2016 Roofing Trends

ECO-Friendly Solutions

RoofOne of the biggest changes to occur in recent times is that people aren’t just thinking about themselves. Society has grown increasingly aware of the damage being caused to the earth, and millions are eager to take positive steps towards protecting it. The family home serves as the most obvious starting point, and roofing plays a key role.

There are several ways to achieve your eco-friendly goals. First, you can choose recycled, natural, or eco-friendly materials for your roofing projects.

If you want to go even more hard-core some people are going as far as having green roofs, and when I say green, I literally mean green. People are choosing the option to have grass and/or gardens growing on their roof.

Embracing solar panels is another fantastic way to boost the eco-friendliness of a property. Not only does it help the environment. But, in the long-term, it will help your finances too.

Energy Efficiency

First and foremost, a roof offers protection from the elements, but your roof also plays an integral role in your home. Apart from boosting the Eco-friendly aspects, better efficiency will help your wallet too.

Choosing the right materials will make a world of difference. It is important to keep cool in the summer and warm in the winter without breaking the bank. At Mr. Roof we offer several different insulation options including recycled and Eco-friendly choices.

Room to breathe

Insulation isn’t the only important aspect to keeping the temperature in your home regulated. Having good ventilation is arguably even more important. There are several things you can do to improve the ventilation in your home.

Longevity

Metal RoofRoofing isn’t cheap. Worse still, their constant exposure to the elements means they’ll need repairing or replacement more often than other parts of your home. That is just one of the reasons why it is so important to use materials that last longer.

Recently metal roofing has been gaining more exposure and usage, do to its longevity and great aesthetic value.

Finding the right balance between cost and longevity is the key. Essentially, as a homeowner, your priority at all times should be to get value for money. Regardless of the materials used, the best way to extend the lifespan is to have them installed properly by an expert.

Let’s face it; you’ll enjoy a far better relationship with the home when it isn’t burning a hole in your pocket too.

TOP 6 Fall renovation projects 2016

If you see winter as a time for staying indoors and celebrating the holidays, then the fall season is a perfect time to get started on the home improvement projects that will help you enjoy your winter festivities.

In fact, if you wait until winter to start your renovation project, you may run into some serious roadblocks, says George “Geep” Moore, a contractor and chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Remodelers.

“Particularly in areas with ice and snow, you want to get your [renovation] materials delivered and stored early in the season, because once the weather turns bad, it could make it tough or impossible to get them,” he says.

So before Old Man Winter comes to your town, you might want to consider the following home improvement projects.

Fall Project #1 – Roof Repair or Replacement

Let’s face it, there’s nothing that kills the holiday spirit quicker than the drip, drip, drip of a leaky roof. And the last thing you want is Santa and his reindeer (or a snow pack) falling through the roof. So, before the heavy winter weather comes pouring down, you might want to think about a fall roof job.

Moore says the fall timing couldn’t be better. “For one thing, the heat of summer is gone and it’s a whole lot easier on the guys doing the work. Roofs can get incredibly hot in summer,” he says. Moore adds that extreme heat could also increase the time frame of the project, as workers’ pace may be affected by the heat.

As for a winter roof project, it’s doable – but potentially difficult. More says that roofs can be repaired or replaced in winter, but in most parts of the country, the weather is simply not conducive to it. And if your roof is leaking or not up to holding the weight of snow, roof replacement or repair could be dangerous, he says.

“For those reasons, fall is a good time to do roofing projects,” he says.

Fall Project #2 – Flooring

There’s nothing like new flooring to bring a room or home to life. Whether it’s new wood, carpet, or even tile, your winters will likely seem a bit cozier with a fresh floor. And fall might be the perfect time to install it.

Here’s why: “Some types of flooring adhesives need the temperature of the house to be between 75 and 80 degrees. It’s for that glue to adhere properly,” says Moore. “Cold air can be a little more damp and can stop the glue from drying properly, so you could have a bonding problem.”

This means that the cold winter months might not be the best time to install flooring, depending on where you live.

And even if you have central heating, the risk of any cold air coming into your home is still something to consider.

“You wouldn’t want to be opening and closing your door in winter if you live in a very cold climate. That could let in a lot of cold air,” says Moore.

So, unless you want the sound of loose tiles or other type of flooring to accompany your holiday tunes, you might want to give a contractor a call and get started on this project during the fall.

Fall Project #3 – Window Replacement

Can you imagine having rain, snow, or hail pouring into your home through a series of large holes in your walls? Probably not. So, if you want new windows for your holiday season, now – while the weather is mild – might be the time to get on it.

In fact, according to Moore, fall is a lot easier than winter to do window installation.

“You can replace windows in winter, but you may have to control the elements,” he says. “By that I mean building a temporary wall, so to speak, with poles and polyethylene to keep the walls and interior protected.”

And that’s not all. “Then you might have to build a small frame on the outside as a shield from the elements to be able to work,” adds Moore. “As you get further and further north, where it gets colder, it’s going to be tougher.”

If you want to avoid this trouble, calling a contractor and planning your window replacement(s) during the fall might be smarter. It can also protect you from potential damage to your home’s interior in the event that rain or snow gets blasted inside, says Moore.

And we don’t know about you, but being showered with rain or snow, while inside your home, doesn’t exactly sound like holiday fun. Well, maybe a little.

Fall Project #4 – Heating Systems Check

If there’s one thing you want your home to be in winter, it’s warm and cozy. And a key ingredient to being warm and cozy is heat – as in hot water and warm air. So before the chilly weather comes wandering in, it’s important to make sure these things are in good working order, says Moore.

Let’s start with the water heater. “You want your water heater completely protected from the elements. They can be put in the attic, or further north, in the basement. You also want the water pipes completely protected and insulated from the cold,” says Moore.

Next thing to take care of? Your heating unit. “Every fall you should fire up your heater to make sure it’s in working order,” says Moore. “Check the filters, the gas flow, and the flame. Make sure you have a proper flame, with the right amount of gas and oxygen.”

If you aren’t sure how to do this, call a pro. Often, you can get a yearly contract for this service, Moore says. “With a service contract, if they do have to replace or repair any parts, you usually get a break on the rate. And it doesn’t cost near as much to make a repair during a service call as it does if it breaks down in winter,” he says.

And really, isn’t the holiday season filled with enough extra costs?

Fall Project #5 – Concrete and Mortar

Have you been meaning to pour a new concrete patio or driveway or build a new fireplace, but haven’t quite gotten around to it? Well, you might want to take advantage of the fall weather, otherwise the cold dampness of winter may make these projects more difficult, says Moore.

“We use the rule of thumb that we want [the weather] to be 40 degrees and rising. If it’s not 40 degrees, including at night, we don’t pour concrete,” says Moore. “It’s due to the fact that there’s moisture in the concrete and it can freeze.” And if it freezes, it won’t set properly.

The cold air also doesn’t play nice with brick work that uses mortar.

In fact, when it comes to anything that uses a water solution with mortar, the colder it is, the slower it’s going to set up, explains Moore. He adds that “the damp cold air won’t hold much more moisture, so the moisture just won’t leave the concrete to let it set up.”

Fall Project #6 – Painting

There’s nothing like a fresh coat of paint to bring a fresh new feeling to your home. Whether it’s inside or out, new paint can really make for a warm and fuzzy holiday season.

But what doesn’t go down well with the holiday meal is a side of paint fumes or dripping walls. And those are just two reasons you may want to get on this project in the fall – especially if you live in a part of the country where the temperature drops dramatically, day or night, says Moore.

“Most paint products will want the temperature to be between 70 and 90 degrees to dry properly,” says Moore. And while you can control the inside temperature, Moore warns that if a lot of cold air comes in through the doorways or windows, it could adversely affect the paint job.

The real concern, of course, is exterior paint. “You probably want above 40 degrees, not dropping below 40 at night. There are some paints that are made for that, but most of the paints we use today are latex or acrylic and are temperature sensitive,” says Moore. The problem arises, he adds, when the paint freezes, and as a result does not dry properly.

Granite City Roof Insurance Claims…….2016

What Homeowners Need to Know About Insurance Claims for Roofs
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Granite City has been hit hard by stormy weather since 2012 causing insurance claims to be on the rise.

In 2012, hail and wind damage cost State Farm Insurance more than $3.9 billion. Insurance claims for roofs were a part of that exorbitant figure. Homeowners filing claims are often confused by the forms, inspections, and dealing with insurance agents.  I have helped homeowners with thousands of claims. Call me and I will help navigate you through the process. Thanks Sarah Ryterski 618-558-2675

Insurance claims for roofs can be easy or difficult. If you need a new roof or just repairs on the old one, there are important things you need to know before starting. Sometimes this can be a complex process to navigate. However, there are steps you can take to simplify the process and get the best possible results.

If your roof has been damaged in any way and you have homeowner’s insurance, there are a number of factors that will determine what is covered and how much the insurance company will actually pay. Having an experienced roofing contractor on your side who can document everything will be very beneficial.

Insurance Claims for Roofs can be Tricky

Filing insurance claims for roofs can be tricky if you do not follow every step in the process exactly. Insurance companies are not trusting entities, and they will want documentation. They will often send an insurance inspector to your home to examine your roof. If the damage is caused by a covered event or it is listed as a covered loss in the policy then it is usually simply a matter of the amount they will pay on the claim.

Common Reasons for Insurance Claims for Roofs

There are a variety of different occurrences that can cause damage to your roof. Hailstorms, high winds, and trees falling on roofs are often reasons to file an insurance claim. Shingles and other roofing products can be blown off and hailstones are known to leave obvious indentations in the roof surface.

Will Your Insurance Company Cover the Entire Cost of a New Roof?

You may be surprised to find out that some policies do not cover the entire cost of a new roof or prorate for the age of the roof. Some insurance claims for roofs are initially denied, and some are paid out on a depreciated value for the roof. You may also have to pay any deductible amount that you chose for your policy before the insurer will pay anything.

Each Insurance Policy is Different

Insurance claims for roofs vary in results because each policy is different. If you have any questions, you should contact the company that issued your policy. Policies that are more expensive may cover more than a cheaper option, and some policies do not cover certain events or damage types while others do.

What is a Deductible?  Even more important what is your deductible?

Most insurance policies include a deductible. This is the portion of a covered loss that the insured must pay. Under most circumstances, the insurance company subtracts the deductible before they pay the claim, so the insured is not required to pay anything up front.

Deductible amounts can vary considerably and it affects the insurance premium paid for the policy. The amount is determined when the policy is chosen. According to a USA.gov publication, “The higher your deductible, the more money you can save on your premiums.”

How Does the Claims Process Work?

With insurance claims for roofs, you may have to allow an adjuster to inspect the damage. In other cases, an estimate from at least one roofing contractor will need to be submitted to the insurance adjuster in your case. Once a claim is approved the insurance company will cut a check, usually for the depreciated value minus any deductible.

The initial check may be in both the name of the mortgage holder and your name, and the mortgage holder will have to sign off the check in this situation. Once the roof is repaired then a second check may be cut for any additional amounts involved in the actual repairs.

What if the Insurance Company Denies My Roof Claim?

Insurance claims are not always paid. If you believe that the insurance company is wrong and the damage should be covered by your insurance policy you can appeal the denial. Your policy is your contract with the insurance company. If your appeal is denied you can consult with an attorney to see if you have further recourse.

Having the facts and being an informed policyholder will help you navigate the process of insurance claims for roofs. I have helped homeowners with thousands of claims.  Call me and I will help navigate you through the process.  Thanks Sarah Ryterski 618-558-2675

Want to know how much your roof will cost? 618-558-2675

2017 Color Forecast is in!

http://www.sherwin-williams.com/wcm/idc/groups/public/@swpublic/@sherwin-williams/@content/documents/webcontent/mdaw/mdg4/~edisp/sw-pdf-cm17-fandeck.pdf

 

The state of color has never been more restless. New spirituality, cultural flux, feisty self-expression and soulful nostalgia are combining to paint an emerging portrait of our shared future.

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What Homeowners Need to Know About Insurance Claims for Roofs 2016

What Homeowners Need to Know About Insurance Claims for Roofs
Screen Shot 2016-05-28 at 9.30.24 AM
In 2012, hail and wind damage cost State Farm Insurance more than $3.9 billion. Insurance claims for roofs were a part of that exorbitant figure. Homeowners filing claims are often confused by the forms, inspections, and dealing with insurance agents.  I have helped homeowners with thousands of claims. Call me and I will help navigate you through the process. Thanks Sarah Ryterski 618-558-2675

Insurance claims for roofs can be easy or difficult. If you need a new roof or just repairs on the old one, there are important things you need to know before starting. Sometimes this can be a complex process to navigate. However, there are steps you can take to simplify the process and get the best possible results.

If your roof has been damaged in any way and you have homeowner’s insurance, there are a number of factors that will determine what is covered and how much the insurance company will actually pay. Having an experienced roofing contractor on your side who can document everything will be very beneficial.

Insurance Claims for Roofs can be Tricky

Filing insurance claims for roofs can be tricky if you do not follow every step in the process exactly. Insurance companies are not trusting entities, and they will want documentation. They will often send an insurance inspector to your home to examine your roof. If the damage is caused by a covered event or it is listed as a covered loss in the policy then it is usually simply a matter of the amount they will pay on the claim.

Common Reasons for Insurance Claims for Roofs

There are a variety of different occurrences that can cause damage to your roof. Hailstorms, high winds, and trees falling on roofs are often reasons to file an insurance claim. Shingles and other roofing products can be blown off and hailstones are known to leave obvious indentations in the roof surface.

Will Your Insurance Company Cover the Entire Cost of a New Roof?

You may be surprised to find out that some policies do not cover the entire cost of a new roof or prorate for the age of the roof. Some insurance claims for roofs are initially denied, and some are paid out on a depreciated value for the roof. You may also have to pay any deductible amount that you chose for your policy before the insurer will pay anything.

Each Insurance Policy is Different

Insurance claims for roofs vary in results because each policy is different. If you have any questions, you should contact the company that issued your policy. Policies that are more expensive may cover more than a cheaper option, and some policies do not cover certain events or damage types while others do.

What is a Deductible?  Even more important what is your deductible?

Most insurance policies include a deductible. This is the portion of a covered loss that the insured must pay. Under most circumstances, the insurance company subtracts the deductible before they pay the claim, so the insured is not required to pay anything up front.

Deductible amounts can vary considerably and it affects the insurance premium paid for the policy. The amount is determined when the policy is chosen. According to a USA.gov publication, “The higher your deductible, the more money you can save on your premiums.”

How Does the Claims Process Work?

With insurance claims for roofs, you may have to allow an adjuster to inspect the damage. In other cases, an estimate from at least one roofing contractor will need to be submitted to the insurance adjuster in your case. Once a claim is approved the insurance company will cut a check, usually for the depreciated value minus any deductible.

The initial check may be in both the name of the mortgage holder and your name, and the mortgage holder will have to sign off the check in this situation. Once the roof is repaired then a second check may be cut for any additional amounts involved in the actual repairs.

What if the Insurance Company Denies My Roof Claim?

Insurance claims are not always paid. If you believe that the insurance company is wrong and the damage should be covered by your insurance policy you can appeal the denial. Your policy is your contract with the insurance company. If your appeal is denied you can consult with an attorney to see if you have further recourse.

Having the facts and being an informed policyholder will help you navigate the process of insurance claims for roofs. I have helped homeowners with thousands of claims.  Call me and I will help navigate you through the process.  Thanks Sarah Ryterski 618-558-2675

Want to know how much your roof will cost? 618-558-2675

 

 

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Tips for filing a roof claim

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Finding out that your roof needs to be replaced or repaired can be troubling for many homeowners. Dealing with insurance claims, talking to adjusters and making sure you get reimbursed for all covered damages is a daunting process. Many homeowners are simply unsure about how to file a claim, where the process can be problematic, what types of documentation they need, or what to expect.
To a home insurance company, the roof is the most important part of your house. It’s the gateway to far greater damage claims once it’s damaged. In more than 90 percent of hail or high-wind claims, there is a payout relative to the roof cover, according to the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety. Insurance companies review roofing claims very carefully and they expect you to provide proper documentation and other information in order to process your claim.
FIND OUT WHAT YOUR POLICY COVERS

The easiest way to know what’s covered or what’s not, is to contact your insurance provider.
Some policies take the age of your roof into account at the time it is damaged. For example, if your roof is less than 10 years old, you may be covered for the full cost of repairing or replacing the damaged section of your roof at the time of the claim. If your roof is more than 10 years old, you may only be reimbursed for the depreciated value of the damaged roof. The depreciated value takes the aging and wearing of your roof into account, meaning its value has decreased prior to any damage occurring.
Some policies will only offer roof damage coverage up to the depreciated value, regardless of the age of your roof. Other policies will cover the full cost of repairing or replacing the damaged section of your roof at the time of the claim, regardless of the age of your roof. In most cases, your insurance company will send an inspector to your home to investigate and verify your claim. If the damage is determined to be from aging, wear and tear, or poor condition of your roof, it will typically be considered normal maintenance, and will not be covered under your policy.
PROVIDE DOCUMENTATION FOR YOUR CLAIM

To ease the experience of the claims process and to help you receive proper settlement for your loss, take a set of “before” photos of your roof and exterior property. Update the photos whenever you have maintenance or repairs done. After damage occurs, take a set of “after” photos. Document and record the damage as well as any estimates, invoices and bills you receive. Having all of this information on file will help ensure a smooth and hassle-free claims process.
CHOOSE A CONTRACTOR WITH INSURANCE EXPERTISE

Before you can get work done on your roof that will be covered by insurance, you will need to get an estimate from a professional roofing contractor. In most cases, you can use the roofing company of your choice. Your roofing contractor should be able to help you navigate your way through the roof insurance claims process. Some roofing companies employ Certified Public Adjusters who will deal with your insurance company on your behalf. Look for contractors with extensive experience in providing roof estimates for insurance claims and helping clients navigate the process of getting their roof repair or replacement covered by their insurance company.
The most important thing to remember is that, if you suspect your roof has been damaged, you shouldn’t wait to get it inspected by a roofer. Find out the extent of the damage as soon as possible. This will help expedite the process and also help you avoid further damages that might not be covered under your policy. Tips for filing a roof claim.

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Do I have hail damage? Simple steps to check for hail damage

Simple steps to check for hail damage… Free hail checks (618)558-2675 Ryterski

Identifying hail damage on your belongings, such as patio furniture or your car, is relatively straightforward. The round dings in metal are obvious signs of hail damage. However, determining whether your roof has sustained damage from a hailstorm may be a little more difficult. It’s important to keep your roof in top condition to avoid structural deterioration that may cause leaks. Many insurance companies will consider paying for a roof that has been damaged by hail, but it must be correctly assessed. Insurance adjusters will require the opinion of a professional roofing contractor before they will consent to the work being done, but you can also check for hail damage yourself before calling a roofer by following these tips.

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1
Search for damage on the metal. Check metal roof vents, flashing or metal valleys on the roof to see if there are any dents. Soft metal will show dents, and also indicate the size of the hail.

2**********CAUTION*****Do not get on the roof unless you are a licensed roofer******
Check the ridge cap of the roof for dents. This area of the roof will receive the most damage from hail since it is flat and will take a direct hit in a storm.
Look at the shingles. Check the whole shingle, as well as the edges, for signs of damage.

3
Identify the types of damage caused by hail. The 3 major signs of hail damage include bruising, cracking and granules missing from asphalt.
Check for missing pieces in the asphalt of the roof. Look for areas on the shingle that have exposed, black substrate. This means the granules of the asphalt have been compromised or knocked off by something.
Search for bruising in the shingles. Dents from hail are not always completely visible. Run your hand over the shingle to feel for small dimples in the surface. Press 1 of the dimples to see if it has any give. If it does, this is a sign that the shingle has begun some deterioration.
Look for cracking in the shingle. Large hail can make a circular crack if the hail hits it hard enough.

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Tips
Hail that is less than 1 inch (2.54 cm) in circumference will be more difficult to identify. Hail that is 1 to 2 inches (2.54 to 5.1 cm) will be visible on the soft metal and most likely on the singles themselves, and 2-inch (5.1 cm) hail will be visible throughout the roof.
Your insurance company will require an inspection of your roof by their adjuster. A contractor may claim there is hail damage to your roof, and in reality he may not be familiar with what hail damage looks like, or may just be trying to get a job to make money.

10 Tiny Steps to Get Your House Ready for Thanksgiving Guests 2016

10 Tiny Steps to Get Your House Ready for Thanksgiving Guests 2016

Thanksgiving Tips from The Kitchn

Hosting Thanksgiving is a big deal. With everything you’ve got going on in the kitchen, who has time to deep-clean the house? We’re here to say you shouldn’t stress about washing your windows or mopping the floors. Instead, just do these 10 little things to ensure your guests feel relaxed and comfortable in your home.

Consider this your last-minute, low-pressure checklist to making things comfortable for your guests. If you don’t get to it all — no big deal! But if you have an hour or so to tidy (or someone else to do it for you — thanks Mom!) then these are the spots we’d hit first.

10 Tiny Steps to Get Your House Ready for Guests

  1. Clean the bathroom. If you only have time to clean one room in your house other than the kitchen, make it the bathroom. Most guests can handle a little dust on the coffee table or lint on the carpet, but a dirty bathroom is most unpleasant. Scrub and and wipe down the toilet and sink, wipe the mirror, re-stock the toilet paper, empty the trash can, put out a fresh hand towel, and then light a candle right before everyone arrives.
  2. Vacuum. Quickly run the vacuum in the rooms where your guests will be: entryway, bathroom, dining room, living room, maybe a guest room.
  3. Wipe the kitchen countertops. You’ve worked hard over the last few hours, and your kitchen shows it — but it’ll show it less if you wipe off your counters!
  4. Sweep the kitchen floor. The same goes for the kitchen floor. Sweep away the crumbs and quickly wipe up any drips or splatters you see.
  5. Empty the kitchen sink; load and start the dishwasher. Let the first of (likely) many dishwasher cycles run while your guests are arriving. If you have time, unload it before everyone sits down to dinner. If you don’t have time, no worries. At least you’ll have a clean sink and no dishes stacked on the counter.
  1. Straighten and dust. Again, focus on where your guests will be. Remove clutter and then dust the major surfaces. I usually focus on my coffee and side tables, electronics, and low shelves.
  2. Fluff the living room pillows. So you took a power nap while the pies were in the oven? Fluff and floof those pillows, my friend, and your guests will never know.
  3. Adjust the lighting. Turn off overhead lights and turn on lamps. Light some candles. This draws the eye away from any areas that weren’t deep-cleaned, and just makes everyone feel cozy.
  4. Clear a place for coats and bags. If you have a coat rack in your entryway, empty it to make room for your guests’ belongings. Or, make up the bed in your bedroom or a guest bedroom for everyone to drop their coat and bag.
  5. Put on some music. You’ve done the minimum amount required to get your place looking good, and that’s totally fine! Now, put on a little music and you’re done.

What easy steps do you take to get your house ready for Thanksgiving?

Read more here http://www.thekitchn.com/10-tiny-steps-to-get-the-house-clean-for-thanksgiving-213412

 

3 home remodeling projects for winter 2015-2016

3 home remodeling projects for winter 2015-2016

Check out more:

Summer is generally the most popular season for home remodeling work, so planning your next project during the winter can have certain advantages.

Home remodeling contractors are less busy during the winter months and may be more inclined to quote a job at a lower rate. Additionally, there will be more contractors to choose from, and your project could be completed at a faster pace.

If you want to complete some remodeling work on your home this winter, consider the following projects:

1. Install hardwood flooring

Winter provides the ideal setting for installing new hardwood flooring. The dry winter air helps to prevent gapping in the newly laid boards, while decreased humidity means there’s less of a chance for water damage.

The winter air also ensures a quicker drying time for any adhesive involved. Additionally, new wood flooring tends to insulate better than old, worn flooring.

2. Insulation and weatherization

Winter tends to be the time of year when most homeowners think about adding additional insulation. Before committing to the project, you should have your home thoroughly evaluated to determine the areas where energy is lost, the amount of insulation needed and a cost estimate.

You could find that you need to add new insulation throughout your home and attic or you may just need to install energy efficient windows and doors. You should be able to recoup some of the costs because an insulated home can mean lowered utility bills.

3. Basement remodel

Remodeling a basement during the winter months has several benefits. Since the basement is underground, all work will be completed indoors meaning you won’t have to open up any areas of the home to the elements like if you were having a new roof installed.

In addition to the lower rates and greater availability of home remodeling contractors, winter air is less humid so the chance of mold forming on exposed surfaces is much lower.

Check out more below

http://www.angieslist.com/articles/3-home-remodeling-projects-winter.htm

http://www.angieslist.com/articles/3-home-remodeling-projects-winter.htm

October is Energy Awareness Month

October is Energy Awareness Month – The Perfect Time to Increase Energy Efficiency in the Home

With the colder temperatures of winter fast approaching, October — the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Energy Awareness Month — is an ideal time for homeowners to take steps to prepare for a more energy-efficient heating season. October leaves us with only two short months left to take advantage of federal tax credits for energy-conserving home improvements. These enhancements can also benefit homeowners by reducing their utility and maintenance costs, increasing occupant comfort and making a smaller environmental footprint.

Increasing energy efficiency can be as simple as using electrical appliances and light fixtures more conservatively or as involved as a large home improvement project. As a leading building products manufacturer, CertainTeed Corporation offers the following tips to help homeowners increase comfort and reduce utility costs, as well as qualify for up to $500 in tax credits.

•    Conduct an energy audit.  Home energy audits are an important first step, as they help locate areas where energy-conserving changes are most needed. The audit should be conducted by a professional that is certified through the Residential Energy Services Network (ResNet). You can search for a ResNet certified energy auditor in your area at www.resnet.us.

•    Add insulation to reduce heating costs and increase comfort. If you can see the tops of the ceiling joists when you look in your attic, then it is wise to add more insulation to attain the recommended R-value for your home’s specific geographic area. This will help the home retain more warmth during colder months, consequently increasing occupant comfort and reducing heating costs. CertainTeed offers a wide array of insulation products, including fiberglass batts, blow-in insulation and spray foam insulation to meet the specific needs of your home. For more information on the minimum levels of insulation in your area, additional state and local rebates and incentives, and an estimate of your potential savings, visit www.certainteed.com/itools.

•    Don’t overlook the foundation. The EnergyEdge® system from CertainTeed provides increased comfort and a new way to reduce energy bills. When the system is installed on the exposed slab edge of the home, homeowners can save 10 percent or more in heating costs.

•    Increase energy efficiency on your rooftop.  Photovoltaic roofs can generate electricity by harnessing solar energy from the sun’s rays. The EnerGen™ photovoltaic roofing system features thin-film solar laminates that seamlessly integrate with traditional asphalt roofing shingles, creating a streamlined, visually appealing appearance.

•    Install insulated siding. One of the best ways to impede the loss of heated air through exterior walls is to install insulated siding, such as CedarBoards™ Insulated Siding, which feature a custom-contoured foam insulation backing.

•    Turn off appliances when not in use. Be sure to turn off and unplug appliances around the house, such as televisions and computers, when leaving a room and unplug coffee makers, toasters and other appliances when not in use. Plug home electronics into power strips and turn off the power strip when the equipment is not in use.

•    Revisit your lighting options. For significant energy savings, replace standard incandescent light bulbs throughout the home with ENERGY STAR certified compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs), which use up to 75 percent less energy. Energy savings can be taken a step further by replacing standard light bulbs with light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs. Though more expensive upfront than CFLs, LED bulbs use only 2-17 watts of electricity, last up to 10 times as long, and are more durable than CFLs.

For more energy saver tips for the home or information on federal tax incentives for energy conservation, visit www.energysavers.org or www.certainteed.com/energytaxcredit. Images, product samples and industry comments are available upon request. To speak to an expert, contact Mike Loughery of CertainTeed Corporation at mike.b.loughery@saint-gobain.com or 610-341-7328.

About CertainTeed

Through the responsible development of innovative and sustainable building products, CertainTeed, headquartered in Valley Forge, Pa., has helped shape the building products industry for more than 100 years. Founded in 1904 as General Roofing Manufacturing Company, the firm’s slogan “Quality Made Certain, Satisfaction Guaranteed,” quickly inspired the name CertainTeed. Today, CertainTeed® is North America’s leading brand of exterior and interior building products, including roofing, siding, fence, decking, railing, trim, foundations, pipe, insulation, gypsum, ceilings and access covers.

A subsidiary of Saint-Gobain, the world’s largest building products company, CertainTeed and its affiliates have more than 6,000 employees and more than 65 manufacturing facilities throughout the United States and Canada. Recognized as a 2009 and 2010 ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, CertainTeed earned the 2011 ENERGY STAR Sustained Excellence Award, the highest level of recognition for outstanding contributions to protecting the environment through energy efficiency. The group had total sales of approximately $3 billion in 2010.