Author Archives: Ryan Regan

History of Composite/PVC decking

Decks have become a very popular way of adding living space on your home over the years.  Most of us grew up with the traditional wood deck that we cleaned every 2-3 years and immediately sealed.  30 years ago the options for decking were slim, which made it an easy decision.  Mature trees are more dense and resisted rot and insect attacks much better then our tree farms which engineer trees to grow quickly and miss out on important growth stages.

First products on the market

Trex introduced the first composite decking in the early 90s which combined wood fiber and plastics.  Rarely does the first generation live up to the hype- Trex was no different.  Mold and mildew would grow easily on this organic mix because there was little protection and discoloration was on par with the old vinyl siding.  While this composite type board still exists on the market, these issues (while still prevalent) are much more manageable.

PVC, a new type of decking

In the early 2000s, we saw a bump in interest from the public because a full PVC deck board was introduced to the market.  The wood pulp/organic matter was completely removed from the application.  This type of product is more scratch resistant, mold resistant and fade resistant then it’s predecessor but it comes with a steep price tag.

Capped Composite: a combination of the two

In 2009, companies came out with a capped composite deck board.  An eco-friendly composite core with a PVC wrapped shell that offers the protection from the elements similar to a full PVC board.  This is the type of board we like to sell to customers because of the lower price tag then PVC and the great reputation is has in the industry.

5 Valuable Winter Preparedness Tips for Exterior Home Repairs

If the winters in Ontario are anything like the ones we have in Grand Rapids, no one wants to be out in the freezing cold carrying out exterior home repairs in the thick of winter, especially when there is a severe winter weather advisory. It is a scenario you can avoid by preparing for winter before it sets in. By being proactive, you can be energy efficient, avoid costly repairs and keep warm and cozy throughout the season.

The exterior parts of a house in particular can take quite a beating from the rigors of winter.  Windows, doors, decks, gutters, roofs, pipes and†drains can become worn out and damaged due to extremely low temperatures and thick layers of snow and ice.

With these helpful winter preparedness tips, you will always be prepared before the snow hits the ground.

Tip # 1: Winterizing Your Garage Door

It is a good idea to periodically check the track of your garage door before the winter season. Check that the drive track has no obstructions and that the belt or chain is moving along the rail smoothly.  If there is any jerkiness or resistance when the garage door is opening, use a garage door lubricant to keep the metallic belt and moving parts operational.  Apply a generous amount onto the roller, hinges and bushings.

In Grand Rapids, cold temperatures can make various battery-powered devices fail and this includes the battery-powered remote control for your garage door. Check the door seals too.  Ensure the trim and strips are tightly fixed and there are no signs of wear or damage. If you notice any damage, you may want to find a garage door expert in your area to help. It is quite complex and a large undertaking to repair or install seals or a new garage door, so this is a job that is best fit for a professional.

Tip # 2: Energy Efficient Doors and Windows

Doors and windows can also get jammed when snow and ice accumulate over it. Check the weather stripping around the windows and door frames to ensure that it has no tears. If it is worn, replace it. You would also do well to replace screen doors and window screens with storm doors and storm windows for energy efficiency. Be sure that wooden window frames have no signs of rot or decay or else the whole structure will be compromised. If necessary, replace the caulking both inside and out and glass that is cracked or broken.

Tip # 3: Avoid a Spring Deck Rebuild

If you live in Ontario, then you already know that the ice and snow can be rough on your deck. If your wooden deck is unfinished, protect it with a wood cleaner that is made to remove dirt and contaminants. It will also brighten it up and prep it for staining. If your deck is stained, remove the old finish so†that the new one†adheres well. Use a quality, water-repellent wood finish to spruce up the deck and keep it protected from snow and ice. You should also use a commercial mildew remover to get rid mildew or mold as soon as you notice it. Otherwise, it will keep growing throughout winter and cause a lot of damage and you may be looking at a much needed rebuild by the time spring arrives.

Tip # 4: Don’t Forget Your Roof & Gutters

Remove debris like branches, leaves and twigs which can cause fungus, mildew and mold to grow on the membrane. It can wear out the membrane†which can make water filtrate the building. As you do so, check the downspouts and gutters. If the gutters are overflowing or sagging, bring in a professional who will assess whether you need industrial water drainage. A constant flow of water from the gutter edge will infiltrate the foundation. If there is water infiltration, get the insulation replaced.

The roof edge is the first line of defense a building has against severe weather. If the wrong kind of fasteners are used or the installation is not done correctly, a home is vulnerable to damage. Inspect the rood edge from the roof and the ground so that you can spot any problems. If there are loose fasteners, stagnant water and loose metal or peeling paint, call in a professional immediately. You don’t want to be dealing such problems when winter sets in.

Tip # 5: Preventing Fence Damage

Wood fences are the most susceptible to damage from snow and ice. Apply a premium waterproof stain or sealant to ward odd decay, rot, mold and mildew. Metallic fences will be protected with a good-quality lubricant. Also, take a walk along your fence line and remove debris. Remove leaves, twigs and weeds that will thrive and collect around the fence leading to decay or the growth of mold and mildew.

Make another check by gently rocking each wooden slab. If there is damage already and a slab is loose, you want to fix it before winter. If you can, fix the damage yourself or call in a professional and then clear the debris to avoid further damage.

In conclusion, you can save yourself lots of time and†money by ensuring you are prepared for the winter weather. You can maintain your homes integrity and value by using these tips to winterize your home.  Saving on your home utility bills and spring repairs can be a definite bonus for many homeowners. †Just be sure you do it safely, and if you still aren’t comfortable doing it yourself, hire a professional.

Author Bio:
Jennifer Caughey is a content writer who has help her husband with her fair share of exterior home repairs. She has been writing about home improvements and providing her knowledge and useful tips to DIY audiences. Jennifer has most recently been writing for Environmental Doors.

Can Trendy Railings Increase The Value of Your Home?

 Is your home on the market for resale, but clients are not showing much interest? Do you have a deck, porch, septic tank, pool or balcony? Need an idea? Click here to see well-designed rail systems. If this is your story, the idea I present in this piece should urge you to explore the options. Although the real estate market is a competitive arena, success is not an impossible ambition. Just a note to all home sellers, the tactical approach to compel buyers and stimulate their minds is innovation. What is there to appreciate if your property is identical to all the other homes on the market?

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Key Tips When Choosing a Garage Door

Selecting the right kind of garage door for your home doesn’t have to be difficult or time-consuming; however, it does require a plan and deciding which type of garage will work best for your family. It is also important before selecting a garage door, to write down the style of garage you want, the materials that you or a contractor will need and how much all of the materials and installation the project will cost.

What Style to Choose?

There are many styles and options to choose from such as the basic style and up to doors that are custom designed and architecturally unique. Of course, the wood that is selected and the style of the panel will hinge on the costs of your garage door, too. So, by talking with a home improvement expert or a company that installs garage doors, you will be able to choose a garage door that will fit your family’s unique needs.

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How To Add Space To Your Home With A Garden Building

 The majority of professional interior designers and home based amateurs alike think only of the inside of your home, when you try to find ways to manage extra space from the confines of your current household. You can move some walls internally to help you find a space and you can move up into the loft and down into a basement if your budget and skills allow it. However, many people forget their where you have suitable garden space you can always add a garden building to add more overall space to your home. Once you have done everything you can with the inside of your property, the only space left will be in your garden. Rather than finding this as an unfortunate situation, there are a marvellous range of log cabins and summerhouses that can bring your garden to life, and at the same time provide you with all the space that you need for a home office, a home gym, a craft area or just somewhere to get away from a noisy and busy household when you want to read your daily newspaper, put your feet up and drink your favourite coffee in peace and quiet.

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Picking the right paint colors for your home

Picking the right paint colors for your home can be a tough decision.  As homeowners, you’re representing a part of yourself through your home, and paint colors really do set the tone for the rooms.  The ability to make a room look fashionable comes with experience and creativity.  At ottawa commercial painters, we know that the kinds of paint colors your choose should reflect the mood and mix well with the furniture in the room.

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Add a Pergola to your Backyard

Pergolas, often also called lattice covers, have been popular additions to backyards for many years, appreciated both for their decorative aspect and for the way they can expand living space into the outdoors. They started as humble garden structures, but today, they not only provide an inviting place to relax and enjoy garden views, they serve as outdoor rooms, complete with options to add modern amenities, from outdoor couches and beds to televisions and high-speed Internet access.

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Should I invest in a privacy fence?

 Sure privacy is nice, especially for swimming pools in your backyard, but there are both benefits and downfalls to these fences. Privacy fences are tall enough to ward off unwanted attention, sometimes as tall as 8 feet. So if you plan on laying out near the pool and you’re worried about unwanted attention, they are a good choice. They also protect your children and pets from being on display to the neighborhood or passing strangers.

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How Much Does Your Vinyl Fence and Garden Affect the Value of Your Home?

When it comes to valuing your home, you should take every aspect into consideration; interior as well as exterior. It is of vital importance that your garden is in tip-top shape; otherwise you could end up with potential value slipping through your fingers. It is important however, not to over-do it. When potential buyers view your home, the chances are they don’t want to be over faced with the prospect of hour upon hour of garden maintenance in the future. Ensure your garden isn’t too fussy as this could result in a devaluation of your home.

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