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Blog Skylights

Consider Installing a Skylight This Summer

Cloudless skies of blue and bright, warm sunshine – the hallmarks of summer!  During these warm beautiful months, you may want to spend every moment outside, but the truth is that sometimes you just have to be inside your home. Whether you work from home and need to make progress on a project, have chores to complete, or are quarantined with a summer cold or virus, there are times when outdoor living just isn’t feasible.

Fortunately, there are ways to bring the outdoors inside to you! Whether you enjoy encouraging plants to flourish in indoor planters, or install a wall of windows, you can still appreciate the beauty of the summer weather from inside your home. Of course, the best way to enjoy the glory of summer while stuck inside is the addition of skylights to your home!

What Is a Skylight?

A skylight is a small window that is inserted directly into the roof of the room where you’d like more light and access to the sky above. They range in size from sixteen inches long to sixty inches long – or longer. Some are simply glass panels that cannot be opened, but others come with crank-like openings that allow them to be cracked, letting in the fresh summer air.

Skylights are popular choices in bathrooms, where light is desirable, but windows may not be a feasible (or a modest) option. However, skylights can bring light, style, and architectural features to any room, from kitchens to dining to family rooms.

What are the Benefits of Having a Skylight?

Skylights allow for the addition of natural light even in rooms that do not have exterior walls. Some skylights can also be opened, allowing for fresh air and ventilation during the warm weather months.  But more than that, skylights are a fresh, fun architectural feature that will add value and style to your home.

With a skylight, you have the added benefit of mood lighting of sort. Since the sun’s path changes throughout the day, different parts of your room will be illuminated by different types of light at various times. However, make sure that when you install your skylight, you go big – choose a skylight that maximizes the amount of light coming in to your home. There’s no need to put a tiny skylight in, especially in large living spaces.

How Do You Maintain a Skylight?

Built-up dirt and dust can ruin the effect of a skylight. Instead of having a bright, beautiful window that lets light stream in, you could end up with an obscured, grimy eyesore. Proper maintenance and cleaning (at least twice a year) of your skylight is therefore essential.

Since the glass on skylights is often glazed, it is recommended that you make your own glass cleaner using ammonia, water, and rubbing alcohol to clean your skylight streak-free. Clean your skylight on a cloudy or dim day, to prevent the sun from causing the water to dry prematurely and spot or streak.  Additionally, never use an abrasive or textured sponge or scrubber, as that can scratch or damage the glazing on the skylight.

In addition to cleaning, you should also inspect your skylight from outside and within, to make sure no leaks are forming and the casing is still in good condition.

How Is a Skylight Installed?

Proper skylight installation is important when adding a skylight. If you don’t take the proper precautions – or get it installed by a professional – you might be at risk for leaking or other damage.

  1. Cut the opening – you can cut the opening directly into the roof. Be sure to also make sure you cut a corresponding opening in the drywall of the ceiling of the room where the skylight will be installed. Take care with the nails and screws adhering the shingles to the roof, as you don’t want to put yourself in a position of having to re-roof your home after the installation.
  2. Flash the sill – use a sheet of self-adhesive membrane and lay it along the edges of the four sides of the opening. Fold the top inch over into the exposed interior sill. This will help with waterproofing.
  3. Place the skylight – lower the skylight into the roof. Be sure to have a helped standing inside supporting the skylight from within so that it doesn’t tilt, tip, and crash to the floor below.
  4. Seal the sides – use more self-adhesive waterproofing material along the exposed edges of the skylight. Press the adhesive against both the skylight and the roof to create a watertight seal.
  5. Flash the sides and bottom – nail roofing shingles over this membrane. Then, place the sill flashing that comes with the skylight around the sill as directed by the manufacturer.
  6. Enjoy the light!

Call a Roofing Company for Skylight Installation

For the best possible results, you should hire a roofer or roofing company for a skylight installation. They know how to use and manipulate the materials in the ways that prevent leaking entirely, and the installation will be faster and more professional. Imagine how awful it would be to try installing a skylight yourself, only to get halfway through and realize you were in over your head – with a hole in your roof and ceiling, to boot.

Professional roofers have the knowledge and experience to get the job done quickly. They’ll also be able to advise you on the best placement for your skylights. In the short term, it may seem slightly more expensive to hire a roofer for this job, but in the long term you will save money in not having to repair or replace your improperly installed skylights.

With summer in the air, now is the best time to consider enhancing your home with the addition of skylights. In your living spaces, you’ll be welcoming the sun and outdoors in a climate-controlled area; in your bathroom, you’ll receive the benefit of natural light without the worry of neighbors being able to see into the room. Skylights are a beautiful and functional addition to any home.

Categories
Deck

Follow These 3 Steps for the Best Deck Coating In Summer

The countdown to summer is on. As the weather continues to become milder and warmer, you can finally start brushing off your patio furniture and get ready for meals on the porch and evenings sipping cocktails on your deck. Better yet – take advantage of the longer evenings and warm air by inviting your friends and family over for a cookout or picnic. As the weather improves, family begins to utilize outdoor living spaces and loving life on the deck or patio.

But what if your wood deck doesn’t seem quite ready for your idyllic summer? If your deck is weathered, splintering, or discolored after  a harsh winter, it is time for you to consider getting ready for the best deck coating project possible.  Read on for some tips and tricks to breathe new life into a wood deck that might not be quite ready to tackle summer.

First: Repair the deck for the best deck coating possible

In order to get the best deck coating possible, you need to make sure that your deck is in good order. This means making any repairs necessary to make sure your deck is both functional and safe.

Begin by carefully inspecting the deck, especially the posts and structural elements that are close to or touching the ground, as these areas may weather more quickly than others. Check to make sure none of the wood is rotting or unstable, which may indicate a need for a more major renovation. If the deck seems structurally sound, look for cosmetic repairs: nailing down any nails that have popped out, or scraping away wood that may be chipped or flaking its old coat of paint or stain. It may be possible that boards could warp or twist, in which case you should consider simply replacing the damaged boards and then staining them to match.

Step 2: Clean the deck

Once you’re sure the deck is safe and sound, it’s time to clean the deck.  A clean deck will hold the stain, paint, or coating better than a dirty, crusty one. And even if you’re not planning on recoating your deck one particular season, a good deck will last longer with an annual cleaning.

There are many different types of deck cleaners – some that are mixed in a bucket, and some that can be hooked up to your hose – that you can apply manually and then scrub into the wood with a stiff-bristled brush. It takes some elbow grease, but will be worth it in the long run. If you don’t want to spend money on a commercial deck cleaner, you can combine bleach with soap and warm water and work that into the wood for an equally effective cleaning.

Step 3: Recoat the deck (stain, paint, acrylic coating)

Give your deck 24 hours in the sun to dry in order to best prepare it to be recoated. Recoating the deck will protect it from the elements of the coming summer (and then fall and winter!) season. When you are ready to recoat your deck, you can choose between stain, paint, and acrylic coating to beautify your outdoor living space.

Using Stain

Wood stain is great for adding rich, saturated, but still natural color that allows the wood grain of your deck to shine through. Wood stains are absorbed into the top layer of the wood, so they don’t form a seal on top of the wood deck, though they do fortify the wood and protect it from warping and weathering. In order to best protect your deck, a final coat of varnish is recommended.

The application process is simple: use a stain pad to apply a thin layer of stain to the wood.  Allow a full 24 hours for the stain to dry before applying a second coat or replacing your furniture on the surface of the deck.

Using Paint

If you choose paint over stain, you need to spend extra time preparing your surface to make sure the paint takes properly.

Because paint sits on top of the wood instead of being absorbed into it, it hides imperfections better; this also means, however, that any obstructions on the surface of the wood will prevent the paint from properly sticking. Make sure you purchase specified deck paint, as it is designed to withstand foot traffic and the outdoor elements.

Once you have swept, scrubbed, and smoothed your deck surface, it’s easy to apply paint. You can use either a roller or a traditional paint brush to apply a smooth, even layer of paint to each wood plank. Allow it to fully dry before adding a second coat or replacing your deck furniture.  Keep in mind that oil-based paints dry more slowly than acrylic ones.

Using Acrylic Coating

Another way to restore your wooden deck is to use a deck coating product to fill in cracks, add beautiful color, and restore tired wood. Coatings can smooth out your rough wood deck and are resistant to UV rays. This means that they can last much longer than traditional stains or paints.  Additionally, coatings can fill in and repair cracks and holes up to one quarter of an inch deep.

Some consumers may complain that deck coatings are hot to walk on and too fully cover nails and screws (making minor repairs sometimes more difficult), but these drawbacks are minor compared to the advantages that deck coatings boast. With these steps for the best deck coating, you are more fully protecting the wood, and – in the long run – you are saving yourself time and money because your deck will need to be touched up far less frequently.

You can apply deck coatings in much the same way as you apply paint, though please be sure to carefully read each manufacturer’s instructions. Of course, you can always hire an expert to refurbish your deck for the summer as well.

Get your deck in ship shape for summer by giving it new life with the best deck coating possible. Look it over for minor (and major) repairs, give it a good deep clean, and then brighten it up with these tips for the best deck coating, be it stain, paint, or an acrylic deck coating. Then you’ll be able to sit back, kick up your feet, and enjoy that summer sunshine in your outdoor living area!