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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:

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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

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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:

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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:

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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.

 

5 Signs Your Illinois Home Needs Basement Waterproofing

Basement Waterproofing

1. Musty Smell

You know the smell. That smell has probably made your nose crinkle up at a relative or a friend’s older home. A musty-smelling home can be embarrassing if you’re hosting guests or inviting friends over, but it’s also a sign of a larger leakage problem. The odor is probably coming from mold or mildew in your home, and mold and mildew love dampness. Check around your home for damp spots where mold and mildew would thrive. If you find dampness in your basement, consider your need for a basement waterproofing system.

2. Mold and Mildew

Mold and mildew aren’t just symptoms of a basement leakage problem. They’re harmful for everyone living in your home. Mold has been known to cause an array of health problems from a stuffy nose to a severe lung infection. A 1999 Mayo Clinic study found that 93 percent of chronic sinusitis diagnoses are caused by mold. If you find mold or mildew on your ceiling, don’t just dab some bleach at it. Keep an eye on your family to make sure the mold isn’t affecting their health. After you’ve determined the mold isn’t toxic, investigate further to find the source of the wetness that mold thrives in. If you find it coming from your basement walls or floor, it’s time to waterproof the basement.

3. Water Damage

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This is the most obvious sign that your basement needs waterproofing. Water damage can come in the form of water stains, sitting water, damp basement walls, bowing walls and ceilings or cracks in your wall. There are DIY options to repair a home that’s taken on water damage. But if you really want a permanent solution to a leaky basement, you’re going to want to purchase a full basement waterproofing system.

4. Soggy Backyard

A good sign that your basement could use some waterproofing is a soggy backyard. If there’s a lot of groundwater near your home, there’s a good chance it’s invading your basement, drip by drip. A marshy landscape may be out of your control, but you can certainly prevent your basement from leaking with a basement waterproofing system. In the meantime, try draining your backyard with a French draining system.

5. Low Elevation

Just because you live far from the ocean doesn’t mean you’re safe from water damage and flood risk. In Illinois, flooding accounts for over 90% of declared disasters. Use an elevation map to compare your home’s elevation to the river stage levels. If you live close to a river or your home sits in a flood plain, consider purchasing a basement waterproofing system. During flood season, monitor the weather for flood warnings or advisories and STAY SAFE. Basement waterproofing won’t be able to save your home from severe flooding, but it may prevent water damage caused by minor flooding and increased groundwater.


Basement Waterproofing

There are tons of DIY techniques to waterproof your home, but we wouldn’t necessarily call them “solutions.” These techniques are always temporary at best. For a long-term basement waterproofing solution, we recommend B-Dry. B-Dry has been waterproofing basements since 1958, and they have an amazing reputation from previous customers. This system addresses the five most common ways that water enters your basement: seepage where the floor meets the wall, through cracks in the floor, dampness or wetness on basement wall, and standing water. The B-Dry System drains water into a high-capacity B-Dry pipe using weep holes. B-Dry’s waterproofing membrane Rigid Sealer keeps water from seeping in through your basement walls.

One thing we love about B-Dry is that after it’s installed, any tile, wood floors, or other floor covering can be installed on top of your floor slab. Peoria Siding and Window is a certified B-Dry installer. Unlike other basement waterproofing companies, we don’t subcontract. That way you know you will be getting the best service and professional workmanship available. To request a free in-home estimate, fill out this form or call (309) 717-0105.

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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.