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Allergy-Proof Your Illinois Home

Ah, spring! It’s the season for outdoor adventures, home renovations and unfortunately, seasonal allergies. If you have severe or mild allergies, spring can be a sneezing, itching, eye-watering nightmare. Instead of covering your face with nasal spray and eyedrops or hiding inside this year, try removing environmental allergy triggers in your home.

1. Vacuum those carpets

Carpet flooring is the natural nemesis of allergies. It traps dust, pollen, pet dander and just about any other histamines you can think of. The cheapest and easiest defense is cleaning your carpets. If you find your allergies are getting worse, consider upgrading your vaccuum.

The permanent solution:

Allergy

If you have wall-to-wall carpeting, you could spend half your life vacuuming your floors and never be finished. Instead, replace your carpet with tile. A flooring upgrade will add instant appeal to your home and boost your resale value. If you want hardwood floors with half the work, call our sister company Custom Bath Solutions. They offer porcelain tile hardwood flooring which has all the charm of hardwood floors but are much more durable and low-maintenance.

2. Ditch your Drapers

Your drapes act as a magnet for all the dust, pollen and pet dander coming in through your windows. Clean your drapes more often, or opt for a drape-less window solution.

The Permanent solution:

Many of our customers have trouble deciding how to cover their patio doors. Drapes for patio doors are huge and expensive, and traditional blinds are hard to dust. Luckily, there’s an easy solution: replace drapes with blind-in patio doors. We offer blind-in patio doors from Paragon Windows & Doors that have blinds sealed between two glass panels. Since the blinds aren’t exposed to dust, you get dust-free shade.

3. Dry out your bathroom

The bathroom is especially vulnerable to mold and mildew because of all the humidity that enters the room from daily activities. If you find mold or mildew in your bathroom, you might consider upgrading your bathroom ventilation fan or cleaning more often.

The permanent solution:

Use mold and mildew-resistant materials in your bathroom! Our sister company, Custom Bath Solutions offers acrylic showers and tubs that are coated in SilverSheild technology. This anti-microbial protection ensures that your bathroom will be mold, mildew and maintenance-free.

4. Dry out your basement

Mold_Allergy

Moisture in the basement is a huge problem for the structural integrity of your home and the people living in it. A wet basement will cause mold and mildew problems. If you ignore the underlying leakage problem, mold can spread to hard-to reach areas of your home until an easy solution is out of reach.

The permanent solution:

Purchase a basement-waterproofing system. In Peoria, Illinois where so much of the area sits in a flood plain, a water-tight basement is a great investment. Our system is called B-Dry Basement Waterproofing. B-Dry has an amazing reputation from previous customers and addresses the five most common ways that water enters your home.

5. Get Air-Tight Windows

Cheap and old windows often have air leakage problems that let in allergens and mold-causing moisture. There’s a number of DIY repairs you can do to fix your existing windows, but none of them guarantee a better seal.

The permanent solution:

Allergy_Windows

The only way to ensure proper sealing on your windows is to have them professionally repaired or upgraded. Our replacement vinyl window collection from Preservation Windows has superior weather-sealing technology. These windows are certified by the ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials) and tested for air-infiltration and water resistance. Plus, Preservation windows have a spacer system that prevents condensation on the inside of your frame.

6. Reduce Your Home’s Humidity Levels

If you have a mold allergy, you should be tracking your home’s humidity levels. Pick up a hygrometer at a local hardware store and measure the humidity levels in each room. If you read a humidity level above 60%, consider purchasing a dehumidifier.

The permanent solution:

We offer a TON of moisture-resistant products. My favorite is our Preservation Integra Siding. This replacement vinyl siding features a ClimaSheild Thermal Support System. This siding features molecular waterproofing, an interlocking weather seal, and a diamond-groove drainage plane to ensure that all moisture is directed away from your home.

7. Reduce Clutter

Clutter doesn’t directly cause allergy problems. However, clutter can collects dust easily and makes cleaning your home more difficult than it needs to be. To minimize time spent cleaning, store unessential items in storage bins, closets and attics.

The permanent solution:

Get an amazing storage system. Not only will it make cleaning easier, it will simplify your life in ways you never imagined. Our sister company, Woodfront Kitchens can custom-build beautiful storage systems that will make cleaning easy. Check out their profile on Houzz for ideas!

8. Clean Your Gutters

Even though your gutters are on the outside of your home, poorly maintained gutters can lead to moisture problems inside the home. In addition, gutter debris is filled with allergens that can affect your health. The easiest way to take care of this problem is to clean your gutters.

The permanent solution:

Reduce_Allergy

It’s likely you’ll always have allergies in the spring, and always have gutters to clean. Why not kill two birds with one stone and buy a Gutter Helmet? Gutter Helmet will give your home superior drainage so you reduce the risk of moisture entering your. Plus, you’ll never have to stick your hands in gross, allergenic gutter goop again.

 

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Your Replacement Window Performance Rating Explained

Performance Ratings

When you’re buying a big-budget item, it’s easy to get lost in a sea of information. You want to make sure that you’re getting the value for your money, and that your product is going to last you a long time. When buying replacement windows, the best way to do this is to check for a performance rating or Energy Star certification. Replacing old windows with Energy Star-certified windows lowers household energy bills by an average of 12% nationwide. Energy Star ensures quality by holding window manufacturers to strict performance standards on 5 different categories set by the National Fenestration Rating Council. Standards vary on your climate zone. Here in Illinois we are in the Northern Climate Zone, so those standards have an emphasis on durability and insulation. Luckily, most window manufacturers don’t try to hide their performance ratings and windows come with a label. They look like this:

Replacement Window Label

The label looks confusing, but I’ll explain it to you step-by-step.

Performance Rating: U-Factor

The U-Factor measures your the window’s rate of heat loss. Specifically, it measures the rate of heat flow through your glazing system. U-Factors generally range from 0.25 to 1.25 and are measured in Btu/h·ft²·°. Don’t worry, the units don’t matter much to anyone but the manufacturers. All you need to know is that low U-Factor is preferable because it means less heat loss, which is a good thing! A low U-Factor means better insulation and energy efficiency. Illinois winters can be brutally cold and even a small amount of heat loss can make your home feel drafty. To be eligible for the Residential Energy Tax Credit (worth 10% of the product cost up to $200), your window must have a U-Factor equal to or lower than 0.30 for those living in Illinois.

Take Preservation Window’s EnergyMaxx 10 Elite glass package as an example. Most standard replacement window units  have a U-Factor of 0.48. Our EnergyMaxx 10 Elite glass package has a U-Factor value of 0.17, meaning it performs 65% better than its competitors.

Performance Rating: Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC)

The Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC) measures the fraction of solar radiation that is transferred through your windows. While the U-Factor measures heat leaving your home, the SHGC measures the amount of heat entering your home. This measurement is especially pertinent in cool seasons. SHGC is measured on a scale from 0 to 1 but most windows have a SHGC values ranging from 0.25 to 0.80. A lower SHGC is preferable because it means less heat is entering your home. During a balmy Illinois summer, this could mean using less AC to cool your home.

We’ll use our EnergyMaxx 10 Elite glass package as an example again. Most traditional clear, insulated glass units have an SHGC of 0.50. Our EnergyMaxx 10 Elite glass has a SHGC of 0.17, meaning it outperforms the other glass package by 66%. Less heat enters a home through our windows with a low SHGC, and our replacement window customers will spend less money cooling their home.

Performance Rating 3: Visible Transmittance (VT)

Replacement Window Light

This rating seems straightforward, but it’s not. VT measures the amount of UV energy that your window allows through. VT can also measure how much visible light passes through your windows. This is where it gets tricky. You WANT an abundant amount of light to pass through your windows to give your home that natural, open character. However, UV energy is responsible for the fading of carpets, hardwood flooring, fabrics and furniture. In addition, to much light can cause glare. VT is measured on a scale of 0 to 1, but values generally range from 0.20 to 0.80.

Our EnergyMaxx 10 Elite glass package has a VT of 0.36 compared to a traditional clear glass package VT of 0.55. This means that the house with traditional windows will be brighter, and will also allow more UV radiation to enter the home. The house with the EnergyMaxx glass package will still have an abundance of visible light inside, but will not suffer the same fading damage as the other home.


Peoria Siding & Window has a number of different glass packages to choose from, all with different performance ratings. Make sure that when you’re choosing a replacement window, you prioritize factors like energy loss, heat gain and visible light. If you’re still confused about window performance ratings, don’t worry. One of our salespeople will be happy to talk you through any questions or concerns. Just call (309) 717-0105 to speak with a representative. If you’re looking to purchase new replacement windows, you can claim up to 30% off your home improvement project by filling out this form. We sell windows with an unbeatable performance at a value you can trust.

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Eliminate Chores From Your To-Do List

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1. Cleaning the Shower and Tub

Cleaning the bathroom is perhaps the grossest of all chores. It’s dirty, slippery and smelly. I’d estimate that 80% of domestic arguments begin with, “No, I cleaned the shower last time.” Unfortunately, because of things called “hygiene” and “proper sanitation,” there’s no getting around it.

Mold and mildew are bound to sprout up, UNLESS you’ve purchased a shower or tub from our sister company, Custom Bath Solutions. Their showers and tubs are made out of a non-porous acrylic material guarded by Silver Shield™ anti-microbial protection. Silver Shield™ guarantees that your shower or tub will be mold, mildew and maintenance-free for as long as you own your home. Now you can stop scrubbing and start sudsing in the most beautiful bathroom you’ll ever own.

2. Re-staining the Deck

You wouldn’t trade those long summer days spent playing outside with the kids and grilling with a cool drink in your hand for anything in the world. Last Friday, you noticed that your deck has begun to fade, just like it does every 2 years. Now you’re spending your weekend out in the sweltering heat with a paintbrush in your hand and a mixture of sweat and tears in your eyes. Does this sound familiar?

If you had Fiberon Horizon decking, you’d never have to stain your deck again. That’s because Fiberon Horizon decking is protected by PermaTech coating, resulting in a deck that’s resistant to stains, scratches, splits, mold, mildew, moisture, insects and best of all, hard labor.

3. Cleaning the Gutter

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Cleaning the gutter probably takes second place on our grossest chore ranking. It’s certainly the riskiest chore many people have to do. Nobody likes sticking their hand in gutter goop! If you’re afraid of heights, you’ve probably had nightmares about dangling from your gutter like Clark Griswold. For the sake of your sleep, you should get Gutter Helmet. Gutter Helmet’s patented, maintenance-free design will keep leaves, twigs and other debris out of your gutter. Now you’ll never have to scale your house again, unless your house needs repainting…

4. Re-painting Your House

This task can feel like a beast if you have a large house or more than one story. The paint on your exterior is most likely peeling because your siding is made out of wood or metal. These materials are especially vulnerable to bad paint jobs and weathering. According to one expert, about 1 in 10 exterior paint jobs go awry. If you had vinyl siding, the paint would never peel because there would be no paint.

Even better, if you had our Integra Vinyl Siding your siding would never rust, crack, peel, rot, dent or fade. Come visit our showroom for the lowdown on all of our truly maintenance-free siding.

5. Cleaning Your Windows

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Okay, we can’t really make it so you never have to clean your windows. We’re not magic! But half the battle of cleaning your windows is running in and out of your home like an indecisive cat to clean both sides of the window pane. We can help you with that.

Most of our Preservation Windows have tilt-in top and bottom sashes to make cleaning safe and easy from inside your home. Now you can stay inside and bask in the sunlight coming in through your brand new windows just like your spirit animal.  

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Best Projects for Your House’s Resale Value

Roofing - Peoria Siding and Window

When selling your home, it can be easy to get carried away with tons of home improvement projects. It’s important to be sure you’re making smart choices by getting the most resale value out of your hard-earned money and work.  

Every year, Remodeling Magazine comes out with a new Cost vs. Value Report to compare the most popular remodeling projects with the value those projects retain at resale. These are the projects that provided the greatest return on investment for a mid-range home:

  1. Steel Entry Door Replacement

    Ave. Cost Recovered: 90.7%

    A nice entry door is important to your house’s resale value because it’s the first impression buyers make as they approach your house. Steel entry doors are superior to other material options because they don’t warp from moisture or immediately bust if someone tries breaking in.

    Peoria Siding & Window offers beautiful steel entry doors in over 25 stains and colors. These Energy Star qualified doors that will help you (or a new homeowner) save money on utility bills, increase comfort and help the environment.

  2. Minor Kitchen Renovation

    Kitchen Renovation

    Ave. Cost Recovered: 80.2%

    Minor kitchen remodel projects tend to perform better for your house’s resale value than a complete kitchen renovation. Small projects can make a big difference in updating the appearance of your kitchen and they tend to be a lot cheaper.

    To keep your project cost low, our sister company Woodfront Kitchens offers cabinet refacing. Instead of replacing your cabinets completely, they can cover your existing cabinets in new paneling. Their beautiful Amish-made cabinets come in literally hundreds of wood, stain, frame, and center panel options.

  3. Siding Replacement

    Ave. Cost Recovered: 76.4%

    Some of the best and cheapest projects for your house’s resale value do nothing more than improve the “curb value” of your home. Remodeling Magazine’s data showed that exterior remodeling projects recouped an average of 74.9% of funds invested.

    Peoria Siding & Windows offers the best deals in high-quality siding in Central Illinois. We can install traditional siding, as well as board and batten, shake, scallop and vertical style siding.

  4. Deck Addition (Composite)

    Ave. Cost Recovered: 65.2%

    Who doesn’t like to spend a sunny afternoon with a cool drink out on the deck? Decking projects are popular with homebuyers because having a beautiful, spacious deck is like having a vacation spot right in your home.

    At Peoria Siding & Window, we offer Fiberon’s Horizon Decking with PermaTech™ as well as as Pro-Tect Decking. Our Fiberon Horizon Decking is resistant to stains, scratches, splits, mold, mildew, moisture and insects- which means practically no maintenance. You won’t spend any more hot, summer weekends re-staining your deck.

  5. Roofing Replacement

    Peoria Siding and Window - Free Estimates - 309-427-6819

    Ave. Cost Recovered: 68.8%

    New roofing may not be the most fun remodeling project, but there’s a reason it improves your home’s resale value. Other than providing curb appeal and beauty to your home, a new roof won’t have the years of damage and weathering that your current roof has.

    Peoria Siding & Window offers durable GAF Timberline HD shingles. In a 2014 study, most homeowners preferred the look of Timberline HD Shingles over all other leading brands.

  6. Universal Bathroom Design

    Ave. Cost Recovered: 68.4%

    Universal bathroom designs are becoming popular because they can support any living situation- including living with elderly or special needs individuals. This design trend is especially important for your house’s resale value because the design features make it possible for any buyer to use your bathroom. Common updates include installing support-grab bars and no-threshold showers.

    Our sister company, Custom Bath Solutions can convert your tub to a no-threshold shower to allow for easier entry and exit. Their customizable showers use non-porous acrylic materials that are resistant to mold and mildew. That means less time you or a new homeowner has to spend scrubbing the shower.