Staining the wood instead of using paint as a finish can be a good option. Stained wood allows the wood grains to show, providing a beautiful display of the exterior of your home. The stain requires less maintenance, as it doesn't crack or chip in the same fashion as paint does. A stained finish on wood siding is generally less expensive than a painted finish to install and maintain. The prep work involved, and the maintenance frequency is significantly less.
When it is time to maintain your homes exterior finish, you must determine what products and methods you will use. The first step is to clean the siding surface to remove stains and dirt. If your siding is already painted or stained, utilizing the same finish is most logical. It is very difficult and labour intensive to remove all the paint and then stain with a professional looking finish.
Using a quality caulk that will allow for expansion and contraction, as well as stand up to the elements is essential. We advise spending a couple of dollars more per caulking tube initially, as you will save much more on maintenance and repairs in the long run. We really like LePage Quad Max water sealant. This product is resistant to bubbling and cracking and has no shrinkage. The caulking comes in a variety of colours, or can be later painted to achieve a desired colour.
If you would like to remove old paint, and stain the siding, you will likely have to remove all the old siding to properly refinish it. If restoring your homes wood siding is not practical doing it yourself, or is not feasible to your budget, you might want to consider installing alternative siding options.
Other siding options options include: Engineered Wood Siding, Vinyl \ PVC Siding, Fiber Cement, Fiberglass, Metal, Brick \ Stone, Brick \ Stone Veneer, Stucco & Synthetic Stucco. All the various siding materials have various costs, life expectancy, maintenance requirements and overall curb appeal.
If you would like to learn more about siding, have other home related inquires, please visit our website at www.homeservicepro.ca
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Even more important than having your chimney cleaned, is to have it inspected by a Professional Chimney Sweep. Here are several reasons why it is important to have your fireplace and chimney Inspected:
So, now that we have the chimney swept and inspected, how about lighting your fire. Yes, most of you who grew up with an open fire will know the drill. Newspaper, firelighters, kindling, to get a hot base, and logs. Light the newspaper and stand back. Now depending on the type of property you live in, the fire may or may not burst into life and may or may not spew forth billows of smoke as it struggles to get going. If you have trouble getting the fire to light quickly. Consider the following: More on smoking problems
· Use the right wood. For kindling and to get the fire started, a softwood such as cedar, poplar, spruce, or even pine. However seasoned hardwood or semi-hardwoods are better for logs. Ensure that all wood burned is seasoned as if not, greater resin deposits can form in your chimney and cause fires. Oak, beech, birch, and maple are popular woods for open fires. But in Alberta, most people use Birch or Larch. Do not use yew on an open fire as it has toxic fumes!
Of course open fires are more for aesthetics than practicality. An extract in an article from the Yukon Housing Corporation states that “Conventional wood-burning fireplaces don’t heat a home effectively. Tests show that they can cause major heat loss by drawing heated air out of the house while delivering little heat to the room. This problem can actually make the house feel drafty while the fireplace is operating and can result in a near- or below-zero efficiency when it is cold outside.”
Here are some final useful tips to help you enjoy your fire even more:
At Home Service Pro what we don’t know about open fires isn’t really worth knowing, and we are always happy to ensure that you are making the most of your own open fire. If you live in or around Calgary,Edmonton or other places in Alberta, and want total peace of mind that everything is as it should be, need your chimney sweeping, or just want some advice, then please feel free to get in touch any time.