The ideal time to install a roof is during mild, dry weather. Shingles are easier to work with and are less likely to be marked during application. The shingles are immediately watertight upon application. Although today’s heavier laminate shingles are naturally wind-resistant, the sealing strip that is activated by future hot weather will guard against wind damage. Depending upon the time of year, this may not occur until next season’s hot weather.
anything exposed to the elements, vinyl siding will get dirty. However, in most
cases, a good rainfall or an ordinary garden hose will do wonders on normal,
the rain and a hose are not successful, use a soft bristled brush, such as a
car washing brush, with a solution of water and vinegar, or any of the specified
“siding cleaners” available at your local hardware store. Laundry bleach can be
added to this solution to address mildew.
from the top down will help to reduce streaking.
selection of entrance door systems available in the marketplace can seem both
daunting and endless. Choosing among steel, fibreglass or even wood is often a
matter of personal taste, as today’s doors are all considerably more durable
and energy-efficient than in the past. Regardless of your choice, there are few
home improvements that offer a greater return on your initial investment. A
quality front door system creates a high-end impression for the entire home and
is not, generally speaking, a place to economize.
recently installed new vinyl windows for a customer in an older home backing onto
Highway 7, who was constantly plagued with high-traffic noise. The original
windows were inefficient single-pane sliders. We installed double-pane
casements with argon gas and 4 mill / 3 mill glass. The argon gas dampens sound,
acting as an insulator. The different thickness in 4 mill / 3 mill glass breaks
up the sound waves, again reducing sound. The casement design, with two
compression seals and one brush seal is the most efficient design to minimize
air and sound infiltration. The installation was done brick to brick, allowing
for a high-density foam insulation to be applied around the frame, again
preventing air and sound from entering the house.
installation resulted in a dramatic reduction in unwanted traffic noise and was
achieved at a very reasonable cost to the homeowner. In future blogs we will
discuss other sound reducing window installations, which although more
expensive, offer further benefits, such as added security and performance.
These include, foam filled frames, triple glass, laminated glass, Krypton gas
and new from ‘Vinyl Built’, SSP (sound, security and performance) glass.
26, 2016 / Author: Edmunds Home Improvements
we’ve got to do something about the windows,” Sandy implored her husband.
“There’s condensation forming between the panes, so I’m pretty sure all of the
seals are broken and not doing much to keep the cold out. And the wood on the
inside is starting to rot.”
and Rick are sitting around the kitchen table, having the same discussion
they’ve had nearly every night for the past month.
let out a sigh. “I know. We should really get this taken care of before winter,
and definitely before the baby comes. I’ll have a look online and try to figure
out the best way to go about having new windows installed.”
spending some time researching and comparing different types of windows and the
companies that make them, Rick finds a great vinyl window manufacturer. Through
their website he’s directed to a number of local dealers, all of which look the
same to him. Faced with a new challenge, Rick and Sandy now have to determine
who the best people are to install their windows.
to Choose a Window Installer
are seven things that Rick and Sandy would have found helpful when searching
for a good window installer. The first three have to do with finding a reputable
company that you can trust to install your windows. The last four points detail
the proper installation of a new window; your contractor should follow these general
steps, if they know what they’re doing.
Find out how long the company has been in business.
longer, the better. Often a bad installation can remain hidden for a period of
years. Certain disreputable installers know this fact and take advantage of it
by spending a couple of years cutting corners, doing poor work, and undercutting
the honest contractors in a particular area before disappearing, never to be
seen again. If a business has been around for less than three years, check
their references thoroughly and make sure they follow the guidelines for
installing windows that we’ve listed below.
sign of an established business is an office with a showroom. Not only does
this make it easier for you to see your windows before having them installed,
it’s also a good sign that the company is committed to sticking around for the
Ask about the labour warranty.
is the installer’s guarantee on their workmanship and is separate from the
window manufacturer’s warranty on their product. When a company that has been
around for a long time provides a longer warranty (i.e., five to 10 years) on
their labour, this is a good sign that they do good work; if they didn’t, they
would have to spend countless hours going back to fix previous jobs. To ensure
that a company honours their warranty, check their references and their Better
Business Bureau (BBB) rating.
A contractor should carry comprehensive liability and workers’ compensation
insurance to protect you in the event of an accident.
can be verified by asking to see the contractor’s certificates of insurance.
who are insured and who follow safety guidelines endure higher job overhead
costs. These expenses are often the cause of price differences between
contractors who are insured (and are following the law) and those that are not.
Beware of going with a cheaper company that isn’t insured; if anyone suffers an
injury on the job, you will likely be held liable.
After removing the old window, the new one should be positioned in the opening
and shimmed so that it is plumb, level, and square.
a shim approximately every 16 inches on the sill and every 24 inches on the
jambs. The window should be fastened through the jambs at the shim locations
with round head, rust-protected screws. No fasteners should go through the sill
because they could compromise drainage.
The space around the window must be covered on the outside with a vinyl
brickmould (which is typically built into the window) or with aluminum
is then applied to where brickmould meets the adjacent siding or brick. Be sure
to use quality exterior grade caulking and ensure that all gaps are sealed and
protected from the elements.
Canadian building code requires that a drip cap be installed above the head of
is a very important flashing for effective shedding of rainwater. The back leg
of a drip cap must extend at least 2 inches up and behind the building
paper/exterior air barrier.
Apply two beads of polyurethane insulation foam about one inch in depth on all
four sides of the window frame.
bead goes along the outside edge of the window frame directly behind the brick
mould; the other bead of foam goes near the inside edge of the window frame. If
jamb extensions are not sealed to the frame, be sure that foam covers the joint
between the jamb extension and the window frame on all four sides of the
this list as a guide when asking a window installer about their services. For
an in-depth consultation and estimate, call Edmunds Home Improvements: 905-472-0276.
26, 2016 / Author: Edmunds Home Improvements
are few things more annoying than finding yourself freezing in your own home,
despite having the heat on full blast. As you may already know, the most likely
cause of heat loss is your windows. Unfortunately, it’s often hard, if not impossible,
to have old windows fixed. The solution? Have new windows installed!
if you’ve ever looked at purchasing new windows, then you’re aware that it’s
not that simple: there are many options, and choosing between them can be
intimidating for someone who’s unfamiliar with the range of products offered by
today’s window industry. The following list is designed to help you determine
the quality of the windows you’re thinking of purchasing so that you can find
the best product for your money.
Efficiency: Energy Star and the Canadian Standards Association
the most important reason to have new windows installed, energy efficient
windows can have a noticeable effect on your hydro bill and can improve the comfort
of your home by keeping the cold out while letting the sun’s heat in.
efficiency is measured in a number of ways but is most accurately summarized by
Energy Star’s Energy Rating (ER). The ER of a window reflects the balance
between solar gain, heat transfer, and air leakage. The ER of a window
indicates slower heat transfer from hot to cold areas without a significant
reduction in solar gain. The higher this number, the better.
Star is an organization that offers certification to qualified products. Some
of the key features of an Energy Star-qualified window include double- or
triple-glazing (meaning double or triple pane windows) with a sealed and
insulated glass unit containing inert gasses, such as argon, with a low-E
coating; low-conductivity spacer bars; insulated frames; and multiple points of
contact where the sash meets the frame, which ensures proper air-tightness.
agency that offers certification for windows is the Canadian Standards
Association (CSA), which provides product testing and certification services
within a wide range of industries. In order for a product to boast the CSA
label it must be tested by independent, certified laboratories, as well as
conform to Canadian legal standards.
shopping for new vinyl windows, be sure to look for windows that are
CSA-certified with an Energy Star label and that have an ER of at least 30.
Built to Last
the glass and energy efficiency discussed above, the construction of a window
determines its functionality, aesthetics, and structural integrity.
frame should be made of 100% Polyresin 3 PVC and should be designed in such a
way that it draws moisture away from the window and towards the drains,
preventing the formation of mould and reducing condensation. Vinyl frames should
feature multiple chambers; the more chambers, the higher the structural
integrity of the window. The frames should also include a fly maze, which is a
sponge-like material that prevents insects from nesting in, or entering your
home through, the window. An insulating foam can also be included in the frame,
which, when combined with triple-glazed sealed units, can increase the ER of
beyond the frame, the window should seal at multiple points, known as weather
seals. In order to ensure a completely sealed unit, a vinyl window should
include at least three seals built directly into the frame of the window. This
prevents air transfer in case one of the seals fails.
Peace of Mind
of the most important considerations when purchasing new vinyl windows is the
warranty. A strong warranty not only means that you can rest assured that, if
your new window breaks, it will be fixed, but also that the manufacturer has
faith in the integrity and longevity of their product.
most important thing to look for is the length of the warranty. Quality vinyl
windows will come with a lifetime warranty for the vinyl frame, sash, hardware,
and insulating glass. But beware: when a warranty is advertised as “lifetime,”
it may mean your lifetime, or it may mean the lifetime of the product as
determined by the manufacturer.
warranties are also commonly prorated, so it’s important to read the fine print
and talk to your sales rep about how warranty coverage works and how long your
new window is actually covered for.
Edmunds Home Improvements, we install Vinylbilt Windows. For over 30 years
they’ve used bleeding-edge technology to construct windows that are Energy
Star- and CSA-certified. All of their windows come with a transferrable, true
lifetime warranty. Contact us today to schedule your free estimate.
windows are wasted if they’re not installed right.
Telltale Sign of Counterfeit Shingles that Every York Region Homeowner Needs to
Be Aware Of
of the best parts about having new shingles installed is the comfort afforded
by the knowledge that you won’t have to worry about your roof leaking for at
least another decade. Given this, it’s easy to imagine the horror experienced
by Dan and Ricki as they realized their three-year-old shingles were curling
and allowing water to leak into the attic. Dan called the roofers that installed
the shingles, hoping that there was just some minor damage to be fixed, but all
he got was a recording stating that the number was no longer in service.
and Ricki’s story is typical of those who have had knockoff shingles manufactured
overseas installed. The man who sold them their roof seemed honest and offered
a great price. The shingles came packaged in a well-known manufacturer’s
wrapper and even had the CSA mark of approval on the wrapper. However, the
resemblance was only superficial; the shingles Dan and Ricki had installed were
of a vastly inferior quality compared to the Canadian-made shingles they
thought they had purchased.
Shingles: A Dead Giveaway
biggest – and most obvious – problem with knockoff shingles is that they
typically weigh much less than the Canadian-made shingles they purport to impersonate.
Canadian shingles usually weigh between 70-80 lb., while the knockoffs come in
at under 50 lb. This difference is significant, and reflects the disparity in
the quality of the shingles. Counterfeit shingles manufactured overseas are
usually lacking key components, such as asphalt and minerals, that allow
Canadian shingles to withstand the elements. This is why roofs that were
shingled with knockoffs are being replaced in less than 10 years, and often
weight difference can be hard to notice if you don’t know how heavy a quality
bundle of shingles should feel when you pick it up. However, an experienced
roofer who handles hundreds of bundles of shingles every week should be able to
tell instantly whether or not the shingles are Canadian-made.
Signs to Look Out For
difference aside, it can be challenging to distinguish authentic Canadian
shingles from counterfeits. As mentioned above, the packaging often looks
identical. Here are a few tips to ensure that you’re getting quality shingles
manufactured in Canada:
As would be expected given the lighter shingle, imported knockoffs are
noticeably thinner. When held up to an authentic shingle, you will likely be
able to tell the difference.
cheaper quote: If
the price that you’re quoted is less than half of what the more established
competitors quoted, the reason could be that the shingles they are using. However,
this is not always a sure sign. Sometimes the difference in quotes is due to
one company paying their employees unfairly. Also, some companies will charge
the same as their competitors while still using faulty knockoffs.
the manufacturer and/or distributor: When in doubt, ask the roofer where
they buy their shingles from. If it’s a distributor, give them a call and
confirm that your roofer buys the shingles they say they do from them. If you
have concerns about the distributor, call the manufacturer and make sure that
they sell their shingles to the distributor in question. It should be easy to
verify where your shingles are coming from; if it isn’t, move on to a more
people find the idea that someone would create a knockoff of a heavy,
relatively inexpensive product such as shingles, only to ship it overseas,
bewildering. Unfortunately, this is not the first time something like this has
happened. Defective Chinese drywall has been called “the biggest environmental
crisis to hit North American homeowners and builders in decades.” The drywall,
which has been shown to be both defective and toxic, is manufactured overseas
and is sold in North America at about half the price of locally manufactured drywall.
It’s too soon to say what the consequences of the rise of counterfeit shingles
will be, but given the similarities to the Chinese drywall scam, it’s safe to
say that these shingles should be avoided by any means necessary.
initially affordable, having counterfeit shingles manufactured overseas
installed will end up costing more in the long run. Always make sure that
you’re getting Canadian-made, CSA-approved shingles when having a new roof
installed. For more information and a free estimate and consultation, contact
Edmunds Home Improvements.
decorative glass with ornate steel to freshly stained wood that perfectly matches
the colour of your bricks, a new entrance door system can be a beauty to
behold. The benefits of added curb appeal extend beyond aesthetics: investing
in a new door system has been shown to increase the value of your home by 4.2%.
For a $2,500 door system installed in a house valued at $500,000, this works
out to an ROI of $18,500.
with colours, handle sets, and glass options to choose from, picking the right
door for your home can be challenging. The best place to start is with the most
important choice: material. Steel, fibreglass, and wood all have their benefits
and drawbacks. Picking the one that is right for you is the first – and most
important – step in choosing the entrance door system that is right for you.
A Plethora of Options and Security You Can Trust
most popular by far, steel doors are a great choice for any home. They come in
almost any colour you can think of and boast a dizzying array of glass insert
options. A new steel door provides best-in-class security, allowing you to rest
peacefully with the knowledge that your family is safe. When compared to fibreglass
and wood, steel doors are the most economical, while retaining the same level
of energy efficiency.
a good steel door is relatively resistant to scratches and dents, they are more
vulnerable to damage than fibreglass or wood doors. This can be particularly
problematic for those with dogs who habitually scratch at the front door, or
for families with children who may take a less-than-careful approach to hauling
their hockey bags in and out of the house. However, the team at Edmunds has
found that it takes quite a lot of force to damage our steel doors, making
potential damage less of an issue that it is sometimes made out to be.
a Fibreglass Door for Added Durability or an Authentic Woodgrain-Look
doors are another great choice for your new entranceway system. The “smooth”
variety are almost indistinguishable from steel doors but have the added benefit
of being dent- and scratch-proof. Fibreglass doors also come in a woodgrain
finish that looks and feels very authentic. The woodgrain doors can be stained
just like real wood, but typically cost 35% to 50% less, making them an
attractive option for those who want the wood look, without the wood price tag.
smooth, steel-like fibreglass door system costs roughly 5% more than an equivalent
steel door, which is a small price to pay if you know that your front door will
have to withstand scratches and dents. The woodgrain look costs between 25% to 35%
more than a steel door, depending on the quality of the faux wood grain. While
they are very good (come into our showroom and see for yourself!), for some
people the look and feel of real wood just can’t be imitated.
Only the Best Will Do, a Wood Door Is Your Go-To
primary benefit of a wood door is authenticity. A wood door offers all of the
features of steel and fibreglass with a high-end look that can’t be beat. From
oak to mahogany, a wood front door immediately draws your eye and gives an impression
of craftsmanship and taste.
primary drawback of a wood door is cost: at twice the price of steel and at
least 150% the cost of fibreglass, the price of a wood door is prohibitive to
many. There’s also the time and financial cost of regular staining and
finishing that’s required to keep your door from fading.
are benefits to all of the front door systems listed. To learn more about the
different options for front doors, contact Edmunds Home Improvements today.
water damage to astronomical heating bills, faulty windows can cause a variety
of problems. Given that replacing a house full of windows can cost upwards of
$10,000, repairing your existing windows is usually preferable to replacing
them, when possible. The following guide will help you to identify the source
of your problem and find the best – and most cost-effective – solution.
to Do When Your Windows Leak
windows can cause drywall damage, rot, and mould, and therefore need to be
addressed as soon as possible. There are three main causes and corresponding
solutions for leaking windows:
window seal problems: These
tend to occur when the caulking around either your window or exterior flashing
has cracked or chipped away. This is the easiest problem for a contractor to
fix, as all it usually takes is to remove and replace the old caulking.
installed or shifted windows: Windows are sloped so that any water that falls inside
them or in the sill is carried away. Whether due to improper installation or a
shifting of the window or house over time, windows can lose their ability to carry
moisture away from the house. When caught early, this problem can usually be repaired.
when water damage is seen around the window area, the real culprit is a leaking
roof. Roof leaks have a number of causes, some of which we detail here. An
experienced contractor will be able to isolate the cause of the leak and repair
Your Leaks Before They Cause Rot!
of the most obvious indications that you need new windows, rot is usually a
sign that your windows have been leaking for some time. Rot is most commonly
found on older windows.
from the problems caused by leaks, as discussed above, that rot alludes to, it
also causes another problem: mould.
Inevitably, rot leads to mould. According to Health Canada, the effects of mould can include eye, nose and throat irritation; coughing and phlegm build-up; wheezing and shortness of breath; symptoms of asthma; and allergic reactions.
and mouldy windows aren’t just a problem for old windows; some newer
subdivisions build their homes with wood that hasn’t been aged properly,
causing it to rot prematurely.
the rot or mould is just on your windowsill, you might be able to replace part
of the frame. If the rot extends under the sash, or includes the sash, you will
likely have to replace the entire window. A good window installer will be able to
advise you on your options and best course of action.
Insulation: A Different Kind of Leak
insulated windows cause heat to leak out of your house in the winter, and cool
air to leak out in the summer. This leads to an uncomfortable living environment
and an expensive energy bill.
are two main factors that contribute to poor insulation:
of window seal:
When the seal around your glass panes (called the “sealed unit”) breaks, the
gas escapes and your window loses its ability to insulate. If you can see
condensation or dirt inside your sealed unit, you know you have lost your seal.
In newer windows, the sealed unit can usually be replaced without having to
install a new window and is often covered under warranty. In older windows, especially
those made of wood, the entire window may need to be replaced.
Windows that are very old may have been installed without sealed units and the
gas that serves to insulate newer windows. If this is the case, the only option
is to have new windows installed.
Having trouble figuring out if your windows are insulated properly? Aside from the above-mentioned condensation inside the sealed unit, if your window feels cold to the touch inside during the winter, it is not properly insulated, and you are spending more money to heat your house as a result.
Handles, Cranks, and Locks
but not least, broken window hardware can be tolerated for only so long before
a fix is required. Sometimes the parts can be replaced, and sometimes they
can’t be. Follow these steps to find out how to fix your window’s handles,
cranks, and locks:
in touch with the manufacturer: Your window may still be under warranty; in which case, the
manufacturer will send a technician to fix it for you. Even if it’s not under
warranty, they may still make the part, in which case you can pay to have a
technician come and repair it for you.
a reputable window installer: If you can’t find the manufacturer, or if they can’t help
you, a good installer may be able to find hardware that will work with your
existing window. If they can’t find the right hardware, they will be able to
give you an estimate on a new window.
energy cost savings to the peace of mind that comes with knowing that your home
is protected from water damage, there are many benefits to having new windows installed.
For more information, contact Edmunds Home Improvements today.
and fascia are similar to eavestrough in that, although they can both add a
unique aesthetic accent to your home, for the most part they go unnoticed. That
is, until they cause you problems.
soffit and fascia play an important role in the health of your roof and attic.
For starters, your soffit is a big part of what allows your attic to ventilate.
Many think that having the right amount of roof vents is enough to ventilate an
attic, but it’s not; if you don’t have perforated soffits every 4-5 feet, you
won’t have enough air circulating through your attic. This can cause a number
protects your home’s rafters from the elements. Without it, they can grow mould
and rot. Replacing rafter beams typically costs thousands more than replacing
or fixing your soffits.
same ventilation issues that can cause your rafters to develop mould can also affect
your attic. Mould in your attic can go undetected for years. If not discovered
and removed promptly (an expensive endeavor it in itself), mould can turn into
rot, resulting in your roof sheathing needing to be replaced.
soffit ventilation doesn’t just affect your attic; it affects the air circulation
of your entire home. If your attic is sealed tight, it will retain heat,
causing your utility bill to skyrocket in hotter months. The same poor
ventilation will also cause moisture to build up in cooler months, leading to
mould in your attic, which, as stated above, is expensive to remove and can
eventually cause rot.
good news is that you need never experience any of these issues. Follow these
two rules when having new soffits installed:
sure that at least one out of every four soffit panels are vented. At Edmunds,
we install one vented panel for every three panels to ensure maximum
choosing a material for your soffits, choose heavy gauge aluminum. It may cost
a little more than lighter gauge aluminum, but it will be far more durable in
the face of high winds or animals trying to build a home in your attic.
of the secondary benefits of aluminum soffit is that it comes in a number of
styles and any colour you can think of. When combined and coordinated with your
eavestrough, window capping, and roof, new soffit and fascia can act as the
perfect aesthetic complement to the rest of your home.
Forget About Your Fascia
is usually installed with soffits. Aluminum fascia stops water from rotting the
wood boards that support your eavestrough. If these boards rot, your
eavestrough may lose its slope and stop working, or fall off altogether. Rotten
fascia boards also provide easy access to your attic for critters such as
raccoons and squirrels.
more information or to get a free estimate on soffit and fascia repair and
replacement, call Edmunds at 905-472-0276 today.