The Art of Power Washing Decks
Since the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) started banning the use of pressure treated wood due to chromated copper arsenate (CCA), most people have decided to seal their wood decks as the EPA suggests to prevent the arsenic from leaching into the soil. Most homeowners use local companies to pressure wash their decks and siding to save valuable time and the expense of rental equipment and some prefer to do the job themselves on a hot summer day. If you decide to hire a contractor to perform the work for you, there are a lot of important questions you need to ask before you should allow them to work on your home. First, make sure the company your hiring has the experience and the right equipment to perform the job properly, using more than 1,000 PSI or less than 4gpm can cause damage to wood. In Maryland, your also required to have a Maryland Home Improvement License (MHIC) for sealing decks or any repairs and it must be listed in all advertising and vehicles.
Make sure that any contractor you hire has a copy of this license and a long history of performing work in the area also; check them out with The Better Business Bureau. Another way to protect yourself is to use a company with certifications and affiliations in their industry like The Power Washers of North America.
The PWNA is the recognized leader in developing and communicating the highest standards in ethical business practices, environmental awareness, and safety through continuing education and active representation of the membership. PWNA educated and trained contractors raise the level of professionalism and value to their customers, and run a National Clean Across American project from July 24th-31st for various charities. For information about this project see their website at www.pwna.org
Unfortunately, many homeowners have tried using an unlicensed or inexperienced contractor offering a lower price, in some cases this may end up with the job uncompleted or worse, done improperly causing thousands of dollars in damage.
It will cost more time and money to find the right contractor for you but it could cost far more, to hire a company without the proper experience or to do the job yourself. For example, most people don't know that using household bleach to remove the mold and mildew from your deck will actually damage the woods lignin fibers. Or that too much pressure can also damage the woods surface and cause it to splinter or fur. To many companies have decided they could tackle it without the proper training and with most machines putting out an average of 3,000 PSI it can be dangerous to the operator and your property. Properly learning the techniques and training for cleaning wood takes time, training and a long-term investment, each deck or house is different and they all require special attention. First you have to find out if there is an existing sealer or stain on the deck and how to remove it properly. Very similar to painting, deck sealers and preservatives won't properly adhere to a wood surface that has an existing sealer on it.
First this product must be removed from the deck using a stripping agent and you must take steps to ensure that the stripping agent will not harm the plants or siding on the home. Most deck stripping agents have a sodium hydroxide base that will remove the existing sealer or stain and then it can be washed off with a pressure washer using a maximum of 1,000 PSI. When using a pressure washer you must clean with the grain of the wood the entire length of the board. By varying your distance from the wood or not going with the grain you may cause marks and discoloration in the surface. If done carefully, this will leave you with a clean surface for the next step.
Now that you have used a deck stripper to remove the last sealer, the surface must be neutralized so the sealer will absorb and adhere to the wood. Wood and other surfaces can be neutralized using citric or oxalic acid to bring them to a neutral Ph level, Oxalic acid will also remove tannin or leaf stains and also those iron or rust stains from rusting furniture. Now your wood surface is ready to be sealed and there are many other options to consider. The various sealers can be confusing to some but it's important to use a product that has ultraviolet protection from the suns rays. Most sealers have some UV protection, various oils to moisturize the wood and mildew prevention to fight the growth of mildew and mold. The best UV protection can be found in sealers that contain a pigment or stain, almost all of these products form a film on the woods surface, that may wear off with foot traffic or pets, they are semi-transparent allowing the woods natural grain to show while adding a tint of color to the surface. They will also help blend the over all color of the wood if some of your lumber has a different shade than others.
You can also use products with solid colors, which don't allow the natural wood grain to show through and in most cases they usually appear to be painted when completed. Then there are preservative-based deck sealers that will penetrate into the wood. These products come in clear and different stain colors and they tend to last the longer because they penetrate into the wood. This allows the oils in the sealer to penetrate into the wood, which keep the wood from dry rotting, cracking, and also blocks the suns UV rays. These preservative sealers will hold up twice as long as the surface film forming agents and they will extend the life of the wood.
President, Henry's Housework Inc.
MHIC#65039 Licensed, bonded and insured.
301 353 9287
Henry Bockman has provided power washing, gutter cleaning, roof repairs and deck restoration services to over 10,000 commercial and residential clients for over 16 years.
Henry Bockman is currently the Maryland PWNA chapter president, serves on the Board of Directors for the National organization The Power Washers of North America and is also the Chairman for the Clean Across America campaign which he helped create in 2004. For more information on Henry Bockman and his company, Henry's Housework, visit the website at
Families Online Magazine -Parenting advice and family fun resource. Expert
parenting advice for babes to teens from doctors, teachers,
psychologists, nutritionists, Special Need Children and Child
Development Specialists and a Nanny. Family Fun includes crafts,
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Magazine also provides answers to those important questions, What's
for dinner and Are We There yet?
Installing Vinyl Siding - Making It Simple
Installing vinyl siding can be a very rewarding process that could dramatically change the appearance of your home. For the most part, if you plan your job well and adhere to some simple guide lines, anyone could learn how to install siding to there home.
?5 Fast Ideas to Freshen the Look of your Room
"Company's coming and my place doesn't look right?"
Planning Permission UK - Tactics if Appealing to the DOE for a Planning Refusal
Tactics of Appealing to the DOE - There will be times in any Design Agents career when a clients scheme will be refused Planning Permission. Fortunately, our experience is now at a point when we can normally forecast these schemes & steer the client away from that design solution. Clients that wish to pursue these contentious schemes are at least forewarned of the likely outcome so that we can formulate a 'plan of attack' for the next phase of the extension or development. Many clients seem to want to drive head first to the Appeal route directly after refusal - IN MOST CASES THIS IS NOT A WISE DECISION & IT CAN AFFECT THE FUTURE DEVELOPMENT VIABILITY OF YOUR SITE.
Beautiful, Elegant Bathtubs that Spruce Up any Bathroom
Bathtubs have become an important necessity of our daily life for many reasons. Who hasn't enjoyed the comfort of soaking in a nice, hot tub at the end of a particularly hard day. They give washrooms a bathrooms a complete look; after all without them they look vacant. Bathtubs come in different sizes, color, shapes and material.
Metal Carports: Steel Carport Guide
Buying a carport to protect your investment can be a very frustrating task. With hundreds of manufacturers claiming to have the best product, how do you know who to trust? First you must ask yourself, are they out to make a buck, or to protect my truck? The first line of defense is to know what makes a good carport and the second is to trust your first instinct and know that you are protecting your mobile investments.
Seven Interior Design Psychology Ideas for Dining Pleasure
A separate dining room adds glamour, elegance, and excitement to a shared meal. Celebratory, sociable space, apart from the confusion of the kitchen, makes every dinner more meaningful.
Refrigerators Electric Consumption - Lower It In 15 Minutes
I recently had a customer ask for my advise about cleaning her refrigerator.
Cleaning House and the 80-20 Rule
Cleaning house is one of those things that needs doing again... and again... and again! How can you make it less of a burden?
Styles And Varieties Of Locking Mailboxes For Sale
Locking mailboxes made from durable, weatherproof
materials are highly desirable due to the built in safety
features and the long-lasting exterior. Your mail will
arrive safely and be waiting for you upon your return when
you purchase and install a locking mailbox on your
property. You will find locking mailboxes for sale in a
variety of styles, including large to medium size that can
be bricked in to match upscale communities and contractors.
Locking mailboxes give you the security you need to go out
of town for several days or go on vacation and you will
know that you mail will be safe upon your return.
A New Era in Bathroom Technology - Bathroom Home Improvements
Spa treatments in your own home? Sounds to good to be true?
In everyday life we are all continually faced with stress, aches, pains or just plain fatigue. In response to this modern day problem, , the largest product distributor in the United States, is pleased to offer the greatest collection of computerized multi-functioning luxurious and , all in one unit for your . These ergonomically designed, user friendly, attractive, efficient, and affordable, bathing systems are the answer to today's overstressed and limited personal time world. For years people all over the world have benefited from the invigorating effects of steam, and the therapeutic effects of massage. Today's are more than just about bathing and showering. It's all about escaping from the daily grind, relaxation, tranquility, quiet time and pampering oneself.
How to Select the Best Laminate Flooring for You
Hardwood flooring - its' traditional look is almost timeless, its' beauty is unmatchable. However, it's pretty hard to maintain a hardwood floor, not to mention the price you have to pay for it. Even with the most recent floor treatments they will still scratch, fade, dent and stain in a rather small amount of time. That's why laminate flooring was invented. Because it's machine made and its' top layer is a hardwood photographic laminated surface, laminate has the look and appeal of real hardwood floors, but it's more durable and it requires less maintenance.
Planning Permission Tips UK - Two Story Side Extensions - The Common Mistakes
Probably the most common type of residential extension is the two storey side extension. However, it is one of the most easiest schemes to get wrong with regard to Planning Permission. Side extensions have an awful lot of issues that need careful consideration before submitting a scheme to the Planning Department for Planning Permission.
Useful Home Products Will Help Your House Sale Profits
Even if you've never been involved in the sale of house before and yours is about to go on the market, you probably know enough about the process to be able to repeat, like a litany: clean it; paint it; fix it. But do you find yourself asking: How clean does the house have to be and how do I tackle the job? Do I really have to paint? What are the best colors to choose? What do I need to repair?
When considering these questions, it's good to remember that most prospective home buyers are an unimaginative lot. Your house may be immaculate but if the rooms are cluttered, crowded, and dark, they may appear to be less clean and much smaller than they really are. Picture this: an old, seven-piece mahogany dining room suite plus a rocking chair and seven boxes of books packed in anticipation of your move are wedged into a dark green room with a brown rug and a window covered by heavy velvet drapes. Why is this decorating scheme a mistake? It's because most people are unable to imagine how big and beautiful the room would look if painted off-white, everything removed but the dining room suite, a pastel tablecloth and a fresh flower centerpiece on the table, curtains stripped from the window, the rug removed, and everything spotlessly clean. In the words of Captain Jean-Luc Picard, you must "make it so"; otherwise, it might take you a very long time to sell your house and the offers to buy will not only be slower, but lower.
Clean, Clean, Clean
Your best friend when cleaning your house for resale will be tri-sodium phosphate (TSP) or its equivalent. TSP is one of the home products that top the list of must-haves, and it's not expensive. Roll up your sleeves, put on your rubber gloves and scrub your walls and ceilings, and anything else that needs your elbow grease. Unless you can afford professional cleaners, there's no way out of this one.
Carpet cleaning is another must and there are home products for the do-it-yourselfer or you can hire a cleaning company to take care of this job. If you have shabby rugs scattered throughout the house, forget cleaning them; it's probably better to remove them altogether.
There are home products to clean things that require special care ? ceramic tile, porcelain, stainless steel, wood cabinets, aluminum siding, etc., and you can find whatever you need at your neighborhood hardware store. Ask questions and read labels. When using commercial cleaning products, wear gloves and a mask. It's wise to be careful.
Paint for a Pristine Finish
As thorough as your cleaning job is, it won't have much impact on sagging, faded wallpaper, gouges in the walls, or cracked and peeling paint. Repainting is the solution, and interior painting jobs start with stripping off old wallpaper, attacking cracks and gouges with filler, and then getting to work with your roller and brush. This is also the time to do all the small repairs that need your attention: hammer in nails; repair the broken step; replace the broken glass.
When selecting paint, the best colors for your walls and ceilings are white, off-white, cream, creamy off-white ? you get the picture. A light, cool, neutral color can fit into everyone's decorating scheme. (You want that young couple to see your home as the perfect setting for their red plush love seats.) If you have recently painted one or more rooms in quite dramatic colors, leave them as they are. As long as the walls and trim are clean and fresh, prospective buyers won't mind a bit of repainting if they want to change the colors ? the main thing is not to overwhelm them.
If you need to paint the outside of your house, it's not necessary to restrict yourself to neutral colors for exterior paint; however, a bright color is not a good choice. Something fairly subdued is better, but be creative when painting the front door; a dramatic touch might be needed to make your house memorable. It's easy for a buyer to repaint a door if he or she doesn't share your love of Christmas red or purple passion.
Remove the Clutter
It's time to say goodbye to your high school chemistry notes, the clothes you outgrew five years ago, the playpen your twelve-year-old no longer needs, and everything else your family will never use again, read again, or wear again. Be tough! Do it! Take it to the dump; hold a garage sale; donate it to your favorite charity. Don't let it take up any more of your storage space ? you're going to need it all to store the things that are currently stacked on shelves and floors and cluttering up counter tops throughout the house.
Important home products that can help you deal with this part of your preparation are closet organizers. They come in every size and style imaginable, and you are sure to find something suitable. When you have everything neatly stored in your closets and cupboards, walk through the house and pick up and put out of sight everything else on your counters and table tops that don't need to be there. "Clutter-free" means clutter-free and it won't kill anyone in the family to have to reach under the counter for the dishwashing detergent or the toothpaste for the next few days or weeks.
You probably don't think of furniture as "clutter," but clutter is anything that unnecessarily crowds a room, a doorway, or a hall. If your home has very small rooms and you can manage without some furniture items for awhile, arrange to use a friend's garage or basement to store them. It will "open up" the rooms and make your house appear larger and brighter, and that's a good thing.
Let There be Light
Sunlight is a friend to the house seller, and you should try and let as much of it into the house as you can. Wash windows inside and out and wash or dryclean the window coverings: curtains, drapes, and blinds. Before showing the house to a prospective buyer, replace burned-out light bulbs, turn on the lights, open the windows, lift the blinds, and pull back the drapes.
Ask a non-smoking, non-pet-owning friend to come into your house when you have finished cleaning and painting. Are all the pet odors and smoking odors gone? If the house passes the sniff-test, place some potpourri in open dishes to add a fresh, clean scent; otherwise, get back to work.
Finally, step outside and see what a prospective buyer's first impression of your yard is likely to be. Mow the lawn, trim the hedges and bushes, weed the garden, edge the flowerbeds, and sweep and clean the walkway, deck, or patio. Your yard is another selling feature of your house, and must be clean and tidy, too.
Home products can help make your house appear big, bright, clean, and ready for a prospective buyer to move right in, which is exactly what you want.
Hot Tubs Create a Backyard Oasis
What would you like in the backyard that is great for entertaining, would be a focal point and can be enjoyed by the whole family? Hot tubs could be what you are looking for. Immersing in hot or warm water goes back centuries to Greek, Japanese and Roman texts. Hydrotherapy has said to aid in pain and stress relief. They also offer fun at the same time. Water is buoyant and resists gravity. It is known to aid in sleeping and easy exercises done in the warm water assist with muscle and joint pain. The jets massage the body and just feel good. If you haven't experience that good feeling when you are relaxing in the warm water of a hot tub and the jets are bubbling or swimming in the pool with the cool water lapping around you then you are really missing something in life. You can actually assist your heart to beat more efficiently while you sit back in the water.
Guides To Interior Design
These days, finding advice or guides to interior design is a quick and easy task. Are you looking to design that 'dream room', the one that you have kept vision of for up teen years and never acted upon? Maybe you're a professional who is interested in livening up their career situation by delving into the world of creative design. Or perhaps, a certain recent event in your life such as a marriage or even the arrival of a new baby has led you to undertake this mission. Whatever the reason, if you are new to the interior design scene, it is advisable that you dip your toe into the water before you lunge in. By this, I mean that the very idea that you are reading this article and in search of guides to interior design is a terrific sign!
If You Have Any Antique Clocks...Keep Them. They May Be Valuable Keepsakes
Been shopping for antique clocks lately?
Easy Renovations for Your Home
Renovating should be a fun and exciting process (really!). The key is to plan the project out in advance, hire the right people, allot the appropriate amount of time, and make provisions for delays. Try not to make the completion date coincide with your birthday or anniversary. Begin waaaay before that date, if you're planning a special party, and even then, have an alternate location in mind.
New Jersey Home Remodeling
The U.S. state of New Jersey lies on the Eastern seaboard, with New York to its north and northeast, and Delaware and Pennsylvania to its west. New Jersey became heavily industrialized soon after the Revolutionary War, with the building of canals and railroads. It retained its position as a heavily industrialized state well after World War II. However, it is now better known as a commuters' state, because many people who live in New Jersey commute to work in New York City, Delaware, and Pennsylvania. People prefer to buy homes in the suburbs of New Jersey's cities and travel to work in other states.
How to Choose a Freezer for Home
The average household freezer is a silent slave. It operates
year in and year out, requiring nothing other than a
constant supply of electricity. Eventually, though it may
need to be replaced.
You Get What You Pay for when it Comes to Above Ground Pools
When you think about an above ground pool do you think of the inflatable toy baby pool? That's what I thought and boy was I wrong. In fact, above ground pools are really nice quality and are sometimes the best solution for homeowners. Having the pool be less expensive is a nice quality also. Inground pools can take a long time to install and are very expensive to maintain as well. There are some problems with installing above ground pools if you don't do them right. They are fantastic, but the installation is a big part of enjoying them to the max.