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Welcome Spring-Exterior Home Maintenance Tips

 

 

As we say good bye to this past winter’s bitter cold that seemed like it would never end, nothing motivates homeowners more like sunny days and warmer weather.

Get a head start and welcome Spring with these great exterior home maintenance tips by Don Of All Trades Professional Home Maintenance Services.

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 Chimney

Implementing a chimney maintenance plan is always critical for insuring the safety of your home and family. The function of a chimney is to carry dangerous fireplace, wood, oil or furnace and boiler gases safely out of your home.   Chimney fires are entirely preventable with proper care and cleaning. Inspect the exterior of the chimney for sings of damage. Have the flue inspected and cleaned by a certified chimney sweep.

gutters

 Downspouts  and Gutters

Routine gutter and downspout maintenance can save a homeowner on repair costs. Get prepared before the Spring Rains begin.  You will be amazed at how much debris has collected over such a short time. Clean out any leaves and tree branches that could cause an issue. Often, clogging occurs at the elbow in a drainage system, where the downspout connects to the gutter. This can be easily inspected by taking it off and looking for any debris that can cause it to clog.

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Garden Hoses

An inspection of the outside hose faucets checking for any  signs of leaks is important, especially in colder climates where hoses have been left on the hose bib over the winter.  If the water supply pipe has frozen, the pipe can expand and crack. This pipe will leak and should be replaced a soon as possible by a certified plumber before costly water damage occurs.

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.

 

Cracked-Concrete

Walkways

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.

aircond

Air-conditioning Units

Hire a qualified heating and cooling contractor to clean and service the outside unit of the air-conditioning system.  An annual maintenance service call will keep the system working at peak performance levels and work more efficiently.

Don

Mr. Don D’Orazio,  President/CEO Don Of All Trades Professional Home Maintenance Services

Summary  By 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.

Do you take the time to prepare your house properly for spring?

Did we miss an important tip? Let us know in the comments below or on our Facebook Page.

If you live in Durham Region and are looking for a Home Improvement Service that can assist you will All of your Home Repairs at Affordable Rates, please get in touch with us. We’d love to hear from you! Book a Complimentary Consultation or visit our website at www.donofalltrades.ca to find out more about our services.

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Spring Special Savings Event going on  Right Now!  Save 10%

off your next home improvement project with Don Of All Trades Professional Home Maintenance Services. Call to find out more.

 

 

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Snap Magazine-Ajax Edition on 2014 Local Biz Expo & Trade Show

Our Team at Don Of All Trades Professional Home Maintenance Services had a blast at the 2014 Local Biz Expo and Trade Show held at the Ajax Convention Centre. It was an exciting event we participated in and although it was a long tiring day, it was so worth it to be involved alongside other fantastic local businesses in the Durham Region.  We were featured in Snap Magazine-Ajax Edition! How exciting is that! Read all about it below!

Article Below  By: Snap Magazine-Ajax Edition on 2014 Local Biz Expo & Trade Show

Business professionals and entrepreneurs joined together for the annual Ontario Self Employment Benefits Trade Show held at the Ajax Convention Centre. There were more than 90 businesses on showcase to connect with other business professionals, exchange services and ideas and learn from a variety of industry professionals. The show also offered a variety of speakers, providing valuable and practical presentations, and Entrepreneurial Coaching Panels designed for individuals looking to get a head start on beginning a new business venture. There was something for everyone and lots more to see at ajax.snapd.com! A big snapd thank you to Erin Courville Photography for all her great shots.

 

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 Photos by: Don Of All Trades

Getting our table set up before the doors open at 4pm.

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 Photo’s by: Don Of All Trades

President/Ceo  of Don Of All Trades Professional Home Maintenance Services – Mr. Don D’Orazio.

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Photo’s by: Don Of All Trades

 Don D’Orazio with his Business Coach Michael Medina from Business Plan Plus.

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Photo’s By Don  Of All Trades

Don D’Orazio with Andre Real from  socialexpose.com  and Erin Courville from  erincourvillephotography.com.

 

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Photos by: Don Of All Trades

My partner Yolanda D’Orazio who has been a huge support through this incredible journey.

 

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Photos by: Don Of All Trades

Positive and uplifting  speech by Mayor Steve Parish.

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Photos by: Don Of All Trades

Ian Kennedy and Tina Wieringa of Essential Communications along side Mayor Steve Parish  getting ready for the ribbon cutting ceremony.

 

trade show and local biz expo

 

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For more information or to post a comment : please visit our links below:

Website – http://www.donofalltrades.ca/

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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!

For more information or to post a comment : please visit our links below:

Website – http://www.donofalltrades.ca/

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/donofalltrades.info

Twitter – https://twitter.com/donofalltrade

LinkedIn – http://www.linkedin.com/in/donofalltrades

Tips On Getting Your Gardens Ready For Spring

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Spring officially sets in on March 20th and although it may not seem like it, any true gardener will tell you that as soon as the holidays end, our minds are focused on that garden. Here are a few things any gardener can do to satisfy that “gardening” itch, in the bleak of mid winter.

Compost Set Up Area:

Composting is one the best things you can do as a gardener. Compost is the black gold of the gardener’s world and you can also create it yourself out of food and yard waste. You’ll be using that waste instead of dumping it in the trash can, you’ll be saving money, and you’ll be loving on your garden. There’s really no point in discussion.

So find a nice, flat area somewhere near the house or garden and enlist some help in setting up a very basic composting system, which doesn’t require much but air, fresh material, and something to hold it all in (an old trash can with holes poked in it, a three-sided structure of hay bales or cement blocks, a small area of mesh fencing).

Containers For Seedlings:

If you’ve always been a “last-minute gardener” – purchasing your leggy seedlings and popping them in the ground right before the weather shoots up to high heat – then this is your year to get a head start and enjoy every moment of spring gardening. Start saving small containers (egg cartons are superb) for those seedlings you can grow yourself; in many areas of the country, you’ll want to get those seeds growing in February so they will be ready to plant  in the ground by April or May. Check this planting calendar from The Old Farmer’s Almanac for the right planting dates for your area (just type your location in the box).

Ordering Seeds:

This may be every gardener’s favorite part: browsing the seed catalogs and websites and picking out which plants to grow this year. Make sure to order your seeds now so you’ll have them in time to start planting them indoors. There are several fabulous organic seed suppliers online. You can order from the website or request a catalog to browse at your leisure:

Preparing Your Soil:

Depending on your location, the only soil prep you may be able to do at this point is just say a little prayer for it. But in many part of the country, days of snow and ice will be interspersed with days of warmer weather and thawed ground. On those days, get out there and do as much work as possible to break up the soil. If you have a larger garden plot, getting a tiller in there on a good day can be extremely helpful. Just digging up the soil is good, as it aerates and loosens and prepares it for planting. But you can also work in compost (well-rotted), manure (well-cured), or other additives depending on the type of soil you have.

Prepare You Potting Area and Garden Tools:

  Claim a corner in the garage, workshop, or patio as your own. Pull out that old, dusty table from the attic or spare bedroom. Give it a bright, cheery coat of paint on a sunny day, set it up, and you’ve got a brand-new potting area ready. Next find all those garden tools and get them ready for spring-time use by scrubbing them down with something a bit abrasive like a scrubbing pad to remove any caked-on dirt or rust. Give them a light coat of oil on the metal parts, then store them in a bucket of sand to keep them rust-free and sharp until planting time comes.