Outdoor Projects

Winterize to Check for Leaks

Winterize the Home

Winterize the Home

Spring cleaning happens to be something many people do, but probably only a few people understand what it is to winterize your home. Fall means winter season is around the corner, and you should use the occasion to make sure that your house is ready for it. Fall, with the attendant dying out of leafy growth, is an excellent time to examine your residence’s walls, since it will be easier to spot any shrubs that are becoming invasive. Exterior siding is easily damaged by roots and vines that cling to the surface – even bricks aren’t immune – and they should be cleaned off.

When they are no longer needed to do any watering, the garden hose should all be emptied and rolled up to be placed into storage for the winter. The water to the exterior faucets should be turned off, so that they can drain and get dry. When you believe you won’t make use of the garden furniture once again that year, get it cleaned and stored in a dry place. You need to protect any young trees you’ve got with mulch, particularly in their first year of growth. All drainage ditches really should be cleared to enable them to cope with any heavy rains.

Once the weather starts to get colder, it is time to start thinking about fireplaces. Almost everyone requires a chimney sweep at the same time when a cold spell shows up, so call early to beat the rush. In case you use firewood, don’t delay in finding someone and getting a good supply built up. If you make use of a fireplace during the winter, you should check all of your smoke alarms to make sure they are working. Also check the flashing around the chimney, this is a source of many leaks.

As far as outside the home focus on the following: The connections to the Christmas lights may become brittle and crack if you don’t ever take them down, so check them for sufficient flexibility. Check your outbuildings and sheds for rotting boards and make repairs or replace them as needed. When you use storm windows, they must be installed with weatherstripping to be completely weather tight. You need to check if some of the weather-stripping has become dried out from the summer’s heat and should be replaced. The windows usually are seldom opened in winter, so it will be necessary to check the condition of the filters in the range hood as well as the air conditioner returns.

Check the ground around your home to make sure that it still slopes away. In case water happens to drain into the cellar, or the foundation, that can be bad news for your house. The first damage is wet rot, which sooner or later leads to dry rot, and this is definitely something to be prevented anywhere in your home. Regularly inspect your home for warning signs of seepage.

Leaks will not be kept away forever, so check the places where leaks most commonly occur, these being the roofing, the guttering, the downpipes and the interior plumbing. If you find any type of leaks, you should obviously get them fixed. Prevent a draft by covering up air-conditioning units, and look at wrapping exterior pipes, especially if the house is older. After a summer of tracking dirt into the home shampooing the carpets is recommended. While you are at it, you might also thoroughly clean the windows.

Colored Sealant for Decking Upgrades

Freshly Sealed Deck

Freshly Sealed Deck

Everybody prefers to have their house look nice and be protected from the elements, and with a bit of ingenuity and elbow grease, you can do it easily. By using splashes of color, you’ll be able to take your outside deck or patio, and jazz it up. First you will want to make use of a colored sealant to preserve the structure of the deck and give it a face lift. It may well only take your creativity to perk up the outdoor living spaces, by purchasing a few accent pieces that will make a bold statement. In fact second-hand pieces can look new with a little effort and creativity. Continue reading and discover several techniques to make your deck an enjoyable place to gather.

Absolutely nothing you do can help, if your patio needs painting, so the first thing you should do is power wash it, and then give it a new coat of paint or stain. Or keep the natural wood and go with a colored sealer, this is less ongoing work that painting a deck. You should consider the color scheme you want to have. Imaginative use of coordinating colors can have a nice impact and really give your deck a visual lift. Methods to brighten up your outdoor deck or patio are only restricted to your imagination. A backyard deck should look attractive for when you are expecting friends round. You’ll find some affordable furniture that is offered in the colors that match everything you have already chosen.

Perhaps outdated wicker chairs and tables might be brought to life with color matched paint and used on your deck. Perhaps, you’ll feel slightly adventuresome, and paint some kind of pattern, and when you do, use acrylic paint that you protect with a coat of varnish. For any individual touch you can easily custom paint your own design onto the side of a galvanized bucket oblong or container to use as an ice bucket to chill drinks etc. You should keep food apart from the surface, unless of course you are using paint that is safe for food. Use natural objects and settings to inspire your patterns and colors, for instance a seashore theme with pale blues, yellows and greens is eye catching. An interesting effect can be achieved if you paint the slats of a slatted table-top with varying shades of one color. You be the judge of what you want, and use the colors you like.

While you’re spicing up your patio or deck area, why not make other things more vibrant like window boxes, garden sheds and porches? A different way to try to get creative is to fix up colored lighting for your deck area. Strings of colored lights are generally lots of fun together with lanterns both of which can be mounted on trees or wooden beams. Take the time to fix any rot around the base of your deck. A little extra work now can save you costly repairs in the future. Any where you see lattice that is rotted remove and replace the pieces. There are lattice pieces made of durable plastic that you may wish to upgrade to.  Replacing rotted pieces on a window box is essential as is rotting boards on an outdoor shed. Be sure to get to the root of the issue and fix any drainage issues while you are at it.

A lot of people have bought ordinary white vinyl furniture in the past and you may be one of them. To make it match your brand new deck or patio colors you can paint it with a paint specially manufactured for vinyl. New cushions on your freshly painted vinyl chairs are going to complete that renewed look. Selecting your colors cautiously before beginning to get the overall look right is very important. Needless to say, all of us have differing likes and preferences and so color schemes may turn out with pastel shades or vivid and bold colors. Get familiarized with design schemes out there to inspire your own backyard renovation project.

Once you have your deck in top shape you may be ready to move on to an indoor project…tile work.

What a Waterproofed Deck Should Look Like

dad on deck

dad on deck

Here is a photo of my dad on a deck at his house.

We just finished doing some maintenance on this and I wanted to show you what a perfectly waterproofed deck should look like.

Once you get your deck waterproofed you should be able to see the water drops pool up on it.

Check out the photo below, this is exactly what you should see when you spill a little water on a properly water proofed, cured, seasoned, decking material.

Isn’t that a pretty sight?

This deck sealant should last five years at least and possibly longer because we did everything right and took no shortcuts!

Read more about how to upgrade your deck with sealant and new furniture.

water pooling on deck

water pooling on deck


DIY Foundation Waterproofing

I came across this video on how to waterproof your foundation. I have to say they got it right. If you are needing this done and want to give it a go on your own, this is a great step-by-step tutorial.



If you want a simpler project check out the deck I waterproofed with my dad.