Get Eco-friendly With Stone Exteriors

One thing common in all cities such as Rome, Italy, Venice etc, which have restored their historic monuments, is the extensive use of stone in the exteriors. The use of stone as the material of choice in constructions dates back to the ancient civilizations. Newer materials such as paints, steel, aluminum and acrylics for exteriors were conceived much later, in the Industrial Age. Stone exteriors are cost efficient, sturdy, give a character to the building besides lasting more than a life time.

Due to its versatility, durability and weather resistant quality, stone has become the preferred material of choice in modern day architecture as well. Stone exteriors provide a place with a very warm appeal and give it an old world charm as palaces, churches and other historic monuments are associated with having stone exteriors. Besides this, environment friendly construction is becoming very popular across the globe as more and more natural materials are used in construction.

There are many types of stone which are used in exteriors such as granite, marble, slate, limestone and sandstone. Each material is processed very differently and has distinct natural qualities over the other types of stones. For example, granite is formed from the quick cooling of molten magma in volcanoes which is the reason it is considered the sturdiest material for exteriors. Marble on the other hand is formed from pre-existing rock on which heat or pressure is used. Granite and marble have numerous options in color and finish to choose from. Other stones such as slate, sandstone etc are used as accents on exteriors. The cost of installing stone exteriors may be more than traditional exteriors but the benefits of stone are much more.

If you feel that natural stone is expensive, there are other options such as stone veneers, which can you can opt for. Stone veneers are not natural stones but are processed in a factory giving the same look and feel as natural stone, but at a much cheaper price. However the main distinguishing factor between natural stone and veneers is the durability. Veneers are easily chipped off and can get discolored over a period of time. However, a mix of natural stone or veneers can be used in construction.

Stone can be used in the entire exterior construction or can be used to highlight certain key areas that interest you. Although initially you may feel that it may be expensive to install, you will soon realize that using stone is complete value for money as the maintenance is minimal, providing you with long term benefits. People these days have started recognizing that stone is indeed a versatile material with manifold benefits and use it extensively in outdoor walls and flooring.

Exterior repainting and repair dos and don’ts

If your exterior paint is falling off, it needs a repaint: Simple. You should use the skills of a professional for this. There is the defined risk of lead poisoning and other harmful chemical getting in contact with your skin. That may even amount to a feral disease.

You should not go over budget on repainting. Get the sanding and washing done cheaply or better do it yourself. Buy primer and distemper cans in adequate but not additional quantity. Paint is not a thing to buy in bulk and further use.

Never use diametrically opposite paint. Oil and latex is a beautiful example of this. They will not stick on each other and result in fast flaking. If your wall is plastered or dry walled, get the sheets or the entire covering out part by part. It is not intelligible to color drywalls.

If there is damage due to weather and aging, remove the basic reason. Don’t let leakage seep in. Keep your exteriors disinfected. If your house is by a swamp, it becomes urgent to safeguard the exteriors against bugs. Slight tanning will do it fine. Use a sharp knife to remove the molds or segments that are falling off.

Don’t do the repair work open handed. Use gloves and masks as protection. If there is too much pollution, wash the exterior regularly with pressure hoses and then laminate it.

It is better to start from the top. If the color drips down, you may correct it downwards. Give it time. There is no point rushing with repainting. You may also use foam for water absorption. Never let the walls damp. They will peel off the paint in that case.

Never use the paint directly. Make a good mixture and then check on an unused surface how the paint is coming off. This will make the work more professional. Check the relevant sites on the net for good guidance.

Insulate the water pipes. If there are a lot of them, bundle them in a group. Try fashioning them near the bathroom or kitchen, and certainly not the living room or bedroom.

Get the paint completely scraped off before repainting. This may take some time but do it meticulously. They may not react well with the new paint and make matters worse for your exteriors.

Remove all external features neatly. Wooden shutters, cornices, palisade and tarpaulin should not stay while you are repainting or repairing close enough spaces.

Keep welcome mats on the doors. This is a progressive step to keep the moisture out. Also place your door at a slight height and not concomitant with ground level. This will save your home during water logging. And keep your kids off the area of work. They are very vulnerable to infections.

Tips and tricks on installing exterior wood shutters

Many families implement wood shutters to prevent harsh sunlight and rain from coming in and also allow privacy. Shutters make your home look good from outside. Installing wood shutters is a complicated process and you should try hiring a professional for the same.

You should first coat the window edges with basic primer. It acts as solid support base for shutters. Keep them varnished and stained to be absolutely restrictive to sunlight. Cedar, oak, fir, pine, sandalwood, and many other wood materials work out fine as shutters.

You need to measure your windows from all sides. Leave half an inch for ventilation purpose on four sides. If there are multiple windows, use softwood. If this is not the case, you can pick any wood.

Place the shutter neatly on the window and check where the holes need to be made. Then drill those holes and fine-tune them. Place wood strips into these holes and then put in nails. Then clamp your shutter on these nails.

You will need hinges in the middle for a smooth shutter. Place these hinges well and post measurement. Then hand them support through saw horses. Make sure that the shutters open up easily. Lubricate them with mustard or olive oil. You may also need them to be open sideways. If there is torque or resistance while doing this, it means that the work has not been well done.

Use wood oils on the edges for smoothness and let the shutter slip through. This will make the shutter cooperative within days. Do not use much wood oil in the kitchen as that may cause fire.

Wood shutters are enough for window decoration and you will not need frosted or colored glass panes. You can even bid goodbye to curtains on the window with wooden shutters.

Bolts and sliders are other appliances that you may add on your window shutter for better use. They will specially hold well in case of severe thunderstorm, a common occurrence in many places. Wooden shutters will not work well if the windows are too large. In this case, proper grills are the best option. You can even use Roman blinds to serve the windows.

You can have these window shutters in any style or color you like. Try to get them in texture with the exterior coloring. Add a bit of tan to get rid of dampness and pests.

Be perfect with measurement or else the entire operation will look awkward and cumbersome. It is better to take both inner and outer measurements and then leave spaces accordingly. Remember that it is a clamp-on and so it should be easily removable. Wooden shutters are a smart way to let your house breathe in freshness.

DIY painting pointers essentials

Painting the house is not a simple thing. It requires methodical preparation. Generally, you should go for expert help, but if you are a DIY – Do It Yourself – fanatic, you should take care of certain things. You have to paint the ceiling and then the four walls. Get the interior furnishings removed. If they cannot be removed, cover them with plastic sheets. While painting the ceiling, put paint tapes at the edges to prevent any seeping of colors underneath.

If the ceiling is acoustic, get it down softly and bit by bit. Don’t meddle with the inner heating equipments and hidden wires. You may as well texture-paint the ceiling with airbrushes. You will also need solid wooden portable platform to cover the entire ceiling. First shower it with sufficient water and then allow the paint to cover the ceiling. Once that is done, leave the area for a day to dry up. Then get to the walls.

Walls are easier to paint and you should make sure that you have the coloring materials at hand. You may also need a ladder if the walls are high. Apply smooth rollers for painting if the walls are vinyl or wooden. First, you need to prime it well. Sand the walls well and get good riddance with all stains, molds, and other impurities. Use sander and scraper and scrape out the previous painting slowly but surely.

When you have applied primers on the walls, leave it for another day. Then wash the primer with pressure hoses and see if the primer is coming out. With good work, the primer will stay. Now apply paint by small sections. Don’t leave gaps. Also check the texture of ceiling for choosing the interior coloring. Cover the alcoves if you have separate arrangements for them. Once again paint tape the wall-floor edges.

It is necessary to leave some space near the edges. Keep them spliced with wood or metal. This is because paint has a tendency to spill in capillary manner. Leave the space for that and your color will be brighter for a good enough time. Even if you are doing it, you may have a knowledgeable person by your side for guidance. If the walls are dry walled or plastered, you shall not put paint directly. You will first need to peel the plaster off before painting. This is a pre-primer step and not post-painting. Also, keep gloves handy and a suitable mask on your face. This will prevent ant viral or bacterial infection. Sometimes, the edges may be rough and while smoothening them, it may hurt. Don’t let it get into the skin.

Keep the whole thing within the estimated budget. Take acute measurements and get guided on the exact amount of paint you will need.

Caring For The Wood Exteriors Of Your House

If you have wood siding or extensive wood surfaces on the outside of your house, you know that they tend to get spotted or dirty. Wood is very nice and warm but it is susceptible to dirt and wear and needs proper maintenance especially when used outdoors. If you think that you need to clean the wood exterior of your home or that the wood siding and panels are stained here are some cleaning methods you can use:

Water and Bleach: sometimes implementing traditional and known methods is the best way to deal with stains and dirt. Wood logs and decks and the vast majority of finishes can be cleaned with a mixture of bleach and water. You can either spray it using a regular sprayer or pour some of the mixture especially where tough spots exist. Work on the stubborn stains with a brush. Some people try to create a mixture of several chemicals using bleach and chlorine, but this is to be avoided by all means. Wood is a sensitive material and does not need homemade solutions with uncertain results. Do not mix bleach with wood bleach ever, because it will destroy the wood panels and will give you a hard time plus the fumes from this type of mixture can be even lethal.

Wood Bleach and Water: Wood bleach also known as oxalic acid is a great wood cleaner when combined with water. Normal stains, especially ones coming from nails and metallic components can be easily removed with this mixture. People who want to brighten up the wood panels use sprayers as well. The mixture works as a sort of poison. It helps the wood stay clean and bright and it protects it from living organisms, such as termites and anything else that might destroy wood. As a poison, though, it could be dangerous for people. Therefore you need to protect yourself when using it.

Sodium Percarbonate: This is one of the most common and known solutions for wood exterior cleaning. You can use it to clean stained wood logs, remove grime from wooden panels and siding or to periodically clean the wooden components of the exterior. Sodium Percarbonate can be sprayed on logs and panels using a regular hand or garden sprayer.

Phosphoric acid: One of the most reliable and strong solutions for cleaning log and wood surfaces, phosphoric acid can be used both as a cleaner for maintenance reasons or to prepare the wood surface for new coat or finish. The exteriors of logs are an ideal place for pollen and dirt accumulation. The main advantage of phosphoric acid is that it does not upset the pH balance of wood, preventing damage or permanent stains.

Wood exterior cleaning is absolutely necessary if you want to ensure the longevity and durability of your logs and wooden surfaces.

Brick Exteriors To Keep Your Home Cool

Research conducted by the National Association of Home Builders and other real estate organizations indicate that more than 60% of homeowners prefer to use bricks for their exterior walls. This does not really come as a surprise. Aesthetically, while brick buildings look imposing and grand along with the old-world charm, they are also a symbol of stability and permanence – aspects that any homeowner would seek and hope for one’s family. Brick homes are considered to be more strong and durable and as per Marshall and Swift’s Residential Cost Handbook, brick homes provide a 6%-10% higher resale value over homes that have other exteriors. And for the environment conscious, brick is certainly the best go-green option. It also keeps your home naturally cool and acts as a natural sound insulator. Brick exteriors are inexpensive to maintain than the others and with a little pre-emptive monitoring, they can serve as durable exteriors for homes.

Most problems associated with brick exteriors circle around moisture. Since bricks are porous, they can retain water and moisture. Some of the signs that indicate that your brick exteriors might be deteriorating are cracks, stains like white blotchy spots; also called efflorescence and corrosion in mortar joints. However, these can be prevented by using the following precautions during construction.

Mortar, the material that bonds the bricks together, should be softer than the bricks otherwise, they can lead to disintegration. This may result in wear and tear of the mortar. Therefore, homeowners should periodically, say every 15-20 years repoint the mortar joints.

Change in temperature/moisture can cause the brick to contract and expand. Installing expansion and control joints in the wall will allow for movement of bricks as well as minimize the stress caused due to these movements. All brick buildings should have small holes, known as weep holes, along the bottom row that will drain out any condensation that is built up inside the wall. It is advised to seal the brickwork with a waterproofing agent to minimize any water infiltration

It is recommended not to grown any creepers on the bricks as they may cause a wedge through the wall and if not monitored, may cause serious structural damage.

During the design of exterior walls, water/moisture infiltration can be restricted using the “drainage system”. Drainage walls involve building a cavity between the exterior facing brick wall and a back-up wall made up of steel-stud or wood. When water is absorbed in the brick wall, it will drain to the flashing and move out of the wall through the weeps.

There are several colors available for brick wall lovers including brown, chocolate, copper or sand. Neutral colored brick superimposed with other colors is another trend that is catching popularity amongst the urban junta.


Paint Depot-Grand Opening

Paint Depot-Grand Opening

Unheard of just a few years ago, many people are turning to websites like Paint Store to buy paint and painting supplies.

Featuring a minimum of 10,000 products online, Miami-based Paint Store has been serving a growing client base for more than 3 years. Owner Mauricio Frusciante developed the company after working as a paint professional for nearly 20 years. His goal is to save clients both time and money when undertaking major painting projects. Ordering paints and supplies online helps people eliminate unnecessary aggravation, he said. “No more hunting for parking spaces or waiting on long lines for your number to be called. We deliver to your door.”