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Protecting your Home from a Hail Storm

The month of March marks the start of hail season! 2016 was one of the most severe hail seasons in our state’s history. According to CoreLogic, the April hail event in San Antonio affected over 263,440 properties and resulted in an estimated $334.5 million in damages. Overall in Texas, hail damage resulted in total losses of $689.6 million. This time of year, focus on preventing exterior property damage before it happens.

There are a few ways to protect your home and outdoor items from hail:

  • Have your roof inspected to ensure there isn’t anything that could make it susceptible to hail damage. The best way to repair your roof is when the problems are found, and not when multiple parts need to be repaired. A strong roof could prevent hail damage.
  • Keep your home free of surrounding dangers. Trim the trees that surround your house regularly or you might experience branches falling and damaging your home during a storm.
  • Remove all valuables out of the open area. Before a hail storm arrives, move all outdoor valuables (patio furniture, barbeque pits) to a covered area like a carport or a garage. Not only can those valuables be damaged, but the weather can cause those items to seriously damage your home as well.
  • Don’t forget the windows. Hail can break your windows so close your drapes, blinds, and shades in the event of a hail storm. This will prevent broken glass to blow into your home and cause more stress for you.
  • Protect your vehicles. Park your cars and other vehicles in your garage or under a carport.

Call Liberty Builders today and ask how we can protect your roof and the rest of your home from a damaging hail storm.

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Signs you need to replace your Roof

Before hail season begins, take the time to get your roof inspected and see what repairs it may need. By making your roof stronger, you are preventing any further damage from taking place. If a hail storm creates as much damage as it did in San Antonio last year, you might be looking at a higher cost to repair the damages. If the storm creates more damage than you anticipated, it may be time to replace your roof.

Do you know what signs to look for when it’s time to replace your roof?

  1. Age: A typical roof lasts between 20 and 25 years. If your roof was installed over another layer or layers and it’s over 20 years, it’s time to call us for a free consultation.
  2. Bad shingles: If your shingles are curled or buckling, this is another sign of roof replacement.
  3. Roof valleys: These are the folds or angles of the roof, and are the most important areas of the roof. Snow and rain flow through these areas. If they are damaged, you are susceptible to roof leaks. Checking if shingles are missing from this area is a major sign of valley damage.
  4. Chimney flashing: Flashing aids to protect your roof from water intrusion where your roof meets a wall. If your flashing consists of cement of tar, it needs to be replaced with metal.
  5. Cracks: When you’re on your roof and feel like you’re standing on a trampoline instead of a roof, this means the underlying decking is weak and needs to be replaced as soon as possible. Check your attic to see if there’s any sunlight peering from the roof boards.
  6. Moss: Moss growth means that sunlight is not reaching those areas on the roof, Moss holds moisture, and moisture is bad for your roof surface.

Call us today if you feel you might need your roof replaced. We’ll give you a free in-home consultation.

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Replace Your Gutters with Liberty Builders

February is a great time to clean out those gutters full of debris from the fall and winter weather. If you find yourself cleaning gutters that might need replacing instead, think Liberty Builders. If you’re not sure how long you’ve had your current gutters, we’ll help you with figuring out if you need new ones. Here are some ways to figure out if you need new gutters on your own:

  • If your gutters have a large number of cracks, holes, or rust damage.
  • If your fasteners are broken (those are the pieces of metal that connect your gutter to your roof).
  • If you’re constantly finding nails and screws on the ground that have fallen off your gutters.
  • If you see gutters pulling away from the roof or if they sag.
  • If you see the paint peeling off.

At Liberty Builders, we use Leaf Relief gutter guards by Ply Gem to protect against leaves, twigs and other debris from blocking your gutters. Leaf Relief® is not only the most effective gutter protection system on the market, it is also the most invisible. Leaf Relief® lays flat and fits snugly on top of your gutter. We back it with our exclusive 10-Year Limited Warranty, which includes the repairing or replacing of the product if the product is defective and the product is covered for 10 years.

Call Liberty Builders today for a free in-home consultation. For new gutters, call (210) 714-1655.

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Your Home Maintenance Checklist for February

February is the time to start planning many things, such as your spring cleaning plans and summer vacation plans. But, before you get to those things, you have some home maintenance chores to do before the start of spring. There are certain things to replace and clean before a change in weather, or you’re bound to see the negative effects of not caring for your home.

Follow these home maintenance tips for the month of February:

  • It’s time to replace the air filter on your HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning) system in order to keep the air in your home clean and flowing freely. A high quality air filter is the best choice to remove mold, pollen, and other particles from the air. You’ll want to replace your filter every three months or you might damage your HVAC system.
  • Clean your walls, floors, and interior windows. A midwinter cleaning could cut down on dust. This is especially important for allergy sufferers.
  • Plan your yard and patio projects for the spring. Maybe it’s time to renovate your patio or add onto it. Also, consider building a carport over your driveway. Now is a great time to plant shrubs and fruit trees in your garden. If you’re planning to add onto your home, think twice about where you keep your garden.
  • Winter isn’t quite finished yet but clean your gutters frequently as leaf build-up could cause damage to your gutters, which could then cause damage to the roof of your home.

Keep following Liberty Builders for your monthly home maintenance checklist. Give us a call if the winter weather has affected your home negatively. We’ll be able to help with exterior home repair. Call us at (210) 714-1655.

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Improve Your Home’s Look with New Interior Doors

It may be easy to overlook interior doors, but they’re part of your home’s overall look and greatly impact its appeal. If your interior doors are all different, or if they’re different colors, you should consider replacing them. If doors don’t match, the entire home loses cohesion. Also, consider replacing interior doors if they’ve become damaged or no longer sit properly in their frames. Minor damage to solid wood doors can be more easily corrected by sanding and then staining or painting again, but these heavier doors are also more prone to moving out of alignment with their frame. A wood door that won’t close properly and has significant damage may be better used elsewhere in a home.

Remember, each type of interior door offers its own benefits and there are a number of interior door types to choose from, including:

  • solid wood doors
  • faux wood doors
  • engineered wood doors
  • bi-fold doors
  • fire-resistant doors
  • pocket doors
  • accordion doors
  • French doors

If you choose to replace some or all of your existing interior doors, you’ll discover they come in two varieties: pre-hung and blank, or slab. Pre-hung doors have their jambs pre-attached, and space in the wall was made to accommodate door and jamb together. Blank, or slab, doors are crafted to fit into a jamb already set in the wall. Once you’ve purchased a new blank door, the next step is to remove the old one, lay it on top of the new door, take measurements and cut them to match. Replacing a pre-hung door means removing the door and jamb, but you won’t have to worry about cutting a new door to the proper size. It does have to fit perfectly in the wall opening, however, which means using wooden shims and a great deal of patience to get it just right.

One simple way to update the look of an interior door without replacing the entire door is to change the door trim. Removing and replacing door trim can typically be done in the space of an afternoon. You’ll need a pry bar to remove the old trim, and new trim to replace what you’re removing. There are many trim types available including flat, easy-paint options to larger, flared crown molding. You can also find decorative corner blocks or lintels to match your tastes.

If you have questions, or if you’re ready to replace some or all of your interior doors, give Liberty Builders a call to see how we can help.

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8 Home Maintenance Tips to Follow Before Winter Comes

You’re never really done with exterior home maintenance and the start of another season means different things for your home. For fall, the weather will be cooler and the leaves are sure to fall everywhere, meaning it’s time to plan your fall home exterior maintenance checklist before winter arrives.

  1. Clean gutters.Gutters require constant upkeep, especially in autumn. Leaves and other debris can clog your rain gutters, causing leaks and other problems. After the leaves have fallen, clean out the gutters and downspouts, flush them with water, inspect joints, and tighten brackets if necessary. Replace old or damaged gutters with new ones that have built-in leaf guards.
  2. Wash windows. Also, have your windows and screens washed if you did not do so in the spring or if they now appear dirty after the summer months.
  3. Inspect and maintain your heating system.Have your heating system checked by a licensed heating contractor to be sure that the system is clean and in good shape. Replace and clean your furnace and humidifier filters at least every 30 days during the heating season. When properly serviced, heating systems will use fuel more efficiently, last longer and have fewer problems.
  4. Repair your roof and siding. Have a Liberty Builders professional inspect your roof and siding for any missing and loose shingles. It’s better to find and repair the damaged areas in the fall than to discover a leaky roof during the winter. Also, trim any tree branches that interfere with your roof and siding.
  5. Shut off outdoor water systems.Freezing temperatures can cause damage to hoses, pipes and your sprinkler system so make sure to shut off all exterior faucets, and winterize your sprinkler systems before a potential freeze. Drain all hoses and store them inside your home.
  6. Check safety devices.Take a minute to change the batteries to your carbon monoxide detectors and smoke detectors to ensure they are in working order.
  7. Apply weather stripping and caulk to doors and windows. Inspect weather stripping around doors and windows. Caulk exterior joints around windows and doors. Caulking helps keep your house weather tight and lowers your heating bills. Proper sealing and insulation can save up to 20% on winter heating costs.
  8. Inspect and clean your fireplaces and chimneys. Have your chimneys cleaned by a licensed professional.

 

Good luck with your winter preparations, and if you need any exterior home repairs done, be sure to call Liberty Builders – we’re here to help!

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Fall Gutter Care

Fall means it’s time for cooler weather and falling leaves, but it also means it’s time to give your gutters a good check. Clear leaves from your gutters regularly, especially if you notice them starting to accumulate as they can cause serious damage to your home by not allowing water to wick away from your home. Heavy rotting leaves can also weigh down your gutters and potentially cause damage to the gutters themselves and your home’s exterior. Running water through your gutters can reveal any leaks and cracks. Check and seal any gutter leaks, some smaller cracks can be easy to repair, but if the job’s too big for the weekend warrior in you, give Liberty Builders a call.

When checking your gutters, look at your home’s exterior to look for dips in the foundation and rust spots on your porch or patio: both can be an indication of water flow troubles in your gutter system. Once you’re done clearing leaf litter and debris away from your gutters, be sure to dispose of the leaves properly. Also, be sure to use all the necessary precautions when using your ladder to access the gutter system. While up on a high vantage point, take the time to investigate any low-hanging trees around your gutters: trim back those that could deposit leaves and sticks into your gutter system; those blockages can cause serious gutter damage.

These tips can help keep your gutters clear this fall. And if you’re worried about your home’s gutters or it’s a job that requires professional assistance give Liberty Builders a call. The Liberty Builders professionals are knowledgeable, quick, and affordable. We’ll keep your gutters clear, safe, and working properly for a long time.

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Back to School Energy Saving Tips

Fall is in the air and the kids are going back to school. With shorter days on the horizon and bigger energy consumption due to cooling temperatures and more indoor and school-related activities, here are a few tips from Liberty Builders to help you and your family save energy. While it may be fall on the calendar, it’s still summer weather for most of Texas when it comes to temperature. Keep the air conditioner off during the day while you and the kids are away from home and then turn it on when everyone’s home to feel the cool air. Use fans to keep cool air circulating around the house. Tell your kid’s to keep electronics plugged into a surge protector to keep electronics safe from electrical surges and keep homework safe. For fall backyard activities, try using cost-effective lighting like torches, candles or LED lights. Take advantage of the still long hours of sunlight and try to keep the lights in your home off for as long as possible; an unobstructed window can easily light many rooms in the average home. Finally, check your home for any leaks or gaps in doors and windows that let out cold air: even a small leak can turn into a big draft as the weather gets colder. Seal any gaps or cracks, and if the job is too big for you don’t worry, just give the pros at Liberty Builders a call and we’ll come right over to inspect your home for cracks, leaks and gaps.
For more energy saving tips, be sure to follow Liberty’s Builders’ blog for more helpful energy saving tips.

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Keeping Your Summer Electric Bill Cool: Energy-Efficient Ways to Cool Your Home

Summer’s heat can be oppressive in South Texas and high heat and longer days can mean soaring electric bills. High heat forces us indoors with air conditioning units cranked up to the coolest possible settings, and the drain of increased energy consumption isn’t just felt on our wallets: it takes a huge toll on power grids and the nation’s energy consumption as a whole. There are plenty of incentives to finding more energy-efficient ways to cool your home down in the summer that go beyond lower energy bills and a reduced carbon footprint. Here are a few tips on keeping your home cool while keeping an eye on your energy consumption.

Turn off as many electrical appliances and devices as possible when not in use or if you’re out of the house. Keeping the lights on may be a force of habit but only 10-15% of the electricity used by most conventional light bulbs is used to produce light – the rest is simply turned into heat. The longer summer days produce a great deal of sunlight that can be an effective method to light most rooms in many houses and apartments. Run appliances like dishwashers and washing machines when they’re full. Running half or small loads of laundry or dishes simply eats up valuable energy and these appliances can generate a great deal of heat in the rooms they’re in. Turn your air conditioner off when you’re out of the house. While it may be nice to return to an ice cold home, leaving the A/C running during the day with no one to enjoy its benefit is a massive drain of electrical energy. Ceiling and box fans can be a great way to help circulate cool air but leave them on just long enough to cool a room to the desired temperature. Opening windows during the late afternoon and early evening can be a fantastic way to cool off a home but if you keep the windows open but sure to keep the A/C off otherwise the cool air is simply being blown out the window. Check your home for cracks and gaps in windows and doors. These gaps and cracks can let warm air leak in and cool air leak out making your A/C unit work harder to cool a room and that strain on the A/C unit will increase your electric bill.

For more green solutions to cooling your home and checking for cracks and potential building concerns give Liberty Builders a call. We’re here to help.

Source:

http://energy.gov/energysaver/spring-and-summer-energy-saving-tips

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Why Build a Patio?

How often have you told your children to go outside to play?  These days, many kids are glued to the TV, Smart Phone, Tablet or Gaming device.  It is vital to give them a space to play and get fresh air and exercise.  In fact, that’s pretty good advice for the whole family.  An addition to your home can seem like an overwhelming project (and pain and expense) but Liberty Builders of Texas can work closely with you to work within your budget, your timeframe, and to give you just what it is you need.

Did you know a patio or veranda can actually help reduce your energy costs?  It provides shade, much like a tree or a large umbrella.  It can reduce the bright light entering your home by creating a kind of canopy.  Liberty Builders of Texas understands this concept when coming up with designs that meet your needs.  With that beautiful Texas Fall on its way, wouldn’t it be nice to have that kind of area to enjoy with family and friends?

Creating a nice outdoor living area is also a great way to upgrade your home without the expense of a full renovation and certainly without the hassle and stress.  An open-air space can add great value to your home when it comes to resale as well.  Many people are looking for that outdoor space for their family.

Liberty Builders of Texas offers great financing and discounts for senior citizens and military.  Give us a call and let us show you how to really enjoy the great outdoors from the privacy of your own backyard.

(source: morespacepatios.com.au)