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Holiday Door Decor and Installation

They say don’t judge a book by it’s cover, but people certainly judge a home by it’s exterior. Curb appeal, whether we like to admit it or not, is crucial in presenting your home, especially if you are planning to sell in the near future. Almost all exterior projects enhance curb appeal- 3 major projects are roofing, siding and windows. Those are three obvious features of your home’s exterior that affect the curb appeal of your home, but one component that makes a huge difference in curb appeal is your door. When guests arrive at your home, your front door is the only thing they walk up to and physically touch- making an outdated, damaged door affect your curb appeal in a negative way.
It is the holiday season, so we will give some holiday door decor inspiration and some signs that it may be time for you to consider a front door replacement!
 
Different Door Decor for the Holiday Season
1. A traditional and classic way to decorate your front door during the holidays is to hang a wreath. One of the reasons a wreath remains the most popular holiday door decor is because of it’s versatility. There is the ability to add any sort of accents that complement your style. It can be glitzy, rustic, big or small- you can make it whatever you want!

 

2. Another favorite that is seen every year is garland. Another versatile decoration, it will fit into any style. Whether it is framing the door, wrapped on a railing leading to the entry way, or just draped over the top of the door, it could easily make your door the focal point of your exterior decor.

 

3. Lights! Lights don’t have to be deemed a roof and tree decoration! I’ve seen many people this season hang lights around the door frame. If you have recently got a new door and want to show it off- this is the way to do it in your holiday decorating!

 

When Should You Consider a Door Replacement?
Your Front Door is Damaged
The front door is typically the main entrance to a household. Because of this, it’s susceptible to a lot of damage. Examples of damage are dents, rusting, splitting and squeaky hinges which could put your door’s structural integrity at risk. Between storms, moving impact, rotting from moisture exposure or typical wear and tear your door goes through a lot! All of these examples may eventually lead to security concerns. If your door’s structure isn’t completely secure, it leaves alternative ways to get into your house. For all these reasons, you may want to consider an upgrade!

 

There is Space Under or Around Your Door
Space under or around your door is not ideal for many reasons. A way to tell if you have an unwanted gap is if you see light shining through. A gap can open the door to insects, rodents, water and drafts. Drafts of cold or hot air coming from your door could leave your house temperatures uncomfortable, and it could also mean there is a gap in your door frame. There are temporary solutions to fix a gap, but you will find yourself replacing seals more and more often as time goes on. If you find there are drafts year after year, replacing your door should be a priority.

 

An Increase in Energy Bills
Both damage and space underneath your door will lead to air leaks. A draft coming in through your door makes your HVAC work harder to keep the temperature regulated inside, which in turn leads to higher energy bills. This is especially true in the north east where we experience very hot winters and extremely cold winters. If you are experiencing an increase in energy bills and are unsure why, consider replacing your door!

If any of these common issues are occurring, we are here to help! Our priority is our customers and delivering top-rated products with flawless workmanship. Trust us with your next home project and schedule your appointment today!

Beat the Cold with Insulated Vinyl Siding

Although Winter Solstice has just passed, it is safe to say it has felt like winter for a while now! With snow, high winds and chilling temperatures, everyone is cranking the heat up this season. If you are considering replacing your siding, a material we recommend is insulated vinyl. It is an upgrade from conventional siding because of all the benefits it will have on your home – and your pocket!

WHAT IS INSULATED VINYL SIDING?

For those worried about regulating the temperature in your homes during the winter season, insulated vinyl might be something you want to consider. Insulated vinyl siding is standard vinyl siding that has a solid foam backer for insulation. By filling the voids behind the siding’s stepped profile, the insulation makes the complete material stiffer and more resistant to warping and movement than conventional vinyl siding. There is a lot more value in insulated vinyl siding opposed to the regular vinyl siding, but it does come at a premium price. We will lay out everything you need to know while weighing out these options for your home and family.

INSULATED VINYL SIDING VS. CONVENTIONAL VINYL SIDING

 

Adding new siding to your home is a big investment most people will only have to do once or twice in their lifetime. Because of this, it’s important be well-informed so you are able to decide if an upgraded product, such as insulated vinyl, would be worth it!

 

R-VALUE
When reading more into the benefits of insulated vinyl siding, a term that is most frequently used to prove it’s benefits is R-Value, an objective measure of insulation’s performance. The term R-value was developed to represent the ability of an insulation material to restrict heat flow. The R-factor of a material is determined in a laboratory by placing a test specimen of the material between two plates and measuring the heat flow through it. Typically, the sample consists of one square foot of material and has a thickness of exactly 1 inch, and its two surfaces have a temperature difference of 1 degree F. During this test, the thermal conductivity of the material is determined, which is expressed as the rate of heat flow in British thermal units (BTUs) per hour. The product’s R-value, then, is determined by multiplying its R-factor by the thickness of the product used. The higher the R-value of the product, the better the insulation.

Understanding R-Value is another tool in helping to decide if insulation vinyl siding will be best for you.

Let’s break down the comparison between insulated vinyl and conventional vinyl siding based on durability, energy efficiency, and cost.

 

DURABILITY

Conventional vinyl has a reputation for not being the most durable siding option. The main difference between the two types of vinyl is the foam backer on the insulated siding. Conventional vinyl siding is hollow, making it more susceptible to damage. Things such as warping, cracking and fading are common issues with conventional vinyl’s durability. It is also easily damaged due to impact- if you look around your neighborhood you will see this among regular vinyl. However there are some benefits, conventional vinyl is low maintenance and has a long-lasting life for the price point which is an appealing point while making the choice of which siding is right for your home.

Insulated vinyl, however, was made to fix these kinks. As mentioned before, where the conventional vinyl is hollow, the insulated vinyl has a foam backing contoured into the panel. This improves it’s durability and it’s impact resistance. Another important feature is the foam component of insulated vinyl siding features a built-in insecticide which is safe for people and pets, but protects the foam from termite damage. If your home has any termites burrowing into the foam looking for shelter, they will be killed by trying to bite the foam. The foam insulation and vinyl siding are permanently adhered together, creating one complete, durable panel.

WINNER: INSULATED VINYL

ENERGY EFFICIENCY

One of the main reasons to install insulated vinyl siding over conventional vinyl siding is for energy efficiency. The insulation is designed for this purpose: to regulate the temperature inside your house and to help reduce the cost of utility bills. Adding insulated vinyl will provide monetary savings and overall make your home more comfortable. In the winter, it will keep the heat inside the home and in the summer it keeps the heat outside- it is a layer of protection that will save you money no matter what the season!

WINNER: INSULATED VINYL

COST

Cost of siding can depend on many factors, such as the size and location of your house and the appearance choices you decide on. Insulated vinyl is more expensive than conventional vinyl for many reasons. The materials in insulated vinyl are bulkier and provide extra steps during installation. They also offer more of a variety of premium colors and profiles, which makes the exterior of your home beautiful, but will come out to a higher price point. Both types of vinyl are the most low maintenance siding products on the market, opposed to wood and cement which require more upkeep during it’s lifetime. Insulated vinyl costs more than non-insulated for initial costs, however over time will save you money in other ways such as your energy bills and cost of repair for impact damages.

WINNER: CONVENTIONAL VINYL (INITIALLY), INSULATED VINYL (LIFETIME)

 

If you are interested in insulated vinyl siding, let us help! As an A+ BBB Accredited Business with a 4.9 Star Google Rating, we take immense pride in the quality of our work and relationships with our customers. We would be happy to serve you and your family!

5 Exterior Home Projects That Reduce Energy Bills

Do you feel like you are throwing money out the window every time you pay your energy bill? You are not alone! Many people are overpaying for energy bills each month, without considering why that might be. Time and time again people will complain about the cost of their energy bills, without fixing the larger issue at hand. We specialize in home exterior projects, and will share with you 5 projects that will significantly decrease your energy bills.

Poorly Insulated Roof

A word that instantly comes to mind when talking about energy efficiency is insulation. Insulation acts as a barrier between the outside elements and the inside of your home. This makes the first culprit of increased energy bills a poorly insulated roof. Lack of insulation drastically affects the temperature regulation in your home. We are proud to work with Owens Corning because of the variety of products they carry including thermal insulation used for attics.

Siding

The second culprit of higher energy costs is poorly insulated siding. Even more so than the roof, a lack of insulation in your siding will radically increase your heating system’s workload and energy consumption. While a poorly insulated roof will leave your upstairs or attic feeling like the North Pole, poorly insulated siding affects the whole house. If you are planning on replacing your siding, a material we recommend is insulated vinyl. It comes with a foam backing, increasing the barrier between your siding and the walls of your home.

Windows & Doors

Finally, like poorly insulated roofing and siding, older windows and doors can majorly affect the temperature in your home. Older windows and doors typically have air leaks and become an entrance for cold air drafts in your home. If you find this is the case for your home, this is something that should be put on the top of your project list. If your windows were manufactured with aluminum or steel frames or are the single-pane, it is most likely time for an upgrade.

If any of these home projects are on your list for 2021, give us a call! We have completed thousands of installations in the DMV area, and now NJ, and would be honored to help you with your next home project.

Improve the Energy Efficiency of Your Roof

Extreme weather more than likely will equate to your energy costs increasing. Any season you need extended use of your heating or cooling system, will mean more money out of your pocket. While there is a long list of ways to make your home more energy efficient, focusing on your roof’s energy efficiency is a good place to start because it is your home’s first defense against the elements.
1. Insulation
A simple way to make your roof more energy efficient is adding an adequate amount of attic insulation. Many homes are poorly insulated and might not even know it! Adding insulation can prevent heat from penetrating into the interior of your home. A properly insulated roof can help maintain the temperature in your home regardless of the temperature outside.
2. Cooling Roof Coating
A qualified roofer can apply a coating to the roof, such as cool-roofing paint, to reduce heat retention. This coat has many protection benefits, and because of this will extend the life of your roof, as well. This layer is easy to apply as the final step of a roof replacement. It can also be a great option for your existing roof if it doesn’t need to be replaced.
3. Choosing Different Materials
While the first two steps are relatively inexpensive, you might reach a point where a roof replacement is inevitable. When this time comes, we encourage you to look at all of the options you have as far as materials. Roofing materials like sheet metal or clay tiles can add a unique look to your home while still improving your energy efficiency. Both of these materials reflect heat rather than absorbing it, helping to prevent unwanted heat from entering your home.
MLM can help!
We are here to help you with your roofing needs. Schedule your appointment today for your free inspection and let us do the rest! 1-844-MLM-ROOF

 

R-Values & What They Mean For Your Home

In trying to make your roof more energy efficient, one of the first thoughts should be how well insulated it is. If your home isn’t staying cool in the summer and warm in the winter without costing you a pretty penny via energy bills, your answer is ‘it’s not well insulated’. Identifying how well insulated your roofing materials are is called calculating it’s R-Value.
What is R-Value?
R-value is used as a measurement of the effectiveness of thermal insulating materials. The higher the R-value, the better a material performs as a thermal insulator. To calculate the total R-value of a roof assembly, find the total thickness in inches of each type of insulating material within the system. For each different material, multiply the thickness by the standard R-value per inch for that material. Add the results for all the materials together to get the total R-value for the roof assembly. The higher the R-value, the greater the insulating power.
What does this mean for you?
The R-value of your roof directly impacts your wallet. When your roof is well insulated with the right materials, the temperature in your home will stay regulated and your energy bills won’t cost you an arm and a leg. The less energy it requires to keep the temperature comfortable, the more money you are saving.
How will MLM help?

If you are getting your roof replaced through us, you may know we are an Owen’s Corning Platinum Preferred Contractor. With Owens Corning roofing systems, you can be sure of a quality roof replacement that will last. This brand of roofing is ideal because it offers durability, style, and is highly cost-effective.MLM Home Improvement has been using the Owens Corning brand for over twelve years and we are one of only six certified Platinum Preferred Contractors in the area. Owens Corning offers a wide range of products specifically geared to being energy efficient. In addition, MLM Home Improvement customers can take full advantage of Owens Corning’s extensive warranties.

Celebrate Earth Day with Home Energy Savings

Considerations for DMV & NJ homeowners to save on energy bills with smart investments and easy fixes

Over the past decade – from changing their everyday behaviors to adopting energy efficient appliances – society, and homeowners in particular, have taken a greater interest in reducing their energy use. In fact, as concerns over the environment and climate change continue to take center-stage in national conversations, we have begun to see an acceleration from homeowners in implementing ways to minimize their carbon footprint and energy use.

Luckily for homeowners, being environmentally conscious also comes with the added benefit of saving on their utilities. In honor of Earth Day (April 22nd), we at MLM Home Improvement have compiled a list of considerations for DMV and NJ homeowners to not only cut their home energy use, but their utilities bill as well.

Upgrade your home’s insulation. When thinking of home maintenance, insulation usually is not the first task that homeowners think of. However, insulation plays a key role in lowering your utility bills by retaining heat during the winter and keeping heat out of your home during the summer. Additionally, it can also extend the life of your roof, which as the most important part of your home, is always a plus.

When installing insulation, the most important consideration is the type of material. For easier materials like fiberglass or mineral wool, depending on your DIY skills, this can be accomplished without help from a professional.

While the level of insulation being installed is highly dependent on the area of your house. The attic, walls, floors, basement, and crawlspace are the five main areas usually considered for installation. One way to hit two home maintenance birds with one rock, work with a trusted contractor, backed by a national manufacturer like Owens Corning, that can inspect both your roof and insulation at the same time.

Consider the color of your roof. Between spring and summer are often the most popular months for homeowners to replace their roofs. If you’re planning to replace your roof, it is important to consider what color your shingles should be as the solar reflectance of the color impacts the surface temperature. Similar to how dark colored clothes absorbs sunlight making warmer, a darker colored roof causes more heat to be absorbed – leading to higher utility bills to cool your home in the summer months A light-colored roof, on the other hand, will reflect the sunlight and transfer less to the interior of your home. The shingle color can impact the roof surface temperature by a difference of up to 15 degrees Fahrenheit between black and white shingles.

However, whether the surface temperature of your shingle impacts the temperature inside of your home also highly depend on the amount of insulation there is between the attic and living areas. In the end, if your attic is properly insulated then we suggest picking the color you want for your exterior.

Install a passive ventilation system for your attic. To truly take advantage of energy savings for your home, it is important to utilize proper attic ventilation through insulation and air sealing. Without this, the overall health of your home could experience excessive moisture building which could lead to water damage or mold. Likewise, proper ventilation ensures that the attic does not experience excessive heat which can decrease the life expectancy of the roof.

As we approach Earth Day, we encourage DMV & NJ residents to minimize their home energy use where possible. Not only will this positively protect the environment, but you’ll see a marked difference in your monthly utility bills and even your property’s value will increase. When it comes to reducing our carbon footprint, we’re all in this together and working towards being more conscientious environmental citizens starts with our home.