Does Your Home Need Roof Ventilation?

Well, yes, of course it does. Every home, cottage, and business should have sufficient, and correctly installed roof ventilation. But why? And how can you tell if your roofing system is under ventilated? Knowing the signs will help to ensure that you can get the roof ventilation help that you need, before significant roofing system repairs are needed.

Why does your roofing system need proper ventilation?

For starters, keeping your attic space sufficiently insulated will definitely help to reduce your energy bills, however there will always be some residual heat loss. If your attic space does not have the proper amount of ventilation, this hot air will become trapped, leading to moisture buildup and dangerous black mold growth. Improper, or insufficient roof ventilation can also lead to ice damming in the winter time. Ice damming occurs when the temperature of your attic space becomes significantly warmer then the air outside, causing snow to melt and refreeze along your trough, and on your roof itself. This is a serious issue that can cause a tremendous amount of damage to your roofing system inside and out, and a ton of headaches for you, too.

How can you tell if your home is in need of added roof ventilation?

As a general rule, your attic space should be able to consistently stay within a few degrees of the temperature outside. The signs that this is not the case will be noticable, even to the untrained eye. During the colder months, set aside some time to take a peek in your attic space, if your rafters are damp, or frost covered, you likely have roof ventilation issues. The serious problem of black mold growth in your attic space will be exacerbated by a lack of proper ventilation, as well. As mold growth tends to flourish in warmer temperatures, you’ll want to check on this in the summertime. Be sure to throw on a mask, and some gloves and slightly separate your insulation, if you do have a problem with mold, it should be fairly obvious. If your attic insulation appears flat or clumpy, this is also a very good sign that you have moisture issues within your attic space. Looking from the outside, if you’ve noticed that your home suffers from constant, thick ice buildup, and/or icicles along the roofs edge and trough, you will want to contact a qualified roofing company as soon as possible.

What types of issues can under ventilation cause?

Many of the issues that can be caused by insufficient attic ventilation are listed above, but you may not realize the amount of damage this can cause to your shingles, as well. The damage that can be caused to your eavestrough system by heavy ice damming, is significant, and of course having to deal with the removal of unhealthy mold growth isn’t a walk in the park either, but both of these issues will pale in comparison to needing a complete roof replacement. And this is exactly the outcome that you will experience if you do not rectify your attic ventilation issues in a timely manner. Not only can ice build up destroy your trough, it can also find its way under your roofing material, damaging the shingles themselves, causing curling, lifting and a number of other equally significant issues. Believe it or not, the issues that ice damming can cause can extend far beyond your shingles, trough, and attic space. If left for an extended period of time, this melting ice can also severely damage your ceiling, and drywall, leaving you with costly interior repairs.

How much attic ventilation should you have?

Generally speaking, for every 150 square feet of attic space, there should be 1 square foot of attic ventilation. There should also be an equal amount of intake/exhaust vents. Your intake vents should be placed near the lowest edge of your roof, like the soffit, and the exhaust vents should be installed as close to the roofs peak, as possible. If an equal amount of venting is not possible, there should always be a higher volume of intake vents. The amount of attic ventilation that you need can occasionally vary depending on the slope of your roof, and the size of your attic space, so it is best to discuss your options with an experienced professional.

Attic Ventilation and attic insulation go hand in hand. Having sufficient attic ventilation, but insufficient attic insulation will exacerbate your heat loss, and overwhelm your roof ventilation, rendering it relatively useless. The opposite, sufficient attic insulation, with insufficient attic ventilation, of course causes the severe issues mentioned above. So, when faced with the possibility of needing added roof ventilation, it would be wise to also have a comprehensive attic inspection done, to determine whether, or not additional attic insulation is needed. 

OCTOBER IS NATIONAL WINDOW COVERINGS SAFETY MONTH



This month draws attention to an important issue for many households. National Window Coverings Safety Month takes place each October to help raise awareness for the necessity of having safe and secure windows and blinds that reduce the threat of injuries including strangulation. Many models of window coverings today still use long cords that are a direct threat to the safety of your children.

To help families across the country reduce the threat of the hazards associated with window coverings, here are some tips:

  1. Do not allow pull cords to hang loose where a child can access them. Cord free blinds are always a better option.

  2. Watch out for bottom chains on vertical blinds which pose many of the same risks as pull cords for small children crawling or playing on the floor.

  3. Keep your child’s bed or crib away from the windows and especially do not let any cords hang near the bed.

  4. Try to instill safety first with your children when they are playing near windows and glass doors. By establishing strict safety rules at a young age they will better understand the risks involved as they grow up.

  5. Be sure that you are installing only window treatments with high safety standards including safety devices such as cord free hardware and control wands.


Many families are already taking advantage of safe windows from Window Nation. These fiberglass composite window replacements are durable to stand up to your family and the elements. And even better, they offer optimal blinds with no cords which means no risk of strangulation.

If you are living in our large service area including Ohio, the DC metro, the Delaware ValleyNorthern Virginia, or Pittsburgh, be sure to check out the many safe and energy efficient window replacement options from Window Nation. To learn more about window replacements including safe window coverings, 

All About Window Sashes

If you’re shopping for replacement windows, you’ve probably come to realize that they are more complicated than you once thought. Manufacturers use jargon you don’t quite understand, which can lead to confusion. To help you be a more educated consumer, learn more about one of the largest components of any window: the sash.

What Is a Window Sash?

The word “sash” refers to a window pane and all the components surrounding it, whether the window opens or not. Both single- and double-hung windows have two sashes. The only difference is that both the upper and lower sashes of a double-hung window operate, while only the lower sash of a single-hung window opens. Sliding windows have two sashes, though most often, only one sash operates. For clarity, sashes are referred to as “operable sashes” and “fixed/inoperable sashes.”

Parts of a Window Sash

A window sash is comprised of several components, which you might hear window manufacturers and installers talk about. Here some terms you should recognize:

  • Rails and stiles: The border surrounding a window pane can be made of vinyl, fiberglass, wood, or aluminum. The material typically matches whatever the window frame is made of. The top and bottom horizontal edges are called rails, and the left and right vertical edges are stiles.
  • Sash lock: This is a piece of hardware that latches the window closed for security purposes. Casement and awning windows lock against the frame. Sliding windows lock at the meeting stile. Single- and double-hung windows lock at the meeting rail.
  • Sash pulls: The operable sash of a sliding window has indentations, handles, or raised areas on the left and right vertical stiles to make opening the window easy.
  • Tilt sash release: Modern double-hung windows often feature a tilt-in design. The tilt sash release engages this function so you can clean the window from inside your home.
  • Glazing: This is simply another word for “glass.” A single-, double-, or triple-glazed window has one, two, or three layers of glass. Usually, more glazing indicates a higher efficiency rating.
  • Muntins: These are the thin grilles that divide a window pane into smaller segments, purely for aesthetic reasons. Don’t confuse muntins with millions, which are thick components that separate adjoining windows from one another.
  • Gas in-fill: Double- and triple-pane windows sometimes include a gas in-fill to increase their insulating ability. Argon and krypton are common gas in-fills, both of which are completely safe and inert.
  • Gaskets: Modern glazing is sealed into the framework with gaskets, which are made of rubber or thermoplastic vulcanizates (TPVs). Gaskets improve efficiency, keep double- and triple-glazed windows a set distance apart, and prevent windows from rattling.

Weather Shield Sash Replacement Kits

Sometimes, you don’t need a whole new window – sometimes, replacing the sash is enough to breathe new life into your older home. Sash kits come in standard and custom sizes to fit perfectly into your existing window frame, saving you money compared to a total window replacement.

At Place Five, we install Weather Shield sash replacement kits in Maryland, DC, and Virginia. This is a viable option if your sashes are damaged, but the window frame is in pristine condition. Thanks to incredible efficiency and durability features from Weather Shield sash kits, you can expect a high-performing window just by replacing the sash.

If you think you might be eligible for a sash replacement kit, please see Places Five to learn more. We provide installation estimates and on-site consultations to offer our professional opinion about the condition of your existing window frames.

What Car Warranty is Best for Me?

Whether you're shopping for a new or used car, most people have a general idea that a warranty is a good idea. Warranties are often considered to be a form of "insurance" - you pay out a fee and in exchange, your car will be fixed if anything breaks on it, but unfortunately, it's not quite that simple. There are different types of warranties and a warranty might not necessarily cover everything that you think it will. Here is everything you need to know:

What Exactly is an Auto Warranty?

A warranty is a contract between either you and your dealership or you and your manufacturer. At its simplest, a warranty sets out a specific amount of time and mileage; any defects and repairs that are necessary under that time and mileage amount are automatically covered under warranty. Warranties usually last around three years or 36,000 miles. They can also be extended upon vehicle purchase. This is very common when used vehicles are purchased. 

But an auto warranty is not a type of insurance even though it is often presented as one. Auto warranties are only designed to fix parts that are considered to be defective or faulty. They are not designed to fix parts that have broken down from wear-and-tear, collisions or other issues. There are also different types of auto warranties that you need to understand.

What Types of Warranty Coverage Exist?

  • Drivetrain and Powertrain warranties - These warranties are designed to ensure that the very essential components of the vehicle last: the engine, transmission and the associated parts. Drivetrain and Powertrain warranties protect against manufacturer defects of these components, but will be voided if they haven't been properly serviced (such as with regular oil changes).
  • Bumper-to-bumper warranties - The standard bumper-to-bumper warranty is a three-year warranty (or 36,000 miles) that governs the parts of the vehicle from bumper-to-bumper. If these parts are considered to be defective, they will be repaired as needed.
  • Rust or corrosion warranties - This type of warranty is rare, but may be tacked onto the other warranty. This covers rust and corrosion if it occurs due to a defect.
  • Federal emissions warranties - This warranty is more popular now and will cover any repairs necessary to ensure that the vehicle meets its emissions standards.
  • Roadside assistance - This is another specialty warranty that offers roadside assistance if a vehicle breaks down. Most people already have this through their insurance.

How Does a Warranty Work?

To go through a warranty, you must first contact the vehicle entity you have a relationship with: either your dealer or your manufacturer. They will then direct you to the repair shop that will work with you. 

Warranties can be voided if an individual does not maintain their vehicle properly. Auto Tek provides complete auto services that will ensure that all the parts of your vehicle are well-maintained so that you can stay within your warranties.

20th Anniversary IRS Restructuring Comm'n Report

 

In the 1990s, tax reform was about as big of a focal point as it is today.  Some of the reasons were rate reduction and international competitiveness. There were a few concerns about IRS activities, such as a technology modernization effort that cost over $2 billion with little results. A commission was created by P.L. 104-52 (11/19/95). This 17-member group was the National Commission on Restructuring the IRS, co-chaired by Senator Kerrey (D-NE) and Congressman Portman (R-OH).

The Commission's report was released on 6/25/97. Its eight sections addressed:

  1. Congressional Oversight, Executive Branch Governance, IRS Management, and Budget
  2. Workforce and Culture
  3. IRS Strategic Objectives: Customer Service, Compliance, and Efficiency Gains
  4. Modernization
  5. Electronic Filing
  6. Tax Law Simplification
  7. Taxpayer Rights
  8. Financial Accountability


E-filing really took off after the Act. A few other items also took place, but not everything. IRS systems are still in need of modernization and there are continuing issues with workforce (such as an aging and declining workforce) and budget deficiencies.

In 2010, TIGTA issued a report - The Internal Revenue Service Restructuring and Reform Act of 1998 Was Substantially Implemented but Challenges Remain.

In April 2017, the AICPA, along with other tax practitioner groups, released a framework for IRS reform, that ties to the 1997 report. The introduction to this report states:

"As we approach the 20th anniversary of the Report of the National Commission on Restructuring the Internal Revenue Service (“Restructuring Commission” or “commission”), we recommend that any effort to modernize the Internal Revenue Service (IRS or “Service”) and  its  technology infrastructure should build on the foundation established by the Restructuring Commission.  The similarities between  the  condition  of  the  IRS  today  and  the  circumstances  that  motivated  the creation of the Restructuring Commission are striking."

The IRS faces many challenges - dealing with a complex tax law, the public's low understanding of what they do, insufficient funding, and technology that isn't as modern as needed.

The Effects of Childhood Obesity

September is not only back to school month, but it’s also Childhood Obesity Awareness Month. Childhood obesity is a growing epidemic in the United States that affects more than 30 percent of children. This number has tripled since 1980 making it one of the biggest threats to the health of American children. If trends continue, children today could be the first generation to live shorter, less healthy lives than their parents.

When you are a parent, your goal is to protect your children. While you don’t have control over everything your children encounter, you play a major part in their health and wellness. Preventing and managing childhood obesity starts in the home. It’s easy to put the TV on for the kids while you get caught up on household chores. Sometimes that’s the best fix for that particular situation. It becomes a problem when this behavior becomes a habit and a lifestyle for your family.

Why is childhood obesity a health problem?

Childhood obesity has negative immediate and long-term health concerns. Obese children are being diagnosed with health conditions that used to be only seen in adults. Unhealthy weight can lead to medical problems such as:

  • Type 2 diabetes
  • High blood pressure and cholesterol
  • Liver disease
  • Bone and joint issues
  • Eating disorders
  • Fatigue
  • Respiratory problems such as asthma
  • Sleep apnea

Unfortunately, obese children may also face psychological difficulties such as:

  • Being teased and bullied
  • Becoming a bully
  • Self-esteem issues
  • Depression
  • Poor social skills
  • Stress and anxiety

Being a parent is stressful enough without having to think about your children dealing with health and/or emotional problems. And being a child these days can’t be easy with social media and unrealistic “expectations” that exist. There are simple ways to help establish good habits and encourage healthy lifestyles for your family.

Develop healthy eating habits.

This may seem like a no-brainer, but sometimes you need a reminder on how you can encourage healthy eating at home.

  • Eat lots of veggies, fruits, and whole-grain products
  • Choose lean meats
  • Limit sugar and sugar-sweetened drinks
  • Limit saturated fat
  • Recognize portion control

Get active.

Again, this may seem like common sense, but keep in mind how easy it is for kids to get in the routine of watching TV, playing video games or spending endless hours on the iPad.  As a parent, encourage your kids to get involved in sports or other physical activities at school.

Here are few ways to sneak some physical activity into family time:

  • Make a game out of household chores. After completing a chore list, have a reward of a dance off or play catch. If you’re feeling really creative you could pretend that all the toys need to be saved from the dirty floor and put safely in the toy chest. Be as fun and creative as you want to encourage everyone to help out.
  • Take pre and post dinner walks. If it’s a struggle to get the family to get out and go on a walk, make it interactive by playing “I spy” or a similar game.
  • If you have that TV show you just have to watch, use the commercial breaks as quick fitness breaks. Get the kids up and dancing or have a sit-up or push-up contest. It’s amazing how much kids love burpees!
  • Get extra steps in whenever possible. Take the stairs, walk to the store or park at the end of the parking lot. Just like adults, kids can benefit from the extra activity.

Instill good habits into your kids while they are young so that healthy living becomes a way of life. If childhood obesity isn’t managed, it can lead to serious health issues as an adult.

Obesity not only causes serious health conditions, but also leads to increased health care costs and higher life insurance premiums. One of the first things life insurance companies look at when determining your premium is your height to weight ratio and your health status.

Here at Quotacy, our goal is to get you the best price and policy for your unique situation. We work with multiple insurance carriers to shop your case and compare pricing and options. Feel free to contact us with questions or use our free quoting tool to see how much it would cost to protect your family.