How To Keep Your Deck Clean

Are you the kind of person who does nothing to clean the deck unless you are holding a barbecue? And, even then you clean the grill and the furniture but ignore the deck. With warm summery days in, you will be holding a lot of barbecue parties, and if you want your deck to look presentable and last long, you should make an effort to keep it clean.

Are you the kind of person who does nothing to clean the deck unless you are holding a barbecue? And even then, you clean the grill and furniture, but ignore the deck. With warm summery days coming you’ll be doing a lot of entertaining and you’ll want your deck to look it’s best.

Here’s how to do it:

1. Get A Cover For The Umbrella – Keep it closed when you are not using it.  Left open, dirt, debris and leaves can stain the umbrella.  If you don’t want to close it, consider getting a cover.  This may seem like extra work and expense, but you won’t be dealing with a dirty umbrella at the end of the season or having to think about replacing it.

2. Store All Chair Cushions – If you want the chair cushions to remain in good condition, put them away. Store them and take them out only when you are going to use them. Otherwise, exposure to the natural elements will stain them or the cushion fabric will begin to look old and faded. If you are not going to store them when not in use, make sure that you invest in a good waterproof fabric.

3. Clean Your Deck Weekly – Debris accumulates under the furniture and around the planters.  Schedule a regular time to clean the deck, preferably weekly after you have mowed the lawn.  Remove dried leaves and other debris into a pile some distance away to prevent it from blowing or getting tracked back again.

If the planters are heavy, then it may be difficult to move them. Get planters with wheels, so that you can wheel them aside and clear the moisture trapped beneath them. Letting moisture accumulate will be harmful for the deck, especially if it is wooden.

Buy lightweight furniture for the deck, so that you can tilt or move it and let the rainwater run down. Remove the moisture and all traces of water to protect the furniture and the deck.

4. Keep Paper Towels Handy – Use paper towels to clean stains on the deck, furniture, umbrella, tablecloth or the cushions, as soon as you see them. This will prevent the stains from becoming permanent. And the quicker you blot the stains, the easier it will be to remove them.

Don’t forget to wash between the slats, the underside, and the intersections when you are doing your weekly deck cleaning. Use a mild detergent and water to wash the deck. Following these tips will ensure that it is always clean during the summer and spring months. This will also help extend the life of your deck.

For more information on maintaining or even repairing your decks, contact Handyman Matters, at 1-866-FIX-MY-HOME or enter your zip code above to find a location in your area.

Choosing the Right Paint Color for Your Kitchen

There are many great ways to update and change the look of your kitchen, and one of the best and least expensive ways is to paint it. In doing so, you will want to consider the color and style of your flooring and the other features in the room.

A good way to compare and contrast a number of ideas is to obtain color swatches or sample colors from your local paint or home improvement store to put on a small portion of the wall.

Consider which features of the kitchen will stay the same. You want to stick with a compatible motif as much as possible when choosing a new color, unless you are going to change it all up.  Make sure that you choose the colors that will blend well with your entire decor.

Also consider your kitchen lighting.  Many people are now using CFL bulbs to reduce costs and conserve energy.  In any event, remember that all colors will look different, based upon the type of illumination in the room.  It might be prudent to update your lighting before making a final decision on color selections.

Finally, consider how well the color will flow with the rest of the house.  In so many homes these days, kitchens open directly onto other areas, and a color scheme that looks good on its own may be jarring when it bumps up against the conflicting design of an adjacent room.  Utilize tones that complement those in other areas.

And remember that you can always contact Handyman Matters at 1-866-FIX-MY-HOME  for assistance with any home renovation projects.  Our craftsmen stand ready to offer tips or to implement your design ideas.  To locate a Handyman Matters business near you, simply enter your zip code above to find the location closest to you.

 

Affordable Garden Ideas

If you are invested in making sure that your garden looks good this year, it is time to start planning. And while gardens are a lot of work, you will find that they do not need to be an expensive undertaking. Take a moment to consider what your options might be before plunging headlong into unnecessary costs.

If you are invested in making sure that your garden looks good this year, it is time to start planning.   And while gardens are a lot of work, you will find that they do not need to be an expensive undertaking.  Take a moment to consider what your options might be before plunging headlong into unnecessary costs.


Consider starting your garden from seeds rather than from sprouts.  A few months before the growing season, acquire your seeds, fold them into paper towels and keep them damp.  As they grow, choose the largest sprouts and put them into peat pots or small containers full of soil.  Wait until they are relatively sturdy before transplanting them.  This can take a lot of the cost out of gardening, as sprouts and young plants cost a lot more than seeds.

You can start a compost pile or a worm bin for a relatively small amount of money.  Compost helps your garden grow a lot more fervently than chemical growth solutions, and it is better for your environment in general.  You don’t have to have an enormous compost heap in the yard; a small one or a drum will do.

Save water.  When the rains come in, put out buckets to catch some water, or even cut off a drainspout and have the water drain into a barrel.  Make sure that the water is covered to prevent mosquitoes from laying their eggs in the water, but otherwise, you can simply use the water that you catch to water your garden and save on the water bill.

Grow local plants. Local plants will not only be more resistant to disease in the area, but they also tend to be cheaper than exotics.  This can make a huge difference to your garden, and growing local also tends to bring in local pollinators, like bees and butterflies.

For additional tips or assistance in maintaining your garden, yard and other landscaping needs, you can contact Handyman Matters at 1-866-FIX-MY-HOME or enter your zip code into the zip finder above at www.handymanmatters.com in order to locate the location closest to your home.

 

Cleaning Your Dryer Vent

As with any appliance, maintaining it in its best working condition is vital. In addition to the inconvenience of having machinery break down and requiring a visit from a repairman, poorly-working appliances pose health and fire hazards.

As with any appliance, maintaining it in its best working condition is vital.  In addition to the inconvenience of having machinery break down and requiring a visit from a repairman, poorly-working appliances pose health and fire hazards. 

The basic structure of a dryer consists of a large drum to spin your clothes, the mechanics to move the drum, a heating element, dryer setting controls, a fan, a lint trap and a vent for the hot air to be removed. It sounds simple enough, but if you don’t keep your dryer vents clean, it can be deadly.

When you dry your clothes, all the tumbling causes small fibers to come off and get caught in the lint trap. Not all lint is caught here. Some continues into the exhaust tube and is blown outside. Overtime, lint can build up in the tube. As the buildup increases and the dryer vents become clogged, risks build, too.

One of the first things you may notice is the increased time it takes your clothes to dry.  As your dryer runs longer, your electric bill grows.   You may also find an increase of moisture from warm air not being able to leave the dryer efficiently. This can cause mold to grow inside your home, which could lead to health issues.

If you have a gas dryer, there is a danger of carbon monoxide building up.  If it can’t vent to the outside, it has no other place to go but back into the home.  The most dangerous problem of a clogged vent is that lint is extremely flammable.  As the dryer struggles to get rid of the hot air, the whole unit overheats.  The combination of overheating and combustible material can ignite a fire.

Thousands of homes are destroyed every year due to fires caused by dryers.  Make sure your dryer vents and exhausts are cleaned on a regular basis.  Check and clean your dryer vent before and after each load of laundry.  At least twice a year, clean the exhaust tube that exits from the dryer.  If you are unable to clean these vents yourself, consider hiring a professional. Not only can he give you peace of mind for safety, a professional may also be able to help you decrease your electric bill.

For assistance in maintaining and cleaning your dryer, you can contact Handyman Matters at 1-866-FIX-MY-HOME or enter your zip code on our website to find a location in your area.