Posted by: tomspage | April 21, 2010

Be Cool, Save Money

Recently I applied a reflective white coating to a metal roof.  The elastomeric (that’s just a fancy word meaning flexible) paint is latex based so it cleans up with water and flows on nicely.  Depending on the condition of the roof the application is straight forward, cleaning and wire brushing any loose paint on the roof may be all that is required.   For best results at least two coats are recommended and can be applied in just a couple of days on a smaller roof (like many here in Lake Worth).

Of course the coating seals the metal roof, protecting it from corrosion.  But the real reason for this application is to lower the load on the air conditioning in the summer. The bright white reflective paint will significantly lower the temperature in the house’s attic spaced.  This coupled with good attic insulation will make this a job that will pay for itself.

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Posted by: tomspage | April 19, 2010

I’ve Been Framed. . .

Rotted and leaking window frame.

Rain and sun in South Florida are a home’s two most destructive enemies and window frames are their favorite target.  Sunlight rapidly deteriorates the paint on window sills and any water sitting on them can make its way into the wood.  Once moisture starts to get into the wood the cycle of mold and rot is sure to follow.  Moisture in the wood also attracts termites and other insects.

The first line of defense is inspecting your window frames for deteriorated paint.  You may need a ladder to inspect the top of the frame which is sometimes overlooked by painters as well.  Pay particular attention to the sills as flat surfaces are more prone to deterioration,  also look carefully at any parts of the frame where the wood’s end grain is exposed.

If you at all feel that the wood needs to be painted do it or have it done right away.

New frame and caulk installed by McFixit. The air conditioner opening in the background had rot and termite damage due to water intrusion. It has been sealed and will be replaced with a window.

Painting and re-caulking window frames is cheap insurance.  While inspecting your windows make sure that the sills slope downward and encourage water to run off.  Also inspect the caulking around the frame and window (again make sure to check the top for caulk and or flashing). If you find any rotted wood have it fixed right away to prevent the problem from spreading.  Once moisture gets into a house’s structure things go from bad to worse in a hurry and the cost of repairs escalates quickly.

A little work now, and the only thing your windows will be letting into your house is light.

On a related note, pay careful attention to any cutouts for window air conditioners in the walls of your house.  Experience shows that these are often sloppily  installed and poorly weatherproofed and can lead to damage to the surrounding walls.

Posted by: tomspage | April 5, 2010

McFixet’s Cheap Tricks

Did you ever have a small wood screw loose its bite and was always coming undone.  Often you don’t have a larger or longer screw on hand to get a grip in new wood, or a larger screw just won’t fit.

Try this cheap trick;

After removing the screw insert a tooth pick into the hole.  The fat round ones work best but you can use two or more of the flat ones if need be.

Break the toothpick off flush with the top of the hole.

Drive the screw back in place, its threads will grab now and hold in place.

If the screw hole is badly worn you may have to use a scrap piece of wood tapered to fit in place to give the screw more wood to bite.

Posted by: tomspage | April 5, 2010

Renew-Reuse-Recycle Outdoor Furniture

Replacing outdoor furniture is an expensive prospect theses days, and frankly the quality of today’s offerings is not very good.  Many of us have heavy iron sets that with the proper refurbishment are far more durable and just plain look better.

For a fraction of the price of a new set, McFixit can clean, wire brush and apply weatherproof paint to your outdoor furniture.  If a table has loose tiles, dirty or missing grout we can fix that too.  New cushions can be purchased inexpensively to complete the job.

Refinished iron set, note the small table to the left was a “trash day find” by the owner and painted to match.

In today’s disposable society it’s must to to be frugal!

Posted by: tomspage | March 26, 2010

McFixet’s Cheap Tricks

Have you ever stripped the head of screw when driving it into wood, or worse yet broken the head right off?  Try this cheap trick my Scottish father taught me when I was a wee lad:

Lubricate the threads by rubbing them in bar soap (you can use candle wax too) and the screw will run in much more easily.  As a bonus the screw will come out easier too if you ever have to disassemble your project.

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Soap and candle wax can also be used to lubricate sticky wooden drawers by simply rubbing along the “runners”.

Posted by: tomspage | March 26, 2010

My Number One Fan

Ceiling fans are essential here in South Florida and help reduce air conditioning bills.

Making sure that they are working properly is a must as we move into spring.

Replacing a fan because it’s broken, noisy or just plan ugly is painless with McFixit’s flat rate replacement plan.  For $30.00 (discounts available for more than one fan) McFixit will install your replacement.

Need help picking the right replacement or upgrade?  Just ask.

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