Brighten Your Holidays with More Than Lights

Beautiful xmas tree at nightAre you putting out incandescent or LED Christmas lights? Yes, incandescent lights are less expensive, but they don’t last as long as LED lights that cost more and last longer. No matter which you choose, either one will look brighter reflected in clean windows. Accumulated grime, water stains, cobwebs, and other dirty stuff will dim your joyous display.

Just think about your front windows, all sparkly clean to showcase your Christmas tree. Not only will neighbors and passersby enjoy its dazzle, you’ll enjoy seeing your lawn decorations and those of your neighbors.

Hope your holidays are bright!

Do you have a house that was built prior to 1972?

It wasn’t until 1972 that building codes were revised to mandate safety glass in doors and other high traffic areas. Until then hundreds of thousands of people suffered major injury including loss of limbs and even their life from an accidental fall into broken glass. We’ve all broken the glass that comes with picture frames. Those shards are deadly sharp. Imagine falling on that. No thanks. Continue reading

Want the greatest gift ever?

Do you know someone who seemingly has everything? Many people have gotten into the new habit of giving practical gifts, gifts appreciated all year. We are suggesting you gift an entire year of window washing and gutter cleaning for a deserving family member. Remember, seniors should not be doing dangerous tasks and many are living on restricted incomes. So, this is a wonderful way to brighten their holiday and beyond!

Frost, yes. Dirt, no.

Admit it. You love to look into peoples’ homes and see their beautifully decorated Christmas tree. Fortunately, the family of this home had their windows cleaned by Mark before the holidays. time races by and it’s easy to forget basic maintenance chores like window cleaning. But, while the season of looking INto your windows won’t last long, we suggest you call to set up quarterly cleaning for 2016 so you can look OUT to a fantastic new year of beauty.

Sometimes a gift has more value than may think

Do you know someone who is housebound? Maybe an older person who just doesn’t get out much? The gift of sparkling clean windows may bring far more joy than you imagine.

Someone at home experiences a monotony that can be broken with extended time at a window. In fact, out the side windows, it can be fun to wonder why the neighbor still has their TV antenna in this day of WIFI. One wonders if they know there are two balls stuck in their rain gutter. There is landscaping to be enjoyed and reimagined, trees and flowers to notice of for the first time, and watching the wildlife (meaning animals and people, too) can be very entertaining.

Out the front are neighbors walking their dogs, cars passing, the mailman coming with that card from the favorite niece studying in France for the semester.

Now … open the window and take in a deep breath. Everything viewed now becomes magnified. The outdoors has been brought in.

Windows are vital to the emotional well-being of a patient or an elderly person. Call Mark Larsen today to brighten someone’s home tomorrow.

Would you buy a $35,000 car and never wash it? Solar panels need care, too.

With the recession receding for most people, homeowners are again looking for ways to invest in their property while lowering their expenses and carbon footprint. Business is booming at the solar installation providers. There are two kinds of panels; photovoltaic and solar. Solar panels only provide heat while photovoltaic panels provide power for many kinds of devices including lighting and air conditioning. But, they only work if they are clean.

We are big fans of do-it-yourselfers. Tackling chores and projects around the house can save money and be fun to do. But, cleaning glass panels on your roof is not a DIY task. Obviously, it’s dangerous. Many installations are on sloped surfaces. Cleaning panels while standing precariously on a ladder is foolhardy. Professionals have the equipment, the cleaning supplies, and the knowhow to protect a homeowner’s big investment.

While up there, we inspect and clean the panels, of course, but also the mounting brackets and supports. Cleaning off leaves, pollen and dust is complicated by bird droppings, a serious issue in many areas. A third of the efficiency is lost and the investment payback time is extended by three to five years if regular panel cleanings are not scheduled.

We use the finest biodegradable products and equipment that won’t scratch the panels. There should be from two to four professional cleanings a year. Would you wash your car any less frequently?

Homeowners expect their roof panels to last far longer than their car.

Here are 7 tips to winterize your home

Yes, we have winters in Southern California. So, this is the time to take a moment and see if there’s anything on this list that would help save you money. You can save at least 20% on your energy bills by being proactive in these.

1. Trim any tree branches that may hover over your roof or power lines. We’ve had a warm summer and lots of growth over your roof is not good for the roof, for generating leaves in your gutters and for potential damage in high winds.

2. Get your chimney cleaned. Many people use their fireplaces in the fall and winter as friends and family gather. It’s a fair assumption that you’ve not used your hearth in many months so have it cleaned by a professional who can also check for leaks in your gas starter if you have one.

3. Check for leaks where cold air might come in. At night when it’s colder, go around to all you windows and doors to see if any need sealing with weather-stripping, caulk or spray foam. Check around light switches and plugs, too.

4. Change your furnace filter. Many forget to change their filter but it’s important for the unit to run efficiently. If you have pets, you should change it every 4 to 6 months. You might also upgrade your thermostat to a programmable one that helps save you money as well. Ever gone to work forgetting to turn the heater down or off?

5. Insulate your pipes and hot water heater. Pipes that run under your house need wrapping. It’s cold down there. And insulting your water heater allows you to turn down the temperature setting which will same you more money.

6. If your attic is not insulated, it’s a fairly easy job and will have noticeable results for you year-round. If you are not a DIY-er, any handyman can do the job for you.

7. Call us to clean your rain gutters and clean your windows. If there’s a deciduous tree near your house wait until it’s nearly done shedding but schedule a cleaning immediately after. If water can’t get down the downspouts, it will go up under your roof tiles. And, cleaning your windows will make winter much less dreary.

If you tend to the 7 tips above, you will save money, be warmer, and avoid costly repairs.

Clean Windows

So you think your windows are clean?

Let’s try a little test. Stop reading this and go over to a window in your home that has light or sun pouring through it. Now, make an X with your finger on the glass. Walk outside and do the same thing. Surprised? If you live within a couple miles of a freeway or busy street, your windows have a film on them from car and bus exhaust and smog. If you have trees on or near your property, you have fine mold and dust from the leaves.

Another test is to notice how much dust is on one of your occasional tables in your living room or bedroom after just one week of not dusting. Well, some of that is clinging to your windows as well. You see, as moisture forms and dries on your windows, they become sticky and dust that’s flying around the room lands on the vertical surfaces much as it done the horizontal ones.

Don’t think dust floats around your room? Just watch when a stream of sunshine beams into a room. You can see all the particles that are in the air constantly. They land in many places including under furniture and even in open drawers and cabinets. And, they like window glass as well.

With weather cooling, you will be closing up those windows you’ve keep open all spring and summer. We know you did spring cleaning but it’s time to do fall cleaning now. Fall fog and winter weather won’t be nearly as gloomy if you can see outside. Time for gleaming glass!

Happy 4th of July! We thought we’d briefly reflect upon what the Fourth of July truly means to us in the US. Hope you have a safe and relaxing holiday!

What gives the Fourth of July its significance is that our Declaration of Independence was adopted by the Continental Congress in 1776.

It was in Philadelphia, and the signers of that document, composed by Thomas Jefferson, knew that this declaration of independence from the dictatorial rule of Great Britain might also be – literally – their death sentence.

They knew full well that the wrath and might of the British army would be sailing across the Atlantic to descend on the relatively defenseless colonies. They knew their scattered “states” didn’t have the numbers or arms or training to stand against the British, much less defeat them militarily. Yet they put their signatures, and their lives, their families, their destiny, on that parchment.

And so, against all odds, and even against reason, that Declaration told the world that “these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent states.”

The only importance of the 4th day of July, then, is that it marks the birth of the United States of America.

Most of the people living in those colonies had simply had enough of British domination, of working and virtually existing at the pleasure of a king they didn’t know and who obviously considered them his indentured servants.

They wanted to be free, to make their own decisions, to govern themselves and breathe the sweet air of liberty.

The first celebration of American Independence took place four days later in Philadelphia, where the Continental Congress was still meeting.

The ceremony began with a public reading of the Declaration of Independence. Then, from the tower of the State House, now called Independence Hall, the Liberty Bell rang out.

The coat of arms of the king of England was taken down. And there was a parade. And cannons boomed. The people, though aware of what lay ahead, cheered! A new nation sprang to life.

Summer is almost here!

In fact, in California it feels like it never left. We’ve had unseasonably hot weather the past few months so I know many of us have been enjoying the warm weather for a while now. As you gear up for summer parties and picnics, here are a few tips to get your house in top shape!

Dust and clean ceiling fans. They may not have been turned on for a while and dust has probably accumulated.

Test your A/C and get it serviced before a heat wave hits.

Get your windows professionally cleaned…grit and grime have built up over the past several months. Its time!

Revitalize your outdoor space. Pick out some new plants, hose down the patio, and dust off that umbrella.

Happy Summer!