Winterize your home

Customers count. Canton Aluminum at 1330 Tuscarawas Street E, owned and operated by brothers Jerry Ortman and Marty Ortman, has been around since their uncle Morris Knell founded the business in 1952.

With tips from Canton Aluminum

Customers count. Canton Aluminum, at 1330 Tuscarawas Street E, owned and operated by brothers Jerry Ortman and Marty Ortman, has been around since their uncle Morris Knell founded the business in 1952.

“To be in the business for 67 years, we’ve got to be doing something right,” observed Jerry Ortman, who noted that 75 percent of their business comes from repeat customers or people referred to Canton Aluminum by previous customers. “We go to great lengths to satisfy our customers. We want them to be happy customers.”

Simply put, the business plan of Canton Aluminum is to educate homeowners about improvement of their homes, assess their customers’ needs, make them aware of what products are available to them, advise them on the directions their home renovations can take and to do their best to make sure their clients are pleased with the final results.

And the best way to accomplish that goal, said Jerry Ortman, is to be present through the entire project—from home analysis to completion of work, be that project the installation of windows, the hanging of doors, the replacement of siding or the construction of multiseason rooms.

“The big thing we do is we have our own employees do the installation, instead of hiring subcontractors,” said Ortman, noting that Canton Aluminum’s installers are “factory-trained professionals” given their knowledge by the manufacturers making such products as windows, doors and siding.

Other products Canton Aluminum sells and installs are awnings, patio covers, carports, roofing, gutters and downspouts and leaf shields.

Beyond its customized service, one of the most valuable things Canton Aluminum has to offer is its insight. The staff consults with customers to determine their needs.

So, one bit of advice from Ortman is to first identify what is wrong with a house before you winterize it.

“The thing is, people have to be aware where their problems lie,” explained Ortman. “If air is coming in through a window, they may have to replace the window. If cold air is coming through electrical outlets, or if we pull a kitchen drawer and can feel cold air, they may consider putting insulated siding on the house. It could be that the insulation from when the house was built has settled.”

Quick fixes for cold windows are caulking around the frame or putting plastic over the pane.

“But, that’s a pain and something that usually ends up never happening or is a messy job, and the people say ‘I’m never doing that again,’ ” Ortman noted.

Replacing siding or windows can be a more permanent solution.

“Insulating walls with siding really works tremendously and lowers your heating costs,” Ortman said. “It lowers your air-conditioning bills too because you’re keeping warm air out in the summertime.”

Another winterizing tip is for a homeowner to make sure there is enough insulation in the attic.

“Melting snow on the roof or if there is ice in your gutters are big indicators that you’ve got heat going up through the roof,” Ortman said.

Frost or moisture forming on the inside of your windows might indicate that the home is not insulated well enough, continued Ortman. In previous generations, storm windows were used on more homes.

“Better to have condensation and frost on the storm window than having it on the inside of your window, where it can cause mold and mildew,” he said, suggesting that homeowners install good insulated windows to replace the ones whose panes are allowing entry of the chill from the outside.

A common quick fix is trying to save money by blocking the problem instead of actually solving it, said Ortman.

“Some people make the mistake of closing off the air ducts (to areas of the house). They think they’re saving money, but they’re not. You want the air to flow,” he explained. “And people will close doors to upstairs rooms to save more money. It really doesn’t. Air has to circulate through the entire house.”

Decisions by homeowners that are more efficient and long-lasting can be assisted by the Ortmans and their 17 employees. The office is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Saturday. Customers can call 330-456-0021 to talk to a company representative. And, information can be obtained online at, which makes mention on its home page that the company’s expertise now extends far beyond aluminum.

“You may ask why a home improvement company that services all of Northeast Ohio and provides vinyl products is still called Canton Aluminum,” the website notes. “The answer comes down to simple tradition. Thanks to the vision of our founders, Canton Aluminum has expanded beyond city boundaries and excels at installing state-of-the-art home updates while staying committed to the most important part of our business—our customers.”

Indeed, customers count to Canton Aluminum.

“Our guiding principal has been our commitment to doing the job right. We do it right because we care. Our friends and neighbors were our first customers and thanks to their recommendations and repeat business, we have stayed on the cutting edge of exterior home remodeling for more than a half a century.”