There are 4 main types of solar energy; electric systems, solar hot water, solar pool heating, and concentrated solar power. It’s important to know what kind of technologies are available to choose the best one or more for your home and family. California is the leading state in solar power jobs and solar energy use, followed by Arizona and North Carolina. Solar electric systems, or sometimes referred to as photovoltaic panels (PV), are the most common type in California. They capture and convert the sun’s energy into electricity through the photovoltaic process. Solar hot water panels, or domestic hot water (DHW), is a very accessible technology that can provide your home hot water with just 2-4 panels installed. This water can be used for all your needs, including laundry, dishes, and showering. This technology is well-established, having been used in Southern California since the 1900s. Solar pool heating is another option for pool owners. You know owning a pool can become costly and using solar energy for it can make this luxury more affordable. It is the simplest technology of them all. It simply pumps your pool water up to the panels on your roof, of which the sun is beating down on, soaks up the warmth, and heads back to its original body of water. Concentrated solar power, or CSP, is actually the conversion of thermal energy (heat). It’s not for the typical consumer, but a larger installation such as a utility company itself. Thousands of mirrors direct the sun’s rays to one point of concentration, and that heat is used to power a steam turbine system that converts it to electricity. It’s most publicized use is at Mohave Desert’s Ivanpah Solar Energy Generating System where the energy from its CSP system is expected to power 140,000 homes.

Why Solar?

Solar energy is an affordable energy supplement that saves you a substantial amount of money and is more gentle on the environment than traditional energy. You can save as much as half on your energy bill and the installation itself is often covered by government incentives. Not only this, but its growing popularity and technology development is driving its product and cost down, so that it will become more and more accessible and affordable. Having solar energy systems installed can also increase a home’s value or entice home buyers, especially first time home buyers who are trying to be financially conservative and looking for a turn-key type home.

Since California has invested so much in solar energy, the state added about 2740 megawatts of energy in 2013, enough power to give energy to 600,000 homes. Imagine what that statistic is today.

More About Incentives and Rebates

Each state has its own incentives about installing more sustainable energy technology. Currently, a Federal tax credit is being offered on technology purchases made before December 31st, 2021 and you can search ‘solar energy incentive map’, click on your state, and see what local incentives you can take advantage of. You can also streamline your research by contacting a local solar energy installation company. They will be able to assess your situation and make recommendations based on your home and its past energy bills, as well as point you in the direction of technology vendors, and the most current incentives and promotions.

Getting Started With Solar Energy
1.6 (32%) 5 vote[s]

Do You Know When Its Time For A Roof Replacement?

The roof of your home protects you from the elements that surround you, whether wind, rain, direct sun or snow. Eventually, the roofing material that covers your property will wear out. The problem is to determine exactly when it should be replaced so that you do not have to repair any underlying wood.

Years

Obviously, the older your tiles are, the sooner they will have to be replaced. If your roof is less than 20 years old, then it’s probably fine. However, inadequate ventilation can cause the material to wear faster. Also, it matters if you have several layers attached to your ceiling or not. Most likely, if the material is reaching 20 years of age and you have a layer or two under it, then you probably have to replace it.

Valleys

There are valleys on each roof. This is the way snow and rain travel towards the ditches. However, if the tiles around the valleys are beginning to crumble, then it’s time for a replacement.

Buckling and curling

If you see tiles that appear to be curled, it is a sign that you must replace them soon. Buckling on the surface is also another indicator. The best way to know if it is a single tile or the entire surface is to verify those that are under direct sunlight. If they show signs of curling or buckling, you should contact a roofing company licensed to make repairs. If the roof is relatively new, it may indicate a defect in the material.

Missing Shingles

If you notice that tiles are missing, it could indicate that the materials should be replaced. Often, this happens after the house is hit by a storm. While you may think it would be easier to replace the missing items, there could have been more damage to the roof than you think. Before nailing the new chips in place, have a licensed professional check the area to make sure no other damage has occurred.

Missing Granules/Balding Shingles

As the tiles age, they begin to lose the granules of their surface. Those who have gutters installed in their homes can see that these particles accumulate in the gutters. This is a sign that the fiberglass cover is wearing out. However, it is not necessary to have an accumulation of granules to see this effect. If you are looking at the tiles and see a color that is not the original color of the surface or you are starting to see the white that enters, that is the fiberglass underneath and it is time to replace your roof.

Leaks

Probably the most obvious way to say that you need to replace the surface of your house is to discover leaks. If water drips through the roof on a rainy day, you have waited too long to make the necessary repairs. Now there is damage to the plywood below the surface. Of course, you can still have this damage without having any leakage. If you are in your attic looking up and seeing the light of day, you need to replace your roof.

Learning these sign’s will ensure that your house stays out of the elements.

When It’s Time for a Roof Replacement
3.6 (72%) 5 vote[s]

The 2000 Census told us that nearly 50 million Americans have some type of disability. Of this number, 6.8 million have a condition that makes bathing, dressing, and getting around their homes especially difficult. These staggering numbers are the reason so many are looking to hire contractors to make their homes easier to live in. Even if your home is not currently lived in by someone challenged by a disability, you might want to consider the following upgrades to best suit future residents if you are looking to one day sell your home.

An Accessible Ramp

Federal guidelines assist us in making the proper adjustments for a handicap accessible home. The doorway entry for a handicap accessible ramp should be no more than one-half inch in height and it should be rounded for ease of a wheelchair to get over. You might also consider the way your yard is landscaped to be more handicap accessible. Providing paths with adequate space for a wheel chair and edging the paths will make sure to keep their wheelchairs on path and your plant life off the path.

Adequate Hall Spacing

A optimally livable space for a handicapped person is having doors and hallways meet the recommendations for disability friendly homes. A 32-inch wide opening for all hallways and doors is the recommendation. Again, entries should be no taller than one-half inch and thresholds should be round for a wheelchair to get over, but also for walkers to not trip over. The recommended width for hallways is 36 inches.

Bathrooms and Kitchens

Showers are the most disability friendly ways to bathe. Including a seat will be best for anyone who lives with a handicap. Setting the hot water heater to 120 degrees Fahrenheit is recommended to avoid scalding hot water from hurting anyone. Thoughtfully selecting fixtures is also a must. Think level-operated, touch or push types, and electronically or remote controlled options.

There are a number of reasons to make your home more handicap accessible; for resale purposes, to consider your own age and how you’d live in your home if you were never going to move, or even for house guests who have a different physical level of ability than you. How does your home rate on the scale of accessibility today?

 

3 Ways To Make Your Home More Handicap Accessible
3.3 (66.67%) 9 vote[s]

If you’re a homeowner with an unfinished attic, you might not have considered that its proper ventilation is essential for your home’s optimal energy efficiency and to prevent some common conflicts.

Consequences By Season

Depending on your climate, seasonal temperature changes can cause serious damage your your home without proper ventilation. During hot summers, the temperature outside reaches 70-100 degrees or higher depending on where you live, and more importantly, your attic can reach as high as 120-150 degrees. If the attic is not properly ventilated, that trapped heat can penetrate your ceilings and keep the whole house warm in the wrong season, summer. This problem will cost you because you will run your air conditioner more to cool the house. The cost won’t end there because this additional use will shorten the life of your air conditioner unit or system.

In the winter, air they you’ve paid to heat can escape to the attic and not have sufficient ventilation and the consequence of this is the cold air outside meeting the warmth of your attic and causing condensation. This moisture is the ideal environment for mold growth and will ruin your attic’s insulation and corrode wiring and building material. If the heat inside the home causes ice or snow to melt on top of the roof and then refreeze, it can lead to the building of a dam that causes water backup and more damage to your roof.

What To Do

There are two types of ventilation that allow enough circulation and release of excess heat or moisture and they are soffit vents and ridge, box, or power vents. Soffit vents are installed low on the underside of the roof overhang. Ride, box, or power vents are placed high in the attic, near the roof’s peak and allows excess air to escape where it will cause the least amount of damage. Current recommendations are to have one square foot of ventilation per 150 square feet of attic ceiling, or per 300 square feet if there is a ceiling vapor retarded installed.

Call your local, trusted HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) or roofing expert to evaluate the home’s current condition in this regard, and make recommendations with their estimate.

Attic Ventilation Basics
3 (60%) 8 vote[s]

Homes often tell you when there is a problem with sounds. You can here a home’s pipes calling for maintenance or repair, walls and foundation settling, and where air is escaping in or out. But the most common sound heard in a home that needs your attention is the sounds that critters make when they are making your home THEIR home. You can annually inspect your attic, walls, ceiling gaps, crawlspaces, and other places critters love to live. Look for obvious signs of homing such as damage or odor. And always listen for the distinctive noises nesting critters make; moving, scratching, thumps, and scurries of tiny feet.

If you do discover you have an animal infestation, it’s not the end of the world and fairly easy to take care of. This article will outline some of the most common animals that nest in homes and how to go about evicting them!

Squirrels

If you are hearing sounds in your home during the day time, it’s highly likely that there are squirrels utilizing your home, too! These pests are crafty, too. They are able to penetrate your ceiling, walls, soffits, and eaves super easily. They sound like fast, scurrying noises as they run about early in the morning and again, in the early evening before the sun sets. Sometimes squirrels sound like Raccoons in the home. The distinction will be that Raccoons also make noise at night, but are heavier and slower.

Raccoons and Possums

Raccoons and Possums also make chattering, voice-like noises. Most other common home dwelling animals will not make any vocalizations at all. If your Raccoon infestation is especially loud, you might have baby Raccoons on your hands. Raccoons can also facilitate thumping noises during the night.

Bats

Bats typically make high pitched chirping noises, but it’s very unlikely to be heard by a human ear, so the best way to detect whether you have bats or not is by other means. Bats leave droppings at entrances and exits, and will, like other animals make scratching noises. They also have greasy coats that tend to leave stains around your home. You might even spot one in or outside your home!

Rats

If the sounds are light, but fast and at night, you likely have a rat or mice infestation. Sometimes, depending on your home’s layout and accoustics, a mice infestation can make louder noises than you’d suspect, but if they are fast movements, the sound is distinctly from rodents and no other creature.

Eviction

Because of the significant damage that animals are capable of and the threat posed to your health, you’ll want to take care of these home invaders as quickly as possible. Once they’ve made your home theirs, they will not want to leave for a long time, so do not put it off- even if in the dead of winter. Call a professional home inspector or animal control specialist if you still need the animal identified. Usually you’ll never be able to catch the animal with your eyes because they are so great at hiding, but a professional will know right away based solely on its scent, droppings, and possible tracks. Next, you will need to employ a professional to kick the animals out of your home for good. Together, you can do this by trapping them or exclusion techniques such as baiting them to leave through a one-way door and then sealing up any openings so they can’t return again. There are products for animal eviction, but often times they fall short of completely ridding you of your new tenants. It’s most efficient to hire a professional. They will also be aware of any wildlife that is protected in your region so that you are not harming an endangered or at-risk species.

Common Critters That Invade Homes
3.1 (62.22%) 9 vote[s]

Hiring commercial roofing contractors for your projects is one of the hardest tasks. With numerous roofing contractors in the market, finding one who has the proper experience, skills and is honest to his work can be tricky. However, taking cautious steps when searching for a contractor, you can hire a commercial roofing contractor who is right for the job. Hiring the best commercial roofing contractor will save you money and time. Here are tips on how to get the right contractor to do your job well.

Hire a contractor with the right Experience

There are different types of commercial roofs, and most contractors don’t specialize in all roofing services. Therefore, ensure that the contractor has experience of installing or replacing the type of roof that your building needs. The technology used in Roofing is constantly changing, and a roofing professional who specializes in the kind of roof you want should be updated on the current techniques for maintaining and applying it.

Everything should be writing.

Once you get a roofing contractor with the right qualifications and qualities, ensure the working contract is put in writing. In particular, make sure the contract specifies the completion date of the project, and that the type of service to be done is clearly described. When you are searching for commercial roofing contractors, you have to ensure that you hire trustworthy roofing professionals. What to look to find a good contractor

Research

If you have a list of contractor names, you can do some research on your own. Get some information from online by visiting the roofing contractors websites and look at their previous projects and portfolios. Check the services they offer, if they are associated with local building associations, the experience they have and if they are licensed. Also, check for their reviews from online. Don’t forget to read what people say about them. This research will help you choose proper names out of your list.

Ask for Recommendations

It’s always good to ask your friends, neighbors or family members to recommend you best roofing contractors they have ever hard or even worked with. If they have hired the services of a commercial contractor before, they are in an excellent position to guide you concerning their costs and services. When you lack anyone to give you recommendations, get information from local builders association may be they can offer you some suggestions.

Contact the Contractor

With a few names on your list, you can easily choose contract you want to hire. But it’s good to contact all the roofing contractors and tell them to access your premises, quote a price and also evaluate the roofing project. Choose the best commercial roofing contractor that will be most suitable for the job. Depending on the value and size of your building’s roof, replacing it could be a costly option When you hire a bad contractor, the roofers who work on your building could leave it in worse condition than before.

If you have been looking for the best commercial contractor, look no more, at Beneficial Roofing, we have the expertise to provide the best roofing services. We have the necessary materials and a team of skilled and experienced professionals providing quality services to our customers. Our customer satisfaction is our priority. Call us now to get more information and free quotes!

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Don’t wish you had shared emergency preparedness with your family after an unexpected fire or natural disaster. No matter how old your children or the state of your family’s relationships, it’s never too late to begin bonding over family meetings. To begin having family meetings, you can begin with fire evacuation and meet about other things pertaining to your family later on. Here are the main keys to hosting a family meeting regarding possible emergencies you may one day face together.

Identify Possible Emergencies

Before you can plan for possible future emergencies, you must know which kinds of emergencies are more likely to happen in your region of community. Most often, people prepare for a house fire or natural disaster involving unruly weather patterns. Write a list of possible emergencies to discuss with your family.

Draw a Map of your Home and Community

With a black pen or marker, draw a map of every level of your home. Include all the rooms, doors, and windows using lines and hash marks. If you want to include younger kids in the process, walk the home with your basic drawing and together, you can count the windows and doors and draw them in your diagram. The reason for the map of your community is to include any “safe neighbors” you’ve designated that your children can go and use their phone or meet/wait for you. You will also need to agree on a place that the whole family can re-unite after evacuating the home.

Decide where all the places in the home are that a fire may occur. Fires most likely begin in the kitchen, but include any possible scenario in your plan. Imagine how you would escape from each room in the house considering the likely places a fire would begin and spread. Using a red pen or marker, draw the escape trail and best exit (using an “X”) for each room. Also, clearly mark your community map where you’ll meet to re-unite and any other designated “safe place”.

If your region is at risk of tornadoes or other natural disasters, use another color to share best places to hide or where pertinent supplies will be kept.

Call Regular Family Meetings

You’ll have to call an initial family meeting to discuss possible emergencies and your evacuation plan, but calling regular family meetings to discuss any topics in need of attention or revisiting emergency plans, is a great idea.

Planning and Sharing Your Family’s Home Evacuation Plan
3.1 (62.14%) 28 vote[s]

Ventilation, for the purpose of odor and moisture control, are essential to the health of your home and its residents. Here are some points to consider about your home’s bathroom ventilation systems.

Have Adequate Equipment

Bathrooms are some of the most toxic spaces in our homes; from moisture, odors, and chemicals from our aerosols and products are overwhelming to our nervous systems if not adequately ventilated. Codes exist to ensure that homeowners maintain healthy levels of indoor humidity and low levels of toxicity and likelihood of mold and mildew growth. Ventilation should be installed just over the bathtub and shower where humidity is most concentrated during use. In small bathrooms, one should suffice, but in large bathrooms, 2 or more are necessary. Bathrooms with separate bathing or toilet facilities should have their own ventilation installed as well.

Use Your Fan The Recommended Amount

It’s recommended by The Home Ventilating Institute (HVI) that you run your fan for the length of your shower and still, a remaining 20 minutes afterward. The best way to follow this best practice is by installing a timer switch that works with it. Another technology that makes this practice easier is called a dehumidistat switch that automatically turns on when the humidity level rises above its set level. With this technology, you can manually override its settings.

Utilize Windows and Natural Light

Especially during winter time you may want to take advantage of your bathroom’s natural light to warm the space. You can also use the window as ventilation and the light will work on the bathroom humidity as well. Additional ways to warm your bathroom in the winter are placing bricks along side a candle and putting an upside down terracotta plant pot over it to create your own cozy bathroom fireplace. You could also install an actual fireplace or keep a faux one in the room! Warm colors and luxurious textures also make a difference on your psyche in the wintertime. Using epsom salt, baking soda, and particular essential oils like clove and cinnamon will also cause your body’s temperature to naturally rise.

Other Odor Control Methods

One reason we love having adequate bathroom ventilation is to secure the odor that sometimes occurs in there. Keeping Poo-pourri or matches near the toilet seem to give peace of mind to the bathroom’s visitors, but you can also use Glade scented plugins or candles to do the trick, too.

Best Bathroom Ventilation Practices
2.3 (46%) 30 vote[s]

Gutter cleaning is perhaps one of those home maintenance tasks that most homeowners just hate doing. However, neglecting this annoying chore is not an option either. Clogged gutters can cause severe damage to your roof, windows, and walls and you definitely don’t want that. So, is there a way to make this task a bit easy and less painful? Well, as it turns out, there is; enter Gutter Guards! Many people swear by the benefit of these nifty tools that make cleaning your gutters thing of the past. But what exactly are gutter guards and are they worth the money? Well, let’s find out!

What are gutter guards?

In the simplest of terms, gutter guards are covers for your gutters. These covers are designed to keep the debris out but allow the rainwater and snowmelt to go through the gutters. The best part is that they can be installed during the gutter installation or can be added at a later date.

Not all gutter guards are the same. There are four different types of gutter guards that you can choose to install.

  • Screen-type guards are the most straightforward gutter guards that you can install as a DIY project. You can make them by cutting PVC or aluminum screening to dementia’s and placing them on top of the gutters. Just remember that these can’t keep small items such as pine needles and small leaves out.
  • Foam-type guards are strips of very porous foam that can be played on top of the gutters. The foam allows water to pass through freely but traps the solids on the top.
  • Surface Tension gutter guards are curved plastic covers that direct the rainwater and snowmelt into the gutters while keeping the debris out. These are sophisticated guards that need to be installed by a professional.
  • Micro-mesh gutter guards have thousands of minute holes that allow the water to pass through but prevent debris. These are the best gutter covers that you can install and block almost all type of trash from entering your gutters. If you choose to install these, you will need the help of a roofing professional.

What to expect after installing gutter guards?

Although installing gutter guards can significantly reduce the instance of clogged gutters, it won’t eliminate the need to clean your gutters entirely. You will need to take some time out to clean out the rubbish from the gutter guards themselves. So, there is that.

However, gutter guards do an excellent job of preventing water damage to your roof due to clogged gutters.

For what they do, gutter guards are an excellent investment for your property. They can efficiently prevent clogged gutters and the potential roof and wall damage that comes with it. So, are they worth the money? You bet, they are!

Call Beneficial Roofing today to learn more about gutter guards and for other roofing services. We would love to work with you to find an option that works the best for you!

Are Gutter Guards worth the money?
3.1 (61.54%) 65 vote[s]

Update/repair roof and improve home’s exterior

The exterior of the home is the first impression you will give to potential buyers. When you clean a home, you clean it top to bottom and when you improve your exterior, you do the same. The roof is going to draw the eye first, especially if it has some sores. If it’s obvious some places within the roof need repairing, patch them. And if the roof has dark spots that you can either pressure-wash or repair, do that. If you can’t avoid the roof problem inexpensively, consider investing in and advertising the “brand new roof”.

Landscaping and curb appeal

Make sightly repairs to the front of the home and frame the walk way and porch with attractive and low maintenance plants, surrounded by an attractive, contrasting mulch. It’s been proven that potential buyers sometimes drive by in the evening or night, so replace and consider adding new lights that will showcase your home nicely. A popular trend that has charmed home buyers has been to paint the door a bright color and change its fixtures to be more charming.

Add a deck

Adding an extra place for a family to gather and make memories, such as a deck, serves all the new residents, no matter their age or interests. For you, it can be an investment that ALMOST pays for itself but may be the element that turns a buyer’s maybe into a resounding ‘yes!’. In the West, you can expect the investment to pay for itself 100%, but in the South, about 90% of the investment is returned upon resale.

Replace windows

If you live in a large city, it’s said that replacing the windows will more than be returned on your investment in the end. Otherwise, the investment typically returns 90% back, however, replacing windows if you live in hot climates does not return as much (62% in the Las Vegas area).

It’s apparent that researching which investments to make is wise. Ask your listing agent for recommendations on repairs and replacements, and do your own online research before making any decisions. If you are on a limited budget for making your home as appealing as possible to buyers, always make the necessary repairs first; leaks, broken windows, structural integrity issues, etc. Home buyers will much more appreciate a structurally sound home than an attractive one!

4 Exterior Home Improvements That Will Sell Your Home
2.8 (56.96%) 46 vote[s]