Summer is the perfect time for relaxing with friends and family on your deck. Of course, this generally isn't possible if your deck is in less than perfect condition, in which case, you're probably considering having it replaced. However, before you take the drastic step of tearing out your old deck and starting over, it is essential that you first have it inspected to determine whether a full replacement is really necessary.
Replacing vs. Refacing: Why an Inspection is a Must
If your deck boards are warped, cracked or otherwise in poor condition, it's most definitely a good idea to have the deck repaired. However, this doesn't necessarily mean that you'll need to have your existing deck torn out completely as it may be possible to simply have the deck refaced by replacing the deck boards and leaving the underlying structure in place.
The posts, beams and overall underlying structure of most decks are usually built with pressure-treated lumber or sometimes redwood as these materials are much more resistant to moisture damage than standard lumber. This means that under the right conditions, your deck's structure has the potential to last for decades. Unfortunately, this isn't always the case with deck boards and even modern composite decking will usually need to be replaced long before the underlying structure begins to fail.
Of course, the only way to know whether you can get away with simply resurfacing and replacing your deck boards is to have the deck inspected by an experienced professional. During the inspection, will remove some of the deck boards and, if possible, crawl underneath the deck in order to determine what condition the posts and beams are in.
Should any of the underlying structure shows signs of rot, decay or damage, it will be necessary to replace at least some or possibly all of the structural boards. However, it is incredibly common for the deck boards to be weak, rotten or cracked, while the underlying structure is still in good condition. In this case, you can save yourself quite a bit of time and money by simply having the deck resurfaced.
Benefits of Resurfacing Your Deck
Having to tear out and replace your existing deck is an expensive and time-consuming process. For starters, you'll be looking at additional labor costs to demolish and then rebuild the structure—not to mention the additional lumber and materials required. Unfortunately, pressure-treated lumber tends to be very expensive, which means you're generally looking at paying several thousand dollars to have your deck totally replaced. As well, the entire process will take much longer, which means you might be prevented from being able to enjoy the benefits of your deck for weeks. On the other hand, resurfacing your deck will typically only take a few days at most, while also costing only a fraction of the price of replacing the deck entirely.
By resurfacing your deck with new boards, you will get to enjoy the benefits of a brand-new looking deck without the associated costs. As well, having an inspection performed prior to resurfacing also gives you the peace of mind that your deck is safe and sturdy. Therefore, it is essential that you contact a professional. If you're lucky and your deck's structure is still in good condition, you could potentially be enjoying the benefits of your new deck as early as next week.
There are only a few areas in your home that could be made into an oasis where you and your family can relax. Having a family cave in the basement or up in the attic could work, but the best area is the patio. This is probably why you invested so much time in creating the perfect outdoor area, but now you have to start thinking about securing your patio. The following are a few tips to help you do just that.
Siding is a great way to add some of your personality to the exterior of your home. You can add color to your home or set a distinctive style for your home from the rest of your neighborhood. While the aesthetics of your home are important to you, the durability, water resistance, and installation process should all be considered and weighed heavily when you are searching for the perfect new siding.
Vinyl Siding is the most popular choice for siding for homeowners in the United States because of its low cost and versatility. Vinyl siding is also very easy to take care of and comes in a variety of colors that make up for the plastic look of the material. If you love DIY projects, vinyl is a great choice because it is available at nearly all home improvement stores and takes few tools to install.
Wood siding is most commonly used in bungalow style houses. It is also very popular in cape cod and cottage style homes. This look is very natural looking and can be painted. Maintaining this siding is a little more involved than with other choices because every few years the siding will need to be repainted or staining to prevent weather damage. This type of siding is also more susceptible to insect and rodent problems so diligence in pest control must be adhered to. This type of siding can last anywhere from 10 years to 100 depending on how well it is taken care of. Brick siding is commonly found in Colonial, Tudor and English cottage homes and is made from red fired clay. This type of siding has stood the test of time as a popular choice because of its durability. In new construction, the brick siding is made of veneers that are held together with mortar and a membrane must be installed between the brick veneer and the wood structure of the house because water can penetrate the veneer.
Fiber cement siding can offer the look of brick, stucco, or wood at a much lower cost which makes this type of siding a very popular choice among homeowners. Not only does it cost less, it is non-flammable, termite resistant and very low maintenance. You can also have the siding painted, as well as textured, to give it a personal touch. This type of siding will need to be replaced every 25-50 years.
Stucco Siding needs to have a galvanized-metal screening and a waterproof barrier applied over the walls of the home to add protection and create a base for the stucco to be installed. This look is typically found in Mediterranean and Spanish-mission homes. This siding is rigid and is tricky to install to avoid cracking. Stucco siding can last the lifetime of the house if applied properly and need little maintenance.
Stone Siding gives homes a natural and elegant look. The durability alone of stone such as granite and limestone appeal to homeowners because this siding can add to their property value. Stone also adds a lot of aesthetic charm to a home because of its texture and uniqueness. No two homes with stone siding will look the same. This type of siding is the most expensive however. There is a more affordable option to use stone veneer which is also lighter weight and synthetic. Veneer needs to be power washed annually.
To find out what the best option for your budget is, call us today and we will happily set up a consultation at your home.
Although vinyl siding generally requires much less maintenance than other types of siding, it is still important that homeowners take the time to wash it at least once a year. The easiest way to do so is by using a pressure washer, which should allow you to easily reach all areas from the ground. By spending a few hours pressure washing your house once or twice a year, you can go a long way towards ensuring your home's exterior remains attractive for years to come.
Pressure washing vinyl siding isn't difficult, but it does require that you take your time and pay special attention in order to prevent damage. Still, the process should be simple as long as you follow these steps.
Inspect Your Siding
The first thing you'll want to do is do a full inspection of your siding to make sure there are no missing, loose or cracked pieces as these will need to be repaired prior to washing. At the same time, it's also important to identify where and how the siding overlaps. Finally, make sure that all windows are fully sealed and caulked to prevent water from leaking inside.
Prepare Your Plants
Before pressure washing, you'll first want to thoroughly water and then cover all nearby plants. This will hopefully help to prevent the washing detergent from harming the plants. You'll also want to make sure to trim any branches out of the way if they will interfere with your washing.
Start Off with Soap
You'll generally need to use specialty pressure-washer soap to fully clean the siding but it's always important to test a small area to make sure it won't damage or discolor the siding. After pouring the soap into the reservoir, gently spray a small section of siding using the soap nozzle. This nozzle generally has a lower-pressure blast to ensure the chemicals in the soap don't damage the vinyl.
Make sure to only ever spray at a downwards angle and watch out so you don't spray into the overlaps. This should help prevent water from getting trapped behind the siding and potentially causing mold or other damage.
Lather, Rinse and Repeat
When using the soap, it's important to never spray too large of an area at a time as you never want to let the soap dry. Therefore, you'll need to regularly switch back and forth between soap and plain water. Due to the small size of the reservoir, often you can just wait until you run out of soap, and then use this as an opportunity to make the switch and start rinsing.
When you do this, you'll also want to switch and use a general purpose nozzle (10 to 15 degrees). This will provide a more powerful spray to effectively rinse off the soap and take care of any stuck-on dirt and grime.
Clean and Dry
You'll need to repeat this process again and again, working one small section at a time until you've finished the entire house. On a big house, this could end up taking you all day, whereas it may only take a few hours on a smaller property. Either way, you should go around and dry off all of the interior and exterior corners of the siding just to make sure that that excess water doesn't seep behind.
While it does take some time, pressure washing your siding is most definitely worth it. In fact, most homeowners don't even realize just how much dirt and grime is actually on their home until they start cleaning. So give it a try—the results are almost guaranteed to surprise you.
With cold weather approaching, homeowners, and even renters are going to see their energy costs going up as they heat their homes. Those who are from areas of cold, snowy and icy, winter weather, are no stranger to the many activities people have to do in order to winterize their home. Some of these steps to lower your energy consumption and protect you home during the winter can be done quickly, and others will take several hours, but all should be done before cold weather sets in.