Monday, November 25, 2013

Seal Your Deck for Protection, Here’s How To Do It

A deck, usually made from wood, is vulnerable to harsh weathers and other outdoor elements so it should be protected. The heat from the sun, the water and moisture from the rain and even winter can do a lot of stress to the wood. All these contribute to the fading of color, warping, cracking, and splintering.

Sealing is generally a necessary routine in deck maintenance. It provides a better protection and at the same time, it gives your deck a better appearance.

Here’s how it is done.

Cleaning and Fixing:

First, you have to remove all outdoor furniture, outdoor umbrella, and other furnishings.

Next, check your deck for some damages such as cracks, splintered surfaces, and popping nails and do the necessary repairs. Cracks can be repaired with wood crack filler which is commonly available in hardware stores. Splintered surfaces can be sanded and if there are large splinters they should be removed and then patch it with wood putty. Drive the popped nails or replace them if necessary.

Then, thoroughly clean your deck and let it completely dry for at least a day. After that, your deck is ready for the sealer treatment.

Applying the sealer:

The sealer should NOT be applied under the sunlight because it would dry quickly. Let the wood absorb the sealant to bond deeply for a better and lasting protection. Find the perfect time to apply the sealer such as early in the morning. Or, you can use some cover such as your sun shade sail or awning.

First, read the instructions of your sealer. It may have a specific guide before using.

Use a paint roller or a sprayer on large surfaces. Use paint brush on the areas that cannot be covered by paint roller such as corners and railings.

At first, evenly apply a thin coat of sealer. Let it be absorbed by the wood until it dries.

Then apply a second and final coating using the same method.

Finally, let the sealer dry completely for at least a day before you can step in and rearrange your outdoor furniture and other deck furnishings.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

How Prepare Outdoor Patio Furniture for Winter

Winter is not so much terrible. There are just things that cannot withstand the freezing cold however. An outdoor patio furniture for instance, some of the materials just are not suitable for this season. Additionally, we should never take for granted that there are other elements that ruin patio furniture during winter. Some elements of winter are the worse enemy of the furniture and not the season itself.

Outdoor furniture are generally made for outdoor style and comfort during summer. They are manufactured without winter protection in mind. Additionally, there some cases in which we would tend to use them on winter. So, if you want your patio furniture to last longer and be looking gorgeous for the next summer, you should make the effort to prepare them and protect them against the harsh winter.

Wood Patio Furniture
Some types of wood such as oak are resilient to the harsh winter. It is tempting to just leave them outside in the harrowing winter temperature. But ideally, they should be treated well and stored under a shade or cover.

Moisture is the main element that is worst for  wood. It can accumulate through dirt or anything leading to decay. Moreover, the freezing temperature will dry and crack the wood.

If you choose to store your furniture, it is advisable to clean and dry the pieces thoroughly. You can buy wood cleaning agents but you can make your own as well. Mixing two parts of mild detergent and one part bleach in a bucket of warm water would suffice to do the job.

Making your wood furniture look new can be done after winter but it is better to do it just before storing. It is an additional measure of protection and getting them ready to be brought out early in the spring or summer. After your furniture is thoroughly cleaned and dried you can apply stain to look new  and finish it with water resistant coating. Ask your local hardware for the right wood staining and finishing products.

Cast Iron and Wrought Iron Patio Furniture
Cast iron or wrought iron made patio furniture possess their own natural beauty that is a good complement for patio and garden setup. These common types of Patio Furniture are basically made of iron that rusts in a wet, moist, or humid environment. They may have some protective coating but that cannot guarantee full protection. Tiny rust may appear eventually and that would surely get big.

The best you can do for these types is to store them away into your garage or indoor and keep them dry. If you cannot take them to storage, you can cover them securely and tightly so that no moisture can get in. Just take into account that your cover is waterproof.

Before the first snowfall, clean your furniture and apply sealant to further the protection. Thoroughly clean the surface removing dirt and rust. Completely dry your furniture before applying the protective coating. There are several types of sealant you can use such as rust inhibiting paints and protective finish. Ask your local hardware store as each has different methods of application.

Aluminum Patio Furniture
Aluminum made patio furniture is popular for its versatility and durability. This type does not have immediate problems with moisture because it does not rust. However, you still do have to take care of them to preserve shine and beauty.

Though aluminum is rust-resistant, they can get corroded. This metal will also oxidize making its surface rough. If your aluminum has colors, it will get faded eventually.

Because they are not as delicate as iron made furniture, you can just provide them a waterproof cover. As an added measure, clean the surface thoroughly and apply a coat of car wax or silicon spray.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Simple Ways to Keep Warm in Winter

As winter comes people used to prepare to stay warm and comfortable. There are plentiful ways and solutions to survive the discomfort of freezing cold during winter. Preparing your fireplaces and winterize your entire home are just a few of the many. Apparently, these are the hard ways.

There are simple means that will also bring you comfort when the chilly days come. These too will help you reduce your energy bills and cut your expenses on fireplace fuels.

Dress in layers
Basically we use winter clothes as a primary protection against the cold weather. Yet, you can also show off your favorite fashionable clothing during winter by dressing in layers. By layering, your body heat will be trapped to keep you warm longer.

Snuggle Up with a Blanket
At home, get a thick blanket and snuggle with it. The thick blanket will keep the chilly temperature out and at the same time it traps your body heat to stay warm. You can then set your traditional or electric fireplace at low heat. You can do this while watching TV or reading books.

Comfort Food and Drinks
Winter comfort food and drinks are best to consume during the season. The recipes will not just satisfy your mouth and fill your tummy but will also enhance your body to generate heat and feel warmer. Satisfying foods like vegetables soups, mashed potatoes, and chocolate cakes and soothing drinks like hot chocolate, cider, coffee, tea and even with milk can help kickstart your day.

Tip! Grasp the cup or mug as you drink and sip the comporting drink. By doing so, your hands will get warmed up and you feel the comfort instantly while enjoying the taste in your mouth.

Get Together
Winter season is one of the best time you host or join a gathering, a family get together, or get along with friends and have a little tea party. The atmosphere of a place will get warmer as more people are gathering together. It is because the body heat generated from each one will accumulate. Simultaneously, the heat is furthermore intensified when people are interacting with one another. So, the connection we make will not just bring us closer but also make us warmer.

Get Physical
When our body is idle it relaxes gets colder. And so we cannot fight the freezing cold effectively. However when our body is doing a physical activity it generates heat within itself. So it would be much better to have a little bit of physical activity from time to time. There are so many indoor and outdoor activities to get or body active.

Portable Heaters
These days there are portable indoor and outdoor patio heaters and fireplaces for one or two persons. These heaters are sufficient to help you feel a little warmer with a little cost. The portable heaters can be electric or gas powered.

Together with the solutions above, a little portable heater will surely help you go through the winter.