Fireplace Maintenance and Cleaning Tips

Everybody wants a fireplace in their home. However, it is one home addition that is not without concern. If you have a fireplace in your home, then you are required to clean and maintain it regularly or else you put your family at risk of fire. 

Chimney cleaning is a task that should be performed by a professional. This is because chimney cleaning is not just cleaning. It also entails checking for damage and recommending repairs. Fireplace cleaners need to remove creosote to ensure everyone’s health and safety.  

How Chimney Sweeps Work  

A chimney sweep or a fireplace cleaning technician is tasked to do different things to ensure the chimney is clean, functional, and safe. He does that by laying down some drop cloths, placing lights, and plugging in the vacuum system. He will also use different tools like brushes to do a good job. When chimneys are cleaned, it is also checked for damage so that ample repair is carried out before it gets worse.  

The inspection of the chimney is done precisely. For one, the bar supporting the topmost opening of the combustible must have a height of 12 inches. The bricks should also be checked, and they have to make sure that they can still tolerate the high temperature required by the chimney. The regular brick will begin to crack and the mortar will crumble. If you have regular brick, it’s best to chisel out the old mortar and replace it with high-temperature cement. 

Proper Way of Cleaning Fireplaces 

The reason why you should hire professional chimney sweep is because there are safety procedures that have to be followed. For starters, the use of a respirator is required so that the technician won’t be exposed to creosote dust. Creosote dust is not just unhealthy, but it is also combustible. Creosote has to be dealt with properly so it won’t be a safety issue.  

Creosote is the material that causes a chimney fire. That means it has to be removed properly in places where they can possibly be. If the creosote ash or any other combustible material overheats, it will catch fire. That’s the risk you’re trying to avoid with regular chimney sweeps.  

Other Chimney Cleaning Tips  

Some homeowners sprinkle creosote and ash on the flower beds because they’re calcium-rich. Try not to do your own chimney cleaning if you can help it. Chimney cleaners will also do other things apart from cleaning, like checking the position of the damper. The right damper position can assure fireplace safety and energy conservation. 

Chimney technician cleans fireplaces using a vacuum cleaner and a stiff brush. They clean the walls of the fireplaces as well as the edges of the damper. The exteriors of the chimney are checked, maintained, and cleaned as well.  

Chimney caps may also be installed on the fireplace to ensure that no rainwater, animals, debris, or leaves to get inside your chimney. Adding a mesh on the sides of the chimney cap will also act as spark arresters to deter the possibility of starting a fire. 


Concrete Finishing Techniques Everyone Should Know

While you’re not a concrete mason or intend to be one, you’re likely to encounter concrete finishing tasks at one point or the other. You might hire people to install a concrete driveway and they’ll ask you what finishing your like. You should know what the common concrete finishing methods are so you can give them a good answer and not just stand there dumbfounded. 

Concrete is a versatile and widely used construction material. It’s not unlikely that you’ll have a concrete project underway one of these days. The most common types of concrete finishing techniques are as follows: 

1. Troweling  

A trowel is a tool that is used to smooth and level concrete surfaces. The concrete may be troweled manually or mechanically, depending on what equipment is available. Power trowels are normally used in large-scale and commercial applications.  

2. Edging 

Edging is a technique wherein the edges are made beveled or rounded to minimize cracking. Joints are also created to ensure that the same thing. To perform this task, a special edging tool is necessary. Mastery of using the tool is also needed.  

3. Broom Finishing 

The broom finish is used to make the concrete less slippery. It is performed after the concrete has been placed, leveled, and troweled. A broom will be dragged from one end of the concrete surface to the other to make small ridges. Those ridges will create the necessary traction or friction on the concrete, which is very necessary for wet surfaces.  

4. Exposed Aggregate Finish  

The exposed aggregate finish is what’s commonly used on concrete walkways and sidewalks. It is created by washing the concrete’s topmost layer to expose the natural stone aggregates in the concrete, which makes sure that the concrete is not just slip-resistant but also attractive.  

5. Salt Finishing 

If you’re building the concrete on pool decks, the salt finish is the best choice. This type of finish is created by placing rock salt on the top of the concrete before washing it away. Doing so will leave pits of salt on the finished surface.  

6. Stamped concrete 

Stamping is one of the most popular concrete finishes today. Here, concrete stamps are used to create design patterns on the concrete surface. The stampers are made with panels that have inlaid designs on it. These panels are placed on the surface of the concrete while it is curing. There are quite a number of design options available to these days, including stone and brick patterns. 

7. Concrete staining  

Aside from stamping, concrete staining is quite popular as well. Here, the finished concrete has added a tint to give the concrete color. Unlike regular pigments, stains can be added to concrete regardless of its age.  

These are some of the examples of finition de béton that you can choose for your home, driveway, pathway, or sidewalk. Choose the one that would serve your preference the most. Consult with a professional concrete contractor to determine what the best choice for you is and to know if you can possibly use two concrete finishes in one project.  


Exterior House Painting Tips, Tricks, and Guidelines

If you want to improve your home’s curb appeal, one way of doing it is to update your exterior paint. Nothing revives, beautifies, and protects your house quickly and effectively than exterior painting. Giving your home a new coat of paint will completely transform it and make it look brand you. While it seems like a complicated project, a professional will be able to complete it in a couple of weeks, at most. 

Hiring a professional painter may set you back anywhere between $1,000 and $4,500, depending on the condition and size of your home. You may also choose to do the work on your own, although that would require you to put in serious effort and commitment to the job for the purpose of cutting the labor costs by half.   

Regardless of how you want to do it, you surely want to do house painting right. Otherwise, you won’t be able happy with the results. To further help you with house painting, below are some tips, tricks, and guidelines that can help you.  

1. Never settle for low-quality materials.  

When it comes to paints, there are all brands and types available. If you want to get the best results, purchase nothing but the best paint that your money can buy. Do the same with the caulking compound and primer. Paints of the best quality tend to last a lot longer. It also covers better and flows more smoothly. It’s highly recommended that you buy paints that come with a lifetime warranty against finishing defects. 

2. Perform a meticulous paint preparation process 

There are certain things that you have to do to make sure that the paint will adhere very well to the walls. Paint only should be applied to surfaces that are clean and dry, not peeling or flaking. You have to perform adequate sanding or scraping on the wall or trim, depending on their current conditions. Wash the surface and brush it or just pressure wash it if that option is available. Be sure to remove all of the old paint and fill all holes and imperfections on the wall.  

3. Try not to use lead paint.  

Most of today’s paints don’t contain lead. However, the older ones do. If you still come across paints that contain lead, refuse them. These are hazardous to your health, especially when applying it in confined spaces. Just to be sure, ask the retailer if the paint you’re buying is lead-free.  

4. Apply several coats of paint.  

Even if you’re using high-quality paint, that’s no excuse for you skimp. Start with a coat of primer that’s designed for the surface you’re painting on. If you can tint the primer, that’s even better. You have to apply at least two coats of paint on the surface for optimum coverage. 

5. Use professional equipment and tools.  

If you intend to paint your home yourself, make sure that you’re using high-quality brushes and rollers. The reason why it’s best to hire the experts in peinture extérieure is because of the fact that carry professional-grade painting tools such as airless sprayers, among others.