Thursday, July 23, 2015

How to Remove Mildew and Stains on Outdoor Umbrellas

Maybe now, your outdoor umbrella might look awful and then you feel a little worried. Looking at it, you wonder if it can get better and bring back its best look. But don’t get frustrated, usually it is just a little problem that can be solved with cleaning. The unsightly spots are mildew and stains caused by tree sap and some bird droppings.

There are many solutions on how to remove mildew and stains. Quick fix and strong cleaning solutions are available in the market these days. But above all of the systematic and fancy ways, let’s talk about the basics. Simple and easy solution works most of the time so let’s get to it first.

Begin by simply washing thoroughly using some mild soap and water. Doing so will help you determine where the mildew and hard stains are. Then proceed to removing mildew and stains by the following procedure.

Mildew and stains from tree sap and sometimes bird bombs are hard to eliminate. This tough job needs a strong cleaning agent, basically chlorine bleach does the job in most situation at home.

  • First, move the umbrella away from your patio or garden, wash it in a safe place where no other objects and live things get harmed.
  • In a bucket, mix 1 cup of chlorine bleach, 1/4 cup detergent soap, and a gallon of lukewarm water. I you need more solution, increase the volume with the same ratio.
  • Apply the mixture all over covering the entire umbrella fabric surface using a garden sprayer or a soft brush. Wear protective gloves.
  • Let the solution soak into the fabric for about 10 minutes.
  • Scrub the fabric with soft bristled brush especially the mildew and stains.
  • Then rinse thoroughly and let it dry.

That’s it, your patio umbrella is returned to its best look. Clean and great looking umbrella gets you shaded sitting pretty in your favorite patio furniture, in your poolside, or at the beach.

Monday, July 6, 2015

How to Take Care of Wrought Iron Furniture

A wrought iron furniture is a popular addition to an outdoor room and garden. Aside from its durability, this type of outdoor furniture has its natural beauty that fits perfectly to an outdoor setup. These qualities can be preserved for a long time if you give it proper care and maintenance which is not that hard anyway.

Cleaning is the most basic routine to keep your wrought iron patio furniture looking good. True to all things, it is the dust and dirt that make the look old and dull. The fine finish and beautiful texture can only be revealed when a layer of dust and dirt are eliminated.

Daily Cleaning
Cleaning your patio furniture frequently is a must to keep them tidy and looking great.

Here’s how to do day to day cleaning:

  • You just need a cloth and it should be soft  and non abrasive so that it won't damage the finish of your furniture.
  • Use a cleaning wax recommended by the manufacturer or just mix water with mild soap and use it to soften dirt.
  • Then wipe out dirt and dust clean.

Thorough Cleaning
For sometime, outdoor furniture can accumulate stubborn stain and dirt accumulates on hard to reach areas that wiping simply cannot help. The best you can do is wash the furniture whole.

Here’s how:

  • remove the cushions
  • spray the furniture wet
  • mix a mild dish soap with water
  • apply the soapy water using sponge or soft cloth
  • use a really soft brush and gently scrub the surface
  • use a toothbrush of tight areas
  • then rinse the furniture using garden hose spray, better if you can get a power spray

Quick Fix
A sturdy wrought iron furniture somehow gets rust and paint problems. Chipped paint and rust are minor problems that have the same easy and quick fix. It is important to perform the solution immediately to avoid the issue getting worst.

Here’s how:

  • buy a touch up paint kit for your wrought iron furniture (You can ask your manufacturer or your local hardware for the right type.)
  • lightly sand the affected area
  • wipe out the dust and dirt, a damp cloth will do and let it dry
  • then apply the paint following the instructions

Protecting your patio furniture will prevent problems that causes it to look awful. It also helps prolong its lifespan.

Here are the things you can do:

  • Keep it in dry place.
  • Put it under a shade or under the cover of a patio umbrella.
  • Provide a protective cover when not in use, or
  • Bring it inside during wet seasons

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

How to Grow Plants on Trellises

Why grow plants on trellises?
First, climbing plants on trellises make great natural privacy screens for your patio or outdoor room. You can enjoy a private retreat in your patio furniture while the blooming plants on trellises obscurely got you covered. Then, trellises are also a great feature in a garden. With flowering climbers and a beautifully crafted trellis, you can grow a wonderful attraction. Enjoy the flowery scents, the relaxing view, and the fresh air all summertime.

How to Grow Plants on Trellises
Growing plants on trellises is quite easy. First, you need to determine the type of plants you want to grow. Some climbers are best grown in small trellises, while others are great for larger trellises that can serve as sun shade alternative to outdoor umbrellas. Climbing plants also have different sun requirement which is also important to know the best for your yard. Once the type of plant is determined, you can then decide on how you build the trellis, how tall and how large it should be.

Anyway, if you find it hard to start on your own, you can buy ready made trellises with plants from garden supply stores.

Maintenance is an important aspect in keeping your climbers blooming and beautifully formed. You need to routinely prune them to remove dead and damaged branches. You also need to train stray branches so that the plant and the trellis is in good shape.

Here are some basic varieties:

  • Blue Jasmine
  • Blue Passion Flower
  • Creeping Snapdragon
  • Golden Tiara
  • Japanese Wisteria
  • Morning Glory
  • Rosa Mermaid
  • Trumpet Creeper

Monday, June 22, 2015

Easy Ways to Add Colors to a Patio

Much like any other places in your home, you need to give attention to a patio or to an outdoor room too. Improvements in design and decoration are a must if you desired to add more interest to this area and increase its value. One particular enhancement is by adding colors which can be accomplished in different ways. A paint job may seem an easy option but, it is complicated and laborious. However, there are really easy and very practical ways to add color to your outdoor place which we will discuss here.

Basic Colors
Primarily, the color of your patio comes from the paint on the primary structures such as pergola, wall, posts, ceiling if you have one, and the color of the house. Then the color of patio paver and flooring also make huge effects. Generally more on stone color varieties but you may also have bright floor color from using vinyl and ceramic tiles. Majority of your patio color could also be from your plants if you have incorporated gardening in your patio. Mostly greens, but colors from flowers may also have an impact.

Adding More Colors
Before you introduce new colors, consider the basic colors of your patio as we have discussed above. Since it is impractical if not impossible to change those primary patio colors we have, the best we can do is find new colors that make a good complement or contrast.

Today’s patio furniture sets are not just limited to wood and metallic finishes, more of them now come in bright primary colors or tropical paint. There are resin chairs in bright colors, wicker furniture in a beautiful color combo, and the good old wood furniture painted with new unique color and texture that can range from pastels to primaries.

Outdoor Shade
Due to their size and use, outdoor shades have a significant effect in the general color of your outdoor patio area. Patio umbrellas, awnings, and sun shade sails cover a large part of a patio, and since they come in almost all colors and in different combination, they make it easy to make a focal point. Just choose colors that complements with the set of furniture under it.

Pillows and Cushions
The use of outdoor cushions, pillows along with pillowcases is by far the easiest and quickest way to add color to your patio. It is also an inexpensive way to update the color should you want to make a change on the theme. There is a wide array of colors and patterns available and you can even order custom designs to fit on your needs. So availability is not an issue, you just have to choose the right color and design that goes well with your setup.

A rug is a classic item for adding colors especially when it comes to flooring. They commonly come in earthy color tones in many different styles, patterns, and colors but, there are bright colors available now. Placing a large rug underfoot would really make a difference to the color of your patio.

Certainly, there are a lot more ways to add colors to your patio. These are the primary ways and would really make a great deal of adding interest to a patio.

Monday, June 15, 2015

How to Begin Succulent Gardening

Living in a tight and small yard limits us from having a garden to freshen up the place. Most garden plants need a large space to thrive. But still, there are a lot of alternatives. One best option is to begin a succulent garden. This type of gardening don’t need special equipments while in fact some succulents require less water and some don’t even need soil. Because of these characteristics, weeding and fertilizing will not be a problem and you can be away for several days without worries.

Succulents may not be as popular as flowering plants but are extraordinary. You might also be surprised how this type of garden gorgeously display their unique characteristics that can give life to your outdoor place.

How to Start Planting
Basically, it starts with a good selection of pot or planter. There are a lot of options, from garden planters to ceramic vases with holes. The popular choice for succulents are ceramic pots  which can easily be placed on a table and on a patio furniture to make a fantastic decor accent. Teacups also make an excellent planter for succulents, they are commonly seen in a table but with a live plant, surely they make an amazing object. Just make sure the pots or planters have drain holes.

Then, we need to make a room for succulents to grow on. It should be a good combination soil and other materials such as pebbles, rocks, and sand. Place the rocks and pebbles first, it makes it easy to drain away excess water as these plants does not need and does not like too much water. Followed by the mixture of soil, sand and fertilizer. The amount of fertilizer needed can be found in its package. The sand makes the soil a little loose and promotes a good drainage.

Once the new pot and planter is set, get ready for some transplanting. Take the plant from its source and transplant it to its new home. It is recommended to just let a little soil from the source.

What’s next is the easier part. All you have to do is just water them, love them, and you’ll get great results. The first week is critical so you need to give some attention.

Watering Reminders

  • If you are putting them on top of an outdoor furniture, make sure you have a plate beneath each pot to catch the excess water.
  • Do not pour water directly to the soil to prevent erosion. Sprinkle it on the leaves instead using a spray bottle.
  • Do not water them frequently, succulents don’t like too much water. Generally, you can water them every 3 to 4 days.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Best Ways to Maintain a Clean Patio

There are many ways to maintain a clean patio but the best way starts with knowing your patio. From its position, composition, and to its construction, you have to know the exposure to elements, the type of setting whether a pool or a garden is incorporated, the patio furniture you have, and the materials used in building the patio space. Certainly, there are things you must do and must not do to keep your patio clean and well.

Simple Cleaning
It all starts with regular sweeping and washing to remove dirt and keep them from building up. You can use pressure washer to wash away stubborn dirt but not on all types of patio. You can only use high pressure washing on full concrete or tiled patio flooring. If you need to wash bricks and stone patios, just hose them down with moderate water pressure to avoid driving away pebbles, sand, and soil.

Weed Removal
It is best to regularly remove weeds before they invade your whole patio and compete with your plants. Manually removing weeds on a regular basis is a good practice so they don’t overtake your garden or patio and you’ll no longer need to use any special tools and solutions to remove them.

Concrete Patio Cleaning and Maintenance
Maintaining a clean concrete patio requires more than just regular cleaning. This material will also wear down in time from weather and use. The surface eventually cracks and chips away leaving holes that will hold dirt.

Remove all outdoor furniture and start cleaning with a powerful pressure washer to remove hard dirt and reveal the holes and cracks. Once several cracks and holes are noticed, make the repairs right away to retain the good looks of your patio. There are patch solution kits available at you nearest home improvement stores and hardware so you can do it yourself right away.

If you feel it’s difficult or you just don’t have the time and energy, you can always hire professionals to do the job.

Monday, June 1, 2015

How to Repaint a Metal Patio Furniture at Home

Metal patio furniture sets are usually shiny, sleek, and elegant. They are a good choice for a modern or contemporary outdoor setting. However, the looks of this type of furniture do not last for long. No matter how great the paint job, it will eventually wear out.

Luckily, a new paint job does not cost much these days. It is now really easy to do that you can even do it yourself in your backyard. If you have a collection of rusted patio furniture and other metal fixtures, you don't have to throw them away. A good paint job can save your outdoor items and your money.

Here are the basic steps of a good paint job.

Check Up
Checking up begins with some basic cleaning. Start by removing any dirt and loose paint to see if the item is still in good working condition. Scrape off and remove old, chipped, and loose paint using a metal scraper and a wire brush. Use a small wire brush in cleaning hard to reach areas especially the corners and the rounded parts of the furniture..

Cleaning and Smoothing
Once the condition of the pieces is thoroughly checked and you found it is still safe to use, then we’ll do the final cleaning. First remove any rust from the surface. Use a sander for a quick job on flat surfaces, then manually sand other parts that cannot be catered with the sander. Wipe off the surface with sponge and water to remove dusts and dirt. Making sure the item is completely clean is very important to get a smooth finish and to help the paint adhere really well.

Painting Job
Painting and refinishing is done in two parts if you want to get a lasting result. First, you need to prime the surface. The primer has the ability to adhere to the metal surface well compared to normal paints.

Prepare the area before you start the work. Make sure there are no other items close by that you don’t want to be stained with paint. Spread some newspapers or other materials to cover the ground. Start the painting job after you secured the area.

First, apply a thin coat of primer onto the metal surface then let it dry. After the first coat dried, apply another coat of primer. This adds a better protection for your metal patio furniture especially if it is made of iron and very vulnerable to rust.

When the primer is dry, your furniture is ready to take its new look. It is cool to try some new interesting finish but of course, you still need to match it the old one if it is part of a set. It is best to apply a very thin coat of paint, let it dry and then coat a thin layer again. It is best to build the paint layer little by little until you get the desired coating.

These are the basics and should help you achieve great results. The only thing you need to make sure now is the quality of primer and paint. Be sure you choose the right type for your outdoor furniture.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

A Quick Small Yard Landscaping Idea

A small yard space have limits but it does not have to be boring. There are ways to turn it into a perfect outdoor place. Here is a plan to transform a little space into place you will definitely love.

The first thing you need is a patio seating area. It does not have to be so large, so your small space can be modified to give your little family a little space for a great outdoor moment. A four by five foot area should give you a space for a couple of patio furniture seats, a garden bench, and a little table.

Once you have determined an area, make an outline and then start digging about a couple of inches deep. Then flatten and compact the soil. There are several materials that can be used to create the surface but, the quick solution is using pea gravel. Buy the type and color of gravel you like most. Now, before you fill in the gravel, lay a fabric lining to separate the gravel from the soil and place some solid edging. This will keep the gravel in its place and prevent the soil from mixing into the gravel.

Plants are basically the first thing to add when landscaping. Grab some green and colorful potted plants to make a highlight around the outdoor furniture seats. Choose taller plants for the back and corners of the seating area, then place some dwarf plants at the front creating a nature effect.

Now for the remaining space, transform it into a lavish green garden. In order to grow blooming plants, we have to prepare our garden space. First, we have to clean the area and loosen the soil in it. Mix in some organic compost to make a rich soil for plants. You can choose the type of plants suitable for your area. But here is a nice suggestion to make a good site from your patio seats. Place tall growing plants and shrubs at the back and keep the dwarfs at the front.

Place a grass area separating the garden from the patio seating place. A graceful curving sheet of lawn grass will definitely make a statement in your small yard space.

There a lot of small yard landscaping ideas but this is the simplest and quickest so go ahead and transform your small yard in just a day.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Simple Plan for a Small Backyard Pond

A pond is another water feature for a backyard area. Creating one may seem so difficult but is not so hard actually. With the basic materials and tools readily available locally, anyone can make a pond in a short period. Now here’s a simple plan to make a small backyard pond.

The Location
Determining the location for a pond is the first and an important stage. Ideally, a pond should be in a partial shade and a partial sunlight as it will make a healthy pond environment. Avoid putting your pond under a tree as it would require additional maintenance as leaves and debris would fill it regularly and contaminate the water. Don’t worry, there are other ways for pond shade, more on that later.

A pond could be built in any spot but, it should visible from the garden or patio furniture setup to meet the purpose of creating an interesting feature for your backyard area or patio. It should also be accessible for obvious reasons but most especially to see those lovely creatures.

The Layout
Although you can borrow ideas from many sources, the pond layout is better be based on your own backyard location, size, and landscape. You start from drawing on paper or board but you can also make the layout directly on the site which is more preferable. Using a flexible outliner such as rope, extension cord, or a garden hose, start shaping the outline of your pond. What’s great with this technique is that you can create the shape and adjust the size in real time.

Once satisfied with the layout, mark the outline using a spray paint or just start digging the edges.

The Digging
It’s time to start digging the pond using just a shovel. Hire a backhoe if it is a big pond project. Ideally, the pond should be at least two feet (2 ft.) deep. Dig in steps or in a variety of levels for adding plants later. If you are going to use a skimmer and a filter, dig a place for them following their specific installation instructions. Keep the excavated soil on the side, it can be used for landscaping your area later.

Shaping the Pond
Proper pond liner installation is important to keep the water in your pond. First, you need to double check the excavated pond area to make sure there are no sharp objects that could instantly or gradually puncture the liner. Then, place and shape an underlying material following the shape and the contour of the pond excavation. Then place the pond liner the same way you place the underlying material.  Do not trim the underlayment until you fill your pond. The pressure of the water will make adjustments yet and the excess liner will also be used for perimeter banks of the pond.

Add stones around the pond perimeter area for liner protection and as pond embellishments. Add a variety of stones and sizes to make it look more natural. Then you can finally fill your pond with water. Makes a sense of accomplishment and adds excitement for its completion.

Extra Elements
If you want surely keep a healthy pond, you need to add a filter and a skimmer. Just follow the specific instructions on how install and use them.

After your pond is shaped and filled, it’s time to add the finishing touches. You can now trim the excess liner and the underlying material leaving extra inches. Cover the excess liner with rocks and start landscaping the outer side of the pond. Your pond is not suitable for live creatures this time due to the cloudiness of the water. Let it sit for few days, then check if it is capable of harboring fish and plants.

The Shading
Wait we’re not done yet. Remember we talked about the partial shading? Determine if your pond can get a partial shade from the patio shade structures and patio umbrella installations. If not, you need to add artificial shades or by planting shrubs nearby.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Making an Outdoor Room with Indoor Feel

We love the outdoors for several reasons but, there are times when some of us want the comfort of an indoor room associated to it. Spring and summer days bring the goodness of sun, the breeze, and the beauty of outdoor landscape which we fond of. And when the cold weather arrives, we seek the comfort of indoors.Yet, we tend to yearn and still want some of the advantages of the outdoors.

Well, if we want, there are ways in which we can still enjoy the good things of outdoors while having the comfort of indoors. There are clever ways to bring what we need of an indoor room and what we desire from an outdoor place altogether. Thus, we will be creating an outdoor room with an indoor feel.

The Roof or Cover
Outdoor room or patio cover is an important asset for this project. No matter what materials used and how it is made, we need a sturdy roof or cover to protect the entire area. Extending the roof of your house using the same material is a great choice but using other materials still pretty good. If extending your house is not your type, then you can create a separate outdoor room. Other than building a standard roofing, you can also get a good use of building a pergola or a trellis.

If you don’t have time, budget, or just disfavor building a permanent structure, then, there are other options. An awning is a great alternative to extending your home as it can be easily installed and way cheaper than a permanent roof. For a separate room alternative, you can always depend on a large cantilever umbrella also known as offset umbrellas.

Of all the clever ideas for roofing, there are just two that stand out. One is a retractable roofing and the other is a clear roofing. The advantage of these is that you enjoy the sun whenever available.

Furniture and Cushions
There is a wide variety of outdoor furniture with an appearance of indoor furniture such as sofa sets and wicker sets. However, the very key for making an indoor feel is through cushions. Of course, we need cushions that are made for outdoors but with the comfort like those for indoors. Also, we need to choose heavy duty slip covers and washable outdoor cushions.

Outdoor Heaters and Fireplaces
Without the sun’s heat, the chilling temperature is a major drawback of outdoors. But the solutions has always been available since the discovery of fire. For a modern living, you can now enjoy outdoors with the aid from outdoor patio heaters and fireplaces.

Any room accessories can be safely added to an indoor-like outdoor room setup. For the most part, you can add rugs, vases, planters, and other decorative objects.

Monday, May 4, 2015

How to Protect Your Patio Umbrella

Patio umbrellas are a great option for having a sunshade to protect you, your patio furniture, your family and friends. They are versatile, quick to set up, and very mobile that you can enjoy in any outdoor spot under the protective shade. In order to make them last longer in good condition to function,they too need protection as much as they provide. Here are some quick tips that will help you.

Close It
It is recommended to close down and put protective cover on a patio umbrella when not in use for a longer period. Closing down gives your umbrella frame some rest and lessens the stress. It is also a good and necessary step to avoid the hazard of catching strong winds that will break or throw your umbrella away. What comes up must come down and if it is a patio umbrella, you’ll be in trouble as it will do some damage to properties or hurt people. Think of safety first before high wind strikes. Close your umbrella and tie it securely.

An umbrella cover is a must-have for every outdoor umbrella for it to last longer than expected. There more outdoor elements that contributes to degradation such as rain, dust, and insects. Moisture that stays longer, dust, and dirt are perfect combination that invites mold and leaves stain. Insects may also make home to your umbrella that may also leave stain or worst make holes to the fabric. A good umbrella cover can get your outdoor umbrella covered and protected against all of these.

Choose an umbrella cover that is;

  • waterproof to keep your umbrella dry at all times
  • but have vents to prevent mildew and wind lofting
  • a perfect fit, not loose and not too tight to properly secure the umbrella
  • and possibly stylish to complement a good patio design

These are just simple steps but necessary to protect outdoor umbrellas as they also protect us. Others things you can do is proper cleaning, maintenance, and following the proper use to keep your umbrella in good condition.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Protecting Wood Outdoor Furniture

Wood outdoor furniture are undeniably the choice of the majority because of their natural beauty and probably sturdier provided they are made from good craftsmanship. The only downside of this is their vulnerability against outdoor elements. Well, all materials definitely have weaknesses but, wood’s disadvantages can be have solutions that are easy to follow.

During autumn and winter all outdoor furniture items, regardless of material, suffer from the beating of the frequent fluctuation of temperature and humidity. The moisture and freezing temperature are even harsher for the wood which will have a great negative effects at a molecular level.

Wood can become odd looking, gradually deteriorates, and would render useless in the end. Wood warps or splits, the texture becomes worst, and color fades or its paint cracks and chip away.

Though there are woods that can withstand against outdoor elements and may even age beautifully, they are just not fully immune to the harsh outdoor situations.

The great news is that there are solutions to ensure the wood lasts longer beautiful.

Wood Preservative
The first thing you can do for a wood furniture is treat it with wood preservative if it has not been treated by its manufacturer. This will remove and protect the wood from fungus and other micro organisms that causes rot and decay.

Furniture Oil
Furniture oils are essential to maintain your furniture. Oil treatment brings back the vibrancy of natural wood color and add some protection from moisture as it also replenishes the natural oil lost after long period of outdoor exposure. Be sure to buy oils that are appropriate or specific for your wood furniture type. You can always read manufacturer's instructions or ask the dealers about it.

Wood Stain and Sealer
Wood stains restore the original wood color and can also be used to make a new color while also enhancing the woods resistance to the elements. It adds a coating to repel water so it is also a great addition to maintenance. Then add wood sealer for optimum protection from sun, rain, mold, and pests. A good wood sealer primarily protects maintains the beautiful color of the surface. It also prevents moisture and adds UV protection so your furniture stays in good condition from the surface and down deep into the wood.

These steps of protecting wood ensures your outdoor patio furniture are resilient against outdoor elements. However, there are other really simple things you can do that helps protect your furniture such as providing furniture covers when not in use for a long period and placing them under a sunshade or outdoor umbrellas.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

3 Money Saving Ideas for Garden Design and Decoration

Making a beautiful garden doesn’t have to be expensive, yet, it doesn’t have to be boring. Here are tips on how you can make a livable and beautiful garden without costing much.

Borders and Edging
Regularly we see conventional garden edging using bricks and stones. The looks of the project depends on how it is made and laid either you make a raised bed border or a paved one. Wood is another good material especially for raised garden bed. You can only make straight edges out of it but is really easy and quick to build. Empty bottle edging is another interesting idea, the better the bottles the more it becomes eye catchy. Used empty bottles are free, instead of disposing them, better use in your garden.

Recycled Pallet Furniture
A lot folks have shared how they make garden furnitures out of used pallet which can be obtained for free or at a nominal cost from local places. Used pallet can be found in places like construction site, hardware stores, feed supply stores, small businesses’ dumpster, and in newly opened stores and depots.

You can make virtually any type of outdoor furniture out of used pallets. Because pallets are constructed in way that is easy to re-purpose, with a little woodworking knowledge you can easily make furnitures from chairs to benches, lounge chairs to patio furniture sofa sets, and even a bed set. Apply some wood stain or paint and add outdoor cushions, one can hardly tell that they are made from scraps.

Recycled planters
Great alternative to create a container garden to creatively grow your own food and make your home green even without ground space. You can use any qualified unused items around the house as long as it can serve like a planter. You can re-purpose tin cans and boxes, old wooden pallets, rubber tires, old boots, and the list goes on.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Removing Mold and Mildew Stains from Outdoor Cushions Naturally

Mold and mold spores can be present anywhere inside and outside your home. Mold spores can reach any places through the air and will quickly become a fully grown mold whenever moisture is present. If not treated, it can cause deterioration, odor, and stain.

Outdoor cushions, which are always outside over your patio furniture, are more vulnerable because they are frequently exposed to moisture and other elements. Proper cleaning and maintenance is important for these to retain the good looks, and to make them last longer.

Here’s what you need:

  • Rubber Gloves - for your safety.
  • Borax - a natural white substance that can kill mold and some bacteria.
  • White Vinegar - also a natural and consumable liquid that can remove mold and bacteria.
  • Bucket - to use for making the cleaning solution.
  • Clean Sponge
  • Clean Cloths
  • Garden Spray

Use rubber gloves for safety because although borax is a natural substance, it is still not safe to be directly in contact to skin as it may cause irritation. It can also be toxic when ingested but is friendly to your home and garden environment. Mix 1/2 cup of borax to 2 cups of hot water, mix very well. Remember this ratio in case you need more mixture.

Remove the washable covers of the cushion and wash them separately. Using the clean sponge, rub the borax on the areas that have mold or mildew. Leave the borax solution in the cushion for few hours or until the mold and mildew disappear. Then rub it with a clean damp cloth or just spray it clean with water and leave it to dry.

You can use the same procedure to remove the mold and mildew stains from the cushion.

Finally, fill the clean garden spray bottle with undiluted white vinegar and spray it all over the cushions for final cleaning and odor removal. The vinegar is a natural substance that is effective in killing any remaining mold and mold spores. Then allow it to dry in natural sunlight or air dry if there is none.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Easy Outdoor Cushion Cleaning and Maintenance

The most effective way to keep your outdoor cushions in good condition is cleaning them as often as needed. Do not disregard dirt for a longer period because it makes them hard to remove and may invite stain and mold. Heavy dirt can be easily removed when done immediately than later.

Cleaning and maintaining your cushions is easy with just basic items. Clean them easily with sponge, soap, and water. Use mild soap or just use some dish soap. Fill a bucket with water, then add and mix the soap. Dip the sponge in the soapy water and then use it to wipe the cushion clean. Then let them air dry.

It is important to avoid machine washing and drying the cushions as it will damage the cushion. Do not use bleach, this chemical is harmful to the cushion especially to its color.

Simple as that, your cushions should be completely clean.

When your cushions are not in use for a longer time, move them into a clean and dry place. You can store them indoor like in your garage, shed, or basement but, there are easy solutions to that. Buy outdoor storage bins and bags so that the cushions can be stored easily without the hassle of bringing them here and there.

Additionally, there are patio furnitures such as benches that double as storage bins or cabinets. Very useful when you are out of outdoor space, or just want things concealed and make a neatly organized outdoor place. It is also a convenient storage solution for storing other items in your patio.

These are the easy steps that should make your cushions clean, looking great, and last longer. Just a side note, some cushions are just made differently that need special care. Be sure to read manufacturer’s cleaning and maintenance instructions attached. If you can’t find one, using these easy steps above should still be safe for them.

Monday, March 30, 2015

How to Quickly Create an Outdoor Place

Planning a get together that would happen this weekend or the next day? Need a perfect place fast and easy? Here’s how you can quickly create a great patio place which can be done even in just a day or two.

First, find a perfect spot preferably a flat grass area to build a base. There are a number of ways to build the base but the fast way is using bricks or stone paver and sand which are readily available in the market. Dig out about 10 inches of dirt, spread a layer of sand and compact it, lay in the stones or bricks levelled, then sweep sand to fill the cracks and gaps. Clean out the excess sand and your base is done.

A fireplace is a must have for an outdoor place so let’s consider adding one as the second most important thing. You can build one but, you must buy one if you want it fast. You can pick up a ready to use fire pit or fire bowl in patio and home improvement stores, place it at the heart of your patio base and your place is almost done.

You’ll need a set of patio furniture to complete the outdoor place.You can have comfortable chairs placed around the fire, love seats for some sweet time with your love ones, or benches and outdoor sofa sets for get-together and socializing.

Having built the base, putting a fire place, and placing comfortable outdoor furniture is mostly complete and you are ready for a great outdoor experience by the fire. However, the are things you need to add to make it a perfect place for you and your buddies. Consider adding some ambient lights to enhance the look and feel of your place especially at night and add plants to define and refine your patio.

Planting and cultivating will take time but you can buy potted plants to instantly make a perfect patio place. Set the planters to define the borders of the outdoor place, and then use some lush and colorful plants and shrubs for a wonderful outdoor decoration.

Simple and fast, you can quickly own enjoy a perfect outdoor place.

Monday, March 23, 2015

How to Clean Patio Furniture Properly

Cleaning patio furniture pieces from time to time preserve their great appearance and make them last longer. It is an uncomplicated task that anyone can do, however, doing it properly is crucial. Doing it carelessly will cause the opposite, that is, ruining the beauty and bringing an outdoor furniture in risk of deterioration. Here are simple tips on how to properly and carefully clean patio furniture pieces. There are actions that should be avoided and steps that should be carried out. Remember these basics and you will be cleaning properly. Aluminum, Steel, and Iron Furnitures Patio furniture items made of metals such as aluminum, steel, and wrought iron usually have very fragile surfaces and finish. They can easily be cleaned with mild soap and water and be very sure you are using cloth or sponge that is smooth, clean, and free of dirt and other abrasive elements that will scratch and ruin the paint or finish. Moisture will cause corrosion and rusting of iron parts so dry the pieces completely before putting to storage. You can then apply some wax to the surface for a smoother and newer look. The wax will also protect them from the harmful outdoor elements like the sunlight. Wicker Patio Furniture Cleaning a wicker patio furniture requires brushing all over but, make sure that you are using a brush with soft bristles to avoid damaging the wicker materials. Wet the furniture with soapy water then carefully scrub. You also need to let it dry thoroughly because it has a frame made of either steel or iron. Wood Patio Furniture Wood is definitely the best material for furniture, they look great and has lots of esthetic benefits both in indoor and outdoor setting. However, a wood furniture piece is delicate and vulnerable to elements so it need proper cleaning and care. It can be cleaned with water and some mild soap. A power spray can used to effectively clean and to avoid soap. If you don’t like to get wet, there are cleansers that are specifically formulated for wood furniture. Cleaning is easy with just wiping out dirt and dust with soft cloth. Make sure the furniture is completely dry before storing, moisture allows molds to grow and damage your investment.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Quick and Easy Deck Makeover Tips

A deck may last a very long time but not its appearance. In that case, you don’t have tear it down and create a new one. You can quickly makeover a patio deck even on a low budget. We have simple tips and steps that is really easy to do so you can remodel your deck quickly.

Stain and Refinish
Staining and refinishing a wood deck does not only make it look great, it will also protect the wood and extends the life of your deck. This can be done in just simple steps that you can do yourself.

First, you have to inspect your deck for damages and other issues like cracks, chipping, and protruding nails that pose a risk. Do the necessary repairs completely before proceeding to the next step. Next, clean the deck thoroughly. Using just brush, soap, and water, wash the deck to remove dust and dirt. If you can use a power spray, it would be great for faster and easier job. Then, after the deck is completely dry, sanding will do a great work for refining the wood surface. Do this to remove wood fibers and even a thin layer to expose the real wood texture. Finally, you can make your deck look new by staining. Follow the stain application instruction and make sure your deck is completely dry for about two days for best results. The drier the wood, the more it absorbs stain.

Great patio furniture add comfort and function to your deck. They are also the main attraction to your patio or deck so they too need update. If they don’t look good and in a terrible state then it is time to get a new set. Changing furniture pieces is great opportunity to try something new and there are lots of options. You can try a new set such as a sofa set, a couple of lounge chairs, a bistro set, a bar set, and even a small dining set for occasional outdoor dining outside the house.

Cover and Shade
Outdoor sun shade or cover allows us to stay longer in our deck. They too are elements of a great patio or deck so have a makeover to these installation too. For permanent structure such as a pergola or a permanent roof, refinishing will do great.

If you don’t have a permanent shade structure, then this is a great opportunity too because you have lots of sun shade options. You can choose a new outdoor umbrella or try something different such as an offset patio umbrella, a market umbrella with tilting feature, an awning, or some shade sails. Any new shade certainly makes a new feel to you deck.

Deck decor accessories can finally enhances the new look of your outdoor place, a sort of highlight. So spread a new rug at the heart of the deck, add outdoor cushions and throw pillows to you furniture seats, and places decorative accents around such  as tabletop fountains, wall decors, and vases of plants and flowers.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Outdoor Patio Lighting to Style

A beautiful patio or landscape is a charm that also adds value to a home. Intentionally created to make an outdoor place for socializing, getting together, leisure, and relaxation just few steps away from the doorstep. This in fact the only practical solution for us to immediately relax and breathe fresh air without going away from home due to the demands of a busy lifestyle.

Outdoor patio lighting is significant to make an attractive patio and landscape and the are many reasons to that. The main reason being is to illuminate the area at night. Without proper lighting, a night view of a well-made outdoor place will not be noticeable. Secondary to that is lighting to style. We have seen how lights greatly affect any design which will also make a really big deal in terms of patio and landscape decoration.

Lighting Fixture
There are so many types and forms of outdoor lighting that serves various purposes such as illuminating the entire yard, lighting pathways, and make decor highlights.
  • Ground stake makes it easy to place lights in the ground.
  • Mounted lighting fixtures makes it easy to mount lights in posts or walls.
  • Post-cap make it easy to make post lights using the existing post in your yard.
  • String lights to make a colorful or festive lighting decoration, great if you are hosting an occasion or just making an impression.
  • Patio umbrella lights are specifically useful for those who love or need to stay under an outdoor umbrella even at night.

Lighting Colors
Every light color creates a different feel. We can employ this characteristic to create a scheme effectively to set a mood in an outdoor place. Bright colorful lights make a lively and festive scheme while a gentle glow would be great for creating an intimate area. Try not to overdo it because it might not end up pretty well. We cannot instantly know what to apply so experiment and adjust light quantity accordingly because every setup, color of the area, and the type of patio furniture reflect and absorb differently.

Light Types
The are just a handful types of lights and the most used are Incandescent, Flourescent, HIGH-INTENSITY DISCHARGE (HID), and LEDs. Each type differ in intensity, color, power supply, and energy consumption. Choosing which is which depends on what you want to achieve. Just remember these:
  • Incandescent bulbs - produce a warm, yellow-white light that is emitted in all directions, best used for task lighting that demands high levels of brightness.
  • Fluorescent bulbs - available in a wide spectrum of colors including warm tones of light similar to those of incandescents.
  • High-Intensity Discharge (HID) bulbs - such as Metal Halide, High-Pressure Sodium, Low-Pressure Sodium, Mercury Vapor are most often used for outdoor security and area lighting
  • Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs) - more efficient and longer lasting than any other type of light source, currently popular in under-cabinet strips and some types of downlights. Solar powered lighting generally use LEDs.

Lighting is part of our everyday life these days for style and function. To make an attractive patio or landscape choose types and forms that fits your needs.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Advantages of a Propane Fire Pit

Social gathering, family get-together, or just hanging out in the backyard or patio can be done comfortably and fun around a fire. There many ways and tools to make a fire and one of the best is using a propane fire pit.

A propane fire pit have lots of advantages that makes it a great choice when certain limitations and prohibitions stops you from building a traditional wood burning fire pit especially in urban areas. Its production and sales keep increasing to keep up with the demands of modern lifestyle. We need convenience and quick solutions.

Though a propane fire pit cannot imitate our experience of the nature of real burning wood in camp fire, it essentially get rid all the hassles of traditional wood fire. Besides, the comfort of heat is all we need in the first place and add to that these convenient advantages.

Propane fire pits come with built in igniter making a fire instantly, no more hassle unlike wood burning where additional tools and items are needed just to start a fire. Just turn on the heat with just a flick of a switch and enjoy the fire and warmth.

One of the reasons probably why burning wood is prohibited in cities is that it is less controlled. Whereas a propane fire pit can be set once and it generate controlled and uniform heat just as much as you need. Then you can turn it off by switch instantly without the need of manually extinguishing the flame.

Less Hassle and Risk
Since it uses a propane tank, no more hassle from buying and making storage for wood to burn and no need to cut and wait for wood to dry. You can enjoy fire for several days with fuel stored safely in a relatively small tank compared to a wood fuel storage.

The risk of burning your patio furniture, fixtures, and properties is very low to zero compared to the risky uncontrolled fire and flying embers, that is why a propane fire pit is recommended safe for modern living. Also, less smoke is emitted from using this type of fire tool to avoid alarming and disturbing your neighbors.

Regarding the regulations, it considered safe for residential use which is why you can find them in many home improvement stores which proves and approves them.

Modern propane fire pits come with style. You can find designs that can easily blend and complement to your outdoor furniture and fixtures. Some styles can be a great centerpiece to your patio or outdoor room.

Among the many designs of propane fire pits these days, you can find some are built into a furniture such as a table while others are free standing. Regardless of style, shape, and sizes, most of these pieces can be placed in any spot and then stored safely when not in use.

These are just the primary advantages of a propane fire pit but, it should give you an idea what you can get.

Monday, February 23, 2015

How to Grow Potatoes in your Patio

A patio is commonly used for relaxation and recreation but, it can be used more than what it is intended for. As an outdoor place that is usually abundant of sun and rain, it can also be a good place to start growing your own food. An open ground space is not a requirement to get started because you can always cultivate plants in a container in and around your patio place along with your patio furniture setup.

One of the primary food you can start to grow in your patio is a potato. They are not just limited to ground cultivation and are even easier to grow in containers. When done correctly and organized nicely, the crop may even be a great addition or feature to the design of you patio.

To start growing potatoes, you’ll just need a few things which includes the following:

  • Seed Potatoes - these are potatoes which are about the size of a chicken egg.
  • Potato Bags -  there are dedicated garden bags but you can also use bin bags or trash bags or any similar used containers as an alternative.
  • Multi-purpose compost - good quality compost makes sure you have a good start and all you need is water them.

The best time of the year to plant potatoes is on end of February until early August.

There is a practice called “chitting” which is the process of growing potato tubers before planting. This will make sure faster growth and produce heavier crops. As soon as you get the seed potatoes in hand, you can start this process. Set them in a secure container preferably seed box or in egg boxes which is more practical. Put them in a place where they get plenty of sunlight to grow healthy shoots and roots.

Fill your potato bags with the multi-purpose compost to around 2.5 cm or one inch below that rim. Ideally an eight litre potato bag can make a good room for a single seed potato. Make sure the shoots are pointing upwards and bury the "chitted" potato to a depth of 12cm or five inches.

Arrange the newly planted potato bags around the patio and make sure they get plenty of sunlight. Repurpose old outdoor furniture and fixtures as a rack or stand for the growing crops. After that, water and keep the crops well watered. Feeding the plants with potato fertilizer once every two weeks ensures you grow your own food really well.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

What Makes a Fire Pit a Good Option

An outdoor fire pit is a great way to recreate a campfire experience right in your own backyard. Remember the day when you are out of town into a camping site. The yellow and orange flame rising from the glowing ember up into the night sky with flickers flying that seems twinkling together with the stars. It indeed gives a great view while creating an ambiance, a warming comfort that is soothing amid the chilling outdoor temperature.

A good fire pit also makes a great outdoor place as it add a touch of harmony and balance. It will serve as night light so that get-together and socializing can be held even in the darkness of night. The safe wood fuel adds the ability to cook food and of course toasting marshmallows and stuff.

Fire pits come in many sizes and shapes especially if you custom-make your own depending on what you want to achieve, how you use it, and how often you make a fire on it. However, there are only two general types of fire pit, built-in and portable, the ones you can buy and use immediately.

Built In
The most preferred by many is a built in fire pit or in-ground fire pit. You can hire someone to make one but, it is really easy to create one and there are many tutorials and plans available for free in the internet. Certainly, this would be a great do-it-yourself project that save you money. It will only take about a day or less to build so you can then sit in your patio furniture and relax proudly in a fire that you created yourself.

This type of fire pit will provide many years of leisure and fun. The only thing that make some people to think twice when building one is that it is a permanent structure. You cannot move it around and use the space it occupies for other purpose, yet, there are alternatives.

If mobility is what you need, then, a portable metal fire pit and its cousin fire bowl are the best option. These heating fixtures comes in many sizes, styles, and decorative designs that of course come at a higher price. If the amusement of fire is all you need, you can go with plain metal bowls. If you are very concerned with safety from flying embers and sparks, buy one with screened lid.

Mobility or portability is the great benefit of this type. Like a patio heater, you can move it and place it to any spot in your patio or backyard to recreate the best of campfire. Then store it for safety when not in use or when winter comes.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Container Vegetable Gardening Guide

Vegetable gardening is indeed possible even in small spaces just outside your home. Despite the limited amount of space for cultivation, you can easily grow almost all kinds of delicious and nutritious vegetables in containers. Growing plants and herbs can be done in any outdoor place such as on a balcony, porch, patio, window sills, and even on walls.

Growing healthy veggies and other plants will also make a great outdoor place setup. Imagine placing these blooming greens along with patio furniture and fixtures, or creating a shade using climbing vegetables alternative to patio umbrellas, what a pleasing garden and nature-inspired space it can be. A place where you can enjoy fresh air and fresh food picked just where you sit and relax.

You can plant vegetables in raised beds, in garden planters, and in any kind of container. Even unconventional containers and regular objects are popularly subject to container gardening these days. Any used containers, cookwares, buckets, and even shoes or boots can make a good room for growing plants.

The most important part of container gardening preparation is providing appropriate and best quality soil mixture which is not rocket science though. For a greater success make sure the soil you use is 70 percent topsoil and 30 percent compost. This standard formula will work perfect for almost all plants. However, some plants may require differently and may need another type of element to grow on, ask your seedling supplier for guidance.

Another important consideration is the amount of sunlight your container garden area gets. Typically, it needs at least eight hours a day of full sun for vegetables to grow and produce well. If that is not the case, well, there are still plants that can thrive well in partial shade.

If you are planning to grow tall vegetable plants, you will need to provide support. It is simply putting long but sturdy stick to guide and support the plant to keep from bending as it grow.

Plants grown in containers are equally susceptible to insects and diseases to those grown in a typical garden. You need some knowledge on how to take care of these, the basics will be good enough. Regularly check your plants so you can see if they are developing some disease or insects that are potentially harmful. Better resolve the issue before it gets worse, else, all of your vegetable plants will be destroyed in a short time as diseases and insects can infest quickly in a matter of a day or two.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Essential Patio Furniture

To make a really functional patio or outdoor place, you need to provide a set of essential patio furniture. The pieces are vital to make sure your outdoor room is comfortable and safe. There could be no other way, besides, it would make a remarkable outdoor space design.

First and foremost, you need seating furniture items mainly to make a comfortable place to sit, relax, and enjoy eating or drinking. There is a variety of seating furniture types for different kind of setup. You can add one or several type which include outdoor dining chairs, outdoor sofas, lawn chairs, lounge chairs, and other patio chairs.

Ottoman is another furniture piece with dual-purpose. It is primarily partnered with armchairs and used as a footstool that you can comfortably rest your feet on. Then it can be used stand alone as a simple bench or a stool, quite essential for a versatile patio.

There are a number of table types and sizes with different purposes. There is an outdoor dining table, a patio table, a picnic table, a coffee table, and a side table. There is no doubt that these are also essential for creating an outdoor place for relaxing, dining, and entertaining.

Sometimes, storage furnitures are overlooked as another indispensable outdoor pieces. They are great furnishings to house your outdoor patio stuff like outdoor cushions, garden supplies, and miscellaneous items and tools for safety. You can find dedicated storage boxes of different sizes and styles to fit your needs. Amazingly, there are patio furniture that can double as storage boxes. Mostly benches and chairs have hollow seat base that are designed to make storage compartments.

Sun and Rain Cover:
Last but not the least, sun and rain cover are essential to make an outdoor place fully functional even in sunny and rainy situation. They also come in many forms and again, for slightly different uses. Patio umbrella, primarily a sun shade but will also be a good rain cover. Shade sail, a stylish and easy shade for creating an interesting outdoor place for relaxing. Awning, makes a great outdoor place that just extends from your house.

Pretty sure there are many other patio furniture. But just these essential pieces will make a great outdoor place that you’ll enjoy.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Practical Eco-Friendly Heating Alternatives

Going green on home heating is beneficial to the environment and financially favorable as well. There are a lot of eco-friendly and efficient alternatives that help lower expenses and lessen the pollution emitted. Here are the most practical ones.

Preparation and Winter-Proofing
Whatever approach is chosen, the first thing to do is getting a home ready for winter. Ready it to be more efficient so that energy requirement on heating is reduced. This also helps lowering the CO2 emission whether directly using fuels, or indirectly using electricity.

First, make sure the house is fully insulated that no heat escapes, and no cold air enters. Check if proper caulking is done on windowsills and other areas that might have holes, gaps, and crevices. A good insulation significantly reduces the loss of heat.

Next, choose an environmentally friendly heating method. However, the right type must be chosen in order to get the most out of it.

Wood Burning Fireplaces and Heaters
A wood burning fireplace is more eco-friendly than any heat source simply because uses using natural fuel. Cutting trees for wood is not that absolutely eco-friendly but you can get wood scraps from local wood harvester and make sure they are from a good source. More likely, this choice is still good for the environment.

Wood stoves are better alternative if you need something small and portable outdoor heater. They are great for outdoor spaces like patio, deck, or just in the backyard.

You can also get or create a fire pit or a fire bowl which are best for wood burning in the backyard or patio.

Biodiesel Fuel
Biodiesel is popular and promoted mostly as a green alternative fuel for diesel powered vehicles. However, it can also be used to fuel an oil-fired outdoor patio heater. It is made from vegetable oils or animal fats. Although it may emit vapors but unlike petroleum based oils, biodiesel is biodegradable, and non-toxic. A healthy gas based fuel.

Solar Heating Systems
We can harness the power of the sun as it shines during the day. There are a lot of ways to do it, some are DIY cheap ways and some are a bit expensive. However, this is highly beneficial both environmentally and financially in the end.

Solar heating is not about collecting the sunlight into electric power because it will not work. The best way is to collect the heat and bring it inside the house. The systems can be done at home as a weekend project. Plans shared by the generous netizens can be found online using “solar collector” or “solar grabber” keywords.

There is a more practical way to get the suns heat, but it only as good as the sun still shines above. The house is redesigned for a maximum sun intake through windows and transparent roof. However, this is only effective in areas where the sun still shines in winter.

Simply, a good sweater is really an effective way to protect yourself from the chilling winter cold. You can simply add layers of extra clothing and socks to reduce the need of powerful heaters or fireplaces. In effect it also lowers your bills and energy consumption, an effective eco-friendly practice.

Sure there are a lot of eco-friendly ways to generate heat for comfort. These are just the practical ways but effective and efficient to make a better home.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Practical Ways to Improve a Backyard Patio

Backyard improvement is a plus for your home in two ways,  Creating a beautiful outdoor place and add value to your property. Because first impression is a winning factor, an outdoor space improvement will be a good selling point if ever you decide to put your property up for sale. There are a lot of ways to do it, and we’ll discuss the practical ones.

From a numerous tips we produced and from a plethora of home improvement articles published in the internet, cleaning is the most basic form. Yet, it is a great way to improve an outdoor place. Dirt and any untidy things hugely have negative impact to the appearance of any surface. Try to tidy up and remove things that are not necessary, you will be amazed how big the change can be.

Any room or space can make a great deal or transformation from the amazing effects of accessories or decor items. Sculptures like angels and gnomes are a great compliment for a backyard garden. Comfy pillows and colorful outdoor cushions are an inviting addition to your outdoor furniture. Whereas creative stuff such as paintings and artistic sculptures adds interest to the empty walls. This helps make a seemingly lonesome space into an amusing place.

Add Plants
Naturally add colors with plants and flowers to an outdoor room or patio. It can easily be achieved with pots and planters. Cost is minimal especially if know how to do it and you do it yourself. Get some ideas in the internet now, there are tons of ingenious ideas around.

Natural Privacy Screens and Sun Shade
Privacy is one feature that most homeowners want in the backyard. In addition, a sun shade is also an important structure for those who love outdoors in the day. There is a wide array of privacy screen and sun shade fixtures available today but then there are natural alternatives. Shrubs and trees makes a good privacy and a perfect sun shade structure. On a much creative side, many have used climbing plants and vines. By erecting trellises, lattice, and arbor, one can start cultivating and grow a lovely privacy screen and sun shade.

Patio furniture and fixtures make an outdoor room complete. Necessary pieces for relaxation such as patio umbrella, seats, and a table should be enough to add interest to your patio. Even a garden can be greatly enhanced by adding a set of furniture such as a love seat coupled with a little side or center table.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Awning Maintenance and Care

A good awning makes outdoor patio relaxation worthwhile and classy while keeping you safe and sound under the sun. However, you need to take good care of it, make it stay in good shape in order to keep these goodness.

Modern awnings promises a lasting beauty and functionality. But the promise have certain conditions in which you need to keep as a ritual. Additionally, there are factors that no matter how great the quality of the piece is, they eventually break. Like outdoor furniture and patio umbrellas, weather and other harsh outdoor elements are the common adversaries of this outdoor shade.

The immediate means of caring for your awning keeping it clean. Because it uses materials like acrylic and PVC that will not hold or absorb dirt, it can easily be cleaned with water only. Using soap is not required and take note that some soapy solutions may have components that can leave a mark after it dries. A good splash or spray of clean water is sufficient to rinse out dirt.

Due to the nature of its use, an awning is typically made sturdy. But this is no good use against strong winds so proper care is certainly needed. There is only one way to do it, keep it out from the force of the wind or else, it will be blown away, parts break apart, and the covering ripped off.

Once you know that the weather is going to be worse, act immediately. Retract or roll up the awning shade or the covering part before the wind blows strongly. Better safe than sorry.

Even on a normal day where the weather is moderate, slightly strong wind blows may come all of a sudden. An awning need to be prepared for this. Mostly awnings come with support poles which will also boost its strength when installed properly.

Generally, an awning cover is waterproof, but keeping it in normal condition is still best to increase the guarantee of making it longer lasting. Keep the awning fabric dry especially when retracting. Water may ruin the mechanism and fabric when retracted. Once the weather is back to normal, pull out the covering back and let it dry.

Additionally, awnings are not designed to use in winter. Do not let snow accumulate and give more weight, it is not designed to handle such. It can stress the fitting, arms, and the fabric until they break. Damage from this can be severe and would render the piece useless.

Lastly, make most care of the mechanical components of the awning. Check if it is installed correctly and working well to avoid damage. Remember, the sun shade or covering component can be replaced, but other components are not.

Properly maintained and conditioned awning makes a great backyard patio place. It gives a good sun protection so you can sit quite comfortably in a patio furniture with class.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Why Choose Gel Fuel?

Gel fuel is specially formulated for portable heaters and ventless fireplaces. It is an alcohol-based mixture that does not emit smoke or give off unpleasant odors. Because of its active combustible ingredient, isopropyl, it burns really good.

Usually sold in hearth-and-home and hardware stores, the fuel readily available in cans which can be set afire directly. One can effectively burns for about three hours. Take note, gel fuel is only for specific types of fireplaces and patio heaters.

The best thing about this type of fuel is its simplicity and surprising characteristics. Even just contained in a can, it makes bright yellow, orange, and red flames. As the fire glows, amazingly it also crackles just like a real wood burning fire. It burns clean and does not leave afterburns. Thus, it makes a great alternative when there is no gas line or electric fireplaces are just not applicable.

Ventless Fireplaces is largely the reason of the need for gel fuels. This type of fireplace is popular for modern houses. Operating it is a breeze, by just putting on a can of gel fuel, a comforting heat and a captivating flame can then be enjoyed almost instantly.

The advantages of using a ventless fireplace is compelling. No hard installation required and no need to alter a room. The fireplace is usually freestanding which is really a good advantage. It can be placed at the heart of a living room and versions with mantel that resemble a realistic wood burning fireplace can be placed on walls creating a better home ambiance

There are outdoor heaters and portable fireplaces that also use gel fuels. These types are pretty amazing for personal heating needs. The fuel also works well on fire pits and fire tables.

For your safety. Never add gel fuel to any fireplace that is still burning. Use extreme caution when replacing or refilling fuel. Though the fuel is moderately flammable, keeping the container away from flames is still a great precautionary measure. Read all instructions on label before use.