Maintaining Your Deck: Power Washing and Waterproofing

Cleaning and Maintenance

Though wood decks are durable, they do require cleaning and maintenance. One way to clean a wood deck is to use a power washer. Power washing your deck requires some knowledge, a bit of skill, and equipment. Using a power washer can be tricky because misuse can damage a wood deck. If you don’t want to purchase a power washer, you can rent the equipment. Using a power washer is the quickest method to clean the deck to make it ready for staining and sealing commonly called the finishing process. However, it is also the fastest way to cause gouges in the deck’s surface. Using high-pressure water removes the surface layer. Though it does remove the gray dull color and restore the natural color, using the power washer requires skill to avoid irreparable damage.

To avoid serious damage, keep the sprayer approximately four to eight inches away from the deck’s surface and keep moving the sprayer as you use it. It will take some practice to achieve the correct distance to use and to learn how to use the power washer. Perhap’s you could practice using the power washer on another object. Still, using caution is advised no matter the object that is to be cleaned. As you use the power washer, the results should be immediate and you should be able to notice the difference in the color of the wood. To avoid cross-grain streaks and ridges, move the tip of the power washer parallel to the wood grain.


Waterproofing Your Deck

Waterproofing a wood deck is another maintenance task. Materials needed to waterproof or seal your deck include the following: sandpaper, broom, stiff scrub brush, water, paint stirrer, deck sealer, paint tray and liner, lint free nap roller (1/2 inch), small paintbrush, and a lamb’s wool pad. Prep the area to be sealed by removing all items from the deck surface. Check for loose or damaged boards and repair them. Use sandpaper to smooth rough edges or fix minor cosmetic damage. Sweep away leaves, dirt, and debris. Use a stiff scrub brush to thoroughly clean the deck using water. Rinse with clean water and allow the wood to air dry. This process will take two or three days for the wood to completely dry. Choose a time when the air is not humid and it is not going to rain for a few days.

Power Washing Company in Columbia, MO

Choose a recommended sealing product, or sealant, that is manufactured for use on wood decks. Watch the weather pattern and choose a time when the weather will be dry for a few days. Put the tray liner into the paint tray. Using the paint stirrer, thoroughly mix the sealant and pour it into the paint tray. Use the 1/2-inch lint free nap roller to coat the wood. Roll the sealant onto the wood as if you were painting the surface. Use a method of covering two to three sections of the deck boards at a time. Apply a thin and even coat. Use a paint brush to apply the sealant to the corners and railings. Read the manufacturers directions for applying the sealant. Apply several thin layers of the sealant and take your time completing the entire sealant process.


Termites: What Exactly Are They?

Termites can be found within the USA. Termites all belong to the classification of phylum Arthropoda, the class Insecta, and the order Isoptera. They are the infraorder of eusocial insects that are familiar to cockroaches. There are over 2,300 species of termites. They have soft bodies and straight antennae. They vary in size and the queens and kings are larger, capable of reaching over one inch long. The colors of termites range from white to light brown where worker termites often appear lighter colored, while swarming termites are of a darker color. Flying termites are called reproductives. They have two pairs of prevalent wings. Most of the termites are found in tropical or subtropical regions such as deserts and rain forests. However, more than 50 species can be found in the USA, Australia, and Asia. Within the USA, termites cause more than $12 billion in annual damage, repairs, and termite prevention costs. Termites are a major pest in Japan, South East Asia, India, France and Australia. No matter where they are found, termites wreak havoc damaging structures.

Subterranean termites build large colonies under the ground, which consist of very elaborate tunnels and chambers. These colonies contain Worker termites that build protective tunnels with mud and saliva. These tunnels reach above-ground wood. The diet of the termite consists of wood and other cellulose material. Termites are classified into groups. The three major groups are subterranean, drywood, and dampwood termites. Further, subterranean termites are divided into more groups such as the Western subterranean termite, Eastern, Formosan, Desert, and the Arid-land subterranean termite.

Below are various types of termites:
Alates (swarmers): Dark-brown to black color, about 1/4 to 1/2 inch long with two pairs of wings equal in length.
Worker termites: With this type of termite there are no wings. They are approximately 1/4 inch or less in length and cream colored.
Soldier termites: Again, they have no wings. They have large jaws. They are termite colony defenders. Their color is creamy-white and their heads have a brownish color.

Pest Control in St. Louis

A termite infestation causes severe damage to your home or property. Termites, often called the �silent destroyer�, hide and thrive in your home or yard. They silently inflict damage without any immediate signs of detection. Termites eat cellulose-based plant materials. Regardless of their construction material, all homes provide cellulose food for termites to eat. Found within the USA, are subterranean, drywood, and dampwood termites. They like moist or damp conditions. Though termites do serve a purpose, they cause expensive damage to a building or structure. Ecologically beneficial, termites break down detritus to add nutrients to soil. These same behaviors that prove helpful to the ecosystem in turn cause severe damage to buildings and your home. Primarily, termites feed on wood. They compromise the strength and safety of a structure. Structures become inhabitable until expensive repairs are completed. Take precaution and have a thorough termite inspection conducted on your home or business property. Call a reputable termite inspection service to review your home or business and suggest the course of action to take to prevent and avoid further damage.

Home Services

5 tips to find the best home services

Home services have now become essential. Many homeowners hire such services in order to complete the tasks that would have otherwise been done on their own. Given that it saves a lot of time and effort, calling home services can be very beneficial.

Nevertheless, it has become very difficult to choose the right home service. There are hundreds of services out there in the market which makes it challenging to get hands on the best one. Fortunately, here are some of the tips that can be followed to find the best service:

1. Check quality of service

Quality of service must be checked in order to know which company must be chosen. Make sure you check the level of quality that is being offered through their services. This can be inquired by asking them different questions in relation to the quality. Also ask them about quality control checks that are put in place. Competence can be figured out by visiting their website.

2. Experience must be inquired

Home services are all about experience. Experience counts a lot in this field. More the experience, higher the chances are of the service being of good quality. Ask them for how long have they been in the service. Also inquire into the clients and customers they have served in the past. Home services that come with more experience know how to deal different houses. They are able to treat the house in a more effective manner.

3. Ask about the equipment being used

Equipment will determine the result of overall home service. Home services entail a number of things but most of them are done through using some sort of equipment. Ask the service provider about the quality of equipment being used. Also ask them about the products that will be utilized. Better the products are, higher the chances are of exceptional results. Do not overlook on this aspect in order to get hands on the right home service company.

4. Customer reviews must be read

This is perhaps the most important tip of all. Customer reviews must be read before making any final decision. There are hundreds of options available out there. In order to make the right decision, make sure you go through customer reviews. This will help form a better idea. It gives practical insight into the actual customer experience. It also helps in distinguishing between different services. Pros and cons of different services can be weighed in order to get hands on the right service.

5. Ask for referrals

Home services are a norm. Most homeowners have been accessing such services since a long time. This is why you need to ask for referrals. Ask your friends and family about different home services. This is how you can know about more services in the market.

The bottom line

Choosing a good home service is very important in order to get good results. Above are some tips that must be taken into account.