How to Lower Your Energy Bill in Winter

All homeowners know that winter’s arrival also means you’re also expecting a much higher energy bill. Heating your home accounts for a large portion of that bill, making it necessary for many to find alternative ways to stay warm and keep costs down. Don’t worry; you’re not alone, and we’re here to help!

Take a look at these handy tips to help keep your energy bills a bit lower this winter season:

Set Your Thermostat Lower

The easiest way to save some money with a lower energy bill is to simply lower your thermostat. Don’t feel as though you need to suffer what feels like arctic temperatures while in the comfort of your home, but setting your thermostat just a few degrees lower can result in significant, long-term savings on your bill.

Bundle Up Instead 

Rather than cranking the heat when you feel cold, bundle up in some warm and cozy clothes! Put on some thick socks, slippers, sweaters, hats, and more to get rid of that uncomfortable chill. Don’t be afraid to add some extra blankets to your bed at night to keep you warm while you sleep.

Seal Up Air Leaks

Do you feel any chilly drafts inside your home? That means heat is escaping. Hunt down those air leaks and stop them by caulking or weather-stripping doors and windows. Make sure also to check that the attic, crawl-spaces, and other areas of your house are properly insulated. 

Let The Sun In

The most natural way to keep warm: the sun! If the sun is shining brightly during the day, open up those blinds and curtains and let the rays give your home some natural light and heat. As soon as the sun starts to set, close those blinds and curtains back up.

Close Your Fireplace When Not in Use

Lighting a fireplace is a great way to stay warm in your home. However, cold air will sneak inside when there is not fire. Be sure to keep your damper closed whenever the fireplace is not in use. 

Reverse Your Ceiling Fans

Don’t just keep your ceiling fans set to off this winter! Reverse your home’s ceiling fans to rotate clockwise, which will then help create an updraft, displacing the hot air gathered by the ceiling, so it can move downward and keep the whole room warm.

HOME EXTERIOR CARE IN NORWALK, CT

Need help taking care of your home’s exterior? The experts at Landmark Exteriors are here to help the outside of your home look and perform its best this winter season and all year long! Give us a call at (203) 838-3838 to learn more.

Home Exterior Trends For 2021

Have you been putting off those home exterior renovations? Are you looking to modernize and redesign your house? 2021 is the perfect year to do so! 2021 is filled with exciting new trends that abound to make any home look modern and beautiful.  

Have the trendiest house on the block by trying out some of these exciting exterior home trends for the new year:

Extra Windows, Please!

Bright and airy interiors are totally on-trend and increasing in popularity for new homes, so naturally, lots of windows are a must! The appearance of windows and how they are shaped and accentuated can drastically change the overall look of your home and may just be the architectural eye-catcher you’ve been looking for.

Creamy White Paint

White will never go out of style, but painting your whole house the right shade of this neutral, is never easy. Creamy shades of white covering your home, whether you’re painting the brick or utilizing siding panels, are a top trend this year. Utilizing the right pleasing shade of white will give you the chance to experiment with various accent colors and architectural designs for other parts of your home, such as the roof, windows, doors, and more.

Intriguing Dark Colors

Others are deciding to go dark and mysterious when deciding on a new exterior color for their house. Dark paint colors have been increasing in popularity over the years, which will be no different in 2021. Homeowners are excited about taking dark colors such as navy blues, maroon, and dark grays and finding ways to make their home look unique and inviting. Dark colors are eye-catching, dramatic, and bold and also make for a perfect canvas for other colors, materials, and architectural elements for your house.

Different Sized Garage Doors

Garage doors, serving an important house function, can also be utilized as an eye-catching architectural element to your home’s overall design. This year, homeowners are experimenting with different sized garage doors for an exciting appearance and to take advantage of their available space as much as possible.

Copper & Metal Roofing

Shiny and durable copper or metal roofing is bound to be at its peak in popularity this year. If homeowners are looking for a unique and sensible new look for areas of their home, these roofing materials are a great option. Not only do they look beautiful, but they can also withstand all sorts of weather, are long-lasting, light-weight, and sustainable. 

HOME EXTERIOR DESIGN IN NORWALK, CT

Want to take advantage of some of these trends? Do you need help making your home and property look their best? The experts at Landmark Exteriors are here to help bring your dream home to life! Give us a call at (203) 838-3838 to learn more.

Winter Safety Guide: For You And Your Home

Are you enjoying the winter season? Aside from the beautiful snow and cozy days indoors, winter brings dangerous and frigid outdoor conditions that can leave you and your home susceptible to hazards and potential harm. Taking the time to ensure you are safe from any dangers, and your home is ready to protect you, and your family is crucial for getting through this chilly season.

Tips For Keeping Yourself Safe This Winter

It’s getting cold, and between the temperatures and dangerous weather, winter is a time you’ll want to be sure you’re doing what you can to keep you and your family safe from any dangers:

  • Think about your health – Winter is flu season, so be sure you and your family are taking necessary precautions to stay healthy by getting immunized, washing your hands frequently, keeping your distance from others, and wearing masks when you leave your home. 
  • Bundle up – Keep yourself warm and cozy both indoors and outdoors by dressing appropriately and covering your extremities to avoid frost-bite and chills.
  • Stay hydrated – Just like when the weather is scorching, you want to be sure you’re staying hydrated with lots of water throughout winter, especially if you plan on being outdoors.
  • Watch for ice – Mind your steps when outside to avoid slipping on ice, especially on blacktop pavement where it may be hard to see.
  • Handle snow removal safely – If you plan on removing snow from your property on your own, be sure to do so safely and protect yourself from injury.
  • Be prepared for emergencies – Winter storms can lead to power outages or being trapped in your home for extended periods, so prepare ahead by gathering necessary supplies such as flashlights, batteries, food, water, blankets, winter clothing, charging devices for electronics, and more.

Tips For Keeping Your Home Safe This Winter

Your house is your biggest defense in staying warm and safe all winter long, so make sure your home is up to the task:

  • Winterize your home’s interior – Be sure that your home is adequately insulated by checking for any drafts, weather-stripping doors and windows, and adding more insulation to attics, crawl spaces, or other areas that need it. 
  • Winterize your home’s exterior – Make sure your gutters are cleaned out, be sure your exterior water system is turned off and your pipes are secure and insulated, and fix any damage to your roof or siding before a serious snowstorm.
  • Check your heating system – Have a professional look at your heating system if you have any concerns about how it’s functioning. As well, if you have a fireplace, have your chimney inspected and cleaned.
  • Have your snow gear ready – Whether you’re using shovels or a snowblower to tackle the snow on your property, have them readily available for you when needed. 
  • Keep up with repairs throughout winter – If your home’s roof needs snow removed or is damaged, or there are damages to your siding or gutters, call a professional to make sure your home is properly protected and prevent further damage.
  • Check your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors – If you haven’t in a while, now is a great time as any to check your safety detectors and change their batteries.

HOME EXTERIOR CARE IN NORWALK, CT

Need help making your home and property look its best? The experts at Landmark Exteriors are here to help the outside of your home look and perform its best this winter season and all year long! Give us a call at (203) 838-3838 to learn more. 

How Ice And Snow Affects Your Roof

There’s nothing like a beautiful snowfall during the winter season! While it’s undoubtedly an incredible site, lots of snow and ice falling on your roof with nowhere to go can for sure be a nightmare. We’re here to help you be prepared before more snow falls, so you can ensure your roof is well-protected.

Take a look at all the ways snow and ice can negatively impact your roof and home, so you know to be cautious:

Roof Stress

Snow and ice don’t run easily off of your roof as rain does. The added weight and pressure from built-up snow and ice, especially in back to back snowstorms, can cause severe stress and potential damage to your roof. In a worst-case scenario, part of the roof can collapse. Take a look inside at your ceilings to spot any signs of stress such as leaks, tiles falling, etc., and call a professional if you have any concerns.

Ice Dams

If there is enough ice accumulating on the roof, ice dams can form. Ice dams are created from ice and snow melting and flowing down off of the roof and then freezing again right at the edge. Not only can this cause water damage, but ice dams could also potentially destroy your gutters.

Freeze and Thaw Cycle

As the snow and ice thaw and then freeze, often in a repeated cycle, damage can happen quickly. The melted water seeps into any cracks, and then, when the water freezes, those cracks will widen and cause more damage and possibly lead to mold and mildew developing in your living areas.

Icicles

While they may be pretty to look at, those icicles hanging off the sides of your roof can be hazardous. Not only do you have to worry about one falling on you unexpectedly, but forming icicles can be a sign that you have more significant problems at hand, including gutter blockages and roof damage.

Damage From Roof Snow Removal

Having snow removed from a roof is often a necessary step in protecting your home during a heavy snow season, but this is no easy task. Since it’s easy to remove shingles accidentally, make holes or cracks in the roof during removal, it’s best to call in a professional to do the job correctly and safely.

ROOF SNOW REMOVAL IN NORWALK, CT

The experts at Landmark Exteriors are here to help protect your roof and home from the dangers of snow and ice! Give us a call at (203) 838-3838 to learn more about our services that are here to help your home look and perform its best and keep you safe all winter season long.

Tips for Safe Snow Shoveling

The season of snow is here, and that means it’s time to break out the shovels and snow blowers! Those of us in the NorthEast understand what a hassle and physical strain shoveling can be, so it’s important to take the time, plan ahead, and be sure you are safe while out in the snow. While hiring a professional to help you clean up your snow is always the safest option, we’re here to help you if you choose to handle the hard work yourself.

If you decide to take on the task of snow removal, we’re here to help you get through it with these safety tips: 

Safe Snow Shoveling

Grab your shovels and get to work, but be careful because it’s no easy task. Take a moment to be sure you are taking the necessary precautions, so you don’t hurt yourself and are staying as safe as possible while out in the cold:

  • Wear layers – Bundle up with layers, gloves, hats, and warm boots before heading outside to maintain a comfortable body temperature.
  • Warm-up and stretch – Beforehand, get your muscles ready by doing some light movements and stretching.
  • Choose the right shovel – Find a shovel that is ergonomically-designed to help you reduce the amount of bending you have to do. Consider also a light-weight shovel made from plastic rather than metal to lighten the load.
  • Push rather than lift – Rather than lift the snow up, push the snow out of the way to reduce strain on your body. 
  • Protect your back – If you need to lift the snow, bend your knees, and use your legs when possible rather than bending over and straining your back muscles.
  • Take breaks – Listen to your body and pace yourself. Take breaks frequently, especially if the snow is heavy and wet.
  • Consider multiple trips – Do your shoveling periodically to avoid strain and exhaustion. 
  • Don’t wait too long – Keep up with the snowfall and try to shovel shortly after it snows when the snow is lighter and fluffier. The longer the snow is on the ground, the wetter and heavier it becomes.
  • Stay hydrated – Drink plenty of water while shoveling to keep your energy up. 

Don’t be afraid to ask for help as well; shoveling is no easy task!

Safe Snow Blowing

If you opt to use a snow blower to help you get rid of all that snow on your property, be sure to follow these safety precautions:

  • If the blower jams, turn it off
  • Keep your hands away from any moving parts
  • Don’t run the snowblower in an enclosed space to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning
  • Add fuel outdoors while it’s running
  • Never leave the snow blower unattended while it’s running

HOME EXTERIOR CARE IN NORWALK, CT

Need help making your home and property look its best? The experts at Landmark Exteriors are here to help the outside of your home look and perform its best this winter season and all year long! Give us a call at (203) 838-3838 to learn more. 

How to Keep Your Home Warm This Winter

Brrrr, it’s getting chilly! During the winter, many of us rely heavily on our heating system to protect us from the frigid outdoor temperatures, but that means costly bills. Luckily, if you take the time to consider why you may be losing heat in your home, you can save money and feel warmer and cozier in your house than ever before all winter long!

These simple tips can help keep the rooms of your home warmer this winter without having to crank up the heat: 

Look For Drafts

Anytime cold air from outside is getting in, you are losing heat. Check all throughout your house for drafts from doors, windows, the attic, or crawl spaces and consider using insulation, weatherstripping, or caulk to seal up and stop the drafts. This will make the biggest difference in keeping your home warm.

Don’t Block Your Heating System

If you have furniture or any other items blocking your heating system, then it’s preventing the hot air from circulating through the room. Consider the layout of your home’s furniture, and be sure nothing is blocking your heating elements.  

Utilize Curtains

Make sure all your home’s curtains are closed completely at night. This will help trap the heat in your home and eliminate drafts from cracks in windows or doors. You can also consider investing in insulating curtains!

Pay Attention To Your Fireplace

An open fireplace can lose up to 20 percent of the warm air in your home alone. Be sure to use a fireplace plug that will seal the flue when not in use. Once the space is closed up, the warm air can’t escape, and you’ll notice a significant change in the temperature of your home.

Reverse Your Ceiling Fans

While you might not be thinking of turning your ceiling fan on when the temperatures are low, it can actually help warm the room; just make one important change first. Reverse your fan’s rotation direction to push the cool air upward so that it mixes with the rising heat. The mixed air will then start to spread down and therefore warm the room up.

Use Rugs

Rugs not only add style and comfort to a room, but they also keep your feet warm! Throw rugs as well can add more insulation to your home and potentially reduce drafts between floorboards.

Change The Furnace Filter

The most common cause of heating troubles is a dirty filter. Change the furnace filter at the start of the cold weather season to save some energy and get rid of unwanted dust.

Let The Sun Shine

Take advantage of a beautiful and sunny day! Open all the curtains and blinds and let the sunshine naturally heat your home. Even on cold days, the warm rays will make a difference.

HOME EXTERIOR CARE IN NORWALK, CT

Need help making your home and property look its best? The experts at Landmark Exteriors are here to help the outside of your home look and perform its best this winter season and all year long! Give us a call at (203) 838-3838 to learn more. 

Preparing Your Lawn for Winter

Colder days are just ahead, and before you know it, you’ll be swapping out your lawn mower and rake for snow blowers and shovels. And as we begin to feel the shift from fall to winter, there are several steps you need to take to ensure that your lawn can make it through.

With the right and somewhat minimal care, you can ensure that once the last bit of snow is melted and gone, your lawn will be ready to tackle spring with ease. Here are a few things you’ll want to keep in mind. 

3 Steps to Take for Winter Lawn Success

1. Keep Your Lawn Clean and Clear

From those leftover fallen leaves to branches and trees left from a windy storm, keeping up with cleaning little by little can make it less time-consuming in the long run. Now it might seem like a minor task and something that you can neglect, but doing so can leave your lawn smothered and damaged. 

If you leave a lawn covered in leaves and branches, and the first snowfall hits, it could be hard to see and lead to a trip or fall. So please make an effort to keep it clean continuously. Not to mention, a debris-covered lawn can lead to unwanted pests and insects. 

2. Change Your Mowing Habits

Your last few mows should be a bit shorter to help it last through the season. Lower your mower by a notch or so your previous few mows. You want to make sure you’re not cutting it so low that you’re exposing the crown of it to the harsh winter weather ahead. While you’re at it, don’t forget to aerate before the season hits too. 

3. Consider Safer Snow Removal

Connecticut homeowners know that snowfall can come quickly and somewhat unexpectedly, leaving us to scramble to prepare. Though you might rely on the shoveling and salt, did you know that you could be doing damage to your lawn in the process? That’s because salt and deicers have chemicals that could lead your grass to damage and disease. So as you salt walkways and driveways, be sure to keep it as far from the grass as possible. 

HOME EXTERIOR CARE IN NORWALK, CT

Need help making your home and property look its best? The experts at Landmark Exteriors are here to help your home’s exterior look and perform its best this fall season and all year long! Give us a call at (203) 838-3838 to learn more. 

Thanksgiving Prep Tips

The holidays are here, and first up, we have Thanksgiving! Enjoy your small gathering this year around the table with your closest family or friends to enjoy some delicious food, quality time, and give thanks for all you have in your life.  

Don’t let the anticipation and stress of the big day get to you. Now is the perfect time to plan and prep for Thanksgiving so you’re ready and the festivities go off without any problems. Remember, even if you’re the one doing the hosting, cooking, and work, you deserve to have a stress-free, enjoyable holiday just the same!

Plan Out The Menu

The worst thing to do would be to wait until the last minute to decide what you plan on cooking. Look through your recipes, think about what you did last year, and what is realistic for you to be able to cook in your kitchen and with your time. You’ll be thrilled you planned this all out ahead of time.

Make A Grocery List

Now that you’ve got your meal planned, it’s time to make your shopping list! Right down every ingredient and item, you need to bring your Thanksgiving meal to life, so you don’t find yourself confused at the grocery store, or even worse, you forget something!

Do Some Cleaning

Make sure your home is all clean and tidy before the big day. This will save you lots of stress and help put you in the right mindset the day of knowing everything is already clean and clear. This includes clearing space on your kitchen counters for all the food, cleaning out your oven so it’s ready for all the food you’ll be cooking, and getting rid of any clutter that can get in your way or distract you from enjoying the holiday.

Prep Your Fridge And Freezer

Another essential part of your home to prep is your fridge and freezer! Whether it’s to keep items cool before the big meal or store all your leftovers, you won’t want to be fumbling to make room with the food already in your hands. Take some time beforehand to move items around and clear out space in both your fridge and freezer.

Plan And Set The Table

Why wait till the day of to set your dining table? Knock off another thing on your list by clearing and setting the table you plan to dine at ahead of time, so it’s one less worry on the big day, and you can focus on your cooking and other responsibilities. 

Schedule The Day

If you haven’t already, make a list and schedule everything you need to do on Thanksgiving day. Having this list to refer back to will keep you on track and distressed so you can focus on enjoying the holiday as well.

We hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Home Exterior Care in Norwalk, CT

Need help making your home and property look its best? The experts at Landmark Exteriors are here to help your home’s exterior look and perform its best this fall season and all year long! Give us a call at (203) 838-3838 to learn more. 

How to Repair Wood Siding

Wood siding is a beautiful addition to any home! It’s a classic look that can up your home’s value. However, because of their natural state, decomposition likely will occur, and if ignored, that once valuable and stylish home could look dated and unkempt. 

Though we’d suggest contacting a professional to get the job done right, there are certain situations where it could be a simple DIY project. If you’re handy and looking to make some minor repairs on your wood siding, here’s what you’ll want to consider for a job done right:

Collect The Correct Tools

Before you begin replacing your siding, you’ll want to be sure you have every tool you’ll need to get it done right the first time. Some main things you’ll want to ensure is on hand include: 

  • A utility knife and replacement blades
  • Pry bar
  • Hammer
  • Speed square
  • Carpenter’s pencil
  • Safety glasses or goggles 
  • Dust masks
  • Tape measure
  • Your replacement boards
  • Nails (stainless steel meant for siding)
  • Caulking labeled exterior-grade
  • Primer and paint

Decide What Makes The Cut

Knowing what needs to be replaced and where the cuts will be made is the next step. You’ll need your speed square to mark your cutting lines, which should be centered on a stud. You can identify this by where the current nailheads are. 

How to do a Job Done Right 

You’ll want to slice away any paint and caulking that might connect the board to another. Use your knife to ensure this is fully complete. When it comes time to make your vertical cuts, you’ll want to be sure, precise, and careful and stop as soon as you make it through the board. Next, you’ll want to safely remove the nails with the back of your hammerhead. You can then use your old siding piece to measure the new one. When nailing the new board in place, you’ll want to ensure that the nails are piercing through the bottom panels.

Lastly, you’ll want to caulk and paint. All horizontal seams that lie between the boards should be caulked; anything vertical, inject caulk, and forced farther into the seams by rubbing with your fingers. Let the caulk cure and prime, and paint. You’ll want to ensure the paint is exterior and that you do a minimum of two coats. 

When to Call a Professional 

A job like this requires attention to detail, and a strong knack for outdoor work. If you are unsure of what’s damaged, what should be replaced, or how to remove or install a new piece of siding properly, it’s best to call an expert to come to get the job done right. 

Landmark Exterior Siding 

Looking to keep your wood siding in the best shape it can be? The experts at Landmark Exteriors can ensure that your siding is at its best and help you fix any problems. Give us a call at (203) 838-3838 to learn more.

Trees to Plant This Fall

While spring is the season that comes to most people’s minds when talking about planting or gardening, fall is another great time of year to redesign your home’s landscape. 

Don’t wait till the warmer weather arrives to make changes to your property. Fall is the perfect time to plant some beautiful trees you’ll be able to enjoy all year long. Roll up those sleeves, and get your planting started now!

Benefits of Fall Planting

Taking the time to plant new trees in the fall allows for extra growing time before the warmer seasons when you’ll want to enjoy the trees’ presence and beauty the most. The combination of the cooler temperatures and heavy rain totals throughout the fall season helps trees establish their roots well into the soil, allowing them to adjust and grow easier when the summer arrives. 

While many believe that most trees aren’t capable of handling harsh winters, that is for sure not the case. Trees go dormant, similar to an animal’s hibernation, in the winter months. This sleep-like state allows trees to slow down their growth and metabolism to survive. When the warmer weather returns, they leave this state and continue their development.

Types of Trees To Plant During The Fall Season

Consider planting these trees on your property this autumn for a new, beautiful addition to your landscape:

  • Honey locust – These trees produce beautiful fall colors each year and grow to heights of around 30 feet. Common around New England, honey locust can be planted any time between the spring and fall and require much care, water, and sunlight to grow to its potential.
  • Weeping willow – Elegant and classic, the weeping willow is a tree that impresses with its beautiful sweeping, bright, falling branches. Plant this tree during the fall as it can last through freezing temperatures, but be careful to avoid planting near pipes or septic systems since they have an aggressive root system.
  • October glory red maple – This type of maple tree will indeed brighten up your property in the fall with its bright red leaves. This tree is also reasonably low-maintenance and can survive the harshest of winters.
  • Thuja green giants – Known for their bulky green branches that make the perfect ready-made privacy fence, the thuja green giant tree is suited for planting all-year-round. Thuja trees are also easy to plant and not challenging to grow.
  • Jane magnolia – If you’re already thinking spring, consider planting a jane magnolia tree that blooms beautiful, delicate flowers in the warmer seasons. This easy to grow, low-maintenance plant will live through the harsh winter, making it a perfect cold-weather tree to plant.
  • Bloodgood Japanese maple – Unlike other maples, the bloodgood produces scarlet-colored foliage all year-round that will be sure to boost your curb appeal. As well, the roots are well-behaved, and they can grow in either full or partial sun.

Home Exterior Care in Norwalk, CT

Need help making your home and property look its best? The experts at Landmark Exteriors are here to help your home’s exterior look and perform its best this fall season and all year long! Give us a call at (203) 838-3838 to learn more.