Category: Home Improvement

10 Things You Must Know When Painting a House Exterior

From choosing the right paint to prepping your home’s exterior, we’ve got the best tips to make exterior painting a breeze.

1. Consider Mother Nature

Plan ahead when painting. The time of year is key, so understand your local weather patterns. Select a dry time of year when there is little rain and lower humidity. Paint needs time to dry and will not adhere to surfaces that are not dry.

2. Quality Over Price

Better quality paint means you will paint fewer times over the years, and you’ll get better coverage when you do paint. Paint technology has improved dramatically in the past few years, with colors guaranteed to last longer than ever before. You may be tempted to skimp on paint to save money up front with a cheaper brand, but you’re bound to have trouble and eventually pay more in the long run.

3. Sand and Wash

Paint won’t adhere very well to dirty or rough surfaces, so be sure to clean the siding and trim thoroughly, allow to dry, and sand. Be sure to sand (or scrape as needed) any peeling paint to create a solid surface for the paint to adhere.

4. Paint Doesn’t Stick to Rotten Siding

Rotten wood and siding material are nearly worthless to paint, as they will do nothing but to continue to deteriorate. You have a couple of options. Replace the siding or wood trim with new components, or in the case of small areas, use a wood hardener and match with an exterior filler product, such as a wood filler. Be sure to prep and sand either one prior to painting.

5. Use Primer

The rule of thumb has always been to apply a good coat of primer, sand, then apply your color coats. This is still a good rule to follow, but new paint technologies have combined primer and paint into one product, which manufacturers assert will cut down on the number of coats you will have to apply.

6. Combine Cans of Paint

Mixing multiple cans of the same color of paint into a larger container, such as a five-gallon bucket, will help ensure a uniform color is applied to your home’s exterior. This step, called boxing the paint, is a method the pros follow. This step is important if, for example, you initially bought a gallon or two of paint less than you needed and then picked up the extra gallons at a later time.

7. Paint From Top to Bottom

Starting at the top and working your way down while painting helps control streaks, as you will be working with gravity rather than against it. Drips are inevitable, but this method will allow you to feather out mishaps in the direction you are working.

8. Seal It Off

Properly close your paint containers with their lids after you finish for the day to keep the paint from drying out. Use a rubber mallet to lightly hammer the lid shut. You can also add a plastic wrap film over the opening to ensure a tight seal.

9. Add Grit

Painted porches (particularly steps) and other painted floors can become a bit too slick with a coat of paint alone, so add a little bit of fine sand to the paint to add traction. You can use play sand or additives that manufacturers have begun producing to provide this extra texture.

Foolproof Front Door Colors

Refresh you home by painting your front door a fun color. Not sure what hue to choose? These tried-and-true colors are sure to flatter any facade

The Best Yard Fence Materials for Different Climates

Factors such as amount of rainfall, temperatures and types of weather events such as earthquakes or hurricanes affect the staying power of garden and privacy fences. Before putting up a new yard fence, homeowners should learn about the various materials available and recommended for their areas.

Rain and Humidity Deteriorate Fencing Materials

wood fences

Living in a wet environment where there is a great deal of rain and moisture collecting on the fence and on the fence post footings may cause wooden fences to rot prematurely. Using wood that is more durable such as locust, redwood, cedar or cypress will help forestall rotting in these climactic conditions.

Wood for like cedar and redwood, often used for swimming pool security fences and privacy fences, does not have to be expensive. Instead of using premium grade wood, buy construction heart redwood or cedar. These grades are as durable as the fancier grades and provide beautiful fencing resistant to rot.

Metal fences are also vulnerable to wet climates, and iron or chain-link fencing may rust faster than in a dryer climate. If wrought iron or chain-link fencing is used, extra maintenance should be planned to keep wrought iron fences repaired and painted for years of lasting good looks.

Masonry, vinyl and composite fencing do best in wet climates. Although moss may grow on masonry walls or light mold may appear on composite and vinyl fencing, these kinds of materials endure the elements more readily and need little maintenance or repair in this type of climate.

Hot, Dry Temperatures Affect Fencing Materials

masonry fences

In excessively hot and dry areas, certain yard fence materials may fade loosing their color and luster. Composite fencing may become lighter and less attractive over time. Certain kinds of wood may shrink and become warped when used in hot, dry areas especially if they are not properly dried ahead of time or are imported from parts of the country where the climate is wetter, infusing the wood with moisture.

If wood is the chosen material for a particular fence, be sure it is kiln dried and is not newly imported from regions that might contribute to its retaining extra moisture.

Masonry, metal and stone fences and walls do very well in hot, dry areas maintaining their integrity and their looks over time. Aside from a loose rock or brick needing replacement, most of these fences need little maintenance.

Extreme Cold Weather Damages Masonry Walls

When the thermometer drops into single digit numbers, masonry fences and walls made with mortar may suffer. Freezing conditions affect these walls because water may be trapped in the mortar causing it to freeze and crack.

metal fences

Wood, bamboo and metal fences are the most durable for use in very cold climates.

Severe Weather Conditions Contribute to Wear and Tear on Fencing

bamboo fences

The most durable fencing material is bamboo, which is a naturally sustainable material. Reports of bamboo buildings withstanding earthquakes of 9.0 shows the durability and staying power of this amazing material. Fences made from bamboo do not rot or need any painting, and can endure a great deal of abuse from both hurricanes and earthquakes. Because bamboo is often used in its natural state, there are also enough spaces between bamboo slats to withstand strong winds without pulling the fence down.

Wooden fences are also somewhat resistant to intense weather, surviving due to their innate flexibility. Keep in mind though, that wooden privacy fences, tall swimming pool security fences and other lightweight fences may be susceptible to wind damage from hurricanes and tornadoes.

The least durable fences during earthquakes are those made from masonry, especially those made from brick or stone using mortar in the seams. The shaking of the ground loosens the mortar and often brings down a stone wall with ease.

Choose materials that best suit the environment for long-term, low maintenance garden and privacy fences. Taking weather and climate into consideration when deciding on yard fences adds to years of enjoyment with little care for the homeowner.

Painting Ceramic Tile

Paint over ceramic tile walls, floors, shower stalls or countertops when the tile color becomes dated, worn or scratched. Removing old tile that is no longer appealing does not necessarily require ripping it and replacing it. The process is fairly easy, although time consuming, but the results are beautiful.

You Will Need:

  • Trisodium phosphate
  • Fine grade sandpaper
  • Extra fine grade sandpaper
  • Low tack masking tape
  • Low nap rollers
  • High quality paint brush
  • Epoxy primer
  • Epoxy paint
  • Urethane

Prepare the Tile

  1. Repair any loose, broken, chipped or cracked grout before painting.
  2. Wash the tile to remove all traces of cleansers or wax. Use trisodium phosphate to thoroughly clean the surface. Rinse very well with plain water after cleaning.
  3. Use a fine grade sandpaper to rough up the tile surface, creating a good bonding surface for the primer and paint.
  4. Vacuum up all dust and rinse the walls to wash dust particles away.

Preparing the Room for Paint

  1. Apply low tack painters’ masking tape to ceilings, mirrors, cabinets, walls or floors to protect from drips, spills and pain accidents.
  2. Place drop cloths on the floors.

Priming Ceramic Tile

  1. Use a high quality epoxy primer. Newer formulations of epoxy primers no longer require acid etching making the project much easier.
  2. Apply the epoxy primer with a very low nap paint roller. Do not use a paint brush because brush strokes are highly visible.
  3. Allow the primer to dry completely.
  4. Light sand the walls with an extra fine sandpaper.
  5. Apply a second coat of primer.

Painting Ceramic Tile

high quality paint brush

  1. Apply epoxy paint to the ceramic tile with a snort nap, lint free roller. Use a high quality paint brush to cut in corners and ceilings.
  2. Epoxy can be painted over the grout and then repaint grout lines or leave them all one color. The other options is to carefully paint around grout line which makes the job much more difficult and will require a very steady hand.
  3. Apply 2 to 3 coats of epoxy paint, allowing each coat to dry completely in between each coat.

Sealing Epoxy

ceramic tile sealer

Although not required because epoxy paint dries to a super hard finish, it is a good idea to seal painted ceramic tile floors with a urethane sealer. Apply 3 to 4 coats of sealer, allowing each coat to dry thoroughly before painting on the next.

Changing an ugly countertop, a worn floor or a tiled pink blue and orange bathroom is as easy as applying several coats of paint. The project is somewhat time consuming especially waiting for coats of paint to dry, but will be accomplished successfully by a do it yourself type homeowner.

Leaves and other Debris have a Negative Impact on your Gutters

If you have ever battled with clogged gutters, you can understand the negative impact associated with dirty and clogged gutters. First, clogged gutters tend to overflow, resulting in damaged foundations and leaky basements. This does not only expose your foundations to cracking and possible house fall, but also propagates mold and erosion of your esteemed landscape.

Accumulation of tree debris is among the primary causes of clogged gutters. Sticks that fall form nearby trees and over grown shrubs can fall and rot in the gutters, making the gutters dirty and clogged. Besides, leaves can accumulate in the gutters, leaving undesired effects on your gutter and eventually pile up and disrupt the smooth flow of rain water of the roof and through the gutter. To avoid this blockage, it is advisable to carry out regular maintenance on the gutter by removal of the leaves and sticks that may have fallen into the gutter and to permanently get rid of the problem it is best to trim off branches that are hanging over the roof and gutters.

The main culprits

According to experts, there are a number of things to looks out for when it comes to tree debris but flowers and pine needles play the biggest role. There are trees with flowers that fall off on a regular if not daily basis. This will eventually lead to an accumulation of rotting flowers on the gutter and subsequently blockage in the gutter system. Pine needles are even worse as they shed of a lot more than the flowers. With time water will stagnate and the gutter may even buckle from the weight.

Hire professional services when it comes to gutter cleaning

Hiring professionals to work on your gutter is the best option for your gutter. In some cases, you can choose to work on the cleaning process by yourself but it can be a risky affair since you have to use a ladder and walk on the roof. In case of repair it is advisable to also visit the store you bought the gutter from to get the best information on the repair and replacement process and it would be advisable to also seek for professional help for the work ahead.

Note that a professional gutter cleaning service provider has the required expertise to ensure that your gutters are thoroughly cleaned while ensuring that nothing is damaged.