Exterior Staining & Painting
Is your aluminum siding looking hazy or chalky? If this is happening, then you have oxidation starting. Today we are talking about pressure washing techniques | how to clean aluminum siding.
Pressure Washing Techniques | How To Clean Aluminum Siding
Make sure you clean your aluminum siding no less than once a year. If you can afford it, clean it at the beginning of the spring season, following winter. And then once more towards the end of fall. This twice a year maintenance of the aluminum siding will preserve your property in excellent condition.
Keeping your aluminum siding clean regularly helps with something called oxidation. And oxidation means that the paint on your siding is breaking down. One way to find out if your home has oxidation is to move your hand across the siding. If there is a white chalkiness that comes off in your hand, then there is oxidation. And that means that the siding needs to be cleaned. A benefit to routinely cleaning aluminum siding is that it will be clean if you decide to paint your home.
Cleaning Your Siding
Ideally, you’ll want to wash your siding at least once a year. Twice a year is an ideal option. However, what are you cleaning off of your siding? Let’s take a look:
- Bird Poop
- Spider Webs
- Birds nests near the gutters and siding area
- Dirt in the air
- Dirt if you live near a metropolitan area
Before you start cleaning the above items off the aluminum siding of your house lets go over what supplies you will need to get started. First off you need a good cleaning product/agent that has oxalic acid in it. Hardware stores carry products with oxalic acid in them, and Simple Green is also an excellent product to use.
Using A Pressure Washer
The only way to apply the Simple Green or any cleaner is to use a pressure washer. When it comes to using a pressure washer, it is recommended that you use a gas-powered one. With the power washer, make sure that it has a wide tip fan and a 2,500-3,000 psi. An excellent tip to remember is to start slow and then slowly turn up the pressure. This will help you become comfortable with how the pressure washer works and what setting you like it to be on.
When using a pressure washer, it is important to remember to keep moving and don’t stop. If you stop in the middle of pressure washing, then a pattern will be left on your house. Getting too close creates a cleaning pattern, as well. So it is best to work the power washer in a consistent flow pattern. Whether it is up and down or left to right. Being consistent is important. Remember to keep your consistent flow pattern at a 15-degree angle downward while cleaning. This will keep the water from getting underneath the lap siding or between the seams.
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Remember to clean your aluminum siding at least once a year. By following these simple pressure washing techniques | how to clean aluminum siding, you will do just fine. Again there are several different types of cleaning supplies and tools that will make the cleaning process more manageable. By cleaning aluminum siding right after winter and before fall, your home will be in good shape. So by using these pressure washing techniques, you can have a clean house to look at and love for a long time. And it is easy to use a pressure washer on a deck to give it a good clean.
Don’t forget, if you need an estimate on how to clean aluminum siding, give me a call. My team and I have been serving St. Charles, Warrenville, Wheaton, Winfield, Geneva, Batavia, and all of the Chicago area for 30+ years.
You might be wondering why do I need to be pressure washing my aluminum siding? Well, today we are talking about the benefits of pressure washing aluminum siding of your home.
Benefits Of Pressure Washing Aluminum Siding
It is a good idea to pressure wash the siding of your home yearly to keep it clean. But what are you keeping it clean from? Pressure washing helps remove mold, spider webs, bird poop, algae, and mildew. By pressure washing aluminum siding gives it a thorough cleaning before painting the siding. When you go to wash the siding, it is important to remember that you don’t need to be aggressive when using the pressure washer. A light cleaning works just as well so that you don’t risk damaging the paint surface that is below the dirt. So it is a good idea to keep the pressure washer in the range of 200 to 500 PSI (pounds per square inch).
Start at the lower end and slowly increase the pressure until you get the right amount of pressure. This helps to cut through all of the gunk. It is also recommended that you don’t use a zero degree tip. Otherwise, you run the risk of damaging your siding. If the paint on the side of your house is in good shape and you are happy with it. Then cleaning off any accumulating grime and dirt is all that you need. Just doing that gives your house a clean, fresh look.
Using A Pressure Washer
While using a pressure washer, it is recommended that you use a pressure washer chemical injector when you apply the aluminum siding cleaner. A garden sprayer or pump sprayer works well if you don’t have a chemical injector. In general, it is recommended that a siding cleaner that contains oxalic acid to clean the aluminum siding properly. Another good option is Simple Green.
When you start to make sure that you apply it before turning up the pressure and make sure that you let the solution set on the side of the house for a bit and do its job. As you go to wash it off, make sure that the pressure washer is at 2500 PSI and you keep it away from the house about 10-12 inches. You want to make sure that you stand far enough away that you don’t create a pattern on the siding. The trick to washing off the siding is to let to a solution, and not the pressure do the work for you.
This process may require you to clean and rinse the siding twice, but that is the best bet. Especially since it is better than leaving a visible pattern on the side of your house. Remember, as you wash the siding, make sure that you fan the water down. If fanned upward, it is possible to have the water get underneath the siding and bend it upward. So it is better to turn the siding downward.
Preparing For Painting
If you are thinking of painting your house, then using a pressure washer is a good idea. It gives the aluminum siding a very thorough cleaning. Using a more aggressive setting on the pressure washer removes all of the mold, dirt, and mildew. It also removes the chalky residue that oxidizing paint leaves. As well as any loose or flaking paint. This cleaning method is also more aggressive than the gentle yearly clean that was mentioned above.
For prepping paint, it is recommended that you have the pressure in the neighborhood of 2,000 to 3,000 PSI. And when using a higher pressure setting, it is very important that you watch the direction of the fan. Remember to always fan down the wall. Mainly because the higher pressure setting can damage the siding easier if it is fanned up. Don’t worry about leaving patterns on the siding while cleaning because you will be painting over them later on. And you won’t ever see the patterns. It is also important to sand down the edges and the rest of the surface so that the paint sticks to the house better.
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When performing the yearly washing maintenance for your home, you really get to notice anything wrong with your home. By following these simple recommendations, the aluminum siding of your home will look great in no time at all. And by keeping your siding in good shape you will be able to tell if any problems start to arise. So by doing a yearly cleaning with a pressure washer, you can enjoy your new looking home for a long time.
Don’t forget, if you need an estimate on pressure washing the aluminum siding of your home, give me a call. My team and I have been serving Orland Park, Homer Glen, Mokena, Frankfort, Tinley Park, New Lenox, Lemont, Orland Hills, Palos Park, St John IN, and all of the Chicago area for 30+ years.
When it comes to staining or painting the exterior of your home there are many steps that you have to follow. It may seem like a lot to ensure that you are using the ideal tools, picking out the best colors, and making sure the surface is cleaned and all of the nail holes filled appropriately. Today we are going over some easy instructions and tips for painting an exterior of a house.
Instructions and Tips for Painting an Exterior of a Home
When it comes to the exterior of their home many homeowners get confused on whether they should paint or stain it. But when it comes to the exterior there are a few easy ways to tell. If it needs to be painted or stained. But your home has aluminum or vinyl siding then it can be painted. If it has any type of wood siding then stain is the best option. The following steps are excellent instructions and tips for painting an exterior of a house.
When it comes to wood siding it is better to stain it then it is to paint. This is because the stain will penetrate the wood where paint will just sit on the surface. Painting wood siding, especially if it is cedar, is bad news. It is better to go with a good stain on wood siding. But it is important to remember that some of the higher end stains will also come off the siding as they dry and tighten over time. This is because the paint will peel from poor application as well as from the product working too well. So when you are selecting a stain it is better to pick out an acrylic stain.
Before you apply any stain it is important to properly prep. This is because homes often have a painted cedar siding that is rough-sawn that is beginning to peel. Sanding, pressure washing, and scraping the old loose paint off works well. Once all of the old paint is removed you can apply as many new coats as you want. Though it has to be redone every few years a semi-transparent stain is a look that many people like on their homes. Because of that people are switching to a solid body stain instead.
If the siding on your home is a smooth cedar then a nice oil based primer and several coats of paint will work well. A stain could work on this type of siding, but primer and painter are a better recommendation to use. Although many homes are now using a pre-stained wood siding some homes still have raw wood siding. If that is the case for your home then it is good to start off with an oil-based primer. But you will need to cut it with a product called penetrol, which will help the stain penetrate the wood better.
Aluminum and Vinyl Siding
When it comes to aluminum and vinyl siding painting it is the best option. Especially since using a primer isn’t necessary for these types of surfaces. The biggest and most important thing that you have to do with this type of siding is make sure that it is clean. Especially since you don’t want mold, mildew, or dirt on the siding before you begin painting it. This is because the paint won’t stick to the siding if anything like that is there. An easy way to clean the exterior of your home is to use a pressure washer. it is easy to use and can get the job done quickly. When looking for the instructions and tips of painting an exterior of a home. Always remember to follow the directions on how to use a pressure washer.
Using a Spray Application
Using a spray application isn’t recommended for applying stain or paint to your home. While it isn’t wrong to use a spray application. It can just be very hard to use. If you do use a spray application it is best to use it on a nice day with little to no wind. Because any wind or a slight twitch of your hand could send the paint onto your neighbor’s house or car instead. Or even onto your own car. But if you decide to use a spray application make sure that you use a brush to work everything into the surface.
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When applying a stain to wood siding it is best to use an applicator that has a thick nap roller on it. A good recommendation is a three-quarter inch polyester or a one-inch polyester with a seven inch handle. This is because lap siding is about six and a half inches. Before you begin staining make sure that you fill in all of the nail holes with caulk or excessive stain. When it comes to selecting the color it is better to go with a lighter color. Just like with selecting roof shingles, picking a darker paint color will bring in more heat and the light will wear the paint or stain down faster. Lighter colors attract less sun and the colors will stay brighter for longer.
So when you are deciding on whether or not to paint or stain your home it all depends on what type of siding you have. Once you have figured that out it is important to know that you have the right tools to use. Even with the instructions and tips for painting an exterior of a house if you aren’t comfortable with doing the work yourself call a professional to come out. The same goes for your commercial building and keeping it clean and painted.
Don’t forget, if you need an estimate on painting or staining the exterior of your home, give me a call. My team and I have been serving Evanston, Wilmette, Kenilworth, Winnetka, Glencoe, Highland Park, Lake Forest, Lake Bluff, Glenview, Northbrook, and all of the Chicago area for 30+ years.
Having a good backyard is essential to any home, especially if you have a wood fence and are looking for proper wood fence maintenance. A good backyard helps to define the space as longs as several simple steps are followed to maintain it as a healthy space.
Wood Fence Maintenance
The type of fence you use, as well as the condition of it, will say a lot about your backyard. Cedarwood is the most common type used in fences. A fence that is faded and falling apart ages the house. If you plan on selling soon, it will be a big deal or if you are having a get-together. The fence would be an essential part of the curb appeal that was included in the backyard. Here are several steps that you can follow to maintain and improve your wood fence.
Maintaining The Color
Because the paint and stain begin to fade away. It is recommended that a semi-transparent or semi-solid stain be used on your fence. It is also recommended that your fence is maintained every 2-3 years. By being consistent, your fence will look good, and less work is required to update it. Instead of redoing the entire thing.
Like with interior and exterior paint, there are many types of stains to choose from. Sherwin Williams semi-transparent or semi-solid stains are good ones to pick. Benjamin Moore’s Arborcoat, semi-transparent, and semi-solid, is another excellent stain to use. With a semi-transparent stain, your fence will have a more natural look or more color with a semi-solid stain. Picking out an oil-based stain is best because of how well it penetrates the wood. The only downside is that oil-based stains don’t hold the color as well as an acrylic-based material. By picking out the right color and maintaining your fence, you can expect it to look great all the time.
Caring For A Wood Fence
By neglecting your fence, it becomes harder to fix later on. It may begin to lean over, or pieces may fall out because of rot. Planks may also fall off of loose nails. By keeping an eye out for pieces that fall off or for sections that are leaning, you can update them sooner. Mainly because it is one thing to nail a plank back into place in five minutes or less than it is to redo the entire fence because it wasn’t being maintained consistently.
Because wood fences get dirty as time goes on, it is a good idea to pressure wash it every year to remove all of the dirt and other gunk. If you don’t have a pressure washer, it is easy to rent one for several hours. Using a good chemical cleaner with water will get the job done. A deck cleaner will work well for this. If you are renting a pressure washer, you can ask the shop if they have any cleaner on hand. A good cleaning will clear away layers of dirt and debris. Taking care of your fence will make a significant impact on the overall look of your backyard and have it look amazing.
Getting Creative With Wood Fences
A great thing about fences is that you can be creative with them. A portion of the fence can be sectioned off to be and are for anything that you would like to have separated. By sectioning off areas, you are creating functionality while getting rid of eyesores.
An example of this would be creating a 12×12 space for a dog kennel. It would keep everything contained in one place without making guests look at it. Another great example would be using the fence to create a garden. While rabbits will still be a problem, the fence will help keep other animals out as well as keep everything organized.
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Since your fence is an excellent feature in your backyard, it represents your outdoor space and your home. Because of how essential staining is, picking an excellent stain will protect the wood from outside elements. And use the stain to make it look amazing and take pride in how beautiful your backyard is. Just like with a deck, it is essential to keep to a cleaning and maintenance schedule.
Don’t forget, if you need an estimate on wood fence maintenance, give me a call. My team and I have been serving South Barrington, Barrington, North Barrington, Inverness, Lake Zurich, Schaumburg, Elgin, Long Grove, South Elgin, Palatine, Wayne, Deerfield, and all of the Chicago area for 30+ years.
Are you thinking of adding epoxy floor coatings to the floor of your garage or basement? If you are, then you have come to the right place because today we will be discussing DIY Epoxy vs Hiring a Professional. By giving the pros and cons of doing it DIY vs hiring a Professional you can look at both and make the right decision for you and your budget.
DIY Epoxy vs Hiring a Professional
When you first decide to add an epoxy floor coating to the garage or basement, if you are remodeling it, you first need to look at the costs of doing it yourself vs hiring a professional to do it for you. To start you on the right foot, taking a look at the quality of the product is an excellent place to start.
Especially since the variety of store-bought coatings is different than the layers that the professionals use.
When doing an epoxy floor coating on your own, several steps need to be taken to properly prepare the floor and when purchasing the epoxy coating. To start store-bought epoxy is water-based. And will not be thick like the professional product. It may also evaporate too quickly when it is being poured or while drying. Store-bought epoxy also tends to chip easily as well as lift off the floor. Possibly because of heat from the tires on a car.
Before pouring the epoxy on the floor, it is important to clean the floor beforehand properly. The process may take three days. But it will be worth it in the end when you pour the epoxy. To start the floor needs to be washed appropriately using an acid wash. And it can take three days to clean and rinse the floors. When DIY-ing an epoxy floor in your garage or basement, it is essential to be patient with the process.
Although store-bought is very thin and easy to spread, the material is typically 30 to 50% solid content and takes 5 to 7 days to cure. Before pouring the epoxy people often put a product called color flaking in. Though it may not come out evenly, the color flakes add a nice touch to the floor.
When professionals place epoxy down on your garage or basement floor, they are using a high-quality product. Epoxy used by professionals is solvent-based and is 1\8 to 1/4 inch thicker and better quality than store-bought. It also lasts longer and is better resistant to the elements. Preparation time is also a lot quicker than with store-bought since it takes 1-2 days to prepare and apply the coating to the floor. Professionals use machines to grind down the floor, and they will make repairs to hairline cracks and spalling as well.
The epoxy is also more durable and is easy to clean salt, oil, grease, gas and more off of it. When including color flakes, they will come out more even and will help keep the floor slip-resistant.
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Whether you decide to DIY epoxy or hire a professional, it is essential to compare the costs and results of both to make the right decision for your budget. But no matter which way you go the epoxy will give the floor of your garage or basement a nice finish.
Don’t forget, if you need an estimate on having a professional epoxy your floor, give me a call. My team and I have been serving Evanston, Wilmette, Kenilworth, Winnetka, Glencoe, Highland Park, Lake Forest, Lake Bluff, Naperville, Glenview, Northbrook, and all of Chicago area for 30+ years.