Preparing your Home’s Exterior for Winter

Are you ready for winter?  Before the weather gets rough and the rainy season comes to The Bay Area, take a few hours and do an exterior inspection of your home.  We live in the Oakland area and use the same renovation contractor in Oakland each year to perform a fall inspection and to make improvements to our home.

At times the weather can greatly affect the state of your home. During winter seasons, you can carry out several things to protect your home’s exterior from the worst that winter can throw at you. You should inspect roofing, rain gutters and exterior siding before winter’s rage arrives. This will ensure that your house is in good condition after the winter.

During harsh winters, rain gutters will get damaged if not properly maintained. Cleaning out the downspouts and gutters will let melting ice and snow to egress your gutter efficiently preventing overflows that can damage wood siding and decks or cause undue water to accumulate around foundations. You should water test the downspouts to ensure that they are efficiently draining. Unclear downspouts will cause your clean gutters to clog up quickly. If you own a metal roof, ensure its gutter is fastened properly to protect against ice sheets and snow that may secede from the roof to tear the gutter away from the portico board. Leaf protections including Gutter Rx or Leaf-X can shield your gutter against snow damage, since they keep the gutters clean.

Cement, Wood fibre, and composite sidings are susceptible to warping or flouring due to excessive build up of water. In case you have any of these sidings, inspect the lower siding pieces on sections above doors and windows, and walls, looking for warping or softness in the material. If you notice softness or warping, replace the boards instantly and liberally. Do not let the problem spread to other regions as this can cause a disastrous failure of the material. Lastly ensure that any material replaced is painted and sealed properly before winter strikes.

Taking a number of precautions with your roof will stop the looming danger during winter. It is very difficult to repair a leaking roof during harsh winter weather. It is recommended that you inspect the flashing around the chimneys, older skylights, and walling and roofing contact areas. These are potential areas prone to problems. Old roofs that appear to be in better shape should be resealed in some parts to extend its life. Besides, the fall is a better opportunity to clean debris from valleys and pine needles that can avert proper drainage and cause leaks.

The fall is the best time to perform an exterior inspection of your home before winter comes.  Do it while the weather is nice and before a heavy rainy season causes issues with your home.…

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5 Sustainable Practices for Decorating an Eco-Friendly Space

This is the era of sustainability and the world is finally recognizing the need for a change. Our usual means of production, consumption, and disposal are doing more harm than good to the environment. This poses a great challenge for us and the future generation. 

If you’re equally concerned about the environment, then you’d want to embrace a lifestyle that incorporates the change you desire. Luckily, it’s become easy to implement environmentally friendly practices. 

Here are some helpful tips that can legitimately transform your home into a more eco-friendly space. 

  • 5 eco-friendly home decor practices to create a more sustainable space

  • Quality over quantity

When it comes to sustainability, you want to buy fewer pieces. Buying only items made from high-quality materials is a guarantee that they’ll stand the test of time. Changing trends in the home decor industry usually encourage you to spend more on aesthetics. 

Stuck in this cycle, you’ll end up buying more and more decorative items to replace those that are no longer in vogue. Of course, this habit will take a toll on your purse plus it’s not at all eco-friendly. It’s time to let go of the disposable culture – quality wins all the time. 

  • Buy environmentally friendly materials

It’s not enough to only invest in quality, durable pieces, you have to ensure that the materials used to produce them are also sustainably sourced. You already know that wood is one of the most sustainable materials out there. 

There are many producers and artisans devoted to creating pieces that contribute favorably to the environment. Visit to shop for your home decor items. 

  • Incorporate more greenery

Plants are inexpensive decorations that can bring life to any space. In addition to their aesthetic appeal, they help with air circulation and purification. While artificial plants can elevate the look of your home, they lack the eco-friendly character that’s required for sustainable living. 

Get palms, chrysanthemums, ferns, and other house plants that add a fresh scent and help to purify the home. Natural accents like citrus and holly would also create special effects during the holiday season.

  • Install eco-friendly lighting

Lighting is an essential component of home design and another area where you need to go green. Green bulbs are a healthier alternative to incandescent bulbs – they use up less energy, thus contributing favorably to the environment. 

Take LEDs for example. LEDs are energy-efficient, long-lasting, and do not contain mercury vapor and other toxic materials. Maximizing the natural lighting in your home can also reduce your need for artificial lighting. 

  • Recycle and donate

This isn’t a decorating tip but it’s such a good habit to embrace. Why store a bunch of items that you don’t need in your home when they could be of use to someone else? Recycling is more sustainable than throwing your stuff into a dumpster. 

Transferring the value of such items by donating is also a good way to give back to the community.…

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