Greensboro Home Improvement Company, Home Improvements of the Carolinas
336 271-3323

Caring for Your Wood Flooring in Winter

Winter means spending more time indoors, which also means more wear and tear on your hard wood floors. Caring for your hard wood flooring in the winter can be vital to maintaining the life of your floors.

Door Mats are the first line of defense for your hard wood floors. Making sure there are mats at each entryway and encouraging their use every time anyone enters your home can help reduce the amount of dirt and grime that come in with them. Dirt particles can be abrasive on wood, so the less that come in the better. You may even want to consider inner door mats as well as outer door mats to double the dirt reduction.

Floor Mats are another way to protect your wood flooring in areas where water is most likely to spill such as the kitchen sink. It is also a good idea to place one in front of your refrigerator if it is one with an ice and water dispenser. Clean up any liquid spills immediately.

Sweeping regularly, if not daily, is one of the best habits for maintaining hard wood floors, especially in high traffic areas. A good quality broom is all that is needed, however there are also plenty of dry dusters on the market also appropriate for this task. If you do use a regular broom, make sure that you do not use the same broom to sweep inside your home as you do outside to reduce transference of dirt and to prolong the life of your broom.

Vacuuming with a non-rotating brush attachment can help remove dirt between planks and in hard to reach places.

Sometimes due to the dry heat that can develop inside the home during the winter with the heater on continuously small cracks may appear in your hard wood. These can be minor and do not necessarily require immediate attention as wood naturally expands and contracts with the changing of temperature and moisture in the air. It is however important to monitor them as professional attention may be required at some point.

Contact Home Improvements of the Carolinas or call (336) 271-3323. Our professionally licensed staff provides wood repair and restoration for flooring and more for residential and commercial buildings, in Greensboro, High Point, Winston-Salem, Burlington, Cary, Raleigh, Haw River, Mebane, Kernersville, Chapel Hill and in-between.

Home Winterizing Tips

Winter is a hard time for any house, and the fact that the weather keeps most owners inside can also mean that issues can often times develop without their notice. In order minimize the potential from problems the best course of action is to prepare by winterizing your home.

  • Before the winter sets in it is important to check everything from top to bottom starting with your roof. Make sure that all the shingles are in good repair and that any balding, fraying, or cracked tiles are replaced.
  • Make sure that your gutters are cleaned out and in good repair. Replace any warped, bent, or rusted sections. Be sure that the gutters are flush against the roof without any gaps. Clear all drains to be sure that they divert water away from the foundation of your home.
  • Check all the windows to ensure that they close properly and do not allow for drafts. Use caulking or weather-stripping to seal things up properly. The same goes for all doors to the outside. The use of a rolled up towel or cutely crafted draft snake may be an inexpensive solution, but replacing any seals or insulation strips may prove a better solution in the long run.
  • Give your house a walk around visual inspection checking for any cracks in the wood or brick. Be sure to clear all debris and vegetation away from the foundation to reduce potential for decay. Also seal up any cracks to prevent small animals from getting in. However, be aware that some brick homes are constructed with gaps that are intentional and these should be covered with screens that allow for the necessary air flow, while also preventing small animals such as mice access.
  • Be sure to call out an exterminator to spray for any pests. Though most insects are most active in the summer, it is a good idea to make sure that none survive to burrow in for the winter.

Contact Home Improvements of the Carolinas or call (336) 271-3323 for any repairs to help get your home ready for the winter. Our professionally licensed staff can handle almost any job from restorations to repairs and more for residential and commercial buildings, in Greensboro, High Point, Winston-Salem, Burlington, Cary, Raleigh, Haw River, Mebane, Kernersville, Chapel Hill and in-between.

Perfect Time for Painting

Autumn, like spring, is the perfect time for home painting projects, both interior and exterior. Temperatures are milder reducing the worry of the heat stroke of summer or the hypothermia of winter. Plus, the mild temperatures are better for ensuring the proper drying and setting of the paint.

For indoor painting it is important to have proper ventilation. There is really no better ventilation than opening up the windows to allow for fresh air flow, just make sure that there are screens on your windows to prevent bugs from coming in. Bug carcasses stuck to the walls can be detracting to the look you intend.

Be sure to remove all nails and screws as these can tear up your tools such as sponges and some rollers. Brushes are better at painting over them if you plan on using them exactly as they have been used prior to the change of paint color, but this is generally considered a lazy painters trick. If you do not remove nails and screws from the wall, painting over those areas may result in unintended paint drips. That usually is not the kind of texture that enhances appearances.

For exterior painting choosing a day with a slight breeze may be nice, but avoid gusty days. With the leaves turning and falling there is the potential for them to blow right onto your freshly painted areas and stick before the paint has dried. As a point of interest, this is also a good reason to make sure the neighbors are not in the middle of mowing their yards. Also check the weather report for any signs of rain, which will also prevent proper drying.

By taking advantage of the temperate weather to paint you can increase the likelihood of enjoying the winter inside with the feel of new rooms. For the exterior paint adds an extra layer of protection to the wood of your home as well as enhances the curb appeal.

For quality professional exterior or interior painting services please call Home Improvements of the Carolinas at (336) 271-3323. We service Greensboro, High Point, Winston-Salem and the surrounding Piedmont Triad area.

The Causes of Wood Damage

Virtually every home is constructed with wood components, and for all its enduring qualities, no matter the treatment, at some point it needs repair, restoration, or replacement. Whether it is water damage caused by leaks, fire damage, storm damage, dry rot, termites, or any number of other unforeseen issues wood requires inspection and attention over time.

Damage due to fire or lightning strike is fairly easy to determine. When either event occurs, it is relatively natural for most homeowners to get the area effected inspected.

Water is a major elemental factor in most wood damage as it is what makes wood rot and decay. Dry rot is actually caused by a fungus that feeds off of the cellulose and moisture in wood causing to crack against the grain, and crumble, sometimes into a powdery mess. Effected areas tend to turn a dark brown. The term dry rot is misleading in that thought the effects appear to be a drying brittle condition, moisture is actually a factor. High humidity is just as concerning for the integrity of wood over time as is exposure to the more obvious water leaks from busted pipes or rain.

Mold and, to a lesser degree, mildew are also a concern when found on wood. Both are also types of fungi that flourish with exposure to moisture. Both can cause discoloration of wood, and while neither really causes wood to decay, they can increase the moisture absorption of wood making way for the fungi that do cause decay.

Wear and tear can cause damage to wood floors, especially in heavily trafficked areas of your home. This kind of damage is usually slower to occur as it happens with living. Areas that are walked upon frequently or where furniture is moved repeatedly such as the dining room are most susceptible.

Termites are one of the most pervasive of wood destroying pests. Carpenter ants are another insect to watch out for. Fortunately, they can be deterred by regularly scheduled pesticide sprayings with your local pest control company. However, because these pests tend to attack within the walls or gaps of the house frame, it may not be quickly detected. Make sure your wood is properly treated.

If you are looking for reliable wood repair or restoration contact Home Improvements of the Carolinas or call (336) 271-3323. Our professionally licensed staff provides restoration for water, fire, and storm damage and more for residential and commercial buildings, in Greensboro, High Point, Winston-Salem, Burlington, Cary, Raleigh, Haw River, Mebane, Kernersville, Chapel Hill and in-between.

Keeping the Roof Over Your Head

With the coming of autumn and the changing weather storms become a little more common with hurricane season in full swing. Now is a good time to make sure your roof is in good repair while the weather is still temperate.

Many roofs are sheets of wood covered with composite shingles or asphalt shingles. These usually have about a 20 to 30 year life span, but even so they should be looked over regularly, especially after storms.

Things to be on the lookout for when giving your roof a visual inspection:

  • Check for any missing or loose shingles.
  • Be sure your shingles are in good condition, that they lay flat and cover uniformly.
  • Look for bare spots if you notice large amounts of granules in your gutters.
  • Check for any wood rot around the gutters.

Wood shake, slate, metal, or clay tile roofs also should be looked over for signs of wear and tear.

Be sure to also check your roof from the inside of your home. Go up into the attic to look for any dark spots from water damage. Repairing any wood damage due to water or rot is essential to ensuring the integrity of your roof. Pay particular attention to the area surrounding any vents or chimneys.

Caught early enough, most issues can be addressed with minor repairs. Tiles can be replaced in sections without requiring an entire reroofing. Likewise, spot wood repair can be performed on areas effected by water damage or wood rot. Due to the importance of maintaining the integrity of your roof and the protection it affords your home it is best that you hire a professional with the proper licensing and skill to perform repairs.

Call Home Improvements of the Carolinas, Inc. at 336-271-3323 for more information on roof repair in the Greensboro area. Our licensed professionals can identify, assess, and fix everything from shingle replacement to repairing wood damage. We can provide you with quality service you can rely on.

Gutter Maintenance

Gutter Maintenance Greensboro NCAutumn is right around the corner, and with it comes the falling of the leaves with the addition of the never ending pine needles. All this can put a strain on your gutters. Spring might be the ideal time to clean out and repair them, but it is not too late. And it is always a good idea to give things a once over visual inspection.

Gutter Check List

Clear the Way: Be sure that gutters are clear of any debris, especially at all drainage points. Leaves, pine needles, and roofing granules can build up and dry into hard clumps requiring a little elbow grease to clear out. If you notice a large portion of roofing granules it may also be a good idea to check your roofing tiles for possible replacement.

Snug and Secure: Look for any loss braces or gaps between the gutters and the house. Braces may need tightening. If there are any warped sections causing gaps these should be replaced. For gutters to effectively collect and redirect water from running down the sides of your house and possibly ruining your foundation they must be flush against the house.

Fix the Broken: Replace any cracked, broken, rusted, or otherwise damaged sections. Depending on the material used in most cases sections can replaced for easy repairs. Aluminum is one of the most common materials used for gutters, which fortunately is not subject to rust, and is quite durable over time.

In the interest of preserving the value of your home, maintaining your gutters is a relatively simple measure. Investing in new gutters might also be wise if they are very old and neglected. If cleaning out gutters is not your favorite thing to do you may also want to consider upgrading to covered gutters that are designed to keep out debris while still collecting and directing rain water away.

For more information on gutter installation and repair in the Greensboro area call:
Home Improvements of the Carolinas, Inc. at 336-271-3323.

We are staffed with licensed professionals to provide quality services.