Winterize Your Home

It’s finally the most wonderful time of the year, which means soon it will also be the coldest. If you are a homeowner, you know this means more than just switching from your air conditioning to heating. It means you likely have a few tasks around your home to prepare it for cold, dry air and possibly snow. Here is what we recommend:

  1. Check for drafts. If you haven’t had your windows or the weather stripping replaced in a while, checking around them for drafts is a good idea. Use an infrared thermometer, candle or flashlight – if you notice air flow around the frames, it could drive your energy costs up as the weather cools down.
  2. Remove screens. You may not usually remove your screens during the winter, but storing them a warm, dry place can extend their life by protecting them from inclement weather and sun damage during the months you don’t need them. You can also use this time as an opportunity to deep-clean your windows before the holidays! Come spring, place your screens back in for open-window season.
  3. Add a railing. With the amount of snow the east coast saw last year, taking measures now to protect yourself during inclement weather is a good idea, especially if you have children or elderly family members in your home. Adding a railing to your front porch and steps can help prevent slips by giving you something steady to hold on a snowy or icy day.

 

Another great winter addition to any home is a sunroom to extend your living space and keep enjoying the outdoors even when the temperatures have dropped. If you’re in the Raleigh-Durham area, call Gerald Jones Company at 919.286.1700 to discuss your next exterior home project.

Frequently Asked Questions

New homeowners have a lot of information to take in – some about the home buying process, some about the best options for appliances, and most often, information about home repairs. Unfortunately, there is no guidebook that comes with your home to tell you what needs to be repaired or replaced, and when to do it.

If you have a question about the exterior of your home, the experts at Gerald Jones Company are here to help! Here are some of our more frequently asked questions, with the answers:

  1. Is all siding the same? Siding comes in many different materials, each with its own benefits and costs. To decide if you need something low maintenance, look at the weather patterns in our area and check out our blog on the types of siding we offer to find the right choice for your home.
  2. How do I know when to replace my roofing? Even if you aren’t sure what you’re looking at, you’re likely to notice damage if you are checking on your home frequently. If you notice loose, missing, cracked or curling shingles, or your roofing is over 20 years old, it’s probably time to have it replaced.
  3. Do I need a gutter guard? If you want to decrease the amount of time you spend on home maintenance and ensure your gutters are working properly to protect your home, gutter guards are the way to go. However, they aren’t essential in routing rainwater away from your home – the entire gutter system, landscaping and drainage all play a role.

We know that questions about home maintenance and the options available are endless for both new homeowners and experienced ones. If you are in the Raleigh or Durham area and have more questions about the services we offer to get your home in top shape, give Gerald Jones a call at (919) 286-1700 today.

Getting Ready for Fall

September is the awkward month between Summer and Fall, where many people are ready for cooler temperatures and pumpkin-flavored items, but the weather is still humid and warm. It may not be the ideal month for outdoor activities, but it IS the ideal month to get your home ready for fall. Here are a few ways you can prepare:

Clean up: Before you know it, it will just be too cold to head outside for weeding or pressure washing. September is great for spending some time cleaning up summer messes like mildew, dying vegetable gardens, clogged gutters and dirty patio furniture. You don’t want to open the grill next summer to see year-old residue on it on it, or take a seat in a rotting patio chair when you’re ready to relax in the sun.

Routine checkups: When you’re finally ready to make the switch and turn on your heating system, it’s always a good idea to complete routine checkups and maintenance on your HVAC system, air filters and plumbing to make sure your home is running efficiently.

Put things away: If you have furniture, your kids outdoor toys or important equipment you don’t want ruined by colder temperatures and snow, it’s time to put things away and organize them so they’ll be in great condition and easy to find on the first nice day of Spring next year.

Finish projects: Have you been dreaming of spending your fall evenings eating family dinners outside in the cool air or turning off the AC and letting the breeze in? It’s time to take charge and complete these projects before it’s too late and fall has passed! If you’re ready to get started on new screen doors, a new deck, or a screened porch, we can help make this task easy! Give the experts at Gerald Jones a call at (919) 286-1700 or use our online contact form today.

Rain Rain, Go Away!

For those of us living on the east coast, the constant rain throughout the months of July and August have interfered with outside time and summer vacations. For homeowners, it’s also created a number of other problems that can come with high amounts of wind and rain, resulting in damage to their homes.

If you are a homeowner, it is a good idea to take a walk around your property and assess for damage after a rainy week (or weeks). Though you may not be able to completely understand what the problem is, if you are familiar with your home you will probably be able to recognize if something stands out. If you aren’t sure where to start, though, here’s where we recommend taking a look:

  1. Gutters. Gutters are one of the most important areas of your home during rainfall, and clogged gutters can lead to even more damage, with your roofing or even the foundation of your home. Check for cracks, holes and and spots pulling away from your home. While sometimes damage can be repaired, you may need to have your gutters replaced – consider adding a gutter guard for lower maintenance in the future.
  2. Roofing and siding. Hail and high winds can cause damage or even dislodge weak shingles and siding. Check for missing pieces to avoid future problems during the winter when heavy snow can hurt already damaged areas.
  3. Windows. Check around your windows for leaks as well, and look for signs of water damage. When unnoticed, continued water leakage can lead to rotting and even mold, causing much bigger issues later on.

If you find damage in any of these areas and are ready to confront the problem now to save yourself from stress, call the experts at Gerald Jones Company! To receive a free estimate, contact us at (919) 286-1700 or use our online form.

Mid-Year Check In

In January, we wrote about the benefits of a complete overhaul in order to accomplish your home goals in 2018. Well, we are officially halfway through the year, which means it’s time to look back and see what you’ve accomplished!

We understand that even if you intended to take the plunge and begin a complete overhaul of your home, sometimes life gets in the way. Now that it’s summer and the days are longer and kids are out of school, it’s a great time to use your spare hours to begin tasks that you just haven’t been able to tackle yet. Here are a few areas of your home to consider, especially as you spend more time outside during the warmer months:

  1. Your energy costs. Are your energy bills especially high? If you noticed a spike over the winter, but haven’t gotten around to replacing your windows, now is the time. Temperatures are still rising, and the hottest month is yet to come. Whether it’s storm windows, sliding windows or casement windows, the experts at Gerald Jones can get the job done quickly and help your home run efficiently again.
  2. Your backyard. Have you been spending little to no time in your backyard because it just isn’t suitable for fun in the sun? July means the sun is hot and ticks are out, and it is exactly the right time to enjoy the comfort and shade of an outdoor living space.
  3. Repairs. Repairs you didn’t get to at the start of the year are guaranteed to be worse now. Issues with roofing, siding and gutters can lead to even bigger problems, so it’s time to start tackling your list of repairs.

Our experts at Gerald Jones Company are ready to help you complete your projects this month to help you accomplish your goals in 2018. Give us a call at (919) 286-1700 or fill out our online form to learn about the options available for your home.

Are You Ready for Hurricane Season?

Last month, we wrote about the importance of replacing damaged shingles on your roof to ensure your home is protected from future damage like mold, stains and wood rot. However, more than ever, homeowners are searching for ways to protect their homes and minimize damage from storm winds and rain throughout the summer. They want to know, “How can I protect the other areas of my home from hurricane damage?”

So, how else can you prepare your home for hurricane season?

  1. Check your windows and doors. Just like your roofing, damaged windows and doors can become worse during a storm. If you’ve noticed any signs of leaking or water damage in the past, or even just notice higher energy bills because cool air is escaping during the summer, it is a good idea to look into having your windows replaced.
  2. Clean your gutters. If you haven’t checked them in a while, it’s time to take a look at your gutters. Clogged gutters are one of biggest ways damage to your home’s foundation, and no one should climb up a ladder in the middle of a storm to unclog them once water starts building up.
  3. Storm doors and windows. Many homeowners have storm doors and windows to allow more light into their home and add extra insulation to block air flow. Their most important feature, though, is to protect your door or glass from a storm. Find out more about our storm door and window installation services.
  4. Retractable awning. If you want the enjoyment of a shaded area during the summer but are worried about high winds causing tears, a retractable awning is a great option! You’ll be able to roll it up before the storm hits, preventing damage from debris.

Give the experts at Gerald Jones a call at (919) 286-1700 or use our online form to find out how we can help protect your home during the next hurricane!

Preparing for the Next Storm

In 2017, the south and east coast saw some of the most intense rain and hurricanes in years. This year, we are already experiencing weeks of heavy rainfall and wind that can cause damage to homes, especially roofing.

If your roof shingles have come loose, blown away, or become cracked or moldy, it’s time to start thinking about how you’ll repair or replace them before the next big storm.

It may seem counter-intuitive to replace shingles if there is a risk of more destruction to your roof, but high amounts of rain to an already damaged roof can lead to bigger problems. Leaks into your attic can cause longer-term, harder-to-fix problems like mold, ceiling stains in the interior of your home, wood rot and more.

Did you know that Gerald Jones provides expertise to all aspects of roof replacement, roof shingles and more? We specialize in Atlas shingles, which are specially designed to stand up to the toughest wind (up to 150 mph) and weather conditions. This means that after you’ve had your roofing replaced, you won’t need to worry about the shingle issues you’ve experienced in previous storms. You’ll save money by avoiding the water-damage that can come with missing shingles, and also by preventing future problems.

If you need a North Carolina roofing contractor to repair or replace your roofing before the next big storm, give the experts at Gerald Jones a call at (919) 286-1700  or use our online form to schedule a free estimate today.

Upgrades for Warmer Weather

Have been enjoying your home so far this spring? The weather is finally warm enough to spend more time outside and let the fresh air into your home, and if you haven’t gotten to the updates you need to make that happen, now is the time! Don’t let another spring and summer go to waste because your home isn’t where you want it to be in your upgrade process.

Have you always wished for a place to lay out in the sun or enjoy a family meal? Are you ready to be able to walk outside without having to put on shoes or worry about tracking dirt and mud into the house? Give us a call to talk to one of our experts about how adding a deck or screened porch to your home can extend your living space and add more outside enjoyment time on warm days.

Do you wish you could open your backdoor to let fresh air in or keep a better eye on children without having to worry about bugs getting in or pets running out? A retractable screen door may be the solution you’ve been searching for. Our Mirage Screen System is perfect for families, too, with a slower retractable speed that minimizes the chance of fingers or small hands getting pinched as the screen is closing.

Does your backyard have an existing patio or pool surround that you’d like to be more shaded for extended pool time without worry of sun exposure or heat? A simple, affordable way to maximize your existing outdoor space is to add a patio cover. Whether you prefer a pergola or arbor style treated hardwood patio cover, our design and build experts will help you find a cover that is both functional and fits your style.

If you’re ready to upgrade your home and get the most enjoyment out of warm weather this year, give the experts at Gerald Jones a call at (919) 286-1700 today for your free estimate! 

Your Spring Checklist

If you’re like everyone else emerging from their winter den this month, you’re probably thinking about all of the spring cleaning you’ll need to get started on. It’s time to open up the windows and let fresh air in, switch your bedding to those light, summer linens, and get rid of the dust, grime and damage that has built up over the winter!

You’ll likely want the exterior of your home looking as clean and new as the interior of your home after spring cleaning. But where should you start? Here is our spring checklist when cleaning and checking for damage:

1.     Roofing and siding: The roofing and siding are the biggest areas of your home’s exterior, and therefor are the most noticeable when they are dirty or damaged. Having stained siding or missing shingles can make your entire home look messy, even when the rest is pristine.

2.     Deck and railings: During the warm and cold cycles of spring with days of sun and snow, your deck and railings can grow a layer of mildew from moisture. It’s time to break out the pressure washer and clean these areas before hosting that first summer backyard barbeque!

3.     Screened porches: Most likely, you weren’t using your screened porch much throughout the winter. This means your outdoor furniture and screen may have a good amount of dirt and dust on it. Be sure to give these areas a nice rinse and check your screen for any tears before the spring pollen and bugs arrive!

As always, if you’re checking off your exterior spring cleaning list and notice any damage, or want to add a new outdoor living space as the weather warms, give the experts at Gerald Jones a call at (919) 286-1700 today for your free estimate! 

Recovering from Winter Damage

The East Coast saw the most snow it’s had in years this winter, and some homes are really feeling the effects of the colder weather. As you emerge from winter hibernation and start to prepare for warmer weather and spring projects, there are some areas of your home you may want to examine for winter damage and tackle first. Here are the ones to check:

1.     Gutters: If you’ve neglected your gutters by letting them pull away from the roof or collect leaves, winter can double the damage. Gutters full of snow and ice can cause ice dams and become weighed down, and falling even farther from the roof. If you notice damage to your gutters from snow and ice buildup, it’s time to have them replaced.

2.     Roofing: The same ice dams creating problems for your gutters can create even bigger problems for your roofing. Ice dams can block melting snow water, causing it to back up under shingles and siding, leading to damage and bringing moisture into your attic. If your roof already needs work, the weight of snow and freezing and thawing cycles can widen cracks and bring down shingles.

3.     Windows: While the glass on a window isn’t likely to become damaged during the winter, the sealing and frames are susceptible to damage from moisture. Cycles of dry air and moisture can rot the materials around windows, which can drive up energy bills by letting cold air in during winter and cold air out during warmer months. Having your windows replaced now will ensure a more comfortable, worry-free spring!

If you find damage in any of these areas and are ready to confront the problem now to save yourself from stress and make room for more projects this spring and summer, call the experts at Gerald Jones Company! To receive a free estimate, contact us at (919) 286-1700 or use our online form.


Gerald Jones Company proudly serves homeowners in Cary, Apex, Durham, Raleigh, Chapel Hill, North Raleigh, Morrisville, Hillsborough, Roxboro, Mebane and the surrounding communities.