Refinishing Your Deck with Odd Job

big deck

Refinishing your Deck with Odd Job

It’s the time of year when people would like to be biking, hiking, or just relaxing on the deck with friends and enjoying the lovely evenings. If you’re like many, however, this last seasonal activity is impossible because of its shabby condition. You aren’t alone. The combination of frequent human activity, constant exposure to the elements and the passage of time is enough to cause even the best deck to wear out. Even once the most pressing problems have been dealt with and you’ve made sure that it is both structurally sound and generally free of blemishes, you’re still left without what you had first envisioned: your outdoor space as beautiful as it once was. It’s time to apply a new finish, and the team at Odd Job has some great tips for you.

Cleaning and Sanding

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The most difficult and important part of refinishing your deck is preparation. Strip it using a water soluble agent and then pressure wash it to completely do away with the old finish. After giving it a couple of days to dry, it will be time to sand it and deal with those pesky surface fibers that were raised when you first washed it.

Washing and sanding is about more than simply cleaning the wood. It’s about maximizing its absorbency. The more absorbent the wood is, the longer the new finish’s lifespan will be. The problem is that most wood isn’t very well-suited for outdoor finishing projects. New, planed lumber has been so thoroughly polished that it won’t absorb your finishing product very effectively. Conversely, old wood is very absorbent but it’s surface fibers are already somewhat loose and a new finish will pull them off. The result in both cases is premature peeling.

So what is the solution? The world’s largest manufacturer of finishes, Akzo Nobel Coatings, conducted a five-year study to find it. After field trials in Canada and the United States in which various water-based and chemical-based agents were tested, Akzo Nobel concluded that a bright wood surface prepared with a 60-80 grit abrasive powered by a walk-behind, square-buff floor sander produced the greatest level of absorbency and durability. When they tried an 120-grit abrasive, they were surprised to find that the absorbency of the wood was reduced by 30%.

Choosing a New Finish

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Now comes the fun part: it’s time to decide what you want your deck to look like. Who ever thought that refinishing your deck could be fun? Every chore is an outlet for creativity if you allow it to be.

Consider the different finish products that available to you. Right now there are four main types, all of them with their own pros and cons. The one you decide on will not only determine the appearance of your deck, but also how long it will last and how it should be maintained. If its most serious problems are a few cracks resulting from weather conditions, soak-in stains may the solution. They won’t produce a surface film, but will take care of the cracks and seal out water.

Outdoor Wooden Deck Treatment Range

Those who are mainly concerned with aesthetics might want to consider a translucent, varnish-type finish. A quality finishing product will leave your deck looking like a brand new table. Maintaining this will be very difficult though, as this type of finish needs to be completely stripped and reapplied around every three years.

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If you don’t have the energy or the funds to do this, or you’re more concerned with your deck’s durability than its outward appearance, an opaque, paint-style finish might appeal to you. They almost completely obscure the wood’s natural appearance and thus may take away some of the rustic charm, but will last for about five years. This makes them the most durable of any of the finish products discussed here, and this is due in part to their great resistance to abrasion. If your space sees a lot of foot traffic, an opaque finish may be the product for you.

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There are also clear water repellants, which help protect your deck from moisture and the problems, such as warping, splitting, and cracking, that it causes. High quality products of this type will yield a crisp, fresh look, but you will need to strip, lighten and reapply the finish every 12-18 months.

Furthermore, these finishes don’t repel dirt nearly as well as they repel water. Mark Knaebe, a surface chemist at the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Forest Products Laboratory in Madison, Wisconsin, has recommended products based on paraffin oils and preservatives as the most effective clear water repellants.

Refinishing your deck can be treacherous, and it can be very difficult for the DIY enthusiast. The preparation is even more important than the final steps, and making a mistake during either can cause the entire project to go sideways. Odd Job Handyman Services counts deck maintenance among its specialties, and we would like to help you reclaim your outdoor space.

As the days get warmer and warmer, you shouldn’t settle for stains, cracks or anything else that lessens the enjoyability of your space. Dial 416-520-1161 or just take a minute to fill out our nifty online form and within no time members of our highly-qualified team of professional handymen will begin the process of restoring your old dream deck to all of its former glory.

Hot Design Trends for Summer 2016

Hot Design Trends for Summer 2016

Summer is just around the corner, and for those of us eager to be wearing board shorts and tank tops round the clock, it can’t come fast enough. For those in the design world, summer will come with a number of interesting design trends that should be honored.

Spotting new summer trends can be difficult, however, and this is especially true with the ever-changing palettes, prints, and products that designers have to choose from. In recent years, designers have begun to focus more on individuality and personality, rather than simply adhering to long accepted “fashion standards.”

If you’re considering doing a home renovation or redecorating project this summer, you should be sure to know what trends are in and what’s out. In order to make sure you don’t commit a design faux pas, make sure you check out these hot design trends for summer 2016:

Style Fusion

Hot Design Trends - Mix and Match
Mixing and matching has never been more acceptable than in 2016. Use your creativity to incorporate new and old design elements to design a cohesive and stylish fusion. Connecting the old design staples with fresh new ideas will help you create interesting and comfortable living spaces. Using softly curved lines with stunning accents can also create a unique and dramatic interior décor.

Modern Materials

hot design trends - modern materials

Incorporating modern materials will be another popular design trend in 2016. Salvaged wood, stone, and metal can all be used to add a naturally creative design element to the home. Be sure to consider all your options for incorporating wood elements into your home, including rustic, naturally light, exotic, and colorfully stained woods. Glowing gold, majestic bronze, elegant granite, and luxurious marble are also expected to be used widely for interior design needs in 2016.

Organic Design

Ellis Residence contemporary green house architecture

Get set to see many more green spaces with large windows and glass wall designs in 2016. Green walls, indoor water features, and nature inspired decoration patterns can be teamed with fresh shades of green, light gray, beige, and black or white to round out the organic touch to your interior design.

Natural Color Schemes

Summer is also set to ring in a new round of natural color schemes. Natural room colors, bright fabric prints, floral wallpapers, and vibrant interior paint colors are sure to be popular choices in summer 2016, and they give you many great options for bringing a natural element into your interior design.

The Modern-Retro Mix

With the multitude of modern design ideas available for summer 2016, some designers might opt to give their modern design elements a retro feel. Rustic and retro can be combined to create a number of fresh and exciting design styles.

The modern-retro mix is about both style and functionality. Black and white geometrical prints, posters, chalk drawings, and handwritten letters on black painted walls are just a few examples of contemporary design interpretations that will help you create inviting and functional spaces.

Reuse and Recycle

As environmental considerations are coming ever more to the forefront of interior design, second hand, reused, and recycled materials are more readily available than ever. These materials can also prove to be huge sources of inspiration for an interior designer. Reused or recycled materials give the designer a unique way of adding their individual personality to a room or home.

Stay Versatile

When it comes to interior design, staying versatile is quite necessary. As hot design trends fluctuate from year to year and season to season, it’s impossible to hone in on a single “path for success.” Summer’s interior design trends are sure to incorporate a number of versatile design elements, such as organic design ideas, natural fabric prints, pastel tones, and more. If you’re designing a new space this summer, be sure to use all of the fun and creative options at your disposal.

Design your Dream

As summer rolls on, your ability to adapt your designs to current trends will allow you to create fun and inspiring spaces for living, working, and recreating. These important trends are just a few of the hot design developments predicted for the summer of 2016. But let’s not put our shoes on before our pants here! Before enjoying the year’s hot design trends, you’ll need to take care of that to-do list. Odd Job to the rescue! Call us today for a free estimate, and remember, you can use our online form to book our team of professionals in minutes! Prepare your home for the hottest summer style your block has ever seen!

Has Your Home Been Hijacked by Raccoons?

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Raccoon Infestation: A Homeowner’s Worst Nigtmare?

Spring has officially arrived, and many Torontonians couldn’t be happier. After a particularly brutal winter, the sun is shining, the birds are singing and the world is in bloom once again. There were many, however, who had more than the record low temperatures to contend with.

These unfortunates are facing off against the city’s notorious creatures of the night, raccoons, which break into countless homes every year. They take refuge from the elements within your walls, under your deck and often in your attic or inside your chimney, transforming these areas and others into dens where they can safely give birth.

The City of Toronto states that “raccoons breed from January to April; gestation is eight weeks, pups are born from March to June and the litter size averages three to five, which are mobile at seven to eight weeks old and are weaned by late summer.” They are largely inactive throughout the winter, and as a result many people are unaware that there are raccoons in their homes. They may start hearing movement – walking, thumping – and the sounds of screaming, crying, and the tell-tale chirping. These are unmistakable signals that they have established a den in your home.

Threats posed by raccoons to the well-being of your home are numerous. Needless to say, they do not use the front door. Their entry is often accomplished by tearing through siding, vents or ripping the shingles from your roof. Once they’ve established their ‘den,’ they will tear up wallpaper, insulation, and ventilation ducts to assemble the necessary bedding material for their nest.

Raccoons are by nature both very curious and very destructive. They are known to destroy air ducts, wood beams, cooling systems and pretty much anything else they can get their claws on. They will even chew on wires, compromising the electrical systems of the house and potentially killing the raccoons themselves – which will leave an almost unbearable odor that is difficult to remove. Their destructive curiosity is combined with amazing strength and the ability to climb just about anything – certainly a dangerous mix.

Raccoons also present serious hazards to the health and safety of the occupants themselves. In North America, they are well-known to carry three diseases: distemper, mange, and rabies, the last of which can be transmitted to humans and is always fatal if not immediately treated. Most significantly, many of Ontario’s raccoons – figures ranging as high as 80% – carry Baylisascarisprocyonis, a type of roundworm parasite found in their feces that can be fatal to humans. This is particularly disturbing in that anyone whose home is populated by a family of raccoons for any length of time can expect to find an abundance of feces and urine in the ‘den.’

What is the solution?

The city has offered a great page filled with information as to how you can protect yourself and your home from this threat.

If it is too late for that and you are already experiencing this problem, the first thing you should do is contact a humane animal removal company. The Toronto Wildlife Centre has a list of the things you should expect from a qualified service. Do not contact an exterminator or ‘pest control’ business that offers a quick fix instead of providing long-term solutions and conducting a comprehensive investigation. Their answer to the problem isn’t simply superficial and inhumane, but also against the law. As CBC reported in June 2011: “Killing a raccoon is illegal in Toronto.”

Of course, even after safely removing the creatures and sealing the entrance points there remains the damage that was done to your home.

Animal removal companies do not repair your heating and cooling systems, your air ducts or your vents. They aren’t going to bring electricians to resolve the issues created by the damaged wiring. And most contractors aren’t going to be very interested in such small projects. Odd Job specializes in projects precisely like these!

No job is too small for us, and our professional handymen are well-suited to clean up the mess left by the invaders. From within the raccoon stronghold of Toronto, Odd Job is on the front lines of the battle to help homeowners who have fallen victim to these fuzzy marauders!

Ready to book your projects with Odd Job? Click here.