As the temperatures go down and the days get shorter, the increasing energy bills give us more motivation to get our homes ready for winter. Improving the insulation of your home is a good idea, but there are also some additional winterizing tips that could save you some serious bills and problems with your home.
Seal Doors and Windows:
Some of the problematic areas found in many homes are the windows and doors. Cold air often goes through the cracks and often times drafts are created. One can test this by using an open hand to check the edges of your doors and windows to see if any cold air can be detected. A candle could also help you find cold air drafts. If you see any cracks around the trim or frame of a window, it is best to seal them with caulk. If a door is not sealed well, install weather-stripping to close the gaps. Also, if there is a draft under the bottom of a door, a draft-guard or threshold would be able to seal the space.
An alternative solution would be to have your doors or windows replaced to a more energy efficient model. This would also bring-up the value of the home while at the same time save money in the long run by reducing heat loss.
Prepare Furnace and Fireplace:
For your family’s safety, it is extremely important to protect yourselves from fire and carbon monoxide hazards. Have an HVAC professional inspect and tune your furnace and hire a chimney sweep company to clean your chimney. Also make sure to install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors around your home, as well as, fire extinguishers that are in places that are easily accessible
Prevent Pipe Freezes:
If you have any exposed pipes in an un-insulated area of your home, such as a basement or crawlspace, you should to insulate them. Also disconnect and drain any garden hoses and put them away. If your exterior water faucets are not a anti-freeze type, then install insulation caps on the faucets to protect them.
Clean Gutters to prevent Blockage:
If your gutters and downspouts are clogged with debris, it is imperative to clean them out. Other methods are available which will prevent gutters with poor drainage from becoming blocked with ice. Over time, this issue can create leaks in roofs.
If you don’t have the time or cannot perform these maintenance activities on your own, you may want to consider hiring a professional. Davinci's Painting Company has extensive knowledge and experience to protect and seal exposed the wood surfaces of your Home. We also offer complete interior services to get your home ready for the holidays.
Presure Washing Advantages
I would like to talk about the importance of cleaning the exterior of your Home prior to painting. The most important fact is that cleaning the exterior means your exterior paint will last longer. Contrary to what other Contractors will say, the paint will not immediately fall off if you don't clean before painting. The paint will apply fine and it will adhere. It will also look good. But the problem is that it just won't last. By painting over dirty surfaces, you seriously shorten your paint's lifespan. Considering how expensive it is to paint a home exterior, it probably would be a wise idea to do the job right the first time.
Davinci's Painting always includes power-wash cleaning on every Exterior that we service. It does take an additional day to go through this process, but the extra time spent thoroughly cleaning the siding will increase the lifespan not only of the paint but the wood trim as well.
Washing and Prepping
The real purpose of pressure washing your Home prior to painting is to clean away dirt and mildew. The second purpose is to remove peeling paint, or where paint that has otherwise failed. Although the power-washer does help a lot in the removal of failed paint, our Painters still go through the preparation process of scraping and sanding. We also power-wash all other non-painted surfaces, such as: aluminum or vinyl siding, brick, gutters and downspouts.
Steps to Powerwash
Steps to Powerwash
- Clean the Entire Space: Powerwash from the top down without any cleaning solution. Your intention is only to knock down the big gunk: spider nests, inactive wasp nests, leaves, and the majority of the dirt.
- Clean With Solution: Let dry and then do this step when the siding is not in direct sunlight. Next, fill up your pressure washer's tank with bleach or TSP.
- Powerwash with the water-solution mixture from the bottom of the siding to the top. Let soak for about ten minutes. Rinse with fresh water from the top down.
- Second Fresh Water Spray: If a couple of weeks pass before you can get to painting, I advise an additional spray-down with non-potable water. It's surprising how fast spiders can move in after a cleaning.
When Homeowners think about painting around furniture while working within an interior room that is occupied it's probably necessary to move all of the furniture away from the walls of the room. This may or may not be very helpful. Think about a Bedroom or Living Room. If you move all of the furniture to the middle of the Room, you have created a huge obstacle to paint around. When painting a ceiling with the proper equipment like extension poles, an obstacle in the center of the room is hard to work around. This is not an obvious issue if you are only providing application to walls only.
Davinci's Painting recommends that furniture be moved away from walls and arranged with a few pieces in different areas of the Room. The furniture should be spread out within the room rather than isolated to s single place in the center of the room. This generally makes it a better and safer work environment. If the Homeowner is moving the Furniture, it is suggested that you leave enough space between spaces of furniture and the walls in order to provide space for an average step ladder.
When moving furniture, we suggest following safe lifting techniques. Many back injuries happen to people who are moving furniture. If at all possible, hire a Moving Company that has experience in moving or dismantling large furniture pieces.
When Davinci's is requested to move furniture, we take extra precautions to ensure that no accidents occur. Smaller light weight pieces of furniture can usually be picked up and moved ahead of time by the Homeowner. However, heavier pieces could require several men to move to an ideal place in the room. Homeowners, should be careful not to scratch or cut any wooden or tile floors. This is also true for carpet. Pushing or sliding heavy pieces of Furniture across carpets can tear or stretch the carpet, creating lumps in carpet. To avoid damage to any type of floor place a large piece of cardboard under the furniture and slide the furniture across the cardboard. This will protect the carpet. For certain very large projects, we request that the Homeowner retain a Moving Company in order to clear out the working area.
One should also be very careful with any electrical appliances or outlets in the room. You need to turn off the circuit breakers for the outlets in the room you are working on to avoid any hazard. Latex paint contains a lot of water, and everyone knows that water conducts electricity. Sometimes you may need to turn off more than one breaker for one room. A foolproof way to see if an outlet is off is to use a circuit tester. Circuit testers consist of two wires that are connected to light. If you plug the circuit tester into any outlet and it lights up, you will know that you did not turn off the electricity correctly. Once the electricity in the room is off, it is safe to remove the switch plates and outlet covers to be sure not to get any paint on them. Place all of the screws in a secure place to be sure to they will not be lost.
Davinci's takes extraordinary efforts to cover all of your floors and furniture with plastic sheathing and drop cloths. Plastic sheathing will generally suffice for Furniture, however, floors usually require a larger thickness plastic sheathing, as well as, drop cloths. The thinner plastic is only ideal for furniture and not designed to be walked-on because often times the thinner plastic will tear easily. Homeowner's do appreciate the level of protection that Davinci's Painting provides for it's Customers.
At Davinci's Painting we are very conscientious about the dangers of excessive heat exposure that occur during the summer in Washington DC. While doing paint application in hot weather, our Painters often work in the direct sunlight. Because of this, we’re always careful about our employees’ health while working in high temperatures.
The strain of extreme heat can lead to heat exhaustion or worse, heat stroke.
Here are some easy ways to protect yourself when working or playing outdoors in hot, humid conditions:
- Stay well hydrated by drinking plenty of water and sugar-free beverages, both before and during work or exercise. Our bodies can only absorb about one quart of water per hour; however, we can lose up to 2.5 quarts per hour in extreme heat.
- Clothing made of lightweight material that is loose-fitting will enable the body to adequately perspire and eliminate heat.
- Be aware that certain prescription drugs can modify a person's sensitivity to the heat. Antihistamines, and anti-inflammatory drugs are just some of the things that can increase sensitivity to sunlight or decrease the body’s normal hydration level.
- Other factors that may make a person more susceptible to heat-related illnesses include hypertension, circulatory problems, being considerably overweight. Those who suffer from kidney or liver disease should take special precautions.
- Symptoms vary between heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Heat exhaustion can cause a person to feel weak and thirsty. It can also cause extreme thirst and sweating. Heat stroke symptoms, on the other hand, are seen as an absence of sweating, confusion, and dizziness.
If you suspect that you have heat exhaustion or heat stroke, take the following steps immediately:
- Get out of the sun and into air conditioning if possible.
- Remove any clothing that mahy be retaining heat.
- Take a cool bath jump into a pool!
- Drink fluids, including water or diluted sports drinks.
- If you feel dizzy or lightheaded, lie down and elevate your feet.
Prevention of excessive heat is always a good practice. So remember these tips to help ensure that you have a safe and enjoyable summer!