Tag Archives: pickering

Tips On Sealing Natural Slate Tile Flooring

slate floors

I have included some information for my readers who are planning on sealing their Natural Stone Flooring. These photos are  the end result of a project I completed recently.  I am very pleased at the outcome. These floors look FANTASTIC!

Buy a penetrating sealer specifically designed for natural stones with silicon content. This type of sealer penetrates the stones’ pores for firm adhesion and closes the pores with its silicon formulation. If the tile grout is unsealed, it will be practical to purchase a 2-in-1 sealer that seals both the tiles and the grout.

You may choose either the spray-on or the brush-on type. The brush-on type can be applied with paint or roller brush. This type of sealant is cheaper as compared to the spray-on type. The latter, however, provides convenience in application, since you only have to spray it on the tiles’ surface.

Slate typically comes from Brazil, Vermont, China and India. The Brazilian and Vermont slates tend to have a low absorption rate, while Indian and Chinese have variable absorption rates. The softer slates need more attention with sealants before and after installation than do the harder slate tiles. Slate is a metamorphic rock, starting as a sedimentary rock and with pressure and temperature over time became slate. Because it has some porosity, you may want to seal it to keep it from staining.

The preparation needed before sealing your slate floor tiles is to clean all slate surfaces, and let them dry thoroughly before applying one coat of the penetrating tile sealer. There are surface, or topical, sealers, but the penetrating sealer gives your stone tile better protection, and looks better longer. Apply the sealer in a thin coat, following the grain of the slate and let it dry for at least two hours and reapply (your specific product will tell you how long between coats to let it dry).

After you have applied your coat of penetrating slate tile sealant, let cure for at least 24 hours before walking on the floor. The longer you can let it cure before walking on it, the better protection you will have, and the longer the finish will last.

Maintaining your slate floor is easy. Just clean it with mild soap and water, and dry mop or vacuum in between washings. If you are accustomed to waxing floors, you are in for a treat because wax isn’t necessary on slate. Wax won’t hurt the slate, but will obscure it’s natural beauty, turn the tiles a darker shade, and may yellow the grout; all good reasons to not wax your floor.

 slate foors

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Spring Home Maintenance Tips: Inside and Out

front porch

Now that winter has come and gone and you’re like most of us who welcomes Spring with open arms, keep in mind that this is the perfect opportunity to consider getting your home ready for spring.

Enjoy some helpful tips below on how to get  your home ahead of the game as the warmer weather approaches.

Indoor:

Furnace Maintenance:

filter
Spring is a perfect time to clean or replace your #furnace filter. Reusable filters can be washed down and re installed. Disposable filters should be replaced with a new one. Dirty filters lower your HVAC system’s efficiency so it’s a good idea to change them accordingly.

Air-conditioning Maintenance:

aircond

It’s a good idea to check your #air-conditioning system before the hot summer season approaches . You’ll be glad you did. Summer is high peak season for air conditioning installs and  service technicians which means you might be on a long waiting list. Why sweat it out? Be prepared and ready now so you can focus on enjoying the warmer weather without having to worry about repairs and maintenance.

Caulking:

caulking

Spring is a great time to get out and  check the #caulking around #doors and #windows. Proper caulking keeps #moisture away and helps with #drafts issues. Again caulking makes your home more efficient and helps prevent #mold.

Smoke Alarms:

smoke

Test your #smoke #alarm monthly and clean it every 6 months.  Mark it on your calendar so that you don’t forget.  Things to remember when testing your smoke alarm:

  • Ensure that power is being transmitted to the alarm and that it will activate in the presence of smoke.
  • Test your smoke alarm by pressing the test button.
  • Even alarms with a pilot light that indicate power is being transmitted, should be tested regularly.
  • Battery-operated smoke alarms will warn you when batteries need replacing.   Despite this, make it a habit to change the batteries yearly.
  • When you’ve been away from home for a few days, check your alarm on your return to ensure it is working properly.
  • Remember, your smoke alarm can’t protect you if the batteries have been removed or a plug has been disconnected.
  • The lifespan of a typical smoke alarm is about 10 years, but some models last as little as 5 years.
  • To clean the alarm, open the cover and gently vacuum the interior of it.  Frequently, the alarm will sound while the unit is being cleaned.

Outdoor Lighting:

lights

Change Outdoor Bulbs:

Take the time to safely clean  your outdoor #lighting fixtures and replace any burnt out# bulbs with energy-saving CFL replacements.

Restoring Luster To Your Front Door:

front doors

Your entrance is the first thing people see when they come by, so why not make your home stand out from the rest? Although painting your entire exterior would be a big to-do, giving just your door a new look is a doable DIY — and it packs a lot of punch. Put out a clean, new welcome mat — and make sure the doorbell works.

Repairing Your Walkways:

walkways

Nothing says curb appeal like an inviting walkway leading to your front porch. Redoing your walkway is an easy way to add value and clean up the appearance of your home. Snow and cold can wreak havoc on your walkway. Take advantage of the warmer weather approaching to patch cracks and replace any loose bricks and pavers. Power washers are a great tool to clean out that embedded dirt, grime and stains in asphalt, concrete or stone.

Planting Foliage and Shrubbery:

hanging baskets

Shrubs are one of the many  essentias to every garden. For starters, shrubs provide year-round interest. Many also have berries that are attractive to birds or flowers that draw butterflies. Because they have structure from season to season, shrubs can provide crucial shelter for wildlife during autumn and winter. And of course, shrubs supply beautiful foliage, wonderful bark texture, and amazing blooms, too. There are lots of shrubs to choose from — dwarf species to more mature sizes as well as different growth patterns and structures.

Drawing up a plan on where to place your plants before you plant is a great way to get an idea of how your shrubs and foliage design plan  is going to look. And if you don’t like it, you can easily change your plan around before you’ve already completed the job. Less work and headache. You can easily hide unattractive aspects of your home or yard for example air-conditioning units, by planting bushes or hedges around them. Don’t forget to add colour and curb appeal to your home all summer long  by adding hanging baskets and window boxes on your front porch.

Prune and Mulch:

pruning-bush

 

Pruning may be good for plants, but bad pruning can be tough on both the plant and your hands. Be sure you choose the right tool for the task, to avoid tearing and damaging a plant. Prune dead branches, trim back overgrown shrubbery and remove any obstructive plantings. Spreading mulch around trees, shrubs and flowers for a weed-free, well-kept look and can help minimize weeding.

Freshen Up  Outdoor Furniture:

paint

Today, we live in what seems to be a “disposable” society. Bring back your outdoor furniture by giving it a new, clean and fresh vibrant look.  Try spraying  a fresh coat of paint on furniture and replace the damaged cushions.  If you have the space, try filling  an empty spot on the porch or stoop with a modern bench or porch swing.

Keeping It Clean:

sweep

Winter may be gone but there are still reminders  of debris left over under that melted snow. Sweep the sidewalk and stoop, clear away cobwebs.

Cleaning Gutters:

gutters

Checking your downspouts and gutters can save you a lot of money and repair costs. Get a head of the game before the Spring Rains begin.  You may have a lot of collected debris. Clear out any tree limbs, leaves, branches and any other debris that could cause an issue. In a lot of cases, clogging occurs at the elbow in a drainage system, where the downspout connects to the gutter. Make sure to take time to take it off and inspect it for clogging. You’d be surprised what you’ll find inside!

bbq

Being pro active and executing home maintenance procedures inside and out once Spring comes around, you’ll be able to enjoy more outdoor activities with friends and family member this summer. Enjoy peace of mind by getting a head of the game before costly and timely repairs become an issue!

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