By Stephanie Kusrow-Smoot in collaboration with Corey A. Thrush
The exterior of your home is a major focal point. It is a centerpiece and most likely the first thing that anyone notices when either driving by or walking up the sidewalk. Your homestead is a reflection of you and your personality. Let’s face it, we are all guilty of watching reality shows regarding home improvements or flipping houses. There are times, though, when these television shows tend to focus more on glamorizing the interior of a home, while not placing enough emphasis on the character and charm that can be added to the added to the exterior. One simple change in color can be the difference and create the night and day effect that you have been looking for.
There is a plethora of improvements and ideas that any homeowner can add to spruce up the exterior of their home. From siding to gutters, to entry doors and window awnings, to even a new roof; these are just a few improvements that will not only add curb appeal and energy efficiency to your home, but these are also improvements that will allow you to rest easy at night as the years go by.
Now let’s take a look at shingle roofing, since it was mentioned earlier. With the enhancements in technology that manufacturers have fashioned, roofing systems have now achieved a life expectancy of a shingle that could have never of been imagined thirty years ago. However, with these advancements in technology, manufacturers were also looking to reduce production and retail costs due to the price increase of asphalt. By accomplishing this, the amount of asphalt used during production was reduced and replaced with limestone. Great in theory, but this led to what we all know if the roofing industry as the algae apocalypse because algae thrives on limestone.
See, the term, “Algae” is actually a general term used to describe many different assortments of organisms that rely on photosynthesis for nourishment. All algae lack connective tissues that transport nutrients between cells, which mean that each cell must absorb its own nutrients. The alga located on your roof is Gloeocapsa Magma, also recognized as blue-green algae. It is a single-celled organism with a unique ability to form a protective sheath around itself to shield it from UV radiation. Because the algae that grows on your roof is a collection, rather than a solitary organism, it doesn’t need to be submersed in water to flourish. And because of the protective covering that allows it live where other algae cannot-in direct sunlight-blue-green algae finds a perfect home on your roof. And once it settles, it grows quickly and spreads spores through the air, possibly onto your neighbor’s roofs.
Good news though! Manufacturers, such as GAF, have found a way to combat this problem. When discussing the advancement in technologies earlier, it should be noted that traditional algae-resistant shingles use a granule technology that was developed more than a quarter century ago. This method used granules that contained a layer of algae-fighting copper that is released onto the roof when its surface became wet. It seems as this practice would work for as long as the roofs life it, but what manufactures encountered and learned is that as the roof ages, those older granules begin to release less and less copper overtime, which then reduces the shingle’s algae resistance. According to GAF, “StainGuard Plus™ Time-Release technology from GAF releases algae-fighting copper more efficiently, over time, for long-lasting algae-fighting power. Unlike the older layered technology, StainGuard Plus™ technology uses specially engineered capsules that are infused throughout with thousands of copper microsites so copper remains within reach, ready to be activated in the battle against blue-green algae stains.”
I think we’ve discussed roofing systems and algae enough today so let’s get back to some other great remodeling, trends, ideas and improvements. With that being said, there are such a wide variety of colors, textures, and patterns offered to compliment the exterior of your home. Matching color tones with new siding that is accented with white gutters and window trim can set the trend in your neighborhood. When it comes to new replacement windows, they not only will add a depth of insulation and sound proofing to your home but also lower your energy bills. Windows are not only a trendy and fashionable movement that is often seen in home décor magazines and television shows, but they also add a remarkable and subtle touch to your surroundings. So just close your eyes and think about all the endless improvements and renovations that you want to make to the exterior of your home. This is not only your zone, your area, your abode… it is your home and it is where you will raise your family, create endless memories, enjoy your sense of comfort and of course you want to keep it in tip-top shape for a lifetime to come.
Stephanie Kusrow-Smoot is not only a team member of Thrush & Son: Complete Home Improvement Company in Dayton, Ohio and Troy, Ohio, but she is a wife, a mother to two fur babies (one dog named Maddie and a cat named Trinity), and a devoted employee. Stephanie brings a great wealth of knowledge not only when it comes to a female’s perspective, but also when it comes to working with customers and any questions or concerns that they may have regarding home improvements.