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Bricks are primarily used because of their durability but it does not mean that it does not require maintenance or proper care. Like with most tools and objects, if you want them to have a longer lifespan, it is important that you know how to properly care for them.
Cleaning Bricks: Cleaning bricks is similar to washing soiled clothing in a sense that cleaning different kinds of dirt require different means to do it. Use a garden hose with a spray nozzle or a spray bottle to remove loose dirt on bricks. Always keep in mind that cleaning bricks does not require you to be too aggressive with your methods.
Repointing: Repointing bricks is a method to maintain and lengthen the lifespan of a brick by removing damaged mortars carefully and then fresh mortar is applied on those cavities. When it comes to repointing it is necessary that the depth of the new mortar should be twice as the width of the point of the mortar. It is also vital that the fresh mortars have at least the same characteristics of the original mortar, especially if these mortars are part of a historical or old structure. This maintenance method is helpful when it comes to mortar joints that have softened due to weathering and or other exterior factors.
Paint Removal: With regard to removing paint, this can be very difficult especially if you are not experienced and are recommended to be left to professionals like the expert painters. The thing is that you need chemicals to remove paint requires various tests in different concentration. Too much concentration can damage or discolor the surface of a brick while at the same time, too low concentration may not do anything at all and would be a waste of time and money.
Do not take your brick’s durability for granted. Take care of them as much as you would take care of your furniture.
It can be a headache dealing with exterior paint problems. The good news is that information as to how to deal with these exterior problems is abundant online. And you do not need to become a genius to be able to troubleshoot these exterior issues. Here are some of the more common exterior paint problems that homeowners encounter once in a while and how to remedy them.
- Alligatoring: This is usually caused by extremely hard rigid coating similar to alkyd enamel that was applied on it over a more flexible coating like a latex primer. Applying top coat before the undercoat becomes dry can potentially cause this problem as well. The only way for you to remedy this is to completely remove the existing oil paint by scraping and sanding the surface. Utilizing a heat gun is also an alternative as long as you are careful not to burn paint or substrate. The surface then should be primed using top-quality latex or oil-based primer then painted with high-quality exterior latex paint.
- Blistering: Construction defects and humidity or even a lack of effective vapor barriers can eventually cause moisture condensing within wood siding. And when there is moisture, pressure builds up affecting the wood and its coating. And even if the surface dries up as the water evaporates, the paint film is now damaged. Dealing with this requires you to scrape peeling paint until you see the bare wood. Prime the portions that are already exposed and then repaint them. If the blisters are caused by moisture, you can use high-pressured washer or a heat gun to speed up the process.
- Chalking: Fine powder can potentially appear on the surface of the paint film during weathering and this can cause the color of the paint to fade. Excessive erosion also causes this or the usage of high-pigmented paint of low-quality. Removing chalk residue using a stiff bristle brush is the first thing that you should do then rinse it using a garden hose or power washer equipment.
On the other hand, if you feel that you will need professional assistance then you can get in touch with expert painters.
If you are already getting tired of your interior’s appearance or is considering remodeling your interior then you should make sure that you protect your flooring and stairs through these methods:
- Vacuuming and dusting hardwood, tile and vinyl floors removes grit that can get through floor crevices because of the protective layers on top.
- Covering areas that are often exposed to dusts or are high-traffic is a must. Use a 6-mil polyethylene plastic sheet in doing so. Use duct tape and tape off everything and overlap edges if necessary.
- Use sheets of half-inch foam board insulation and lay them on top of the plastic over hardwood floors in any portion of the house that will have construction traffic in it. Put another layer of plastic over the foam board and then secure it with a duct tape.
- When it comes to protecting your plastic covering carpet in construction or highly traffic areas, lay sheets of kraft paper over it and make sure that the kraft paper overlaps the seams of the plastic. Once you are done, tape the paper down real tight along the edges. This will keep it from getting torn easily.
- Putting masking tape in a cross-hatch pattern on areas that have construction or high traffic areas covered only in plastic also helps protect your flooring. This provides traction in the area as compared to not putting anything which can cause the area to be slippery. When it comes to stairways, make sure that they are covered with masking tapes in case they are not covered with kraft paper.
- Put rubber-backed runners on areas that have high-traffic such as at the front door, garage door and or work area.
These tips should make remodeling easier for you. In fact, you also have the alternative of asking professionals on how to better do your remodeling.
It can be challenging painting walls and requires experience in doing so, and even then, walls that stretch afar can have corners that show that tape was used making it inelegant. Just imagine painting ceilings which is more difficult. Because of such factors, most residential homes’ ceilings that feature drywall have textured finish that are able to keep its flaws from being too visible by deflecting light on it. These days, textured ceilings are normal in most homes and there are a number of things that you should consider in case you have plans on painting your textured ceiling.
Preparations: Before you start painting, it is always important that you tape off existing walls with painter’s tape that has lightweight rollout plastic drop cloth. The tape goes along the upper corner of the adjoining walls while the plastic rolls out to ensure that the walls are protected. Make sure that you also turn off the electrical breaker in the room where you are planning to paint and use alternative light sources instead. Use extension cords if needed. Remove ceiling fixtures if possible and cover the floor with a canvas drop cloth and remove all furniture inside the room.
Painting Options: Before you paint the ceiling, pick your painting medium. Most ceiling texture is done by applying joint compound to the ceiling and then spraying commercial texture on it, trowel using your hand or a texture slap brush. There are different kinds of compound-based texture. There are flat to nearly ½ inch stalactite-looking peaks with defined tips and valleys. Smooth ceiling textures which appear like an orange peel can be painted using a roller with an extension pole though note that for larger textures, sprays can cover more areas.
Rolling/Spraying the Ceiling: If you will be using paint rollers, make sure that you wear a hat or cover yourself with a disposable paint suit. Using an affordable paint-grid in a 5-gallon plastic bucket lessens the mess you create while on the job. If you decide to use spray paint, you may want to rent it from a construction rental store than buy a cheap spray paint that is likely of low-quality. On the other hand, there is also the option of employing the services of expert painters.
Painting ceiling texture is not a walk in the park and requires a lot of preparation and skills on your part.
Finishing a wooden spiral staircase greatly improves the aesthetic of the rooms that are facing the staircase. Note that improving the old staircase requires the use of new paint and the need to follow these steps:
Paint Selection: Selecting the right paint when it comes to painting your wooden spiral staircase is vital and you can do this in two ways; pick a paint that will conceal the staircase’s underside or you can simply use stain or varnish to rejuvenate the wooden characteristics of the stairway.
Preparation: Before you start painting you have to remove the old paint through the use of either a heat gun to soften the old paint and strip the already softened paint using a liquid paint stripper. You also have the option to remove it by using sandpaper which is necessary either way because sanding the wooden staircase will make it more susceptible to paint. The next thing you need to do is to clean it with the help of a vacuum cleaner so that there are no dust or dirt residues on it. Wiping the wooden surface comes next.
Priming: Like with every painting job, you have to apply primer paint on the conditioned wooden spiral staircase through the use of paintbrushes and or rollers. If you are unsure as to how to go about it or you have no experience when it comes to paint jobs then you can always read the manufacturer’s instructions on the back of the primer can. After priming the stairway, let it dry for at least six hours before starting to paint it with enamel.
Painting: You are free to paint the wooden spiral staircase using the same painting tools you utilized when you were priming the staircase. It is recommended by professionals to start painting from the top to the bottom of the spiral staircase. Once you are finished, let it dry and then apply a second layer of coating. Applying sealant on the painted areas of the wooden spiral staircase will protect the staircase from damage and make sure that you apply three layers of sealant. Make sure that you read the manufacturer’s instructions on the sealant’s container so you know how it works.
Employing professionals is also another option in case you do not have the luxury of time to do paint jobs.
Easter is just a wink away. If you’re still unsure how to go about it, there’s a lot of ways to prep your space for a much needed gathering. While there’s a lot of ways to celebrate Easter, it’s one of the highlights that kids and kids at heart enjoy. If you’re not sure why, it’s because of the Easter Egg Hunt. Easter Sunday is like a prelude to Halloween because of the amount of sweets anyone can get.
Now that should give you an idea. Most decors for Easter Sunday dwell on an egg theme. But it’s not just the plain white or the drab brown color of eggs you’re going to be using. Easter Sunday is all about bright warm colors that bring bouts of energy to anyone who’s looking. If you’re going to get a party set up, use some bright colored streamers or furnishings of the sort. Make use of round or oval aesthetics to provide a more Easter feel.
For more fun, you can even make use of rabbit themed accessories. If you don’t want to have a rabbit statute, you can make use of some chocolates sculpted into rabbits as an alternative. You can even chow on it at the end of the day.
All in all, it boils down to the approach you want for your Easter Sunday gathering. You can opt for lesser wacky furnishings but still enjoy the spirit of Easter Sunday. If you want it to be a little bit more somber, try to mute down on the colors. But if you want it to be fun and active, throw in some egg painting at the corner so everyone can have their share of fun. You may also want to throw in some Easter Egg hunt which everybody can enjoy with.
Trying to bring more luck into your home is one of the best ways to welcome the New Year. It’s not actually surprising to rearrange the overall layout of your home to accommodate the path for good luck to flow easily into your life. Aside from trying to change the layout of your home, you can also invoke the spirit of good luck by changing the color of your home or even dressing up with these colors. Since we’re trying to bring in more luck, let’s start with trying to identify which colors will work for 2018.
Luck is a concept which is not new to society. Since it determines a lot of things in one’s own life, luck is an attribute that individuals don’t underestimate. To get things started, let’s look at what kind of year 2018 is. 2018 is the year of the dog. This is a year where earthen colors shine. To get a better picture, the colors that bring the most luck for 2018 are:
– Earthy colors such as terracotta, brown and dark orange can see their share of the spotlight for this year. If your favorite color falls under this range of hues, you’re in luck. You can paint your rooms with this color. Take into consideration the purpose of the rooms wherein the repainting will be done. It’s best to have cooler tones for rooms meant for relaxation.
– If the rooms you’re going to repaint are for relaxing and trying to ease one’s mind, the cooler spectrum for the 2018 lucky colors are still related to the earth. These colors are green, blue and even black. These colors resound with nature for the water, flora and even the metals that we make use of. If you want to have room for sleeping, it’s ideal to have it in the color blue. Blue eases out the tension and stress from one’s hurly burly schedule.
Having and taking care of your own garden is a rewarding hobby. That said, it’s important that you properly maintain it if you expect to reap the fruits of your labor and this means having the essential gardening tools. While it can be confusing to choose from a wide selection of gardening equipment available, here are a few tools that you should not miss:
You can never go wrong with this one. There are different kinds of shovels such as:
- Round Point: This works best when you’re digging, lifting, and throwing. The rim above the shovel blade lets you add foot pressure when digging for holes.
- Square Point: This shovel is great when you’re trying to move dug soil from one place to another. This tool has a larger variant and is aptly called a scoop.
- Sharpshooter: This small, compact shovel with a long, narrow, and curved blade is efficient in digging in hard clay soil. Furthermore, it can be sharpened unlike a traditional shovel.
- Kombi: This looks similar to a typical katana or Japanese long sword. It has jagged edges, which is great when you are digging in compacted soil or when you are trying to cut through roots.
They look similar to shovels except that they are smaller and they have a flatter blade. Like shovels, they come in various shapes:
- Garden: If you are looking into cutting, digging, edging, and lifting sods, then this is the tool for you. Their square-point shape lets them cut through soil and root, letting you clear a soil area faster.
- Drain/Trench: These tool lets you work in restrictive spaces thanks to its long and narrow head and handle. They are great for removing bothersome weeds, making them one of the best weed killers. They are also good for digging holes for transplanting flowers and vegetables.
Rakes come in many shapes and styles and have hand-like appearances, which offers hand-dexterity but to a bigger area. There are a couple of them to choose from such as:
- Leaf: They have a flexible steel or polytines that are good for cleaning yard debris from grass. You can also use them to move leaves, grass clippings, and other litter.
- Shrub: They make good options for tight and small spaces.
- Thatch: You can rely on these to scratch into turf and remove thatch.
- Garden: There are two kinds of garden rakes: Flat and bow. Flat garden rakes have a T-shaped head attached directly to the handle for added strength. A bow garden rake, on the other hand, has its head supported by two curved steels. These are efficient gardening equipment when you are removing debris or working the soil for planting.
A garden cart or wheelbarrow lets you transport gardening equipment or supplies from one area to another. It is easy to move around, letting you save time and energy. This can be anything from saplings, flowers, or vegetables. You can rely on them to help you maintain your garden, especially when you are working on a landscaping project.
This tool looks like a rake and is made to scratch the soil either before planting or to scratch the area surrounding the plants while they are growing. They come in long and short handles.
While not necessarily a tool in itself, this lets you keep your gardening equipment safe from the elements. Many of them are made of durable and waterproof plastic material. In addition, this will let you access your gardening tools conveniently, saving you the hassle of looking for misplaced items.
They come in a wide selection of styles and with varying numbers of tine sizes, depending on the material you are looking for. There are two kinds of fork available:
- Hay: This tool has round tines. They are useful for moving large amounts of large materials like compost, mulch, and hay.
- Spading: This come with flat tines contrast to a hay fork. Its design makes it an efficient tool for turning soil, lifting plants or bulbs, and segregating perennials.
These are only a couple of gardening equipment that you can use to make your gardening experience more convenient and rewarding. Knowing the options available to you will help you keep your garden looking beautiful and healthy.
The home you live in should be safe for both you and the environment. Unfortunately, a lot of the homes built today are the exact opposite. They emit harmful toxins into the air that damage the ozone and the health of its occupants. Over time, it can lead to all sorts of health problems, including infertility and respiratory problems. If you’re on the market for a house or want to make improvements to your home, then you should have eco-friendliness in mind. The following are some of the different ways you can enhance your home into a green one.
Build with Natural Materials
The materials your home is built with can be made with impure materials that are filled with contaminants like formaldehyde and lead. You need to make conscious buying decisions when renovating the walls and floors in your home. Everything from the plywood to the paint should be eco-friendly and safe for humans and pets. There are a variety of companies that have products that are designed for this very purpose.
Choose Hardwood Over Carpet
Many of the carpets used in homes today are contaminated with chemicals like formaldehyde and artificial dyes. These toxins are released into the air of your home, making it toxic to breathe. Natural hardwood floors like oak, bamboo and cedar can be used for the floors instead. These should be finished with natural products, otherwise your efforts are pointless. Wooden floors can be placed throughout the home, including the living areas, kitchen, bathrooms and bedrooms.
Have Plants Throughout the Home
Air purifiers are great, but there’s nothing like having natural air purifiers in your home. Plants act as filters for airborne particles and toxins in the air. Unlike with mechanical air purifiers, also improve the air, providing more oxygen and other benefits. Certain plants can help keep bugs away, improve sleep and help with asthma. Some of the plants you want to consider include parlor palm, spider plant, snake plant and peace lily, to name a few. Place your plants throughout your home, in the bathrooms, kitchen, bedrooms and living areas. Make sure they get plenty of light and water.
Choose Non-Lead Paint
If you’re going to redo the paint inside and outside of your home, then make sure it doesn’t contain lead. This is especially important if you have young children. Chipped paint can be consumed by little crawlers, which puts them at risk of poisoning. Lead is known to cause all sorts of adverse affects, so it should be avoided at all costs. You can opt for green paints made by eco-friendly companies. There are more and more color varieties becoming available, so your options aren’t limited.
Add More Windows to Your Home
The winter months can get very cold, depending on where you live in the nation. You can offset your power bill in the cooler months by installing more windows, so that more sunlight can get in and warm up your home. This also adds plenty of natural lighting, which means less lights that need to be operated during the daytime. If you have a smart thermostat, you can use your Microsoft computer or smartphone to create settings so that it doesn’t turn on until right before you come home.
Your furniture is as much an investment as your own house is. It is an extension of your home, and is used every single day and therefore prone to wear and tear. So it is only proper that you give them the proper care they deserve.
But what can one do to help prolong your furniture’s durability and overall condition to help keep your furniture looking good as new and last for a long time?
Use Wraps and / or Pads when moving furniture in or out
One easy way of dinging and ruining your furniture is when you move them in our out of your home. It can get caught on walls, doors, and other obstructions and can cause marks and scratches on the wood or leather. For small furniture, use industrial wraps (much like the cling wrap you have in your kitchen). For bigger furniture use pads similar to those you see in the gym to wrap your furniture or the surfaces where you’ll be passing furniture through.
Clean your furniture frequently
No need to use cleansers or cleaning sprays. Just wipe with a dry rag or dust off your furniture once or twice a week, or more frequently if you can. Once in a while when scuff marks appear or when there’s accidental spillage, you can use a mild cleanser or just a plain wet rag or towel to wipe off, then dry off with a dry towel.
Use furniture covers
Especially outdoors, it is wise to invest in special patio furniture covers to keep your lawn furniture protected from the heat, rain, and pets. Most patio furniture covers come with garters that ensure a perfect and snug fit to avoid getting blown off by the wind. Think of them as insurance for your outdoors furniture.