Interior Painting: How to Update Your Decor

When you want to update your home, you don’t always need to go through a massive renovation that takes a lot of time and money. You can create a fresh and stylish look in your interior by merely using paint.

Interior Painting: How to Update Your Decor

Three Ways to Update Your Decor with Paint

Full Paint Job — One way to update your home’s look is to repaint one or more rooms completely. For a traditional appearance, you can select white, off-white, or a cream color. For something more stylish, opt for light gray or a beige color. When repainting an entire room, be careful not to go too dark, or the area might start to feel small and claustrophobic.

Accent Wall Paint — For a trendy look, create an accent wall in one or more rooms. You’ll want to select a bold color that differs from the color on the remaining walls. Or for a more serene look, you can choose a different shade of the same color. You can also use various types of texture so that the accent wall will stand out more in the room.

Spot Painting — If you want to add some additional interest to individual rooms, paint the baseboards and doors (or just the jambs) a contrasting color. You can keep the color neutral for a sophisticated look or choose a wild color to infuse some fun into the room, such as when you’re updating an entertainment space or a child’s room.

When you paint your home’s interior, the choices are almost unlimited. You can create any look or feel that you want based on your color selections. For more information on interior painting, please contact us today.

Updating Your Bathroom

The two rooms of your home that tell the age of the house are the kitchen and bathroom. It is not uncommon for the bathroom to end up being the last place you remodel in a home. So, is it time to update that bathroom? If you still have the original colored fixtures, such as avocado or raspberry, it is probably overdue.

Updating Your Bathroom

Reasons for Updating

The biggest reason for updating is that the bathroom is a big influence on your mood and your daily life. It is a small room with a big impact on how you feel as you face the day. You really will feel more energized with a comfortable and lovely space for your morning shower or evening bath. You should also consider that a bathroom remodel increases the value of your home, this is one of the first areas that even a little change can make a big difference. For a cost-effective update, keep your fixtures in the same places. This does not mean you can’t change your tub for a shower. While you are remodeling, have your pipes checked for wear. Eventually even the pipes wear out, and there is no better time for replacing old pipes than when you change out your fixtures. Especially in older homes, the pipes will eventually need some work. While your walls are already open is the best time for these repairs.

Thoughts for Bathroom Renovations

Remember how long the house has had these fixtures. You want the new ones to last just as well, because bathrooms are not often redone. Plan for your future needs, as well as your present ones. Will you stay in your home into retirement? Consider adding aging in place features now. We all need towel bars, why not make them decorative grab bars? Floating vanities and lever handled sinks are age friendly features that do not detract from the style of your bathroom. If you are changing to a shower from a bath, add a bench and a hand shower. You might not need them now, but they will come in handy later. If you are not planning to retire in your home, you should still consider the resale value such features add.

At Excellent American Painting & Handyman Service, we can help you update your bathroom and make it perfect for your life now and in the future. Contact us for more information.

Three Reasons to Repair Your Sprinkler System

Sprinkler systems offer us a lot of convenience and efficiency.  We program them to automatically take care of the various areas of our yards while being earth friendly and using only the necessary amount of water.

Three Reasons to Repair Your Sprinkler System

It’s a good idea to have your sprinkler system checked at least annually.  You can time your check-up to occur before the hottest months hit so that you’ll be ready for them.  Check-ups and repairs are important to keep your sprinkler system at its peak performance.

Three reasons that you may need to repair your sprinkler system:

  • Inefficient Water Coverage.  Over time sprinkler heads can break, get clogged, or get shifted from their intended coverage area.  The results of sprinkler head problems are dead spots that now get missed during the watering cycle or overlapping coverage that puts too much water on a given area.
  • Leaks.  Sprinklers are generally made of some pretty tough weather-resistant materials, but they can break if a tree root crosses the path of an underground pipe, a shovel in the yard accidentally nicks a pipe, or a lawnmower runs into a raised head.  The results of leaks range from low pressure at the sprinkler heads to a significant amount of wasted water (and wasted money when the utility bill comes!).
  • Broken Timer.  The timer is obviously the brains of the whole sprinkler system operations.  Like any electronic device, these timers can malfunction or break completely.  It’s important to make sure that your timer is working properly and repair or replace it if it is not.  Since many people set their timers to water early in the morning, you may still be sleeping when the sprinklers run and not see that your timer is not operating properly.  It’s important to take the time to test your timer.

Sprinkler systems are critical to helping us preserve our lawns and gardens during the hot months.  Although they are generally very reliable, they do require maintenance and occasional repair.  If you are in need of sprinkler system repair,  contact us and we will be glad to help!

Electrical Repairs and Replacement

Electricity is one of the most valuable assets in our homes, and one of the most dangerous when it has a problem. This is why you should not hesitate in calling us if you have an issue with your electrical system. Our qualified technicians are experienced professionals, who will ensure that your electrical repairs are done right to ensure the safety of your home and your family.

Electrical Repairs and Replacement

Older Homes

If your home is several decades old, it was wired for a time when electricity did not play as big a part of life as it does today. We have increased the amount of electronic devices in our homes in ways that home builders did not anticipate. If your lights dim when something starts up, especially your air conditioner, you do not have enough power coming in for everything. You need more circuits in the home, and you usually need a service up-grade.

Common Problems

Even if your home is not older, you might need more circuits in areas. If your lights dim when you start using something else in the room, that is a sign of an over-loaded circuit. If you are blowing breakers on a regular basis, that is another sign that you need more power, at least in places. Kitchens are notorious for this problem, because of the amount of power used by microwaves, coffee pots, and electric cooking equipment. That counter-top grill is great. But when you put it on the same circuit as the microwave, you can expect problems when they are both on.

Another common problem is when something feels hot, or if you see sparks. Heat is a natural byproduct of electricity, but too much is bad. If your outlet or light switch has these issues, please don’t wait on this. House fires are a lot more expensive than an electrical repair.

At Excellent American Painting & Handyman Service, we care about your home and your safety. For more information on this or any of your home improvement needs, contact us today.

Know Your Options for Water Heater Repair

Who doesn’t like to linger in a warm shower after a hard day?  It’s a relaxing reward before we head off to bed.  And on a cold morning, a hot shower motivates you to get out of bed and to get ready for the day.

Know Your Options for Water Heater Repair

When you go to turn on the hot water and it’s not there, it’s a source of panic.  We rely more on heated water than we realize sometimes.  Water heaters can slowly produce less and less hot water over time or even break completely.  When they do, you will need to know your water heater repair options.

There are a variety of things that can go wrong with your water heater:

  • Corrosion.  Visible signs of rust and corrosion can indicate leaks or improper plumbing.  If there is rust or corrosion, the problem has probably been there a while.
  • Bad smelling water.  If your hot water has an odor to it, there is a problem with bacteria.  A common odor caused by bacteria is a sulfur-like or “rotten egg” odor.  You can determine if it is a water heater problem by running only cold water to see if the cold water has the same odor as the hot water.
  • Not enough hot water.  If you notice that the hot water seems to run out more quickly than usual, there are a number of potential causes including a failing heating element.

If you are experiencing any of these (or other) problems with your water heater, contact us so that we can help you understand your options to repair or replace your water heater.  We will help get you back into a nice warm shower in no time!

4 Signs It’s Time to Repair Your Garbage Disposal

Your garbage disposal is one of the handiest tools in your home, that is, until it stops working. Don’t wait until it needs to be replaced, look (and listen) for these 4 signs that your garbage disposal needs repair.

4 Signs It's Time to Repair Your Garbage Disposal

The garbage disposal smells bad, really bad. If you have tried to clean your garbage disposal with vinegar, citrus, or harsh chemical agents, and it still smells horrible, chances are it’s time for a professional to take it apart and clean it thoroughly. Depending on how old the device is, though, you may just want to replace it completely and instantly have cleaner air!

Something doesn’t sound right. While a garbage disposal is noisy, it should never sound like metal is grinding on metal. This could signal that parts have begun to move incorrectly. Call in a professional right away for a tune-up. If you let the problem go on for too long, you might have to replace the whole unit.

Water is leaking from the disposal. If the water is leaking from a seal on the unit, chances are a professional can nip the problem in the bud. Unfortunately, a leak coming from a crack in the device itself, is a sign that you should just replace the whole disposal.

The garbage disposal jams, constantly. We love garbage disposals because of their ability to break down various sizes of food items. If your disposal jams at even the smallest particle of food, it is definitely time for a professional inspection.

If one of your kitchen chores for this year is repairing your garbage disposal, contact us today for more information!

Do I Need an Annual Plumbing Maintenance Inspection?

People don’t often put much thought into their plumbing systems. Their design makes them durable, and the expectation is that your water will always flow. Nevertheless, your plumbing does need regular care to ensure its longevity and limit costly repairs. Consequently, a trusted, professional plumbing service can help ensure that your system is in the best possible shape with regular annual plumbing maintenance inspections. Even if you have a new home, or a newly installed plumbing system, you can benefit from annually scheduled maintenance.

Do I Need an Annual Plumbing Maintenance Inspection?

Plumbing maintenance is more than just checking for leaking pipes or corrosion. Plumbing maintenance inspections also encompass many appliances that you use on a daily basis: water heater, garbage disposal, dishwasher. As an example, it is vital that your water heater receives an annual inspection and maintenance tune-up. This is the only way to ensure the water heater works correctly and efficiently. It is a simple fact of the matter that you are going to need a new water heater long before you need to repipe your home.

Regardless, you can avoid many potential problems with an annual plumbing maintenance inspection. A failure of your water or sewage lines can cause extensive damage to your home. A professional plumbing service will check your supply lines, shut-off valves, faucets, toilets, and drains. Additionally, they will check your water heater, washing machine, sump pumps, and any other appliances. They are looking for any leaks, corrosion, and blockages. At the inspection’s completion, the plumber will provide you with a list of repair and upgrade recommendations.

Do you have any questions? What haven’t we covered yet that is important to you? If you would like to talk about an annual plumbing maintenance inspection, or a related topic, please contact us.

Got Wood Rot?: Wood Repair and Window Replacements Can Help!

Wood rot is decomposition of wood caused by a fungus. While mold only occurs on the surface of wood, wood rot occurs from the inside out, hence the rotting process. According to the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors, there are three kinds of wood rot:

Got Wood Rot?: Wood Repair and Window Replacements Can Help!

  1. Brown rot, which causes the wood to break down into brown cubes and split against the grain. When this problem becomes severe, the wood becomes powdery in texture and crumbles.
  2. White rot, which has a stringy and mushy texture. It is typically found in hardwoods. You can spot it by its yellow-white or gray color.
  3. Dry rot, which is wood that has decayed in the past but is now dry. Interestingly, moisture must be present for dry rot to occur. You can spot it by its dry, powdery appearance.

Additional signs of wood rot include:

  • a spongy or soft texture
  • a musty smell
  • wood that seems to be shrinking
  • paint bubbling up
  • cracks

Wood rot can affect your windows by attacking a sill or frame. Even if your windows are not currently affected, they can develop rot over the course of time. Once rot starts, the elements can cause fungus spores to spread, and the rot appears in additional locations. So, you can prevent it from becoming a big problem by taking quick action as soon as it is discovered.

One way to prevent wood rot is to have as little untreated wood around your home, as fungus thrives in untreated wood. When making repairs to your home, use oil-based primer on the wood before painting. And, painting wood will actually help protect it from from developing wood rot.

When it comes to windows, wood rot often occurs in the wood located below them, such as the sill or ledge. Skylights are more susceptible to wood rot than other types of windows. The kind of repair needed depends on the location of the rot. If wood rot is limited to the sill, we may be able to repair or replace the damaged wood. But, if the affected wood is part of the window frame, it is usually best to opt for window replacement.

With expert carpenters on staff, we are equipped to serve your needs. Contact us to learn more!

How Often Should I Be Pressure Washing?

New homeowners are often at a total loss when it comes to all the new responsibilities. Many move from cities, or even from childhood homes. When they hand you the keys and deed, they should also give you a handbook for everything you have to learn/do when owning a house as it is truly another full-time job.

How Often Should I Be Pressure Washing?

After the first year of ownership, some may noticed that a once beautiful deck and exterior of a house often becomes grimy and brown. Needless to say, power or pressure washing was something that most new homeowners have not done, or even know is necessary. And boy what a difference it makes.

In order to avoid future degradation, power washing is a great alternative to scrubbing by hand since the water does the work for you. The amount you should do it really depends on the area in which you live as more harsh weather brings more debris. A good rule of thumb is once a year. In more mild environments people may to it every other year, but mold can also be an issue, so people have been known to even do it twice a year.

For decks, every 8 to 12 months should suffice. That said, the state of the finish is a good indicator. If the water absorbs right into the wood as opposed to beading off, it is probably a good time to think about power washing it before you add another coat of finish.

Fortunately, a good service can take this concern off of your plate and give you one less household chore to worry about. To find out more about all of our commercial and residential cleaning services, contact us today!

The Case for Pressure Washing around your Dumpster Pad

You may think the area around your dumpster isn’t important; however, it is probably noticed more often than you think. Here are some reasons you need commercial pressure washing around your dumpster pad.

The Case for Pressure Washing around your Dumpster Pad

#1. Keep potential customers (or tenants) from leaving

A dirty dumpster pad can turn people off. If you’re a restaurant owner, you could lose customers because they notice the filth outside and decide they do not want to come inside. If you operate an apartment complex, you could have a hard time renting units because people will worry about a lack of maintenance.

#2. Prevent rodent or insect infestations

Vermin and insects are often attracted to the residue on your dumpster pads. Once you become infested, it can be extremely hard to get rid of these pests. It’s easier to prevent them in the first place by keeping your dumpster area clean.

#3. Eliminate Odors

Just because you have an enclosed dumpster does not mean that odors from it are contained. Dumpster odors have a way of traveling far beyond the container, and are annoying for anyone within smelling distance. Have your dumpster pad cleaned, and these odors will be less of a problem.

#4. Cut down on bacteria

Cleaning your dumpster pad will cut down on some of the harmful bacteria that could cause disease. As such, it can ensure the good health of everyone in your building.

#5. Preserve your Concrete

Grease and solvents can wreak havoc on your concrete, causing it to wear out faster than it should. Here at Excellent American Painting, we clean your dumpster pad in an environmentally-safe manner, ensuring not only that your concrete is protected, but also that there is no runoff into nearby storm drains.

These are all good reasons to have your dumpster pad cleaned, but the biggest one is that doing so will simply make you feel better. It is also very easy to schedule a dumpster pad cleaning at the same time you are having drywall repair or touchup painting performed. To find out more, please contact us.