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Which Material Should I Choose for My Sunroom Interior?

The choice to add a sunroom to your home is a no-brainer. The hard part is deciding which sunroom company, style, and materials you want to use. Our sunrooms from Four Seasons are built with an aluminum exterior, but you can choose between aluminum, vinyl and natural wood for your interior frame. Depending on your values and personal taste, you may prefer one sunroom interior over another.

Aluminum Interior

Sunroom Interior

Pro: Aluminum is a popular sunroom building material because it’s lightweight and structurally strong. That means you can minimize the amount visible frame in your sunroom. Use aluminum for your sunroom interior if you want to emphasize picturesque views and natural light.

Con: Aluminum is known for conducting heat, which can make it harder to control the temperature inside your sunroom. All Four Seasons sunrooms are “thermally improved” to reduce the likelihood of outside temperatures reaching your interior surfaces. Still, if you’re looking for the most energy-efficient material you may want to consider a vinyl or natural wood interior.

Vinyl Interior

Sunroom_Interior

Pro: Vinyl is a lightweight and durable material used for everything from fences to decks. We love vinyl products so much, we ONLY sell vinyl siding and windows. That’s because we like to sell low-maintenance products that last. Vinyl is resistant to rotting, warping, scratching, fading and just about any other awful thing that could happen to a sunroom. If you value durability and want to share your sunroom with future generations, vinyl is the way to go.

Con: If applied correctly, vinyl can be a beautiful interior sunroom material. However, it has none of the frame-minimizing abilities of aluminum or the warm charm of natural wood. If design and style is most important to you, consider an interior material other than vinyl.

Natural Wood Interior

Sunroom_Interior

Pro: Natural wooden interiors are a longtime favorite of design connoisseurs. This material adds warmth and charm to any room in the home. Our natural wood is engineered from sustainable, slow-growth Norther White Pine. You can finish these wood-frame structures with paint, stain or a clear-coat to suit your own personal style. All of our natural wood interiors come with our exclusive exterior glazing track system. This system mounts to your exterior structure to prevent your sunroom’s glass panels from ever touching your fine woodwork. This virtually eliminates the risk of water-staining or rotting.

Con: If natural wood was a perfect choice, you wouldn’t be reading this article. Natural wood is still vulnerable to the moisture problems and fading. If you value looks that last, consider choosing vinyl or aluminum for your sunroom interior.

 

storm damage windows

Windows and Doors Storm Damage | Avoid Illinois Storm Damage

With Illinois’ brutal storms, it’s possible for windows to take on storm damage and tornado damage even with protective storm shutters. Damaged windows can be especially hazardous because they often result in broken glass. During a severe storm, keep yourself and your family away from windows and broken glass by taking harbor in an interior room. After a storm, check for these signs of window damage:

  • The most obvious sign will be a shattered window. You’ll probably see a big pile of broken shards of glass on your floor and notice something is wrong.
  • Check for cracks or holes in your window panes. If any glass has become damaged, board up broken windows until they can be fixed.
  • Make sure your window frame hasn’t become damaged during the storm.
  • Many homeowners forget about their glass doors when checking for storm damage. Glass patio doors can take on the storm damage just like your windows.
  • Doors can take on impact from flying debris during a storm. Check exterior doors for scratches, dents, and other signs of a high-velocity impact.

Prepare for the next storm:

Some very practical people may tell you to simply replace all of your windows and doors with storm windows and doors. While this idea is functional, it won’t look very pretty on your home. Our Paragon entry doors come with the Guardian Weather Barrier System, which protects your door from air and water leakage. Together, the door jamb, threshold and astragal (the seal between doors) discourages rot and insects as well as increases the structural load your home can withstand. Our Preservation Windows are tested to withstand a driving water spray of 5 gallons per hour per square foot at simulated wind speeds over 57 mph. They can also withstand structural load conditions with wind speed over 190 mph- the equivalent of a EF4 Tornado. Illinois has already experienced an F3 tornado in Ottowa this year.


After you’ve checked for storm damage, your next step is to call your insurance agency. Depending on your homeowners insurance policy, replacement siding may be covered. Cramer Siding and Window will work directly with your insurance company to review and negotiate the details of your claim to make this process as easy and simple for you as possible. We will serve as your advocate when dealing with your insurance carrier. This is a task we take seriously to help ensure you are getting the best possible products, workmanship, and overall outcome for your project.

Storm Damage

Siding Storm Damage | Avoid Illinois Storm Damage

Siding, stucco and brick are also susceptible to storm damage. As a rule of thumb, older and cheaper siding is more likely to feel the affects of a severe Illinois storm. Look out for these common types of exterior damage:

  • Check for splits or cracks that run parallel to your siding. Wind uplifts your siding and puts an immense force on your exterior during a storm, resulting in storm damage. Be sure to check at different times of the day, as different light environments can make damages easier to spot.
  • Fast-flying debris can cause chipping or dents to appear in your exterior. Your exterior is most vulnerable at the bottom of a siding panel where the siding is least flexible. These damages are easier to see from below looking upwards.
  • Holes in your siding can really make your exterior look bad. If you see them, your exterior likely took a bad hit from some flying debris or hail. It can be tempting to ignore a small hole. Even the tiniest holes allow moisture to enter your home, which cause rotting framework and mold. Illinois homes are especially susceptible to this type of storm damage because the state experiences a large volume of tornados.
  • If you have a stucco exterior, holes can be a big problem. Call a professional immediately if you find one, even if it doesn’t seem like a large hole.

Prepare for the next storm:
Storm Damage Siding

There are two great options for replacement vinyl siding that can stand up to a storm. The first is Preservation High-Performance Siding. Everything about this siding is designed for durability, from it’s double-thick nail hem and advanced locking channel to it’s sure-grip bottom lock tabs. This siding has been tested to ensure it can stand up to the force of a Category 5 hurricane wind. For inland Illinois residents, that’s the wind-speed equivalent of an EF3 tornado! The next step up would be Preservation Integra Siding with ClimaShield Thermal Support System. This siding has a high-density, waterproof skin and a weather seal around each panel. If moisture does happen to get under your siding, a diamond groove drainage plane will direct moisture away from your interior. Plus, it has an impact resistance rating five times higher than that of ordinary vinyl siding.


After you’ve checked for storm damage, your next step is to call your insurance agency. Depending on your homeowners insurance policy, replacement siding may be covered. Cramer Siding and Window will work directly with your insurance company to review and negotiate the details of your claim to make this process as easy and simple for you as possible. We will serve as your advocate when dealing with your insurance carrier. This is a task we take seriously to help ensure you are getting the best possible products, workmanship, and overall outcome for your project.

Illinois Replacement Roofing

Roofing Storm Damage | Avoid Illinois Storm Damage

Roofing Storm Damage Checklist

Your roof is the most likely part of your house to take on storm damage during severe weather. Hail, wind, trees and debris can seriously degrade the functionality of your roof in just one night. In Illinois, we have to be particularly cautious about wind damage during tornado season. It can be tempting to look the other way when we find a missing shingle. How important can a single shingle be?! These parts aren’t just cosmetic- they’re integral to the function of your roof. Roofing systems can’t protect your home like they’re supposed to without all of their parts. That’s why it’s important to check everything is still in place after the storm passes. Here is how to conduct your own roofing inspection after a storm:

  • Start by looking for signs of storm damage from the ground. During high winds, pieces of roofing fall off your roof and into your yard. Scan your roof for missing shingles, metal fascia or metal chimney pieces. It’s common for pieces of your roof to become dislodged where your roof meets your exterior walls. Do NOT climb on your roof to check for damage. Leave that to the professionals.
  • Next, check your attic for signs of leaking or water damage. Water damage is easily observed in the form of water stains on your ceilings and walls. If you find some, set out containers to contain the leak and call a professional immediately. You may also want to set up a dehumidifier to minimize the spread of mold.
  • Hopefully you’ll notice if a tree has fallen onto your home! But sometimes it’s hard to tell how much real damage has been done. It’s recommended that you stay out of your home until a professional can come check whether any structural damage occurred. If it has, you’ll likely need to call a general contractor instead of a professional roofer for repairs.
Replacement Roofing Illinois

GAF Timberline HD Shingles | Birchwood

Prepare for the next storm:

Maybe you should have bought some higher-quality roofing. Hindsight’s always 20/20! Now that you need replacement roofing, it’s the perfect time for an upgrade. GAF Timberline HD Shingles have Advanced Protection Shingle Technology. You won’t find a single shingle that’s as tough and flexible with outstanding wind uplift resistance and fire resistance. These shingles can stand up to 130 mph winds. That means during one of Illinois tornado seasons, your shingle can hold on during an EF2 twister! You’re unlikely to take on storm damage again, but if you’re concerned we offer a Gold Pledge Warranty for our replacement roofing. This is a lifetime warranty that covers your whole roofing system- not just your shingles. When somebody else buys your home, the warranty is transferable for free.


After you’ve checked for storm damage, your next step is to call your insurance agency. Depending on your homeowners insurance policy, replacement roofing may be covered. Peoria Siding and Window will work directly with your insurance company to review and negotiate the details of your claim to make this process as easy and simple for you as possible. Serving as your advocate when dealing with your insurance carrier is something we take seriously to help ensure you are getting the best possible products, workmanship, and overall outcome for your project.

Illinois Weather

Best Window Styles for Illinois Weather

Champaign, Illinois is known for its erratic weather, gusty winds and fierce storms. That’s why windows in Illinois have to be durable enough to stand up to a beating. If you’re shopping for new windows, consider these options:

Best Window Styles for Illinois:

Casement windows are best-suited for Illinois homes. These windows are hinged at the side and open outward. Experts recommend casement windows for windy environments because they stand up well to blustery conditions. Casement windows can also help you use the wind to cool your home in the summer. During hot days, they can be opened outward to catch a breeze and draw moving air indoors to provide extra ventilation.

If you live in Illinois, it’s likely you live near farmland. Nearly 75% of Illinois’ total land area is used for agriculture. Illinoisans that live near farmland understand how common farming practices can spread dust, making easy-to-clean windows a necessity. Our Preservation Casement Windows have tilt-in top and bottom sashes so that you can clean both sides of the window pane from inside your home. Now, cleaning your windows will be a breeze (pun intended).

Best Window Glass for Illinois:

Replacement Windows Illinois

When it comes to glass, make insulation a top priority. The best-insulating windows are double or triple-paned and feature low-E glass. Windows with more than one window pane have air space between the multiple panes of glass that prevents the glass from touching and conducting thermal energy. These great features can reduce your home’s heat loss by 30-50% during cold winters.

Gas-filled windows will greatly increase your home’s energy efficiency. Gas-filled windows are often filled with Argon or Krypton gas, which are non-harmful and occur naturally in the earth’s atmosphere. These gases are denser than air and conduct less thermal energy than air. One advantage of gas-filled windows is that they don’t cause drafts like traditional windows do, and their interior glass isn’t cold to the touch. This can make living in Illinois during the winter a lot more comfortable.

Cramer Siding & Window has a variety of high-performing glass packages, including a Low-E, double-paned, Argon-filled glass package or a triple-paned, Krypton-filled glass package.

Best Window Materials for Illinois:

The best window material for Illinois is vinyl because it is energy efficient and affordable. The worst window materials for Illinois are wood and aluminum. Wood windows tend to warp in humid environments and rapid temperature changes. Aluminum is not recommended because it conducts too much thermal energy, making it a bad insulator. 

Cramer Siding & Window offers Energy Star-certified Preservation Vinyl windows. Most vinyl windows only come in white or tan. However, our Preservation Vinyl windows come in 9 different color and wood grain options.

If you’re thinking of replacing your old windows but don’t know where to start, fill out this form for a free, no-obligation project estimate.