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Will a Skylight Affect the Temperature of my Home?

close-up of a skylight on a roof

Skylights have been around since the 17th century in France, installed in the Versailles gallery. It wasn’t until the 1970s that they became popular in American homes though, but they would eventually lose their popularity because they were known to leak.  Apparently, there wasn’t any skylight repair that overrode this problem until recently. 

Like anything that goes on the market in America, there is always something ‘new and improved’, and today’s technology has done this with skylights. No longer are they made of heavy steel and wired glass that added weight to a home’s structure. Gone are the days when skylight repairs are a major concern from the beginning! 

What is the purpose of a skylight?

Skylights today come in many different shapes from the factory. A skylight allows three times more natural light into a room than vertical windows. And for a room that is in the inner-most position of a home without any exterior windows, skylights allow it to have natural light.  Skylights give a unique architectural design to the structure of a home. 

Which direction should skylights face?

Skylights are like real estate; It is the location that can make the difference! Are you wanting to maximize natural light or solar heating throughout the day? A skylight installed facing north will have consistent lighting, but less heat. A skylight facing east will have the most morning light and solar heat, whereas a skylight facing west will get more light in the afternoon. 

Choosing to go with a southern-facing skylight will have better lighting and solar heat in the winter, but the summer heat will be strong. You should consider the placement of trees when deciding where to install a skylight. Repairs may be more frequent with the risk tree branches bring, but they reduce the amount of heat gained coming inside. 

What are the pros and cons of skylights?

A little sun shining into a bedroom, living room, or an interior hallway can give a home a cozy environment. Making it feel bigger, inviting, and open. Studies have found that the more natural sunlight, the better for our mental health and overall wellbeing. But what other benefits are having the possibility of skylight repair needed worth this architectural upgrade? 

  • Energy saver: Skylights offer natural light, minimizing the amount of electricity needed in a room. With strategic placement, a skylight can allow 100% energy-free light into a room, even an entire home! 
  • Creates space: Even the smallest square footage home will fill bigger with the natural light that a skylight can offer. 
  • Ventilation: A skylight window that is vented, will provide natural ventilation for your home. By opening a vented skylight, dust and humidity are let out, leaving a home clean and fresh feeling, and smelling, minimizing the factors that allow mildew and mold to form and grow. 
  • Home value increases: If you’re considering what will give your home a higher resale value, the natural lighting a skylight installation will give is huge! Prospective home buyers are in love with natural lighting, bright rooms, and lower energy bills.

Are skylights energy efficient?

We have mentioned the energy saving that a skylight offers, are they really energy efficient? It will depend on where the skylight is installed, and what part of the country your home is located. A home in Texas with a southern-facing skylight is going to gain a lot of heat, especially in the summer. 

So, Do skylights let heat into the house? If your dream home already has a skylight installed, and you didn’t realize how heated the room would get, there are things you can do that will make it more energy efficient. 

  1. Install blinds that are specifically designed for skylights.  They can be opened or removed electronically or manually, allowing you to choose how much of the sun rays are allowed inside. 
  2. Have an exterior awning installed over the sunlight. This can also minimize the possibility of limbs and other debris causing the need for skylight repairs. 
  3. Have a professional skylight repair technician inspect the skylight and reseal the window. 
  4. Have an upgraded skylight window installed that is a more energy-efficient model.

Is there a way to keep the skylight from affecting the temperature of my house?

Maybe the skylight was there when you moved in, or maybe you didn’t have the best professional help in choosing where you had it installed.  Now, it is too hot in the house during certain times of the day and year.  

You can make your skylight cooler and more energy-efficient with a skylight cover. This is a window covering that will block the solar heat rays and keep your room cooler during the hotter times of the day and year. 

Do skylights let cold air in?

Heat rises, we learn that in grade school, and glass isn’t as energy efficient as a solid structure. So yes, any heat in your home will rise and escape through the skylight or it will be cooled quickly cooled by the cold glass and sink into the living area of your home. 

Therefore, you should have any new skylight installed by a professional. Proper installation and the right choice of glass and frame can make a lot of difference. If the skylight already exists in your home, consult with a professional that offers skylight repair, installation, and upgrades. There are coatings and glazes that can be applied to existing skylights to help keep your home warmer in the winter, yet keep it cool in the summer. 

Can you insulate a skylight?

A skylight shaft that is installed in an attic that is vented and uninsulated attic should be insulated with either rigid foam or spray foam along the sides.  Making sure it is properly sealed is important. 

skylights and dormers on a tile roof

The Troubles and Worries Of It All! 

With all these concerns of being positioned right on the proper side of the house, worrying about leaks, and needing skylight repairs, you have to wonder, are venting skylights worth it? A properly installed and ventilated skylight will provide your home with many advantages, improve the comfort level and enhance your privacy. 

How do you put siding on a house?

a row of homes with yellow siding

Taking Care of Your Home

Owning a home comes with many responsibilities. In addition to the mortgage payment, insurance, and utilities, there is maintenance and general upkeep to take care of. From the HVAC filter and smoke alarm batteries being changed every 30 days, the landscaping, yard work, plumbing, and electricity. Then there is making sure the roof and siding are in good condition.

Knowing when to get a new roof is usually pretty obvious, especially if you’re experiencing leaks!  But what about knowing when your home needs new siding installation? How do you know when to replace your siding, are there indications that you should watch for? Here are 6 signs that it is time for new siding installation: 

Wood Rotting

Yes, you may have aluminum or vinyl siding, and they will not rot, however, the wood under them can and will. Once water seeps in underneath the siding, no matter how small, it will develop fungus, mold, mildew, and begin to rot. In some cases, the siding will crack, but if it doesn’t you may not realize you have wood rot. Poke in the areas that are likely to have water seepage, like around the gutters.

Moisture on the Interior 

When moisture seeps in behind the vinyl siding, it can manifest inside the house too, indicating a problem with water leaking around the siding. You may notice interior paint peeling or mold on the walls.  

Cracked or Loose Siding

This is typical wear and tear from aging, or from baseballs and hailstones. Even from the lawnmower throwing rocks and the hot summer sun.  

Buckling or Warped Siding

As the ground settles under your house, the house will settle too. This happens as the ground goes from dry to wet and back to dry, and as the temperature changes, vinyl siding will contract and expand. A professional siding installation will account for the contraction and expansion and install the material to go with that movement. 

Holes in the Siding

Holes along the bottom or under the roofline are typically from small critters and insects creating a shelter where they can nest. This includes house-eating insects like carpenter ants and carpenter bees, beetles, termites, mice, rats, and squirrels. These “drill” or gnaw their way through anything if they think there is food nearby. 

Increased Heating and Cooling Bills

Utilities are always going to increase, but if you have done everything possible to save on energy costs, like adding insulation and sealing cracks, new windows and added weather-stripping, as well as setting the thermostat, it may be time for new siding installation. 

Does siding add value to your home?

Absolutely!  A new vinyl siding installation will not only impact the appearance of your home but will also impact the value. Realtors say that a new siding installation increases your home by over 76% with almost $12,000 of the cost recouped from a $16,000 siding job. 

What is the cheapest siding to install?

When budget is the main issue, a new vinyl siding installation is the winner, and it is the low cost and good looks that make this the number one choice. 

The cost for a vinyl siding installation job will vary from contractor to contractor, but the average cost per square foot is $5 or less. The cheaper the vinyl product, the lower the cost, but there are brands out there that have an inexpensive line that is still of good quality.  The thinner the siding, the more likely you’ll have problems with it cracking and sagging. Then replacing it can be costly. 

What is the easiest siding to install?

Again, a new vinyl siding installation job is the winner!  Compared to other siding materials, vinyl is the easiest to install. It cuts easily, is fast to install, and won’t need painting. What can take the longest time with vinyl, or any type of siding material are the possible repairs of the original wood siding before the new material can be installed. 

Can I install siding myself?

Yes, a DIY homeowner that has basic tool knowledge and skills can find several videos online about how to install siding. Is it recommended? No, there is more than just snapping the strips of vinyl on, and by doing it yourself, you lose any chance of warranty and guarantee if there are problems later.  A professional siding installation is always recommended. 

What is the best color for siding?

It is always going to be a personal choice, but the real estate experts will tell you smaller homes look better in darker hues and larger homes in lighter colors. A large house can be gloomy looking in a dark siding installation, almost imposing upon the neighborhood.

the front of a home with beige siding

At The End of the Day – Color My World! 

What color siding fades the least? If you’re concerned with fading, go with white or any light color. They will fade, but not as noticeable. The darker colors tend to fade faster like browns and dark reds. If your siding is faded, you may consider Painting siding vs siding replacement, which one is better.  Refer to our list of indications that a new siding installation is needed at the beginning of this article. If your home doesn’t have any of those criteria, then with proper preparation, painting can bring your siding back to life. 

How Do You Repair A Chimney?

red brick chimney on a housetop

Should You Repair an Unused Chimney?

“Ho Ho Ho! Who’s up on the rooftop?! Down through the chimney came Old Saint Nick …”. Along with ashes, soot, birds’ nest, and other debris, maybe even some bricks and mortar. If you’ve noticed some missing mortar or have had a few bricks fall into the fireplace, it is time for chimney repair

Maybe you don’t use your fireplace and you’re wondering “Why do I need to repair my chimney?” Much like the water heater, the chimney is taken for granted. It is there, it does what it is supposed to. It is part of the house that is worry-free, or so we’d like to think it is. Surprisingly, like a water heater, a chimney does have problems and needs chimney repair, the sooner the better.  Why?  

Why Do You Need Chimney Repair?

Well, if you do use the fireplace, a damaged chimney is a fire hazard. If you don’t use your fireplace, the chimney and the fireplace connected to it are structural parts of your home. If they are weak, so is the wall around the fireplace and the roof supporting the chimney. If you’re not sure that your chimney has issues, here are 7 indicators that chimney repairs are needed: 

  • Efflorescence 

The white discoloration on the chimney is called efflorescence and is fairly easy to remove. However, cleaning and removing the efflorescence doesn’t mean the cause of it is gone. The cause is excess moisture within the masonry and if it isn’t addressed, the chimney will deteriorate without chimney repairs done.

  • Rust

If there is rust on the damper or firebox, it is another indication the chimney has excess moisture. If the damper has rust on it, then it probably isn’t operating right or sealing properly either. If you can see the rust, the flue tiles are probably cracked too. A professional chimney sweep can inspect your chimney flue lining with a special camera to make sure the chimney system doesn’t have a breach. If there is a breach, they can do a chimney repair and make your home safer from possible fire hazards.

  • Deteriorating 

If the mortar joints on the chimney are deteriorating, chimney repair is needed pronto!  This deterioration is exposing the chimney to moisture and accelerating more deterioration of the chimney.  In the far north, like here in Rhode Island and New York, the freezing winter temperatures freeze inside those cracks, then as it thaws, it makes the cracks bigger. Eventually, probably faster than you may think, your chimney could collapse.

  • Shaling

The flue on your chimney is what keeps the fireplace safe to use. When you see thin slices of the chimney tile inside the fireplace, the flue is not doing its job. This is one of the main reasons for annual professional chimney inspection is recommended. A professional chimney sweep will inspect and analyze the entire chimney, with a focus on the flue lining. If they spot any problems, they will advise what chimney repairs are needed and proceed, keeping your chimney safe from any safety breach. 

  • Spalling

If you’re finding bits and pieces of masonry around the exterior of your chimney, this is called spalling. This happens moisture enters the masonry and forces the surface of the brick, concrete, or stone to flake, peel, or pop out. Chimney repair or replacing this damaged masonry is essential in preventing the continued crumbling and destruction of your chimney.

  • Wallpaper

When you notice the wallpaper around and near the chimney has water stains, you probably have chimney damage too. This could be a roof issue, or it could be you need chimney repair because of moisture getting around or in through the flue or other areas of the chimney. 

  • Crown 

This is where hiring a professional chimney sweep is recommended because it requires getting on the rooftop to check.  The chimney crown is an important part of the structure and provides a line of defense from the elements. A cracked chimney crown allows moisture to seep in, and create larger cracks and water around the flue lining. This all leads to other issues we’ve listed her like shaling and spalling.

How do you repair a brick chimney, and what do you use to repair a chimney?

For minor chimney repairs, in most areas, a permit isn’t required. If any bricks have to be removed/replaced, you may need to inquire about a permit and municipal inspection of the finished work. 

The first thing you need to know about how to repair chimney mortar is to watch the weather. Brick chimney repair requiring mortar should never be done when the temperature is below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. If you have a warm day to do the work, make sure the temperature isn’t expected to drop to or below freezing within the next 24 hours. The following are possible repair steps your chimney repair may need: 

  1. Repoint the Brick Mortar

The mortar is the stuff you see between the bricks and holds them together. As seasons come and go, the mortar is battered by the elements and will often begin to crumble and deteriorate. Repointing is necessary to replace the mortar and keep the bricks stable. 

Using a joint raker, scrape any loose and weak mortar. Then with a wire brush, sweep the remaining bits out. With the garden house, spray down the brick and let it dry for 30 minutes. 

While that is drying, mix a batch of mortar up to a stiff peanut butter consistency. Using a pointing trowel, press the mortar in the open joints, getting it so that it matches the existing mortar. With the tuckpointing tool, smooth the joints so that they are concaved and recessed slightly from the brick’s surface.

  1. Caulk the Crown and Flue

The area between the chimney and the flue is a key area that water enters when the joint is not closed and sealed with the crown. The crown is the concrete cap covering the chimney top and typically will have a gap after a few years. That gap allows water inside the chimney flue and into your fireplace. 

Using a wire brush, clean and remove any loose debris like mortar and moss. Then with a caulk gun loaded with high-heat mortar, fill the gap by creating a bead of the caulk.

  1. Large Crown Area Patching

The chimney crown is the top section of the chimney, and it protects the masonry section of the chimney. The sloped shape prevents water from pooling, so when there are cracks in the crown, it can be problematic. This is where ice, snow, and water hit first and can gather if the cap isn’t in good condition. 

Any cracks in a diameter size between 1/8 and 1 inch can be repaired with a pre-mixed cement patch or mortar. Simply inject the mix into the crack using a squeeze bottle and allow it to cure up a minimum of 4 hours, again, this requires planning with the weather!  

  1. Hairline Crack Patching

Hairline cracks can be treated differently than the large cracks we’ve mentioned. Using a high liquid consistency masonry sealer after clearing any loose particles with a putty knife, using a paintbrush, apply the sealer. Two coats are recommended, allowing the first one to completely dry and cure first.

  1. Repair Cracked Bricks

Using a high-heat mortar, you can repair small cracks in one or two individual chimney bricks with a caulk gun. Clean the crack first using a putty knife then sweep it out with a wire brush. Next, squeeze the high-heat mortar into the crack, and with gloves on or using a rag, wipe any excess mortar from the crack.

  1. Replace Cracked Bricks

If there are severely damaged bricks, they need to be removed and replaced. Removing one brick at a time will not affect the adjacent bricks.

Using a masonry chisel slowly chip away the mortar between the bricks. Then bore holes into the mortar using a masonry bit with your drill. Now slowly pull the loosened brick and chisel out any remaining mortar until you have a smooth surface.

With a small trowel, apply the mortar-like butter on bread to all four sides of the new brick, leaving the front or back clean. Push it in place and center it so that you have equal seams on all sides. Using the tuckpointing tool, remove any excess mortar as you smooth the joints.        

How do you repair the inside of a chimney?

Creosote is what builds up inside the chimney, obstructing the flue. When the flue becomes obstructed too much, it can cause exposure to carbon monoxide or even cause a fire inside the house. The best thing you can do is hire a professional chimney sweeper to clean and inspect the chimney and fireplace. The Chimney Safety Institute of America recommends having this done annually just before winter. While the chimney sweep is inspecting and cleaning, they can do any chimney repairs needed inside the chimney too.  

How do you repair a concrete crown on a chimney?

Once you have your ladder securely in place and have safety equipment engaged, chimney repair to the crown is fairly basic: 

  • Small crown cracks: Fill with an acrylic or silicone caulk using a caulk gun and a gloved finger.
  • Cracks that are 1/8” to 1/4” wide using your gloved finger and a stiff paintbrush work the patching material into the large cracks and smooth over the top. 
  • After 15 minutes, brush a liquid seal coating over the entire crown, especially around the inner edges and  outer edges where the crown is joined to the chimney flue. 

Can a roofer repair a chimney?

You should not rely on a professional roofing contractor for chimney repair jobs. A professional roofing contractor will decline to do any chimney repairs and recommend that a professional chimney sweep be contacted.

How much does it cost to repair a cracked chimney?

Professional chimney repairs can vary based on the type and amount of damage. With a masonry chimney, the joints contract and expand with the temperature and cause cracks. Because those cracks will allow carbon monoxide into your home, along with possible embers, the cost of chimney repairs can be a lifesaving expense. 

The average range of professional chimney repairs can start around $200 and reach up to $3,000. In addition to the amount and type of damage, the height of the house will factor into the cost too. 

red brick chimney

In Closing 

With chimney repair expenses possibly getting into the thousands of dollars, a homeowner will want to know if chimney repair is covered under homeowners’ insurance. After all, owning and maintaining a home is expensive enough, if the monthly premium of your homeowners can help with the expense, that would be helpful, right? 

Sadly, the basic aging, wear and tear of a chimney, and repairs are not covered by homeowner’s insurance. If the chimney is damaged by a sudden and unexpected weather event, the chimney repairs would be covered. 

Is gutter installation difficult?

view of gutters from below

Why Gutters Are Important

Having a gutter installation isn’t just for decorative ‘fluff’; it is a necessary home improvement. Most homeowners in New York will have a professional gutter installation, letting a contractor do the work. This gives you the benefit of a guarantee and warranty. A gutter installation isn’t as difficult as you may think, nor is it as easy as it looks. So, you may ask, “Should I hire someone to install gutters?”

While a gutter installation can be a DIY project for a homeowner, we can give you three reasons for hiring a professional contractor for your gutter installation

  • Safety: Realize how high up you’ll be while doing a gutter installation is the first thing to consider. A roof height can be scary, especially when you consider that you’ll have to handle equipment and materials while at that height. 
  • Equipment and Tools: A gutter installation requires specific equipment and tools for a gutter installation job to be done correctly. An experienced contractor will have what they need to do the job correctly and efficiently. A homeowner will need to prepare by buying items they will most likely never use again.
  • Experience: The biggest reason of all! A professional contractor will have been through the necessary training and have acquired hours of experience on gutter installation. By hiring the job out, you will most likely not need to call any one to fix a mistake, but if you do, it will be part of the guarantee and warranty. 

Is gutter installation expensive?

Well, it will depend on the type of gutters you have installed. An aluminum gutter installation with downspouts is the most common request. For a home of 2400 square feet, it can cost $20.00 per square foot for materials and labor. That can cost up to $3,000 per home. This doesn’t include any possible repairs your home may need to the fascia before the gutters can be installed. 

Can I install gutters myself?

With the benefits we listed for having your gutter installation done by a professional in mind, the materials needed are available at any home improvement store for a do-it-yourself gutter installation job. 

So, is it cheaper to install your own gutters?

Well, if you don’t have any accidents like broken windows, roofing materials, or emergency room visits, yes. A DIY gutter installation will save you around $1200 to $1500 for the labor costs. However, there is the extra expense of the equipment and tools needed for a gutter installation. 

What is needed for gutter installation?

When doing your own gutter installation, remember you want to minimize joints, and make the seams strong while keeping them sleek-looking. You’ll need to make sure there is properly installed roof flashing so that the water keeps flowing off the roof and into the gutters. The tools you’ll need for a proper DIY gutter installation are: 

  • A cordless drill
  • A pair of crimpers
  • A pair of duckbill tin snips
  • An extension ladder
  • A hex head driver
  • A pair of offset tin snips
  • A pop rivet gun
  • A safety belt, goggles, and work gloves

In addition to those tools, you’ll need the following materials for your gutter installation: 

  • Self-tapping hex head screws – 1- 1/4″
  • Hex head screws – 1/4″ 
  • Rivets – 1/8-inch medium length
  • Gutter runs 
  • Downspouts
  • Elbows
  • Flashing
  • Hanging straps
  • Gutter sealant

What are the best gutters to buy?

There are different configurations and materials to choose from for your gutter installation. It can be confusing, so we have listed three of the most common here for your consideration: 

  • Vinyl: The most popular choice today for gutter installation, especially for the DIY option. They are budget friendly, never rust, and because they are lightweight and just snap together, the DIY gutter installation is easy! One downside to vinyl gutters in the New York area is the cold weather often makes them brittle and easily cracked. 
  • Aluminum: The gutter installation material before vinyl came along and still popular today. Lightweight, makes DIY job easy and rust-proof makes them long lasting. This gutter material can stand up to cold temperatures and ca be painted to match the home’s architecture. They bend and dent easily and a downside to this material. 
  • Stainless Steel: The more durable option, but the more expensive gutter installation option too. A sturdy material that doesn’t rust, last as long as the house, making this a better investment.

How long does gutter installation take?

Most professional gutter installations average between one to four hours on an average-sized home. For DIY gutter installations, plan a full day for completion. If you decide to upgrade with gutter guards, you can have them installed professionally or do it yourself gutter guard installation is possible too. 

You can purchase the gutter guards and any needed items at your local home improvement store. They are basic, simply slide them over the top of the gutter run after the gutter installation is complete. 

red gutters on a roof

It’s A Wrap! 

Gutter installation can be done in a seamless manner today too. However, that requires a contractor that has the machine mounted on a truck. The gutters are made as they are installed, giving you a seamless gutter installation. They’re a little more expensive, but there are fewer places where the gutters can leak or weaken.

Does my house need gutters?

view up at gutters on a home

So… what are gutters anyway?

Does your home have gutters? If not, maybe you’ve considered having them installed by a professional gutter services company. But have you wondered just what is the function of a gutter, or are they just for looks?  Well, they’re not just for looks – they serve an important function and purpose. 

The gutter system on your home is responsible for water management off the roof. One of the most important of all gutter services is to channel the water that flows off the roof during storms and from melting ice and snow. It manages that water flow to the downspouts, which then redirects the water out and away from your home’s foundation. 

What happens if you don’t have gutters?

Without the gutter services of a gutter system, the rain that flows off the roof will pool and puddle up around the foundation of your home. It will erode the soil and seep under the foundation, eroding the soil under there, and that is only the beginning of your problems. 

Over time, as the rain and water erode the soil around your foundation, it will begin washing your landscaping away. The erosion under the foundation can cause the foundation to sink and crack. With enough cracking and sinking of the foundation, plumbing can get broken, creating another set of problems. This can all happen because your home doesn’t have gutter services installed. 

How does a gutter work?

As we described earlier, the gutter services you should get keep water moving from the roof to the downspouts. What is the difference when considering gutter vs downspout? The downspout receives water from the gutter runs and directs it away from your home’s foundation. Okay, so if all that rain is running off the roof into the gutters, why is gutter cleaning necessary?

Oh, the problems that uncleaned gutters will create are many – and they can get expensive! With gutters that are hindered by blockage, clogged, or otherwise damaged, you can expect any or all of the following: 

  • Rainwater will slide down the exterior sides of your house, damaging the siding. Wood siding is especially prone to damage – that alone is a good reason to get gutter services! 
  • Now that the siding is wet, it will begin to rot, making it attractive to critters and insects because they can get through that rotted wood. From there, they are only a few more chews closer to being inside your house.
  • That rotten, water-damaged wood becomes weak, compromising the integrity of your home. 
  • Damaged, rotten siding is attractive to larger critters too, like raccoons, squirrels, rodents, woodpeckers, and other beasties. These all will eat that water-damaged siding and the roof rafters, creating nests and breeding during the process. 
  • When your gutter services are blocked by ice, leaves, snow, or twigs, it causes the water to back up under the roofing shingles. From there, it soaks through the decking, into the attic, down the inside of walls, and through the ceiling. 

Who does gutter repair?

If you discover a gutter leak, repairing it is essential to the safety and structure of your home. Professional roofing contractors and general handyman services can make repairs. There are companies listed on the internet that offer gutter services like installation and repairs. For the DIY homeowner, there are multitudes of videos online that can walk you through gutter repairs too. 

Having your gutters cleaned once a year by a professional will also give them the opportunity to inspect your gutter system. Like anything, gutters get worn out over time and the contractor may suggest you go through the gutter replacement process instead of getting gutter services like repairs. 

This can be because the age of the gutters means they’ll begin to require more repairs than they’re worth. The gutter runs or downspouts may be broken, rusted, or no longer attached to the house. Before you authorize gutter services like a gutter replacement, you should get two to three more quotes. Compare the details of the quotes and make an informed decision. 

Are gutter guards bad?

While their intended purpose sounds wonderful, there are drawbacks to having them installed as part of your gutter services. They can’t block everything, so there is still debris that finds its way into your gutters and creates a blockage. Then, when you have professional gutter services clean them or clean them yourself, there is the added issue of removing the gutter guards first. 

While not everyone recommends them, not everyone will dissuade you from having them installed. They are a good thing that can go bad, but they also will keep the larger stuff from blocking your gutters and they keep larger critters from building nests inside the gutters. Most experts will tell you not to install them as a value-add because they are still a questionable product. 

worker installing gutters

In Closing 

If your home doesn’t have the benefit of gutter services currently, you should get an experienced contractor to provide you with a quote. Do your research and get a couple more quotes. Depending on where you live, the size of your home, and its surroundings, you may not need gutters all the way around. Meanwhile, if you’re ready for gutter services now, you can reach out to us by calling (516) 986-3979.

What Is Soffit and Fascia On a House?

soffit and fascia

Identifying soffit and fascia

This is a popular question along with, what is the purpose of soffit and fascia? Once it is explained, it makes sense. The soffit and fascia are a part of the roofing system.  Along the underside of the roof rafters is where the soffit is installed.  

The fascia is installed horizontally over the ends of the rafters. Between the fascia and the soffit, the roof rafters are protected against the elements, which makes soffit and fascia repair so important. 

So, is a soffit necessary since it is covering the underside of the rafters? Because it is on the underside, you may think there isn’t much to get under there, right? Wrong!  The soffit replaced the gable vents and hood vents that used to be a part of a home’s construction. The soffit provides the necessary attic ventilation that keeps the warm moisture that collects in an attic moving, keeping condensation from building up and creating mold. Without soffit and fascia repairs and upkeep, your roof will deteriorate faster. 

What is the difference between an eave and a soffit?

The eaves are found on the underside of the roof where the roof attaches to the house and just out a couple of feet.  Roof eaves have an impact on the overall appearance of a home with the intended purpose of directing water away from the exterior walls of your home.

The soffit is attached to the underside of the eaves and is the part you’ll see from the ground.  The soffit, along with the fascia, envelope the rafters of your roof, protecting it from the elements as well as small critters and insects.  When there are soffit and fascia repairs needed, the sooner the better is every roofing contractor’s recommendation. 

What causes soffit damage?

As we’ve explained, the soffit is the part of the roof you see under the eaves or overhang of the roof. The soffit covers and protects the underside horizontally and provides ventilation to the attic, hence the small holes spaced out on the soffit. 

The soffit and fascia repairs are often needed because exposure to the sun and weather. Because these parts have the most exposure, saving the roof, fascia and soffit repair or replacement are a routine part of roof maintenance and upkeep. Without these two components, the roof isn’t going to be adequately protected against the wind and the humid will increase from the moisture building up in the attic. That moisture build up leads to critter invasion, pest infestation, water infiltrating and wood rotting. 

soffit and eaves

How do you replace fascia boards?

When fascia and soffit repairs are needed, a handy DIY homeowner doesn’t have to call a professional soffit and fascia repair company or roofing contractor. There are plenty of online videos that will give you step-by-step instructions on how to repair fascia on house.  For now, we are offering you a few basics on how to repair fascia and soffit:

  1. Remove Shingle Molding: With the flat end of a pry par, pull the narrow shingle molding off the fascia. Save for reusing if it doesn’t break or split.
  2. Remove the Rotted Fascia Boards: Remove any rotted sections of the fascia boards, being careful not to damage any flashing or shingles.
  3. Remove the Old Soffit: Carefully, pull the old soffit down, being cautious of critter and insect nests. 
  4. Remove All Rotted Rafters: With a reciprocating saw, cut out all the rotted rafters. Then cut matching sizes of replacement pieces from pressure-treated lumber.
  5. Attach the Cleat: If your house has a brick chimney, attach a 2×4 cleat to help support the new overhang you’re going to build.
  6. Attach the New Rafter: Clamp a 1×1  backing board in place then attach the new rafter to it with screws and then screw the rafter to the positioned chimney cleat.
  7. Seal the Replacement Soffit: Using a waxy type of waterproof sealer, cover the edges of the new soffit to provide protection from water penetration. The soffit protects your roof, but it needs protecting too. 
  8. Attach the Replacement Soffit: After you have primed the bottom and top surfaces, attach your new plywood soffit to the eave’s underside.
  9. Replace the Crown Molding: Replace the molding you removed earlier along the wall under the new soffit’s rear edge.
  10. Attach the Replacement Fascia: Slide the new fascia in place and with galvanized nails, attach it and cover with putty.
  11. Attach the Shingle Mold: Attach the shingle mold you removed earlier along the top of the fascia, keeping a consistent covering. 

Congratulations!  You just completed your own soffit and fascia repairs and a huge step in maintaining the health and well-being of your home’s roof.  Keeping the roof maintenance done, you’ll come close to keeping that 25 to 30 year lifespan that asphalt roofing manufacturer offer. Call (516) 986-3979 today for your soffit and fascia service needs in Long Island and Farmingdale, NY.

How Do You Repair A Leaking Skylight?

opened skylight

Can skylight break?

What can you do about an interior room in your home that doesn’t have any windows? A room with no natural light can be dark, depressing, and dreary. So, how can you combat that? Install a skylight in the room. For years, skylights have had a negative reputation for leaking. Fortunately, skylight repair is possible. 

Yes, but not easily.  The roof on your home is at risk to the elements, especially hail, wind, or any storm damage, and that puts your skylight at risk too. From hailstones to flying debris and falling tree limbs, a skylight can be cracked. Here in New York, with the abundance of snow we get most winters, that is another factor to consider. The skylight is often the weakest area of the roof, so a heavy snowfall could max the weight load. 

Can you fix a cracked skylight?

A skylight filters the sunlight into your home, and it is wonderful. What if it cracks thought? A cracked skylight can lead to leaking and could also mean your roof has an issue too. You could have a roofing contractor do an inspection and that would include your skylight too but not any roofing contractor will know how to repair skylight. 

You may not be able to afford a professional contractor that knows how to repair skylight glass right away, or it happens on a weekend or holiday. There are something you can do for a temporary skylight repair that will keep water from leaking inside your home: 

Patch the Crack

A small crack you can do a skylight repair by applying clear caulk over the crack. Or a trip to a home improvement store you can look for products that are specifically made for temporary skylight repairs. Keep in mind, this doesn’t hide the crack and the patch won’t be aesthetically pleasing. 

Let It Sit

Most skylights have two layers, and if you’re lucky, the crack is only in one layer and the skylight hasn’t began leaking yet. If this is the case, you can leave it for now and just keep a watch for the crack getting larger. The larger the leak gets, it could start leaking and by then, a skylight repair will turn into a skylight replacement. 

How do you cover a broken skylight?

A skylight opens a room up, giving it natural light, a wonderful addition to any room, until the weather gets bad. So what do you do if hailstones break your skylight, and a contractor can’t get there for skylight repair? You cover it up like you would your roof.  

With extreme care and caution, take a plastic tarp, four 2×4 boards, and nail to the roof. Cover the skylight with the tarp then nail the 2×4 boards, one on each side of the skylight, fasten the tarp to the roof. 

How do you repair a leaking skylight?

Skylight can be a beautiful part of your home, but it can also have major downside: leaks.  As a skylight ages, it can begin to leak because the same climate and environment that ages your roof is getting to the skylight too. Do you need skylight repair or skylight replacement? Here are somethings you can check before you call the professionals:

Does your skylight open? Make sure there isn’t any debris that could be preventing it from closing. Dirt, leaves, twigs, even a bird could be blocking it from closing or blocking the channels and weep  holes that drain water. 

  • Check the weather seals and see if they are broken or cracked. These are an easy replacement and often the cause of a leaking skylight. 
  • Another common cause of a leaking skylight is the insulated glass is damaged around the frame. You can apply a clear silicone caulk for a temporary skylight repair, but usually at this point, a replacement is needed. 
  • If you have an older skylight, it most likely was not installed with a corrosion-resistant material they use today. If the framing has become corrode or rusted, you need to replace your skylight. 
  • It may not be your skylight at all that is leaking. It could be the roofing shingles around the skylight and water is coming in the least resistant path at the skylight. At this point, you need a  professional roofer to inspect your roof and skylight and determine the problem. 
two skylights in ceiling

How do you reseal a skylight glass?

When your skylight was installed, a large hole was cut into the roof.  Then metal flashing was either a part of the skylight or installed with the skylight. If that metal flashing isn’t right, then you’ll have a leaking skylight, repairs must be made! So, time to climb up on the roof or hire an experienced contractor for skylight repair. If you’re going to do the job yourself, we offer the following steps and tips: 

  • Clean the Area: Before making any type of repairs, the area needs to be prepped where the work is needed. Clean off any debris, dirt, and grime with a broom or brush all around the skylight. Gently lift shingles around the skylight and sweep out any debris. 
  • Flashing Check: The metal flashing is usually installed with roofing compound, so if you have a leaking skylight, it could be from an incorrect installation, or the compound has aged and turned loose. If there are turned up edges around the skylight, then the flashing is no longer doing its job. 
  • Repair the Flashing: With a caulking gun and roofing cement, squeeze the gun with even pressure along the areas with missing or worn flashing. Make sure there aren’t any more visible gaps. Apply the cement under the flashing that sitting flat on the roof then with a roofing trowel, smooth the cement over the area. Carefully place the caulking gun tip under the shingles where the flashing is connected and squeeze a bead of the roofing cement under the shingle. Press down and hold for a couple of minutes to assure the shingle sticks. 

If you’re not a DIY person, who can repair skylight that knows how to repair skylight glass or install a replacement?  Since your leaking skylight could be a roof issue, having a roofing contractor inspect your roof is recommended. If you’re going to need a new roof, they can replace the skylight while they’re up there.  However, there are companies that specialize in commercial and residential skylights, and you can find them with an internet search. Call (516) 986-3979 today for your skylight repair in Long Island and Farmingdale, NY.

How Do You Do a Roof Inspection?

circled areas on a roof that need repair

What is a roof inspection?      

The word ‘inspection’ conjures up anxiety for most of us, especially roof inspections. However, roof inspections are a necessary part of homeownership, one more thing to be prepared for and learn what to expect. With some answers to a few questions, we hope to provide some helpful information. 

Roof inspections are the procedure of inspecting your roof, yourself, or a trained professional, to determine the roof’s condition and integrity. There are several reasons why roof inspections are needed: 

  • Roof is aged and worn, needs repair or replacement
  • Weather damage
  • New homeowner insurance check
  • Selling a home
  • Annual roof inspections and repairs

When a roof has been exposed to the weather over a long period of time, there are any number of possible issues that validate the need for roof inspections. The constant changes and shifts in the weather  can cause an accumulation of water in the wooden beams and inside the walls. This will weaken a roof’s integrity and leave it structurally unstable.

Once that water has accumulated and been left for a while, mildew, and mold form, causing more damage to the roof and your home’s structure.  It is also a health hazard as your family is breathing in that mold. 

Because roofs are needed to protect our family and belongings from the weather, routine roof inspections are important. Think of them to be similar to well-baby checkups.  Roof inspections can often catch a small issue before it becomes a life threatening problem. 

What is involved in a roof inspection?

Professional roof inspections will be done by a licensed inspector who will check the roof from different angles and views. They are looking for any possible issues that could involve any damaged, missing parts, the overall condition of the roof, including the drip edge and ridges, the flashing, gutters, and downspouts. What you should expect from professional roof inspections to include is: 

  • Interior inspection: Professional roof inspections will begin with an interior inspection. The inspector is looking for possible water, visible by water stains on the ceilings and walls. They check inside the attic for indication of leaks, moisture, mold, aging insulation, and holes in the roof. 
  • Exterior inspection: Next, professional roof inspections check the exterior of the roof, including climbing up on the roof for a close-up check. They are looking for signs of damage that include damaged and missing shingles, damaged and missing flashing, cracked caulk, possible leaks. 
  • Repair estimate: Once roof inspections are completed, the roofing technician will prepare a report of their findings and include an estimate for any repairs or replacements that are needed. 

Should I get roof inspected?

Insurance companies and roofing experts recommended that roof inspections should be done every 2 years until the roof has aged 10 years, then annually after that. If your home is surrounded by a lot of trees, roof inspections are recommended annually regardless the age of the roof.  Roof inspections should also be performed after any significant weather event that involved hail, hard rain, high winds, ice, or snow.  

How do you know if you have roof damage?

Roof damage will expose the structure of your home to serious problems. Simply because you don’t see it, doesn’t meant it isn’t there. In fact, roof damage can cost you thousands of dollars in repairs or replacement and if your insurance company denies your claim, the entire cost is coming out of your pocket. 

The most obvious sign of roof damage is water stains on the ceilings and walls. A roof leak can be found in the attic with mold and water spots on the insulation and rafters. The siding on your can also provide you a hint of possible roof damage. 

How do you check for roof leaks?

Here are warning signs that you should be aware of that indicate a possible roof leak: 

Broken, Cracked, Loose, Missing Shingles

High winds and hours, days of the sun beating own on the roof will cause roofing materials to break, crack, loosen, and come off. Where this happens, it exposes the roof to damage from the weather. However, if discovered early enough by roof inspections, repairs can be made to save the roof. 

Broken, Loose, Missing Fascia and Soffits

Fascia and soffits that show signs of decay, deteriorating or even missing can be indication of roof leaks, or at the very least, gutter issues. Closer roof inspections can determine what needs to be done then. 

Inspect the Gutters

The damage to the fascia and soffits can be from the gutters coming loose. The gutters can also be full of roofing granules which indicates that the shingles have lost some of the protective layer. Aging, hail, heavy rains, and the heat weaken asphalt granules, then they wash off into the gutter with the rain. Roof inspections often find there is enough granules washed off the roof needs replacing. 

Vents

Roof inspections that find curled shingle edges is caused by improper attic venting that has caused ice dams. These will start allowing rain to get up under the shingles and begin rotting the roof decking, then leaks begin. 

How do you perform a roof inspection?

 If you don’t know how to do a roof inspection, you can always hire a professional, which is recommended at least every 2 years. To do your own roof inspections, follow these tips: 

  1. Inspect the Gutters – make sure they are fastened securely and no breaks in the runs.
  2. Inspect the Flashing – make sure all the flashing is securely in place, and if any is broken, missing, or rusted, replace it.
  3. Inspect the Skylights – average lifespan of skylights is 18 years. Roof inspections should include checking there is no gap in the seal or cracks in the glass. 
  4. Inspect the Chimney – the chimney should be solid with no cracked or missing mortar. Make sure the chimney cap is in place and secure. 
  5. Inspect The Attic – roof inspections should always include the attic, specifically, the ventilation. Inspect for moisture, mildew or mold, and rotted wood. 
damage to shingles on a roof

What do roof inspectors look for?

During roof inspections, the inspector will be looking for hidden and obvious leaks, any unusual wear and tear, and any damage that would be caused by the weather and windblown debris. They also inspect for organic growth on the roof like algae, and they inspect the installation and any areas that have been repaired. Need a roof inspection in Long Island and Farmingdale, NY? Call (516) 986-3979 today!

Which paint is best for home?

blue home

Painting your home

As a homeowner, you have a lot of things you need to take care of around your home painting is one of them. If you’re like many, home painting is at the top of your least favorite thing to do. For those who would like to paint their home, they are stymied with confusion and questions that they are afraid to voice, fear of looking like a beginner. 

When it comes to exterior or interior home painting and decorating, there are some people, men, and women, that simply have “the touch” and it all comes out looking perfect. Then there some of us that may know what we’re doing, but our idea of what looks good for our project home painting or colors that will look good, we miss the mark every time. 

In this piece today, we’re going to answer a few basic questions for a first time home painting project. The answers may help those of us that feel confident in our home painting decisions and skill that miss that mark too. 

Can I paint my whole house white?

If this is a question regarding the interior, cool whites with blue and gray undertones will give your home a crisp feel and loo. A warm white with red and yellow undertones give a relaxed and soft look. You should also take into consideration lighting. Going with a cooler shade of white for interior home painting is better when there is a lot of natural light, a warmer shade for areas that are more cold and gray. 

If you’re thinking about the entire exterior of your home, painting it all white, it can be a beautiful look, but it can be tricky too. An all-white exterior can be blinding for people driving by and your neighbors. It can also look muddy in the right setting.   How can you avoid going either too bright or too “muddy”? You need to choose a white paint with the right LRV (Light Reflectance Value).  

What in the world is LRV? When you’re considering the exterior of your home, painting it white, the LRV is important. LRV is how dark or light paint is measured, with dark being a zero and light being a 100. For exterior home painting, the LRV should not be more than 85 or you, your neighbors, and anyone that drives by will need sunglasses. 

Should I paint my whole house the same color?

For the exterior or interior, home painting all in one color is not recommended. Yes, going with one color all the way will be easy, but on the interior, home painting all one color, the color will differ from room to room. Even from one corner to the next, color changes because of several factors, the biggest one is the undertones. Other factors that can make colors change appearance of the interior home painting are: 

  • Lighting: Natural light in abundance or the lack of natural lighting will change how colors appear. If there is an abundance of natural light in the living room, it open and welcoming. That same color in a bedroom with artificial lighting can look cold and dark.  
  • Lighting: The ambient lighting you choose with light fixtures and placement will affect the interior home lighting too. Even the type of bulbs you use affect how a room looks. 
  • Influence from Outside: Using a neutral color for interior home painting is how the outside will affect it from green foliage of shrubs, trees, grass and more. Or is there red clay soil around the exterior with blues and grays of water nearby? The same color throughout your home, painting to each room with these things in mind will affect how that color looks different.

How do I choose paint for my house?

You have a color scheme set in your mind then you get to the paint cards and realize there isn’t just a basic red, white, blue, or any other color. So how do you know which one is the right one for home painting project? Here we offer a few tips that have been handed down from others, they may help you avoid making the same mistakes: 

Inspiration First – Paint Color Next

Yes, that is the biggest part of this home painting project, and it naturally seems to be the first step.   You need to find your inspiration first. Some people have found their color inspiration at a local coffee shop, others have used the color of blanket on display at a store. 

Pinterest is a great place to find inspiration and you can create your own board as you find ones you like. Once you have 10 to 12 boards, it’s time to start getting serious. 

Stay Neutral

No, this doesn’t mean to avoid all colors, but you should determine what in the room, or on the exterior of your home, do you want to be the eye catcher. If the walls in the living room are where you want your guests’ eyes to go, then choose a bold color. If there is an architectural feature of your home, painting it so that it has the accented color pop should be the focus. Once you have your bold color or pop color, go with neutral colors around it so that it is the bold or the pop. 

Pain Testers – Your Best Friend

Yes, you’ll have to pay for these, so wait until you have narrowed down your inspirations then choose a few colors in different shades. Then do a large enough house painting area on a couple of different walls of the room to see how it works with the light. If you’re doing an exterior home painting project, paint a few spaces around the entire house to see how it looks, and check these areas, exterior and interior, different times of the day. After about a week, you’ll know which paint is the right color. 

Test with Fabrics and Furniture

While you have the test areas of home painting on the walls, hold the curtains, bedspreads, throw pillows, and other items to make they match or mismatch, whatever works with your inspiration plan. 

The Sheen

Sheen can be a bonus and it can also accent the flaws. This is more for older homes where the flaws are part of the charm, avoid home painting with sheen paint if you don’t want those flaws to show. 

Understanding Undertones

From the paint strips you take home, using the darkest color will give you the truest color. Undertones are not to be under appreciated! 

Have a House Painting Color Theme

This does not mean your house painting project should all one color throughout  your entire home. If you can’t choose a color for each room, and yes that can be a challenge, then choose various shades of the same color for each room. A little darker in one room and then go lighter in the next. Touring model homes is a perfect way to get home painting ideas and inspirations! 

How many paint colors should a house have?

For exterior home painting projects, three different colors is the industry’s general rule of thumb. Some homeowners will keep the hues monochromatic and others will choose distinct color differences between the three. Either way works, choose what works for your tasteyou’re your home’s architectural style. 

painting options

 What is the color for 2021?

To determine what the “in” colors are for 2021, you can do an internet search for “home painting near me” and see what architects, builders, and designers are going with this year. For the exterior home painting and design choices, the popular colors this year should be trimmed in pale blues and greens then accented with bronze for that designer touch: 

  • Warm, Creamy Whites
  • Pale Gray
  • Beige

Choosing home painting finishes can be confusing, so here is a guideline to help you: 

  • Flat or Matte: No shine and ideal for low traffic area and ceiling.
  • Flat Enamel: Very minimal shine but easy to clean, ideal for low traffic area or homes with kids and pets.
  • Eggshell Enamel: A little shine, ideal for moderate traffic areas and typically wipes clean with a damp cloth.
  • Satin Enamel: Slight shine that is ideal for a high traffic area and moist areas like bathrooms and kitchens.  
  • Semi-Gloss Enamel: Shiny and ideal for cabinets, trim, and moisture areas.
  • Hi-Gloss Enamel:  Super shiny, almost like glass and ideal for high traffic and furniture.

Need expert help with home painting in Long Island and Farmingdale, NY? Call (516) 986-3979 with All American Home Improvement Inc today.

Should I replace all windows at once?

Windows in a kitchen

Is it worth getting new windows?

Are feeling those cold front winds blowing in around your windows? Even the slightest bit is too much and is reason enough to consider window replacement for your home. Why? Because if you’re feeling cold drafts coming in, that means that warm air you’re paying to create it going out. Do you want to pay for warming up the outside too? 

Getting window replacement for houses isn’t cheap, we realize that, but neither are the utility bills for heating and cooling. In our article today, we’re going to answer some commonly asked questions about window replacement. We’ll provide you enough reason to make a logical decision that will save you money in the long run. 

Learn More

As you feel that cold air coming in around your windows, you’re contemplating window replacement or repair what you have in place for now. However, you can see the value in a window replacement job being a home improvement investment for you now or if you decide to sell your home. Here are four factors to consider if this is the right decision for you, your budget, and your home:

  • Window frame condition
  • The climate
  • Current window thickness
  • The style of current windows 

These are factors that should influence your decision if the cost of window replacements is a good thing to consume. If the windows in your home are less than ten years old and have begun having a draft around them, window repairs would be the better option. Simply install sealing along the frames and reseal the double windows will bring your windows back to the insulative properties that you want.

Which replacement window is best?

If you’re considering getting replacement windows, here are a few things to help you choose the best window replacement for you: 

  • Determine your budget and most you can afford.
  • What style of new replacement windows do you prefer?
  • Is energy-efficiency important to you?
  • What style and type of frames do you prefer?
  • What warranty options are important to you?
  • Do want professional installation?

Now that you have the answers to those questions, here are the three most popular window replacement choices and why: 

Pella Windows

An energy-efficient, high-quality window with a history of 100 years’ experience. Their energy-efficient product line meet or exceed ENERGY STARⓇ certifications for all fifty states and they offer a wide selection of colors, materials, and styles. Their double-hung windows can cost up to $355 depending on the window you choose. 

Andersen Windows

Know for being energy-efficient and with little maintenance. Modern styles that have a long lifespan and there are options to design windows yourself.  Their double-hung window replacement choices start around $409.

Simonton Windows

A great choice for vinyl window replacements with an excellent customer service and a warranty that backs their quality commitment. Owner of several awards for the quality and the performance of their product, known for durability. Their double-hung window replacements can start as low as $150 and cost as much as $1,000. 

Is replacing a window easy?, Can I replace a window myself?

A homeowner that is handy with tools and has some home-improvement experience can install their own window replacement and save some money. A few things you may want to consider before taking on this job though:

  • Time: Because you don’t do window replacement every day, this is going to take you long than it would a professional. 
  • Tools: It is going to take you longer because you don’t do it every day and you don’t have all the proper equipment and tools. 
  • Warranty: Many, if not all window replacement manufacturers aren’t going to honor their warranty if they aren’t installed by a certified contactor. 
  • Workmanship: If a window gets broke while you’re doing your own window replacement, you have to replace it at your expense. If a contractor breaks a window, and they are less likely to than you, they have to replace it at their expense. 

Will new windows help with electric bill?

Yes, and like you, new window replacement is why most homeowners make this investment. Having an Energy Star-qualified window replacement will help you save on your energy expenses, as much as $450 annually. The type of windows you purchase and the area of the country where you live will affect these numbers. 

window over sink

What time of year is best to replace windows?

Ideally, a window replacement job is best during the spring when the weather is warm, but not blistering hot. 

If you are considering window replacement without removing frame, keep in mind that even window replacement 10 years ago will have began losing its seal (remember we mentioned that earlier in this piece). This can be partly the sealing around glass, but it is more likely to be around the window frame.  

A full frame window replacement job will remove your existing windows, including the framing, completely down to the studs. Your new window replacement, including the frame, will include an inspection and repairs of any water damage to be done by a professional. While it will cost you a little more money, the savings in utilities are going to be an ROI for that money spent. Call (516) 986-3979 today for window replacement in Long Island and Farmingdale, NY with All American Home Improvement Inc today.