Why You (or a Pro) Should Pressure Wash Your House

Why You (or a Pro) Should Pressure Wash Your House

Ah, the joys of fall in Central Florida! As we ease away from worrying about hurricane season, temperatures begin to drop to the double-digits – making this the perfect time to get back to outdoor chores and home improvement projects before the thermometer dips even lower and it gets too cold for our thin Florida skin. Pressure washing (also called power washing) your house should be at, or near, the top of this list. Not only does a sparkling-clean abode show a sense of pride about yourself and your status in the neighborhood, it’s also a necessity to maximize curb appeal if you’re planning to sell, and to properly prep your house if you’re planning to paint.

 

If you can’t remember the last time you pressure washed your house, it probably could benefit from a good cleaning, no matter what your plans. It’s typical to not look at your home’s exterior closely, unless a problem becomes obvious. However, ignoring built-up grime, mildew, road dust (if you live on an unpaved street) and bird droppings not only creates a dingy appearance, but can actually damage your home and pose a health hazard. As noted by New Life Painting, mildew and mold continue to grow if left unchecked – and mold can grow within walls, meaning your home’s interior could be affected.

 

Do you dare DIY?

 

Pressure washing is one of those jobs that inexperienced, yet physically sturdy people often think they can take on themselves and save money. Of course, only you can judge your own capability to handle the equipment. Yet just because you may be able to wield the wand with ease, keep in mind that it can be hazardous if you aren’t familiar with how to work a pressure washer. Dangers include using too much pressure or the wrong nozzle – which can damage surfaces (such as siding, mortar and wood), break windows, and even cause injury. Improper use can also blast paint off, which means you’ll be repainting long before you intended. When it comes to safe, successful pressure washing, brain is as important as brawn.

 

Of course, hardcore DIY types probably already own a pressure washer, and therefore probably aren’t reading this. But if you’re generally handy with home maintenance and confident in your ability to tackle the task, renting the equipment at a home center is a good option. The advantage is in being able to talk to the rental associate, describe your house and get a recommendation on the type of pressure washer and accessories you’ll need. Being upfront with the associate about your experience level will result in the detailed, helpful advice and instructions that will allow you do to the best job in the safest way.

 

Once you’re set up and ready to start, become familiar with the wand or spray gun to work out the most effective spray pattern. You should use both arms to prevent fatigue. It is recommended to wash with the wand aimed downward, but there may be times you’ll have to aim it slightly up. As a general rule, work from the top down, and don’t spray water directly into cracks and gaps.

 

Safety first

 

Before getting underway, be sure you know how to use the pressure washer safely. Industrial equipment manufacturer Mi-T-M Corp. offers this helpful video of safety tips. Highlights include the following:

  • Read and heed all safety instructions on the equipment.

  • Wear safety goggles and closed-toe shoes.

  • If using an electric pressure washer, plug into a properly grounded GFCI outlet.

  • Place the pressure washer on a flat surface before starting.

  • Never point the nozzle at a person or animal; never come directly in line of the spray yourself.

  • Make sure the work area is clear of children and pets.

  • When not in use, hold the nozzle or gun assembly properly, so that water doesn’t accidentally spray.

  • When you turn off the pressure washer, release the pressure by squeezing the trigger before detaching hoses and nozzles.

  • Be careful before moving the pressure washer from one place to another, as the engine can get very hot.

 

Leaving it to the pros

 

If you’ve already decided that pressure washing is best left to the pros, The Paint Manager is ready! Our team has years of experience in power washing homes of all sizes, construction materials and ages to provide the best possible results. You can also contact us for innovative ideas on painting and repainting your home’s interiors and exteriors. We offer free estimates on all projects, and will be happy to help you take your home improvement plans to reality!

When to Paint the Exterior of Your House

When to Paint the Exterior of Your House

Painting your home’s exterior is perhaps the maintenance project that homeowners dread the most. Whether you choose to do it yourself or hire a professional, the task is expensive and nerve-wracking. If you’re like us here at The Paint Manager, you’re economy-minded, and consider any home improvement investment over $100 expensive. And although we pride ourselves on doing our jobs as quietly as possible, having people working on your property isn’t relaxing even under the best circumstances.

 

In Central Florida, the additional factors of intense heat punctuated by afternoon thunderstorms in the summer and hurricane season through November 1 compound the problem of finding a window of opportunity to accomplish this mission.

 

But first, let’s consider your motivation for painting your house. If you’re planning to sell, giving the exterior a fresh coat of paint is a sure way to boost curb appeal. This can also be the ideal time to update the colors to attract more interest among potential buyers. As with everything else, exterior colors go in and out of style – which means you want your house to look as up-to-date as possible. A newly painted house also creates the impression that the rest of the place has been regularly maintained and kept in good repair – and is therefore unlikely to present the new owners with nasty surprises.

 

If you’re planning to stay, this can still be a good opportunity to give your house an exterior makeover with an updated color scheme. However, your motive may be more than to create an impression – that is, you are regularly maintaining your home. Indicators that it’s time to repaint include:

 

  • Flaking, bubbling or cracking paint – These conditions often signal dry rot, wet rot or mold caused by failed weatherproofing. Strong sunlight, extreme humidity, storms, blowing sand and ocean breezes can contribute to the damage.

 

  • Hardened caulk – Caulking eventually loses its ability to expand and contract with your house. If the beads are hard and resistant when you press down, it’s time to recaulk – which typically means it’s also time to repaint.

 

  • Fading paint – Perhaps the most obvious sign. Sun bleaching is common, and dark hues tend to fade faster than paler shades. However, according to Nationwide, fading on shady sides of the house indicates problems with the vapor barrier or with water intrusion. Look for stains dripping downward on the paint. If water-soluble materials designed for home interiors end up outside the house, it’s a sign of water leaks. If you can’t pinpoint the source, call an expert.

 

  • Morphing paint color – Did your home’s color morph from sedate beige to pink? Blame ultraviolet (UV) rays, which can sometimes transform paint to an unexpected or undesired shade. To prevent this, make sure the paint is an exterior grade that can withstand UV effects.

 

  • Patching stucco – Stucco exteriors were popular in Florida in the 1990s, but fell out of fashion due to problems with the material adhering to the concrete block it was applied over. To minimize costs without re-stuccoing the entire house, patch stucco cracks and repaint the whole house. Otherwise, homeowners will be left with streaks or a patchwork from paint that doesn’t quite match.

 

The quality of the paint and painting materials you choose makes a significant difference in the durability of your exterior paint. Selecting high-quality paints and painting materials will ensure that your paint job lasts longer. Equally important is performing detailed prep work, should you decide to go the DIY route. Clean and sand the surface so paint adheres to it properly. Apply two coats for greater durability and longer useful life.

 

Now comes the question: How often should your paint your house? Assuming you don’t wait for it to acquire a weather-beaten appearance, the answer is: It depends on some variables – your region, climate and weather conditions, your home’s construction materials and the quality of those materials.

 

For example, houses with wood siding may require a repaint every three to seven years; every four years if it is stained. Other time frames are:

 

  • Stucco – 5 to 6 years
  • Brick – 15 to 20 years if painted; occasional pressure washing if not
  • Cement fiberboard siding – 10 to 15 years

 

If you are planning to have your home exteriors (and interiors) painted, and you need a professional home painting contractor, get in touch with The Paint Manager. Select the perfect color from our color picker page, or contact us for innovative house painting ideas!

A Fresh Look at Fall Colors for Your Home

A Fresh Look at Fall Colors for Your Home

 

After a summer’s worth of Florida’s triple-digit temperatures, many people are ready to welcome the cooler temperatures of fall. But in the Sunshine State, autumn is more a state of mind than reality. For this reason, we enthusiastically decorate to capture the spirit of the season. Now that the first cinnamon-scented brooms are making their appearance in supermarkets, we take a look at this year’s popular fall colors, and how to incorporate them in your home. From major projects – like painting a room – to introducing pops of color through accessories, everyone can enjoy a touch of autumn, even if the AC is still running non-stop. Here are some of our favorites here at The Paint Manager, offered by the experts!  

 

First up, author Cyndy Aldred, whose blog, The Creativity Exchange, focuses on color, paint and home improvement. Writing for Better Homes & Gardens, she makes the following observations. “Paint colors will continue to warm up this year. Common among the various trend reports are softer neutrals, creamy whites, muted colors, and rich dark hues.”

 

Although Aldred notes that paint manufacturers and other industry influencers made their pronouncements for the entire year, rather just autumn, the trend toward rich, deeper colors is especially suited for the season.

 

“Soft neutral paint colors will have warmer undertones this year, which make a space feel cozy and warm.” Aldred writes. “Mixing a soft neutral wall color with a dark or bold accent color in furniture, fabrics, or art is a beautiful way to add contrast to a space.”

 

Also, look for rich, dark hues – another common thread among the 2018 paint color forecasts. Designers are mixing these colors with whites and soft neutrals to create contrast and make a statement. If you want to be daring but don’t want to risk being overwhelming, choose a dark shade for an accent wall.

 

According to Aldred, other noteworthy colors are chestnut brown, deep burgundy, and dark blue – which can be used for interior doors, cabinetry and furniture, as well as walls. And consider a combination of rich colors paired with shiny finishes like brass or chrome.

 

Next, none other than lifestyle diva extraordinaire Martha Stewart, whose website provides idea-inspiring photos of 20 interior settings using fall colors. Overall, Stewart recommends such shades as orange, yellow, dark green, rust and brown as accents. These versatile colors can be used for walls, fabrics, accessories and floral arrangements.

 

Using different tones of one color help richen the effect, as does layering deep colors and textured fabrics. For example, Stewart picks out a red damask tablecloth, reddish-brown wall color and red lacquer accessories tinted with cinnabar or vermilion as variations on a theme of fall’s signature color.

 

Reporting on paint color trends for The Spruce, blogger Kelly Weimert identifies “An Abundance of Berries.” Weimert writes: “From strawberry red to raspberry pink to blueberry, well, blue, berry-inspired color palettes are bringing all kinds of vivacious cheer to interior spaces in the upcoming season.

 

“The beauty of this color trend is its versatility – bolder style sensibilities can select a bright red with which to make a striking style statement while more subdued styles will benefit from a softer raspberry hue to add increased warmth to their aesthetic.”

 

fall colors, fall home designFor those who prefer a more traditional take on warm autumn hues, floral arrangements are a perfect way to set the tone. Teleflora offers suggestions on its blog post, “Bring Stunning Fall Colors Into Your Home.” They’re all great ideas for those who have come to Florida from locales that actually have four seasons.

  • Decorate the coffee table with candles in seasonal colors and scents; feature a floral arrangement of flowers in fall colors, mixed with leaves (which, of course, Teleflora can supply). Great fall inspired decorations can be found at Furniture.com.
  • Use your imagination to spread small bursts of autumnal color throughout the home. For example, orange roses in small vases in the living room, bright yellow flowers in the kitchen and some deep, ruby red bouquets in the bedroom.

 

Feeling inspired to invite fall into your home year ‘round with warm colors on your walls?  The Paint Manager has over two decades of experience in providing high-quality, trusted full-service residential painting for homes of every size and age. Our team can provide décor ideas, does all the demanding prep work and performs skilled, meticulous application to ensure beautiful results. Contact us for an estimate.

Cabinets – Don’t Replace, Refinish!

Cabinets – Don’t Replace, Refinish!

Planning a kitchen remodel? You already know that most of your budget will be claimed by replacing the cabinetry. But if the existing cabinets in your home are solid wood and in overall good condition, they can be refinished with stain for an updated look at a fraction of the cost. Before rushing in, however, there is much to consider – starting with whether you should do it yourself, or hire a pro.

The DIY approach can be successful if you have experience and confidence in your ability to take on mid-level to major home improvement projects. As we always caution here, don’t let your enthusiasm for cable TV house flipping shows make you think you can do likewise if you’ve done nothing more complex around the house than change lightbulbs.

In addition to expertise, staining a kitchenful of cabinets will demand a good deal of time. This includes such prep work as removing handles and other hardware, removing doors, stripping the existing finish, sanding, etc. You may not be willing or able to dedicate evenings and weekends to the project, which also will impact your kitchen’s function to some degree.

For those who want to learn more about what’s involved in staining cabinets to help you decide which route to take, The Paint Manager offers our helpful DIY resource page, which provides answers to common questions, as well as links to DIY videos and other tips from the experts.

An even more up-close look at the entire cabinet finishing process can be seen courtesy of The Idaho Painter.

 

 

Should you decide to leave the work to the professionals, it’s still a good idea to be familiar with the basic products so you can make informed choices. Start with the stain itself. There are three types: oil-based, water-based and gel. Minwax provides a comprehensive guide to staining, which includes a chart of stain products, their characteristics and best uses. Your paint contractor will be able to tell you which type is recommended for your cabinetry, and why.

Here are some other benefits of hiring a pro for wood cabinet staining:

  • You don’t have to compromise your safety – Doing the project on your own entails some risks. From the step ladder and tools to wood dust and volatile fumes, the project can be hazardous if this is your first cabinet staining rodeo. Professional contractors have the right tools and expertise, and also know how to properly ventilate the space so that it doesn’t become hazardous for occupants.

 

  • Quality prep work – The casual do-it-yourselfer may not consider the amount of preparation required before even opening the first can of stain. Please re-read the third paragraph of this blog post for a (very) general outline of the labors that doing a thorough job of the necessary prep work involve. A professional paint contractor performs each step, in the correct order, to ensure beautiful results that will last for many years.

 

  • Top-quality results – Professional paint contractors have great experience in applying stain evenly to bring out the wood grain and achieve consistent color on all cabinet surfaces for a custom appearance that will make you proud of your kitchen again.

 

  • Relatively quick job completion – Several factors – such as the size of your kitchen – will affect the amount of time the project will require. However, hiring a pro means the job will be done in a few days, rather than a few weeks – or months – as would be the case with doing it yourself. Your kitchen will be fully functional much sooner, and you and your family won’t have to work around disassembled cabinetry, vinyl sheeting partitioning off work areas or the persistent odor of wood stain stripper for what will seem like an indefinite period.

 

  • It’s still economical – Compared against the cost of new cabinetry, hiring a paint contractor to refinish your cabinets will still save you a significant amount of money. If you’re considering doing it yourself to do the job as inexpensively as possible, keep in mind the real cost of your time, labor, personal risk and overall inconvenience – not to mention the possibility of a poor aesthetic result due to lack of experience

 

Contact us at The Paint Manager to bring your old wood kitchen cabinets back to vibrant new life!

Seven Top Home Painting Myths You Should Know

Seven Top Home Painting Myths You Should Know

 

For some reason, there’s no home improvement project that has more mythology surrounding it than house painting. Knowing fact from fiction is essential if you’re planning to do it yourself. If you expected the job to be easy-peasy, reading the following may prompt you to call a professional. Should you still decide to go it alone (or with family and friends), at least you’ll have a better idea of what you’re getting into.

 

Home DIY, home painting, painting myths

  1. You don’t need a primer – Some people believe it’s important to use a primer, while others think it’s a waste of time, money and energy. The fact of the matter is that if you want to make your walls look smooth, perfect, and professional, you should always apply primer. Moreover, one of the main reasons why using a primer is necessary is because it helps the paint bind well to the wall.

 

  1. You don’t need to clean or sand the walls if you use a primer – No matter how high-quality the primer, it won’t adhere well to a greasy or uneven surface. Family Handyman notes that you should pay special attention to high-traffic, high-touch areas, as well as kitchens, baths and baseboards.

 

  1. You always need to apply two coats for a perfect finish – This may have been true in the past, but the quality of paint has improved over the years. If you apply primer, a single coat should be sufficient. However, if you don’t use primer or are applying a lighter shade over a dark color, two coats may be necessary.

 

  1. Painting the ceiling makes the room look smaller – If interior décor experts are right in declaring that accent walls are no longer trendy, the accent ceiling is on the rise, so to speak. In fact, light walls with a dark ceiling can create the illusion of a taller space. Queen Anne Painting of Seattle expands on this as follows:Home DIY, home painting, painting myths

“… if you paint the ceiling light blue, the room will appear to have a much taller ceiling when in fact, it is the same height it has always been. If you want to avoid the ceiling appearing smaller, be sure you use a medium shade on the walls and a shade or two darker on the ceiling.”

 

  1. Don’t use dark colors, as it will make a small room appear smaller – Not true at all. A room will look big or small depending on the way you style it, and not on the color you use on the walls and ceilings. The way you light the room, the kind of floor you opt for and the type of furniture you use will determine whether your space looks larger or small. In fact, dark walls can make your room appear larger if you do it the right way. If you have lots of windows, light-colored floors and furniture, a bold color can add to more flavor to your room than lighter shades.

 

  1. You don’t need to paint your house if you are planning to sell it – If you’re not selling your home as a “fixer-upper,” most buyers are looking for a move-in ready house. Painting your interior walls neutral colors throughout will create a fresh, clean look that will appeal to the majority of homebuyers. Also keep in mind that dingy walls painted in outdated colors may raise a red flag to potential buyers that your home may not have been carefully maintained, and serious problems could be lurking.

 

  1. You don’t need to hire a professional painting company This depends. Most homeowners lack the experience, expertise and equipment to achieve professional-quality results – not to mention time. Those who are inspired by the numerous home renovation shows on cable TV may think they can tackle the job, but reality could be quite different. If, however, you have a good deal of practical experience on a rehab project or two (and the right equipment), going the DIY route might be successful.

 

Speaking of house painting professionals, The Paint Manager has over two decades of experience in providing high-quality, trusted full-service residential painting for homes of every size and age. Our team does all the demanding prep work and performs skilled, meticulous application to ensure beautiful results. Contact us for an estimate.

Hurricane Season is here! Are you ready?

Hurricane Season is here! Are you ready?

Hurricane season officially started on June 1, and will run through November 30. There are a number of steps of you should take in preparation for potential hurricanes, the intensity of which seems to increase yearly. Complete the following supply and safety checklist, and speak to your family about the actions you will take should a hurricane approach.

Have a Hurricane Safety Checklist

Although hurricane season has started, it is never too late to take the necessary steps to protect your home and family. Use this hurricne safety checklist from the National Hurricane Survival Initiative. It provides a comprehensive list of the items you may need in should a hurricane hit your home.

Make sure you download and save the website’s PDF checklists for convenience and reference.

Essential items include:

  1. Food and water.
  2. Battery-operated radio, flashlights and extra batteries.
  3. First aid and non-prescription drugs.
  4. Tools and supplies.
  5. Sanitation, clothing and bedding.
  6. Special items.
  7. Possessions and documents.

 

Hurricane Do’s and Don’ts

 

Should you choose to ride out a storm, the preparedness of your house makes all the difference. New or old, your home should be fortified to protect you and your loved ones from the dangers presented by a hurricane.

Consider these common mistakes Florida homeowners make when it comes to hurricane preparation, and how you can avoid them.

1- Don’t:Tape your windows. 

Do: Apply storm panels or shutters. A number of options are available, including plywood, metal, plastic and fabric. Whichever material you prefer, all effectively add protection for you and your windows.

 

2- Don’t: Empty your inground pool. 

Do: Leave the water level alone and remove any loose equipment. Draining the water can cause hydrostatic pressure beneath your pool, causing it to ‘pop’ out of the ground. This is a risk for both inground fiberglass and concrete pools. For a great explanation of this big word, read this informative article by Holly Jender for River Pools.

 

3- Don’t: Open windows or doors to ‘equalize pressure.’ 

Do: Keep your windows and doors shut and secured. Exposing them to harsh winds can turn them into dangerous debris. By opening either structure, you also increase the chance of negatively affecting the interior pressure of your home, compromising the integrity of your roof.

 

4- Don’t: Neglect your roof. 

Do: Regularly inspect, clean and repair your roof. When it comes to hurricanes, your roof is the integral structure that protects you from wind. Without it, your home’s walls can collapse, causing injury or leaving you exposed to the elements. Invest in a high-quality roof and any necessary equipment to back it up, such as roof clips.

 

5- Don’t: Leave debris clean-up for last minute. 

Do: Regularly tidy your yard and maintain foliage prior to and during hurricane season. Trimming your trees and bushes helps create wind resistance, preventing the chance that they will become harmful debris. Any outdoor furniture and other loose items should have a designated area for quick storage.

 

6- Don’t: Forego a backup power supply. 

Do: Purchase a generator and learn the safe way to operate it. To prevent death from carbon monoxide poisoning, DO NOT OPERATE indoors. Be sure to follow all manufacturer’s safety instructions. If possible, have it installed by a professional. As hurricanes approach, generators become a prized commodity – one you do not want to be stuck without. In the event that power can not be restored for days or weeks, a generator can provide power to essential appliances.

 

After the storm

 

In the wake of a hurricane, it is of the utmost importance that you wait for an official declaration that your area is safe. Continue listening to NOAA Weather Radio for updates and announcements.

In the likely event of lost power, you may be unable to access information regarding the storm’s location. In many instances, people have mistaken the calm ‘eye’ of the storm as an indication that it passed through the area, and that the danger is over. Moments later they find themselves exposed to the harshest extent of the hurricane. Also look out for tornadoes. For every hurricane that makes landfall, the formation of at least one tornado is likely. Tornadoes are known to spawn up to three days following a hurricane.

Hurricane winds themselves typically account for only 50% of storm-related deaths. The other half are due to subsequent flooding. As Florida is prone to flooding, staying up-to-date on your proximity to flood zones can help you prepare. Even areas that had never before experienced flood waters are now susceptible. Recent studies show a 20% to 30% slow-down over land areas affected by North Atlantic and North Pacific tropical cyclones. Slower forward speed means increased rainfall and a greater likelihood of inland floods.

You should use equal caution in handling your supplies, and being exposed to the dangers presented by hurricane damages – such as fallen power lines. Read this article from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention to learn about indoor and outdoor post hurricane safety tips.

If your hurricane preparedness includes roof cleaning, home repairs or shrub trimming, contact The Paint Manager. Our experienced team can help you complete your Florida hurricane preparations, and give you peace of mind when it comes to protecting your family.

Why You Should Hire a Professional Landscaper to Trim Your Shrubs

Why You Should Hire a Professional Landscaper to Trim Your Shrubs

Your front yard is vital in creating the first impression people get about how well you keep up your home. However, yard maintenance is not an easy task. Case in point: trimming shrubs. Depending upon the size of your property, your schedule and your physical capability, hiring a professional yard or lawn service can be the best approach to keeping shrubs and hedges well-groomed, healthy assets to your home’s curb appeal.

In addition to creating an attractive appearance, there are practical reasons to make sure shrubbery is in good shape, so to speak. Trimming is important to the plant’s health, ensuring it gets enough sun and encouraging growth. Trimming is different from pruning, which is done to eliminate dead, broken and infected parts of the plant. Pruning shrubs regularly helps promote healthier shrubs that produce more blooms.

If your landscaping is new, it’s much better to start pruning shrubs when they are young, then do minor annual pruning. If you allow them to become overgrown, they’ll end up needing major renewal pruning, which – assuming you hire a service – will be even more expensive. Black + Decker’s website provides an informative guide to shrub trimming. (For the adventurous, there’s even info on “How to Make a Topiary.”) Despite being written for the do-it-yourself, the article includes helpful basics that everyone should know. For those who may be entertaining the thought of going the DIY route, learning about the specialized equipment involved may tip you toward hiring a service.

Hiring a Yard Service Versus DIY

There is great deal of difference between a professional approach and the DIY way of doing things – unless, of course, you are qualified enough for the job and own the right equipment. In making a list of the advantages of hiring a yard or lawn service, equipment is a good place to start.

Equipment

Yard and lawn care services have all of the proper tools and equipment to do an expert job in trimming and shaping shrubs. In the hands of an experienced landscaper, these specialized pruning tools, saws and power trimmers create a uniform, beautiful effect for the perfect manicured yard. A professional service regularly maintains its tools, keeping them in good working condition, and stores them appropriately.

Physical Labor

There’s no getting around the fact that yard work is hard work. Even lightweight hedge trimmers are heavy and unwieldy, requiring a great deal of physical effort to use. Florida’s triple-digit summer temperatures make the job especially hazardous, necessitating performing it in the early morning or early evening for those insisting on the DIY route. Overexertion leading to illness, heat exhaustion or heat stroke are possible health hazards. Also, the more birthdays we celebrate, the more mindful we need to be about not overestimating our stamina and assuming we can still do what we once did easily in previous years.

Safety

Professional landscapers are trained to do their job safely. For those who don’t do so on a regular basis, climbing a ladder to reach the top of a hedge, wielding a power trimmer or using a small curved saw can be hazardous. Hiring a yard or lawn service could save you a trip to the ER.

Clean-up

A professional yard or lawn service may include clean-up of plant debris in the price of trimming. Be sure to discuss waste removal before hiring a service. Also ask if the service will remove the bags of debris, or if they will be left curbside for yard waste collection day. Some municipalities charge extra for bags of lawn waste that exceed the permitted limit, so check your local regulations first.

Peace of mind

When you hire a professional yard or lawn service, you can spend quality time with your family and friends instead of spending time on landscape maintenance!

The Paint Manager is well-experienced in such yard maintenance jobs as shrub trimming, and has been serving Central Florida homeowners since 2000. Contact us today to learn how we can make your yard an inviting place of beauty for your family and friends.

How to Stay Safe When Painting Homes With Lead-Based Paint

How to Stay Safe When Painting Homes With Lead-Based Paint

Lead-based paint is a grave health hazard for not only for homeowners, but also for those who are into home remodeling.

If you live in a house that dates back to 1978 or before, you need to make your home free of lead-based paint. The federal government in 1978 banned the commercial use of lead-based paint, though some states had done so earlier. Lead-based paint – which includes lead-contaminated dust – is the leading cause of lead poisoning.

Lead-based paint is known to have an unhealthy effect on children, especially those under the age of six years. According to a declaration by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), lead-based paint ingestion can lead to severe learning disabilities, seizures, behavioral problem, and even death. 

In adults, lead poisoning can cause high blood pressure, and can negatively impact fetus development if women are exposed during pregnancy.

Lead poisoning can also cause such acute conditions as renal failure and encephalopathy.

Traditionally, lead-based paint was routinely used in the painting of home exteriors and interiors. And, the chances of lead-based paint being used increases as the age of your home increases. The Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazard Protection Act was passed by the U.S. Congress in 1992 (also called Title X) to safeguard families from lead exposure from paint, soil, and dust. The EPA, through the Renovation, Repair, and Painting (RRP) Rule, has also directed home remodeling contractors to help control exposure to lead paint.

Putting things in perspective for lead-based paint

It is no doubt upsetting to find out that there is lead-based paint present in your home, but you can work to remove the problem. However, to solve the lead problem, you need to first get to the basics of the issue. And, to understand the basics, you have to know the facts about lead-based paint.

There are millions of homes that still have lead-based paint present, as it typically has been painted over through the years by non-lead-based paint. What you need to understand is if the paint is in perfect shape, you don’t have to worry much about the lead being present in your home. But, do keep in mind that when the lead-based paint starts chipping, peeling, cracking, chalking, or becomes damp or damaged, then the situation turns hazardous, and it becomes urgent for you to resolve the problem.

It is also a safety hazard if found on the surfaces, which your children can chew or those places where there is too much of wear and tear like doors and door frames, windows and window sills, and porches, stairs, and railings. Clean up the dust regularly and make sure to keep the paint in good condition.

Lead dust comes from the deteriorating lead based paint inside your home, or it can also come from the soil from outside your home, which of course is a result of the worsening exterior lead-based paint.

During painting, repair, and renovation activities when paint surfaces are demolished or disturbed, it produces toxic lead dust. This is why you need to hire professionals to do the job.

How to test if your house has lead-based paint

One way to find out is to use a home testing kit for lead. Though inexpensive and widely available, according to the EPA, they are not particularly accurate. Per EPA recommendations, you should look for a lead abatement company to perform the tests.

How to stay safe when repainting a lead-based home

Repainting a lead-based home is a risky proposition, and you need to carefully follow all the guidelines to keep you and your family safe. It is always advisable to hire a professional company to repaint your house if the test confirms that lead-based paint is present in your home. But, if you decide otherwise, there are ways to reduce the risks when repainting a lead-based home.

Encapsulation is the most common and effective way of dealing with the problem – it keeps the paint intact and stable. Encapsulation, as the name suggests is applying a fresh coat of paint on the lead-based paint. This makes sure that the lead-based paint doesn’t find its way into your home.

Make sure that you use a respirator when you are scraping the lead-based paint. NEVER remove lead-based paint without a respirator. Use a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter for clean-ups.

Spray adequate water on the surface you are working to keep the dust at bay.

Put on safety gear before you start working on the lead-based paint. Make sure that you cover your eyes, hands, body, and head appropriately – use goggles, gloves, coverall, and hat to stay safe. Also, ensure that you use disposable gloves and coveralls and that you discard them every day. And, don’t forget to wash your goggles on a daily basis.

Always remember to dispose of the lead-based paint surface at a safe location outside your house. Make sure that no one except for those working on the project enters the work area, and seal the non-work areas with plastic sheets.

Why you should call in experts to repaint a lead-based home

Making a home lead-based paint safe is a risky job. Those who have the required experience and expertise can better handle the safety concerns of lead. After all, there is no point in risking your life and that of your loved ones by adopting a DIY approach.

When you hire professionals to repaint a lead-based home, you can rest assured that they will take all the necessary precautions as mandated by the rule of law.

Professionals are not just trained to do their job with perfection, but they also have all the resources (protective gear and tools) to carry out the work safely. They would also make sure that you stay safe while they work.

When you hire professionals, you don’t have to worry about toxic waste disposal. Lead disposal is a risky job. They know how, where and when to safely dispose of the lead-based waste.

The Paint Manager is experienced in making Central Florida homes safe from the hazards of lead paint. We are a full-service painting company in Orlando delivering quality work to residential and commercial customers. Call us today to schedule an appointment.

Why is it Important to Hire a Professional Roof Repair Contractor?

Why is it Important to Hire a Professional Roof Repair Contractor?

Unlike many other areas of home maintenance and repair, your roof is not a DIY project. Roof repair is a specialized job, and you need professionals to do the task correctly. The philosophy of “jack of all trades and master of none” does not hold true in case of roof repair.

A well-maintained shingle or tile roof not only increases the curb appeal of your Central Florida home, but prolongs its life. Conscientious roof maintenance starts with a clean roof – which speaks volumes about the overall condition of your home, and your values as a homeowner.

 

Here are 5 Reasons to Have Your Roof Professionally Cleaned

  1. Aesthetics – keep your home beautiful and enjoy pride of ownership
  2. Roof longevity – maximize its life and save money
  3. Value – protect your investment
  4. Health – mold triggers allergies; a clean roof promotes a healthy home
  5. Energy cost – a stained roof ultimately results in higher energy bills

 

How to Tell When it’s Time to Repair Your Roof

Sometimes, even a clean roof needs to be repaired. Damage from high winds, hail, tree branches, etc., necessitate calling a roof repair contractor. In the case of damage covered by homeowners insurance, your policy will determine eligible reimbursement for repairs. No matter how up to the task you may believe yourself to be, the main reasons for leaving it to the experts follow.

Experience and training – Roofing professionals have experience in a wide range of repair and replacement jobs, giving them the ability to recognize conditions that warrant a particular approach. What you may know from watching a YouTube video and what a pro knows from having encountered the same thing numerous times are probably two different things. Guess who should produce the more sound result? The roof is one of your home’s most complex structures. Don’t compromise its safety/integrity.

Roof repair can be dangerous – According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), falling is the leading cause of injuries in construction. In 2015, out of a total 937 reported injuries, 350 were due to a fall. Climbing and working on a roof is not an easy job, it requires training and precision to avoid falls and accidents – which do-it-yourselfers typically lack.

Professionals are licensed and insured – Make sure the company you hire is licensed and insured. There are usually two components to insurance – workers’ compensation and general liability insurance, which protect homeowners from injuries suffered by others on your property and accidental property damage liabilities.

Also, hiring a licensed roof repairing company means that they have the necessary experience, the required skill set and a verified background check. It means that an insured and licensed roofing contractor will have trained professionals.

Repairing the roof on your own can void the manufacturer’s warranty/guarantee – Most roofing material manufacturers offer a warranty, but doing the job yourself may void it. In addition, a reputable roofing company will most likely guarantee its own work, providing an extra degree of protection.

If you live in the metro Orlando area and your roof needs repair, get in touch with The Paint Manager. With more than 15 years of roof repair experience, The Paint Manager is a trusted name in Central Florida roof repair. Living up to our customers’ expectations is our highest priority. We adhere to OSHA guidelines, and work as a team to give your roof a new look.

 

Selling a House? Here’s How To Improve The Curb Appeal Of Your Home

Selling a House? Here’s How To Improve The Curb Appeal Of Your Home

How To Improve The Curb Appeal Of Your Home

Let’s accept it, first impressions make a difference. Don’t you try to look your best when you go out on a first date? Or, do you buy clothes that don’t appeal to you in the first place? In fact, you always want to look impeccable and you can only buy stuff that creates a good first impression. Likewise, when you plan to sell your house, first impressions make a huge difference.

People spend so much money on the upkeep and appearance of their home’s interior, but do you make sure that it looks attractive from the outside as well? If not then you should start paying attention to your home exteriors, as it improves the curb appeal of your house.

In fact, what people get to see from outside either makes or breaks their impression. The same is true for your home as well.

So, what exactly is the curb appeal?

Curb appeal is a term generally used by realtors to evaluate a house or property that is up for sale. It is the attractiveness of a house or property when seen from the street. Interested home buyers first see a house from the street, and if it appeals to them, then they ask the realtor to move forward.

63% of prospective home buyers will come by to visit a house only after they like what they see online (National Association of Realtors).

This clearly means that the house they see from outside should generate sufficient interest among the potential home-buyers in the first place. What do they see from outside? The front entry, driveway, sidewalk and yard. Your home’s exterior should have the capacity to attract prospective home-buyers and bring them to the table for further negotiations.

Hence, the home exterior is the first thing that you need to work on and improve if you want to sell your house at a decent price.

So, what is it that you need to do?

Let’s Examine 9 Ways to Improve the Curb Appeal of Your Home

  1. Start thinking like a buyer – The first thing that you need to do is start thinking like a buyer. Grab a notepad and pen, and walk around the exterior of your home with a hawk eye to find out what could annoy a potential home buyer. Make note of things that you think needs replacement, repair, or cleaning. Take your car and drive down the street on both sides of your house, both during the day and night. You might just see a few things on the roof that you must remove, or a sidewalk that needs repair.
  2. Make sure your address number is visible, clean, and tastefully depicted – Address number is a small thing which many people tend to overlook, but has a tremendous effect on everyone who enters your home. If you write your number differently, then it generates more interest among prospective home-buyers. For example, if your house number is 428, you can write it as “four2eight”. Written numbers are a more stylish form of displaying your address.
  3. Ensure that your roof is clean and spotless – Many people think that a clean and spotless roof doesn’t improve the curb appeal of your home. That can’t be further from the truth. It creates a negative impact on the image of your home. Therefore, ensure that your roof is clean, free of streaks, and does not look dingy. Also, make sure that your roof isn’t missing shingles. Once you plan to sell off your house, see to it that your roof is cleaned, pressure washed, repaired, or replaced.
  4. Make your front door attractive and eye catching – Front doors are another thing that influence home-buyers. An attractive, eye-catching front door can impress your prospective buyers, and raise the value of your house. Make the entrance of your home more stylish. Paint it a bold color, and don’t forget to place a new cheery welcome mat in front of the entrance.
  5. Repaint the trim and shutters, and get a new mailbox – When you are repainting your front door, don’t forget to redo the trim and shutters. Also, try a new mailbox for your home. If yours is damaged or weathered, it could detract from the overall aesthetic.
  6. Get your sidewalk, driveway, and deck pressure washed – A dirty driveway, sidewalk, and deck can act as a spoiler for people who plan to buy your house. This is another important thing that you can do to improve the curb appeal of your house. Get your driveway, sidewalk, and deck pressure washed to make it sparkling clean. Don’t forget that someone’s first impression at times turns out to be their last one. This is not just cost efficient, but it is also very effective.
  7. Light up your porch, walking path, and landscape – Putting up lighting fixtures at the right places can bring out the best of what your home has to offer. Use them to draw the buyer’s eye to the most interesting aspects of your home, and away from the mundane parts.
  8. Place flower pots in front of the entrance – There are many plants (in a flower pot, of course) which you can place in front of your entrance. Put the flower pots in a symmetrical fashion, and spruce up your front yard with seasonal flowers.
  9. Get your home exterior painted – If you think your home’s exterior is worn out, then get it repainted by a professional painter. A freshly painted home exterior can be your best tool, in finding a buyer and receiving more offers.

Freshly done up home exteriors can greatly improve the curb appeal of your house, but it is not all that easy to spruce up your home exteriors in a jiffy. You need a lot of time, innovative ideas, and executional capabilities, besides experienced and trained manpower to change the face of your home from outside.

It is always advisable to hire professionals to improve the curb appeal of your house. Get in touch with The Paint Manager and make your home exteriors look attractive.

From repainting your home exteriors, pressure washing your sidewalks, driveway, and decks to the installation of a new mailbox, redoing your front door and roof cleaning, professionals at The Paint Manager are capable of providing a facelift to your home’s exterior just the way you would love to see it.

Most importantly, you should consult professionals at The Paint Manager for innovative ideas that can improve the curb appeal of your house.

Photo credit: Scott Webb: https://twitter.com/scotty_webb

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