Safety tips for christmas lights

The Dos and Don’ts of Hanging Outdoor Holiday Lights

As you start to plan your Christmas, your mind may turn to the outdoor decorations and that all-important street view. But while you’re sorting out your decorating ideas for the winter season, keep these safety tips in mind. Installing outdoor lighting, in particular, can be dangerous so consider hiring a professional.

The do’s of holiday lighting

DO thoroughly check your electrical system. Inspect the plugs and outlets you’ll be using. If there’s heating and sparking in the socket, call an electrician. If your lights have loose or bare wires, don’t use them.

DO check your lights. Before installing your Christmas lights, plug them in to make sure all of your bulbs are working.

DO use the proper outlets for outdoor decorations (in fact, any outdoor electrical stuff, period) using a ground-fault circuit interrupter, which will automatically cut off the power in the event of a spike or short.

DO make sure you have someone with you when you’re using a ladder. Even for an easy job, have someone on hand to steady the ladder and keep an eye out for your safety.

DO consider hiring professional help. If you don’t want to invest in the cost of a holiday decorating service, try calling a professional local roofer who has plenty of experience working outside on ladders and often hang lights in the off-season.

DO consider using magnetic hooks. Lights mounted using magnetic clips may have a few more limitations, such as only installing on metal, but they’re easier to install and safer to use.

DO invest in LED bulbs.

Although they cost more up front, you’ll save money in the long run, as they last 12 times longer than traditional bulbs.

The don’ts of holiday lighting

Don’t install your lights on trees that come in contact with power lines.

DON’T nail or staple through electrical wires or cords. (It’s surprising how many people do this.)

DON’T overload the power. If your lights constantly trip the circuit breaker or GFCI, you probably have too many lights.

DON’T use extension cords unwisely. Do not run them under rugs, around furniture legs or across doorways. Be sure you put safety covers on any unused outlet or extension cord plug – you don’t want children fooling around with them. Tape cords across walkways while in use.

DON’T hire a contractor without checking their insurance and workers’ comp. Hanging holiday lights, like any other job involving a ladder, has a higher risk of injury than most other household jobs, and you don’t want to be held responsible for their medical bills.

DON’T mix up outdoor and indoor lights. Outdoor lights burn hotter than indoor lights, so don’t hang lights inside if they’re meant for the outdoors.

DON’T leave your lights on all through the night. Add a timer, so you don’t have to worry about wasting energy.

Fall check list roofing

4 Home Maintenance Tasks For Fall

It’s time to start thinking about your autumn to-do list. Some of the easiest fall chores can save you big dollars on your energy bills — not to mention prevent major potential problems.

These are the maintenance tasks we recommend before temperatures drop:

1. Seal Drafts And Add Insulation

• Caulk, seal and weather strip: Pay special attention to drafts around doors and windows, especially if you haven’t installed new energy efficient windows.
TIP: A simple way to identify air leaks that can cost you money: Take a lit stick of incense or a candle and go around the perimeter of doors and windows. Drafts will pull the smoke in their direction, making it easier to see where the cold air is seeping in. Replace or add worn weather stripping or caulk in those spots.

• Measure your insulation: Check your attic to see if you have exposed joists if so, you should add more insulation. The amount of insulation you need depends on where you live — the cooler the climate, the more insulation you’ll need.

• Audit energy waste: A good way to improve your home’s energy efficiency, is to consider scheduling a professional energy audit for a thorough look at insufficient insulation and air leaks, which wastes energy.

 

2. Protect Your Plumbing

• Insulate your water lines: Look at your water lines and plumbing pipes — especially those on the exterior walls — and make sure they’re insulated to avoid frozen pipes and leaks during this winter. Cleaning all lines can help remove clogs that cause backups, which can freeze, then cause the weakening of pipes and bursting.
TIP: Wrap your pipes with insulation designed for plumbing. In many situations, good insulation will be all you need to protect the pipes.

• Drain your water heater: This can enhance your water heater’s efficiency by as much as 50%, by draining sediment buildup from inside the water heater holding tank.

• Remove and drain any outside hoses: Before the first freeze, you should detach outdoor hoses, drain any standing water and store them inside.
Drain your exterior faucets and close the interior shut-off valves to the hose bibs or spigots to prevent frozen pipes during the winter.

 

3. Check Your Gutters, Roof, And Chimney

• Clean your gutters: Dead leaves are the hallmark of autumn and can quickly pile up and lead to blocked gutters. Dead leaves and other muck can lead to backups that cause water damage or even contribute to an ice dam during the winter.
You can use a professional for gutter cleaning, or get up on a ladder and clean the gutters yourself. Even if gutters are not clogged at the start of fall, check again after the leaves have fallen.

• Inspect your roof: While you’re looking up, perform a visual roof inspection. Make sure your shingles are in sound condition, that none are missing and that they’re properly attached. Look for any sags or dips, which may symbolize a problem with the wood underneath your roof shingles. If your roof is more than 20 years old, consider scheduling an inspection with a roofing contractor.

• Schedule a chimney sweep: Creosote buildup can lead to a chimney fire, so get your fireplace and chimney cleaned before you put it back into use this winter. You should have your chimney inspected at least once a year, and more often if you use it regularly.

 

4. Service Your Furnace

• Schedule fall HVAC maintenance: A large majority of emergency service calls answered by heating specialists result from poor maintenance.

• Replace furnace filters: The new season is also the perfect time to check and change dirty furnace filters. Clean filters help your HVAC system run more efficiently, so it distributes heat better and cuts down on your energy costs. Plus, it’s an easy and inexpensive and task.

 

It is important to be careful when inspecting your roof or gutters.  You should ideally hire a professional to inspect the home and give you a report. If you have any questions and would like to talk to a professional roofer, please get in contact. We’ll be more than happy to help.

Roofing material

Best Roofing Materials for Hot Climates

When you consider how a building keeps cool, the most common thing that comes to mind is air conditioning. But the first real line of defense against the heat is a building’s roof. And a hot day a good roof should be releasing, not storing and absorbing, the sun’s rays.

As Texas is known for its hot and humid climate, with only the winter season offering a much-needed release from the blistering heat, you should be critical of what sort of materials you choose for your roof. CP Roofing & Exteriors discusses the best roofing materials for hotter climates.

Asphalt Roofing

Asphalt roofing is the most cost-effective and popular roofing system on the market. The asphalt holds the heat in place, preventing it from seeping into the home through the attic or ceiling area.

By far the biggest advantage of composition shingles roofing is its relatively low upfront cost. This is the most affordable roofing option in the short term, which is why so many Texas homeowners favor it. In most cases, a properly installed asphalt shingles roof will equip your home with a decent level of protection with an average lifespan of 11 to 17 years, all for a modest upfront cost.

Though it’s a long-lived material, it does need a little additional maintenance since it doesn’t handle moisture very well. While the water resistance of asphalt is good, it is the sudden changes between wet and dry that can disturb the protective covering from the shingles.

Metal Roofing

Metal roofing is fast becoming the most popular alternative to asphalt thanks to its longer lifespan and sheer strength. It also has higher heat resistance than asphalt and is virtually immune to moisture and water damage. We advise using this roofing system if you want your home to have higher heat resistance.

Energy Efficiency. Attics in hot climates get extremely hot. That heat then transfers down into the home, dramatically increasing air conditioning costs and also making living spaces uncomfortable.

Metal roofing offers three ways in which it keeps homes cooler and reduces air-conditioning costs often by 20% or more.

  • Light colored metal roofs or metal roofs with special pigments in dark colors reflect radiant heat.
  • Metal roofs lose any gained heat very quickly to the sky when the sun sets or goes behind a cloud or even when a slight breeze blows. Other roofing materials capture and hold the sun’s heat.
  • Many metal roofs – especially the shingle, shake and tile look ones – have an integral airspace between the metal and the roof deck. This air space acts as a thermal break, stopping conductive heat transfer.

Learn more about the types of roofing CP Roofing & Exteriors offers.

If you need help deciding what material to use for your roofing, or you need professional roof repair, call us at (214) 609-3969 for more information on our services or start your free estimate now. We install asphalt and metal roofing throughout North Texas.

What to Look for in a Roof When Buying a Home

If you’re contemplating buying a new home, you want to make sure that the roof on the house is sturdy. As the roof is one of the most expensive features of a home, you’ll want to make sure to give it a thorough inspection.

Let’s take a look at some of the more important factors to look for in a roof when you’re looking to buy a home.

Find Out How Old the Rooftop Is

The very first thing you should do when buying a new home is to check the roof. To do this, stand back from the roof and investigate a number of things.

  • One of the most important things to look for on a roof is to check it’s mold-free.
  • Check the roof is perfectly flat and there are no bulges or curly edges.
  • Look for worn spots and any missing shingles. If you see such deformities in the roof then it symbolizes that the roof is quite old.

Important to note; there is nothing wrong with an older roof. However, you need to make sure it hasn’t been affected in any way.

To do: ask the homeowner about the lifespan of the roof. Roofs are usually made from materials like metal, composite, tin, rubber or shingles. A roof made from composite shingles will help the roof last for more time without any difficulties, while other more common materials may require inspection and possible maintenance on a yearly basis.

Good Ventilation System

If the house you’re thinking about buying has a shiny new rooftop on it but doesn’t have a proper ventilation mechanism, then you may face tremendous issues.

A ventilation system that lets sunlight and air come in easily is a must. These two things should not be overlooked when purchasing a house. Poor ventilation systems can cause a variety of problems. Including helping in the formation of mold.

Mold on the Roof

Mold is a fungus that comes in a few different colors – black, green, dark, white, and shapes. While a few molds are more noticeable, some are hidden and can’t be easily seen. It can form under floors and roofs, between walls, or in less visible spots. Mold does well in water-drenched materials such as roofs having water pipes and gutter systems around the house.

Molds can contaminate the walls of the house. The main reasons for mold developing are a poor ventilation system and water leakage. And it happens a lot more in a hotter climate, like Texas. One fundamental reason behind a moldy rooftop is a direct result of water intrusion from the roof. When people see the mold, they get it fixed but overlook the source that made it happen in the first place.

Mold on the rooftop is not good for any home. It doesn’t only affect the look but also causes a bad odor that can make it difficult to live. In addition to this, there are also health risks.

Canals and Seepage System

Make sure to investigate drainage pipes that run along the roof. We do advise that you let experts do that, as it can be dangerous.

A seepage system involves gutters, downspouts, and drainage pipes. While checking the gutters, be sure to look for asphalt shingle grains thoroughly, because the small grains that coats shingles are responsible for shielding the shingles from destructive sun beams.

Check the Rooftop Downspouts

Do a quick check to ensure all rooftop downpipes are releasing into storm water wells and not directly onto the ground. You should also search for any possibilities of past flooding or excessive water flowing around the rooftop downspouts. This can indicate that the soak wells are not the appropriate sizes or require a cleaning process, which can be expensive.

It is important to be careful when buying a new house. You should ideally hire a professional to inspect the home and give you a report. If you have any questions and would like to talk to a professional roofer, please get in contact. We’ll be more than happy to help.