Tips for Lighting Your Home for the Holidays

Now that the holiday season has arrived, you’re probably getting all of the boxes of decorations down from the attic to deck the halls of your home. And if you’re like most people, one of your main tools in decorating is holiday lights. While they can definitely add some beautiful flare to your home, holiday lights also come with their fair share of safety issues.

In order to keep your home safe this season, here are a few tips to follow while lighting the place up.

Tips for Using Holiday Lights

Check the Lights First

When you first take them out of storage, inspect your lights and all the attached wiring. Have any of the bulbs cracked or broken, or do any of the wires seem frayed? Since damaged lights can be dangerous, avoid using these when decorating.

Ensure Outdoor Safety

Not all holiday lights are safe to use outdoors — and if you use indoor-only lights outside, you could risk a safety hazard. When buying new lights, make sure they are suitable for outdoor use. If you buy some that are not, exchange them or simply keep them inside.

Careful with Extension Cords

Like holiday lights themselves, not all extension cords are safe to use outdoors. Only certain models are designed to handle outdoor weather, so using one that it not could result in a number of problems. Also, use these cords sparingly. Hooking up several extension cords to each other can result in a short circuit.

Be Gentle with Cords

When hanging lights on your gutters or other parts of your home, carefully do so with staples or plastic clips. Avoid puncturing any wires as this can cause electrical hazards. Additionally, if you’re plugging the lights into an indoor outlet, make sure you’re not closing any doors or windows on them, as this can damage the cord as well.

From complete roof installations and replacements to siding repair and installation, you can count on JM Roofing & Siding for exceptional service. Contact us today for a free estimate!

Preparing Your Home for Guests

The holidays are here, and you know what that means — family gatherings at your house! If you’re expecting a bunch of relatives and friends to stay with you for the holidays, it’s important to make them feel as comfortable as possible and as if they are in their own homes.

In order to do that, you’ll want to take a few measures around the house to make it a bit more welcoming.

Stock Up on Toilet Paper

The last thing anyone, much less a guest, wants to experience is finishing up in the bathroom and find there is no toilet paper left to use. Even if there is a fresh roll sitting beside the toilet, place a few extra rolls underneath the sink for good measure.

Supply Fresh Linens

You may think that just because no one has slept in the guest bed in months, that the sheets are fine to use. However, dust and allergens can still buildup. Be sure to change out any sheets so guests have fresh, clean bedding to sleep on. You should also have spare sheets, pillows, and blankets available so, if your guests like to sleep with six pillows or several blankets, they’re there with ease.

Write Down the Wifi Password

There’s going to a lot of photo-taking and posting during the holidays, and you know everyone is going to want to save data and get on your wifi. Rather than having to continuously look up the password, just write it down on a notepad so everyone has access to it.

Clear Out Clutter

Clear some space out of drawers and closet to allow guests to unpack.  Remove clutter from communal areas like your living room and kitchen. Clean up the yard in case it’s warm enough to play a little game of family football or soccer. 

Don’t forget to prep your home’s exterior! For all your roofing and siding needs in and around Norwalk, CT, contact JM Roofing and Siding for a free estimate!.

Pros and Cons of Waiting for a Roof Replacement

If you’re like most people, you have a laundry list of tasks that you’ve been meaning to get done but have put off for a while. While that list may include things like fixing a faucet or replacing a light bulb, it may not always include having your roof replaced.

If you’ve been in need of a roof replacement but haven’t made arrangements for one yet, you may be taking some time to debate whether or not your home really needs one. Well, let’s hash a few points out so you can make your decision sooner rather than later.

Pros of Waiting for a Roof Replacement

More Time to Save

Unfortunately, a new roof isn’t exactly cheap, so if you wait a tad longer, you’ll be able to save more money to put towards the project.

Do It in the Off-Season

Winter tends to be a slower season for roofing companies, so by waiting for the off-season, you may reap a few benefits. There’s a chance your roof may have better availability to adapt to your schedule, and you may even get a discount if the company is in need of more business.

Cons of Waiting for a Roof Replacement

Risk Further Damage

When you continue to put off a roof replacement, you increase your risk of having more damage. Typically, the longer you ignore a problem with your roof, the worse the damage with get. Beyond deterioration to the roof itself, you could also risk damaging your insulation, dry walls, and other parts of your home. 

Unprepared for Winter

If you try to wait for a roof replacement in the off-season, you may reap the few benefits, but your roof won’t be ready to handle winter weather. This can result in energy loss, as your roof won’t be able to keep heat inside your home until it is completely intact.

For 15 years, JM Roofing & Siding has been a family owned and operated residential roofing and siding contractor serving the New Canaan, Greenwich and Norwalk areas of Fairfield County. We provide our clients with comprehensive roofing and siding services. Contact us today for your free estimate!

Things You Can Do with Fall Leaves

Fall weather is finally here, and you know what that means — you’ll soon have a yard full of leaves! While it’s fine to pile them high and let the kids jump into colorful mounds of yellow, orange, and red, having the mess in your yard does get old after a while. 

Rather than rake all the leaves into plastic bags and toss them in the trash, consider all the other things you can do will them.

Compost and Use Them as Fertilizer

Collect all the leaves, place them in a three-foot composting barrel, and there you have it — the leaves are set to compost. While most composting takes around six to ten months, you may be able to help the process along by shredding the leaves.

Once they are composted, spread the leaves over the soil in your yard to allow it to better hold onto water and nutrients.

Use Them as Mulch

If you don’t want to wait for the leaves to compost, simply lay down a thick layer on your soil and around plants, spray them down with a hose, and use them as mulch. The leaves will help block weed growth and decompose on their own over time.

Use Them an Insulation

While they can’t be used to insulate your home, you can place leaves on top of growing plants to provide a bit of warmth. Use chicken wire to contain them, and simply brush them away come spring.

Create Decorations

The various colors of fall leaves can add a lot of beauty around her home. After collecting and cleaning them, use the fallen leaves to create wreaths, bundles, banners, wall art and more.

When you’re working on getting your yard tidy, don’t forget to take your siding into account. For all your roofing and siding needs in the Norwalk area, trust the experts at JM Roofing and Siding! Contact us today for a free estimate!

Keeping Your Pumpkins Fresh for Fall

If there’s one thing every home in the tri-state area chooses to decorate their homes with in the fall, it’s pumpkins. You take the kids to go pick out the best ones in the patch, carve them up into scary and funny faces, and display them on your porch for all to see.

But after a while, those pumpkins can start to rot and look a mess. Luckily, there are a few things you can do to keep your pumpkins fresh this fall and help them last longer.

Keeping Your Pumpkins Fresh for Fall

Pick a Firm Pumpkin

When you first head down to the pumpkin patch, make sure you pick a bright, firm pumpkin. These are the freshest and have the best chance of standing the test of time.

Wait to CarveThem

If you plan to carve spooky or silly faces into the pumpkins, wait until it gets closer to Halloween to do so. Even the freshest pumpkin will start to decay once it’s cut open and it’s inner contents, so the longer you wait to carve it up, the better.

Cut from the Bottom

Rather than carving out a hole in the top of your pumpkin, carve one out in the bottom. This way, when you put a candle in, less moisture with collect at the bottom of the pumpkin, allowing it to last longer.

Treat Them with Preservatives

We’re not talking about some of the stuff that’s in food. Take a mixture that is made of one tablespoon of bleach per quart of water and spray it onto your carved pumpkin to kill any rot-causing bacteria. You could also spray it with peppermint oil instead and apply petroleum jelly around any cut edges to prevent rotting.

While preserving your pumpkins is great for the fall, one of the most important aspects of your home to preserve year-round is your roof. For all your roof installations and repairs, trust the experts at JM Roofing & Siding. Call us today for your free estimate!

The Top Reasons Why Roofs Fail

When you think of something failing, you probably think of a test from when you were in grade school. However, there’s something that can fail in your home, too: your roof. From losing tiles to collapsing entirely, a failing roof is never something you’ll want to encounter. But what exactly makes a roof fail? Well, a few things.

Improper Installation

This is probably the top cause or failing roofs. If your roof isn’t installed properly from the get-go, there’s a very high chance that it will experience problems. Improper installation is commonly committed by trying to do the job yourself or hiring amatuer roof contractors.

It’s essential to only hire roofing contractors who are licensed and insured to install the brand and material that you choose for your roof. Otherwise, you risk experiencing problems down the line. 

Poor Materials

You may be tempted to choose lower quality materials for your roof in order to avoid spending too much, but this is a mistake. Better quality materials last longer and can help prevent problems in the long run. Avoid choosing poor materials in order to make your investment last.

Poor Ventilation

In order to maintain safe humidity levels, your roof needs to have an adequate amount of ventilation. Without it, your attic can become too hot and damage your shingles from the inside out or you can run the risk of mold growth.

When it comes to ensuring your roof lasts and is safe for your family, you need to hire the best contractor possible. The experts at JM Roofing and Siding are licensed and insured to serve you in Norwalk, Connecticut, and the surrounding areas. Contact us today for a free estimate!

The Perks of HardiPlank Siding

One of the most popular siding materials on the market is wood. With its beautiful aesthetic and durability, wood holds much appeal to homeowners who are thinking of replacing or upgrading their siding. However, another material has been climbing through the ranks of siding materials — HardiPlank Siding. 

What is HardiPlank Siding?

HardiPlank is the most prominent brand of a lap siding made of fiber-cement. The material looks like wood but has the feel of concrete and is available in long, horizontal pieces, just as wood siding materials typically are. So, what makes this material so great? Here are just some of the perks:

Completely Fire-Resistant

Note that we said “resistant” not “proof.” While other materials (such as vinyl and wood) literally fuel the flames in the event of a fire, HardiPlank siding does not. It will hold up much better and is considered a sort of neutral material when under the duress of fire.

Durable and Paintable

Since it looks like wood and has the same thickness, HardiPlank siding is very durable and can even be painted if you decide to switch up the color of your home after time. Unless someone takes a very close look at your siding, they won’t be able to tell the difference.

Resistant to Pests

Even though HardiPlank siding is made using cellulose fibers, it doesn’t interest bugs or other pests who would otherwise have a field day with real wood siding.

No matter what siding material you’re interested in, the experts at JM Roofing & Siding are here to make sure the installation goes perfectly. Contact us today to get a free estimate!

How to Cover Up a Chain-Link Fence

Chain link fences are an inexpensive and easy way to keep your children, pets, and belongings safely inside your yard and keep unwanted items out. However, over time, these fences many can rust or become generally unsightly. Since it can be very difficult to remove this fence, due to the root balls that are buried deep in the ground that hold it in place, your better bet may be to simply hide the fence.

Fence Slats

Being that there are such wide openings in chain-link fences, you can easily slide plastic or aluminum slats in between them to make your fence a bit more visually appealing. These slats are very long-lasting; however, they can be a bit expensive and take a while to install.

Reed Screens

These provide you with decent privacy and can help cover any unsightly chain-link fence for a pretty low cost. The main downside is that reeds start to become discolored and can fall apart after a year or two. If you don’t mind the upkeep, they may be a good option for you.

Mesh Screens

These screens allow water and wind to pass through them but still give you some privacy. Mesh screens are highly durable and are the most cost-effective option for covering a chain-link fence. However, this method is often used for a more utility-based purpose of privacy, so they aren’t designed to be that pretty to the eye.

Bushes

If you’re looking to spruce up your yard in the process of covering up a chain-link fence, why not invest in some tall bushes? These add color to your yard as well as unwavering privacy and shade in the hotter months. The main issue here is the cost, since adding shrubbery can be expensive.

After you improve your yard’s appearance by covering that fence, why not keep it going and update your roofing or siding? The experts at JM Roofing & Siding are here to help with your repair and installation needs — just give us a call to get started!

Where to Air Seal Your Home

When it comes to keeping treated air inside your home and allowing for maximum efficiency, air sealing is one of the best tasks you can add to your to-do list. By sealing up your home, especially when the temperatures are very high or very low, you can prevent air from escaping your home as well as keep your energy costs lower.

But since you can’t exactly put your entire home in an airtight bubble, where exactly are you supposed to seal things up?

Exterior Gaps 

Go around the outside of your home and find places where materials meet — namely, where walls meet your roof, ceiling, and each other. Using either flashing or caulk,  place a seal over the connection spots to ensure that air doesn’t enter or leave your house.

Utility Openings

Both inside and outside of your home, check the spots where vents, electrical wiring, and plumbing enter or leave. Oftentimes, there are gaps between the utility work and the wall itself, so seal up these openings for better efficiency.

The Attic and Crawlspace

These two areas are notorious for allowing treated air to escape your home, so it’s essential to use some air sealing here. In your crawlspace or basement, seal off any holes utility work travels through as well as any cracks in the floor or your foundation. In your attic, seal off spaces around vent fans, lights, or access hatches.

HVAC System

This one may be hard to do it yourself, but do your best to seal off any openings, cracks, or otherwise damaged areas of your HVAC system. Damaged ductwork can account for a lot of heat or cooling loss, so air sealing these areas can make a big difference.

By having your siding and roofing in good condition, you can prevent air from escaping the very first layers of your home’s protection. For all your roofing and siding needs in Norwalk, CT, trust the experts at JM Roofing and Siding. Contact us today for a free estimate!.

Yard Maintenance Tasks for the Start of Fall

When the warmer seasons were here, you did everything you could to ensure that your yard looked tidy and beautiful. That effort shouldn’t stop just because a bit of cold weather is rolling in. Yard maintenance is just as important in autumn as it is in spring. That being said, make sure you follow these tips for early fall yard care.

Get Rid of Leaves

Fallen leaves that cover your lawn prevent your grass from getting air and sunlight; all but killing it. Make sure to rake up leaves, regularly, to allow your grass to get the nutrients it needs to thrive and stay healthy.

Seed and Fertilize

By setting down seed and fertilizing now, you’ll get a jump start on growing your lawn for spring. Plus, by giving your lawn some extra nutrients from fertilizer this early in the game, you can help your grass prepare for the cold, harsh winter ahead.

Kill the Weeds

Since the weather starts getting a bit cooler, weeds are most susceptible to weed killer during the fall. Spray them with your product of choice to completely rid your yard of them and unwanted flowers.

Plant Shrubbery

It may not seem like it, since cold weather is on the horizon, but autumn is actually a great time to plant bushes and other plants in your yard. By doing so now, you give your shrubbery more time to establish roots before it gets too cold — and they will be ready to thrive for spring (which will be here sooner than you think!).

Another maintenance task to ensure your yard is in great shape? Keeping your siding clean and in good condition. For all your siding needs in and around Norwalk, contact JM Roofing & Siding!