The holiday season is upon us so it’s time to start preparing for the festivities, but with all the hustle and bustle of the season, where and how do you begin? Don’t worry, we have some tips to help you start and stay on track as you cross the important things off your holiday prep checklist. 

Create a Holiday Checklist  

Your first order of business is to create a holiday checklist. Lists are a great way to make sure you don’t forget any important tasks as the season gets busier and busier. Once you’ve written out every task, you’ll have a better idea of how to budget and allocate your time. You might even be surprised by how quickly you can check off some of the simpler items to complete. If a handwritten list seems too tedious and old school, there are plenty of apps you can download on your phone that will make compiling a holiday checklist even easier. Once you have the list on your phone, checking off items you’ve completed requires just a tap of your finger. Whichever way you choose, it’s satisfying to see those completed items come off your holiday prep checklist—as you prep and organize your home for the season. 

Time Management Is Your Friend 

A great way to cut down on the inevitable holiday prep stress is to create a timeline that coordinates with your holiday checklist. Timelines are a great way to manage the time you have available to prepare your home for dinners, parties, shopping, wrapping or whatever else the holidays have in store. Create a calendar, along with individual tasks you’ll need to complete to meet your goals. Figure out the number of days and the amount of time you think you’ll need for cleaning, shopping, decorating, and so on. Then allocate the necessary days and time in your schedule to get each task completed. This is where managing your time effectively comes into play. In order to stay on track and focused on the tasks at hand, it’s important to minimize distractions (don’t spend an hour on your phone when you should be cleaning) and block out your schedule so family and friends know you’re busy. Once you see your checklist laid out and organized in calendar form, it can seem less intimidating and overwhelming. And remember, there’s no shame in asking for professional help. There are plenty of resources available to get those items on your list completed. For example, why not hire someone to help clean the interior and exterior of your windows (one of the most overlooked areas of holiday prep). Once you have your windows sparkling clean, you can focus on the rest of the house. The pros at Molly Maid can help you prepare the inside of your home for holiday guest, and if you need help getting the outside looking just right for that holiday party, Window Genie is ready to help you get it all done. 

Start at the Top of Your Checklist for Every Holiday Party 

One of the most daunting tasks is hanging holiday lights. This task will go a lot smoother if you have a clean, blank canvas to work with. A clean, dry roof makes the best surface for holiday light hanging. Roof cleaning can be quite a time-consuming and dangerous job, which can be even more dangerous when the weather turns cold. This is one job where hiring a professional is well worth the cost. However, if you do decide to tackle cleaning your roof, be sure to put safety first. Use a sturdy ladder, durable work gloves, and have someone outside spotting you while you’re on the roof. Never work on the roof while home alone. If you plan on hanging lights on your gutters, be sure they’re clean as well. Clogged gutters mixed with electricity can cause damage or even a fire. 

Clean Windows  

If you want to dazzle your guests with your holiday lights display, be sure your windows are clean and your home’s exterior is in great shape. Nothing puts a damper on pretty twinkle lights like dirty, grimy front windows. Clean, streak-free windows give your festive lights that extra ‘wow factor.’ In fact, clean glass helps reflect the sparkle of those twinkling light! 

Prepping Decorations for Display 

Do you know where your holiday decorations are stored? Are they in good condition? Do any of them need to be repaired? If you don’t know the answers to these questions, be sure to put ‘inventory and check decorations’ near the top of your holiday checklist. This goes for holiday lights as well. There’s nothing as frustrating as spending hours hanging holiday lights only to find out half of them don’t light up when you plug them in (Ughhhhh!). The easiest way to ensure every set of lights you hang is working properly is to untangle and plug them in before they go on your house. This makes replacing any damaged or broken bulbs or strands of light a lot easier. 

Get Help Checking Things Off Your List 

The holidays should be a time of fun, festivities and celebration, but they can also be stressful and overwhelming when you’re struggling to get everything on your holiday list done on time. You can take a lot of the stress and worry out of this holiday season by hiring some pros to help you get your holiday checklist completed. The pros at Window Genie can help prep your home exterior for the holidays. And when you’re ready to dazzle your family, friends and neighbors with an amazing holiday light display, the lighting pros at Your Holiday Lights are ready to make it happen. They can help create a custom holiday display that reflects your holiday spirit, then take it all down and pack it away until next year. Now that sounds like the recipe for a happy holiday! 
Depending on where you live, you may want to choose a window treatment that suits your specific climate and needs. Window treatments like, blinds, shutters, and window film can vary in effectiveness depending on your location and how they are used. Figuring out which window treatment is best for your home depends on factors like energy efficiency, insulation, glare control, sun exposure, average daytime temperatures and budget.  To help you determine which window treatment(s) might work best for you based on your region, we’ve put together a guide to help you sort it out. Remember, window treatments are not only helpful with blocking UV rays, they can also help maintain a more comfortable indoor environment when the temperatures outside fluctuate.   The geographic regions covered in this article are:  New England  Mid-Atlantic  Southeast  Midwest  Southwest   Mountain States  West Coast

New England Window Treatments  

New England experiences a humid continental climate that includes cold winters and heavy snowfall during the cold months of the year. Since natural light is diminished during winter months due to overcast skies, New Englanders generally want to avoid darkening their homes too much. Therefore, to keep your New England home at a comfortable temperature during the summer and winter months, we recommend the following window treatments:  Window treatments for controlling natural light and temperature:  Roman shades: The thick material can help keep your home warm during extreme winters and cooler during the summer months. Yet these heavy shades still let ample natural light into your home.  Wooden blinds: Provide a rustic, aesthetic look and feel. Can be fully opened to let light and warmth into your home, or be closed to reduce sunlight and heat loss during the winter.  

Mid-Atlantic Window Treatments  

The Mid-Atlantic region experiences lots of extreme weather. Summers are very hot, while winter temperatures are often consistently below freezing. Your main priority in a window treatment should be temperature regulation. That is, you want your home to stay cool in the summer and warm in the winter without it costing you a fortune.   Window treatments to help regulate indoor temperature:  Faux wood blinds: Will not warp in extreme temperatures like real wood blinds will and appear natural, giving your home a rustic feel. Hold up well in heavy winds.  Polywood shutters: Guard against damage from moisture and extreme temperature shifts. Can provide up to 70% more temperature insulation than wood blinds, helping to keep your home cool in the summer and warm in the winter.

Southeast Window Treatments 

Homeowners in the hot and humid Southeast, want to keep their homes cool even on the hottest, sunniest afternoons. The right window treatment can help keep your home comfortable throughout the year and help reduce your annual energy cost.   Window treatments for temperature control and aesthetics:   Solar shadesLight solar shades are roller shades made using solar screen fabric with an open weave that provide better heat control than their dark counterparts.   Faux wood blinds: Don’t warp in extreme temperatures like real wood blinds can. They also appear more natural, which can give your home a rustic feel.

Midwest Window Treatments  

Keeping your home comfortable during the cold Midwest winters and muggy summer months can be a challenge. So, how do you choose the right window treatments for this climate? The answer lies in Polywood shutters and cellular shades:  Window treatments for damp, extreme temperatures:  Polywood shutters: Guard against damage from moisture and extreme temperature shifts. Can provide up to 70% more temperature insulation than wood blinds.  Cellular shades: Mimic drapery but are more functional than curtains. Improve energy efficiency by insulating against heat and cold better than other window shades. Are not damaged by summer humidity, either.

Southwest Window Treatments 

As a Southwest resident, you’re used to the warm, dry daytime weather that everyone desires. However, true residents know that nights in the Southwest can get chilly. Any window treatment you choose will have to be able to effectively regulate the fluctuation in temperatures so your home stays comfortable during those warm days and cool nights.   Window treatments for dry, bright conditions:   Plantation shutters: These shut tightly to help block out excessive light and can help reduce temperatures during the hottest part of the day. It’s best to keep your shutters closed when temperatures are high to save on cooling cost.  Roller shades: Blackout roller shades allow you to control the amount of natural light in a room and can help block the heat transmitted through your windows. Roller shades have a basic look that works well with just about any decor.  Related Topic: Do I Need Security Window Film? 

Mountain States Window Treatments 

Depending on where you live in this area, the climate can range from semi-arid to an alpine. If you live in the semi-arid region, your window treatment requirements will be different than if you live in the higher elevations of the mountains (where temperatures and conditions can change rapidly).   Window treatments for extreme temperature changes:  Cellular shades: Mimic drapery but are more functional than curtains. Improve energy efficiency by insulating against heat and cold better than window shades. Hold up better in damp, high humidity conditions.  Wood blinds: Provides an extra layer of insulation against heat and cold. May also help reduce some outside noise, although not specifically designed for noise reduction. These blinds can be easily adjusted to help regulate the amount of natural light in a room.

West Coast Window Treatments 

If you live in the West Coast region you are used to a relatively mild climate throughout most of the year with very few temperature extremes.   Window treatments for aesthetics and light control:  Cellular shades: This window treatment is also referred to as honeycomb shades. They mimic drapery but are more functional than curtains. They hold up well to humidity and can be used to help defuse the amount of natural light in a room.    Decorative window film: Composed of thin laminate film, cosmetic window films can help reduce our yearly energy cost by keeping the interior of your home cooler throughout the year. Window films can be applied to either the interior or exterior of your windows. Some of the more popular styles include, SimGlas, rice paper, and frosted.

Professional Window Tinting for Any Climate 

No matter what the climate is like where you live, your local Window Genie professional can help you choose the right window treatment for your home. If you need tinting or a film applied to your windows, we can help with that too! We offer a variety of decorative and security window films and professional installation. To learn more give us a call at 877-243-8624 or request a quote online today. And to ensure your home stays comfortable, schedule an annual HVAC inspection and routine maintenance throughout the year. 
No matter how hard your gutters are to reach, they still need to be kept clean. But getting into those nooks and crannies on the edge of a high roof can be dangerous, if not done correctly.   Let’s look at different methods for cleaning second-story gutters and find out whether they really work. These methods include:   Using ladders and proper ladder safety.  Relying on gutter guards to reduce cleaning needs.  Using vacuum and leaf blower attachments.    Using your hose. (Not recommended.)  Using a professional gutter cleaner.   

Should You Use a Ladder While Cleaning Second-Story Gutters? 

While this is a popular method to clean hard-to-reach gutters if you’re going to use ladders remember that ladder safety should always be your top priority. First and foremost, never let kids climb the ladder—this is a good time to teach them that ladders aren’t toys. Second, your ordinary household ladder probably isn’t suitable for this task. You’ll need a ladder that’s fully equipped with safety features and the proper mechanics for use on a roof. A little research can help you make sure the ladder you have at home is up to the safety standards you need.  

What About Gutter Guards? 

Gutter guards are designed to keep debris and animals out of your gutters while keeping the water flowing away from the house. Even though gutter guards don’t qualify as a way of cleaning hard-to-reach gutters, they can be a solution for homeowners looking to keep their gutters from clogging up with leaves and twigs.    The pros and cons of gutter guards include:   Pro: When you have gutter guards, you don’t need to clean your gutters as often.  Con: Installing good-quality gutter guards can be costly and time-consuming.  Pro: Gutter guards prevent birds and rodents from building nests in your gutters.  Con: Uncleaned gutter guards can turn into a miniature tree farm because of trapped seeds.    Ultimately, even with gutter guards installed you’ll still need to clean your gutters periodically. Keep reading to learn more methods.   Related topic: The Truth About Gutter Guards 

Vacuum and Leaf Blower Attachments 

There are many types of vacuum attachments for leaf blowers, as well as shop vacs to assist in the gutter cleaning process. While these attachments can be useful, they typically don’t reach every spot, which means they aren’t the best for reaching high gutters.  It’s also important to consider the safety implications of climbing a ladder with a heavy leaf blower or similar device since thoroughly cleaning second-story gutters from the ground probably won’t be possible.  

Using a Hose 

While you may be tempted to use your hose to clean your gutters, it usually isn’t the best option. The truth is, using your hose to clean your gutters can accidentally knock your gutters loose by damaging the anchors that secure them to the house. Even worse, water can get under your shingles or leak through the eaves, resulting in water damage. And, of course, it’s also not safe to carry a hose while climbing a ladder, since a splash of water on the steps or a strong gust of wind could cause you to slip.  

Professional Gutter Cleaning 

Most of the time, it’s easier and safer to let the professionals handle jobs like cleaning the gutters. If you decide a professional is a way to go, your local Window Genie is ready to help you clean your guttersOur team of experts is outfitted with the proper tools and knowledge to get the job done efficiently. Give us a call at 877-243-8624 to request a free quote. We’re looking forward to speaking with you! 
During a walk around the neighborhood, you may have noticed one or more neighbors pressure washing the siding on their homes, and wondered if the same cleaning method could be used on your roof. Unfortunately, the short answer is no. Pressure washing may seem like the quick solution to a dirty roof, but it can damage both your roof and your gutters. That’s why it’s important to use a professional soft wash service to clean your roof. Washing your roof using the correct method will help you avoid problems like damaged gutters later on.  

Structural Damage  

High-pressure washing can result in structural damage to both your roof and your gutters. Too much water pressure can loosen the granules on your shingles, which then flow into your gutters and cause damage by creating extra weight and blockages. You might even cause damage by creating loose shingles that get trapped in the gutters. Pressure washing can also damage your gutters by loosening or breaking the anchors that secure them to the house. If done incorrectly, pressure washing can quickly turn your minor roof scrub-up project into an expensive mess. You could end up with a dirty roof, damaged gutters, and a hefty bill from the contractor you had to hire to fix the structural damage. Definitely not the outcome you wanted!  Related Topic: Why You Should Never Pressure Wash Your Roof  

Paint Removal  

Applying pressurized water to your roof might remove the dirt, but it can also remove paint from your gutters. In fact, pressure washing is one of the methods professional painters use to remove paint from wood, metal, concrete, and other exterior surfaces. Even if your exterior paint is new, a high-pressure wash could easily strip it away, leaving bare spots on your gutters and possibly even along your eaves. In fact, if you accidentally send high-pressure water blasting through your eaves, you might leave your attic a sopping wet mess 

Incorrect Ladder Placement  

When it comes to climbing up onto your roof—whether you are experienced or inexperienced—using a ladder can be dangerous. In fact, according to the World Health Organization, the United States leads the world in ladder deaths. Each year, there are more than 164,000 emergency room-treated injuries and 300 deaths in the U.S. caused by falls from ladders. Even if it wasn’t so dangerous, incorrect ladder placement can still damage your gutters because they’re not built to support any additional weight. In addition, you might think your ladder is steady but the force of the high-pressure water can throw you off balance—possibly damaging you and your gutters at the same time.  Use Our Soft Wash Process  Having a clean roof can make the rest of your home look even better, but it’s important to make sure it’s done the right way. After you weigh the risk and potential damage that could be caused by cleaning it yourself, hiring Window Genie to clean your roof and gutters is the way to go—best for both your wallet and your safety. Not only do we know the safest way to access your roof and gutters, but we have the tools to clean them without causing any damage. We’ll save you time, effort, and expensive repairs that could be caused by doing the job yourself. So, if you're ready to have your roof and gutters cleaned, call the pros at Window Genie for a free consultation. You can reach us at 877-243-8624 or visit our website today. 
As the seasons change, winter into spring, spring into summer, we often get the urge to change up the look and feel of our home. Rejuvenating your home is a fantastic idea that can take many different forms. One way to accomplish this goal is to give your homes’ exterior a fresh, new look. We have some ways you can do it without spending a small fortune.   We’ll share some tips to help get your creative juices flowing and add some pizzazz to your home without breaking the bank. These simple ideas don’t take much time and won’t break your budget for the year. So, if you’ve been wondering how you can change things up a little, we have you covered. 

Decorative Window Film  

Decorative Window Film is a simple alternative to etched or stained glass. It can enhance the look of your windows and provide some extra privacy at the same time. Although etched and stained glass is beautiful, it can also be very expensive. Artisan glass is also very nice, but incredibly expensive too. A window film can give you a similar look, and the privacy you want, at a fraction of the price.   You also have more freedom to change up the patterns and colors more easily when the mood strikes you. Decorative film is a fantastic temporary or permanent solution to jazz up the glass and gives the exterior of your home a new, different look.   

Give Your House a Bath 

Pressure washing the exterior of your home is another great way to make it sparkle and let its natural beauty shine through. Just like anything else that is constantly exposed to the elements, your home can get dirty, and sometimes you don’t even notice because it happens gradually over time. A thorough pressure wash can yield some surprising results, especially if it’s been several months since the exterior has been cleaned.   Pressure washing is also an excellent preventative measure against things like mold and rot. When dirt or mud stays on the surface of your home for a long time, it can become a breeding ground for bacteria and fungus. This can eventually lead to structural damage. Pressure washing helps loosen and remove debris and bacteria, which in turn will help safeguard your home.   Related Topic: 3 Reasons to Clean and Secure Your Gutters 

Revive Your Driveway and Sidewalks  

The concrete around your home is another area that can get dirty and discolored over time. Meticulous concrete cleaning can reinvigorate the walkways and driveway in front of your home and have an amazing effect on the overall appearance of your home. You might be surprised just how bright and sparkling your driveway can look after a proper cleaning.   Cleaning the hard surfaces around your home can also prevent the proliferation of mold and mildew, just like it can with your home’s exterior. Getting rid of dirt and grime on your walkways and driveways can eliminate any buildup and keep you from slipping when the surface is wet. It can also prevent damage and deterioration of those surfaces over time.   These simple yet cost-effective ideas can really help give your home the fresh, new look you’re looking for. And if you need a little help, Window Genie can take care of some or all the projects on your ‘to do’ list. They can have your house looking it's absolute best in no time. Window Genie professionals have the experience and expertise to refresh your home exterior so you can start thinking about what you want to change inside your house...it’s amazing what a fresh coat of paint will do. 

Related Topic: Interior Design Styles and the Paint Colors That Go with Them 

Spring cleaning is one of those things that always seems like a good idea. However, when the time comes to actually do it, the to-do list piles up and it can start to feel overwhelming. The best way to attack this is to break down the whole process into manageable steps.   By creating smaller jobs that the whole family can get involved with, completing a home spring makeover quickly becomes easier. In this article, we have laid out some steps that can streamline the whole process and even make spring cleaning fun.  

Divide and Conquer 

If you’re going to efficiently give your home a spring makeover, the key is to get the whole family involved. Giving everyone their own job not only splits the work evenly but gives everyone a sense of ownership. This way, everyone can be held accountable for getting their portion of the work done.   Spreading the work out evenly also allows you to play to everyone’s strengths. If someone is good at a particular job that someone else can’t stand, splitting it up can make everyone happy.  

Provide Rewards 

People respond well to reward systems. This is especially true of children. By offering a reward for each job that gets finished, you can incentivize spring cleaning and give everyone a reason to work towards a spotless house in the summertime.   If you want to, you can even break the small jobs into even smaller tiers and offer rewards for their completion. For example, if someone has the job of sweeping the house, you can offer a reward like a piece of candy or an extra half hour of screen time for every room that is finished.  

Make it a Contest  

On top of a reward system, people also respond well to competition. If you have multiple children, having them compete against their siblings is a surefire way to get the best out of them. Creating a game element can not only get the job done, it can get it done faster.   Set up a time limit for smaller job portions and see who can get them done faster. You can also set up a family-wide competition where whoever finishes all of their tasks first gets a special reward. Keeping the family engaged and invested in the job is a great way to keep it fun for everyone.  

Outsource the Difficult Jobs 

There are some spring makeover jobs that are just too difficult to include on the list. Unfortunately, those are the jobs that usually get neglected. To address the most difficult jobs, hire a professional to get them done. Not only will you not have to do them, you can also be sure they’ll be done right and in a professional manner.   Related Topic: How Do I Clean Windows That Don’t Open?  For jobs like pressure washing and gutter cleaning, getting someone who does them for a living can be a lifesaver. Not only will they have the know-how to do them correctly, they will also have the right equipment to do a high-quality job.  

Don’t Forget Your Windows 

To add the final polish to your home’s spring makeover, be sure to get your windows clean and sparkling. If you want an extra decorative touch that will also make cleaning easier the next time the job needs to be done, decorative window film can be a great addition.   Completing a home spring makeover doesn’t have to be a chore that everyone dreads. By combining rewards, healthy competition, and professional help, you can make spring cleaning easy and fun for the whole family.   
Spring cleaning can be a daunting task. Everyone wants a clean house, but deciding where to start and actually getting things completed can sometimes be a challenge. If summer is on the way and you still haven’t gotten much done, you might be worried that the job will stay unfinished all year.   That’s why we have put together some useful, practical information that can help you break the cycle of worry and finally get your spring cleaning done. By taking things one step at a time, you can make the entire job feel less intimidating and more manageable. Our simple tips can get you started and you’ll soon see that there was nothing to worry about at all.

Start with a Checklist 

Writing out a checklist of the things you want to accomplish is a great way to get started. When you organize your thoughts on paper, they don’t seem as overwhelming. Looking at a list of specific tasks is a great way to fully visualize the work that needs to be done. There are several tools and resources online that can help you create and organize your list. Download and print this standard checklist and work your way through it as it applies to your home. As you check things off like window cleaning and dusting, you’ll start to feel a sense of accomplishment and begin to get into a ‘get it done’ groove.   We recommend starting with some of the simplest tasks—things you don’t mind doing. This will give you some momentum and take some of the burdens off right away. By reducing the number of tasks, you’ll soon see the number of tasks diminish and realize, your list isn’t as substantial as you thought it was.  

Combine Resources 

Working together is one of the best ways to reduce the number of tasks that each individual has to do. It can also speed up the process, so you don’t feel like you’re spending forever getting one thing done.   With three or more people, it is usually best to have everyone working separately. However, with just two, working together on one task can have a great effect and reduce your anxiety. 

One Room Per Day 

One of the best pieces of advice about spring cleaning is to not try to do the whole house at once. That is a surefire way to get burned out before you even really begin. Plus, it is unlikely that you’ll actually be able to accomplish this goal, which just makes the anxiety and stress worse.   Related Topic: How Do I Clean Windows That Don’t Open?  Instead, we recommend cleaning one room per day and trying to spread the work out evenly. This makes the whole process manageable and easy to finish up. Plus, you’ll get to see your progress as you go, which will keep you motivated and excited about finishing the whole house.  

Get Help with the Exterior 

When it comes to some of the more heavy-duty jobs like window and gutter cleaning, it can be hard to muster up the motivation to do them since they can be difficult and even dangerous. When the time comes to do these jobs, the best way to reduce anxiety is to hire a professional. For example, pressure washing requires special equipment and skills that you might not have.  By getting a professional to help you with the really difficult jobs, you can greatly reduce your anxiety about spring cleaning. Leaving yourself tasks that you know you can accomplish is a great way to stay on top of spring cleaning and get your home ready for summer.   Related Topic: Do Magnetic Window Cleaners Really Work? 
Most people think having a pool in their backyard will always be fun in the sun. It’s easy to daydream of throwing birthday parties, getting an intense workout in, that includes laps after work, and spending long weekends lounging poolside catching rays and cultivating the perfect tan. Unfortunately, it’s not all floaties and noodles. Without proper daily or weekly maintenance, your pool could fall into the hands of a plethora of undesirable conditions. Green water, broken filters, and algae build up, just to name a few. And, no one wants to lay by a cloudy green pool. Every choice you make when it concerns your pool has a consequence. Continue reading "Do This, Not That: Pool Maintenance Edition"
The holiday season has arrived! That means shopping, decorating, and stoking the fire. With all the fun that surrounds the most wonderful time of year, there are some serious dangers. Window Genie wants to wish you a happy holiday with a few safety reminders. Continue reading "Holiday Safety Tips"