Archive for the ‘Outdoors’ Category

Your roof won’t last forever, but there are ways to make it last longer.  Here are some tips to do:

Make a regular inspection to monitor the condition of your roof. If you can do it on your own, hire roofing experts.

 

 

Keep your gutters clean. Clogged gutters cancause ruined paint, flooded basement and it can destroy your roof structure. Clean out leaves and twigs from the gutters.  If you will not remove those leaves immediately, they will gradually decompose and will cause weeds and molds that will slowly rot your gutters.

 

Remove moss and other debris because it traps water and might destroy the roof.

 

Trimming the branches of nearby trees to your home will keep the leaves off from your roof, and this also, will keep your roof damage free. The branches and leaves that touch the roof can cause damage, especially during high winds.

 

Prevent Ice Dams. It is important to remove all the ice and snow because it can damage the roof.  Use a roof rake to remove them, but don’t force the ice that’s already formed in the roof; this could damage the roof.

The sun is shining, birds are singing and it’s time for your garden to come back from the winter weather. Your garden needs some help getting back in shape, though, so it’s time to get the supplies from the home improvement store, pull out the tools from the shed and get to work.

 

Here are some tips for your getting your spring garden green and beautiful by the time the season reaches its peak:

 

Clean out the garden.

 

It’s time to clean your garden and remove all the debris (leaves, leftover snow, etc.) Get rid of weeds, making sure that you get the roots so they won’t grow back. This is also a good time to sharpen your garden tools, if needed, because you’re going to require them for plant maintenance and soil care.

Revitalize the soil.

 

Because your soil is likely dried out and packed after winter, it’s time to add moisture. Add organic material like compost or manure. You might need to test the soil to see what nutrients it needs, so you give it the right mixture. You might also need to add more fertilizer to increase the health of the soil and increase the life of your plants.

Trim old plants.

 

Plants that survived the winter will need to be pruned so they’ll grow anew in the spring. Make sure to wait until mid-April or May in case there’s an unexpected freeze. Blooming plants should be pruned right after they bloom to avoid cutting off future flowers. Summer plants should be pruned in early spring.

Add mulch.

 

In addition to fertilizers and organic materials, you should think about adding mulch to your flower beds and garden. One to three inches of mulch helps to prevent weeds and diseases. It also keeps the moisture in the garden and maintains the temperature. The rule of thumb is to keep the mulch a few inches from the plant stems to prevent roots from rotting.

Plant new flowers and shrubs.

Once you’ve gotten the garden in shape and handled all of the old plants, it’s time to turn your attention to new plants. Some recommendations for good spring plants include:

Pansies Snapdragons Vegetables like lettuce, peas and arugula Redbuds Transplanting tomato plants from indoor pots to outside Lilacs Tulips

You should lean towards planting more perennials rather than annuals, because annuals have to be replaced every year. This means you’re making an investment in plants that will die every year and require replacement. Perennials, on the other hand, last for two to three years and usually survive winter frosts.

 

What to Do for the Rest of Spring?

 

Once your spring garden is up and running again, it’s time to look to the future and decide what to do with your garden next. It will need some care so it stays colorful and beautiful throughout the season. Here are some quick tips for garden maintenance throughout the rest of the season:

 

Mid-Spring:

 

Consider new flower beds.

Plant some hardy annuals.

Transplant seeds.

Mulch.

Late Spring:

 

Deadhead and remove bulbs.

Prune flowering shrubs.

When tires are no longer for use for their primary purpose, they can serve as a very beautiful and interesting decoration in gardens, on terraces or yard. With their standing in the yard or behind some storage, old tires will be will be just ugly picture and on that way they will serve just to collects rainwater or as nest of mosquitoes. They can be used in a very nice and interesting way and be very useful. From used tires can be made swings, decorative flower pots, garden table and chairs as a pouffe.

 

Used tires can be used as mini-gardens for vegetables and flowers. There are several advantages. These mini-gardens require less water, fertilizer and fewer weeds. The black color of tires absorbs more heat from the sun and stimulates the growth of plants.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Funny how some things that are beautiful can also be damaging. For example, ice storms that coat tree limbs or more commonly, icicles which are born of a condition known as an ice dam. Ice dams are a winter roofing problem caused by poor roof ventilation and a warm attic space. Left untreated ice dams can cause serious damage to your roof, gutters, paint, insulation, drywall, structure and in some cases, even contribute to mold. Roof ice dams will form when snow is melted by a warm roof, creating water running between the snow and the warm roof surface. The water then freezes and turns to ice when it gets past the exterior wall and hits a cold unheated roof edge or gutter. As the bottom of the snow pack continues to melt by the warm roof surface, water continues to flow down the roof surface until it hits the cold ice, refreezes and winds up increasing the size of the ice dam. Heavy Snow Makes an Ice Dam Worse Why? Because snow is a great insulator. Snow that is in contact with your roof will melt because the attic is above 32 degrees Fahrenheit to the point that it warms the outside roof surface and melts the snow. The snow acts as an insulating blanket allowing the outside roof surface to warm up easier from the warm attic space, thereby melting the snow faster. Tips for Battling Ice Dams Although ice dams are best defeated in warm weather with proper roof ventilation, there are some things you can do to beat back the formation and prevent the damage of ice dams in winter. Use a Roof Rake: From the ground you can use a special tool called a roof rake. A roof rake is a long handled inverted shovel you use to pull snow off the roof toward you. The tool can be fixed length or telescopic and should be used to remove about 3-4 feet of snow from the roof edge. This does not solve the problem but just reduces the snow insulation layer at the roof edge which will slow down the formation of the ice dam. Use Calcium Chloride: If you want to try and bring the battle to the ice dam it will require getting on a ladder to apply calcium chloride or some similar ice melt product directly on the edge of the roof. Make sure to use the ladder safely. If you don’t want to use a ladder and fancy yourself good at tossing things, you may want to try a product called Roofmelt which is round calcium chloride tablets you toss up on the roof. Steam Removal of Ice Dams: OK, now you are calling in the big guns and opening up your check book. Of course you are also getting the job done while safely on the ground looking out from your window while drinking  a hot cup of coffee, so hey, it’s all a trade off, right? Steam removal is the most effective and safest way to completely remove your ice dam problem. I want to clarify, I am not recommending hot high pressure power washing which can damage your roof, but rather low pressure steam which is safe and effective. The downside is there are less roofing contractors that have this specialty steam equipment than have a power washer. But finding the right contractor will be worth the effort, even if you have to pay a bit more for the service. You can tell a steamer as it will have no trigger on the gun handle and the hose will be black. Just make sure you don’t get a contractor with a high pressure power washer up on your roof.