Clean Your Roof Now, Save Time and Money Later

(NewsUSA) -For many homeowners, the roof is out of sight and out of mind until a crisis occurs, such as a leak or storm damage.But the roof is subject to general wear and tear as well as environmental factors, and a proactive homeowner can catch problems early and address them effectively to prevent greater damage and create a better-looking roof. What It Is The growth of blue-green algae is a common problem on roofs, especially in areas with hot, humid summers, according to This Old House. Black or other colored streaks on the roof could signal the presence of the algae, and the streaks themselves are caused by the vegetation eating away at the mineral content on most roof shingles. The problem often goes unrecognized, and once it is serious enough to be noticed, it can be more challenging to clean. However, the right products can get the job done and prevent further algae growth. What To Do Take a two-step approach to help manage mold and improve your roof’s overall appearance:-Clean current discoloration. To get rid of mold, mildew, and other stains from vegetation, treat shingles with a cleanser such as Stainhandler Roof & Deck Cleaner to help restore the appearance of a roof that has been infested with excess vegetation.Stainhandler Roof & Deck Cleaner is free of bleach, so it can be used on any areas of the house without risk of damaging adjacent landscaping. To use the cleanser, dilute the solution, place it in a sprayer, and use a hose to hit the affected areas of the roof; then wait approximately half an hour and rinse the area with water.-Fight future problems.Installing roof maintenance products can help prevent the invasion of mold, moss, mildew, or fungi.For example, zinc strips such as those made by Stainhandler offer environmentally safe protection. The strips measure feet in length and apply easily to the roof with clear adhesive caulk. The product is designed to move rain away from the roof so it does not pool and promote vegetation growth.For more information about keeping your roof at its best — and free from mold, moss, and mildew — visit              

Black is the New Black for Stylish Lighting

(NewsUSA) – Black is the new black when it comes to lighting.According to the American Lighting Association (ALA), many of the latest and most versatile light fixtures are trending towards black finishes, often mixed with other colors and metals. The right light enhances any home, and light fixtures that are black can add a new element of sophistication and function, which is why many homeowners are opting for black when choosing interior as well as exterior fixtures."Throughout history, the color black has played an important role in architecture and interior design," says Joe Rey-Barreau, AIA, IESNA, associate professor at the University of Kentucky’s School of Interior Design.The neutral nature of black "has been a consistent design element that can blend and merge easily with traditional, transitional and modern styles," says Rey-Barreau, who also serves as education consultant to the ALA."Used as the primary color in interior or exterior lighting fixtures, black brings a sophistication that provides a timeless quality and transcends any specific style," he adds.Replacing all existing light fixtures is not always feasible, but selecting several outdated fixtures to change and upgrade gives any room an instant lift.Using black fixtures is an easy way to ensure that old and new lighting elements meld together without creating a disjointed appearance. Consider the elements of your existing fixtures, and add a new one that is black or partly black in color, and that reflects elements of the current lighting scheme.Try a black fixture paired with metallic finishes such as polished brass, nickel or brushed pewter; or consider a two-tone look that combines black with another color to complement the room or outdoor space.Black fixtures continue to gain popularity in outdoor lighting as well."There’s a slow shift from brown asphalt roofs to black," says Jeff Dross, corporate director of education and industry trends for Kichler Lighting."We’re moving from beige siding to dove gray or light gray siding, and the stone is going from a brown to a grayer tone. Because of that shift, the color black actually looks a lot nicer. It looks much more in concert with the rest of the architecture," he says.A new video from the ALA features more design tips about how to make the most of black lighting fixtures. To view the video, go to you want to give your interior a facelift, or just try something different, it’s a perfect time to take an old, outdated light fixture from drab to fab.For more information and to find a list of local ALA-member retail showrooms, go to 

High-Tech Tools Preview Roof Repairs

The home improvement industry has embraced the digital age; online virtual-reality tools allow homeowners to easily preview, plan, and choose options for all types of remodeling. The development of these virtual-reality products can help prevent homeowners from making costly mistakes that must be repaired later.

Virtual reality is especially useful when it comes to choosing a roof, which is critical to the curb appeal, comfort, and resale value of a home. GAF’s Virtual Home Remodeler allows users to experiment with a variety of different looks, ranging from French country to Victorian to ranch.

The Millenial Homebuyers are Savvy and Know What They Want

It may be hard to believe, but not all of the 18- to-35-year-old generation is so weighed down with college debt that they’re living in their parents’ basements. Contrary to popular perception, the Millennials are driving home sales. In fact, the National Association of Realtors just recognized them as the largest segment of the homebuyer market at 35 percent — up from 32 percent in 2014 — in its most recent 2016 “Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends Study.”
“The coming years of housing demand will be Millennial-driven and will support the single-family sector,” Dennis Lockhart, president and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, says. Given that new reality, here are four things experts say Millennials desire most in a house. Keep these in mind because you will most likely be selling to a younger buyer.

Reverse Mortgages Benefit Younger Seniors

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – This article is a paid advertisement. The content was provided by One Reverse Mortgage.
Homeowners who are 62 (the youngest eligible age for a reverse mortgage) have an advantage over older seniors when it comes to getting a reverse mortgage: more time to grow their line of credit.
A reverse mortgage line of credit is an adjustable rate loan option that allows you to draw money as needed. The product is similar to a home equity line of credit; however, the key differences are that no monthly mortgage payments are required and the available funds increase over time. You are still responsible for paying your homeowners insurance, property taxes, and home maintenance costs.
Younger seniors have such an advantage with the reverse mortgage line of credit because the earlier you start it, the more time you allow the available amount to increase. The available amount in your line increases by the “growth rate,” which is your interest rate plus your mortgage insurance premium. The growth occurs yearly and compounds over time. Given a sufficient time, the available amount could even exceed the value of your home.
You are not required to draw any funds at the time you start the line of credit, and you can draw from the line at any time while the available amount continues to increase. So, if you need to draw money for an emergency, such as home repairs or medical bills, any amount that is left over in the line of credit will still grow.
Another benefit? The growth will not be affected by housing market values. That means that even if the value of your home declines, the line will continue to increase.
And because the reverse mortgage is a non-recourse loan, you will never owe more than your home is worth.
Making an informed decision is most important. The licensed specialists at One Reverse Mortgage can provide more information, talk to you about your specific financial goals, and help you determine if a reverse mortgage is right for you. So call (888) 980-4839 today to get started or visit to get a free information kit.
Equal Housing Lender. Licensed in all 50 states. One Reverse Mortgage NMLS #2052
These materials are not from HUD or FHA and were not approved by HUD or a government agency.

Millennials Go House Hunting, and Here’s What They Crave

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – Sponsored by GAF-Guess who’s been driving home sales for the past few years?
Millennials — the older ones at least. That’s right, contrary to popular perception, not all of the 18- to 35-year-old generation is so wracked with college debt that they’re living in their parents’ basements while working for peanuts as baristas. In fact, the National Association of Realtors just officially crowned them the largest segment of the homebuyer market at 35 percent — up from 32 percent in 2014 — in its most recent 2016 “Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends Study.”
And that trend only looks to accelerate.
“The coming years of housing demand will be Millennial-driven and will support the single-family sector,” Dennis Lockhart, president and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, has said.
Given that new reality, here are four things experts say Millennials crave most in a house, which Boomers and even Gen-Xers need to know before trying to sell to them. (Warning: Be prepared to have some of your most cherished beliefs upended.)
* Open floor plans. Okay, so you’re probably not going to tear down your interior walls to create more of a loft feeling — or are you? — but at least know that Millennials entertain differently than their elders and that something like a formal dining room just doesn’t impress them.
“In essence, the kitchen is the new living room,” one realtor told “They want people to flow through the home during gatherings, rather than be sectioned off in rooms.”
What does impress them? A home office, given that 9-to-5 jobs are so passé. Immediately point out that your FDR can easily be converted into one.
* Technological efficiency and healthy living. Those built-in bookcases you’re so proud of?
Don’t you know Millennials read everything off a screen? And that they’re just as likely to go around counting outlets to plug all their tech toys into as they are to ask if you’ve installed programmable LED lighting and motion sensors?
“Low-VOC paints and appliances like steam ovens also rank high,” Realtor magazine declared.
* The right “look.” They’ve seen all these great houses on Pinterest and HGTV, which means Millennials might not even stick around long enough to gush over your steam oven if the first thing they spot from the street is a shabby roof.
Yes, this is one of the few things they definitely have in common with older generations.
“Unsightly roofs are huge turn-offs and make buyers predisposed to find even more things they don’t like,” warned Patsy O’Neill, a sales associate with Sotheby’s in Montclair, New Jersey.
Since Millennials love what the Washington Post calls “modern, sleek lines” — as well as “rustic looks” — if your roof does need replacing you might want to consider the very affordable Sienna line of diamond-shaped shingles from GAF (, North America’s largest roofing manufacturer, whose products are often showcased on HGTV.
“They pick up on key Millennial style trends of natural, clean materials, clean lines, and the integration of artistic elements,” says Leslie Franklin, executive director of residential marketing at GAF.
* Low maintenance. Your definition of what qualifies as “high” and “low” may differ from theirs. Your shag carpeting, for instance? High. Hardwood floors, which they favor? Low.
Hmmm, maybe that also explains why they often like smaller houses, although that could also have to do with Millennial buyers’ medium income of $77,400.

Water Treatment System Maintenance for the Well Owner

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – Water treatment can help household well owners address health risks and undesirable taste, odor, and smells — but treatment systems work only if properly maintained, says the National Ground Water Association (NGWA), which operates the website,
Periodic water testing can help ensure that treatment systems are working properly. A water treatment service provider or the manufacturer can recommend water testing intervals.
Consult with a water treatment professional about your capability of maintaining your water treatment system. If you are unsure, have a water treatment professional do it.
Here are maintenance basics for primary water treatment technologies.
Continuous disinfection: Ultraviolet light systems treat water coming into the house. Good maintenance requires that the quartz sleeve in which the lamp is housed be clean. Also, annual lamp replacement is wise.
Ion exchange: Referred to as water softeners, ion exchange needs salt, which needs replenishment periodically. Water softeners can run years with minimal maintenance.
Maintenance requirements can vary. For example, if ion exchange is used to remove nitrate — a health risk to infants at certain concentrations — the system requires a different resin and substance to regenerate the resin than traditional water softening.
Reverse osmosis (RO): When coupled with granular activated carbon (GAC) filters before and after the RO membrane, RO is effective in treating many water quality issues. GAC filters usually need replacement once or twice a year. But the RO membrane can last for years.
Whole house sediment filter: These remove particulate and enhance effectiveness and reduce maintenance of treatment systems down the line. Follow the manufacturer’s filter-change directions.
Adaptable automatic backwashing filter: These backwash the filter media, requiring little maintenance to remove sediment, tastes and odors, iron and manganese, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and arsenic.
The media bed must be replaced periodically. For VOCs and arsenic, consult with a qualified water treatment service provider or the manufacturer about periodic water monitoring and proper media bed disposal.
Acid neutralizing systems to reduce lead: These reduce corrosiveness in water that can cause lead leaching from plumbing pipes, fittings, fixtures, and solder.
Adaptable automatic backwashing filters and sodium carbonate feed pump systems can reduce corrosiveness. The filter requires calcite addition annually and total calcite replacement every two to three years. The injection system requires adding sodium carbonate two to three times annually.
Click the “water treatment” tab on for more.

How Well Owners Can Improve Their Water Quality

protectwellwaterWell water is typically an excellent source of good, safe drinking water for millions of Americans. But for those with water quality issues, such problems are easily addressed.

A key to improving water quality is knowing the basics about water testing, well maintenance, water treatment, and groundwater protection, says the National Ground Water Association (NGWA).

Unlike public water systems, private well owners are responsible for testing their own water. NGWA recommends that well owners test annually for bacteria, nitrate, and anything of local concern. To get your water tested, check with your county health department to see if it offers testing services, or check with a private drinking water testing lab.

Post-Hurricane Matthew: What to Do to Prepare Your Home

Waves break over the church and the castle in Camogli, Italy

Risk mitigation.

It’s a term that typically comes up after every major storm —Hurricane Matthew being the latest to wreak havoc — as homeowners are warned that many houses are simply no match for high winds, and that prudence dictates that they act to help protect themselves and their property from future tempests.

If you think those warnings are needlessly alarmist, so too did all those New Yorkers who got pummeled by Hurricane Sandy.

So what should homeowners do, proactively, to increase their odds of beating Mother Nature?

Read on.

Three Home Upgrades Worth Your Money

homeupgradesgafcIf you don’t care about blowing tens of thousands of dollars on upgrades that add little to nothing to your home’s value, you might as well stop reading and Google what’s currently going on with Kim Kardashian and clan. But if you do care— and you should if you ever plan to sell — then Remodeling Magazine’s annual Cost vs Value Report for 2016 is a must-read.

Still interested? Of course your are.

Let’s begin by acknowledging the report’s biggest takeaway: All the academics and real estate pros are right to “tout the value of projects that promote curb appeal.” Read on to see why, and where else you money is or isn’t well spent.