Longhorn Solar Screens

Minimize Your Home’s Exposure to UV Rays with Patio Roller Shades

The summer sun is a powerful thing and, even if we don’t feel it as much, the autumn sun can be just as strong. The UV rays are even now starting to drain your patio furniture of color, especially if they have seat cushions and fabrics that aren’t fully treated. Direct sunlight also makes it easy for your home’s exterior to soak in extra heat. But a patio roller shade can help protect your patio, outdoor equipment and accessories, and even your home.

Minimize Your Home's Exposure to UV Rays with Patio Roller Shades

How do patio roller shades benefit you, even if you’re not out on your patio?

  • Patio roller shades generate shade outside of your home to protect outdoor furnishings, plants, and garden equipment. Sunlight can discolor and start to break down the fibers of your patio chair and hammock; it can also start to break down the plastic casing on your garden tools or your children’s outdoor toys, which makes them likely to shatter or crack the next time they’re moved. But giving these items a shady, protected spot on your patio can lengthen their life and leave them brightly colored and strong.
  • Patio roller shades can be the first defense from letting UV rays into your home. Windows don’t block out UVA rays, which have a longer wavelength and can damage skin. If you’ve opened your windows and pushed the curtains to the side to enjoy a late summer breeze, you have even less protection. But a patio roller shade blocks those UV rays and lowers the temperature of your patio and the side of the house it connects to. Not only can you enjoy filtered sunlight safely, you get the breeze without an unbearable wave of summer heat.

Patio roller shades are just one facet of how to change your windows and home exterior to control your environment, energy usage, and sunlight exposure. But it does quite a bit of the heavy lifting. If you want to add a roller shade to your patio or you’re considering redoing all of your window fixtures, browse Longhorn Solar Screens here.

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Lower Your Energy Bills This Summer with Exterior Protection

Windows can either be a huge asset or a huge liability when you’re trying to keep your home cool during the summer. Whether you prefer a low base temperature or you want to beat the heat with good ventilation, focus on how your windows are influencing temperature changes, and strengthen your strategies with solar shields. Here’s how:

Lower Your Energy Bills This Summer with Exterior Protection

Solar shields deflect the heat of natural light.

Sunlight is made up of more than just bright light. It also has UVA and UVA radiation. It carries heat. It also can be bright enough where you don’t have to use internal fixtures for illumination. So keep the best elements of it (the visual light) while blocking the heat and UV radiation, which can not only be dangerous during prolonged exposure but can start to degrade plastic and wood inside your home without adequate protection. By keeping only what you need of sunlight, you can power down your lights and avoid having to ramp up your air conditioning to counter the heat.

Having standalone solar shields means you can open your windows.

A lot of new window options include solar tinting, double panes, and thermally broken steel components to help you regulate your home’s temperature. But a lot of the features are designed for winter because they increase insulation only so long as the windows are closed. Having standalone breathable features means you can still tap into the benefits of advanced window features, but you can also open your window to let a breeze in. The more open windows you can have in your house, especially if they’re still blocking the heat and bugs, the better you can generate a cross-breeze. Letting fresh air in and out from just a single point can help, especially if you have a ceiling fan. But letting fresh air flow through the entirety of your house really helps get rid of trapped heat, and that’s where a lot of energy savings can be found.

Go to Longhorn Solar Screens to start controlling your home’s temperature without relying solely on your air conditioner.

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3 Things To Look For With Old Gutters

Most houses were constructed with standard, seamed gutters. They are easy for construction companies to modify and install on properties with slightly different dimensions and roofing orientations. But they were chosen for the company’s convenience, not your own. Gutters can only do their job if they have clear downspouts and open space, and traditional gutters will make you do double the work to keep them that way. They will also cause these three problems:

3 Things To Look For With Old Gutters

The seams will start to break down.

Each length of gutter is connected to the next point with small joints and screws. They may even have some amount of adhesive. But, over time, these rivets and seams will start to corrode. They also have small dips that let trace amounts of water pool and exposed edges that will provide shelter for growing deposits of mildew and muck. All of these factors turn even reinforced seams into potential weak points that can start to crack and leak.

Leaves will clog more frequently.

The rough the interior surface of your gutter system is, the more likely leaves are to get caught before they make their way to the downspouts. The problem quickly becomes self-perpetuating, because the leaves create even more rough edges and pinch points for leaves to gather. Even if you clean out your gutters regularly, they will start to refill almost immediately along seams.

The gutters will start to twist.

Clogs don’t just encourage pests and put the bottom of your roof at risk. The extra weight damages the gutters. Eventually, the supports holding the gutters flush against the edge of your roof will start to loosen. The gutters will sag outwards and bend where the weight is concentrated. Once gutters are twisted, it can be impossible to straighten them out again and resecure them against the roof.

If you had to clear out your gutters too many times last fall, don’t let this year be a repeat. Contact Longhorn to find seamless gutters that need less maintenance and fewer repairs.

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Why Plantation Shutters Are the Right Spring Addition to Your Home

Spring is a tricky season for managing energy costs; not only does the approaching summer weather make the air hot enough to make you want your air conditioning on, the temperature at night can plummet. If you’re looking for a way to shrink your energy bill, finding a solution that can combat both the heat and the cold is critical. Plantation shutters can do precisely that year-round.

Why Plantation Shutters Are the Right Spring Addition to Your Home

How do plantation shutters help combat the cold?

Over 25% of the energy you use to heat or cool your home is lost through your windows. Some of this loss is due to low insulation: even if your windows or double-paned or the edges are fully caulked to minimize drafts, windows offer less insulation than your walls. This means some of your heat will leak through to the outside, and some of the cold will cool the air against the window.

But plantation shutters can reduce that transfer of heat energy. The thick window coverings add another layer of insulation to keep warm air in. They also act as another buffer that forms a loose pocket of air to stop the dispersal of energy, similar to double-paned windows.

If you know your windows need to be updated or repaired to reduce air leaks, plantation shutters also are a great intermediate step so you can take your time selecting the perfect windows without losing heat throughout the fall and winter. Go to Longhorn Solar Screen’s selection of plantation shutters here and find other tools for keeping your home energy-efficient.

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3 Tips for Choosing Blinds for your Interior Window Treatments

Getting new interior window treatments installed can be a great way to make sure that your home feels comfortable and that you have the privacy that’s important to you. If you’re feeling stressed about selecting window treatments for your home, it’s a good idea to look into the following features that can come with blinds that make them a fantastic option.

3 Tips for Choosing Blinds for your Interior Window Treatments

Easy to Keep Clean

Most blinds have slick surfaces that don’t stain easily. This can help ensure that the blinds are very easy for you to keep clean. Unlike curtains that may need to be taken down to be cleaned, you can make sure that the blinds are clean by simply using a cleaning solution and wiping them down with a cloth.

Durable for Kids and Pets

As you prepare for improving your home with new window treatments, you should recognize just how durable most blinds are. Looking for blinds specifically for homes with pets or kids can ensure that they continue looking great years later.

Plenty of Design Choices

New window treatments can be a great way to add style to your home, making blinds a great choice due to just how many choices you have for the space. Matching the blinds with other features in your home can ensure that you get the look that you want.

Contact us to discuss the options we have available for window treatments. With the above benefits of blinds in mind, you can feel good about making these window treatments the choice for your home.

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3 Reasons to Consider Patio Roll Away Shades

Adding shade around your patio area can be just what you need to make the outdoor living space more enjoyable to use. With the risk of being sunburned or uncomfortably hot outdoors, it’s a clever idea to get some way to block out sunlight when desired. If you’re unsure of what solution will be the best fit for your patio, consider the many benefits that come with patio roll away shades.3 Reasons to Consider Patio Roll Away Shades

Flexibility to Allow in Light

While some patio curtains can be great for blocking out light due to how thick they are, they may be difficult to move out of the way when you want to bring in light. With this in mind, you can look into how patio roll away shades can be very effective. Being able to quickly roll up the shades can allow you to adjust the lighting in just seconds.

Easy to Keep in Good Condition

Since roll away shades can be rolled up when you are expecting poor weather or a lot of dust and allergens outside, you can easily control how dirty they get. While regular curtains are going to pick up a lot of wear just from being outside, you can roll the shades up so that they won’t be as exposed to the elements.

Variety of Colors and Styles

The range of colors and styles for roll away shades can be highly appealing when you are in the process of decorating and furnishing your patio. By selecting shades that look fantastic with the other features in your yard, you will be able to create a truly personal space.

If you’re interested in roll away shades, feel free to contact us so that we can match you with the best fit for your patio.

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What to Look for When Buying New Window Insect Screens

Spring is on its way, and that means nature is starting to wake up. While this means your plants bloom back into life and that the days are getting sunnier, it also means insects are coming back from their winter dormancy. Instead of having to keep your windows closed against the nice, breezy days on their way, find the right bug screens that will let you keep your windows open without the risk of letting bugs into your home.

What to Look for When Buying New Window Insect Screens

What should you look for when shopping for bug screens and window fixtures?

  • Strong screen material. Most bug screens can be easily torn or pulled free of their frames unless you specifically look for models that can stand up to impact, the wind, and sun damage. Find screens woven with fiberglass or similar material, and checking the coating. Vinyl is one of the best screen coatings for flexibility, durability, and vivid color through the years. Bug screens fail when they get ripped or the material loosens enough to form gaps that insects can crawl through.
  • Long-lasting hardware that matches your home’s exterior. Even though the primary purpose of your bug screen is to protect your home from pests, the curb appeal it adds to your home is also important. Find a selection of bug screens with frames that match your house’s coloring and that are sturdy enough to stay long-lasting fixtures. Also, pay close attention to the springs and small features on the screens. They should be easy to operate and simple to maintain.

Having the right bug screens make you more comfortable opening your home’s windows to let a breeze in. Not only does that help you enjoy the pleasant spring weather on the way, it can help you keep your energy bills lower in face of the Texas heat. Go to Longhorn Solar Screens to find the right bug screens for your house.

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How the Wrong Gutter Systems Can Damage Your Roof in Winter

The gutters around your house are usually invisible. Unless they need a good cleaning or one of the downspouts has been knocked a bit ajar, they just blend into the familiar sides of your home. But have a gutter system that doesn’t adequately direct water away from your roof and house can be causing nearly invisible damage, especially in the winter. Here’s what to look for after a freeze or snowfall:

How the Wrong Gutter Systems Can Damage Your Roof in Winter

  • Do you have icicles? Even Texas roofs can collect icicles, but they’re a sign that frozen water is blocking up your gutter system. Snow on your roof can start to melt before the ice in the gutters entirely dissipates, but that standing water has nowhere to go. Instead of being drained away, it will slowly seep under the edges of your shingles and into your attic. Left untreated, the water damage will spread to your ceilings. But seamless gutters have extra moisture control that can help control the flow of water and protect more of the underlying woodwork.
  • Does your roof have a ring of snow around the edge? If so, that means your roof is uninsulated and the heat from your home is melting the snow. Just like with ice dams, this can cause standing water to get into your house unless you have a gutter system that can provide roof drainage in key areas around the perimeter of your roof.

Gutters are an important part of keeping your roof strong and well-maintained. Make sure your system stays clean, can handle the flow of rainwater and snow runoff, and makes moisture control a key design element. Go to Longhorn Solar Screens to find out more about how our gutters protect your house year-round.

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Use Seamless Gutters To Control Drainage

Watering can make or break a yard. Too little water will result in yellowing grass, wilting plants, and hard, cracked soil that’s bad for both your lawn and your foundation. But too much water can make pests feel welcome and can wear away the soil. Control your yard’s drainage with seamless gutters instead.

Use Seamless Gutters To Control Drainage

What do gutters have to do with maintaining your yard?

Your home’s gutters generally have two functions: to catch rainwater falling from your roof so it doesn’t cut into the soil directly below, and to direct the flow of water away from your house. However, not all gutter systems do this adequately, and seamless gutters can do more.

  • Get gutters that don’t let water fall along the edge of your house and your flower beds. Most gutters have short spouts that deposit rainwater just six inches or so from the perimeter of your house. This can dig grooves into the soil and collect near your hedges. Even if the pools are only short-standing because of evaporation, that collected water will attract thirsty insects such as roaches and termites. It can also overexpose the roots of your plants and cause rot.
  • Longhorn’s seamless gutters help you collect rainwater for use. Rain barrels are great for your yard because they let you keep a regular watering cycle outside of county restrictions so your grass stays green and healthy. You can also use that water for flowerbeds or a vegetable garden. Because you’re releasing the water gradually, or at least directing it further from the perimeter of your house, you don’t have to worry about soil displacement or pools of standing water on the ground that bring uninvited guests.

The right gutter system isn’t just good for your yard. It can help protect your foundation, your roof, and even the decorative siding of your home. Click here to schedule a seamless gutter estimate.

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3 Reasons Bug/Insect Screens Should Be a Priority

Cracking the windows open during the summer can be a great way to enjoy a fresh breeze and relax with your family. If you’re unsure of whether bug/insect screens are a necessity for your home when getting new windows installed, it’s a good idea to look into what their benefits are. Instead of putting off buying these screens due to your concerns with their effectiveness, consider the following benefits. 3 Reasons Bug/Insect Screens Should Be a Priority

Added Security for Your Family

One of the best reasons to get screens installed for your windows is that they can prevent anyone from falling out as easily. While you may not be concerned for the adults and older children in your family, it can be a real concern if you have young kids or pets. Durable screens designed to keep insects out can help considerably in making your windows safer.

Protection Against Bug Bites

When you want to open the windows during the summer, you’re putting yourself at risk for bugs getting inside and biting you. This can be a real problem for mosquitos if you live somewhere that they are especially active.

Keeps the Inside of Your Home Cleaner

Leaving the windows open can lead to dust, pet hair, and other allergens getting inside. This can lead to the need to vacuum much more often, making it a smart idea to look into getting screens installed that can help protect the inside of your home better.

Contact us for more information on getting insect screens installed when you need them most.