Simple balcony makeover

Written by Malcolm Kay

That drab concrete balcony is oftenrepparttar last area to be addressed in any apartment makeover. Maybe itís just too small to justify a procession of tradespersons traipsing throughrepparttar 145227 apartment day after day to lay ceramic or terracotta tiles, grout them and then polish them. Maybe you live in a rental property and donít want to spent money on something you canít take with you, but really want to brighten up that valuable exterior space.

Perhapsrepparttar 145228 best and easiest solution is to install DIY decking tiles. These tiles are laid directly onrepparttar 145229 existing balcony without requiring any surface preparation. The tiles just click together without needing any adhesives, screws etc. You may need to cut some tiles to fit around pipes or to fit flush againstrepparttar 145230 balcony wall, but all thatís required is a handsaw or jigsaw. And asrepparttar 145231 tiles are constructed with a special mesh base, water drains away quickly and easily.

Pressure Washing Decks

Written by Randall Madon

Pressure Washing Decks

A beautiful wooden deck, properly maintained, can add greatly torepparttar aesthetic and resale values of a home.

Just look around, decks are almost everywhere. Not just houses but both municipal and commercial facilities use wooden decks and walkways extensively. Because of this pressure washing decks can be a great profit center for your business or evenrepparttar 145226 whole business.

The great news is that decks need maintenance. As beautiful as a wooden deck can be it can be a real eyesore if not properly maintained.

Why Decks Need Maintenance

When a wood deck absorbs waterrepparttar 145227 natural resins and color can be washed out over time.

The combination of wood and water creates a food source for mildew, fungus and mold promoting their growth. Wood and water combined with dirt and even air pollutiom will also contribute torepparttar 145228 proliferation of mildew, fungus and molds. One thing to remember is that a wet deck with a thick coating of mildrew is very slick and slippery. This creates one heck of a "slip and fall" liability problem. Keep this in mind when speaking torepparttar 145229 decision makers of commercial and municipal facilities.

Learning Curve

There is a learning curve involved when getting proficient enough to clean/seal/restore wood decks forrepparttar 145230 public. It is best to learn on your own deck or onrepparttar 145231 decks of close friends and relatives. When learning make sure to do more than one. Different decks can present different challenges.


When organizing your project or preparing your bid make some simple observations.

Hasrepparttar 145232 deck ever been sealed? Is there old sealer that needs to be stripped and reapplied?

Do I have allrepparttar 145233 chemicals, tools and equipment required for this project?

( we will include a sample list atrepparttar 145234 end of this article)

Is there any damaged or rotted wood that needs to be replaced?

( Now is a good time to measure.)

Arerepparttar 145235 any missing or loose bolts, nails or screws?

Are there any adjacent bushes or plants that need to be protected?

Are there any electrical appliances, outlets, light fixtures or telephone jacks?

Note: these will have to be sealed water tight. Remember water and electricity is a dangerous combination. Decks in upscale neighborhoods will probably contain most of these challenges. Make surerepparttar 145236 circuit breakers will be accessible to you prior to starting.


Ok you've cleared everything fromrepparttar 145237 deck and placed it far enough to be out of harms way. You've locked outrepparttar 145238 circuit breakers that provide electrical service torepparttar 145239 deck area. Outlets, fixtures and jacks have been sealed water tight.

Close proximity plants and bushes have been protected with a clear plastic tarp.

Loose bolts. nails and screws have been tightened or replaced.with galvanized fasteners.

Rotted or damaged wood has been replaced.

Only now are you really ready to begin.

Clearrepparttar 145240 Deck of Dirt and Debris

With a stiff bristle broom or a leaf blower clear all loose dirt and debris fromrepparttar 145241 surface ofrepparttar 145242 deck..

What Chemicals to Use

Sodium Hydroxide ( a high caustic chemical) is very popular with professional deck cleaners. Because this chemical does most ofrepparttar 145243 work very low pressures of 500-1200 PSI can be used which helps avoidrepparttar 145244 condition known as "furring".

Safety note: Always wear headgear with face shields and cartridge type respirators when working with high caustic or acidic chemicals. This is not a suggestion it's a must.

While Sodium Hydroxide is a very effective chemical it will darken or may even blackenrepparttar 145245 deck. Because of thisrepparttar 145246 PH will have to be nuetralized with a mild acidic solution. Acids used are Citrus,Oxalic or Phosphoric.

These acid solutions will act as brighteners. Neutralizing repparttar 145247 PH of a high caustic cleaner will restore a deck very close to it's original color.

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