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How to Give Your House Curb Appeal

One of the most important factors of a house is its curb appeal. Just ask any real estate agent and they’ll tell you the same thing. Curb appeal greatly affects the value of your house and is especially important if you plan on selling it in the near future.

So just what is curb appeal? Curb appeal is the wow-factor of your house. When people are driving down your street, you want them to slow down a little as they pass your house to soak in the glory. “What gives a house great curb appeal?” you may ask, well there are a number of things:

Awesome Exterior

Whether your house has brick, vinyl, or any other type of siding, you want it to be in tip-top shape. Siding with splotches of black rotting wood or faded paint look terrible and greatly decrease your house’s curb appeal. Not only does shoddy siding look awful, but it also can lead to energy leaks that cost you a great deal of money during the summer and winter months. Do plenty of research on what type of siding works best for you and get a contractor or three to come out and give you their opinion and a quote on fixing your exterior.

Once you’re sure that your siding is in good shape, you’ll want to have a good coat of paint put on it. Before you decide on your own, or have your tacky Aunt Beatrice tell you what color to paint it, make sure you talk to a few realtors to find out what colors and styles of paint are currently appropriate and desirable for your neighborhood. Just because you love the color turquoise does not mean painting your house that color will give it great curb appeal; it might actually make your house look much less appealing.

Windows

Windows are where it’s at when it comes to curb appeal. Make sure all of your windows are kept very clean and are in good shape. A broken window is a HUGE no-no when trying to build your house’s curb appeal. People love houses that have giant, beautiful windows, but if your house doesn’t have these you can work around it with custom shutters or by accenting them with your garden. Having your curtains or blinds drawn in your front living areas will make your house look nicer; just make sure everything inside your house that can be seen through the windows in the evening is in good order.

Once again, I highly recommend working with a contractor that really knows windows when replacing them. A window is a very important component of your exterior both cosmetically and functionally. Make sure all of your windows not only look great, but are also functional (open and close completely). A window that doesn’t open can be dangerous during a fire and one that doesn’t lock can be a security breach!

Garden

Now gardening is not something that we’re all good at. I have what my wife calls a “brown thumb,” meaning everything I touch that is of a botanical nature is bound to die within a few days. If this is the case, enlist some help. That being said, gardening is something that most people love to do, as it is a relaxing outdoor activity. If you don’t have any sort of plant life in your yard, your curb appeal is probably just as dead as the tomato plants I tried to plant in my backyard last week. There is a plethora of gardening blogs, both organic and conventional, that will let you know what to plant in your area during this time of year.

If you need ideas of what kind of garden looks good in your area, just drive around your neighborhood and take notice of the gardens that jump out to you. Take note of what people are doing with their gardens and how they bring out the best in the person’s house. Many people grow vegetables in their front yard, making their gardens not only cosmetically appealing, but useful, too.

Your Front Porch

How many times have you driven by a house and seen a porch that looks so cool that you wished you had one just like it to hang out on? Even if you don’t spend much time on your front porch, you should make it look like a place that you would want to. If you have the room, get interesting decorations and seating for your front porch. Seasonal decorations for your front door that don’t look too tacky are a must. Rocking chairs or porch swings, etc. always make a front porch seem more like a place one would want to spend time; and part of the whole idea of curb appeal is making your house look like a place that one would want to spend time, is it not?

Other Tips

Okay, so you’ve got the awesome siding/exterior, paint job, windows, garden, and porch going, what next? Well, here are some other things you need to keep in mind when looking to boost your curb appeal:

  • No trash or clutter ANYWHERE in your yard… Ever! – instant curb appeal killer.
  • Keep all fences painted and in good order. – no gaps or missing posts allowed.
  • Pick up animal poop! – gross.
  • No broken down vehicles in yard or driveway – you’re not Jeff Foxworthy.
  • Mow/rake your lawn – You’d think this would be a no-brainer, but…
  • Political signs – This might be controversial, but save it for the voting booth.
  • Your cars affect your curb appeal – even if your car is older, wash it if it’s going to be parked in your driveway.
  • Your mailbox affects your curb appeal – whether on your porch or at the front of your yard.

I’m sure there are countless other things I could write about curb appeal, but this should at least give you some ideas on where to start. Now go get your house looking great!

Replacing Windows

Windows are not often the first things that come to mind when you are considering updates to your house. Typically, you may feel a need to update something that you interact with more often, such as a kitchen or bathroom sink, oven, or shower. Windows, however, play a large role in the value and energy efficiency of your home and should never be overlooked when considering updates or remodels to your house. Windows, much like your roof or siding, sometimes need repairs or replacing to maintain their function and efficiency.

There are some obvious warning signs that you are in need of replacement windows. The first, and most important, is a difficulty in opening or closing a window all the way. A window that does not close all the way will leak energy and may fail to lock, leaving your house open to break-ins. Windows that are difficult to open can end up being a fire hazard in rooms that don’t contain a door leading to the home’s exterior. Make sure all of the windows in your house can open and close smoothly, and can be locked tightly.

Perhaps one of the most obvious signs that you need a window repair or replacement is a draft blowing through your home. Not only does a draft indicate a major energy leak, but also a severely damaged or inefficient window. A draft in your house can signal a need for both replacement windows and replacement doors, so be sure to check both if your house is feeling windy. The draft can be caused by gaps in the window’s fixture or a damaged seal. One of the main purposes of owning a house is to protect us from the elements, and inefficient or broken windows diminish our home’s ability to do so.

If you have multi-pane windows and you notice condensation forming between them, you should consider replacement windows. The condensation occurs when the seals of your windows are failing. Because the seal is no long doing its job, moisture may enter and form condensation, indicating that the window is no longer effectively keeping out cold air. Often times you will notice a white film left behind by calcium deposits from condensation, another sign that the seal has failed. If you notice any of these signs, you should immediately replace the window as it is no longer effective at keeping out cold air.

If you feel that one or more of your windows is ugly, or doesn’t fit with how you want your house to look, that is a perfectly acceptable reason to go about looking into replacement windows. Sometimes people will replace their windows just because they don’t like the way that they open, or want a different style. There is nothing wrong with changing a component of your house just because you don’t like the way it looks or operates.

Replacing windows can be a big commitment in both time and money, but it is almost always a worthwhile investment. Windows that are drafty, not functional, or just plain ugly are not doing their job. Not only can bad windows cost you money, but they can also be a hazard; so be sure you take action immediately if you find yours are showing some of the aforementioned signals that they need to be repaired or replaced.

Christmas Light Decoration Safety Tips

It’s only been a couple of weeks since you put away all of your Halloween decorations (or perhaps, they’re still hanging up outside) and your neighbors have already begun to hang their Christmas lights. Every day you see a new candy cane pop up in front of someone’s mailbox or the shadows of a Christmas tree silhouetted in another neighbor’s window by the light from their television. You might feel a little anxious about having to dig out all of the Christmas lights, unknotting them, testing them, getting on a ladder to hang them up, nearly breaking your neck in the process, and losing your temper when a strand doesn’t work a la Clark Griswald in Christmas Vacation. But relax, by remembering a few holiday-decorating safety-tips, things should go smoothly.

One of the biggest dangers posed by Christmas lights is that of a frayed or damaged cord. Exposed wires can cause electrical shock or even fires, so be sure you put your eyes on every inch of the cord before you plug it in. While this may seem like a daunting task, it really isn’t if you take things one strand at a time. As you unwind the cord, run it through your hands and check the wiring for tears, as well as ensuring each socket has a light in it (usually the strand won’t work otherwise) with no signs of being burnt out or damaged. After you have checked the strand, plug it in to be sure it turns on. Can you imagine how frustrating it would be to have that strand running along your roof, only to find that it doesn’t work when you’re done placing the lights? I’ve never made this mistake before… Honest!

That brings me to the most obvious tip when hanging lights- make sure they all work before you even start hanging them. If you begin hanging lights and then come across a burnt out strand, you will have to put everything down, head to the store to buy a new set, and then come back only to find another set of lights that isn’t working further down the line. Go ahead and test all of the lights before you start decorating. It’s much easier to have everything ready ahead of time, rather than having to start over, pause, or take shortcuts because you don’t feel like running to get more lights. Also, I recommend getting all the tools you need to hang the lights ahead of time. Try using these or something similar to assist with hanging the lights from your roof or gutter; they are much easier and safer to use than a hammer and nails. The insulated clips are also safer than nails or staples, as they do not become electrified if they somehow breach the insulation of the strand of lights.

There are a few other more obvious things that you should not forget about when hanging Christmas lights. First off, be sure to tape your extension cords or any excess length of cable to the ground to prevent someone from tripping. A broken neck is no way to spend the holidays! If your lights are older, make sure they have fused plugs. This will prevent fire-causing sparks if something short circuits. I also recommend taping the plugs where they connect to prevent moister from getting in. You should also consider elevating the plugs off of the ground in case of ice or snow. It might also be a good idea to make sure that the outlet you are using to plug your lights in is a GFCI, as it will shut off the power to the lights if it detects current flowing through water or a person. The most obvious tip I can give you for decorating safety is to not take risks. Don’t get up on your roof if you’re not 100 percent sure that you can get back down. It is also very important that you have someone help you any time you are using a ladder while placing lights. Absolutely do not ever hang Christmas lights on your roof alone!

There are some other, smaller, things that I recommend doing to make your holiday decorating go a little smoother. First off, if you have wooden decorations, wear gloves when carrying them out of your garage and placing them. Sometimes they can be full of splinters around the edges. Always use care when going in and out of your attic if this is where you store your decorations. Every year it seems like I hear about someone in my family or one of our friends falling through the attic while trying to retrieve something. Also, use care when bringing stuff down from the attic. Don’t take shortcuts by pulling down multiple items at a time, just take it slowly and no one will get hurt. When taking down your decorations (yes, the holidays leave us as quickly as they arrive), take care to do it in an organized fashion. You are only making your next holiday season that much more difficult by rushing the cleanup process. Label all of your boxes and wrap up all of your cords neatly. Save all of the clips you used, they will come in handy when the holidays show up again in 10 or 11 months.

So there, take a deep breath, relax, put on a warm coat and go make your house look awesome!

How to Prepare For a Home Exterior Renovation – Part 2

Last week we discussed some ways that you could better prepare for an exterior renovation, such as understanding your neighborhood and budgeting; this week, we will continue with a couple of more tips.

Make Sure You Are Doing Things in Code

About 9 or 10 years ago, one of my neighbors tore apart his garage and was remodeling it to become another wing to his house. His parents had moved in with his family and he was looking to make his house more spacious by adding another bedroom and bathroom. Many days into his project, a code compliance officer showed up to let him know that his project was not up to code and that he did not have any of the permits that the city required for the type of remodel he was doing. Not only did my neighbor have to scramble to get these permits to prevent receiving a large fine, but he had to completely redo the wiring for all of the electrical outlets he was installing. Perhaps the worst part of his predicament was that he could have easily prevented it by talking to a home inspector about how to stay in code and by doing some basic research about what work the city requires a permit for. Always know what you are getting into with home exterior renovation, especially when it comes to code and permit issues. Nothing is worse than having to redo some of your hard work and face a fine from code compliance. Obviously the easiest way to avoid these problems is by hiring a professional that is well-versed in municipal building regulations.

Grill Your Contractor

If you are using a professional for you remodel, which I would almost always recommend doing, be sure you are using someone that is qualified. While it can be tempting to hire someone off of Craigslist for $50, for bigger jobs I would definitely recommend a contractor that has real credentials. Be sure you ask about their history, if they can provide you with referrals, and if they are licensed to do the work you are asking them to do (if applicable). Understand that not every contractor is out to take all of your money in exchange for a poor job done, but there are companies out there that prey on ill-informed clients. Typically the best way to find a good contractor for your remodel is by asking your friends who they used and how happy they were with the job. There are also resources, such as the BBB and Angie’s List that can assist you in finding out more about potential contractors. Don’t be afraid to ask the contractor as many questions as you feel you need the answer to, as exterior remodeling can be a pricey affair and it would be shameful if you had a job completed in a way you were not happy with because you didn’t want to “bug” the contractor. You are their boss when they are working for you, so don’t be afraid to ask them as many questions about the job they are doing or their work history as you feel necessary.

How to Prepare For a Home Exterior Renovation – Part 1

Your house is how you represent yourself to your neighbors. A dilapidated and rotting house, or even one with just chipped paint and an unmowed lawn might give the people around you the wrong idea. Sure, we all get busy and let things slip through our fingers, but that is a fact that people don’t often consider when they look at your home. A damaged exterior doesn’t just present a negative cosmetic effect on your home, but can also be the source of other bad things such as leaks (water or energy), pests, and falling property value. It is for these reasons, or perhaps others, that you might have found yourself seriously considering an exterior renovation to your property, whether it be just new siding and paint, or an entire exterior home makeover. Regardless of what type of project you’re planning, be sure to approach it in a practical manner by following some of the following tips:

Understand Your Neighborhood

Make sure that you understand the neighborhood that you live in. You can create an eyesore for years to come by making a number of mistakes- from overbuilding to picking the wrong paint color. While you always want your house to stand out, it should be because it looks exceptional, not because it looks out of place. If you live in a neighborhood that was primarily built with a modern aesthetic, don’t turn your house into a Victorian mansion or Southern plantation. Also keep in mind that people that would want to buy a house that is considerably bigger or fancier than what’s typically found in your neighborhood most likely aren’t shopping for houses in your neighborhood. This is also something that you should remember for interior renovations, as well. If you are unsure about the direction you are going with your renovation or remodel, don’t hesitate to talk to your neighbors, a realtor, or just take a drive around the neighborhood for ideas. Your contractor should be able to help you out with any decisions you’re unsure of as they’ve probably installed siding or redone a roof in your neighborhood (or at least a similar one) in the past. Don’t be afraid to listen to other’s input for your choices, especially if they work in the field.

Don’t Under Budget Your Renovation

Nothing can be worse than embarking on a cruise that only gets you halfway to your destination. To prevent an unfinished or shoddy remodel, be sure you can afford what it is that you want. While you can certainly juggle estimates and mix-and-match paints and parts, don’t end up with something that looks bad or unfinished. If you cannot afford the renovation that you want, give it some time. As long as your structure is not failing or costing you an absurd amount of money that a quick fix wouldn’t take care of, there’s no need to rush into something that won’t benefit your family in the long term. It is also important that you have clear quotes on all parts and labor from your contractors before you let any work begin. If for some reason you cannot afford the work being performed, you could damage your credit or end up with an angry contractor on your hands. Remember, a contractor has to go buy materials and find laborers for the job he is performing- both of which costs a lot of time and money. Not only is it bad for your credit to start a job you cannot afford, it’s bad karma as well. Also, don’t think that the job will necessarily end up being cheaper if you do it yourself. The price you’ll pay for the correct tools, materials, and possible code violations may surprise you (not to mention if you have to pay a contractor to come out and fix some of the mistakes you made).

Next time I will discuss some more things you should watch out for when preparing for an exterior renovation, so please check back soon!

Bad Exterior Painting Decisions (And How To Avoid Them)!

The exterior of your house can be viewed as its skin. Not only does it protect you from the elements outdoors and trap the cool air in during the summer, but it also serves as the single most important cosmetic feature of your dwelling. As time goes by, you may find that your house’s skin is not looking so great: it’s chipped in spots and faded in others. Some areas of your exterior may be very difficult to clean, as it seems like dirt has just found a permanent home within it. Perhaps that shade of pastel pink that seemed like an awesome idea in 1986 isn’t so appealing anymore. Regardless of your reasoning, you may feel the need to paint your home’s exterior.

Painting an exterior is much more complicated than painting a room. First off, there are many things to consider, such as what type of siding you have, what type of colors work well in your neighborhood, the climate of the area that you live in, and many others. Then there’s the actual painting of the house, which might seem like an easy task in your head, but upon starting the job you may feel like you’ve ordered more food than you can stomach. It is for these reasons that we’ve put together a list of things you should avoid when you approach the painting of your home’s exterior.

Choosing the wrong type of paint

As technology continues to advance in computers, cell phones, tablets, etc., it also continues to advance in the field of paint. There are many options available when choosing which paint to use, so consider a few things when choosing it such as its resistance to fading, mold and mildew, and ultra-violet radiation. You should also research how easy the paint is to work with. You may also do your part to be environmentally friends by choosing a paint that is low-VOC and eco-friendly. Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, be sure that the paint has a high durability that will keep it looking good for many years regardless of what type of climate you live in.

Choosing the wrong color

You may think that you are a home-renovation fashionista, but more than likely you should still run your color choices by others to be sure you aren’t making a horrible decision that you’ll regret for years-to-come. Talk to professionals, particularly contractors, architects, and realtors to determine which color choices best match your style of house and neighborhood. A bad color choice will leave your home looking tacky until you can afford to paint it again or you’re lucky enough for the color you picked to come into style (it probably won’t).

Bad preparation

Did you know that a thunderstorm can completely undue an entire day’s worth exterior painting work? Do yourself a favor and double check the forecast before you drag your ladder out of the garage- it will save you time, money, and a broken heart. Also, closely inspect the exterior of your home before you begin painting. Be sure you remove every fixture (mailboxes, house numbers, etc.) and cover all of your nearby plants to prevent them from being painted. Don’t forget to put painter’s tape around your windows and other areas that you don’t want the paint to leak on. I would also recommend moving any vehicles away from the house, as sometimes wind can blow bits of paint away from the area that you are working on. Failure to do these things can lead to damaging your property or at least making your painting endeavor more stressful than it needs to be.

Doing a poor job

One of the most important rules of home renovation is to never be impatient. Take things slowly. Watch videos on YouTube that teach proper painting techniques. When you purchase your brushes or paint, be sure to ask the professional if you are buying the correct materials. Always know when you should be using a brush and when you should be using a roller. If you know that you’ve made a mistake, fix it as soon as possible. Don’t leave it for later, as you will probably be tired and make an excuse to just leave the eyesore as is.

Not knowing when to get professional help

Never take on a job that is bigger than what you can handle. It is a waste of materials, time, and money to start a job only to abandon it. Painting the exterior of your home is a long and laborious process. If you don’t have the time, patience, or expertise to take on a project this big, or if your house is large and has a lot of complicated angles, etc. than you should probably hire a professional. There is no reason to throw out your back and drain your bank account only to have a half-painted exterior. Really think about what you are about to take on and get at least a few professional quotes before you dig the overalls out of your dresser drawer.

By carefully planning and doing a small amount of research, you can save yourself a lot of time and money and come out with an awesome, newly-painted exterior that you can be proud of.

Updating Old Windows

Aside from the siding of your house, windows probably make the most drastic impact on how your home is viewed by others. Typically, a house in constructed with windows that match the house’s design and compliment its appearance. However, times change and so do houses. Over the years, you might have replaced the siding on your home, changed the style of paint, or made other renovations that have altered to overall “feel” of your exterior. In these cases, as well as a few others, you should consider choosing new windows for you home.

If your home is in a historical district, you may not be allowed to alter the size or overall appearance of your windows. However, older windows tend to leak air, not shut correctly, or be made out of energy inefficient types of glass. While you may not be allowed to change the overall appearance of your window to alter its historic integrity, you may be able to update the window to make it more friendly to your family, and your energy bills. By readjusting the frames the window sits in and updating its sash, as well as changing the type of window your are installing, you can save on energy bills while preserving the historic look and feel of the window. This will make both you and your neighborhood association happy.

A home that is not restricted by some of the more strict guidelines in a historical area has many more options when it comes to replacing windows. For example, you may actually move the location of your windows on your exterior or change the shape and/or size of the windows themselves. It is in these cases that you should consult a specialist to decide what types of windows best fit your exterior. It is also important that you make us of a professional when modifying the exterior of your house to prevent serious damage to your home.

Updating your exterior is not the only reason to replace your windows. As seen in this previous blog entry, there is a vast amount of options when picking which kind of window to use in order to help keep your energy costs low. You would be surpised by how much energy you save just by being able to lock your windows and have them able to shut tightly. So whether it’s for a cosmetic reason or just to replace the glass, there are many reasons to update your old windows, all of which are beneficial to both the appearance and energy costs of your home.

The Importance of Siding

The siding of a house can be viewed as a house’s skin. It makes up the majority of a home’s exterior, providing a house with its general appearance. It is for this reason that faded, damaged, or old siding can greatly depreciate not only the physical appeal of a house, but it’s value as well.

One trait of a house’s siding that is often overlooked is that it can greatly affect the energy costs of heating and cooling a home. A siding that is thin, has gaps, or is not cut exactly to the shape of a house can lead to a high amount of air leakage. If the hot or cold air is not contained in your house, you will pay much more in energy bills heating or cooling it. With our Cedar Ridge Siding System, you are guaranteed a 20% energy savings for the life of your home. These savings are transferable to every future owner, a value that is hard to ignore.

The siding of your home can also determine how accessible the interior is to pests, such as bugs and rodents. It does not take a significantly sized gap or hole in your siding to invite in a pest looking for a hot meal or warm place to sleep. Given that we actually nail the siding in directly to the studs of your home, not just into the layers underneath, we provide you with a sturdy siding that will not slip or create any gaps for the aforementioned pests to find their way into your house. You cool air stays in, and the pests stay out.

For more information on having your siding replaced, or even touched up, call us: (813) 931-4663 or (727) 502-5300.

How to Safely Decorate the Siding on Your Home

To make your home more beautiful or to celebrate different holidays or seasons, you may want to hang decorations on the side of your house. This can be tricky with a vinyl-sided house because you shouldn’t drill or nail through the siding. Holes can cause water to seep behind the vinyl, creating problems for your home. Fortunately, there are several methods that you can use to hang decorations on the side of your house that do not create any holes in your siding.
Hang a vinyl siding hook on your house. This is the most efficient method. Slip the top of the hook underneath a piece of siding and wiggle it until it “snaps” into place. This hooks it onto the bottom of the siding. Then hang your decorations on the bottom of the hook.

Attach a cup hook to the side of your house. Clean the area where you want to attach the hook thoroughly with soap and water then dry it. Dirt interferes with adhesion. Wipe down the area with some rubbing alcohol and dry it. Wet the suction cup, press it firmly to the siding. For best results, leave the hook for a day before adding decorations.

Hang a wire hook from the vinyl soffit trim. This is the trim that connects between your vinyl siding and the soffit. Make a hook by cutting a short length of wire with a wire cutter and bending it into an S-shape with pliers. Be sure to choose a metal that won’t rust. You can either hang items from the hooks directly or attach pieces of fishing line to the hooks. Fishing line enables you to hang decorations lower on the walls, as the hooks themselves will be close to the roof. This is a good method if you have a lot of small items to hang or if you want to hang something like a string of lights.

For more information on this topic, visit the source of this article at http://homeguides.sfgate.com/hang-decorations-vinyl-siding-38111.html

Summer Exterior Home Maintenance Projects

Maintaining your home is as important as any task you will complete this summer. Knowing what and how to maintain and how to complete any repairs is sometimes the hardest part of getting started.

#1 GARAGE DOOR

Your garage door is probably one of the most used and neglected parts of your home. Keeping it in good working order is inexpensive and will save you a ton of money in the long haul.

Materials: Lubricant, Wrench, Car Wax, Clean Rags, Detergent diluted with water

* Check all moving parts to be sure none are bent or broken.
* Check and lubricate all rails, axles, hinges, springs, rollers, etc. . . .
* Wipe down your door with diluted detergent to clean away debris.
* Wax the door. This will keep new dirt and debris from collecting on the surface.
* Paint wooden doors inside and out and caulk all cracks and gaps.
* Check weather sealants on the bottom of the door.

#2 RUST REMOVAL

Rust can deteriorate and ruin many metal items in the home. Regular maintenance can prevent rust from ever appearing.

Materials: Wire Brush, Metal Primer, Rust Resistant Paint, Paintbrush

* Use wire brush to scrape away loose rust. (If possible brush down to the bare metal)
* Clean away old paint.
* Apply metal primer.
* Repaint metal with rust resistant paint.

#3 MAINTAIN YOUR YARD

Yard maintenance not only increases curb appeal and resale value of your home, it simply looks and feels good.

Materials: Pruning Shears

* Check trees for dead hanging limbs and remove.
* Trim your bushes and vines. (Bushes and vines hold moisture and can contribute to mortar damage.)
* Trim unkept plants. (Unkept plants leaning against a home are the perfect entrance path for creepy crawlies)

#4 MAINTAINING SIDING AND CRAWLSPACES

Your homes siding and crawlspaces are its keys to the outside world. Keeping these areas, clean and repaired will lengthen the life of your home.

Materials: Vapor Barrier, Flashlight, Foam Pipe Wrap, Siding Cleaner, Scrubber, Hose

* Clean your siding. (Remember to apply cleaner from the bottom up and rinse from the top down to keep siding streak-free)
* Clean tough spots with a scrubber.
* Remove mold and mildew. (Siding soaks up mold and mildew like a sponge, decreasing the integrity of the siding)
* Poke your head into the crawlspace with a flashlight. Look for moisture and evidence of termites.
* Check the dirt floor (if you have one). The dirt may look dry, but actually be wet.
* Check your vapor barrier. (If you do not have a vapor barrier, one can be easily made from a variety of materials such as foil or plastic.)
* Check pipe wraps on exposed pipes. If pipes aren’t wrapped, wrap them.
* Check sewer lines under toilets for leaks.

#5 REPAIRING AND CLEANING DECK

Decks are a wonderful addition to a home. Not only do they add value, but living space as well. Maintaining your deck will take very little time and effort and the return is well worth the work.

Materials: Screwdriver, Hammer, Garden Hose, Socket Wrench, Deck Cleaner, Dust Broom, Plastic Sheet or Tarp, Rubber Gloves, Scrub Brush, Deck Sealant

* Clear the year’s worth of debris from in between the floorboards. This debris holds moisture and can cause the floor to rot.
* Sweep Deck.
* Check for water damage, splintered areas, and rotten boards.
* Hammer in any loose or protruding nails.
* Make sure rails are tight.
* Tighten the bolts holding the deck to the house.
* Clean and rinse your deck with deck cleaner. Be sure to protect any plants that may be damaged by the cleaner.
* Apply deck sealer.

Home maintenance can be overwhelming but is so very necessary. On those cold winter nights and hot summer days, you will be glad you repaired and maintained the home that protects you.

We serve West Florida &
Surrounding Areas

Morgan Exteriors, Inc. is a home remodeling company that services most of Tampa Bay Area. We are general contractors, however, we specialize in what we know and do best - Energy Efficient Replacement Windows, Doors, Solid-core Siding, Eaves and overhangs, and most exterior improvements.

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Morgan Exteriors

5122 W. Knox Street. Tampa, FL 33634

Tel: 813-931-4663 or 727-502-5300

Morgan Exteriors - Lutz Location

15915 N Florida Ave, Lutz, FL 33549

Morgan Exteriors - Orlando Location

1966 West New Hampshire St, Orlando, FL 32804

Tel: 407-730-7443