Archive for June, 2019

Down By The Sea: 4 Ways To Ensure Your Beachside Home Tolerates The Coastal Weather

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Owning a home by the water can be a true dream come true. You have easy access to a sandy beach, a refreshing dip, and can let the relaxing sound of waves lull you to sleep every night. That being said, beachside homes have their downsides; when the weather gets particularly stormy, you may find that that cool, refreshing water has made its way inside your home. With the fallout of water damage varying in severity, home repairs can add up quite quickly. Here are four weatherproofing ( and waterproofing) ways you can protect your home to prevent the need for water damage repair.
  • Stuccoed Concrete-Block Siding: Many building materials require tedious upkeep due to deterioration from exposure to coastal air. By using stuccoed concrete blocks, your home will benefit from improved durability (stucco siding can last for more than 100 years), standing up to high winds and powerful storms quite easily.
  • Laminated Glass Windows: Florida is prone to hurricanes, as are most regions with coastal homes worth living in. By investing in windows featuring impact-resistant coatings, your home will be able to tolerate pressure from winds up to 200 miles per hour, and flying debris up to 35 miles per hour without shattering. It has the added benefit of improving your home’s overall stability.
  • Modern “Wicker” Outdoor Furniture: Wicker is the quintessential patio furniture, but it doesn’t do very well when mixed with water — it can rot quite easily. Modern “wicker” furniture maintains the exact same look and aesthetic, but is made from a synthetic woven material over a powder-coated aluminum frame; you’ll never have to worry about the condition of your outdoor furniture again!
  • Oil Rubbed Bronze Door Handles: Salt has never gotten along very well with metal. If you live on salt water, you may find that your metal hardware is rusting in no time at all. Switching to oil rubbed bronze handles, your hardware will never pit or corrode due to the elements.
With home water damage insurance claims costing American homeowners an average of $6,965, leaving your home unprotected simply isn’t worth the risk. Throw the additional cost of water damage repair (and general home repair) that isn’t covered on top, and you could be facing either life in a home that is in serious need of remodeling, or a significant amount of debt.

3 HVAC Tips To Reduce Your Heating Bills This Summer

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Summer is one of the best times of the year. You have cookouts to look forward to, baseball games, and family time at the beach. But when you’re at home, you rely on your air conditioning system to keep you, your family, and your pets cool. Your air conditioning system can increase your home’s energy bills throughout the season, which isn’t as cool as your HVAC. The good news is, there are three tips you can use to reduce your bills this season while still staying cool.
  1. Remember HVAC maintenance. When it comes to keeping your HVAC system efficient throughout the year, HVAC maintenance is your best friend. Ideally, your system ought to be serviced at least twice a year. Many homeowners choose to have their HVAC systems serviced during the spring and fall months because it ensures their system is ready to work its hardest during the more extreme weather. That said, if you haven’t had your own system serviced yet this spring, now is the best time to do it.
  2. Regularly clean your filters. Your HVAC system filters are what help to keep your home’s air clean of any dirt and debris. If you have pets, your system is also working to keep the pet hair and dander out of the air, too. It’s important that you clean these filters approximately once a month (or twice a month if you have pets). This is because your HVAC system will need to work twice as hard when it’s working with dirty filters.
  3. Install a smart thermostat. Smart thermostats are great for maintaining a comfortable temperature in your home without making your HVAC system run when it doesn’t need to. Just remember to keep your home at a comfortable temperature when you’re not home, too, in case you have pets in the house.

Need residential HVAC maintenance this summer?

Approximately two-thirds of all residential homes in the U.S. have air conditioners to help keep them cool during the summer (or throughout the year depending on where you live). Residential HVAC maintenance is crucial to keep your HVAC system running when you need it most. Whether you need HVAC services or water heater repair services, Valley Air has the contractors you need to keep your home comfortable year-round. To learn more about residential HVAC services or to schedule your HVAC maintenance, contact your local HVAC contractor today.

ICF FAQ: Everything You Need To Know

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When you’re constructing your home, choosing the right building material is essential to having the most comfortable, stable, and efficient structure possible. Even if you know plenty about the home construction process, many don’t fully understand ICF products as construction material option. These are some of the most frequently asked questions about ICF products to help you make the right decision for your home.

How is ICF construction different?

Insulated concrete forms are different from traditional building materials in a variety of ways. They tend to be simpler to use in construction, while also being sturdier. In fact, buildings constructed with ICF are six to nine times stronger than traditional buildings. This makes them a popular choice for buildings that will need to stand up to harsher conditions, or in emergency shelters. However, they can also be used in standard home construction just like other traditional methods.

Where can I use ICF products?

ICF products make an excellent choice for construction projects being built in more extreme environments. Their structure and stability make them a great choice in storm-heavy areas, and their high-quality insulation can help in lower temperatures. However, you can use ICF construction in virtually any building. Homes, offices, and other structures can benefit from the many environmental and cost advantages insulated concrete form construction provides.

What about ICF products makes them green building materials?

In addition to reducing energy costs through its high-performing insulation, ICF walls can also reduce waste created during construction. ICF walls are built by stacking ICF blocks one row at a time and cutting the end pieces down to size. Because the individual ICF building blocks are cut to fit, construction can take less time and generate less waste than other, more traditional methods.

Should I use ICF products in my construction project?

Whether or not you use ICF products in your construction project will largely depend on the needs of your building and the location you’re constructing it. Not every building will be a perfect fit for ICF construction, so it’s important to work with your local contractors to determine if insulated concrete forms are right for your home, office, or other new building.

ICF And Insulation: How ICF Helps Your Home

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When you’re constructing your home, one of the things you’ll need to consider in your material choice is your home’s insulation. Having the right R-value insulation for your home can not only make your home more comfortable during particularly hot or cold seasons, but it can also reduce your home’s energy bills. ICF walls help provide reliable insulation while still acting as breathable walls, helping your home stay comfortable.

ICF Walls

ICF walls can provide superior insulation as well as allowing construction to go more quickly from start to finish. Because of their unique design, ICF walls give your home better insulation. Additionally, since these insulated concrete building blocks are designed to fit together easily, construction will likely take less time than with other traditional materials.

ICF Flooring

Most people focus on using insulated concrete forms for just walls, but these useful building materials can be helpful in your floors and foundations as well. These materials make a great alternative to cold concrete flooring. In fact, compared to concrete flooring, ICF decking weighs 40% less and has superior insulation. This can help you keep your space warm and also speed up construction.

Why Focus On Insulation?

What makes insulation so important in your home? If you live in a warmer or moderate climate, quality insulation might seem like an afterthought. However, using better insulation in your home can also help to keep cool, conditioned air inside your home during the warmer seasons. Additionally, ICF creates breathable walls that ensure healthy air quality throughout your home. Even if you’re not especially concerned about your home’s insulation during the winter months, having high-quality insulation in your home can help.

Energy Friendly

The insulation benefits of ICF might not always be easily noticeable, but the impact it can have on your energy bill is significant. Improved insulation with ICF walls can cut down on heating and cooling energy use, which makes up a majority of most Americans’ energy bills. Insulated concrete forms can create breathable walls that still provide excellent insulation for your home. For more information on insulated concrete forms and using them to build your home, contact a contractor today.