Tag Archives: home

Tips on Painting a Brick Home

Depending on the style of your home, a brick fireplace or wall may detract from your ideal ambience. Painting the brick in your home has been touted as an easy DIY fix, it has its downsides.

Most brick was never intended to be painted. According to the Brick Industry Association, if you paint your exterior brick, you should be repaint it every three to five years.

Brick that’s chipping, deteriorating, molding or in overall poor condition is always a bad candidate for paint. Paint blocks the natural pores in the brick’s surface, which can cause existing problems to become exaggerated over time.

Remember that removing paint from bricks is no easy process. Chemicals have to be used, and often the paint won’t come completely off. If you don’t like the look, you may be stuck with it.

Ask yourself if you’re covering up something that should be addressed separately. Get in touch with the original owners or the builder who installed the brick, whenever possible, to uncover any problems that might arise. You have to be very careful when you’re changing the exterior makeup of a wall.

Moisture is a concern that’s usually apparent right off the bat. Water can enter brick through brick pores, incomplete mortar joints, sills, copings and other gaps. Make sure your brick is completely dry before you paint it– the risk of long-term or immediate damage is less likely.

The natural chemical property of bricks may affect your paint’s durability. According to the Brick Industry Association, most bricks are neutral, but mortar often has a basic alkalinity. Paint products can be affected, so alkaline-resistant primer is usually recommended.

“Efflorescence” is a big word for that annoying white residue that often appears on older brick walls. Remove the efflorescence with water and a stiff brush before painting your brick, and wait to see if it returns.

Most project complications occur when people rush the preparation process. If your brick is brand new, wait at least a year before painting it to allow for drying, weathering and leaching.

Always clean brickwork before painting it, and allow it to dry for at least 24 hours before painting it or applying a water repellant. Don’t use acid cleaning solutions when cleaning your brick– stick to simple water and soap. Acidic solutions can result in paint chipping.

Seal any cracks and repoint (renew the external mortar joints, or pointing) when needed. Get rid of efflorescence, wash off dirt and eliminate mold with weed killer.

Exterior and interior walls should be treated differently, because exterior brick comes into contact with ground elements. The Brick Industry Association also advises using a porous paint for exterior brick walls, so the brick can breathe.

Choosing a high-quality paint is vital for painting brick successfully. Use specific masonry paint products for painting brick, starting out with a conditioner and a primer, and then using a breathable latex exterior or interior paint, like Sherwin-Williams’ SuperPaint Acrylic Latex.

Look into having your brick professionally stained, rather than painted. It can be more expensive, a brick stain penetrates the pores of the brick, unlike paint, which simply sits on the surface. It creates new color without some of the long-term risks that come with paint.

Solar Power for Your Home

One is the use of solar power for homes. Did you know that you can enjoy many benefits from using solar power?

With the increasing demand for solar powered homes, you can now find a wide range of DIY projects in the market. The reasons why many homeowners are now choosing solar power for their homes is because they want to help in the persistent global warming crisis and electric bills cost a lot these days.

The electricity supplied in modern homes usually comes from different power plants. These power plants use fossil fuels and so the electric charges are greatly dependent on the prices of natural gases and crude oil. The solar power for homes is an excellent answer to the problem.

By using fossil fuels, the problem with global warming will become worse. Harmful gases are emitted by the fossil fuels to produce electricity. If you don’t want to contribute to the environmental problems any further, why not use solar power for your home now?

Several years ago, the solar cells were really expensive and inefficient. Back then the solar cells were quite inefficient since they can’t convert 100% of the rays of the sun into electricity. Most solar cells can convert only 10-25%.

The solar power kits are available worldwide. There you can find several reputable sellers and manufacturers of solar power kits.

Hardware stores usually sell the different parts of the solar power system. If create your own solar power system, you will only spend about $200 and it already includes the guide.

The homes of the future are now possible in today’s modern world. You can first work on the outdoor lighting first and if it proves to be beneficial, you can do another project.

Don’t cut off the existing electrical supply especially if this is your first time to do solar power projects. Just use it as a supplement so that you can lessen your electricity consumption. Start with your DIY solar power project and light your home using the sun’s energy.

Home Landscaping For Energy Conservation

If you have been thinking about how you would like to cut your home energy costs, you might want to take a second look at your home landscaping. This is an area you may not have even thought of. Did you know energy-efficient home landscaping can reduce your household’s energy consumption for heating and cooling by as much as 25 percent.! That’s staggering, isn’t it? Proper placement of trees, shrubs, vines, grasses, and hedges lets you modify the microclimate around your home to maximize shade during the summer and reduce wind chill during the winter. Energy-efficient home landscaping is one of the best investments you can make, because aside from its potential to increase the resale value of your property, it can generate enough savings to return your initial investment in less than eight years. It is not surprising then that more homeowners than ever are implementing energy-conserving home landscaping ideas on their property. Where can we begin with this exciting new landscaping adventure? I hope the following information will be of help to you.

Develop a Home Landscaping Plan for Energy Efficiency
There are countless home landscaping strategies for energy conservation, but not all of them may be appropriate for your property and climate zone. Before you plant those evergreens in your backyard, make an assessment of the comfort and energy shortcomings of your current home landscaping. Things like the property’s microclimate, house location, and the presence of surrounding structures will influence your energy-efficient home landscaping plan. Microclimate is the climate immediately surrounding your home, and along with the regional climate, it helps determine which plants and trees will thrive and provide the best energy-saving benefit to your home landscaping. Your home’s location affects your dwelling’s exposure to the sun, wind, and water, consequently shaping your home landscaping needs. Nearby buildings, walls, trees, and bodies of water can produce significant climatic effects that would impact your home landscaping strategies. A thorough analysis of your property’s features enables you to devise an energy-efficient home landscaping scheme that addresses your needs and goals.

Landscape to Maximize Shade
Properly planned home landscaping can reduce your air-conditioning costs in the summer by providing shade from the hot morning and afternoon sun. Deciduous trees (trees that shed their leaves in winter) provide shade in the summer when its leaves are in full bloom and warm the home in winter by letting low-angle winter sun filter through its bare branches. Home landscaping that maximizes shade can reduce temperature inside the home by as much as 8 to 10 degrees Fahrenheit. Would you think of shading your air-conditioner through home landscaping because that increases the unit’s efficiency. In addition, shading the ground and pavement with trees, shrubs, and groundcover plants reduces surrounding air temperatures. Other heat-reducing home landscaping ideas include building a trellis for climbing vines to shade a patio and planting a row of shrubs to shade a driveway.

Landscaspe for Wind Protection
Home landscaping to divert the flow of cold winds helps cut down your home heating costs in the winter. Trees, shrubs, bushes, walls, and fences make effective windbreaks for winter-protected home landscaping. You can achieve adequate wind protection through home landscaping by planting evergreen trees and shrubs along the north and northwest areas of your property. Windbreaks can decrease wind speed for a distance as much as 30 times its height, although maximum wind protection occurs at a distance of two to five times the mature height of windbreaks. For optimal wind protection, make sure that the foliage density on the windward side of your property is 60 percent. A well-designed home landscaping provides energy savings year-round. Enjoy the warmth of the winter sun by not planting evergreens too close to the south side of your home. Shrubs, bushes and vines planted close to your house create dead air spaces that insulate your home in both winter and summer.

I hope this article has been of help to you in creating landscaping for energy conservation. Reducing my household energy consumption by a possible 25% has motivated me to start looking around my yard.