About Nick Johanssen

Are Your Windows Prepared For A Hurricane?

Posted by on 9:05 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Are Your Windows Prepared For A Hurricane?

One of the challenges of living in a part of the country that is prone to hurricanes is keeping your home safe. Even if the hurricane itself is many miles away, the strong winds can end up causing a lot of damage to your home, with your windows being the most vulnerable part. Make sure you are prepared before the hurricane comes. Why You Should Be Prepared Since your windows contain glass, they are especially vulnerable to breaking from winds or flying debris. If a window becomes broken during a storm, you could end up with strong winds ravaging your home, water damage from the rain that gets inside, and potentially put anybody in your home in danger of becoming injured. It’s even possible that your roof could become damaged due to a broken window. How To Protect Your Home’s Windows There are several ways that you can protect your windows. Plywood Plywood is an effective solution that can be done at the last-minute if necessary. You simply use place it over the window on the outside of the home to protect it from high winds and debris. Make sure your plywood is at least 5/8″ thick so you have adequate protection. You also want the plywood to be slightly larger than the window so that the board is resting against your home as opposed to the window frame itself. Keep that in mind when you are installing anchors into your home’s exterior wall. Shutters If you want something that looks a bit nicer than plywood, hurricane shutters are a great investment. Unlike the decorative shutters on most homes, these shutters actually serve a function by having the ability to close and offer protection. Hurricane shutters can be operated by a crank from the inside of your home, or need to be manually closed and latched shut. Hurricane Windows Consider upgrading all of the windows in your home so that they can withstand the dangerous conditions of hurricanes. Installing hurricane windows will provide you the best chance of the glass not breaking, especially if you combine that with other methods. Window Film While a window film will not do much to protect a window from impact damage, it will help contain the glass if it does shatter. The film holds the windows together just like a car’s windshield, so there will be less of a chance of glass flying around in your home if all other methods fail to protect the window. For more advice about protecting your windows during a hurricane, speak with a local window contractor or company like Fas Windows and...

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Tips For Creating A Beautiful Garden Path

Posted by on 6:22 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Tips For Creating A Beautiful Garden Path

One of the great joys of having a garden is strolling among the plantings. While it’s certainly possible to tread along between the plants without creating a path, an installed walkway elevates the beauty. Not only does a pathway protect your landscaping, but it also adds to the visual interest of the scenery. Plan a pretty garden path that complements your landscaping. Curve it Around When planning your garden path, create at least one shallow curve along the way. As the Landscaping Network points out, a curved path works well in a garden because the arcs encourage visitors to keep strolling to discover what’s around the bend. Such a walkway also gives the more casual ambience typical of a garden. Even if there’s no natural curvature in the space between destinations, create one with how you lay the path and landscaping. Create Destinations One way to create curves is to design destinations. If the distance between two spots is straight, create a small impediment with a pretty installation. For example, plant an ornamental tree and set up a bench for lounging. Alternatively, install a fountain surrounded by pretty landscaping. You could also set up an arbor with climbing plants and plan the path so it goes through this charming detour. Another option is to curve the path so that it overlooks a destination, such as a pretty mini garden on the other side of the yard. Install Pavers For a natural garden pathway, pavers are a prime material. You can select natural stone, brick or concrete pavers that mimic another material. Contractors like those at Central Arizona Block also have several options for how they lay the pavers. If choosing brick or brick-look pavers, consider a basket weave or herringbone pattern. If choosing a cobblestone-look pathway, choose one of the random, seamless patterns available. Otherwise, select large pavers laid at a natural tread pattern, and allow the landscaping the show between them. Landscape along the Sides Encourage your visitors to stay on the path by landscaping along the sides of it. The landscaping can be somewhat formalized. For example, you can enhance a manufactured curve by stacking pavers and creating a flower bed on top. Likewise, guide guests with pretty and fragrant plantings. Plant a rose or otherwise fragrant shrub around a bend. Additionally, plant low-lying flowers, such as petunias and peonies, to make a cheerful accompaniment along the straightaways. If opting for spaced pavers, plant pretty groundcover to save the soil. Thyme offers fragrant stepping, while Irish moss is a sturdy and attractive groundcover plant. Inspire visitors to meander through your garden with a beautiful...

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Following The Path — 3 Steps To Designing Great Walkways For Any Yard

Posted by on 6:18 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Following The Path — 3 Steps To Designing Great Walkways For Any Yard

When designing the landscape for your yard, creating a way for guests and family to enter and use it is vital. If you can’t easily enter and exit the house and outbuildings or wander through the garden, its functionality will be limited. The solution to this access problem is to create good pathways throughout the space. But how do you create a good pathway that will be used and enjoyed? Here are 3 design steps to get you started.  Functional First. It’s best to start with the most necessary and functional paths needed. This includes paths to and from the house, garage and any outbuildings. Use a simple paper sketch to lay out needed paths between buildings and well-used areas like tool or garbage storage. Main paths to and from the house and garage should be wider than garden paths — usually wide enough for two people to walk side by side comfortably. Make sure that main paths are wide enough to accommodate any garden tools and that they are sturdy and solid underneath to bear extra traffic.  Secondary Paths. After laying out the necessary and larger paths, it’s time to think about secondary walkways to less-used areas of the yard. Branch secondary paths off of established hardscaping such as main paths or patios and weave them to areas like flower beds or gardens for guests to enjoy. Secondary paths are smaller — as little as about 30 or 36 inches — and generally designed for fun and visual interest. They can curve randomly or meander or they can be geometric and linear, depending on your overall yard style.  Match the Yard. Once you’ve laid out the approximate location and curvature of your paths, it’s time to plan the materials and style. Walkway material should complement the house and the overall yard motif. Gravel or crushed stone is an informal path base and less expensive than many other materials. It contrasts nicely with greenery but may not be good for heavy traffic areas where equipment needs moved often. Brick, on the other hand, has a more formal feeling to it and works well around colorful flower beds. If you’re planning multiple paths, match the materials either by using a single basic motif. If you want to mix it up, you could use similar materials in different ways — such as lining a secondary stone path with bricks to complement a main path made entirely of bricks.  By planning ahead with your pathways, you can create an integrated design that makes the most of your entire yard and increases both its use and its beauty. Contact a business, such as The Hilltop Landscape Architects & Contractors, for more information....

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Planning An Outdoor Barbecue This Spring? Stay Safe With These 4 Tips

Posted by on 5:25 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Planning An Outdoor Barbecue This Spring? Stay Safe With These 4 Tips

Now that the winter chill has faded and spring is here, you may be looking for reasons to spend more time outdoors, and an outdoor barbecue is a great reason to spend an afternoon or evening outdoors with your family. However, you want to make sure that you don’t end up becoming an injury statistic. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, nearly 18,000 people suffered outdoor cooking injuries severe enough to send them to the emergency room. Take a look at how you can stay safe with these tips. Keep It Clean Ideally, you should clean your grill thoroughly after every use. But if you’ve been storing it all winter, go over it and make sure that it’s clean before firing it up for the first time this spring, even if you know that you cleaned it after the last use. While in storage, dust can accumulate on your grill, and you don’t want any of it in your food. Besides, any grease or fat that you may have missed the last time could cause an unexpected flare-up. Check For Leaks If you have a gas or propane grill, you need to be sure to check it for leaks before firing it up. The possibility of a gas leak is one of the biggest possible hazards that you face when grilling, and it’s easy to check and make sure that you don’t have a leak. Just mix up some dish soap and water and apply it to the hoses and joints. Then open the grill lid and turn the gas on. If you see large soap bubbles forming, that lets you know that you have a leak in the hose or that one of the joints needs to be tightened. Keep a Fire Extinguisher Handy If your dinner suddenly goes up in flames, the fire extinguisher under you kitchen sink or in the hall closet won’t do you a lot of good. Bring it outside and keep it within easy reach just in case. If you’ve never needed to use the extinguisher before, take the time to review the instructions before you start cooking – you don’t want to fumble with the extinguisher when you need to react quickly. Keep your cell phone or a cordless home phone nearby, too – that way you can call 911 immediately if you need them. Contact a company like Amerisafe for more information about fire extinguishers. Stay By Your Grill The last thing you want to do is leave your grill unattended, and not just because you might burn your meat. A fire can double in size every 30 seconds, and can spread 1100% in only four minutes. Going indoors for a minute or walking out to the street and leaving the grill unsupervised could be enough time for a small spark to turn into a giant inferno. Don’t risk it – stay near your grill. When you take the proper safety precautions, a springtime barbecue can be a great way to celebrate the return of warm weather. Stay safe and enjoy your backyard...

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3 Maintenance Tips For Your Asphalt Driveway

Posted by on 3:47 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Maintenance Tips For Your Asphalt Driveway

Asphalt is a resilient and relatively inexpensive way to pave your driveway. However, like every facet of your home, it is important to be diligent and carefully maintain it. There are numerous ways in which you should pay attention to your asphalt driveway’s maintenance. Throughout the course of this brief guide, you’ll learn of a few tips that will help you maintain your asphalt’s driveway. Overlay An asphalt overlay is essentially another layer of asphalt that is poured over your current one for an extra, added layer of protection. This can be especially helpful if you plan on parking heavy vehicles on the driveway with great frequency. Although asphalt is quite resilient, wear and tear – such as cracking – can occur if too much weight is applied to it on a regular basis. An asphalt overlay will ensure that your driveway will not suffer from these issues. Cleanliness Your driveway will not only be a cluttered, dirty mess if you do not pay attention to cleaning it on a regular basis, but it can also fall into a state of disrepair. For example, liquids spilled onto your asphalt can lead to staining. Although water will generally not stain asphalt, other consumables – like energy drinks and soda – as well as, of course, oil, antifreeze, and other automobile fluids can easily stain your driveway. If there has been a spill, or leaking fluids are making their way onto your asphalt driveway, it is imperative that you clean this up as soon as possible. Sealant Perhaps the biggest issue that you will have with your asphalt driveway is the potential for it to crack. Among the common causes of cracks is moisture making its way under the asphalt and then expanding. It makes its way into the porous material of asphalt, and humidity causes it to release water, which essentially expands the moisture, causing it to push the asphalt outwards. This is the source of cracking. The best way to combat this issue is to apply sealant to the driveway’s surface once every two to three years. Asphalt driveways can be a fickle beast to maintain. Hopefully, this brief guide has given you some idea of some preventative measures that you can take to ensure that your driveway will remain in healthy shape. Take the time to follow these simple states and your asphalt driveway is sure to last you for years to come. Click here to learn more from a go to...

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The Perks Of Using A Residential Water Softening System

Posted by on 1:09 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on The Perks Of Using A Residential Water Softening System

Many homeowners are forced to invest in a water softening system to combat against hard water. Hard water can be quite a nuisance because it is hard on skin, leaves behind spots in the dishwasher, and increase soap scum build up. However, hard water can cause even more problems when it comes to your home’s water supply. Importantly, hard water can decrease the efficiency of your water heater. This article explains the various effects of hard water, the perks of having a residential water softening system, and what to look for when shopping for a system for your home. Perks of Using A Water Softening System Cleaner Drinking Water: Perhaps the most significant advantage of a water a treatment system is that it will soften your water, making it more drinkable. Water straight out the tap will be less acidic and taste much better. Of course, this is also a significant advantage when it comes cooking. So many recipes call for water, but they don’t take into account the minerals, especially calcium, that are found in hard water. Cleaner Faucets and Showerheads: Calcium and other minerals can build up in your faucets and showerheads. This can significantly decrease water pressure, making your showers less enjoyable and requiring more water. Hard water is also more likely to cause rusting and staining. Soft water also does not leave behind the film-like residue that is so annoying when you are washing your hands with hard water. Features You Will Want in a Water Treatment System First, you want to make sure you invest in a system that is big enough to handle your daily needs. The size should have less to do with the size of your home and more to do with how much water you normally use. Many systems have features that allow the machine to increase it’s soft water filtration to accommodate for stints of increased water use. This is great for when you have guests. This is vital for ensuring that your showers remain hot. Some people mistakenly think that the problem has to do with their water heater, when the real issue is with the treatment system. Some regions of the US have harder water. It is usually a geographical issue that you can only solve by investing in a quality water softening system. Make sure you invest in a water treatment system that is energy efficient. Many products in the US will have an Energy Star rating which is a good indicator that your system will use minimal...

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How To Clean Your Custom Glass Shower Doors

Posted by on 5:57 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How To Clean Your Custom Glass Shower Doors

Your custom glass shower doors add a sense of beauty and elegance to your bathroom, so it’s no wonder that you want to keep the glass sparkling and clean. Of course, in order to maintain the look and shine of your glass doors, you’ll need to use the right tools and methods. With the following natural products and easy to obtain household items, you can maintain your shower doors so they’ll be as beautiful in the future as they were on the day they were installed. Wipe Down Doors Daily One of the easiest ways to keep your glass shower doors clean is to wipe them down with a squeegee after each shower usage. Doing this wipes water off of the glass and can often stave off hard water stains. Although any squeegee will do, the best squeegees for this job are the type specifically made for showers, because they often come with a compact handle that’s easy to use in tight spaces. Clean Doors Weekly With A Vinegar Solution Clean your custom glass shower doors on a weekly basis. To do this, mix a solution of equal parts vinegar and water. Put the ingredients together in a spray bottle, then spray down the doors and wipe them clean with a fresh microfiber cloth. Remove Hard Water Stains And Soap Scum As Needed Even if you use a squeegee, some hard water stains may still build up on the glass. To remove mineral buildup and soap scum, slice a lemon open and rub the juicy side of the lemon against the stains on the glass. Then, dip a damp microfiber cloth into a container of baking soda and rub the baking soda against the lemon juice-covered door. Scrub gently, making small circles against the glass with the microfiber cloth. Do this until the soap scum has been removed. When you’re done, spray down the shower doors with distilled water to rinse away the baking soda, then use a squeegee to wipe off the doors. You can prevent a buildup of soap scum and hard water from forming again by using a water softener to treat your water. However, if you don’t plan to install a water softener anytime soon, you’ll likely need to continue using lemon juice and baking soda periodically to prevent water spots and minerals from building up on the glass. For more information about how you can maintain and clean your custom glass, consider checking with a professional like those at Wildwood Glass Company...

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Why Is Your Deck Stain Peeling?

Posted by on 5:56 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Why Is Your Deck Stain Peeling?

After staining your deck, you go through great pains to make sure it is regularly swept and cleaned so that your hard work lasts as long as possible. Imagine your despair when you notice the stain is starting to peel off your deck. Why did this happen? Unfortunately, there are a few different likely causes. The Adhesion The stain can sometimes not stick correctly to the wood once applied which might cause it to start to peel up. There are a few ways you can prevent this from happening and a couple reasons it might not be sticking. Your deck needs some time before staining to be exposed to the elements. The wood needs to dry out, and if it’s allowed to sit for a while when you stain, it will be less likely to peel. Before you stain you need to clean the deck. This means using a solution that will get rid of the dirt and soil that might be there. It will help it adhere better if it’s applied to a clean surface. You also want to strip a deck that’s been previously stained as it might not adhere to the old stain and could peel. The last reason it might not be sticking the way it should is that you’re using the wrong kind of stain. Make sure you are using a stain that is made for outdoors, decks are exposed to the elements so using a stain for furniture is not going to do it. Over Application If you put too much on the deck then the top layer is going to start to peel off. The moisture that gets on the wood from rain cannot dry all the way when the sun hits it and results in peeling. Additional layers of stain are not necessary. You want the wood to be able to breathe so it is important to remember less is always more. Make sure you use a brush so the stain goes down into the wood and doesn’t lay thickly on the top. A good way to check if your deck can take more stain is to spray some water on it. If it beads up then don’t restain it. If it can’t absorb water, it won’t be able to absorb stain. Examine your deck and consider testing a small place of the deck with the stain you have purchased to make sure it will work out before staining the entire deck. You should also avoid buying the cheapest deck stain you can find and make sure you read the label to ensure the stain is ideal for outdoor usage. This will save you a lot of time and frustration when it comes to your new deck stain peeling. If you have severe problems with your deck, consider contacting a painting contractor, such as AAA Action Painting, for help....

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Temporary Fixes For A Broken Window In Winter

Posted by on 4:57 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Temporary Fixes For A Broken Window In Winter

A broken window in winter can lead to climate control problems as well as frost on the inside of the pane. Getting glass replacement as quickly as possible is important, but help can’t arrive instantaneously. Assuming that you have to wait for any amount of time, it’s a good idea to fall back on one of these temporary fixes.  Cracked Glass Temporarily fixing cracked glass is easy because all you’ll have to do is seal the crack to keep out the cold air. To do this, you’ll need masking tape and scissors, and something to wipe down the window. The procedure goes like this: Wipe down the window with a microfiber cloth, so the masking tape will have a clean surface to adhere to. Don’t push hard on the glass as you clean, because you don’t want to break the glass further. Clean the glass inside and out. Cover each leg of the crack with masking tape. Use scissors to cut each length of the tape. Push down on each section of tape just enough so that the tape is firmly in place on the glass. Go to the other side of the window and repeat steps 1 through 3. Shattered Glass If the glass is shattered, you’ll have to remove the broken pane to prevent it from becoming a hazard. Then you’ll use heavy-duty double-layered plastic to keep out the worst of the cold. You’ll need: Work gloves Eye protection Tarp Hammer Trash can Heavy-duty garbage bag Staple gun or packaging tape Here’s the procedure: Put on heavy-duty leather work gloves and eye protection. Place the tarp beneath the window to catch any falling shards. Wearing the work gloves, pull out the broken shards. You may need to use a hammer to gently knock out one or two shards first. After this, use your gloved hands to pull out the largest shards and place them in a trash can. Fold the heavy-duty garbage bag over once or twice until it fits into the window pane. Use the staple gun or the tape to secure the garbage bag to the window pane. For extra protection from winter weather, cover the entire window in weather-proofing shrinkable plastic, or wrap the garbage bag around a layer of bubble wrap before attaching it to the window pane. This will help create insulation from the cold air as you wait for the window repair person to arrive. With this done, your home will remain protected from the elements while you wait for help from your glass replacement professional (such as one from Jesse’s Tri-City Glass & Mirror...

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Window Leaks at the Bottom of the Frame? Temporarily Repair It With These Tips

Posted by on 8:43 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Window Leaks at the Bottom of the Frame? Temporarily Repair It With These Tips

If water leaks from the bottom of your window’s frame, there could be damage in the foundation around the window. Water can cause many problems in your home if it soaks into the foundation, such as mold and wood rot. In most cases, you’ll need to replace the window and damaged foundation to keep these problems from happening. Until a contractor replaces your window, there are simple tips you can use to stop the leaking water temporarily. If you don’t stop the leak right away, the water can damage your flooring and cause mold in the home. Here’s what you do. Gather Your Materials To seal the leak, choose a sealant that your replacement window contractors can remove easily later on. One product that works well for your situation is removable weatherstrip caulk, which you can find at your local hardware store. The material forms a tight waterproof seal around window frames and other applications until you pull it off with a caulking knife.  Also, purchase a caulk gun to apply the sealant and a plastic spatula to smooth out the material after you place it. Now, it’s time to repair the leak. Seal the Leak It’s a good idea that you clean the area between the leaky frame and wall before you apply the sealant. Dirt, dust and cobwebs can interfere with the way the sealant adheres to the damage area. Here’s what you do: Fill a bucket with cold water and three teaspoonfuls of mild dish detergent to avoid peeling or damaging the paint on your wall.  Use a soft chamois towel to gently clean the area. Pay close attention to the area hidden beneath the window frame, as it can harbor dead insects and balls of dust. You may want to use a soft-bristled toothbrush to remove these problems. Dry the area with a fan for 30 minutes, then apply your sealant. Place a thin line of sealant along the joint of the leaky window frame.  Use your spatula to smooth the material as close to the joint as you can.  Place a second line of sealant over the first application, then wait 24-48 hours for the material to dry.  The sealant will keep the water out of your home until the contractor arrives. If water redirects to another area around the window, follow the tips above to repair the leaks. If you’re looking to replace your windows, consider contacting a specialist, such as Allstate Gutter & Siding, to discuss any questions or...

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