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Yearly Fence Maintenance Tips: Wood, Vinyl, and Chain Link


Fence maintenance and repair is a yearly or semi-annual task that most people avoid. They love their fenced yard but they don't like to maintain the fence. This problem leads to deterioration of the fence. The structural integrity and lifespan are depleted by putting off the task of yearly fence maintenance. "Don't be on the fence" about annual maintenance. If you invest your time and money by installing a fence system that requires minimal maintenance, it need not be a bothersome task. Some fence material and styles require more maintenance than other fence types. Choose the fence style and material that suit your budget and your property.

Fence repair and maintenance cost varies from as low as $100 to as high as $500. Skilled DIY (Do-It-Yourself) homeowners might be able to tackle tough maintenance and repair jobs. If you do not want to tackle this job, hire a skilled fence contractor to perform the yearly maintenance task. Of course, it will increase your fence maintenance budget. However, it is worth the extra cost to achieve the best results. An unsightly or poorly maintained fence system detracts from curb appeal and decreases property value. A yard always looks nice when a fence has a fresh coat of paint or is properly stained and sealed to prevent that weather-worn look. If a vinyl fence is what you have, this type of fence still requires maintenance though much less than other types of fence materials. A quick refreshing spray and replacement or repair of the fence panels and hardware improves a poorly maintained vinyl fence system.

Fence Company - San Antonio Fence Pros.

Each type of fence material whether it is wood, vinyl, or chain link, requires annual or semi-annual maintenance. Your goal should be to protect your investment and increase your property value. An annual maintenance plan will help you to achieve your goal. If you have a wood fence, check the panels and hardware and properly finish or seal the fence. A coat of new paint will greatly improve the appearance of your wood fence. Check the fence for wood rot caused by fungus and inclement weather. Replace loose boards, damaged panels and gates, and repair or replace loose hardware. Vinyl fences should be spray washed with a garden hose or power washed. Replace damaged panels, gates, and hardware. Vinyl fence material is paintable. If your fence is looking dull, consider brightening your fence with a new paint color. Chain link fences can be painted or repaired. If your chain link fence is vinyl coated, to replace damaged sections of the fence, you may be able to match the vinyl color. Check for loose hardware. Replace damaged top rails, posts and check for loose fence ties. Replace worn privacy slats with those of a new color. Look at annual fence maintenance, not as a dull chore, but instead as a chance to increase your curb appeal. Improve your property value by giving your fence an annual makeover. Your yard and your fence will be the envy of the neighborhood.

How to Deal with Cracks in Your Foundation


Speaking from experience, major cracks in a foundation are a concern to a homeowner. Neglecting your home's foundation does not help the situation. But, there are remedies that will lessen your worry about your home's cracked foundation. Minor cracks in a foundation are concerning and should be properly assessed. But, major cracks are a sign of movement in the foundation and they should be inspected by a licensed contractor and fixed. Filling in the cracks and preventing them from spreading is what you need to do. Don't ignore the cracks. Instead, fix them to prevent further structural damage. If you have a concrete slab with cracks that are more than 1/4 inch wide, call a structural or civil engineer to review the damage, find the source, and provide a solution to the problem. For more severe damage, you may need to consult with soil engineer to find the reason for the shifting and cracking and fix the problem.

In harsh climate where there is severely cold winter weather, foundations will shift and move which leads to minor cracking. Even in milder climates, concrete moves an inch or two sometimes resulting in minor cracks. During hot weather, concrete expands and then shrinks when the weather turns cold. Cracks in foundations can be caused by water, shifting soil, or tree roots that spread into a foundation and deteriorate. Before a minor crack turns into a major one, repair them to prevent further damage.

Tuckpointing and Masonry

Before you fix the cracks, prepare the surface. To fix cracks, choose a concrete patching product that has some elasticity. A vinyl concrete patching product is good for repairing cracks that are over 1/8 inch wide. If a vinyl concrete patch material cannot be found, use a mixture of one part Portland cement to three parts sand. Add enough concrete bonding agent to the mixture until it is similar to the consistency of slightly stiff mashed potatoes. Then, take a small portion of the stiff mixture and add more of the bonding agent and mix it until it becomes somewhat soupy. Use an old paintbrush to brush the soupy material into the crack. Use a metal trowel to pack in the stiff mixture. Once you have filled the crack, use the trowel to smooth out the surface. Latex caulk containing silicone or polyurethane caulk can be used to fill minor cracks. Use a caulking gun to push the caulk into the crack. Caulking products provide elasticity and are pliable allowing for expansion and contraction. Most caulking products are self-leveling and do not need to be smoothed over with a trowel. To finish the repair task, use water to lightly spray the patch twice a day for about a week. This will prevent cracking and to help it to cure. Allowing the repaired surface to cure is an important part of the process. Be patient and allow time for the curing process to complete. In addition, consider using a quality concrete sealant to repel water and prevent moisture. The sealant will protect the repaired surface.

Squirrels In the Attic: Get Those Pests Out!


If you are hearing noises in the attic, it could be squirrels. They can cause a lot of damage. They chew through everything, such as wires, wood, material, walls, including plastic. The colors of squirrels are brown, gray, red, and black. To remove them, you could try rodent repellents, trap and release, or try installing an exit tunnel. The goal is to prevent them from re-entering your home. Other methods include soaking a rag in ammonia or another strong-smelling household cleaner and placing it near their nesting area. This method is used to drive them out of the attic. Install temporary bright lighting in your attic which is another method used to drive out the squirrels. If you know where the nest is located, shine a bright flashlight on the nest. Try using loud music or a news program, with human voices, and set the volume loud enough to fill the attic which will irritate and repel the squirrel. Using commercial squirrel repellent, using a natural or chemical type, is another effective method.

Natural squirrel repellents use the urine scent of a predator to drive the squirrels away. Following the product directions, in the attic, apply the repellent near the entry points. You can purchase such repellents online or at most hardware stores. Some people claim that the aforementioned methods work and others claim they do not. Squirrels are territorial and they produce babies, called kittens, twice a year in the winter and the summer seasons. Some USA states have laws against poisoning squirrels. The best method to use is humane catch and release or trap and removal. Research to check your local and state laws involving the removal of squirrels.

Through their droppings, squirrels carry disease such as rabies, mange, and they have been known to carry Bubonic Plague. These deadly diseases can be transmitted to humans and pets.

Ensure that your pets have been vaccinated against these often fatal diseases. Squirrels will find a warm place such as a chimney to build their nests. To avoid being bitten by a rabid squirrel, hire a professional wildlife expert. The experts know where to find live or dead squirrels and remove them from attics, chimneys, or crawlspaces. squirrels will nest and die in unusual places and they should be quickly removed. Dead animals attract other predator animals and insects. The smell of the dead animal will stay around for months.

If self-help or DIY (do-it-yourself) methods, fail to work, it may be time to call in a professional exterminator or wildlife expert. Hiring a professional exterminator is an efficient way to remove squirrels. A professional squirrel exterminator can determine how many squirrels you have and quickly determine the best method to use to remove them from your attic. Exterminators use humane methods to efficiently remove large amounts of squirrels. Use an internet search to find a wildlife expert or a rodent exterminator experienced with removing squirrels. Also, ask for referrals from friends and family to find a professional exterminator in your area.