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Selling Your House: Focus on Curb Appeal

March 17, 2014

When getting your home ready for sale most people focus on interior design and new additions to the home. This can be very time consuming and can put a damper on your bank account resulting in a lower return on your home.
Our suggestion is to focus on your curb appeal, which can be relatively inexpensive and time efficient. The outside of the home is what buyers see first and what generally draws them in to further check out the house. One thing that most homebuyers look for is the cleanliness of a home. So regarding this here some things that can be done to clean up the outside of your home.

·       Rid the following locations of mildew, mold, and staining:
o   Deck
o   Fencing
o   Driveway
o   Sidewalk
o   Gutters
o   Pool area

·       Clean the roof through pressure washing to remove staining and mildew.
·       Spruce up the vegetation to make the front look lush and inviting.
·       Give the front door a new paint job and replace the house number.
·       Give your windows a shine and get a professional window cleaner out to get the job done right.

Whenever you're ready to get a start on improving your curb appeal, we would be happy to help. We can execute a number of these tasks in no time. Contact us via the information below:

Squeegee Pros
1219 River Hwy
Mooresville, NC 28117
Phone: 704-799-0313
Commercial: christina@squeegeepros.com
Residential: ashley@squeegeepros.com

Rapel with Ronald at the Ronald McDonald House

September 12, 2013

Ronald McDonald will be helping clean the Ronald McDonald House of Charlotte and there will be no clowning around. He'll surprise families by washing the windows of the House with Squeegee Pros, a locally-owned professional window and exterior cleaning service who are donating their services to the Ronald McDonald House. Squeegee Pros technicians will sport red noses as they help Ronald with his cleaning chores.

"We are thrilled that Ronald is stopping by the House" said Mona Johnson-Gibson, Executive Director at the Ronald McDonald House of Charlotte. "We think families and patients will get a kick to watch him wash the windows from their rooms . He really lifts the spirits of the families that stay at the House and provides some lighthearted fun."

"Squeegee Pros is proud to support the Ronald McDonald House of Charlotte and we're excited about the event," said Squeegee Pros President, Jim DuBois. It's about time we had someone as tall as Ronald to get way up in the window corners. Just need to be sure he doesn't kick over any buckets with those clodhoppers."

Ronald will be at the House from 9:00am-10:30am on September 17th.

About Ronald McDonald House of Charlotte
The RMH of Charlotte opened in May 2011 and serves the families of children being treated at Levine Children's Hospital and Hemby Children's Hospital.  Located on the 1600 block of East Morehead Street on land donated by Carolinas Medical Center, the House features approximately 35,000 square feet of living space complete with 28 bedrooms (one family per bedroom/suite), providing more than 10,000 nights for the families.  It also has a community kitchen, great room, learning center, playground and sitting porch.  The RMH of Charlotte is an independent 501 (c) (3) charity managed by a local board of directors which oversees operation of the home.  RMH of Charlotte is funded and operated by the Charlotte community.  The mission of the RMH of Charlotte is to provide the families of children being treated in area medical facilities with a safe, affordable and caring "home away from home." 

For more information on RMH of Charlotte, visit www.rmhofcharlotte.org.

Pressure Washing Season

July 13, 2013

As we round out the washing season, I would like to reflect back for a bit. We are extremely grateful for all the new customers we have acquired and we are certainly doing our best to to serve them. Our goal here is to build relationships with our customers and give them a worry free exterior cleaning service. We get asked a lot, "when is the best time to have our house washed?" I always tell them that our busiest time is May and then again in September, so it would seem most people opted to have their home washed in either the spring or fall.

Once again this year, we are wrapping up the season with quite a few house washes. As the weather gets cooler, other services are better off waiting till next spring. Roof cleaning does not work as well when temperatures are in the 50's and 60's. Also, deck sealing should not be done when temperatures are dropping down below 40 degrees at night because it can jeopardize the curing process.

Concrete cleaning can still be done and we have even cleaned concrete in the dead of winter, but house washing is certainly one of the more popular services. Typically we can wash houses clear up to mid November or so depending on the weather. The cooler temperatures do not effect the results when cleaning vinyl. If needed we warm the water up a little and coupled with our contractor grade cleaners we are able to get your house just as clean in the late fall as we could in the spring or summer.

Rain does not really effect this type of service either. It obviously makes it a little more miserable to work in, but as long as it isn't lighting and storming out, we are able to provide quality house washing services on rainy days. Wind can be a little tricky. Strong winds may cause more house wash soap to get on the neighbor's house than on the one we are washing. Seriously though, it can be a lot more difficult to wash high area's of your home on breezy days.

Normally, we just play the weather by ear. We have learned that looking ahead a week or so into the forecast is just not effective as it changes daily. I will check the weather 1-2 days ahead and make decisions based on that as to when and where we will wash. We always call our customers a day ahead of time to let them know when we are coming.

So with that said, we are definitely still performing house wash services and will for the next few weeks as long as the weather holds. If you feel like you've missed the 2010 schedule feel free to call, set up an estimate, and possibly get on the schedule for early spring. We do estimates all winter long to schedule for springtime. We thank all of you that used our services this year and we hope to see you again soon.

Find out more about Jim DuBois

Second Story Window Cleaning

June 17, 2013

We have heard horror stories about home owners who, wanting to save money, attempted to do their own 2nd story window cleaning and fell.  The result of most of these is serious injury but in one instance in Charlotte a couple of years ago the fall resulted in death.

Professional cleaners have scaffolding and the experience to set it up correctly.  Home owners typically use ladders, many of which are too short to reach the windows properly so the home owner is standing on the top rung and reaching to get the whole window.  This is an accident waiting to happen. 

We understand that for some the cost of cleaning windows can seem expensive and it looks cheap to do it yourself.  The risks just aren't worth it.  If you're laid up for several months before you can return to work, how expensive does professional window cleaning seem.

We would like to sell our services, but that's not what's important when home owners take a do-it- yourself approach to second story windows.  This can be truly dangerous and foolhardy if the right equipment is not used.  Each of us  (yes, myself included), has done some home maintenance that turned out to be more dangerous than we anticipated.  In my case, it turned out okay but it didn't have to. 

I have friends that work in hospital Emergency rooms that provide a picture of home injuries in graphic detail and it's not pretty.  Statistics bear out that most injuries happen in the home, generally while trying to do something that would be better left in the hands of a professional.

My advice for any homeowner considering doing their own second story windows, is to not take the risk.  The cost of a professional window cleaning service isn't that expensive, expecially considering the cost and trauma of a serious injury.

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Some Basics of Window Installation

March 26, 2013

There are some key factors that need to be considered when installing windows into the home, regardless of the complexity of the job. Some of these basics may not apply in all instances; however, the first task is very important, and should never be skipped.

1. Although it sounds obvious, read the instructions before any DIY project.
2. If using full-frame windows, once the window rough opening is determined, it should be
measured for correct size, and the opening should be checked to verify that it is level and
3. Check for insulation within the interior cavity between the window frame and the window
rough opening. There should be a sufficient amount, but not so much as to interfere with the
window installation.
4. All unfinished wooden surfaces need to be protected by applying stain or some type of
sealant. This is necessary to prevent moisture from attacking the bare wood.
5. Ensure that flashing is in place around the window opening. Verify that the existing flashing
is in good condition, and if you are in doubt, then replace it.
6. Window alignment should be verified before the window is fastened into position.
7. Make sure the weather stripping and the window's interior hardware is free of paint.

Windows are available in three basic forms; insert replacements, sash kits, and full-frame units. Full frame units are typically used for new construction because they provide the installer with the entire window and frame, including the sill, side jambs, and head jamb. Full-frame windows are used where the installer finds rotted window frame wood. This type of job becomes complex because all the rotted wood must be removed, leaving the window opening striped down to the rough framing.

Sash kits incorporate the use of the existing window frame, but it provides some new movable parts such as sash and jamb liners. Sash kits maintain the dimensions of the original window's glass area, so the aesthetics of the home is not changed. Sash kits are a good choice if restoring a home back to its original design.

The simplest type of window installation comes from the use of the insert replacement. Since most window replacement applications are based on upgrades of style or energy efficiency, most window installations will involve the use of insert replacement windows. Insert replacements, or pocket windows, are available in many standard window sizes. Furthermore, this type of window is encased within a secondary frame that is offered in vinyl, wood, fiberglass, aluminum-clad wood, and vinyl-clad wood.

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Window Installation Mistakes

March 19, 2013

Window Installation Mistakes

There are several common mistakes made by homeowners who embark upon do-it-yourself projects involving windows. While today's replacement windows are decidedly easier to install than the models of yesteryear, making even a simple installation error can result in lost money and wasted time. Those considering replacing windows in their home without engaging a professional to complete the job may wish to consider the following:

Cost Versus Quality

Although cost is a major factor with regard to any home improvement project, one should never fall into the trap of choosing a replacement window based on its price alone. The initial cost of the window should be reasonable; however, one must also give careful consideration to the window's overall energy efficiency, maintenance, cleaning costs, and the expected longevity of the model chosen. For instance, an expensive window that will last many years and is maintenance free is a better choice than a cheaper model that must be painted every year and wears out after a few harsh winters. Choosing a window based on cost alone results in a host of undesirable situations for the homeowner. These include energy loss, maintenance problems, short window life, and possible compromised security in the home.

Sizing Considerations

Often, homeowners state that their windows are standard size; however, standard window sizes change approximately every ten to fifteen years. Nothing is less cost effective than getting halfway through the project only to find that the window cannot be made to fit precisely. Accurate measuring is vital to a successful window replacement project.

In addition, when the hole is cut in the exterior wall, care must be taken to leave a half inch gap between the frame and the opening. Cutting the hole to the exact size of the window leaves little or no space for adjustments. This is a very costly mistake, as there is no way to correct the problem of an unevenly installed window other than taking it out and starting all over. The same can be said for cutting a whole which is too large. If this mistake occurs, one must purchase a new window or attempt to fill the gaps with other material--generally a very bad idea.

Failing to Consider Security

Windows play a key role in home security. A window with adequate locks should be the only model considered by any homeowner. Preferably, the locks should not be visible from the outside. If burglars can see the locks on a window, they can determine how the locks can best be circumvented.

How well replacement windows perform with respect to security depends on their construction and safety characteristics. There are many models from which to choose and as long as durable windows with adequate locks are selected, the homeowner can enjoy the peace of mind that comes with knowing his or her loved ones are safe. The result of choosing flimsy windows with substandard locks is obvious, and many individuals who have lost valuables and money as the result of a break-in wish they had given a little more thought to security when the windows were chosen.

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