Erie Construction Co., Erie Construction Mid West
Month: April, 2012
The Advantages & Benefits of a Metal Roof
| April 30, 2012 | 12:00 PM | Metal Roof | No comments

In the past few years, metal roofing has definitely been gaining in popularity. Not only on commercial buildings but also in residential areas. Metal roofs are a premium product and cost somewhat more than a 20 year warranty asphalt/fiberglass shingle roof; however a metal roof can cost substantially less than many of the high-end architectural shingles now being sold.

What homeowners need to know about a metal roof is that it has many advantages and benefits over a traditional asphalt/fiberglass shingle roof. Metal roofs are not noisy when it rains. According to one study, the noise levels of a metal roof are about the same as other roofing products such as asphalt or wood shingles or clay tiles.

If you want a roof that can withstand bad weather, a metal roof is definitely the way to go. Metal roofs are very tough and highly resistant to hail damage, much more so than asphalt/fiberglass shingles. In fact, many metal roofing products have the highest impact resistance and hail rating granted by the insurance commissions in the hail belt regions of the U.S. Some insurance companies even provide a reduced rate for metal roofs.

All metal roofing products are very wind resistant. Many styles have been tested to withstand hurricane force winds; and wind warranties can be as high as 120mph. Another great benefit is that a metal roof is the most fire safe roof. It is classified as a noncombustible roofing material with a Class “A” rating – the highest rating given. So before you start getting estimates for a traditional roof, consider a metal roof. Over time, you’ll save money, because it’s the last roof you’ll ever need!

Easy Tips To Save Money & Energy At Home
| April 23, 2012 | 4:00 PM | Energy Savings | No comments

There are so many ways to save energy that many of us fail to do on a regular basis. The average home spends about $1,900 a year on energy costs. But you can lower your energy bills and help save the environment at the same time! Follow these tips and you’ll save money in no time!

  • Nothing is more energy efficient for cooking than your microwave. It uses two-thirds less energy than your stove.
  • Surprise! Your dishwasher uses less water than washing dishes by hand. Then let dishes air-dry to save even more!
  • Having lots of food in your fridge keeps it from warming up too fast when the door is open. So your fridge doesn’t have to work as hard to stay cool.
  • Set your thermostat to 78 degrees when you are home and 85 degrees or off when you are away. Using ceiling or room fans allows you to set the thermostat higher because the air movement will cool the room.
  • To help prevent electricity outages, avoid running your appliances during peak hours, from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., or anytime an electricity emergency is declared.
  • Do your laundry efficiently by using the warm or cold water setting for washing your clothes. Always use cold water to rinse clothes. (Save: 4 percent)
  • Line dry clothes whenever you can. (Save up to 5 percent)
  • When you need to use the dryer, run full loads, use the moisture-sensing setting, and clean the clothes dryer lint trap after each use. (save: 0.5 percent)

Even if you follow only half of these tips, you’ll soon start saving energy!

How To DIY Home Energy Audit
| April 16, 2012 | 3:58 PM | Energy Savings | No comments

The typical American family spends about $1,900 a year on home utility bills, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. A home energy assessment, or audit, is the first step to assess how much energy your home consumes and to evaluate what measures you can take to make your home more efficient, saving energy and money.

Homeowners can conduct a simple, no-cost, do-it-yourself home energy audit, contact the local utility company for a low-cost assessment, or call an independent energy auditor for a higher cost, more comprehensive examination.

In a no-cost, do-it-yourself energy assessment, the homeowner walks through the home, top to bottom, checking for leaks. Leaks can be found around electrical outlets, switch plates, window frames, baseboards, fireplaces, doors, attic hatches, and window or wall mounted air conditioners.

Look for gaps around pipes and wire, outlets, foundation seals and mail slots. Most holes can be filled with expanding foam or caulk, and homeowners can consult with a local hardware store for the best and safest remedy. Caulk, weather strip and low cost plastic sheets can fix window leaks.

Other inexpensive ways to cut back on energy consumption include installing energy-efficient light bulbs, plugging electronic devices into power strips and turn off the strips at night or when not in use, and installing a programmable thermostat. Good luck!

Severe Weather Tips
| April 9, 2012 | 2:39 PM | Uncategorized | No comments

As spring approaches, first responders want to remind people to be aware of severe weather changes. Powerful spring storms can unleash some of nature’s most destructive forces including tornado’s and floods.

  • If a tornado warning is issued for your area go to the basement or lowest level of your home and take shelter in an inner hallway or small inner room without windows, such as a closet or bathroom.
  • In mobile homes and other portable structures, evacuate the structure even if it is equipped with tie-downs. Take shelter in a building with a strong foundation. If such a building isn’t available, take cover in a ditch or low-lying area a safe distance from the mobile home. Lie face down and cover your head and neck with your hands.
  • If you are in your car or truck seek shelter immediately. Do not continue to drive and do not try to outrun a tornado. Tornadoes can change direction quickly and can easily lift a vehicle into the air. Get out of the vehicle and take shelter in a nearby building or lie in a ditch or low-lying area away from the vehicle.

No matter where you live always be aware of floods. Small creeks or streams and even low lying ground can flood.

  • Be aware, not all floods are the same. Some develop slowly over an extended period of time while others can happen in a matter of minutes without any visible signs of rain.
  • Watch for signs of heavy clouds or rain. Avoid flood prone areas such as drainage channels or canyons if these conditions exist.
  • At any sign of flash flooding move to higher ground immediately. Do not wait for instruction to move.
  • Do not enter moving water. Six inches of moving water can cause a person to fall.
  • Do not drive into flooded areas. Six inches of water can cause a loss of control of most cars. A foot of water can cause most vehicles to float. Two feet of moving water can carry away most cars, including sport utility vehicles and pickup trucks.
Constant Color All Year Round In Your Garden
| April 2, 2012 | 12:46 PM | Uncategorized | No comments

It’s that time of year. Gone are the gray skies and cold days. If you haven’t already started to redo your garden beds, don’t worry it’s not too late! Many beginning gardeners want to get the most bang for their buck. If this is the case, perennials are a great option because you won’t have to replant them every year.

However, if you are after constant color, master gardeners suggest you consider planting a mix of annuals and perennials. The perennials can be the backbone of the garden, and you can fill in around them, especially the first couple of years as the perennials get established with annuals.

Many perennials do have a long season of bloom or repeat cycles of bloom. Some to consider for your sunny garden are red valerian (Centranthus ruber), Jolly Bee geranium (Geranium ‘Jolly Bee’), reblooming daylilies (Hemerocallis ‘Miss Mary Mary’, ‘Stella de’ Oro’, and ‘Happy Returns’), false sunflower (Heliopsis helianthoides), Coronation Gold yarrow (Achillea ‘Coronation Gold’), black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta), sedum (Sedum ‘Matrona’ or ‘Brilliant’), Russian sage (Perovskia atriplicifolia), and catmint (Nepeta Yfaassenii).

Also, experts recommend mixing in a few crocus, daffodil, and tulip bulbs for spring interest. After the bulbs fade, the perennials will take over and provide color. Also, include foliage plants that look good all year long without flowering. Artemisia absinthium ‘Lambrook Silver’ is one. Your garden will look amazing!