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.

Transforming Old Furniture with a Custom Paint Finish

Some of the hottest trends now are custom paint finishes on furniture, decorative painting, and faux paint finishes. You can easily make your home a true reflection of your personality with a little paint! That old dresser will look better than ever with a new coat of color. If you’re considering transforming old furniture with a custom paint finish, then you’ll want to make sure you know these three things:

Transforming Old Furniture with a Custom Paint Finish

    • Preparation is very important. Start with clean wood. Use a good no-suds detergent. TSP is the most popular and easily found at home improvement centers. Rinse well. Sand any peeling finishes, scratches and shine. Rinse again and allow the piece to dry. Use painter’s tape to cover any areas that you do not plan to paint. Taking time to prep your furniture before paint will save you time and trouble later.
    • Use the right paint. Evaluate the needs depending on the amount of traffic or use your furniture piece will receive. You can’t go wrong with a high quality chalk paint. However, if your piece is mainly for show, a budget paint may perform just as well, especially with a coat of sealant.
    • Watch your paint strokes. Follow the lines of your wood grain and never paint across the joints. Most furniture is made of an array of wood pieces. Each piece has its own grain. Paint strokes that override the movement of the wood can ruin the look of your painted furniture, making the job appear amateurish.

To learn more about this subject and many more, please contact us at Excellent American Painting & Handyman Service.

Maintaining your Water Heater

We may not realize that the home’s water heater is a vital part of our daily lives. We take hot showers and baths, wash our clothes, run the dishwasher, and a variety of other needs. We often take it for granted and it’s a shock when it stops working. It’s important to maintain your water heater with regular checkups once a year by a professional service. Here’s a list of reasons:Maintaining your Water Heater

1. Helps Boost Performance

Regular maintenance helps stop a variety of problems from occurring that can slow down your water heater’s functioning. Such as preventing sediment buildup inside the tank and if ignored, prevents the heating element from heating the water properly and thus your water won’t be as hot. Maintenance will also replace what’s called the anode rod, which prevents the whole tank from rusting up.

2. Saves Money

An annual inspection of your water heater can prevent costly surprises from happening. You do not want the hassle of finding alternative ways to wash yourself, your hair, and your clothes. Even worse would be the cost of cleaning up the water damage, or perish the thought, an explosion. There’s also the hiked fee for emergency repairs by services.

3. Lasts Longer

The lifespan of a standard water heater is about 8 to 12 years. Having a yearly repair schedule can extend its life by several more years. This again saves you money in the long run.

What homeowner wouldn’t want to save money, prevent potentially dangerous surprises, have less stress and hassles with their home’s maintenance?

Contact us for more ways we can help you.

Considering a Custom Remodel? -There’s a Lot to Consider.

Being a homeowner can sometimes make you feel like you need to be a jack-of-all-trades.  And while there are many facets of home maintenance that you may have grown to enjoy and take pride in, when considering a project such as a custom remodel of a room or your entire home, it’s easy to understand the benefits of having an experienced crew of experts who focus their talents on every step of your home-improvement project.

Considering a Custom Remodel? -There's a Lot to Consider.

At Excellent American Painting, we can work with you to understand and implement your goals for your home. Our design staff will consult with you to create a solid vision of what you want your home to be and find a design that fits your life, including appliances and cabinets, and every other component from lighting to flooring.

Our carpenters build to your specifications, and our Handyman services will ensure safe & solid re-routing of any plumbing & electrical components of your custom remodel. Taking the worry out of your remodel is what we do best!

And no project is complete without the finishing touch of our meticulous Painting services, who bring their years of experience to every project, giving results that can’t be matched.

You don’t need to be a jack-of-all-trades to recreate your home into something you can be proud of, and enjoy for years to come. At Excellent American Painting we have you covered for every step of your project. Come visit, or contact us today and tell us about your dreams for your home!

Water Heater Repair, What Can Go Wrong?

It is understandable that people want to save money by tackling seemingly minor household maintenance themselves rather than hiring someone else to do it. When it comes to your water heater, however, that can lead to problems. Sometimes, very expensive problems.

Water Heater Repair, What Can Go Wrong?

Your water heater needs periodic service to remove sediment build up. Depending on your home’s water quality, this might need attention every one or two years. This build-up affects the efficiency and output of the appliance, as well as the life expectancy of the tank liner. The more build up in your heater, the harder the heater has to work to maintain temperature, and the quicker the lining deteriorates as that build up reacts with the storage tank itself.

The process of dealing with this involves turning off the appliance, shutting off the water supply, draining and flushing out the tank, and refilling and turning everything back on. It is also an opportune time for replacing or servicing parts of the heater, including the electrical elements or gas burner, anode rod, dip tube, thermocouple/igniter, temperature/pressure relief valve, and checking for gas leaks.

Some of the problems that can occur include the following:

  •    Dysfunctional Water Shut-Off Valve
  •    Water Shut-Off Valve That Starts Leaking When Operated
  •    Clogged Drain Valve
  •    Drain Valve That Won’t Shut Off After Use
  •    Clogged Drain When Flushing Out the Heater
  •    Leaking Temperature/Pressure Relief Valve

These direct issues and other indirect problems arising from the interruption of the water and gas/power supply are things that most are not prepared to handle. These problems can lead to requiring emergency service, or potentially lead to water damage in the case of a leak or clog, particularly if your water heater is on a finished level. Hiring a service professional, who is equipped to handle these scenarios, not only makes it easy for you but may end up being less expensive than trying it yourself. Contact us!

Cabinet Re-Finishing: Enameling Tips

Having your kitchen cabinets enameled is a job that can completely transform the entire room. Whether your cabinets are old and outdated or just not attractive, a good enamel job will surely fix the issue. Take a look at some good kitchen cabinet enameling tips to help you get started.

Cabinet Re-Finishing: Enameling Tips

Choosing Your Paint 

The paint that you use for your walls is not suitable for something like your kitchen cabinets. It’s an entirely different type of surface. Applying regular paint to cabinets will result in chipping and excessive wear. You’ll need to choose an enamel instead. Using a high-quality enamel will hold up better, last for longer, and give you a nicer and smoother finish.

Choosing Your Color 

You will definitely want to focus on choosing a color that flatters your appliances. Certain colors will make your appliances stand out, and others will make your appliances virtually disappear. You don’t want anything to clash. The trick is to compliment your appliances, not make them look bad. This especially holds true for appliances that are older or outdated. You’d be surprised at how much nicer you can make them look simply by just changing the color of your cabinets.

Packing Up Your Cabinets 

You will obviously need to remove the contents of your cabinets before they get enameled. Make sure to label things and pack them up neatly so you can easily return them to their home when the job is complete. Clean off the counters, roll up any rugs, and remove any curtains that might get in the way as well.

Contact us today at Excellent American Painting & Handyman Service for more kitchen cabinet enameling tips. We’re here to help you get started today.

Professional Pressure Washing

Chewing gum pollution is a major problem for property owners, and the only solution is a professional pressure washing. Every day, many people thoughtlessly spit their gum on the sidewalk without realizing they are polluting. Gum pollution is such a big problem, the United States General Services Administration has created guidelines for cleaning it from historical sites and buildings.

Professional Pressure Washing and Gum Pollution

Chewing gum has been around for thousands of years. However, until the modern era, it was a product made from natural ingredients. Today, synthetic rubber is the main portion of most chewing gums. As a result, it does not degrade naturally. As it sits on surfaces, like concrete walkways, the product will create a stain that is impossible to remove without the correct equipment, solutions, and techniques.

The problem is probably bigger than most suspect. The chewing gum industry has annual sales of $2 billion and produces 100,000 tons every year. This translates to the average person chewing 280 sticks of gum every year. Even if a small percentage is improperly discarded, it creates a major problem. As the industry grows, the headache only increases for property owners.

Gum pollution is unsightly, but its improper removal can cause damage to surfaces. Excellent American Painting & Handyman Service has state of the art equipment and trained technicians who can safely remove gum from your facilities’ surfaces without causing damage. We can pressure wash buildings, sidewalks and more, keeping your property clean.

If you would like to talk more about gum pollution, or need more information about professional pressure washing, please contact us.

Planning Kitchen and Bath Updates

The two most valuable remodel for any home are the kitchen and bathrooms. This is in part because these rooms are the least often remodeled rooms in your home. If your kitchen and bathrooms have styles that are from decades ago, it is probably time to consider an update. Planning kitchen and bath updates will allow you to customize your home the way you envision it.

Planning Kitchen and Bath Updates

Plan Ahead

While you have the walls open in a kitchen or a bathroom, it is time for your electrical wiring and plumbing inspected for signs of wear or problems. It is so much cheaper and more effective when this gets dealt with while the walls are already open. If you have an issue with these later, it will take opening the walls in places for repairs. That makes a lot more mess than having it done now. Also, now is a good time for inspecting everything hidden in your walls for issues. That means allowing a little room in your budget for upgrading anything that is not up to par.

Plan According to Your Budget

If you have room in your budget for everything that you desire, go big. If not consider these finance-friendly tips. Keeping your features in the same place saves money. That means you are not moving plumbing or electrical features around much. Keeping your stove in the same place means you don’t have to relocate the route to your vent fan outlet on the outside of your home. Keeping your tub and/or shower in the same place means the drain pipe is already there. Even if you need to replace some of these support systems, it doesn’t take re-framing.

Plan Your Features According to Your Lifestyle

If you never use the tub, consider replacing it with a shower. If you cook a lot, consider claiming the breakfast room area into your kitchen and adding in kitchen seating. Or if you don’t cook much, consider scaling back on your kitchen features and going with more open shelves that are popular today.

Style

Remember how long it was since the last update for these rooms, and plan accordingly. Your style is important here. Choose colors for your more durable features that are either neutral or the color you want for a long time. If you love a color, having a kitchen sink in that color is great. If you don’t, it will get old quickly. This is why many sinks, tubs, and appliances are mostly offered in basic colors like white, black, and stainless. Choose a tile that gives your bath or kitchen pizzazz without limiting you to colors that you will tire of. Once again, if you don’t love a particular color that much, go neutral.

Color

Big colors now are blues and greens. Pinks are gaining in favor, as is yellow. Black is the new grey, or so many design magazines are saying. However, remember that darker colors make rooms feel small. Keep these for big rooms or accent colors. When planning where you want color, wall colors are easily changed. So are curtains and towels. These are good places for colors that you want now and might not want later. Small appliances like toasters wear out often and make great places for a splash of color. Otherwise, have fun.

At Excellent American Painting & Handyman Service, we are here to help you make the best of your home. Please, contact us for more information today.

Take the Stress out of Door Installation

Replacing that old door seems like a simple enough task: run to the hardware store, buy the right size door, and screw it into a place where the old one was. Unfortunately, this DIY project often turns out to be more than homeowners bargained for. What seems like a quick task can turn into an ongoing job that never quite works out. Even worse, doors that are not hung properly can lead to damage to both the door and your home, leading to the need to go through it all again.

Take the Stress out of Door InstallationHanging a new door will require, among other things, precise measurements and the ability to work in small detail even with a large piece of material. This work starts well before the new door even goes up. In some cases, the previous frame or trim might need to be replaced. The existing subfloor or sill may need to be repaired before work with the new door begins, particularly on doors that have been exposed to the elements. Preparing the opening can become a job in itself.

The door itself – after the opening is prepared and reframed if necessary – must go in perfectly level. The process continues after the initial hanging, using shims to help align the frame, with adjustments continuing until everything is plumb. Once the door hangs nicely, it may be time to insulate around the frame.

The process involves far more steps and caution that might be expected. To save time and hassle, it often makes sense for homeowners to seek help from a reliable professional. At Excellent American Painting, we want your door replacement to go as smoothly as possible. Please contact us with any handyman service requests or to receive more information.