Make Your Garage Stand Out From the Rest

Three Tips To Help Hardwood Lumber Last Longer In Outdoor Applications

Hardwood can be a very attractive material for many different projects. It is often sold as an interior flooring product, but it can also be used for outdoor applications. You can use hardwood materials for things like decorative landscaping structures, decking and for railings on porches. If you want to use hardwood outdoors, here are some tips to help make it last longer:

1. Pressure Washing And Keeping Wood Clean

One of the best things that you can do to prevent wood rot is keep it clean. This can be done by regularly pressure washing your hardwood. This will prevent debris from getting in the cracks, which can hold moisture and allow fungus like moss and lichen to grow. When you do this, you can also treat it with an algaecide product for extra protection. This is a good idea if you live in an area with a lot of rain, or if your wood is in a shaded area that promotes fungus growth.

2. Using An Epoxy Resin To Give Wood A Protective Coating

Epoxy resin is an option if you want to have your hardwood permanently sealed and protected from the elements. This is what boat builders use to protect wood finishes on boats, as well as to build fiberglass boats. It can be costly to apply and you will not add new stain to change the appearance of your deck. It can be good for areas where moisture may be a problem, such as around a body of water like a lake or homes with high rainfall. An epoxy coating will completely seal the wood to protect it from the elements. You may want to apply a UV protector before doing this to prevent fading.

3. Applying Sealants Regularly To Protect Wood From Moisture

If you want an affordable solution to protect your wood, applying a stain and sealant regularly can protect your hardwood. This is something that should be done every couple of years to ensure wood is protected. If you clean your deck regularly, the sealant will last much longer. Materials in direct sunlight may need to have a sealant applied more often, which you can use a product that includes UV protector to prevent fading and discoloration of your wood surfaces.

These are some tips to help your outdoor hardwood applications last longer. If you are looking for wood for your next project, contact a hardwood lumber supplier like Salem Hardwood to get the materials you need for a great finish.

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Four Problems That You May Have With Your Old Vinyl Siding

If you have vinyl siding that was installed on your home decades ago, there may be small damage and repairs that need to be done. Some of the problems can be due to cracks from brittle siding, UV exposure damage and pieces coming loose from the seams. Many of these problems can easily be repaired to prevent problems with leaks and structural damage in your home. Here are some of the problems that you may want to look for with your old vinyl siding:

1. Cracked Siding Without Backing In Active Areas 

Siding can be damaged by many different things, but vinyl siding can be vulnerable to cracking, especially in areas where there is a lot of activity like in a backyard where children play. These areas can be good places to use foam backed siding, which is more rigid and will not crack as easy when cold weather makes the vinyl brittle. Foam backed siding can also help to make your home more energy efficient.

2. UV Exposure Causing Fading And Deterioration Of Siding

There may be areas of your home that get a lot of direct sunlight. The UV exposure can cause damage to vinyl siding. It can cause siding to fade and change color, as well as to deteriorate. The vinyl can become brittle and start to lose the exterior finish. To prevent this, clean the siding in direct sunlight with products that have a UV protectant to prevent damage during long summer days when siding gets the most exposure to UV radiation.

3. Loose Siding Coming Unzipped At The Seams

With vinyl siding, a seam that snaps in place connects the pieces. When the seam comes loose, it unzips much like the zipper on a pair of jeans. To repair this problem, siding can be snapped back into place and fasteners added to prevent it from coming loose. It is important that enough nails be used when siding is installed to prevent this. It can also happen for long spans of siding, where the weight of siding can cause pieces to come loose.

4. Melted Siding Due To Heat Sources Being Too Close

Another problem that you may encounter with vinyl siding is fire damage. This does not have to be damage from a home catching fire. Vinyl siding can easily be melted when a heat source is too close to the siding. Grills and other things like burning yard debris to close to your home can cause this. When the siding is melted, this area of your home will have to have new siding installed to repair the damage.

These are some of the areas that can be a problem with your vinyl siding. If you need help with repairs or the installation of new siding, contact a vinyl siding contractor like MAK Construction Corporation to get the help you need fixing these problems and providing repairs that will last for years.

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A Couple Of Tips To Help Keep Your Building Safe From Fire Damage

Protecting your business from a fire is an important goal for any entrepreneur, but it is an unfortunate fact that there are many people that lack some important information about these systems. This is particularly true for those that are considering installing their first fire alarm system, but the following couple of tips should help you to ensure that you are getting the best protection possible from your fire alarms. 

Considered Installing An Addressable Fire Alarm System

Fire alarm systems have experience considerable technological advancements in recent years, and these advancements can help reduce the response time when a fire erupts in a large office or commercial building. For example, addressable fire alarm systems can provide the responders with far more accurate information about the location and intensity of the fire. 

This is possible because every smoke alarm is outfitted with a unique identification code and sophisticated sensors that can determine the temperature of the fire and the amount of smoke that is being produced.  In contrast, more primitive fire alarm systems would only indicate that a fire was occurring in the building, but they would not provide information regarding the location of it. By automatically providing this information to the fire department, these systems will help ensure that the firefighters locate the blaze as quickly as possible which can help minimize the damages caused by it.

Create A Testing Schedule For Your System

Once the fire alarm system is installed you will need to routinely test it to make sure that it is working as intended. It is possible for dust and other debris to accumulate on the sensors, which can cause the system to malfunction. While most business owners are aware of the need to test these systems, it is common for this vital maintenance to be done on a haphazard schedule. 

To avoid having your fire alarm system malfunction when you need it the most, you should create a schedule that tests this system on at least a monthly basis. Also, your system will need to be inspected by a professional on a yearly basis. A professional inspection will involve a technician (from companies like Fyr Fyter Inc) inspecting, cleaning and testing of each individual fire alarm that is a part of your system. These comprehensive inspections can provide you with an opportunity to address slowly developing problems that may not yet have started to show symptoms. 

A fire alarm system can be an excellent way of minimizing the risk of your business suffering fire damage. However, you may not fully understand these systems, and this may lead to some problems with your fire protection. By following these two tips, you can help ensure that your building is as protected as possible from the risk of fire damage. 

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A Roof Inspection Can Help Protect Your Home from Common Roof Leak Culprits

A leaking roof is the furthest thing from most homeowner’s minds they have a leak on their hands. However, taking preventive measures to help minimize the risk of a roof leak can be helpful. Roof inspections can serve as a highly effective leak prevention tool. Roof inspections give you the opportunity to quickly highlight and address common roof leak culprits. Here are just a few of the things you want to have your roof inspected for.

Skylight Leaks

Skylights are a great way to allow natural light in your home without jeopardizing your privacy, but these windows also come with a high risk potential for leaks. As the window ages, it’s not uncommon for the roof flashing installed around the window to begin to separate. Once this happens, any time it rains or snows, moisture will seep into the open spaces around the flashing and eventually leak into your home.

Chimney Leaks                           

Another common culprit behind roof leaks have to do with your chimney. More specifically, worn roof flashing around the chimney. The scary thing about this issue is the fact that the excess moisture can get trapped within the flashing, increasing the risk of mold growth. Should mold develop under the flashing, this will only increase the amount of money it takes to repair the damage from the leak.

Valley Leaks

Roof valleys are areas where two or more parts of a roof intersect with a house, forming a bowl-like structure for moisture to easily collect and cause a leak. Roofing experts install valley flashing to prevent this issue.

However, fluctuations between hot and cold temperatures can cause the flashing to expand and contract, ultimately causing it to loosen. Once this happens, the flashing no longer redirects the water away from the valley and you end up with standing water on top of your roof.

Protecting Your Home

Roof inspections are an important tool for preventing any of the previously mentioned leak culprits and protecting your home. Typically, roofing experts recommend that you have your roof inspected at least once a year.

During the inspection, a roof technician will thoroughly examine the condition of your flashing and the integrity of the shingles. While some homeowners consider roof inspections to be a high cost, compared to the repair costs associated with a roof leak, an inspection is just a small expense.

Make sure you are taking a proactive approach to preventing a roof leak around your home by ensuring you are having your roof inspected by a professional like Darnell Construction.

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Don’t Let Good Asphalt Go Bad: Protect Your Driveway with a Sealcoat

Asphalt works best when it is pliable. New asphalt will flex because the tar in the asphalt is flexible, and it can expand and contract with changes in the temperature. On the other hand, as asphalt ages, it loses its flexibility and becomes prone to cracking. To extend the life of your asphalt driveway, you need to treat it with a sealcoat.

UV Resistance

The sun alone is responsible for much of the damage to your driveway. UV rays can bake the volatiles right out of it. You will see the effects of UV damage as your driveway fades from black to brown and then grey. Once the volatiles are gone, your driveway will become brittle and unable to contend with changes in the weather, meaning it will start to crack. A sealcoat will resist UV damage, and while you can apply a sealcoat at any time, it is best to apply a sealcoat right after new asphalt is dry to prevent as much UV damage as possible. 

Water Resistance

A sealcoat will fill in little cracks in the driveway and create a smooth surface. Water will then run right off of your driveway. This will carry dirt and debris away, but it will also prevent water from penetrating the asphalt. During the winter, water can seep into your driveway, freeze, and then expand. As it expands, it will create cracks which will allow more water in, which will then freeze, expand, and make the cracks bigger. By using a sealcoat, you can seal the water out, which will in turn protect your driveway from the frost wedging described above. 

Chemical Spills

When gas, oil, or other chemicals spill on your driveway, they can dissolve the tar in your driveway and create weak spots. A sealcoat will resist damage from chemicals, which will in turn prolong the life of your driveway. 

In order to protect your driveway, you need to take steps to prevent damage. If your driveway is already damaged, and you are looking for a way to avoid the cost of replacing your driveway, you will first need to repair any cracks or potholes in the asphalt and then apply a sealcoat. For best results, however, it is best to apply a sealcoat right after you install your driveway and again whenever you see signs of fading. To have a seal coating applied professionally, consider hiring LSC Construction Services, Inc.

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Four Things That You May Want To Do When You Have Your Roof Replaced

Asphalt roofing can wear out and will eventually need to be replaced. This process can involve tearing off the old roof and installing the new one. It can also take days to complete. You will need to have dumpsters and access to your home. There are some things that you can do to make the process of roof replacement go smoother. Here are some things that you may want to consider when replacing your old roof:

1. Clearing Space For Trucks And Equipment

When you are going to have your roof replaced, you will need to make space for the workers to work. They should have access to the front and back of your home. Consider that you may need enough room for a small truck to get to the back of your home to remove debris.

2. Renting A Roll Off Dumpster For Debris

Some roofing services will provide removal for you in their estimate, which may be with a roll off dumpster. You may also have to rent the dumpster yourself. You will want to make sure that there is space for the container, and you may want to use a couple of sheets of plywood to protect the area where it is going to be located.

3. Protecting Landscaping Features And Plants

You will also want to protect any landscaping and plants at the edges of your roof. You can use a painter’s cloth to do this. If you have sensitive plant here, you can make a temporary structure over them with canes or other rigid poles and cover them with plastic. To prevent them from being burnt during hot days, leave space beneath the tarps and place a bucket of water near them.

4. Cleaning Debris When The Job Is Finished

You will also need to clean up debris before and after the work starts on your roof. Roofers will do this for you, but sometimes there may be some debris that is missed. If work was done near your driveway, look for nails. You can use a metal detector and magnet to remove any nails that may be hidden. This can prevent you from getting an unexpected flat tire after replacing your roof.

These are some things that you can do to make the replacement of your old roof go smoothly. If you need to have your old roof replaced, contact a roofing contractor (such as JT Roofing) and ask them about any other things that you may need to do before they begin replacing your roof.

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Reasons Why Your Garage Opener Hums But Doesn’t Work

The good news about a humming garage door controller is that it is still receiving electricity. However, this isn’t much of a consolation if your garage door is not opening. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to try to get your garage door working again.

Determining if the Problem is with the Garage Door Opener

First, you will want to determine if the problem is with the door itself or if it is with the opener. Try to open and close the door manually after pulling the emergency release. Lifting and lowering the garage door will allow you to test both the springs and the rail to make sure they are not out of alignment or damaged. If you are able to do so without the door getting stuck, the problem is with the garage door opener. If the garage door is not able to ascend and descend manually or if the door does not remain in place when you let go of it, the springs might be worn out and will need to be replaced.

The Emergency Release

When testing the springs, you might notice that the emergency release was already activated. If the emergency release was activated accidentally, the garage door will not open even if the motor is running. Re-engage the manual release by toggling the handle.

Problems with the Chain

Sometimes, the end of the chain can become trapped in the opener. Take off the cover and make sure that the chains on the gears are not jammed. Loosen the chain adjuster to free the chain so the garage door can ascend and descend again.

The Force Adjustment

Another problem might be the force adjustment. As the springs become old and weak, the opener motor and the drive system will then be carrying the weight of the door. Sometimes, the opener motor can handle the weight. However, if it can’t, the garage door will not ascend. Toggling the force adjustment will help correct this problem then.

Worn Down Gears

One reason why your garage door might not be moving is that it has experienced a mechanical problem. The motor powers gears with teeth that can wear down. You will notice white shavings that used to be a part of the gear. Replacing the gear can allow the garage door opener to begin functioning properly again.

If you are not able to narrow down the problem with your garage door to one of these causes, the issue is most likely a problem with an internal component in the garage door opener. If so, you will need to contact a garage door opener repair specialist (such as America’s Garage Doors LLC) who will be able to identify the defective internal component and replace it.

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