Winter Windshield Woes – Seven Ways to Cope With Cold Weather Damage to Auto Glass

Winter Windshield Woes – Seven Ways to Cope With Cold Weather Damage to Auto Glass

Originally, cars did not even have windshields and people used goggles as their only protection against insects, bad weather and road debris. And would you believe that the first wind screens were made of plate glass that could shatter into dangerously sharp pieces when broken? Auto glass is now laminated or tempered and treated for strength and impact resistance, and its installation has come a long way since the Model T.

Your windshield glass today is far more than just a screen for protection from the weather and flying debris. It must also keep you and your passengers from being thrown in the event of a collision. Weather is a double edged sword because it is the reason we got windshields for our cars in the first place, but remains one of the biggest threats to their stability. Here are ways to cope with the potential for cold weather damage to auto glass:

Avoid Stress

When the weather outside is frightful, it can bring additional stress to auto glass. And if your vehicle is exposed to the elements for long periods of time, the stress can be magnified, particularly if there are any small damaged areas. Taking care of little problems now and preparing for plunges in winter temperatures will help to ensure your safety and the safety of your passengers. And whether you need windshield replacement or windshield repair you need to look for the most qualified auto glass shop to do the job.

Prepare Ahead for Snow and Ice

When it’s cold outside and especially after every snow, auto repair shops see a continuous influx of wounded windshields and car window repair becomes big business. This is because car owners use spatulas, screwdrivers, chisels and anything else they can think of to get rid of troublesome ice accumulations.

One of the first things you can do for protection is to get a good scraper and put it in your car before the first snow. In other words, plan to buy one before winter sets in and while scrapers are still in plentiful stock at your favorite auto supply center.

Don’t Turn on the Defroster!

If your icy windshield has a chip and you decide to turn on the defroster (or worse yet, pour hot water on it), remember the practice can trigger a chip to crack into a wider fissure and cause more costly damage.

Fix That Chip

If you are not sure your little chip is serious enough for repair, it probably is. The tiniest one can quickly escalate into a real problem with even subtle fluctuations in the weather. In cold weather especially, windshields tend to imperceptibly bend into more concave shapes. Combined with the new pressure inherent in making tougher glass with high density, this can result in a serious crack and the need for total glass replacement. Gambling for time is just that – gambling. Now is really the …

Looking For A Good Window and Door Software Package?

Looking For A Good Window and Door Software Package?

Window and door software is an incredibly beneficial addition to the joinery industry and if you are searching for a good computer program then there are features you should look out for. Those who are in the fenestration business know exactly what to look out for. There is state of the art computer applications that helps you to correctly estimate the designing and manufacturing cost of projects. Efficient and cost effective design soft ware is one way to retain the big clients so you will easily find computer program offering this feature. You need to find an application that includes the ability to do accurate cost analysis, prepare quotations and calculate the production measures before you start to assemble things.

The mark of a good computer program should cater completely to your most complex business needs. The growing intricacy of today’s market needs can make manufacturing operations relatively time consuming and even the smaller mistakes can cause large losses in terms of money and material. That is why it is essential you find applications that does the job perfectly. A good window and door software package should include all the best features that the market and industry demand today. The most basic and typical of features include the cost analysis, quotation, and calculation of production means. It should also be able to ensure optimum use of expensive materials so you do not waste resources.

Many years of research have caused the leading window and door computer program companies to come up with premium application programs. The computer program will allow you to calculate labour cost and prepare quotations for end clients. This will increase performance and quality many times over which means you save time and money. The changes in consumer demand patterns mean the features of a window and door application package are constantly changing also. The features are always improving to ensure clients get the best result possible. You need to search around at the packages available to find the features that provide you solutions for your business needs, giving you the best of quality. Many computer program packages will give you the opportunity to choose the features you think are essential to the success of your business. The customization of products is an excellent feature that has propelled the computer program industry forward in terms of quality results. Good designing is absolutely essential and the right features in a computer aided design package will certainly help your business immeasurably.…

Window Cleaning Tips for Homeowners

Window Cleaning Tips for Homeowners

Window cleaning isn’t always fun, but it needs to get done. This is something that only needs to be done once or twice a year, depending on the area that you live in and the climate that your house is exposed to. Take the time to pick a good day to work, get the right materials, and in no time, you will be done and ready to move onto a new project.

Choose a Good Work Day

When it comes to window cleaning, you want to pick a day when the sun isn’t shining directly on your home. Cloudy days are best, however, you don’t want to be working out in the rain. When there is a little shade, you get a little more time to work before the sun dries up the excess water and cleaning supplies, leaving spots and blemishes.

For you, this can make the work a little easier. If the sun isn’t shining, there is a good chance that the weather is going to be nice and you aren’t going to be outside sweating while you work on the house. If you are going to get the kids involved, they are also going to be more likely to help if they aren’t going to get overly hot and sweaty.

Get the Right Materials

While there are all kinds of products on the market today, you may want to use some items that you probably already have laying around the home to assist you with the window cleaning. Start with a clean, dry cloth to get rid of the build up and debris before adding any type of liquid. A squeegee is another valuable tool that help remove liquids once they are added. Be sure to find one the works well. After each use, use a cloth to remove the excess water so that you can start anew on the next stroke.

Most people aren’t sure what type of liquids to add to the area to ensure that they are cleaned well. The best combination is a mix of water with a few tablespoons of vinegar added in a spray bottle. Spray the entire area and use the squeegee to remove the extra. Because this isn’t a job that needs to be done every week or even every month, take the time to do it right so that you can enjoy the view when looking to the outside of your home.

When you begin to work on the inside window cleaning, you are going to use the same techniques and materials. The only difference is that you want to be a little more cautious when it comes the amount of water that you use and the area that you spraying. You don’t want to miss the intended areas and spray all over the walls or have the floors covered in water. Take your time.

If window cleaning seems like an overwhelming task, or you own a two story home, you may want …

Make Your Home More Energy-Efficient With High-Performance Window Shades

Make Your Home More Energy-Efficient With High-Performance Window Shades

In the past, your window treatment choices were essentially window blinds or draperies. But today the variety of styles, models, and options in window shades and blinds is vast and varied. In fact, you can even increase your home’s energy efficiency with attractive, practical window treatments! Ranging from insulated Roman shades to unique cellular window blinds, your options in energy-efficient window treatments are practically limitless. Profiled below are tow of the most popular options, cellular shades and plantation shutters, but there are dozens of other options. Visit your local window treatment store to learn more!

Cellular Shades

Also known as honeycomb shades, cellular shades provide luxurious appearance and fantastic energy-efficient performance. Cellular window shades are constructed from two sheets of fabric that are pleated together to for air pockets (the “cells”). When your shades are down, these air pockets form a layer of insulation between your home and windows. Helping keep the heat in during the winter and out during the summer, cellular shades help decrease energy costs while still keeping your home comfortable. Cellular window shades come in two styles, single or double honeycomb. Double honeycomb shades provide up to 60% more insulation than single honeycomb versions, but they do tend to be more expensive. Available in a rainbow of colors and models cellular window shades are a great solution for stylish window décor and energy-efficient performance.

Plantation Shutters

An elegant alternative traditional horizontal blinds, plantation shutters are a great solution for gorgeous window treatments and improved energy efficiency. Installed snugly in your window frames, plantation shutters both help eliminate drafts and provide insulation against the outside temperature. Their unique construction and thermal properties help decrease heat loss in winter and heat gain in summer, offering improved energy efficiency year-round. Durable, low-maintenance, and attractive, interior window shutters are also a great investment in your home. Highly-valued by home owners and home buyers alike, plantation shutters add more value to your house than any other window treatment. With interior shutters, you can enjoy superior energy-efficient performance now and earn great return on investment when you go to sell!

Remember, heat gain and loss through your windows can account for between 10% and 25% of your heating and cooling bills. Cellular shades and plantation shutters are the most popular, but with all of today’s options in aesthetically appealing, energy-efficient window shades and blinds, it simply makes sense to choose window treatments that can reduce your home’s energy costs. Contact your local window treatment specialist today to learn more about energy-efficient window shades for your home or office!…

Tips For Enhancing Silk Valances As Ideal Decor For French Doors

Tips For Enhancing Silk Valances As Ideal Decor For French Doors

Silk valances are back in business, especially as chic decor for French doors and high-windows. The trend has kept dealers busy, even as the effect of the recession is yet to fade out completely. A lot of homeowners have opted for such alternatives against pelmets or rods as the latter are much more difficult to maintain. With the sprawling estates and huge homes finding no takers, it is natural that people will look for cost-effective alternatives in order to cut down on maintenance costs. Silk valances not only help keep a tab on this but also help enhance the elegance of the interiors, especially if you have drapes or curtains of the same material.

Here are some tips to help improve upon the already graceful imagery provided by the silk valances:

* Colors – You can mix and match different colors to induce a trendy yet classy look for your silk valances. For this, you should also keep a tab on the color combination used in your room. Make sure that the colors used for the window decor complements the color patterns used in the room. However the opposite can also work well, as many homes play out a stark contrast of conflicting colors – forcing the attention of the visitors onto the windows first!

* Shades – Even if you have a strict one-color affinity, pick silk valances of the same color, but of different shades. This will help keep your color attributes on a favorable footing, and yet offer a great impact on your home decor in a positive manner.

* Fabrics – From raw silk to banded Thai or Italian cotton constituents, using different material for valances in different rooms will add to the splendor. However, keep in mind that the overall ambiance of the room is at par with the style of window decor you decide to put up. Too elegant decor in your otherwise bland study can look more like a disruption than a style statement.

* Unconventional Styles – Experiment with your window decor. Mix and match styles, use balloon patterns, and infuse a sense of planned but messy patterns to help your window decor grab eyeballs in an instant.

Silk valances can be a cost-effective solution to your interior decor requirements, if you only know how to play your cards right. Keeping these tips in mind will help to a great extent in achieving the elegance you had been looking for.…

How to Keep Your Carpets Looking New For Longer

How to Keep Your Carpets Looking New For Longer

If possible choose a wool carpet because its texture and resilience makes it is easy to clean, harder wearing and relatively stain resistant.

We increase wear and tear on our carpets by trampling soil and other debris onto them but there are several ways to reduce the damage we cause:

Use doormats at entrances and at any transition from a hard surface onto carpet.

Remove your shoes – and wipe your pet’s paws – before walking on your carpet.

Vacuum your carpet regularly as this prevents dirt build up. Vacuum twice a week where the carpet gets heavy use and three times a week if you have pets.

Sprinkle your carpet with baking soda before you vacuum at least once a month to reduce odours, especially pet odours.

Always clean up spills quickly, if left to react it will likely become a stain.

Blot with a clean, absorbent cloth – do not rub as this may spread the stain.

Carefully blot the area before applying cleaning solution to remove as much of the spill as possible.

Test an inconspicuous area of carpet before using any cleaning solution.

When you apply spot cleaner work from the outside to the inside of the stain to avoid spreading it. Blot up excess cleaning fluid.

A clean white bath towel is excellent for drying carpet.

To dry a really wet patch of carpet, stack of 3 or 4 towels on it and weight down with something heavy, leave overnight.

If you haven’t dealt thoroughly with a stain it may reappear at the surface of your carpet. To prevent this, cover the stain with a towel and weigh down with something heavy overnight, then, clean as following websites may be useful for advice relating to specific stains:…

Replace Old, Inefficient Glass Panes Yourself

Replace Old, Inefficient Glass Panes Yourself

As windows age they can loosen up in their frames, crack, scratch, or even discolor. Furthermore, windows are the main source of heat loss in the winter and unwelcome heat gain in the summer. In other seasons, a little of both along with variable weather conditions can take a toll on your windows. What to do? You need a practical solution which is of course, to replace window glass in the most efficient way possible.

That sounds logical enough–and thinking along the lines of energy savings, the best solution is to replace the glass with double panes that have insulating properties. However, if the ecologically-friendly fix is impractical or too expensive, there’s still a right way to replace window glass.

If you choose to do it yourself and the pane to be replaced is larger than 2 feet by 3 feet, a professional is your best bet. Glass is tricky to handle and the previous installation can leave behind dangerous shards. If you go ahead and do the job, take extra precautions when you replace window glass.

Wear heavy gloves and safety goggles.

Remove the old glass as carefully as possible.

Clean the area vacated by the old glass.

Apply the proper putty or sealing compound.

Put in new glass that has been properly cut into the frame.

Add the special metal glazier’s points.

Add a finishing coat of putty.

Paint putty carefully and let dry.

Admire your work.

There are kits you can buy with tools and instructions. Be sure of measurements and give it your best shot. However, if you’re going the energy-saving route with the double-pane-insulated-energy-reduction coating, please consider having a professional do it. It might cost a whole lot more but in the end, what you save on electricity and heating, can more than make up for the initial investment.…

Glass Block Window Installations Made Easier With Lighter Blocks

Glass Block Window Installations Made Easier With Lighter Blocks

Are you considering doing a glass block window installation project but are worried about the weight of the blocks? Worry no more – there is a solution for you. With the introduction of the 2″ thick series of blocks fabricated into vinyl frames this window installation has been made easier to install a lighter and safer window assembly. In this article you’ll learn 5 tips on where and how to use a vinyl framed block window.

Tip 1 – Identify where you want to use the window – Glass block windows have many uses beyond what most people think about. Here are a few common (and more unique) uses to consider:

Bathroom and Shower- With this type of window you can get rid of the expensive blinds and window treatments in the bathroom while still getting maximum light transmission. Use this window in the shower to provide a low maintenance light source in this wet area.

Basements – This cost effective use is popular to provide maximum security for a cost effective price.

Den- position these windows underneath cabinetry to let natural light flow in while maintaining privacy.

Closets- Do you have problems seeing well in your closet with only a small light fixture overhead? A solution is to install a fixed block transom window near the top of the closet walls. This will even help colorblind people to distinguish between blue and black socks.

Garage – If you like to use your garage for projects natural lighting is a big benefit and the block window provides high security for any valuable items you may be storing as well.

Kitchen – A block window between your kitchen countertops and cabinetry can let light stream in and provide a natural backsplash that’s easy to clean.

Step 2 – Determine if a framed or frameless window is better – The lighter 2″ thick glass block windows are only available in a vinyl framed system. Although it’s easier to work with the lighter window, the vinyl framed system is not the best solution for all projects. Here’s where to use both the framed and frameless systems:

Vinyl framed windows- use in wood framed (rough openings) where the size of the opening will work with the dimensions of the 2″ thick blocks (note: the 2″ thick blocks come in 8″ x 8″ x 2″ size so the rough openings need to work in 8″ increments). These windows (which are available with easy to install nailing fins) are used frequently in new construction, room additions, or in upper floor framed and stucco openings where the window openings can be adjusted to fit the window.

Unframed block windows- this window is (which are available in the heavier 3″ and 4″ thick blocks) generally more cost effective than the framed system and are best used in masonry openings where the block windows can be mortared into place. The other advantage of the unframed windows is they are available …