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Walk Deck Solutions For Your Home And Property

Walk Deck Solutions For Your Home And Property

There is no better way to enjoy the outdoors and fresh air than with a walk deck. Made out of wood, plastic or even concrete these structures are not covered with a roof. They are a great solution when you have some extra space and don’t know how to use it, or you can even incorporate one into the style and design of your house!

Locations

Depending on how much space you have around your property, a deck can be added in several different locations. When built on the roof they can also serve as a cover roof themselves for a patio below if you have one.

If you have enough space on the ground level, a deck can be constructed as an extension of your house. They can also be completely detached from your house, and installed a little further away on their own in your front or backyard.

Design Options

When it comes to the design the options are practically limitless. You might want to go with something basic or you could go all out and build yourself a backyard retreat. But if you do go big don’t forget to add all the amenities and comfy furniture to go with it. A walk deck can fit any budget, and while many people choose to hire a pro you can always build one yourself.

 

The Top Benefits 

A new walk deck can add to the look and value of your property. Regardless of the size, it can also add a special touch to your house visually. With one, you can enjoy the outdoors without actually having to leave your house. If you have a nice garden close by or natural surroundings they can really add to the natural feel.

A deck can also be an ideal spot to do some outdoor exercise as well. With a roof walk deck you have the added advantage of an elevated view that you can look out at and enjoy whenever you feel like it. If you are a romantic soul, you can gaze at the stars at night in the quiet of your own house, whether on the roof or in the backyard.

 

Ideas And Solutions For Different Spaces

Some homeowners are looking for something that actually wraps around the sides of their home. Wrap-around decks, are typically built around at least two sides of your house and can add a lot of extra space.

These are usually big enough that you can relax or entertain guests. You can also use it for exercise or simply walk around it and enjoy the view. This variety will be normally be accessible from more than one room.

A backyard detached deck is a great idea if you want a little more privacy where you will be relaxing. Most people choose to add these near the house, but at the same time far enough way to feel like they are getting away.

With some furniture and a table you can have small dinner parties or gatherings there. And for even more privacy trees and shrubs can be planted around it.

When you have space that is limited by existing trees an interesting solution would be a deck raised above tree roots. You can even build a deck around the trunk of a tree if you need or want to. Not only would this be unique but a smart way to use your space and nature together. Just be sure to make the necessary adjustments as the tree grows.

If you have a pool in your backyard, you could always build a deck around it like a boardwalk. This will give you easy access to the water and can function as an area to lounge and sunbathe.

A walk deck can be an excellent addition to your property. Installing one will make your home more more appealing, functional, and a fabulous place to relax!

Author Bio: Chris is an editor for Arizona Roofing Systems, Mesa.

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Pest Control Planning-3 Methods That Are Safe For Your Home and Family

Pest Control Planning-3 Methods That Are Safe For Your Home and Family

Just the thought of dealing with an infestation of insects or rodents can be enough to send homeowners into a panic. Yet at the same time, the idea of spraying dangerous chemicals on your property can also be unsettling. Fortunately, you don’t have to compromise your family’s safety in order to have a pest-free home.

There are many natural pest control methods that are effective for handling unwanted insects and wildlife. Understanding these options will help you plan for seasonal pest control for your outdoor space.

Remove Food and Water Sources

Professional pest control technicians often preach the importance of prevention and for good reason. Leaving trash or other items that pests would consider to be food where they have easy access to them will encourage them to stay and breed. The same goes for allowing water to collect on the exterior of your home.

Water is actually where many insects lay their eggs. For this reason, one of the best ways to start with natural pest control planning is to identify possible food and water sources that attract pests and remove them immediately.

 

Block Entry 

In addition to making your home less attractive to pests, you will want to make sure that you block potential entry and exit points. For instance, even a small hole in your roof might be giving rodents access to your garage. And it takes only  small cracks to allow insects into all kinds of spaces on your property. Repairing and sealing off potential entry points can stop wildlife from getting in and building nests or causing damage.

Ask About Safe Elimination Methods

With insects once an infestation has taken hold, it may be necessary to spray your property. Many pest control sprays are tested to be safe for use in and around homes. However if you are unsure  it is always best to ask a pest control technician about the products that they choose to use.

This is especially important if you have young children. In some instances, natural repellents and alternatives such as heat can be used to control major insect infestations. And sometimes even other insects such as ladybugs are used.

 

Trap and Remove Wildlife Safely

Larger animals will often need to be trapped and removed. Prompt removal is critical for protecting your family’s safety since many animals carry dangerous diseases and parasites. Attempting to poison certain types of vermin such as rats often leads to bigger problems such as having to deal with potentially-disease carrying carcasses in your walls.

Trapping is a more humane method that can be used on rats, possums, skunks and even birds to safely keep your home pest-free. If you decide to hire a pro for this task, he will come and check the traps regularly. Once the pest has been caught, it will then be released following all of the proper practices along with any state laws that may apply for that specific animal.

 

Identify Early Pest Infestations With Regular Inspections

Proper pest control should also involve seasonal inspections of your home. This will help to identify infestations in their earliest stages when they are much easier to address. Or it can prevent them from happening in the first place.

Many types of pests rapidly multiply once they find a safe place to build their nests, for example a single rat or mouse can quickly become a major issue once they start reproducing. By inspecting regularly you can stop problems before they begin.

No one likes dealing with pests, and it is understandable to have concerns about using dangerous chemicals around your house and lawn. By staying aware and practicing preventative strategies, you can rest easy that your property will remain free from both of them. And be sure to ask a professional if you have any questions or need any specialized help.

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Replacing Your Outdoor HVAC Unit

Replacing Your Outdoor HVAC Unit

If your outdoor HVAC unit seems like it’s on its last leg, then it’s best to go ahead and replace both the indoor unit and the outdoor heat pump or air conditioning unit at the same time. Unfortunately, this is a necessary evil. The indoor air handler and the outdoor unit work together in a different way than most of your appliances.

Here’s why you should replace both systems at once:

Matching Systems Work Better Together

Since there aren’t standard models for either system, it’s best to find an outdoor AC unit and interior air conditioner that are designed to work together. When in sync, the system works in tandem to create optimal efficiency.

Replacing one without the other will work, but both units will essentially be jeopardized, which could cost more money in the long run. Additionally, the efficiency rating, or full potential of the unit, only applies to matched systems.

 

 

The Technology Has Changed Since Your Last Upgrade

If it has been twenty years since your last upgrade, within the residential HVAC tech world the updates will be drastic. For the same reason that an old VCR doesn’t connect properly with a new flat screen, it’s important to upgrade both interior and exterior units at the same time.

Upgrades, such as debris filtering, air handling performance, noise reduction, and general workflow, have changed a great deal over the years. Replacing both indoor and outdoor units ensure that your total system is running off top-rate technology.

 

New Units Also Mean New Warranties

With new HVAC equipment, homeowners also receive an updated warranty for the product. This guarantees replacement of the equipment and any servicing of that equipment. If you only replace the outdoor unit, the indoor unit’s warranty will likely expire before the new system’s warranty expires.

Some manufacturers will not extend full warranty coverage on the outdoor system if the indoor system is not a matching piece of equipment. Replacing both systems at once is the only way to ensure both will also be covered by the warranty.

It may sound like the cheaper option would be to only replace the exterior unit, but this will cost homeowners much more money over time. A matched system runs more efficiently, performs optimally, lasts longer, and will save you money on monthly energy bills.

 

How To Prepare For A Heat Pump Or Exterior AC Installation

Once you have decided to go ahead and replace your exterior heat pump or air conditioning unit, there are a few steps you should follow for a successful installation of the new system.

First, make sure the heat pump is installed at an elevated position far from the ground. This will help maintain the system during periods of inclement weather. This is a must, especially when the snow melts and drainage becomes a problem.

Next, make sure the base of the unit is made of stone or concrete. This will help keep the coils clean from excess debris like dirt and grass from the mower. It’ll also help keep the tech’s feet clean when servicing the unit.

Beyond the elevation and concrete slab, make sure the unit isn’t going to be too crowded by shrubbery or other landscaping. However, some shrubs are okay as long as there is room for the unit to breathe.

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Finally, make sure the unit is at least 18 inches away from the wall so that performance isn’t an issue and that a HVAC specialist is able to service the unit easily. The disconnect box should be within 6 inches of the unit, but not directly behind it.

It’s easy to see, when either your interior or exterior air conditioning unit is always best to replace both. This will guarantee they both work as efficiently as possible which will save you cash and mean you’ll have a new warranty in case anything does happen to go wrong. But don’t forget to follow the advice above to make sure your new units are installed properly.

Author Bio:

Dan Kalman is the Senior Vice President of Home Services for Lee Company, an air conditioning repair company in Nashville, TN. The business is dedicated to solving common house problems through innovative, customer-specific solutions.

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Garden Drainage: How to Avoid a Waterlogged Garden & Patio

Garden Drainage: How to Avoid a Waterlogged Garden & Patio

Many locations around the world get a lot of rain. With an average of 33 inches of rain per year, this is especially true in the U.K. where it is rare for a day to pass that it is not raining somewhere. Regardless of where you live this can lead to problems with garden and patio flooding. Water can accumulate in the ground and prevent excess runoff from being absorbed properly.

Most problems with waterlogging and flooding in most gardens tend to stem from poor landscaping and lack of ground preparation to help rainwater drain away, this is where the use of eco-friendly plastic grids can come in handy.

Headaches You Don’t Want To Deal With

One of the biggest problems that can occur from poor drainage is the increased risk of flooding which can damage not only your garden but also your home. Excessively wet soil that does not dry up can cause problems inside the home such as flooding, water seeping into the brickwork, increased risk of mildew and mold, and weakening of cement and mortar.

In the garden, it can lead to boggy or marshy conditions that prevent plants and grass from surviving, soil full of bad bacteria, foul-smelling odors, and a decline of the soil. It can also make the ground very soft causing heavier items such as sheds and patios to begin to sink or tilt, and brick walls to warp and fall down.

 Create Drainage Channels

In order to prevent these types of things happening you will need to provide a way for water to drain away from the ground. The first step to take is to provide drainage channels that are dug around 4 feet underground and filled with a coarse material such as gravel, pea shingle, or slate chips.

The channels should lead away from any areas that contain structures and where the water can easily flow out off. Once the channels have been filled the soil should be backfilled and it is always a good idea to mix gravel into the soil layer too.

A Base For Support

Next, you want to provide a supportive base for the grass or patio by employing the use of some eco-friendly plastic grids that allow water to escape easily. Eco-friendly plastic grids consist of an open cell structure that allows rainwater to pass through with ease and also helps keep grass, gravel and patios level and in place. The whole idea is to provide a stable and solid base that does not prevent excess water from permeating into the ground yet remains an eco-friendly and cost effective option.

 

Defeating Clay-Rich Soils

Flooding tends to occur most commonly in clay-rich soils where the fine particles clump together and prevent water molecules from passing through. This can be problematic in areas where there is a high proportion of clay based soil. To combat this can prove to be a big job and usually involves having the garden dug up and a medium such as gravel or peat mixed into the soil before putting it back. It is during this stage that it is a good idea for the drainage channels to be dug or to have plastic drainage pipes installed underground.

It is important to ensure that you have the soil compacted after as if you fail to do this then it will slowly drop over time leading to uneven surfaces.  Using plastic grids this can help retain a level surface as the interlocking grids provided a single, stable layer. Grass roots can create a thick layer that can delay the drainage of water, to help deal with them you can use a garden fork to aerate the ground and create micro holes that will allow the water to escape.

Deal With The Sources Of Water

Some of the main sources of excess water are roofs, roads and driveways. To reduce the effects of flooding these areas should be taken care of. If a roof is the main cause of water collecting in the garden then it is a good idea to have drains fitted to the roof to divert the water away into the drainage system.

Roads and driveways should already have drains installed, but if this is not the case you could have a small brick wall built to prevent water entering the garden. As most flooding problems are caused by impermeable materials such as cement and tar it is a good idea to consider better options such as gravel driveways and patios with large enough spacing to allow water to drain away.

A gravel driveway is a perfect solution for dealing with areas that flood as the gravel will allow the water to pass through freely and into the ground below. If you are installing or thinking of installing a gravel driveway then you need to consider using plastic grids that lock together to be placed beneath the surface. The interlocking units prevent the gravel from moving and help stop potholes or uneven distribution of the gravel. The specially designed grids also allow water to pass through them and can support up to 420 tons of compression per square meter.

You could opt not to use grids but they are the better option for gravel driveways due to being eco-friendly, water permeable, strong and durable and cost effective. Without some form of barrier beneath the gravel, you will experience shifts in the stones leading to them becoming dispersed, the potential of them being absorbed by the ground beneath and less drainage due to compression into the soil below.

Keep Patios Flood-Free

Grids are also an excellent option when installing a patio as they not only provide a solid and level surface for the patio slabs but also provide a gap between the slabs and the soil beneath them so that water can drain away quickly. If water is left standing on a patio it can lead to a build-up of algae which can not only become very slippery making the patio a safety hazard but also cause damage to the surface of the slabs over time.

When laying a patio DO NOT fill the gaps between the slabs with cement or grout, use fine pea shingle and have it compacted in the spaces so that it acts to keep the slabs in place while allowing water an escape route. Water will always follow the point of gravity, meaning that any sloping areas of uneven surfaces will attract the water making it harder for it to drain away in those parts.

 

Save Your Garden 

A garden that floods is a garden that is difficult to enjoy, especially if it is always an uphill battle to keep the ground dry and your plants alive. You could take advantage of planting thirsty trees such as Willow, Pumpkin Ash or River Birch which all soak up huge quantities of water. Plants that help are Hibiscus, Petunias and many tropical plants such as Banana and Canna which absorb a lot of water quickly.

Preventing flooding normally takes a multifaceted approach and relies on some hard groundwork for maximum benefits. Once the soil is improved and you take advantage of plastic grids beneath the surface level and provide adequate drainage you will never have to worry about flooding in the garden again.

It can be a daunting and frustrating process working out how to regain control over your lawn and patio and once you know where to begin you can start to improve upon it. Remember to take advantage of nature’s sponges by utilizing water thirsty plants and trees and to add mulch, shingle or loam to your soil to help break up any clay contained in it.

Digging drainage channels is a great idea if you have the time and energy to do so as they help move the water away rather than leaving it to sit in the soil. Using eco-friendly plastic grids can allow for easy draining, and provide a secure and hardy base for grass, shingles, pebbles, gravel and patio tiles. The design of the grids allows water to escape quickly and helps prevent surface build up. At the same time grids keep the surface secure preventing potholes and dips that allow water to sit for longer.

A well looked after the garden that has been planned out to prevent flooding will provide you with a gorgeous space where you and your family can create lasting memories for years to come. If you have been suffering from a waterlogged lawn or patio, try these steps to remedy the problem or prevent it before it starts!

Author Bio: MatsGrids are suppliers of Ground reinforcement systems, grass reinforcement and protection mesh for domestic and commercial landscaping projects. Our business mission is to become the UK’s leading supplier of groundworks, civils and landscaping products.

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Easy Lawn Care? Experts Say It’s Possible With These Tips!

Easy Lawn Care? Experts Say It’s Possible With These Tips!

There’s no way around it: If you want a lush lawn, you have to work for it. That entails putting in a lot of time, effort, and yes, money. And even if you are hiring experts in lawn care, you will still need to shoulder some of the responsibilities involved. That does not necessarily mean that everything needs to be difficult though. Try these tips and tricks for an easier time caring and maintaining your lawn.

An Ounce Of Prevention

Once weeds like crabgrass gain a foothold on your lawn, getting rid of them can be a handful for almost anyone, even seasoned gardeners. This is why it is crucial to nip the problem before the bud even begins to emerge. For crabgrass, the best way to prevent it from becoming a tough challenge to deal with is to use a pre-emergence herbicide.

Ideally, you should apply this herbicide early in the spring. It often takes just one application to effectively deal with these weeds. You do, however, need to apply a pre-emergence herbicide each year.

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Don’t Cut The Grass Too Short

It may seem counterintuitive, but cutting the grass too short does not save you time or do wonders for your lawn. In fact, mowing the grass too short can make it vulnerable to weeds, diseases, and pests. And that can mean wasted time and money.

Add Mulch Around Young Trees

Adding mulch around young trees on your property will make life easier for you in two key ways. First, you will eliminate the hassle of mowing around trees or clipping the grass around them manually. And second, you will also be protecting your growing trees from damage by sharp lawn mower blades. An added benefit is that your lawn will also look neater.

 

Swap Grass For Ground Cover In Shady Areas

Planting grass in shady areas is an uphill battle. Although there are turf species that can thrive in shady areas, most species of grass need ample sunlight. Plus, turf species that do okay in shady areas have to contend with issues like weeds and bare ground. Instead of planting grass in shady areas, opt for ground cover that is shade-tolerant.

Create Paths With Pavers

Consider using pavers when planning garden paths. Pavers are much easier to trim around than other options. Just make sure that the pavers are set no higher than an inch above the ground.

Fertilize At Least Once, Ideally During Fall

Experts recommend applying fertilizers four times a year. However, if you can only apply fertilizer once a year, schedule the application during fall. Applying fertilizers during the fall will provide the turf with ample nutrients as it becomes dormant for the winter season.

Having a gorgeous lawn is within your reach. And by using these tips you will be able to attain one with much less effort and stress.

About the Author:

Kenneth Lawrence’s craft involves DIY concepts. Also, he values the significance of getting expert help if necessary. He visits sites like http://www.vistaturf.com. And he shares guidelines and tips about home improvement.

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