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Dry_After_Flood

How to Drain and Dry a Water-Damaged Home

If you’re like many of your customers, you’re probably still cleaning up after last week’s storms. In the past week, we’ve scheduled over thirty appointments for our basement waterproofing system, B-Dry and over forty appointments for Gutter Helmet. Unfortunately, some customers moved too slowly and sustained water damage to their homes. They’re now tasked with the arduous process of draining and drying their interior. If you’re in the same boat (but hopefully not literally), we’re here to help. Here’s some tips for reducing moisture in your home:

Draining Moisture from Your Home

  • Sump Pump: A sump pump will continuously remove water from your basement via hose or pipe. A sump pump is especially useful for removing standing water. You can rent a sump pump for about $44/day, or purchase one for $100 or more.
  • Wet/Dry Vacuum: A wet/dry vacuum is used just like a traditional vacuum, except it has the ability to suck up moisture and wetness. This is a great tool for removing water from carpets and rugs.
  • Absorb moisture: Absorb moisture with a desiccant. A desiccant is a drying solvent that naturally absorbs and retains moisture. These products are often made from silica, calcium oxide, or clay. Some desiccants change colors to indicate moisture-saturation levels.

Drying Up Humidity in Your Home

  • Dehumidifier: A dehumidifier removes water vapor from the air, leaving your home cool and dry. Make sure to shut windows and doors when using a dehumidifier to avoid bringing more moisture inside.
  • Open Doors & Windows: Don’t underestimate the power of air circulation. Sometimes all it takes to dry something out is time and a good breeze. Skip this step if it is particularly humid outside your home.
  • Hot and Cold Method: This neat trick comes from Jeffery Gross, a home restoration professional:

    “Warm air will hold more moisture than cooler air,” Mr. Gross said. So a homeowner can close all doors and windows and run the air-conditioning. Once the house has cooled and the air is dry, the air-conditioning should be turned off and the heat turned on. When the temperature has reached, say, 80 degrees or so, the heat should be turned off and the air-conditioning turned back on until all the warm air has been removed. The cycle should be repeated until the house is dry.”


Before you begin restoring your home, make sure your home is safe to occupy- especially if your home has been in a flood. Make sure that the water that has entered your home has not been contaminated with sewage or debris. Check that your electrical systems haven’t come in contact with any standing water. After you’ve ensured your safety, call your homeowners insurance company. Depending on your policy, you may be covered for flooding due to storms, backed-up city sewers and storm drains or burst pipes.

Make sure your home never becomes soggy again by waterproofing your basement and ensuring your home has proper drainage. Our basement waterproofing system B-Dry works by protecting the five most common locations water enters your home. With Gutter Helmet, your gutters will never clog and spill rainwater into your yard. Call us at (309) 717-0105 or fill out this form to schedule your free in-home estimate today.

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.

 

When Should I Replace My Siding?

 Damaged Siding

Replacement_Siding_Damage

Storms, baseballs, and bugs are all bad news for your siding. Those in Central Illinois who took the brunt of last week’s storms know this all too well. Damaged siding doesn’t just look bad- it can also create cracks, gaps and holes in your home. These imperfections are the perfect spot for moisture to enter your house and cause your framework to rot. Siding defects can also be a good way for creepy crawlies to gain entry to your home. Some bugs (like termites) are infamous for devastating a home’s structural integrity.

If you want replacement siding that can stand up to daily wear and tear, vinyl siding is your best choice. But our Preservation Vinyl Siding protects against impact up to five times more than ordinary vinyl siding. This replacement siding has super-tough, acrylic DuraShield modifiers that protects your exterior against everyday bumps and dings. In independent tests, Preservation Siding held its own against winds equivalent to a category 5 hurricane! In addition to all this, Preservation Integra Siding with ClimaShield will protect against termites.

Too Much Maintenance

Replacement_Siding_Maintenance

If you’re already spending tons of time exterior maintenance, I have bad news for you. It will only get worse. Homeowners with traditional wood siding may need to repaint their house as often as every three years! Older siding often has so many problems that it’s not worth the upkeep to maintain it. That’s why you see so many houses with older siding falling into disrepair.

If you’re looking for a low-maintenance exterior, vinyl is the way to go. Vinyl is easier to maintain and keeps its color longer. Our vinyl Preservation Siding takes that one step farther by providing a truly maintenance-free siding experience. Our replacement siding can be covered in a variety of in ColorThru pigments. These pigments produce uniform colors that go clear through the siding panels. Extreme heat and nasty storms won’t wash your colors away because our replacement siding is made with ingredients that protect it from ultraviolet degradation, heat degradation and humidity. All you have to do to clean your exterior is spray it occasionally with a garden hose.

High Utility Bills

It can be frustrating to lose money on heat that’s escaping right through your walls. If you don’t see major damage areas on your siding and attic, your loss of energy is likely due to poor insulation. There’s a number of old DIY tricks you can try to fix this. But sooner or later you’ll be tired of spending even more money on complicated DIY projects you’re not cut out for, and you’ll start looking at replacement siding options.

When that happens, we want you to give us a call. Our Preservation Integra Siding comes with ClimaShield Thermal Support System. This system molds perfectly to your replacement siding to ensure superior insulation and a high-density, waterproof skin. The system’s ship-lap profile creates a complete weather seal all the way around each panel so that no heat will escape. Finally, ClimaShield has a diamond-groove drainage plane that directs moisture away from interior walls.

Outdated Design

There’s nothing wrong with replacing your siding simply because you don’t like it. Curb appeal is one of the most important factors for selling your home. Plus, if you replace your outdated siding, your neighbors might stop directing people to “turn left at the ugly parfait pink house on the corner.” It can be fun to imagine reinventing your home into a Pinterest-worthy country farmhouse or sleek mid-century modern. If you need some inspiration, you can find us on Houzz! The most important thing about your new home is that it’s practical and makes you happy.

Growth on Siding

I used to love the classic look of ivy crawling up the side of a home. But any kind of growth on your exterior is bad business. Plant-life or algea around the seams of your siding may indicate that moisture is entering your home. This can cause rot and mold in areas that are hard to access. Plus, humidity-loving insects won’t be able to resist a damp, warm interior with 24/7 food access.

Vinyl siding is best to reduce insects and rot because water cannot penetrate vinyl the same way it gets into wood. Integra Preservation Siding comes with ClimaShield Thermal Support System. Not only does this support system insulate your home, it has a waterproof skin to discourage growth. If water does happen to get under your replacement siding, ClimaShield has a diamond-groove drainage plane that directs moisture away from interior walls.


Whatever your reason for a new exterior, installing replacement siding is guaranteed to spruce up a tired-looking home. We have the best vinyl siding on the market and it comes in traditional, board & batten, scallop, and shake siding. We can even install siding on your soffit and fascia! For a free project estimate, fill out our form or call 217-655-4496.