Do-It-Yourself Projects

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    Rain Gutter Installation - Everything You Need to Know

    4/18/2013 2:07 PM

    The rain gutters and downspouts on your home are sometimes taken for granted. Many homeowners assume that as long as the gutters aren’t falling off then they’re doing their job. But if you take the time to inspect your entire gutter system, you may find issues that can affect many different areas of your home and landscaping.   Gutters collect rainwater from your roof and channel it towards the downspouts where it’s carried away from your home.  But anywhere along the water’s path, problems can occur with your gutter system that cause it to fail.  Leaky gutter seams, rust holes, improper gutter slope, damaged fasteners or brackets, clogged downspouts and improper drainage of water away from the home can create damage to your soffit, roofing, foundation, basement and landscaping. 

  • Rain Gutters & Barrels – The Green Way to Conserve Water and Reduce Runoff

    4/4/2013 5:48 PM

    Efficient Gutters & Barrels Make a Big Difference It’s springtime, which means the potential for heavy rain showers in the mid-Atlantic region.  Making sure your rain gutters are free of clogs and your downspouts drain away from your foundation correctly are important maintenance tasks prior to stormy weather. But during a heavy downpour, rainwater tends to pool at the bottom of the downspout from the sheer volume of water in a short amount of time. Heavy downpours can also carry away pollutants much quicker, dumping them into the storm drains and eventually our waterways.   There’s a way to collect that rainwater. A rain barrel is a system that collects rainwater from your roof and stores it for later use.  Rain barrels offer a two-fold benefit: protecting our ecosystem while providing a ready supply of fresh water for lawn and landscape use. 

  • Home Improvement Tips for Cleaning Windows

    3/29/2013 12:55 PM

    Spring Cleaning your Windows, Screens & Sills Despite that crazy early-spring snowstorm we had, signs of spring have returned to Maryland, Virginia and Washington DC.  With spring comes warmer temperatures and the urge to get out and breathe in some fresh air. And what better way to air out your home than to open your windows and let the spring breezes freshen up your rooms.   But after a long winter, your windows have probably taken a beating.  Between autumn leaves and debris and a winter of storms and wind, your windows, screens, and sills are probably looking a little rough. Spend the time cleaning them the right way and you’ll have them looking like new. 

  • Springtime Rain Gutter Checkup

    3/27/2013 6:45 PM

    Spring is in full swing in the mid-Atlantic area.  After being stuck indoors all winter long, many residents are anxious to get working in the yard.  In fact, much of your home’s exterior will need spring maintenance and cleaning after taking a beating over the winter. And one of the first areas you should tackle is your raingutters.   Rain gutters are an important component of your home’s structure. They are the primary means for rainwater to be carried off your roof, into the downspouts and away from your foundation.  Performing a gutter inspection and basic gutter maintenance tasks is a fairly easy DIY project for a homeowner. 

  • Entry Door Maintenance: Front Doors Take Much More Wear-and-Tear

    3/26/2013 1:33 PM

    It’s spring - the days are getting longer and the sun is staying out later and later every evening.  Spring is also the time when homeowners start to spruce up their home and yards after the long winter.  Exterior projects can include lawn cleanup and preparation for summer, cleaning up flower beds, power washing siding, and cleaning windows.  One more sensible project to add to your list: entry door maintenance.   Your front door is a heavily used part of your home, with members of your family coming and going through it multiple times a day.  Besides being opened and closed dozens of times a day, entry doors have to deal with rain, wind, temperature changes, and the sun’s harsh rays.  Over time, entry doors can become dented, chipped, leaky, squeaky, faded or difficult to open.  Minor issues with entry doors are often easy to remedy. 

  • Entry Door Maintenance

    3/19/2013 7:32 PM

    Front Doors Take Much More Wear-and-TearIt’s spring - the days are getting longer and the sun is staying out later and later every evening.  Spring is also the time when homeowners start to spruce up their home and yards after the long winter.  Exterior projects can include lawn cleanup and preparation for summer, cleaning up flower beds, power-washing siding and cleaning windows.  One more sensible project to add to your list: entry-door maintenance. Your front door is a heavily used part of your home, with members of your family coming and going through it multiple times a day.  Besides being opened and closed dozens of times a day, entry doors have to deal with rain, wind, temperature changes, and the sun’s harsh rays.  Over time, entry doors can become dented, chipped, leaky, squeaky, faded or difficult to open.  Minor issues with entry doors are often easy to remedy.

  • Gutter Maintenance, Tips and Tricks

    2/20/2013 6:01 PM

    Gutters and downspouts are vital to the structural integrity of your home. By carrying water off your roof and away from your home, properly installed and draining gutters protect your house from water damage to the roof, leaks in and around windows, water entering the foundation and basement, and landscape erosion. Your gutters may develop a minor issue that DIY homeowners can repair themselves without having to replace the entire gutter. For example, sometimes a gutter develops a hole. This could be from punctures from falling branches, puncture from a tool during ice removal, or rust. No matter how a hole developed, it should be repaired as soon as you notice it. Leaving the hole there will lead to larger problems over time.

  • Beef Up Your Insulation to Seal Your Home

    2/1/2013 2:16 PM

    Many home air leaks are obvious to pinpoint, such as a draft coming in around your door or if you can feel cold air around outlets. Minor leaks are easy to seal with caulk or weatherstripping.  But did you know that significant sources of energy loss include air leaks in attics, crawlspaces, around chimneys and in basements? Adding insulation can be a fairly easy way to stop air leaks. Insulation protects your home by keeping it warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer. Properly insulated attic spaces and crawl spaces will make your home more comfortable while saving you money on your utility bills. The most common types of insulation are fiberglass, foam board, cellulose and spray foam. Batt fiberglass insulation is sold at most home improvement stores in rolls and is very easy for a homeowner to install. Blown fiberglass insulation needs to be installed by a professional.

  • Thompson Creek Reviews Vinyl Siding: How to Keep it Beautiful

    1/22/2013 3:14 PM

    Many homes across the United States are clad in some sort of siding, whether it’s aluminum, vinyl or wood. Vinyl siding was first introduced in the early 1960s as an alternative to aluminum siding. In the early days, vinyl siding had issues with fading, sagging and buckling. But since that time, technology has led to vinyl siding that is durable, versatile, and impact-resistant. According to the Vinyl Siding Institute, vinyl siding has been the number one choice of exterior cladding across the United States since 1995. In fact, U.S. Census Bureau statistics show that for the past 15 years more homeowners have sided their homes with vinyl than any other cladding.

  • Below-Freezing Temps? Gutter Ice? Thompson Creek's Tip and Tricks!

    1/2/2013 5:37 PM

    Cold temperatures and heavy snow can lead to a potential nightmare for homeowners: ice dams. The melted snow drains downward until it reaches the eaves or gutter. Once it reaches this area, it often refreezes because eaves and gutters typically don’t warm up like the upper areas of your roof. Eventually, an ice dam is created along the edge of your roof. To prevent ice dams from forming, you need to make sure your attic has the proper amount of insulation. Other factors that help prevent ice dams are a ridge vent on your roof to circulate air, and having additional roofing underlayment. But what if you see signs of ice building up in your gutters or downspouts during or after a snow storm? If you didn’t take the preventative measures to combat ice formation ahead of time, you need to get rid of the ice before it causes damage.  

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