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Posted by on 10:59 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Getting Your Wood Fence Through The Winter: Necessary Protections

As the cold winter weather approaches, it’s time to start thinking about what that season can bring for your wooden fence. Unfortunately, winter weather can batter your fence and leave it cracked, worn or otherwise damaged. If you want to be sure that your fence gets through the winter season with minimal wear and tear, you need to be proactive. The steps you take before cold weather hits can make all the difference. Here are some of the things that you should know to keep your fence protected from the harsh weather that’s likely to be headed your way. What Winter Can Do to Wood Fences You might consider the summer sun to be the biggest threat to your fence, and it is certainly a concern since ultraviolet rays can be damaging. Unfortunately, winter also bring a variety of hazards, including frequently fluctuating temperatures and a large amount of moisture due to the snow and rain. Temperature Fluctuations – When the winter temperatures shift from freezing to mild and then back to freezing, those temperature changes can cause the wood to contract and expand repeatedly. Any knots in the wood can separate and fall out as a result of the contraction and expansion, which can leave holes behind in the wood. Those holes will make your fence vulnerable to insect infestations and rotting. Moisture, Snow and Rain – The fibers in your wooden fence panels are vulnerable to damage from prolonged moisture exposure. Since the winter season brings a consistent level of moisture from the snow, ice and rain, it can make your wooden fence susceptible to mold, rot and mildew. Shifting Soil – Heavy winter rains can be destructive to your yard. The pressure of the water paired with the runoff of snow and ice melt can cause the soil to erode and shift. If this happens, it can weaken the fence’s structural integrity. How to Combat the Threats As the fall season settles in, you can protect your wood fence from some temperature hazards and moisture by treating it with a waterproof stain. Choose either a clear or tinted stain depending on the look you want for your fence. If you have a lot of trees in your yard, make sure you clear away any leaves that are stuck on the fence, too. Leaves can trap moisture, which can cause the wood to decay. Keep an eye on the fence posts throughout the winter, especially after heavy rains or a warm-weather stretch. Look for any signs that the posts are leaning, shifting or otherwise affected by eroding soil. If you notice your fence posts shifting at all, you’ll want to add some braces to the wood to keep them secure until the spring. When the weather warms up enough in the spring, you can replace the posts or reinforce the post holes with concrete. After every major storm, take time to examine the condition of your fence all the way around the perimeter. Look for any signs of damage, such as cracking, splitting or shifting. Grab the top of each fence post and try to move it. You shouldn’t feel any movement at all. If you do, reinforce it as you would a fence post that’s shifted due to erosion. Also, make sure you replace any damaged...

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Posted by on 12:41 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Remodeling Or Making Repairs? Then Consider Adding These Aging-In-Place Modifications At The Same Time

Baby boomers — those born between 1946 and 1964 — are hoping to do what Star Trek’s Spock always encouraged, “Live long and prosper.” But living long has its consequences. Joints sometimes begin to ache, making negotiating steps painful and difficult. And eyesight begins to fail, which can lead to more frequent falls. So if you’re a baby boomer who is hoping to remain in your home as you age, you may want to make some changes to make it more suitable for your needs as you grow older. A great time to make these modifications? The next time you have a repair that needs to be done or during your next remodeling job. Install Raised Toilets Has your toilet seen better days? Have you noticed water puddling around its base? If the plumber you called advises you that you have a bad seal or some other problem where they have to remove the toilet, you might want to consider asking them to replace your current unit with a comfort height toilet, which has a seat height between 17 and 18 inches tall, during the other plumbing repairs. That is about the same height as a chair. For some reason, traditional toilets usually have a seat height around 15 inches or shorter. These lower seats can become a pain as you age, especially if your joints start acting up, as you may find it more difficult to get on and off the lower seat.  Remodel the Main Floor Bathroom Were you planning on doing any remodeling of your main floor half bathroom? If so, it could be beneficial to you in the long run if you were to hire a plumber to convert it into a full bathroom. There are several reasons why having a shower or bathtub on the first floor can be a great convenience as you age, including:  Post-surgery use. As you age, you may need to undergo a hip or knee replacement, hysterectomy or some other major surgery. Many of these surgeries forbid a patient to climb stairs for a period of time post-surgery. So if you don’t have a place to wash up on the main level, you will have to be cleaned via a sponge bath. Moving sleeping quarters downstairs. As you age, you might decide that it makes more sense to avoid stairs altogether and use a lower-level room as a bedroom. If so, having a full bathroom downstairs makes a lot of sense.  Kitchen Remodel When planning a kitchen remodel, you should consider making certain modifications that will make your senior years more comfortable, including: Lowering the height of the sink OR adding one that is designed to accommodate a wheelchair.  Adding shelves that pull out in your lower cabinets so that you don’t have to spend a lot of time bending and searching for items hidden out of sight in the back. A bonus? According to the Washington Post, modifications like these may even be tax deductible as a medical expense.  Changing the flooring in your kitchen to one that is non-slip. If the flooring is expensive and you don’t want to replace it, try applying an anti-slip treatment to its surface.  If you are planning to age in place in your house, it makes a lot of sense to complete...

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