Our homes protect us from the elements. They provide us with shelter, warmth, and the safety we crave from the harshness of the outside world. So why don’t we take better care of the parts of the home that provide us with these luxuries? The roof is the number one case for the most neglected zone in any home. The loft is second, with so much heat being lost throughout the day. Floors are something none of us ever think will be of the issue and yet, even laminate floors and hardwood floors are susceptible to harm. They hide dents, scratches, and blemishes pretty well, but they are still noticeable. But what about our patios too? They provide us with shelter from the cold and they give us a nice hangout place to enjoy. How can we strengthen these areas and care for them more?
Let’s Start off From the Outside
Let’s work our way into the property, from the outside. It’s something that we ought to do more often but we feel like it doesn’t matter, but our walkways, fences, and gates are easy to become damaged over time.
The gate is something you can fix at home, with just a bit of paint, some pliers, and or some wood glue. It depends on what type of gate you have. If you have a metal front garden gate and it’s twisted in a beautiful design, a handy pair of pliers will be useful to rebend and reshape the metal if it has been dented or bent in the wrong way. To remove rust from wrought iron gates, you can use baking soda and a coarse cloth such as iron wool. Mix the baking soda into a lemon juice or cider vinegar and the iron wool will scrub it off clean. Pressure wash it and then wait for it to dry so you can provide it with a lick of new paint.
If you have a wooden gate, the first thing you do is make sure that it’s not chipped. Chips usually occur at the handles and locks for wooden gates as years of smashing closed has worn out the structure around the lock. If this is the case, you can use wood glue and clumps of sawdust to plug the gaps, or just cut a new piece of wood to fit into the crevice. If you need to, you can put a new coat of paint on your wooden gate as well. All of what we have said goes for your fence as well.
Your house has a remarkable toughness about it. It can withstand winds of hundreds of miles per hour, it can make it through storms and incredibly downpours. All of this is usually shouldered by the roof. The roof of your home is what keeps the four walls in connection with the foundations. It’s kind of like the lid on a container, it prevents damage from coming into the home and spreading like wildfire. One way to strengthen your roof is to hire metal roofers who can build a very strong roof made from stainless steel sheets. Unlike tiles and shingles, these sheets are incredibly strong and rigid, so they won’t fall prey to the rain, debris, and wind beating on them. Singles tend to erode after a while and they are not very good for tracking water down into the gutters.
Tiles on the other hand are versatile and cheap but they also don’t tend to last long. Clay tiles can last for about 15-20 years before they need replacing but this is subject to the conditions your home faces. It’s not really rain that causes an issue for clay tiles but the wind is. The wind forces the tiles to rub together and here is where you get little cracks and chips in the tiles which then allow rain into the softer middle parts. A metal roof doesn’t have any of these issues. And it won’t make much noise because the sound-proofing material laid under them captures all the sound the raindrops will make.
Protecting the Patio
The patio is a much-loved area. It’s where we can go to relax, enjoy ourselves outside the home, by the fire, and watch the wildlife in our garden. But patios are sometimes exposed areas which the elements tend to beat up. Whether you have decking, stones, or tiles, the patio floor is something you want to protect from harm. This can even be from yourself. Who hasn’t dropped a glass of wine on the floor on the patio, after a night of late-night talking and partying?
You should try and build an awning over your patio so it can be protected against the rain. It will also provide you with shelter and somewhere you can hang up your hammock to lounge around in the sun, on summer evenings.
Or you can build a pergola which is just as handy but will provide a little bit less protection. Pergolas are easy to style as well, they can have sheets wrapped around them which will protect the floor from the rain and also the wind. Decking is particularly vulnerable to the rain which is why perhaps putting a thick coat of oil on the wood will best serve you in the long run.
You should also buy a brush and pan for your patio, as the decaying leaves, bits of soil blown onto the surface, and even bird droppings can leave stains and make wood rot. So always clean your patio, once a week to prevent it from dissolving into shambles.
Oil or Varnish?
If you have wood surfaces in your home, you may be questioning whether or not you should repaint them, varnish them or just use oil to protect them. This is a good question because each of these has a different effect on your wood. It also matters what type of wood you are trying to apply these finishes to.
Varnish is usually about coating the wood in a particular color and to bring out the shine of the wood. It’s something that you would use to coat the wood and provide a film of protection. It’s usually going to be for dark woods as it turns the color of lighter woods into a more brooding tone.
Oil is great and is mainly used for lighter woods. Older wood is also able to absorb oil more than varnish. Reclaimed wood is something that many of us have gotten back into touch with as it has a nice classy look. But you cannot apply varnish to it as it is simply too strong and can make the reclaimed wood more rigid than what it can handle. So stick with wood oils which give it a nice coating, prevents scratches, and keeps the color of the wood natural.
These are just some of the ways you can make your home tougher and more resilient. Try these out and see if you can feel the difference in how your home responds to rain, wind, and cold temperatures. It’s something you have to be on the ball to maintain, as any bad week of weather can test your home to the limits. And don’t be that person who only checks up on your roof or patio floor at the end of the year. Be proactive and make it a weekly occurrence to check the health of your gate, fence, patio, hardwood floor, and roof.