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Choosing the Right Screen: A Comprehensive Guide to Screen Types for Patios

Choosing the Right Screen: A Comprehensive Guide to Screen Types for Patios

Deciding what screen to use is important because not all screen types are created equal. Between color, number of strands, polyester vs fiberglass… a simple decision can easily become overwhelming. We want you to feel confident when speaking to your customers about screen types. So save this information in your back pocket. The most common color of screen is charcoal. It’s the screen color that we offer all our customers. It almost disappears to the eye. The numbers in the screen type name represent the number of strands per inch in each direction. The more strands per inch the smaller the hole size in the screen. The smaller the size of the hole, the less insects can fit through. Secondly, fiberglass and polyester refer to the type of woven fibers that the screen is made from. Fiberglass is more economical and has good visibility but polyester is 3 x stronger than fiberglass and offers excellent visibility. Polyester screens are more durable against wind, and sun.

Here are the most common types of patio screens on the market.

  • 18/14 Fiberglass – this is considered the industry standard patio screen.
  • 17/14 Polyester – this is the polyester version of the industry standard patio screen. As mentioned above, polyester is 3 x stronger than fiberglass and is more durable against the Florida environment.
  • 17/20 Polyester – commonly referred to as small insect screen because it has more strands per inch. The hole size in the screen is smaller than 18/14.
  • 20/20 Fiberglass – commonly referred to as ‘No-See-Um’ screen because it has the most strands per inch. It is important to note that juvenile ‘No-See-Ums’ can still fit through this hole size.
  • 20/20 Polyester – this is the polyester version of 20/20. It will be more durable than the fiberglass alternative.
  • Florida Glass – This is a fiberglass screen dipped in a vinyl coating. It only lets in light providing additional privacy and reducing the debris that can enter your patio area.
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Repairing or Replacing Aluminum Structures: What Should You Do?

Repairing or Replacing Aluminum Structures: What Should You Do?

As a contractor, your decision to repair or replace aluminum structures like railings and screen enclosures can significantly impact your project’s timeline, budget, and client satisfaction. Here’s what you need to consider when faced with this choice.

Assessing the Damage

  1. Extent of Damage: Start with a comprehensive inspection of the aluminum structure. Minor issues such as small cracks or loose joints might be quickly and cost-effectively repaired. In contrast, severe corrosion or compromised structural integrity often calls for a complete replacement.
  2. Safety Concerns: Safety is paramount. If the damage threatens the stability or safety of the structure, replacement is usually the best option. Ensuring safety protects your clients and maintains your reputation for quality work.

Cost-Benefit Analysis

  1. Repair Costs vs. Replacement Costs: Weigh the costs of repairing the structure against the costs of replacing it. Sometimes, ongoing repairs can accumulate costs that exceed those of a new installation.
  2. Long-Term Benefits: Consider the longevity of the repair. A repair might only be a temporary solution, whereas a replacement can offer a more durable and cost-effective outcome in the long run. New installations often come with warranties, providing added peace of mind.

Client Preferences

  1. Client Input: Always involve your clients in the decision-making process. Provide them with the facts, costs, and benefits of both repairing and replacing. Their preferences and budget will be crucial in determining the best course of action.
  2. Aesthetic and Functional Needs: Consider any desired aesthetic or functional upgrades. Sometimes, clients may prefer replacement to achieve a new look or improved functionality that repairs alone cannot provide.

Implementing the Solution

  1. Quality Assurance: Whether repairing or replacing, a rigorous quality assurance process is essential. At Liberty Aluminum, we ensure every job meets our high standards by using checklists and follow-up inspections to catch any issues before they become problems.
  2. Clear Communication: Clear communication with your clients is vital. For screen enclosures and similar projects, outline each step of the repair or replacement process to eliminate confusion and set clear expectations.

Conclusion

Deciding between repairing or replacing aluminum structures involves careful assessment, cost analysis, consideration of environmental impact, and client preferences. By following these guidelines, you can make informed decisions that ensure safety, satisfaction, and sustainability in every project.

 

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Heat Related Illnesses and Workers’ Safety Precautions

Heat-Related Illnesses and Workers’ Safety Precautions

The following is an excerpt from BKS Partner’s blog post on preventing heat-related illnesses for workers.

“Heat illnesses result from exposure to extreme heat that prevents the body from cooling itself down. Some risk factors can increase the likelihood of a person experiencing heat illness. Workers at the greatest risk for heat illnesses include people 65 years and older and people who have preexisting medical conditions, including diabetes, heart disease, and obesity. Almost all heat-related deaths in the United States occur between May and September; leaders should be on high alert for heat illnesses during the summer months. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently established heat as a priority issue.

Heat stroke is the most severe type of heat illness, which can result in high body temperatures and potential damage to the brain and vital organs. It is a medical emergency. Symptoms of heat stroke include:

  • High body temperature (103°F or higher),
  • Rapid heart rate,
  • Headache,
  • Dizziness,
  • Nausea,
  • Confusion, and/or Loss of consciousness.

 

If you observe someone with these symptoms, call emergency services immediately, and move the person to a cooler, shaded place. Cool, damp cloths may be applied to the person’s face and body to cool them down. If the person is conscious, they may drink water slowly.

 

Heat exhaustion symptoms can vary, if a coworker is suspected of experiencing heat exhaustion, immediate action is necessary. Symptoms of heat exhaustion include:

  • Heavy Sweating
  • Feeling cold or having clammy skin,
  • Nausea or vomiting,
  • Muscle cramps,
  • Fatigue,
  • Headache,
  • Dizziness, and/or
  • Fainting.

 

If you observe someone with symptoms of heat exhaustion, move the person to a cooler location out of direct sunlight, loosen or remove unnecessary clothing, and have them drink water or sports drinks containing electrolytes. Cool, damp cloths may be applied to the person’s face and body to cool them down. If symptoms persist for more than 60 minutes, seek medical help immediately. Heat exhaustion can escalate to heat stroke if not treated promptly, so vigilance and swift action are crucial.

Heat Illness Prevention Strategies

  • Provide employee training on heat illness prevention and response.
  • Encourage healthy hydration habits by providing regular access to drinking water.
  • On hot days, avoid energy drinks as they can increase heart rate and make someone more susceptible to heat exhaustion or stroke.
  • Adjust work schedules to avoid the hottest parts of the day, and implement work/rest schedules for new or returning employees. The OSHA-NIOSH Heat Safety Tool app reports local heat and humidity levels, which can be used to customize work schedules on a daily basis in accordance with weather conditions.
  • For physically demanding tasks, provide protective yet breathable clothing and promote job rotation to prevent excessive exposure. Monitor the weather closely and have an emergency plan.
  • Use air conditioning, increase ventilation, shield from heat sources, and use cooling fans to reduce heat exposure indoors.”

 

 

 

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2024: Building Excellence, Together

2024: Building Excellence, Together - celebrating 31 years

On the heels of our 30th-anniversary celebration, it would be easy to feel a little melancholy. After all, we celebrated with a family picnic at Lake’s Park, an Everblades Hockey night, and a Mighty Mussels game. In addition to the fun times, we also recognized all of our team members who went above and beyond with our “Go the Extra Mile” Award. We awarded over 25 people!

But just because the milestone year has passed, we aren’t letting the new year slip away! This year we have a vision and we are looking forward to seeing it through.

Drum roll, please…Introducing 2024: Building Excellence, Together! “Tap into team strength, enhance customer, service, and strive for excellence in 2024!”

Our values pillars are teamwork, customer service, and strive for excellence. As we navigate the exciting challenges and opportunities this year holds, these pillars will serve as our guide towards success. Here’s to our best year yet!

 

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Choosing the Right Screen for your Enclosure

 

The type of screen you choose not only affects the aesthetics of your space but also influences factors like durability, visibility, and privacy. At Liberty Aluminum, we offer a variety of screen options depending on your project needs. In this post, we’ll explore the types of screens we provide and discuss why you might choose one over another.

1. Fiberglass Screen

18/14 Fiberglass: The Durable Classic

The 18/14 fiberglass screen is the standard choice for patios. The numbers 18/14 refer to the mesh count, indicating 18 threads per inch horizontally and 14 threads per inch vertically. This type of screen is resistant to tears and punctures, and is the most economical option for your project.

20/20 Fiberglass: ‘No-See-Um’ Screen

The 20/20 fiberglass screen is designed for homeowners who want more functionality from their screen. The higher mesh count of threads makes it more tough for small flying insects to enter through the screen. This feature is why this size is commonly referred to as ‘No-See-Um’ screen. (A biting bug commonly found in the coastal areas of Florida.) 

 

2. Polyester Screen

17/14 Polyester: The Classic Screen but Stronger 

The 17/14 polyester screen is the most cost-effective, polyester screen option. Polyester screen is 3X stronger than fiberglass. (See above for fiberglass screen information)

17/20 Polyester: ‘Small Insect Mesh’

The 17/20 polyester screen has more woven threads than the 17/14 but still has good visibility. However, the higher threads per inch help keep flying insects and small bugs out of your outdoor living space.

20/20 Polyester: Luxury ‘No-See-Um’ Screen

This screen pairs the strength and durability of polyester with the best flying insect resistance. This screen is top of the line.

 

3. Florida Glass

Florida glass: Privacy with Style

This is a unique screen option that goes beyond the traditional. It not only provides protection from flying insects but also offers privacy, making it an excellent choice for those who want to create secluded and intimate outdoor spaces.

 

In conclusion, the choice of screen for your under truss or enclosure project depends on your specific needs and preferences. Whether you prioritize durability, visibility, or privacy, Liberty Aluminum has a range of options to cater to every unique requirement. 

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Avantgarde Homes: Aluminum Stairways Project

This shows the drawings for the aluminum stairway featured on Avantgarde Building's custom home in Fort Myers

 

Recently, Avantgarde, The Building Group, concluded the construction of a contemporary 4-bedroom, 4-bathroom, 4,000-square-foot custom residence, showcasing strong craftsmanship. Bookending the detached garage, are two aluminum stairways meticulously designed, fabricated, and installed by the Liberty Aluminum Co. 

Going beyond visual appeal, these Liberty Aluminum stairways place a premium on safety and endurance. The combination of a lightweight yet robust aluminum structure ensures a secure and smooth passage, while the minimalist design seamlessly integrates with the overall architecture, ensuring it doesn’t distract from the main residence.

Our Process:

Liberty Aluminum started by receiving the plans and used their tried and true process to cost out the project and provide Avantgarde with an accurate estimate. After which, submittal drawings were provided and approved by engineering and the customer. Lastly, the stairways were fabricated in our local Lehigh Acres facility and installed by our highly experienced crews. The picture above shows a snapshot of the CAD drawings and the final product.

We appreciate Avantgarde’s partnership and look forward to working with them again in the future. If you’re a local Southwest Florida Builder looking for a subcontractor for aluminum products visit our contact page or call us at 239-369-3000

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Making Strides Against Breast Cancer

Kelly and Colette with Moriarty the Mini Dachshund at the Babcock Ranch walk for Making Strides Against Breast Cancer

 

 

October is a month of unity, strength, and pink ribbons as the world comes together to raise awareness for breast cancer. At Liberty Aluminum, we are proud to be joining hands with the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer SWFL Chapter to support those affected by this pervasive disease. Our commitment to community well-being extends beyond manufacturing quality aluminum products — it reaches into the heart of our neighborhoods, where we stand in solidarity with those fighting breast cancer.

On October 7th, Liberty Aluminum took its first strides against breast cancer at Founder’s Square in Babcock Ranch. Our team laced up their sneakers, donned pink attire, and hit the pavement with a shared purpose — to make a difference. Plus our booth at the event served as a hub for information, support, and encouragement. If you were not able to show your support on the 7th, there is another opportunity on October 21st at North Collier Regional Park. Check out the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer SWFL  website for details.

Breast cancer is not just a disease; it’s a battle that affects millions of lives every year. By actively participating in these events Liberty Aluminum aims to amplify the importance of early detection, raise funds for research, and create a supportive community for those navigating the challenges of breast cancer. We believe that awareness is the first step towards prevention, and unity is the driving force behind lasting change.

Let’s walk together, let’s stand together, and let’s make strides against breast cancer.

Brown Family at the walk for Making Strides Against Breast Cancer

Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Poster for their event on October 21st, 2023

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Picture Window: Don’t Lose Site of Your View!

Pool Enclosure with Picture Window

Your home is your oasis and it’s likely that when you chose your home you probably considered the view. Whether that view is more homes, a golf course, a preserve or the water the last thing you would want to do is lose your view. But homeowners that want to enjoy a bug free lanai often find themselves worried about what an unsightly aluminum pool enclosure will do to their view. Let a picture window save your view!

If you choose to add a picture window to your enclosure, it matters what aluminum contractor you choose to design and install it.

Liberty Aluminum Co has been serving Southwest Florida for 30 years and during that time we developed what we call “The Liberty Beam”. This beam allows us to create picture windows spanning up to 40′ wide.

Gone are the days when you have to crane your neck to see that golfer miss their birdie putt. By having Liberty Aluminum design picture windows in your enclosure, you’ll see it all.

If you’re considering adding or replacing a screen enclosure on your home call us at 239-369-3000 or email bids@libertyaluminum.com

To see pictures of our screen enclosures including ones with picture windows click here.

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Follow These Steps to Keep your Pool Enclosure Looking like New.

pool enclosure with picture window

Cleaning your pool enclosure is essential to maintain its appearance and functionality. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to clean your pool enclosure:

Use caution while cleaning and consider hiring a licensed professional cleaning company.

Materials You’ll Need:

  1. Garden hose or pressure washer (no not pressure wash screen)
  2. Bucket
  3. Mild detergent or specialized enclosure cleaner
  4. Soft-bristle brush or pool enclosure brush
  5. Extension pole (if needed)
  6. Ladder (if needed)
  7. Microfiber cloths or soft, lint-free towels

 

Step 1: Remove Debris Sweep or use a leaf blower to remove any leaves, twigs, or debris from the enclosure. This will prevent debris from getting wet and sticking to the enclosure during cleaning.

Step 2: Rinse Use a garden hose to rinse the entire enclosure. Start at the top and work your way down, making sure to remove loose dirt and dust. A pressure washer can be very effective for this step, but be cautious not to use too high pressure, which might damage the enclosure. (No not pressure wash your screen.)

Step 3: Prepare Cleaning Solution Fill a bucket with water and add a mild detergent or a specialized enclosure cleaner according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Be careful not to use harsh chemicals that could damage the enclosure material.

Step 4: Scrub the Enclosure Dip a soft-bristle brush or a pool enclosure brush into the cleaning solution and start scrubbing the enclosure. Begin at the top and work your way down, paying extra attention to areas with stubborn stains or mold/mildew buildup. If your enclosure is particularly tall, consider using an extension pole to reach higher areas.

Step 5: Rinse Again After scrubbing, thoroughly rinse the enclosure with a hose or pressure washer to remove any soap residue and dirt. Ensure that all cleaning solution is washed away.

Step 6: Dry the Enclosure Use microfiber cloths or soft, lint-free towels to dry the enclosure thoroughly. This step helps prevent streaks and water spots from forming.

Step 7: Regular Maintenance To keep your pool enclosure in good condition, perform regular cleaning and maintenance as needed. The frequency will depend on your local climate and how quickly dirt and debris accumulate.

By following these steps, you can keep your pool enclosure clean and well-maintained, enhancing the overall look of your pool area and extending the life of the enclosure.

To see pictures of previous pool enclosure jobs click here.

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Follow These Steps to Get a Quote!

Key West Welded Railing

Embarking on a new construction or renovation project can be exhilarating, but the road to bringing your vision to life often begins by getting added to our quote list. Liberty Aluminum, a renowned player in the aluminum fabrication industry, has designed a quoting process that ensures transparency, accuracy, and efficiency, setting the stage for a smooth journey from concept to completion.

What to include in your quote request:

  • Contact Information: Name / Project Address / Phone Number / Email Address & General Contractor (If applicable)
  • Description of the product you are looking for – Screen Enclosure, Fencing, Railing, Multi-Family Carport, Decorative shutters, Condo Screen etc
  • Rough dimensions such as linear feet 
  • Pictures of existing area where the product would be installed
  • Blueprints if the project is new construction

 

Step 1: Initiating the Quote

The first step in Liberty Aluminum’s quoting process is as simple as sending an email. Yes, you read that right – no paperwork or complex forms. All you need to do is gather a few key details about your project, snap some pictures of the relevant areas, and send them over to bids@libertyaluminum.com. We also have a convenient form on our website, click here to go there. Alongside the images, include any pertinent information and dimensions. This initial interaction serves as the foundation for your quoting journey. Please see list above for more details required to get added to the quote list. 

Step 2: Expert Evaluation

Upon receiving your email, Liberty Aluminum’s Sales Department steps into action. Our experienced professionals carefully review the information and images you’ve provided. This step ensures that all the necessary details are on the table and that your project aligns with Liberty Aluminum’s capabilities and expertise. This proactive review not only streamlines the process but also ensures that every quote is backed by Liberty Aluminum’s commitment to excellence.

Step 3: You’ve been added to the Quote List

Once reviewed, your project is added to the quote list. This list is a well-organized hub where all potential projects are tracked. Being added to this list signifies that Liberty Aluminum is ready to dive deeper into your project, providing you with the attention and dedication you deserve. 

Step 4: Receiving and Reviewing the Quote

Time is an essential factor in any project, and Liberty Aluminum values your time just as much as you do. While you might be eager to see your quote, this process is thorough and takes a little time. On average, it takes approximately 3-4 weeks for you to receive your quote. This period accounts for the meticulous attention to detail, internal evaluations, and precise calculations that ensure your quote is as accurate as possible. Once you receive your quote, take time to review the quote thoroughly. Once you are satisfied and ready to proceed, a simple email indicating your acceptance is all that’s needed.

 

The journey from project inception to the realization of your vision involves many steps, and Liberty Aluminum’s quoting process is the initial stepping stone. By allowing you to easily initiate the process through email, involving an experienced General Manager for review, and ensuring a meticulous evaluation process, Liberty Aluminum guarantees accuracy and reliability. While the waiting period for your quote might require some patience, it’s a testament to the company’s dedication to delivering nothing but the best. So, the next time you’re ready to turn your aluminum dreams into reality, remember that Liberty Aluminum has a quoting process designed with you in mind.

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