Longhorn Solar Screens

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.

Longhorn Solar Screens

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.

Longhorn Solar Screens

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.

Longhorn Solar Screens

Window Treatments

While the biggest reasons for installing new window treatments are privacy and style, the benefits of new window treatments do not end there. Many of the options today also add energy-efficiency, have an easy motorized operation, and even make your room quieter. Whether you prefer blinds, shades, or plantation shutters, there are lots of great options available.

Window Treatments

Blinds

While blinds have been around for a very long time, the new cordless operation makes them more lovely than ever. Rich wood blinds are a simple accent that brings out the beauty of your windows while providing privacy and control of the natural light. Blinds can not only control the amount of sunlight you allow into your room, but they can do this while allowing you a view of the outside.

Roll Away Shades

These lovely window coverings have optional motorized control. Gone are the days of fighting with a spring-operated mechanism. Choose the opacity level of your shades from sheer to dark. At the fully open position, you will hardly know they are there.

Honeycomb Shades

These are the best window covering a noisy environment, as well as one of the best for adding energy-efficiency. The honeycomb shaped cells trap air which is one of the best insulating materials around. This trapped air absorbs some of the sound and much of the heat that tries to pass through them, and this makes the world just that much more comfortable. Not only are they a comfort, but they are a fabric construction that can match and accent your home decor beautifully.

Woven Wood Shades

These shades are either used alone or with drapes because they are somewhat sheer. They bring a wonderful element of texture to your decor as well as a clear definition of your windows. If your windows are not exactly lovely or are not all the same size, go big with the shades. This will make the windows lovely and seem the same. Trim them out with curtains or use them with drapes if you prefer.

Plantation Shutters

Plantation shutters are among the best window treatment for energy-efficiency, and such a charming accent to beautiful windows. The shutters show off your windows to their fullest, allowing their shape and style to shine through. Set the louver for privacy and light options, similar to blinds. Best of all is that the shutters are custom-made to your windows, and even add value to your home. It is not surprising that these lovely features, that have been around forever, are staying popular.

For more information about interior window treatments, contact us at Longhorn Solar Screens. We offer you only the best in quality, reliability, integrity, and service and look forward to helping you today.

Longhorn Solar Screens

Custom Plantation Shutters

When it comes to window treatments, plantation shutters are among the best. It is no wonder that shutters have been around for nearly forever, as they bring so much to a room. Plantation shutters refer to a style that has wider louvers than the standard shutter. This means your view through the louvers is less obstructed making it more pleasant.

Custom Plantation Shutters

Reasons for Custom Plantation Shutters

Custom means made especially for your windows and your house. If you have windows that are unique in their style or shape, custom plantation shutters will fit them perfectly allowing everyone a view of the beauty of your windows.

Custom increases the energy efficiency by making the gaps between the window frame and the shutters very small. When your shutters are fully closed, they provide you with the best barrier from heat transfer through your windows.

Reasons for Plantation Shutters

Beauty and style are among the best reasons for shutters. The framework of the shutters accents the charming lines of your windows, while the nice wide louvers allow you a view of the outdoors. You can even get hidden tilt rods on your shutters giving them a sharper cleaner style.

Light control and privacy are next, with the louvers allowing you the flexibility to allow light in while keeping direct sunlight off of your delicate furnishings. Sunlight fades and dulls your fabrics and even your flooring, while natural light boosts our emotional well-being. Therefore, being able to control the light is a wonderful benefit. You can also adjust the louvers for privacy while allowing natural light in, and in rooms like the bathroom, you can opt for shutters that have sections for even more control of light and privacy.

At Longhorn Solar Screens, we offer custom plantation shutters, because you deserve the best in beauty and energy efficiency. For more information on how lovely these window treatments will look in your home, contact us today.

Longhorn Solar Screens

Screens Do More Than Just Keep Out Bugs

All screens keep out insects, it is in their nature. They are a mesh that covers your window and will keep out anything bigger than dust. We think of screens for just this purpose, but the best ones do so much more.

Screens Do More Than Just Keep Out Bugs

Protect Your Windows From Breaking

Have you ever noticed how bad storms can throw debris and sometimes even hail? If you have screens over your windows, these do not actually hit the window. While there are times that they damage the screen, the window and the inside of the house is protected. It is so much cheaper and easier to replace a screen than a window. All screens provide you with this, just like keeping bugs out.

Filter Sunlight Before It Enters Your Windows

We spend a lot of time trying to minimize the damaging effects of sunlight. At the same time, we want natural light in our home. The best way to achieving both comes from filtering the sunlight so that the harmful rays stay outside while the pleasant light comes in. This is one of the best ways for protecting your delicate furnishings and finishes from the dulling and fading effects of direct sunlight. This is one of the things solar screens do that regular screens don’t.

Lower Your Power Consumption

When you block out the harmful UV rays of the sunlight, you keep out the part of the sunlight that creates the most heat when it comes into your house. Because the heat never enters the window, your home stays cooler. This means that your air conditioner runs that much more effectively, and your energy bills are lower.

Form an Insulating Barrier

Now you would think that the solar screens keeping the biggest part of the heat out of your home would not actually be a good thing during the cooler weather. However, these screens also form an insulating barrier that traps air between the screen and the window. This improves the efficiency of the window in the aspect of preventing heat transfer. All windows, even ones with only one pane of glass do this to some degree. The recommendation in even the coldest climates is that the solar screens are efficient enough that they should remain on the windows all year-long for the best energy savings.

So while we are happy to help you with regular screens if that is what you want, at Longhorn Solar Screens, we recommend the solar screens for the best protection for your home. For more information on this, contact us today.

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!