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Moonworks' Home Improvement Blog

Mass Save Program: Make Your Home More Energy Efficient & Save More

If you wonder why your energy bills seem so high despite your efforts to use power carefully, then you need to consider having an energy audit performed. These evaluations can spot some surprising deficiencies in your home’s energy efficiency — things that might normally go undetected for years as you overpay thousands of dollars for your utilities. Let us consider some of the problems that can be found by an energy audit — and how specialized services such as Mass Save can go even further to help you enjoy a more “green” and affordable lifestyle.

Leaking Warm or Cold Air

You don’t have to leave a door or window hanging open to lose large quantities of warm or cold air. Tiny leaks may be at work in your basement, around window frames, or in the nooks and crannies of your attic that somehow escaped insulation. As a result, you may be cranking the . . .

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Tips That Help You Avoid Major Roof Repairs and More

We’re well into winter, and that means your roof is being pounded with snow and ice. That can cause serious damage – your roof won’t collapse overnight, but you might find yourself in need of expensive repairs come spring. Luckily, there are a number of ways to prevent the worst.

The simplest solution is to simply brush excess snow off of your roof, but be careful if you decide on this approach. Don’t start climbing around on a roof in the middle of winter, because that’s an accident waiting to happen. Instead, use a rake or something else that isn’t going to damage your roof to brush off the worst of the buildup. Don’t use big, unwieldy snow shovels or start hacking at ice with chisels and picks, because you might end up damaging your roof and quite possibly yourself, too. Stick with something simple and light – you’re not going . . .

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Take Care of Roof Repairs Before Winter

Before Old Man Winter makes his triumphant return in a few weeks, it’s important that homeowners inspect their roof during these cool (or warm) autumn months. Taking a little effort now can help homeowners ensure they won’t have any unwelcome surprises between December and April.

Although roof repairs can be done throughout the winter season, it’s normally best to perform these roofing remedies or replacements now instead of later. After all, nobody likes to work for too long in the bitter cold while a blizzard is taking place (does last season’s incredible snowfall ring a bell?).

There are a number of roofing issues to be on the lookout for when you perform your inspection prior to the arrival of winter. Here are some things that can indicate the need for roof repairs or replacement:
Roof repairs
Roof in winter: Your roof will be covered in . . .

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Gutter Protection 101: What Every Homeowner Needs to Know

Gutters may not seem like the most glamorous part of your home, but they play a crucial role in protecting it — especially if you live in a wet climate. Perhaps the most effective preventative step you can take in caring for your gutters is to attach some sort of cover, filter, or bypass device to keep as much debris out of them as possible. Some homeowners never even think to cover their gutters, only to wonder why they keep experiencing ice dams, clogs, and even damage to their beloved homes. The following basic tips will help you select the right types of gutter protection for your needs.

Gutter Covers

Some gutters come with their proprietary covers, while others take a wide variety of aftermarket products. Gutter covers typically feature slots, holes, or mesh designed to block larger debris from entering the gutter. Leaf guards are designed purely to keep leaves, vermin, . . .

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How to End Worries About Ice Dams in Your Gutters

Few sights inspire the heart and imagination like a winter wonderland of white snowscapes and elegant icicles. That joy may be short-lived, however, the moment you discover that ice has inhabited your gutters. Ice dams, accumulations of ice that block the passage of liquid water, can render your gutters useless until the next big melt. Let’s take a close look at this homeowner’s nightmare, including ways you can deal with it or even prevent it.
Gutters
Does this sight look familiar?
The What and Why of Ice Dams

Why does this troublesome development plague your gutters? Roof warming can contribute to ice dam formation during the colder months. You might assume that your roof remains as cold as the rest of the home’s exterior, but you’re most likely wrong. Attic heat can transfer to the roof, warming it just enough to melt snow collected on top. . . .

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Is it Time To Consider Replacement Windows?

It’s that time of the year again: Old Man Winter is right around the corner and the polar vortex could make a return and engulf a large part of the United States leaving homes in the cold. This is especially true if the home’s windows are getting old and not preventing the frigid air from seeping in, leaving residents with chills and clattering teeth.

If the home is undergoing major problems with the appearance, efficiency and structure of the windows then now may be the best time to think about replacement windows – before it is too late. Years of use can wear out windows in more ways than one and the only measure to take is to replace your windows immediately.

Some homeowners may refrain from taking this necessary step because they’re either unsure if the windows need to be replaced at all or because of the significant expense involved. However, . . .

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Beginner’s Guide to Fall Gutter Cleaning

“Gutter cleaning.” The phrase even sounds unappealing.

Perhaps you grew up hearing your parents and other adults gripe and groan about having to clean their gutters. And this perception may have stuck with you until adulthood when you finally bought your own home for the first time. Since there are a lot of tasks to accomplish and details to work out when you move into a new home, it’s perfectly understandable how gutter cleaning would slide down (or even off) the priority list.

But neglecting your gutters is not a smart thing to do, especially during the fall season. Leaves, pine needles, twigs, and other debris can clog your gutters and prevent runoff water from entering – which could eventually lead to expensive water-related damage around your home.
Gutter cleaning
It’s not going to clean itself, you know.
Preparing for Gutter Cleaning

With a little preparation and perseverance, cleaning . . .

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Dominate Winter with a Heated Gutter Guard

Hey, you. It’s time to start thinking about winter. Yes, now.

Oh, you’re probably still wrapping up all of your summer-related activities and looking forward to enjoying colorful fall days and cooler evenings. That’s perfectly understandable.

Winter is Lurking Just Around the Corner

But Old Man Winter is coming, and probably sooner than you think. In fact, some weather watchers are forecasting an exceptionally cold winter season this year. Even the Old Farmer’s Almanac, the newest edition of which was released last month, predicted what it called a “super cold” winter.
Gutter guard
Brrr!!!
If you’re a homeowner in New England, that means you should probably begin those cold-weather preparations sooner rather than later. That means inspecting your heaters, putting in a little more insulation, and weatherstripping leaky doors and windows.

While you’re planning ahead for winter’s arrival, be sure not to neglect your gutters – or you may be dealing . . .

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Is Fall the Toughest Season to Maintain Clean Gutters?

Okay, ladies and gentlemen – it’s time to give out the Seasonal Awards for 2014. Here are the winners:

For the Season Most Likely to Cause a Sunburn - the winner is… summer!
Next, the award for the Season Most Likely to Lead to Allergy Flare-Ups - congratulations to… spring!
The winner in the Season Most Likely To Make You Slip and Fall on your Keister is… winter!
And finally, the trophy for Season During Which It’s Hardest to Maintain Your Gutters goes to… autumn!
Gutters
“Oh, what a surprise! I’m so unprepared! I’d like to thank my agent…”
Truth be told, autumn isn’t a runaway victor in this category. After all, debris such as leaves, twigs, and pine needles can make their way into your gutters during any season of the year.
Autumn Gutter Cleaning Can Be Difficult
That said, there’s a reason why they call the season fall. Given that the majority of trees and plants tend to . . .

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How Ignoring Your Clogged Gutters Could Cost You Dearly Down the Road

You’ve heard the old saying before: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure… especially with modern day healthcare prices!”

All right, so maybe that last part wasn’t uttered by Ben Franklin in the 18th century. But the idea behind that adage from so long ago still holds true today. Basically, it encourages people to put forth a little effort toward prevention in order to avoid a significant disaster down the road which must be “cured.”
Clogged gutters
That Ben. He was a pretty sharp guy.
This is certainly accurate with respect to the gutters on your home. Compared with many other household chores or maintenance tasks, cleaning out your gutters is relatively easy to accomplish. But if you neglect this important job, you could be leaving yourself open for a host of problems and expensive repair bills. In fact, some gutter cleaning . . .

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