive through Any neighbor hood in the Northern Hemisphere and you will see green on the home, and yes in the Southern hemisphere it grows on the South side of the home. Since this side of the house gets less Sun than the other, moisture doesn’t evaporate as fast thus Algae grows at a much faster rate. Other circumstances do play a roll, such as how long the ground stays saturated after rain, or if you live within proximity of trees this too will aide in fungi growth.
Unfortunately, there is nothing you can do about this, external factors will determine if your home needs to be washed every year or two to five years. But there are a few steps you can take to reduce the time frames between Pressure Washing your home. First off, be sure to trim trees and bushes a foot or more off your home. This will allow more airflow thus allowing to dry faster. If water seems to stand you may benefit from installing a French Drain, helping water travel away from your home.
Another tip is to keep your gutters clean. Proper working gutters, help keep water from overflowing next to your foundation, but make sure the down spouts take the water away, at least two to three feet.
When you do get your house washed, make sure you or your service professional uses some sort of soap mix that contains an algicide that kills the algae. Just using water or even hot water just adds to the moisture. Even though your home maybe clean when complete, rest assured mold and algae will be back quickly. Using an algicide in the soap mix allows Innovative Glass to put a one-year warranty on all pressure washing jobs.
Spring Cleaning, Knoxville Tn
As we leave winter behind and spring is upon us, its time to get your home ready for the year and prepare for those outdoor activities. If you’re like me, you have a full list from cleaning out those unwanted items in your home, to making sure the Sprinklers are ready, even sharpening the blades on the lawn mower. While you check things off your list, more pop up. Sometimes You need a little extra hand to help you get caught up. We here at Innovative Glass would love to help you with your check list. Here are a few of the things we like to do around our own home.
First is Gutter cleaning, throughout Fall and Winter leaves may have fallen in your gutters causing them to clog and over flow. Its very important to get those cleaned out before they damage your eaves and soffits, or worse your foundation.
Next is Roof Cleaning, with the heavy rains we’ve had this year, algae and mold will be in full growth mode leaving ugly black streaks. This is also a good time to inspect your roof for any damage and schedule a reputable company. And remember, NO Pressure!!
With the ground saturated with water, the North side of your house is sure to be Green. A complete House wash may be just what you need. Removing the mold and algae is a great way to make your home clean on the outside, after all its not just about the inside. This is also a great time to inspect your home for loose siding or clogged dryer vents, maybe even switch out those floodlamp bulbs for more energy efficient ones.
Don’t forget the Windows! With Inside and outside window cleaning, this is sure to make your home feel and look both cleaner and brighter. Be sure to wipe down those window frames, vacuum out the tracks and clean those screens.
And let’s not forget the Driveway and Sidewalk. Pressure Washing the concrete can really make your home pop! Not only will this wash away the grime reducing slips and falls, If your home in on the market, this can really ad curb appeal and set your house apart.
And if you don’t have the time, give Innovative Glass Window Cleaning & Pressure Washing a call 865-455-9871, Winner of Best of Knoxville in Exterior Maintenance and Favorite in Cleaning Service. Were guaranteed to help you with your Spring-Cleaning list.
Are You ready for New Windows
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.
Black Streaks on your roof
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.
Removing Hard Water stains
If you have a glass shower you’ve probably seen the build up of hard water and soap scum. Maybe your beautiful window gets hit with the sprinkler and now its not so beautiful. These things happen and over time layer upon layer gets built up until your glass reaches what we call the restoration side of Window Cleaning. With an extra step in your normal cleaning habits you can save money by curbing the damage caused by these elements.
Many times, on estimates one of the things that I pay attention to is the contamination on the glass, when it comes to hard water, we begin to leave the normal window washing, yes, we can remove it but at an additional cost. One of the steps we use is 0000 steel wool. Now this isn’t used for scrubbing pots as it is VERY fine, it also wont last more than one use, due to the fine fibers they are prone to rust at a high rate, using one after it rusts will not go well, odds are it will dissolve in your hand. Another important tip is to keep it wet, using dry can cause scratches on the glass. One recipe I find is simple is a little dish soap in water, this will provide proper lubrication as you go in a tight circular motion applying slight pressure over the area. Then clean as normal. Depending on the level of staining, you may have to repeat. For the exterior window use the exact same method, but we do recommend adjusting the sprinkler to where it no longer hits the window.
For extreme hard water, they have tools (much like a wax buffer for your car) that can be used with cerium oxide to remove the heavier levels. Regular maintenance will keep your glass looking great all year long. For service in the Knoxville area call Innovative Glass for all your window cleaning and pressure washing needs.
For a Free quote call or text 865-455-9871
As Spring approaches, we all begin to look forward to those back-yard BBQ’s, outdoor parties, gardening and just hang around outside. Then you look at your home and see green and black! It’s time to Pressure Wash!! Three ways this task can be tackled, A) buy a pressure washer and go the DIY method, B) Hire the guy down the street, C) hire a professional.
If you go the DIY method, you will find out VERY quickly that there are LOTS of choices in pressure washers, with price ranges from $300 - $1,500. Obviously, you don’t need the higher end of the spectrum, but is the lower end a good choice? Often, they do not put out enough GPM (gallons per minute) to do the job efficiently, you could spend ALL weekend cleaning your home. Then we get into chemicals, although you don’t need a degree in chemistry, using the wrong mixture can damage your home as well as the plants around. Then comes the ladder, this is VERY dangerous. Using a high-pressure wand on top of a ladder is a recipe for disaster. It won’t be a matter of if you will fall but when. The kick back can easily knock you off. Now we look at the machine, once your home is clean, there is a high probability that the next time you pull out the pressure washer, the pump will be corroded and unusable.
Hire the guy down the street may seem like a good idea, but what if he falls off the ladder? What if he uses too much pressure and damages my home? If something happens, does he have insurance, or will I be left holding the bill for damage or worst-case scenario medical bills…
Choosing a professional can be the best choice for many reasons. They have the right tools, when we pressure wash houses, we invest a lot of money to make sure your home is cleaned safely and efficiently. WE are covered under insurance if anything does go wrong. Often our machines can reach 3-4 stories from the ground. Not to mention You get to relax while We do the hard work. Every home we wash comes with a 1-year warranty from mold and algae. This route may seem expensive, but in the long run, it amounts to a few cents a day when you compare to how long a house wash will last. To learn more visit our Pressure Washing page
For a FREE quote, Call or Text Innovative Glass 865-455-9871
Fall is Approaching
We here at Innovative Glass Window Cleaning would like to remind you of some helpful tips to get YOUR home ready for the changing temperatures.
Spring and Summer are here!!!
We here at Innovative Glass, LOVE this time of year. After hibernating all Winter, it's time to get out, stretch those legs and enjoy the Outdoors. But First...
CALL or TEXT Innovative Glass TODAY! 865.455.9871
Pressure Washing Damage
Call or Text Innovative Glass 865.455.9871 TODAY!