Category: Home Exterior
Nearly a third of people living in the United States have a septic system outside of their home. Septic systems are fairly simple systems that are designed to remove waste water from the home. The homes waste enters the septic systems main inlet pipe where it flows into the septic tank. In the tank, the larger particles called sludge, settle to the bottom. The lighter particles, called septage, float to the top of the tank. When everything is working properly, the septage is released into the drain field where it is degraded. It is a simple system, but it is one that does requires cleaning every 1 to 2 years. Cleaning your septic system will remove the sludge that has settled to the bottom of the tank. Without frequent cleaning, this sludge could overflow into the drain field, clogging it.
Septic Tank Cleaning Services
This is where the professional septic tank cleaning company comes in. They will bring a pumper truck to your home and pump out the contents of your septic tank. They typically will pump out the sludge, effluent(liquid between the sludge and septage) and the septage from the tank. This will leave your tank empty and good to go for another year or two. The frequency of cleaning depends on the number of occupants in the home. Larger families may require annual cleaning while smaller families can stretch out tank cleaning/pumping. After cleaning, the company will then take the material pumped out of your tank to an approved disposal site.
How Much Does Septic Tank Cleaning Cost
This will depend on the complexity of the system and the size of the system. At the time of the writing of this article, the average price for cleaning was about $300.
How Can You Cut Down On The Cost
Treat your system regularly with a septic tank treatment such as Green Pig, available on Amazon. It can help you keep your system flowing and save you hundreds if not thousands of dollars.
Your gutters are very important to your home. They channel water away from your home so that it can not infiltrate the interior and so that it can not damage your foundation. Wen they become clogged, they stop serving this purpose and can actually begin to damage your home. The overflow can easily begin to pour into your house instead of going away from it. Clogged gutters also become heavy when water soaked leaves accumulate. This can cause damage to the gutters themselves and cause them to fail or fall away from your home. To prevent these problems, you need to clean your gutters on a regular basis. Here is how you can do that.
To clean your gutters, you will need a ladder capable of reaching your gutters, work gloves, a bucket, a garden trowel and a lengthy garden hose.
Place the ladder at a corner of your home and put on your work gloves. Grab your trowel and bucket and climb the ladder. Use the trowel to loosen leaves and debris and scoop them up with your gloves and place them in the bucket. Avoid allowing large pieces of debris from getting into the downspout where they could cause a clog. Also, avoid reaching too far from the ladder which would be dangerous. Repeat this process along the entire length of your gutter section.
When you are finished manually removing debris, grab your garden hose and take it up the ladder. Spray down the gutter to wash smaller debris down and out of the gutter. You can use this step to also check the gutters for leaks or clogs in the downspout. Make sure that the water flows quickly out of the gutter system and does not back up. Also make sure that the gutters do not leak at the joints.
Repeat this process around your entire home until all of your gutters are clean. You should clean your gutters in this fashion at least once a year. If you live in an area with many trees, you may have to increase this interval to once every 6 months. If this seems like too much work or if you are not good with heights, you should consider hiring a contractor to do the work.
Gutter Cleaning Tips
- Always be careful with ladders. Safety should be your first priority. Never stretch to reach anything, instead move the ladder.
- A bucket hook for your ladder can help make your job easier.
- Gutter guards can prevent your gutters from ever getting clogged or full.
- If you want to cut weight, you can use a pocket full of plastic grocery bags in lieu of a bucket. Simply tie them off and throw them down when they become full.
You might not think about them much, but your window screens are subject to quite a bit of soiling. Every time the wind blows, soil and dirt is deposited on your screens. Over time, they can become very dirty and even start to obstruct your views. No problem though because they are quite easy to clean.
First, you need to remove the screens so that you can properly clean them. Be careful not to bend the screen frames which are generally made of very bendable aluminum. Place them in a safe place away from traffic to prevent them from being damaged.
Once you have the screen removed, hook up a garden hose and rinse the screens. Remove as much of the loose soil as possible.
Now, get a soft scrub brush and a bucket and fill it with soapy water. Use a mild hand dish washing soap such as Dawn or Joy. Dip the brush in this solution and scrub both sides of the screen. Don’t forget to give the frames a once over.
Next, take your garden hose and rinse off the screens. Be sure to not leave any soapy residue behind as this could attract soil and cause the screens to get dirty faster. Place the screens in a dry area and allow them to dry fully before reinstalling them.
Screen Cleaning Tips
- While the screens are out, take the opportunity to clean the windows themselves. Be sure to clean the tracks where the screens will attach.
- Do not place screens in high traffic areas where they could fall and be stepped on. Screens are easy to damage.
- Keep track of which window each screen belongs to. Not all screens will be the same size.
- When working on second floor or higher screens, have a helper on hand for safety.
- Pick a cloudy day to clean your springs. Sunny days will be more difficult because the soap will dry too fast.
Nothing ruins the appearance of a concrete driveway more than an oil stain. They are unsightly and also happen to be very difficult to remove. This is due to the porous nature of concrete that makes it readily absorb soil. And what kind of soil can be worse than greasy motor oil? Read along and learn some ways that you can remove or at least improve the appearance of a motor oil stain on your concrete driveway.
Absorption: This is the easiest way to remove motor oil from concrete. It will not remove it completely but it will remove the majority of the oil. It is also the first step in any other removal methods. Simply pour an absorbent compound on the oil and allow it to be absorbed. They make special compounds designed to remove oil, but in a pinch you can use kitty litter, sand, cornstarch or baking soda. After the oil has been absorbed into the absorbent compound, simply sweep it up and properly dispose of it. You should repeat this process at least two times to remove as much oil as possible.
Coca Cola: First, use the absorption method listed above to remove the majority of the oil. Now, take a bottle of room temperature Coca Cola and pour it on the oil spot. Scrub the spot with a stiff bristled brush and then rinse. Repeat this process several times if necessary. Pepsi works as well, but I prefer Coke.
Simple Green: Begin by using the absorption method listed above to remove the majority of oil. Now, pour simple green generously on the spot. Simple Green is a strong degreaser commonly available at Amazon. Allow the Simple Green to soak for several minutes and then vigorously scrub the spot with a stiff bristled brush. Rinse the area thoroughly and repeat if necessary.
Pour N Restore: Start by absorbing as much of the oil as possible with an absorbent compound. Now, obtain a bottle of Pour N Restore. Look on Amazon. Simply pour the liquid compound onto the oil spot and allow it to dry. As it drys, the compound will absorb and pull out the oil from your concrete. It will dry into a powder form and can then be swept up and properly disposed of.
One of the best types of roofs to put on your home is a Terra Cotta or Terracotta roof. It is both beautiful and durable but it is not maintenance free. Over time, your roof can become soiled with grime and dirt. When it does, you need to clean it or have it cleaned professionally.
Do It Yourself Cleaning
If you have a lot of free time and some knowledge, this might be a good alternative for you. Keep in mind though that working on a roof is dangerous, especially when a roof is wet and even more slippery. Also, Terracotta tiles are fragile and can be easily damaged if you step on them the wrong way.
There are two main ways to clean a Terracotta roof. You can do it by hand or with a pressure washer. Cleaning it by hand will be very thorough and will yield great results but it is very time consuming and dangerous. It will require you to be on the roof for an extended period of time in slippery conditions which is dangerous for you and the roof. The best method is to power wash the roof. This will allow you to clean the roof in a fraction of the time with much less manual labor.
First, you will need to set up your ladder so that you can safely access your roof and move your equipment up. A helper is recommended for safety. They can assist you with moving equipment up to the roof and can stabilize the ladder for you.
Next, you want to test the pressure washer by spraying it for a few seconds on a small part of the roof. Spray it for about ten seconds and then examine the roof for signs of damage. You should only proceed if you detect no damage to the tile. Use the lowest effective pressure setting to avoid damage to the roof.
If it is safe to proceed, you can begin by going to the farthest point of the roof and cleaning in small sections. Clean one section, working form the top down. When you are finished, back up and clean the section that you were just standing on. This is to avoid having to stand on a wet and slippery roof.
When you are down to the last section of roof, take a break and wait for everything to dry. Once the roof is dry, you can stand on a clean section and clean the final portion of the roof. Do not ever stand on a wet section of roof.
Perhaps the best solution to Terracotta roof cleaning is to simply hire a professional. There are several advantages to hiring a professional service. For starters, they will have far more experience cleaning this type of expensive roof. This will ensure that the job is done safely and effectively. Pros will also be able to do the job much faster than the average do it yourselfer. Finally, the cost might not be as much as you think because of the equipment you would need to purchase to do it yourself. So, if you have any hesitation about cleaning the roof yourself, you might be better off turning to a professional service.
Sometimes paint can wind up on a tree. In most cases it is from spray paint either willingly or accidentally applied. The paint will not harm the tree in most cases but it can be an eyesore. But how do you remove the paint from the tree without harming it. Most solvents or aggressive removal attempts will likely damage the tree so you must be careful. here is a little advice.
Time: If possible, the best thing to do is let the paint be. A tree will shed its bark slowly as it grows. Eventually, the paint will disappear. This can however take a number of years so it may be something that you will just have to live with. The good news is that the paint will get lighter every month.
Agitation: In the case of graffiti or some kind of vandalism, you might not be able to give it time. In these cases, you can try a little agitation with a wire brush or sandpaper. You must be careful not to take off too much of the bark however. Lightly sand or brush the area removing just a little of the bark without penetrating it. It is not worth damaging the tree for quick results.
More Paint: Seems contrary to the goal but if ll else fails, you could paint over the unwanted paint with trunk paint. This would be a safe and easy way to cover up graffiti damage. Consider this approach for heavy spray paint of offensive graffiti.
Mud: Begin by lightly sanding the paint or lightly brushing it with a wire brush. Be careful not to go very deeply. Next make a mixture of mud and water and paint it over the painted area. Leave the mud mixture on the trunk and allow it to dry. Do not wash the mixture off. Over time it will stain the trunk, blending the painted area in.
Vinyl fencing has become increasingly popular over the last few years. It offers a number of advantages to home owners including longevity and ease of maintenance. More and more consumers are replacing existing fences with vinyl and many new subdivisions are going in with vinyl fences as standard. No fence is completely maintenance free though and vinyl fences are no exception. You will, from time to time, need to clean them and here is how you do it.
To clean your fence, you first need to gather some supplies. You will need a garden hose with sprayer, a bucket, a mild dish soap, a soft scrub brush and of course, some water. Gather all of your materials together and fill your bucket up with a soap and water solution.
To begin, you will spray down your fence to remove loos debris. Use your sprayer to add some punch to the water to remove some stubborn dirt.
Now, grab your bucket of soapy water and move to one end of the fence. Using your scrub brush, start cleaning the fence with your soapy water, starting from the top and working your way down. Every 10 feet or so, go back and rinse your fence off to prevent the soapy water and soil from drying on the fence.
For stubborn satins, such as grass stains, you can use a mild bleach solution. One part bleach to five parts water will work in most cases. Adjust your mixture, stronger or weaker as needed. Be careful not to get the solution on your clothing.
Grease stains can be removed with mineral stains and a rag. Following the removal, wash the area with soap and water and rinse to remove any chemical residue.
Plastic furniture or furniture made with a plastic resin is very popular these days. This is because it is quite affordable and lasts for a very long time together can stand up to the elements very well. This does not mean that it does not need maintenance from time to time the. To keep your plastic or resin furniture looking its best, you should clean it often. Luckily, cleaning it is very easy and is it within the scope of any homeowner.
To clean your plastic furniture, all you will need is a garden hose with a sprayer attachment and a bucket of water with a sponge and a mild dishwashing detergent or soap. Fill your bucket with water and a tablespoon or two of your dishwashing soap. Now, spray off the furniture with your garden hose removing as much loose soil as possible. Next, dip your sponge into your bucket of soapy water and wash your furniture. Be careful to get into all of the small nooks and crannies. Finally, rents your furniture off with your hose being sure to remove as much of the soap residue as possible. This will keep them from attracting soil and will make them stay clean far longer.
If you would like to keep your plastic furniture clean longer, some people say that you can use in automotive wax. Simply apply the wax to the furniture according to the manufacturer’s directions and it should form a barrier to prevent soil from sticking. An added benefit would be that most automotive waxes have UV blockers which will slow down the deterioration of the finish of your furniture that occurs from exposure to sunlight.
You probably do not pay too much attention to them but your homes skylights do require regular attention. By cleaning them once or twice a year, you will prevents damage from occurring to them and will keep them looking good and providing you with enjoyment for years to come. Cleaning your skylight involves both an exterior and interior cleaning.
To clean your exterior skylight you will need a bucket, a sponge, some soap and a garden hose long enough to reach the skylights with a spray attachment. You also need a ladder to reach the roof. Be careful when working on a roof and when using a ladder. Proper ladder safety is very important. Bring everything up onto the roof and begin the job by spraying off the skylight thoroughly with your hose. Now fill your bucket with soap and water and take your sponge and dip it into the solution. Clean the skylights being careful not to miss any areas. Now rents the sky like clean using your host and if necessary repeat this process to remove any stubborn spots. When you’re through, give it one last rinsing to be sure that as much residue as possible has been removed.
To clean the interior of the skylight, first begin by clearing the area underneath the light. You do not want any dirt or cleaning solution to trip on furniture or home furnishings. Place a drop cloth underneath the light and then position your ladder so that you could safely reach it. Begin with a dry towel and clean off any spiderwebs and dust that had accumulated. Now take a standard glass cleaner spray the area and wipe it clean. The inside of the skylight is generally not very soiled so it should not take you long to clean it. The majority of the work will of been the exterior of the light.
Regular cleaning of your homes skylights will prevent soil from accumulating and scratching the surface. This will keep it clean and clear for years to come. If you are nervous about working at heights or generally just do not want to clean them, you can contact a window cleaning service will be more than happy to provide this service for you for a reasonable price.
Whether it be a driveway, patio, sidewalk or whatever, concrete is a material is very durable but very sustainable. Over time, your concrete can become stained by a number of things including soil, fertilizer, oil etc., etc. Concrete although durable is also very porous which makes it susceptible to soiling. When this happens, you need to either clean it or have it cleaned by professional. If you want to attempt to clean yourself, this article will give you some tips on how to do it.
To begin, let’s get together the materials that you will need. You will need a bottle of concrete cleaner which is available at all home improvement stores, a scrub brush attached to a long pull, a pump up sprayer and a pressure washer. In lieu of the commercial concrete cleaner you can use a solution of bleach and water. If you do not own a pressure washer, you can rent one at most home improvement stores for reasonable price although now might be a good time to purchase one as they do come in handy.
Mix your concrete cleaner or bleach solution in your pump up sprayer. Hose off the concrete to be cleaned leaving it damp. Now spray your concrete cleaning solution liberally over the area applying it heavier on stained portions. Take your scrub brush and scrub the entire area bearing down on the bad spots. Allow the solution to dwell for a few minutes but do not allow it to dry. Now you will rinse off the solution using your pressure washer. Use a fan tip and start at one side and work your way towards the other. Use a sweeping motion to thoroughly clean and rinse the concrete.
That’s really all there is to it. It is a very simple process but is very labor-intensive. If you are not used to outdoor labor you will probably find yourself sore the next day. If this is something that you do not want to deal with, you can probably have the service performed for not much more money than you will pay in materials and rental fees for pressure washer. Do a search in your city for pressure washing “your town ” and he will probably come up with dozens of companies in your area willing to do it.
If you do decide to do it yourself, be very careful with the pressure washer as they can easily get out of hand. Also be careful with chemicals not to splash any in your I and did not attract them into your home. Many of the chemicals used to clean concrete can be hazardous to other materials such as carpet and tile floors. An ounce of prevention is definitely worth a pound of cure.