Posts made in July, 2016

Mistakes Too Many Homeowners Make When Caring For and Cleaning a Wood Deck

A high-quality wood deck should last for many years, if not even decades. However, its longevity often depends on how you care for and even clean the deck. This isn’t difficult, but unfortunately many homeowners make a few common mistakes that can leave them with a deck that isn’t truly clean, and which may actually damage the deck as well. Note a few of those mistakes here so you can ensure you avoid them when it comes to your home’s deck.

Allowing the deck to dry while cleaning

Most homeowners will use a power washer or a good scrub brush, as well as a detergent added to the water, when they clean the deck. If that detergent should dry during cleaning, it can cause a filmy residue and get absorbed into the deck, causing damage to the wood. Think of having soap dry against your car when washing it and you may realize how it can damage the deck, except that your car body can’t absorb that detergent as can wood! When washing your deck, clean just one section at a time if it means being able to spray or scrub the detergent on and then rinse it off before it can dry, and choose a cloudy or overcast day so the sun doesn’t dry the detergent too soon either.

Not removing mildew where it’s likely to form

Inspecting the top of your deck for mildew is good, but note that mold, mildew, and wood rot is mostly likely to form where it’s often dark and where moisture is held against the wood deck. This means on the underside of the deck or areas where shrubbery may be brushed up against wood planks and slats. You might not relish the idea of crawling under your deck to inspect it, but this can be needed to address any mildew, rotted wood, and other damage that may be forming.

Not replacing old connectors

When you clean or inspect your deck, you may note old connectors that have come loose or are coming loose between slats and planks. It’s a mistake to simply pound these back into the wood, as the connectors may have become rusty or worn or threads on nuts and bolts may have been stripped. When connectors are loose, it’s good to remove them and replace them with new connectors entirely. This will ensure the deck holds firm over time and especially as you direct pressurized spray in the area of the connector while cleaning.

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Stump Removal Methods DIYers Had Better Avoid

No matter how desperately you need to remove an unwanted stump from your yard, here are a number of methods that you should avoid as a do-it-yourselfer.

Using a truck without proper digging

A big mistake that some people usually make is to tie an unsightly stump to the bumper of their truck and attempt to pull it out of the ground by driving forward in a sequence of jerks without minding how deep the roots underneath the stump might have grown.

If the root penetration is extensive, then you will only be causing a great deal of damage to your vehicle if the roots beneath the stump have not been properly weakened through digging.

Torching with fuel

What happens here is that scrap wood is placed on top of the remaining part of the tree trunk and fuel spilled to start a fire. Burning down a stump with diesel or petrol might only help you eliminate the dry protruding part of the stump, but it will most certainly not get rid of roots that have extended deep below the ground.

Besides, the burning wood often emits a lot of dark-coloured smoke that can increase carbon footprint. Hence, this technique is not considered to be good for the ecology.

Burying the stump

This is yet another stump removal method you should turn away from in spite of the fact that it helps avoid the expenses of transporting stumps away and discarding them off-site. When you hide a tree stump below the surface, especially in a wetland area, it can continue to decay, forming sinkholes later on. Because of the possibility of compromising the integrity of the subsoil for future construction purposes, you had better not consider this approach.

Using explosives

Opting to blow up a stump is a bad idea for many reasons. To start with, explosives are often noisy when they go BOOM! Therefore, they can cause a lot of noise pollution that may lead to problems with your neighbours and the local council, especially if noise restriction laws have been put in place. Second, explosives require a lot of skill to handle and use safely. Otherwise, things can blow way out of proportion and result in unwarranted cluttering of your landscape and costly damage to adjacent structures.

Whether you want to rid of a tree stump because it is an eyesore or because it is standing in the way of your plans to construct a new structure in your yard, it is advisable that you seek the advice of a professional on what technique is best applicable.

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Reminders for Any Renovation

If you've decided to undertake a project around your house, there are a few things to remember. First, make sure to have a good idea of the cost going in. Talk to local specialists for estimates or do research on the cost of supplies and labor. Second, always make sure to take necessary safety precautions. While a landscape project may seem like a lower-risk task than a rewiring job, it never hurts to be too careful. Finally, don't bite off more than you can chew. Plan out your renovation and repair projects in detail and then tackle one thing at a time. If you ever feel out of your element, hand the job over to a contractor. They'll know how to get the job done efficiently, safely, and correctly.

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