Longhorn Solar Screens

A Winter Checklist for Your Window’s Screens

Texas winters don’t stay cold for the whole season, and that means critters and pests can reappear instead of staying holed away until the spring. Even if you inspected your home in the autumn for small exterior holes and sealing gaps, here’s a quick list of tips for making sure your bug screens stay secure through the rest of winter:

A Winter Checklist for Your Window's Screens

  • Focus on the corners and sides. Any place where different materials join together is a potential weakness. Unless you have custom-built, fiberglass screens, the screen can tear from the hardware, especially in the corners. Another risk is the caulk or sealant between the bug screen and the actual perimeter of the window. Small gaps in the material can let any number of pests in that have woken up from a premature warm day and are looking for shelter.
  • Know what size holes you should look for. Small gaps in the screen frames are going to be nearly invisible, but more can get through a smaller area than you might think. Pull up a guide for local pests in your city and how small of a hole they need to gain entrance. For example, mice only need a hole the size of a coin, and bugs need even less. An approximate guide is that creatures only need an opening the size of their head.
  • Check for foundation damage. Foundation is a constant concern in Texas, even during the slightly wetter winters. One of the signs your foundation is shifting is having your window split from the brick facing it. Pests can get into these gaps, and the movement itself could dislodge your screen or the seal around it.

The best way to make sure your window screens will keep pests out is to get long-lasting materials. A lot of commercial bug screen material can be torn and wrenched free of the hardware, but getting bug screens with fiberglass screens and solid hardware can help hold the barrier no matter the weather or setting. Contact us today to get started.

Longhorn Solar Screens

5 Reasons to Install Custom Plantation Wood Shutters

Looking to enhance your home? Window treatments are one of the best ways to improve a home. Here are a few reasons why you should install custom plantation window shutters.

5 Reasons to Install Custom Plantation Wood Shutters

Flexibility

Plantation shutters give you more flexibility compared to curtains. You can easily adjust them to allow air in while still blocking the sun. You can adjust their direction to fit with the sun’s position in the sky. You can open one and close the other; curtains and blinds often come in one piece.

Easier to Clean

Plantation shutters are a lot easier to clean than curtains. You can easily wipe them off. In addition, they are a better choice for allergy sufferers. Not only can they be easily cleaned, but they are less likely to catch particles compared to curtains.

Longer Lasting

Plantation shutters have a long-lasting lifespan. Unlike curtains, they won’t get faded by the sun or ripped. Unlike plastic blinds, they won’t get cracked or bent.

Improve Home Value

Plantation shutters will improve the visual appeal of your home, both from the inside and from the outside. This will improve the value of your home. They are often kept by new owners, which will also add to your home’s value.

Save Money

Plantation shutters are cheaper to install and maintain than curtains. In addition, they’ll help you reduce the heat in your home in the summer. They’ll help keep heat inside during the winter. This will enable you to reduce your energy usage, and you’ll save money on your bills.

For beautiful window treatments, contact us today!

Longhorn Solar Screens

3 To-dos Before Installing Seamless Gutters

Having gutters on your home can do a lot for appearance, as well as benefits like protecting the foundation or adding water collection. There are also problems that can come from gutters, such as leaks at the seam and ice dams on the roof. Seamless gutters and a few improvements can help prevent these problems. Here are some of the things that you will want to know before installing seamless gutters.

3 To-dos Before Installing Seamless Gutters

Choosing The Right Size Gutter And Planing The Location Of Downspouts

The size of your gutter is important, and choosing a gutter that is oversized will ensure that water goes where it is supposed to. You want to look for the right areas to install downspouts too. The downspouts do not always have to be located in corners; choose a location that is more inconspicuous to make them less noticeable.

Sloping Of Long Spans Of Gutters To Ensure Water Flows To Downspouts

Having a long section of gutter that is perfectly level can cause water to puddle in the gutter or overflow. The weight of the water in the gutter can cause gutters to pull away from your home. When the gutters are installed, make sure that the long sections of gutters are installed with a slight slope, which will allow the water to flow to the downspout and prevent puddling that causes damage.

Installing Gutter Drainage To Further Protect The Foundation Of Your Home

The downspouts need to drain somewhere, which is often right near the foundation of your home. Installing a drainage pipe to keep the water away from the foundation will help protect your home. Another option that you may want to consider is installing rain collection, which can give you an extra resource for outdoor chores. We can install downspout drain extensions and rain collection systems to provide your gutter with these extra benefits.

These are some of the things that you will want to know before installing seamless gutters. Contact us to get an estimate for new seamless gutters for your home.

Longhorn Solar Screens

3 Reasons You Need Solar Screens in Your Home

Everyone loves a home flooded with natural light, but no one likes that light to be in the way. Whether you’re planning on having a lazy day on the couch, or it’s just too bright in the room to watch TV, your answer might be a solar screen. But why not just lower the blinds instead? Well, here are three reasons.

3 Reasons You Need Solar Screens in Your Home

Reason #1: Maintain Visibility

Solar screens are like sunglasses for your house. They bring down the intensity of the light, but they still let you look outside to see what’s happening. If you want your home to feel open, solar screens let you maintain that look without squinting through the early morning light.

Reason #2: Easy to Clean

Unlike your blinds, which can be a pain to clean, solar screens can be easily, and quickly, washed. So even if you use them often, all it takes is a quick wipe-down to ensure they add a layer of sleekness to your windows, instead of looking grimy or dusty.

Reason #3: They Won’t Void Your Window Warranty

When you get new windows, they come with a warranty. However, if you get your windows tinted, or you put adhesive covers on them, that might end up voiding your warranty. A solar screen is neither of these things, and it allows you to adjust the brightness in your home without worrying that your comfort might be stripping your windows of a vital protection.

These are just three, basic reasons you should consider installing solar screens in your home. For more reasons, all you have to do is contact us today!

Longhorn Solar Screens

5 Benefits of Patio Roll Away Shades

Having a porch is one of the best ways to take full advantage of the beautiful summer weather. To make the most of your porch, make sure to install a patio roll away a shade. Here are five benefits of doing so.

5 Benefits of Patio Roll Away Shades

Convenience

Having a roll away shade is the ultimate in porch convenience. Depending on the time of the day, the brightness of the sun and the temperature, you can easily switch from a covered porch to an open-roof porch. With a motorized roll away shade, doing so is even easier.

Better Than Construction

If you’ve been thinking about covering your porch with a roof or building an indoor porch, consider getting a roll away shade instead. It’s cheaper and much more convenient. In addition, it involves a lot less hassle, including when it comes to getting building permits.

Protect Your Furniture

The sun’s rays can damage your furniture, both the furniture on your porch and your indoor furniture. A patio shade will ward off the sun’s rays. Your furniture won’t get faded and will last longer.

Less Glare

An outdoor shade will also reduce any unnecessary glare inside your home. It will be easier to watch television or work on your computer. The shade can easily be rolled back depending on the time of the day and the position of the sun in the sky.

Save Energy

A patio shade will also reduce the heat in your home. This will cause you to be less dependent on your AC. You’ll be able to reduce your energy usage and save on your bills.

Looking for the perfect patio shade? Contact us today!

Longhorn Solar Screens

How to Care for your Plantation Wood Shutters

Now that you have the plantation shutters of your dreams, it is time to learn how to take care of them properly. Here are a few tips you will want to keep in mind that will keep them looking their best for years to come.

How to Care for your Plantation Wood Shutters

Cleaning Frequency

Start by keeping as much dust off your shutters as possible. Not only will dusting them weekly keep them looking great, but it will also keep debris off the wood that could become damaging over time. You won’t need to spend too much time cleaning them. A simple duster or damp cloth will suffice. Avoid using soapy water on them since this can damage the wood and shorten their life.

Protect Against Stains

You might not think you need to worry about stains occurring to your wood shutters, but they can happen. This is particularly the case when shutters are in the kitchen, specifically around the sink area. Make sure you avoid splashing dirty water on the shutters. If something does happen to come in contact with the shutters, clean it immediately.

Operate Properly

Finally,  proper operation of the shutters is essential. It’s best always to use the appropriate control method. For shutters with visible, rod-like controls, always open the shutters using the rod. However, for those who have hidden controls, open the louvers from the middle rather than from the end. Over time, opening the shutters from the end will weaken the device causing damage.

Plantation wood shutters offer a beautiful look for your home. When you follow this advice and care for them properly, you will have a nice look for decades.

Call us today to learn more about our custom plantation wood shutter options!

Longhorn Solar Screens

3 Reasons to Install Bug/Insect Screens

In these warm summer months, an open window and a nice breeze sound like a little taste of paradise. Hundreds of insects flying inside your home, however, doesn’t sound quite as lovely. Fresh air comes at a price when insects and potentially some other (larger) pests seek shelter within your clean, welcoming, home. Open windows offer the perfect opportunity for creepy-crawlies to invite themselves in. Insect screens provide a faultless solution to open doors and invading critters. With their easy-to-clean nature and open concept, insect screens get the job done without providing roadblocks to daily living. These 3 reasons to install bug/insect screens make insect screens a no-brainer.

Keep the Bugs Out

Naturally, insect screens serve one main purpose: keeping unwanted insects and pests out of the home. When properly installed on household doors and windows, screens can effectively eliminate all points of entry for insects outside the house. Insect screens offer peace of mind for homeowners who seek to open doors and windows without worrying about dangerous and inconvenient bugs getting into the house.

3 Reasons to Install Bug/Insect Screens

Easy to Clean

No one likes cleaning windows, and some owners may think that insect screens offer just one more window covering to worry about keeping clean around the house. However, screens are easy to remove and just as easy to clean. Simply rinse the screen with mild cleaning solution and warm water and replace in the window frame.

Let the Air and Light In

Homeowners who shy away from insect screens may worry about blocking light and air from entering and circulating within the home. Insect screen designs allow maximum air flow, ensuring an open-window feel without allowing bugs to enter. Likewise, screens nowadays contain certain materials to allow light to enter freely from outside.

Looking to install insect screens in your home? Contact us to discover your options.

Longhorn Solar Screens

Solar Screens And Passive Cooling Designs To Cut Your Energy Costs

Energy costs during the summer months sky-rocket as using the AC in your home becomes essential to survival. Surviving the hottest days of summer can also be done with good building designs and passive energy solutions, such as using solar screens and other improvements that keep the heat out and the cool air in. Here are some of the ways that passive cooling improvements are easily added to homes with solar screens and other window improvements:

Solar Screens And Passive Cooling Designs To Cut Your Energy Costs

Solar Screens As The Affordable Window Improvement To Keep Heat Out

Replacement windows have been marketed as a great window improvement, but they are not right for every home. The cost can sometimes outweigh the benefits when it comes to replacement windows. Today, there is the solar screen alternative to replacements, which are screens that help reduce heat gain. These screens help protect your home during the hottest Texas heat, as well as providing you with extra privacy. Solar screens will be fully functional; allowing you to open and close them as needed.

Adding Tinted, Energy Efficient Window Films For Areas That Get Direct Sun

For homes with old single-pane glass, window film is another option to consider. Window films can be installed on the glass to improve energy efficiency. In areas where you get direct sunlight, window film will provide you with more protection. Tinted films can even be used for more privacy.

Thermal Blinds And Interior Window Treatments To Protect Against Heat Gain

Thermal blinds and interior window treatments are also great improvements to consider for your windows. Thermal window treatments are measured to fit tightly in the window openings and provide your home with more insulation from the weather outside; whether it is the hot Texas summers or the months of cold winters.

These are some of the ways passive cooling can be added to your home with simple window improvements. If you are ready to start keeping the heat out of your home, contact us to fit your windows with new solar screens and stay cool for the summer.

Longhorn Solar Screens

3 Signs That Show You Need to Replace Your Bug/Insect Screens

Installing screens on your windows are essential for keeping bugs, birds, insects, leaves, dust, and debris out of your home, while at the same time maintaining sunlight and a good airflow. However, no screen lasts forever. Here are a few signs that it’s time to replace your window screens.

3 Signs That Show You Need to Replace Your Bug/Insect Screens

It’s Old and Brittle

Over time, screens can bend and become brittle. This can cause small openings, which can lead to insects getting into your home. If your screens are many years old, it’s time to replace them with newer, modern ones.

There’s a Rip or Hole

Rips, tears, and holes can occur even in the best of screens. A flying object such as a ball can easily cause a gaping void in your screen. Cats, dogs, and other pets can also cause holes in your screens. If you want to keep the dirt out, replace your screen right away.

You Notice Lots of Bugs

If you notice lots of insects in your home, or you’re getting an unexplained number of mosquitos in your house at night, it may be caused by a faulty screen somewhere. Check your windows and replace your screens as needed.

Generally, most screens will last 10 to 15 years before they need to be replaced. However, it will really depend on a number of factors, including exposure to sunlight and moisture and the materials the screen is made out of.

Contact us today so that we can check if your screens need to be replaced. Our bug screens are custom-built and are made from the best materials.

Longhorn Solar Screens

Seamless Gutters and Their Impact On Your Home

Seamless Gutters and Their Impact On Your Home

Gutters for routing rainwater from the roof to where we want it are nothing new, but for years these gutters consisted of pieces of formed metal that contractors brought to the home and pieced together. New machinery now allows the contractor to bring coils of metal to the home and install on site. Each section of your seamless gutter is then formed in the exact length of the side of your home. Seamless gutters and their impact on your home will make all the difference.

Any time you piece something together you have seams and these are the weak points in the gutters. These joints are never quite smooth, so they catch leaves and debris which in turn clog the gutter. The gutter is then carrying more weight than it should handle, and the weak spots start to give way. Eventually, this becomes a leak, allowing moisture to end up in places you don’t want to get wet.

Seamless gutters don’t have seams. While you will still need to keep your gutters clear of leaves and debris, they will not have as much problem with clogging. If they do get clogged, usually from a clump of debris that is too large for the downspout. This means they don’t have those weak points. The only joints in these gutters are at the corners of the house, and where the downspouts both help support and remove the weight of the water.

There are tons of options for seamless gutters that fit the style of your home, ensuring that you will have a lovely compliment to your house. At Longhorn Solar Screens, we strive to provide quality services with integrity, efficiency, and professionalism.

Contact us today to schedule your estimate for new seamless gutters or for information on energy-efficient window treatments for your home.