To help homeowners easily maintain their homes without sacrificing large windows of time, companies are developing maintenance-free products that greatly reduce the traditional hours needed for home upkeep.
Maintenance-free products provide homeowners with many benefits, including more time for recreational activities, reduced maintenance costs, appealing appearances and greater home values. There are maintenance-free products available to outfit many areas of the home, such as:
• Vinyl and insulated sidings are virtually maintenance-free without the worry of peeling and cracking paint. Traditional vinyl siding styles like clapboard, Dutch lap and beaded can give a home a fresh appearance. Another option is insulated siding. Insulated siding offers long-lasting beauty with all the benefits of maintenance freedom. This siding alternative delivers up to four times the insulating power of traditional vinyl siding for better energy efficiency and added savings, and reduces air infiltration and noise by up to 45 percent. (www.cranesiding.com)
• Vinyl windows never need to be painted, and won’t flake, peel or chip. Fiberglass windows can withstand extreme temperatures, have great resistance to corrosion, salt and other chemicals and are impervious to moisture. In addition, glass block is typically used for basement windows, but is being used in other locations, including bathrooms, kitchens and even living rooms. (www.pittsburghcorning.com)
• Small air leaks around windows and doors not only allow energy to escape from the house and cause an increase in energy bills, but can also cause damage to your insulation from dampness. Luckily, caulking around windows can be a long-term fix to help tackle this temperature and water problem. Easy-to-use, acrylic caulks are a great choice since they provide a durable, weather-resistant, flexible seal with low odor and easy water cleanup. Quality caulks can remain effective for up to 20 years. (www.polyseamseal.com)
• New composite decking materials are made with plastic resins and wood fibers. No painting, sealing or staining is necessary. The composite boards are typically comfortable to touch, even on sunny days. (www.timbertech.com)
• Unlike wood, vinyl fencing requires no painting or staining. It will not rot, warp or splinter. In fact, vinyl fencing will keep its good look for years longer than wood fencing with no maintenance required. (www.vinylvisions.com)
• Lighting accounts for about seven percent of a home’s total energy use. In fact, homeowners spend more to light their home than to operate their refrigerator all year long. New compact fluorescent bulbs use at least two-thirds less energy and generate 70 percent less heat than incandescent bulbs. In fact, a 23-watt compact fluorescent bulb produces the same amount of light as a 100-watt incandescent. Plus, the compact fluorescent bulbs last up to 10,000 hours.