For homeowners living in a cold climate wintery weather can bring many challenges. Snow, ice, sleet, rain and extreme cold can wreak havoc on your homes’ exterior and cause multiple problems, both inside and outside of your home.   One issue many homeowners will face is ice in their gutters. This can cause severe damage to the exterior of your home, and if left unresolved, lead to water damage inside your home. Properly removing ice from your gutters is an important step for every homeowner to take during cold weather.   Ice dams created by the buildup of material can tear the gutters from your home, unhinge shingles from your roof, and cause water damage.   If you’re faced with this situation, we have some suggestions on how to get rid of ice in your gutters safely, and without damaging your gutters, eaves, soffits, or roof.  Related Topic: Do you need gutter guards?  

How to Melt Ice in Gutters  

The first rule of ice removal from gutters is to never try to chop it away with a shovel, hammer-and/or chisel, or another tool because doing so could also damage your roof. Additionally, pouring salt (sodium chloride) onto the ice isn’t a good idea either. Rock salt is a highly corrosive substance that could potentially damage the roofing, siding, gutters and downspouts. And the poisonous runoff can also damage and/or kill foundation landscaping.  If de-icing your gutters is urgent, here are the things you’ll need to get the job done quickly and safely:  What you’ll need: Purchase some calcium chloride ice melter. This product is available at most local hardware and home improvement stores.   Here’s how to use it: Put the calcium chloride ice melter in a thin-fabric pouch—such as an old sox or pantyhose. Place the pouch so it lies perpendicular to the gutter you want to de-ice. Eventually, the calcium chloride will melt the ice, creating a channel for melting snow and other debris to flow freely through the gutter and away from the roof.  If you’re looking for ways to prevent ice dams from forming in your gutters, we have some ways you can do that too! Check out these recommendations below. 

How to Prevent Ice from Forming in Your Gutters 

In short, preventing your gutters from icing over translates to keeping your roof the same temperature as the eaves of your home. Increasing ventilation and insulation can help accomplish this.  Here are some ways you can increase ventilation and insulation in your home to keep your roof and eaves at the same temperature:   Add weather-stripped caps to your attic hatch.  Add a ridge vent paired with continuous soffit vents to circulate cold air under the entire roof.  Make sure all exhaust is directed outside.  Insulate your attic floor.  Seal and insulate HVAC ducts.  Patch any holes in insulation with caulk. Steps like adding extra insulation to your home and using a calcium chloride ice melter can help you avoid water damage that may result from ice accumulation in your gutters. If you need help with ventilation and insulation projects, these local home service pros who can help. 

Too Cold Out – Call in the Pros 

De-icing your gutters can be a time-consuming and chilly process, but it is an important part of gutter maintenance that often gets overlooked (especially when it’s cold outside). Getting up on a ladder and cleaning your own gutters in the winter can also be dangerous.   If you would rather stay safe and warm inside your home, let the local pros at Window Genie take care of your icy gutters.  We offer professional gutter cleaning and repair services that can help protect your gutters and your home from damage caused by ice. We also offer window cleaning (interior and exterior) and power washing services that can help keep your home looking great all year long. To learn more, give us a call at 877-243-8624, or request a quote online today. 
Entering a New Year gives many people the urge to change the look and feel of their home. One way to accomplish this is to give your home’s exterior a fresh, new look. However, after exhausting your budget on the holiday you may be a little reluctant to take on such a refresh. Well, we have some ways you can do it without spending a small fortune.

Three simple but effective ideas that don’t take much time, either.

Exterior Home Design Tip: Installing 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 expensive. A window film can give you a similar look, and the privacy you want, at a fraction of the price.    With window film, you also have the freedom to change up the patterns and colors when the mood strikes you, without too much additional expense. Decorative film is a fantastic temporary or permanent exterior home design idea to jazz up the glass and give your exterior a new look. Home Exterior Idea: Give Your House a Bath Pressure washing the exterior of your home makes it sparkle. Just like anything else that’s constantly exposed to the elements, your home can get dirty, and sometimes you don’t even notice because it happens so gradually over time. A thorough pressure wash can yield some surprising results, especially if it’s been several months, or years, 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 loosens and removes debris and bacteria, safeguarding your home. Related Topic: 3 Reasons to Clean and Secure Your Gutters Revive Your Concrete Driveway and Sidewalks The concrete around your home is another area that can get dirty and discolored over time. Meticulous concrete cleaning reinvigorates the walkways and driveway in front of your home and has an amazing effect on the overall appearance of your exterior. You might be surprised just how bright and sparkling your driveway can look.    Cleaning your precious concrete walkways and driveways also protects your investment by helping them last as long as possible.

Get Professional Assistance This New Year

These simple, cost-effective ideas can really give your home the fresh, new look you’re looking for, for less. Your local Window Genie® can take care of some or all the projects on your to-do list. We can have your house looking its absolute best in no time. Contact us today! Related Topic: Interior Design Styles and the Paint Colors That Go with Them
There is plenty of information online if you are looking for holiday decoration ideas for your windows. However, there is not much out there to explain how to pull it off without pulling your hair out in the process. Decorating your windows for the holidays can be a fun activity, but without a master plan and budget, things can quickly turn into a project you regret taking on. In this article we will review how a little planning can go a long way with helping you create a cheery holiday window display everyone can enjoy.  

Start with a Holiday Window Decorating Plan 

Holiday Decorating Idea for Windows: Start with a Theme   Creating individual scenes for each window is fine, but planning a design that uses several windows to connect a central theme will have a bigger impact. And remember, your windows are just one part of your holiday canvas. You can use the entire house to tie it into your window display. For example, you could create a winter wonderland scene on your windows and use lighted snowmen in the front yard to extend the scene even further. Or place Santa and his reindeer on your roof and decorate your windows with Santa’s helper, the elves. To top off your masterpiece, your holiday lights should use colors from your overall theme to bring your masterpiece together.  Determine Your Decorating Budget  Everybody loves a cheerful, elaborate holiday displays, but when you add up all the cost, some displays can get expensive. However, there are a few ways to create impressive holiday displays without breaking your holiday budget—it just takes a little extra planning. Here are some suggestions on how to break up your holiday decorating budget:  Window display  Lawn decorations  Outdoor lights  Indoor lights  Roof decorations  Accessories and supplies  Energy costs to power your displays  Divvy Up the Duties   If you have an elaborate display planned that includes holiday window decorations, it’s better to make it a team effort. Have your family and friends help. Decide who’s responsible for what up front. Focus on each person’s strengths. If there’s an artist in the family, have them focus on window painting. If you have a tech guru, put them in charge of the lights prep, and so on.   Remember Maintenance   The best holiday displays require a little upkeep and maintenance. If you have many strands of holiday lights hung on your gutters or roof, you’ll need to keep those areas clear of snow, ice, and debris. You’ll also need to change any dimming or burnt-out bulbs. If you have a window display involving plants or fruit, you may have to change them out periodically to keep the décor looking fresh. This doesn’t mean you’ll have to babysit your display constantly. Just keep an eye on it and check it every few days. You’re putting a lot of time and effort into creating this holiday display, so you want it to last all season looking just as spectacular as it did when you finished.  Incorporate Outdoor Lighting into Your Holiday Window Decorations  Outdoor lighting can really accentuate creative holiday window decorations. There are so many options available: round bulbs, teardrop bulbs, twinkle, dangle, snowflake—the choices are almost endless! You could even have your lights timed to sync up with holiday music. This could get a bit complicated, so you may want to enlist some help from professionals.   Hire a Professional to Help   Decorating the exterior of your house and windows can really help create a festive holiday mood that family, friends and neighbors will enjoy. However, putting up, taking down and storing all those decorations does take time. And with all the other things you have to do to prepare for the holidays, you may not have the time to get it all done. Fortunately, there are companies that can take care of your all your holiday decorations and lighting for you. The trained professionals at Your Holiday Lights are experts when it comes bringing your dream holiday display to life. We can setup, take down and store all your holiday decorations. This means you can put your holiday spirit on full display, and have time to enjoy them too! Call us today at 888.311.8882 of visit us online to schedule an appointment. 
Weather, especially winter weather, can take a real toll on your patio deck. The combination of ice, snow, rain and changing temperatures can take away some of its original lusters. This may have you wondering, “Should I pressure wash my deck?”. “Will pressure washing restore its original look?” Maintaining your patio deck to keep it looking good may seem like a relatively simple task, but there is a little more to it than you might think. Knowing how to properly clean your deck will not only improve the overall appearance, it will also help it last longer too! This means you can get more hours of enjoyment out of it.

The Proper Way to Pressure Wash a Deck

One of the best ways to clean your deck and restore its original beauty is by pressure washing. Although using a power washer is not complicated, using one effectively to clean your deck does require some skill and safety precautions.

Getting Started

Depending on the type of machine you are using (gas or electric) make sure both the water supply and electricity (if electric), are securely fastened. It’s also important to make sure you have water flowing to the machine before you start it up.

Applying Pressure

Some pressure washers can produce up to 4,000 pounds of pressure per square inch (PSI). Although highly effective for cleaning concrete, applying this much pressure to your deck can cause irreversible damage. To clean a deck effectively, about 1,500 pounds of pressure will do the job nicely, without causing permanent damage.

Safety Measures

It’s also important to maintain a certain distance from the surface you’re cleaning. Too close and you could etch into your deck, not close enough will result in a less than a thorough cleaning. Depending on the amount of pressure (PSI) being applied, most manufacturers recommend a distance of about 3-6 inches away from the surface you are washing. When it comes to your personal safety, protective eyewear is a must. Regardless of how careful you are, using highly pressurized water to clean a surface can result in blowback as dirt and debris are loosened by the force of the water. It’s also best to wear some type of waterproof, non-slip footwear. This will not only protect your feet, it should also help minimize the risk of slipping on the wet surface as you clean.

Should I Pressure Wash My Deck Before Staining?

Yes, pressure washing your deck before applying a new stain is a good idea. This will provide a much cleaner surface to work with, which should prolong the life of the stain. Clearing away the old finish, grime, mold, mildew, and other impurities in the wood—as well as the graying layer of the wood that was exposed to the sun—will allow the stain to absorb evenly into the wood. After you power wash, allow the wood to dry for at least 48 hours before you begin applying the new stain. This will allow the wood to dry completely and ensure the water doesn’t affect the even application of your stain. If your deck or porch doesn’t get much sun, you may want to extend the drying time by an extra day.

Should I Pressure Wash My Deck in the First Place?

Pressure washing your deck on a regular basis can improve the overall appearance. Over time, exposure to the sun grays the wood on your deck and an occasional power wash can brighten the boards back up, as well as clean off any accumulated grime, mold, or mildew. Because pressurized cleaning can effectively remove the mold before it sets into the wood, it also protects your boards from needing to be replaced as often. Cleaning once or twice a year can keep your deck in prime condition. Pressure washing also increases the longevity of your deck stain and protects the wood from mold. More than brightening the look of your deck or porch, regular maintenance can reduce the need for replacing boards and allow you to enjoy your space longer with fewer repairs. As mentioned, using a pressure washer is not complicated, but it is a powerful piece of equipment that requires some expertise to use effectively and safely

Schedule Regular Cleaning

Your patio deck is just one area of your home that can benefit from a regular pressure washing schedule. Other areas like your roof and walkways can also benefit from regular cleaning. If you find it hard to maintain in all or would prefer to have a professional do the job, your local Window Genie can help. We have over 20 years of experience helping homeowners keep their decks and other areas of their homes looking good. To set up an appointment, call 877 243-8624 today or request a quote online.
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! 
Do you want to be the house on the block this holiday season? You know—that one that all the kids want their parents to drive by again and again? Creating a dazzling holiday light display may not be an easy task, but the payoff is worth it. When it comes to holiday light ideas, one quick internet search can provide you with a million creative suggestions. However, there’s not a lot out there to guide you on exactly how you should do it. Well, not anymore. Read on to learn how to create your own dazzling holiday light display. 

You’ll Need Sufficient Power for Your Holiday Light® Display Ideas 

Powering your holiday light display requires more electricity than your system usually uses throughout the rest of the year. Any weaknesses in the system, frayed wiring, or surges could create a dangerous problem. When in doubt, always consult with licensed experts. 

Advance Planning Is Key 

Although it may be tempting to just pick out any flashy lights that grab your eye at the store, that’s not the best way to go about it. Planning your light display is essential. A good plan can be the difference between pulling it all off or pulling your hair out in the process.   Here’s are some things you should do before you spend big on all those pretty lights:   Decide which areas of your home you’d like to decorate (windows, walkways, gutters, etc.), all of it, and how.  Thoroughly measure the areas of your house where the lights will be hanging.  Make a detailed list of what you need to make your vision a reality (different colors, effects, shapes, etc.).  Make sure the areas you’re decorating is accessible to outdoor outlets.  Don’t forget the accessories, like clips, ties extension cords, etc. 

Buy More Holiday Lights Than You Think You Need 

Even though you’ve measured the areas you’re decorating you may find that slopes, corners, and walkways look sparser than you originally imagined. For this reason, and because it’s also good to have replacement strands on hand, err on the side of caution and purchase more light than you need. Once you start hanging your lights, it’s better to have more than not enough if and when you need them. 

Maintenance Required 

Once your lights are all placed, go ahead and let out that sigh of relief. Getting everything hung is half the battle. However, your display will require a little maintenance. Bulbs may burn out, wind may knock strands out of place, a circuit may blow—you never know what may happen. To keep your lighting display dazzling, clear out any snow that may accumulate in certain areas and add extra clips or fastens if you expect a storm. And of course, prevention is the best way to avoid problems. So before hanging any light strands, plug them in first inside to check for any dim or burnt-out bulbs. It’s also smart to have a stock of extra bulbs on hand, so you can replace them when necessary. A little ongoing effort keeps your display looking festive and amazing all season long. 

Safety Steps 

When designing and installing your holiday lights display, always put safety first.  Ladders - A ladder will help you reach the higher areas of your home or place lights in the tree. But make sure the ladder is sturdy, stable, and in good working order before you begin hanging any lights. Have a friend, neighbor, or family member secure the base for you. Don’t use the ladder in bad weather. Be careful not to avoid electric lines that may be hanging above your yard or close to your house.  Climbing on the roof - Wait for clear weather before hanging any rooftop lights. Never go on your roof when it’s raining or snowing, or if there’s snow, rain, or ice already on your roof.  Kids – Children might want to get involved. Helping decorate the house for the holidays can be exciting and fun for kids, but be sure to give them safe jobs to do. Untangling strands of lights or choosing which colors go where is a great way to get kids involved. Never let kids climb a ladder or play with strands of light that are plugged in.  Overloaded circuits – Most home electrical systems should be able to handle the extra load of holiday lights. However, it’s not uncommon for some circuits to be overloaded when they’re given more responsibility than usual. If you trip a circuit and aren’t sure how to safely rectify the problem, consult with a professional electrician. 

Get Professional Holiday Light Display Assistance 

A holiday light display is a great way to get involved in seasonal activities and show your holiday spirit. But with everything else that goes on during the holidays pulling it all together in time can be a bit overwhelming. If you want a dazzling holiday display but just don’t have the time to invest, we can help. Our professionals are experts when it comes to setting up light displays that are the envy of the neighborhood. Take the pressure off of doing it all this holiday season and let us help you have the holiday display you always wanted. Whether it’s just a few lights or an entire holiday display, we can make it happen. We’ll even help with takedown and storage so you can sit back and really enjoy the holidays. Give us a call at 888.311.8882 or visit us online at Your Holiday Lights. 
Window cleaning in the summer is different from fall window cleaning. There are a lot of extra obstacles and dangers to consider when cleaning windows in the fall. In the article below we’ll review some of the following issues:   Ladder safety  Rainy weather  Slippery leaves  Cold temperatures    We hope to guide you and your family toward a safer autumn season (and cleaner windows, of course).  

Ladder Safety and Cleaning Windows in Cold Weather 

Ladder safety in the fall often means taking extra steps. First, you’ll need to consider the colder temperatures and the possibility of ice and frost. Before using your ladder, make sure there’s no ice on the rungs and that it’s secure in its spot on the ground. 

Window Cleaning During Rainy Weather 

With fall also comes more frequent rainy weather. This, naturally, complicates the process of cleaning windows. While we recommend waiting for clearer weather, if you must clean, we highly suggest only cleaning first-floor windows. Attempting to climb a ladder to reach your higher windows in wet conditions is very dangerous because your ladder’s rungs are going to be slippery.   Related Topic: Experimenting with window cleaners? See the truth behind the magnetic window cleaners you’ve been hearing about. 

Danger! Slippery Leaves 

After the rain, the leaves underfoot are going to be seriously treacherous. We suggest using a rake to clear out any slippery leaves from the area where you want to place your ladder. Once your ladder spot is clear of leaves, make sure your ladder is secure before climbing. If you can, get another person to hold the ladder steady for you. 

Cleaning Windows in the Cold 

When working with water in possibly near-freezing temperatures, we suggest wearing protection on your hands. Switch out gloves if they get soaked. Additionally, wearing shoes with good traction is important so that you don’t slip on the rungs of your ladder. Even though you think you’ll work up a sweat with all that cleaning, also consider wearing a jacket to stay warm, and a waterproof shell to keep it dry. 

Peace of Mind with Professional Window Cleaning 

Not feeling up to cold weather window cleaning, and looking to hire a professional? Your local Window Genie can clean both the interior and exterior of your windows, no matter the season. To learn more about our window cleaning services or to get started, visit us online today! 
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. 
As a child, it seemed like the time between the beginning of the school year and the holidays was an eternity. The days, weeks, and months seemed to drag on endlessly as you waited with anticipation for the holidays to finally arrive. Fast forward 20 years. Now an adult, you’ve come to the realization that once the school year starts, the holidays come and go at warp speed. Whoosh, Happy New Year! If you enjoy the holidays and all the trimmings associated with them, this change in perspective begs the question, “How soon should you start decorating for the holidays?” Well, if you revel in the holiday spirit and enjoy putting your spirit on display, we have some good news. You can start getting your holiday boxes down from the attic or bring them up from the basement because decorating for the holidays can begin in early November.

Decorating Before Thanksgiving

For many people, Thanksgiving traditionally marks the beginning of the holiday season. However, if you’re one of the many people who really get into decorating for the holidays, you’re probably anxious to get some decorations up sooner to maximize the enjoyment. However, putting decorations up too early means you run the risk of being labeled a holiday fanatic (is that a bad thing?). There are ways you can start decorating without going into full-blown holiday mode. Using clear lights instead of the more traditional multicolored lights can help you make a subtle transition into the holiday season. You can start decorating with clear lights on both the interior and exterior of your home. Hanging some clear lights from your gutters and around windows can set a festive mood without screaming, “the holidays are here!” Depending on the tone you want to set, you can start with a few strands and continue to add more as the holidays get closer, or you can put them all up at once and add more colorful lights later. By the time the holidays do arrive, you’ll have a dazzling light display your family, friends, and neighbors can enjoy.     

Related Topic: How to Hang Christmas Lights on Gutters for a Cheery Season 

Holiday-Neutral Decorations

You can take the same approach you used for putting up holiday lights and apply it to your decorations. Decorating can start in early fall with some pumpkins, a wreath or two, and fall colors throughout your home (think browns, orange, yellow, and red). A splash of fall colors throughout your home can really set a festive fall mood and serve as a reminder that the holidays are approaching. If you live in a cold climate, gathering some colorful leaves and a few pinecones and placing them around a pumpkin makes a great centerpiece for your fall table. As the holidays get closer, you can follow the seasonal pattern and transition from fall colors into more traditional holiday colors throughout the house. Once Thanksgiving arrives, you can take your holiday decorating into full gear with colorful lights and decorations, both inside and outside of the house.

Holiday-Specific Decorations

After Thanksgiving it’s, “game on” as far as holiday decorating is concerned. You can start swapping out those pumpkins and fall colors for the more traditional holiday items. As for your holiday lights, you can either swap out your holiday-neutral clear lights for more colorful ones, add some color to the ones you already have, or just leave up what you have and decorate around them. That's the beauty of decorating a little early with holiday-neutral lighting—you have some options based on your preference and availability. And with so many other things to do during the holidays, you might welcome the opportunity to have a few things already checked off your holiday decorating list. 

Related Topic: How to Decorate Your Windows for the Holidays 

If you celebrate Christmas, putting up your holiday tree and other holiday-specific decorations right after Thanksgiving is a great way to maximize the enjoyment of the entire holiday season. Since many people start packing holiday items away after the New Year, putting up your decorations on or around Thanksgiving will provide you with two months of solid holiday joy.

Getting It All Done

Although the holidays seem to come and go so quickly, it’s still nice to display your spirit and love for the holidays with decorations. Afterall, when it comes to the holiday, most of us are still kids at heart. But with shopping, wrapping, baking, and so many other things to get done during the holidays, even a relatively small amount of decorating can seem overwhelming. If you love the holidays, but aren’t sure if you have the time to go all out with decorations this year, Window Genie can help decorate your home for the holidays.   
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!