Tag Archives: maintenance

Is It Time to Seal Your Wood Deck?

Whether you’re building a new wood deck or just maintaining your old one, it’s important to protect it with a good sealer. By sealing and maintaining your deck, you will increase the wood’s strength and durability and reduce daily wear-and-tear from foot traffic.

Why Is A Sealer Important?

When wood is cut from a tree and harvested as lumber it’s no longer protected by natural oils found in tree bark. Without oils, bare wood becomes dry and brittle and prone to attacks by borer insects and termites. Water will cause bare wood to swell and sun will cause it to dry out and shrink. This process of expanding and shrinking will cause the wood to become unstable, resulting in warping, twisting and cracking. Without a proper sealer, your beautiful wooden deck will rot and collapse over time.

When Is The Best Time To Seal Your Deck?

The best time to seal your wood deck depends on several factors including the age of your deck, your climate, and your local weather conditions. For proper protection, it’s important to apply a good sealer at the right time of year.

The Age of Your Deck – If you’re building a new wood deck, you should wait at least one year before applying a sealer. New wood requires time to cure and dry properly or it won’t absorb the sealer. With new wood, protect your deck with a new wood treatment for the first year, then followup with a sealer. If you have an older wood deck, you should reseal your deck every 12 to 18 months for best year-round protection.

Your Climate – In most areas, it’s best to seal your deck in the spring or fall when temperatures are mild. If you apply sealer during the summer heat or winter cold, the sealer won’t penetrate the wood properly to provide adequate protection. For best results, check the product label on your sealer or talk to your contractor to find more details today.

Weather Conditions – Before you apply a sealer, clean your deck to remove dirt and debris. You can use a power washer, but allow the deck to dry for two or three days before sealing it. When the deck is completely dry, apply the sealer and let it dry for one or two days. Make sure to check your local weather forecast and choose five or six days with mild temperatures and no rain.

Update Your Bathtub Without Replacing It


The bathroom is one area of your home that is used the most. Every day, you and your family enter this space for one reason or another. Eventually, fixtures like the tub will either need to be replaced or refreshed.

Before paying the high dollar price of replacing, why not consider bathtub reglazing Durham NC? Not only can you save money, but you can also extend the life of the bathtub.

Easy Bath Remodeling Experience

Reglazing is a durable way to improve your tub’s surface, literally. This process involves applying a thin coating that offers a fast and easy way to remodel at a fraction of what it would cost to replace the bathtub.There is never a need to remove the fixture, so you already save a tremendous amount on labor costs. Doing this is particularly a good idea if you have a tub that is hard to keep clean, one that stains easily or has chipped areas.You will improve the appearance of an older tub while also increase protection from future issues.

Looking at it from this perspective makes this type of investment really worth the price you would pay.Generally, this is something you will want done by professionals. Specialized tools such as primers and bonding agents are required to ensure the job is done properly. Of course, there are DIY options if you have the time and patience. The simple spray-on or roll-on products will not produce the same top notch results.

Call on the Professionals

If you are like most homeowners, a complete bathroom remodeling project – or even one to replace the bathtub – is not something you look forward to enduring. This is especially true if your family relies on that space daily.Hiring a professional contractor with access to better materials than you would get from a DIY kit to reglaze the tub is a better option. For starters, you will get more color choices than pre-packaged kits. Maybe there are some tints, but the majority of your options will be whites and bisques. Professionals can offer an unlimited set of customized colors.The amount of time it takes a professional to complete a project they do on practically a daily basis is significantly less than what it would take you to complete the same job. Consider the difference a few hours make compared to several days.

The final result of a reglazed bathtub is one that shines with a deep gloss. You and your family will enjoy the smooth silky look and feel of a “new” bathtub.

Caring for your Asphalt Driveway

Daily life can take its toll on your asphalt driveway leaving it stained, damaged and looking its worse. Of course, most people know that they should have their driveway seal coated to help prolong its life, but few know of how to properly care for their asphalt driveway. Thankfully, the following are and maintenance tips will help ensure your asphalt driveway stays looking its best for years to come.

Prevent Spills
Stains are one of the most common problems that negatively affect the appearance of your driveway. However, stains aren’t the only problem caused by spills. Gasoline and oil can deteriorate the asphalt driveway, which could lead to an expensive repair bill. The good news is that preventing spills is a rather easy task. Furthermore, make sure to keep an absorbent material, such as kitty litter, on hand to clean up any gas or oil spills that do occur.

Repair Damage Promptly
Far too often, people overlook driveway damage, such as cracks and holes, and don’t really pay it any mind until the damage is far more substantial. This really is a shame since most small damage can be fixed yourself by simply filling in the cracks with products designed just for that. If you wait, however, until the problem becomes worse, you will need to hire asphalt driveway repair companies to fix the damage.

Those Pesky Weeds
Weeds and grass seemingly pop up anywhere, so it’s not uncommon to find them pushing through the asphalt. If you allow the vegetation to continue to grow, you are only making the problem worse. That is why it is important to deal with the problem before it gets worse. Spot weed killer works well for taking care of this annoying problem. If, however, you find trees or other large plants growing through the asphalt, you will need to completely remove it, roots and all. Of course, you can help prevent this from occurring by simply filling in any cracks you find.

Don’t Forget the Edges
Your driveway’s edges are actually the weakest part. This is because it doesn’t have the support that other areas of the driveway has. Because of this, you must take care not to drive on the edge. Doing so can cause crack and the driveway edge to crumble. Some experts recommend building the soil up near the edges of the driveway. This will provide room for the water to drain properly and the sod to grow. Furthermore, the built up soil helps to provide support to the edges.

Tips to Choose the Right Air Condition Unit For Your Home

Regulating your home’s cooling system and buying a new air conditioner are not the sexiest topics. However, giving them careful thought will help you choose the right-sized air conditioning unit for your home.

Save Money

When an air conditioner is too large for the space it cools, you waste money on excess cooling capacity that you never use. On the other hand, if you buy a unit that’s too small, your monthly energy bills will skyrocket because the system must overwork itself to maintain the temperature you set on your thermostat. It will also break down faster because of the increased wear and tear, which means the total cost of ownership increases.

If you’re not sure what size unit would be good for your home, consider hiring a trained HVAC technician to evaluate your home and choose the perfect AC unit. Even if you’re just replacing an existing unit, factors such as your family size and the types of appliances you use can impact the size recommendation from your HVAC contractor. Plus, if you add on to your home or renovate it, your sizing needs will change.

Maintain Humidity


 Image via Flickr by Open Grid Scheduler / Grid Engine

Many people forget that proper humidity can mean the difference between a comfortable and miserable home. If your home’s HVAC system is too big, you may have humidity issues, especially if you live in the South or near a body of water.

When an air conditioner runs, it removes moisture from the air. If your AC is too big, it won’t run often enough to curtail humidity. High humidity in your home can extend fabric drying time and create a perfect environment for mold growth. Mold can cause numerous health issues, and moisture in the air can make your home feel cool but clammy. If you turn down the thermostat to fix the problem, you’re only causing the AC unit to run longer, which increases your utility bills.

Increase Energy Efficiency

There are many different types and sizes of AC unit, so it’s important to choose the correct one for your home. A properly sized air conditioner not only helps to maintain a low energy bill, but will also increase your energy efficiency and reduce your carbon footprint. Newer air conditioning units are designed to run in cycles, slowly cooling your home instead of instantly bringing down the temperature.

Other energy-efficient technologies have also emerged, producing air conditioners that use two-stage cooling technology, work with programmable thermostats, and contain fewer moving parts. As the cost of power increases, consumers get more concerned about not only saving money, but also protecting the environment.

When choosing the right-sized air conditioner for your home, seek the help of a trusted, well-trained HVAC technician. The formula for calculating the proper size of AC unit can get complicated, involving multiple factors like your home’s square footage and the amount of insulation you have. If you call in the pros, you’ll get right the first time and prevent costly mistakes.



Why Replacing Your HVAC Is Better than Repairing

Just like other items in your house, your HVAC unit has a life span. While that life span is usually decades, you may begin to notice that your unit is on its last legs when repairs become more frequent. Even though replacing an entire HVAC unit is expensive, sometimes constantly calling the repair technician is even more expensive. If you’re trying to decide what to do with your aging HVAC unit, consider these reasons why replacing is sometimes better than repairing.



Image via Flickr by DaynaT


Even with proper maintenance, most components in an HVAC system usually only last around 10 or 15 years. If you know how old your system is, and it’s nearing the end of its life cycle, it’s typically better to replace the unit instead of continually having it repaired.

Not only can this save you money on repair costs, but it can also save you money on your energy costs. An older unit is less efficient, and it can raise your energy bills as it struggles to keep your house comfortable. A new high-efficiency unit can help you save up to 20 percent on your heating and cooling costs.

You Don’t Plan on Moving

While replacing an HVAC unit is costly, if you plan on staying in your current home for years to come, you’ll have plenty of time to enjoy the ease and comfort offered by that new system. However, even if you plan on moving in a few years, it’s still a good idea to consider replacing the HVAC unit. A brand-new unit can add value to a home, and you won’t have to worry about a sale falling through because buyers are nervous about spending even more money to replace a unit or about an inspection’s requiring you to fix it.

The Difference in Costs

When you’re trying to figure out what to do with your aging HVAC unit, consider the cost to repair versus the cost to replace. Estimate how much you think it would cost to have your unit repaired once or twice a year and how much it would cost to replace the unit. If you’re unsure, speak with an experienced HVAC technician and get his or her opinion on the best course of action. You could end up saving money by not having to pay for repairs a few times every year.

Your Unit Has a Coolant Leak

The EPA is phasing out the use of refrigerant R-22, also known as Freon, in favor of the more environmentally friendly R-410A. As a result, R-22 prices have soared, and adding the refrigerant could cost anywhere from $40 to over $175 a pound. If your old system develops a coolant leak, then repairing the leak, replacing the compressor — which can cost over $2,000 alone — and adding more refrigerant can end up costing about the same as a new unit.

While it’s never an easy conclusion to decide between repairing and replacing, when you’re faced with the above reasons, there are times when outright replacement of an HVAC unit is better than repairing.


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