Will tile on my floors keep my home cooler?

It seems that there’s no end to the usefulness of the tile: from ruggedness to good looks to longevity, the reasons to have tiles in your home keep piling up. But what about some of the lesser-known benefits of tile floors, such as better cooling?

Gearing your home for warm weather

That’s right: tiles can actually help keep your home cooler during warmer periods. It’s fair to say that plenty of home owners like walking around the home barefoot and aren’t going to change their habits any time soon. Yet warm flooring during summertime can quickly make you feel as if there’s nowhere to run from all the heat – tiles can help a great deal here.

Unlike most forms of floor covering, tiles have their own way of keeping heat at bay and therefore rarely get warm or hot. Even when the temperature outside is scorching hot, your tiles should have an easy-enough time staying cool and helping you chill out.

But there’s more than just the overwhelmingly-pleasant sensation of standing or walking over a set of cool tiles on a hot summer day: installing additional tiles might even help you reduce air conditioning costs. The mechanism behind this isn’t too complex: since tiles will do a decent job of keeping your body temperature down on their own, you won’t have to crank up the AC nearly as much as you would otherwise.

Lots of families are unwilling to expand their tile sets from the kitchen and bathroom to other rooms in the house – oftentimes, it’s a matter of familiarity more than anything else. Still, the sheer amount of available tile designs should make this flooring a consideration for any family dealing with excessive heat during the summer.

But what about winter?

As great as tiles are during the summer, they can feel a bit lackluster come winter time. The same thing that makes them summertime favorites also makes them less effective during colder days: they just don’t have a very good way of keeping heat.

When winter comes, you could easily find the tiles on your floors becoming the coldest part of the home unless you’re using floor heating. Fortunately, there’s an easy way of rectifying this while keeping all the benefits that tiles bring: carpets.

While carpets on tiles aren’t the most common of sights, the two nonetheless complement each other well and work to bring the most out of any home. With the right set of carpets covering your tiles, you can have all the warmth during the winter and all the coolness during the summer with just a simple roll-up of the rugs. They don’t even need to be expensive – don’t be surprised to find a cheap rug that offers tremendous insulation.

And, as an added benefit, the durability of tiles makes them a safe choice to cover with virtually any carpet – whereas another type of flooring might suffer scratches or marks from rough or dirty carpets, tiles will simply need a good mopping to get right back into shape.

Should you install rain gutters on your home

Here’s a fact that some might disagree with: no home is complete without a set of working rain gutters. While they can seem like an afterthought and, on most homes, serve no purpose the majority of the time, they’re still extremely important – when things get rough, you’ll be glad you outfitted your home with a working set.

Why you should never pass up on rain gutters

If you’re building your own home or are just moving in one that is gutter-free, installing a full set of rain gutters can seem like a needless expenditure of time and money. After all, rain doesn’t fall that often – you can just tough it out when it does fall, right?

Wrong. The damage that a home without gutters can suffer in a single bout of rainfall is staggering. We’re talking thousands of dollars of property damage if you’re lucky – chances are, however, that some priceless items with a lot of significance to you will get destroyed by rainwater as well.

Without a set of rain gutters, rain will pour following the path of least resistance. In other words, the most vulnerable parts of your home will often be the ones that are pressured the most – the same goes for areas of your roof that are susceptible to holding water.

How much a set of rain gutters will help your home’s flooding depends on the type of roof you have every bit as much as the gutter materials. A sloped roof won’t hold nearly as much water – if yours is flat, you might have to complement the rain gutters with a new layer of roofing for optimal protection. On the other hand, sloped roofs divert the water to sensitive areas around your home: your garden, your vehicles and so on.

A sloped roof without rain gutters will quickly flood the surrounding areas of a home: a flat one is likelier to collapse unto itself and flood the home’s interior. Either way, rain gutters are never something you should pass up on no matter the frequency of rain in your area.

Understanding the additional responsibility

As great as they are, rain gutters won’t take care of themselves – you’ll need to perform regular gutter maintenance in order to have them do their job. You can have a professional gutter company handle some of the cleaning, but most often, it’ll be up to you to empty them out.

Needless to say, clogged gutters aren’t going to do much – in fact, they might actually cause additional damage by collapsing from holding too much water, snow or moist leaves and dirt. Checking every seam is another part of gutter maintenance – no matter how many seams your gutter system has, get ready to check each and every one of them whenever the sky signals rain.

All this work probably doesn’t sound pleasant – surely you’d prefer to use that extra time for leisure or some other form of work around the home. But trust us when we tell you: the work you’ll have to put in after a bad case of rain flooding will far exceed your maintenance efforts.

Benefits of cleaning your air ducts

Air duct cleaning is still fairly new – people have only just begun to realize how important clean air ducts are for good living. From an onlooker’s perspective, putting in all that effort to clean a set of dirty ducts might not seem like a good idea – how dirty can they be, anyways?

Rest assured, though, that there are numerous benefits to having clean air ducts, just as there are numerous detriments to having them gather dust and bacteria for months or even years.

The short-term benefits

If you’ve never had your air ducts cleaned, you’ll probably notice that the air inside your home is far more breathable after a thorough cleaning session by the professionals. For example, you might cease to suffer from a runny nose or shortness of breath – others might find their nasty cough completely gone.

This is because all the various unsavory inhabitants of your air ducts share the same trait: they’re silent killers. They’ll sit in the air duct for prolonged periods of time, gaining more mass and having an ever-increasing ill effect on you until you no longer feel welcome in your own home.

These ‘inhabitants’ can range from living organisms to inanimate particles that are still every bit as dangerous. For the former category, consider ranking dust mites, bacteria and even mold among your home invaders: for the latter, there are particles of dust, dirt, grime, pollen and much more to worry about.

As you can see, there’s no shortage of threats to be found in your air ducts – the only question left is whether you can recognize the danger they bring before it’s too late.

For all the immediate benefits that air duct cleaning brings, there are plenty of long-term improvements one can see from regular cleaning as well.

Staying healthy over the long term

The biggest issue with things like dust and mold is a simple one: the longer (and more severely) you get exposed, the bigger your chances of suffering from an allergy. An allergy to dust or mold will essentially make you hypersensitive to these aggravants – since they’re practically omnipresent in indoor spaces, your life is bound to get more difficult.

Having your air ducts cleaned regularly greatly reduces the risk of these allergies taking hold. Of course, there are other parts of the home to worry about, but air ducts are usually the biggest factor in determining how clean the air in your home will be – therefore, cleaning them occasionally and thoroughly is perhaps the best form of allergy prevention.

There’s also something to be said about existing allergies: unclean air ducts frequently harbor pollen, amassing it during spring and spreading it throughout your home year-round. If you have an allergy to it, a pollen-heavy air duct system can make your life miserable all year, every year.

If you’ve been suffering from an allergic reaction without really knowing what’s up, go and have your air ducts cleaned professionally – there’s a good chance your symptoms will leave alongside the cleaners.

How to choose a home remodeling company

Home remodeling is as popular as ever: with high prices of real estate and countless questionable neighborhoods, many people are finding it preferrable to stick with what they’ve got and simply remodel their existing property.

As great of an effort as this is, it can easily go the other way: work with the wrong company and you’ll end up much worse-off than when you started.

Choosing your home remodeling company

Before even starting the search for your home remodeling company, take a step back and think about your vision of the end result. You aren’t doing this just so you can get hung up on the details – more often than not, customers who know what they want are the ones who end up satisfied.

Having a clear vision of what you’d like done on your home will prevent the home remodeling company from swindling you in some way. This is simply a part of business: efforts to include additional services are to be expected from every company – after seeing that the customer doesn’t have a clear goal in mind, the contractor will make various additions seem more necessary than they really are.

After you’ve come up with a vision, it’s time to transform it into reality. In line with the above, you should agree on the exact terms before any amount of work is done. This includes pricing, services, materials, time on the job and even the methods themselves – try and put as much of it on paper as possible in order to avoid cases of he-said-she-said.

The home remodeling company you’re working with should have enough insurance to cover everything that could go wrong on the job. This also includes bonding – no matter how trustworthy the home renovators seem, you don’t want them getting to work without knowing you’ll be fully compensated should an incident occur (like it or not, these are fairly common in this line of work).

Taking the individual craft into account

The precautions above all deal with the basics, the broad strokes of remodeling your home – what about the specifics? After all, we did tell you to have a clear vision, and you won’t be able to enforce one without the right contractors.

The home remodelers you’re working with should be more than just a business with a license: ideally, they’d be people with no small amount of talent and a clear passion for what they do. Word of mouth and user reviews can be of decent help when trying to find such a company, but their usefulness is limited due to the artistic nature of the work – instead, you should contact the company about some before-and-after pictures from their past contracts.

Seeing the company’s work up-front will give you the best idea of whether they have what it takes or not. Keep in mind that, at the end of the day, it’s your home that’s being worked on – if you feel that a company’s previous work isn’t exemplary of what you’d like done on your property, go ahead and keep looking.