FIREWORKS IN CARSTAIRS
WHEN: JULY 1, 10 PM
WHERE: TINY LEFLEUR PARK
Windows and exterior doors are subject to the wear and tear that comes from constant use and exposure to the weather. Over time, weatherstripping, hardware and the door and frame materials can deteriorate or fail. Homeowners can either repair or replace window or door units. Repairs can be inexpensive, but may not give good long-term results. Replacement is generally costly, but will provide cost savings in energy use, make your house more comfortable and add to the resale value.
There are a number of factors to consider before making the decision about whether your windows or doors need to be replaced or whether they can simply be repaired.
Some important areas that you will want to consider include:
Renovating is an ideal time to make your house healthier for you, the community and the environment. When assessing your renovation project, be sure to consider the five essentials of Healthy Housing™.
A house is much more than just four walls and a roof — it’s an interactive system made up of many components including the basic structure, heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) equipment, the external environment and the occupants. Each component influences the performance of the entire system. A renovation provides an opportunity to improve how your house performs.
Tighter and more energy efficient windows and doors will reduce the heating load on your house, reduce heating costs and improve occupant comfort. Energy efficient glazing can also reduce condensation problems that damage finishes and lead to mold growth. Increased house airtightness can improve energy efficiency, but may also lead to a greater need for mechanical ventilation. A sufficient air supply may also be needed to prevent combustion appliances from backdrafting.
There are many choices available to homeowners who want to upgrade or make changes to the windows or doors in their homes. Taking the time to examine your needs and the options that are available is the right way to start to plan for your renovation or repair job. Here are some of the likely situations that people encounter.
Painting is not the chore it used to be. A professional look is now easier to achieve. Whatever your project, talk to the paint experts where you purchase your paint. They are a valuable resource. If you are having a hard time visualizing the colour, inexpensive computer software programs can allow you to try out different colours. Or, there may be a decorating service where you buy your paint.
There are two main types of paint depending on the thinners and binders used; water-based (or latex) and oil-based (or alkyd).
Water-based paints use water as a thinner. They are often called latex paints even though they don’t use real latex, since rubber is not used as a binder any more. Today synthetic latexes are used, most commonly acrylic or polyvinyl acetate. Paints with a high acrylic content tend to have a tougher skin and can perform almost as well as oil-based paints. Latex paints can be easily cleaned up with soap and water.
Oil-based paints use a solvent thinner. Despite the name, oil-based paints are usually not made with oil. Instead, most use polyester resins, called alkyds. Although alkyds may be more durable and achieve a higher gloss finish, they are usually a less healthy choice than latex. Alkyd paints require mineral spirits for cleaning up.
Because paints are applied wet, and because they cover such a large area, paints can create a significant health problem during a renovation project. The problem is mainly caused by alkyd or solvent-based paints. They give off a number of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) as the solvent evaporates after painting. These VOCs can be a strong irritant and can add to air pollution. Once the paint has completely dried and formed a tough skin, the emission levels drop. However, some paints can emit odours at low levels for a long time. Exposure to VOCs varies from person to person. Effects include coughing, headaches, dizziness, or more serious conditions. It is especially important for respiratory sufferers, those with allergies, asthma, and households with young children or pregnant women to avoid paints with VOCs.
Comparing the VOCs of one paint to another is not an easy task. Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) are helpful, but manufacturers don’t have to list components which make up one per cent or less of their product’s weight. This means that some toxic components may not show up on the MSDS. The only sure way to know what the paint contains is by asking the manufacturer to list trace compounds. There are some paints on the market that are solvent and VOC free. Look for the key words: Low VOC, or better yet. No VOC.
Contrary to popular belief, you can paint over oil or alkyd paint with latex paint. To do so the walls should be cleaned, painted with a super adherent acrylic primer, then latex paint can be applied.To test if the paint on the walls is oil or alkyd some stores carry inexpensive test kits, or you can use methyl hydrate (gas line anti-freeze) or non acetone based nail polish remover. Apply a small quantity of one of these products to a pad and rub vigorously on the painted surface. If the surface remains shiny it is oil/alkyd; if the paint is stripped it is latex.
It can be confusing when selecting the sheen of paint you want since the term used for the sheen varies by manufacturer.
Low-sheen (low-gloss) paints have none to little observable sheen. The amount varies slightly by manufacturer. Low-sheen paints can be called: flat, matt, eggshell, satin and velvet.
Higher sheen paints are semi-gloss, gloss and enamel. They have the most visible shine to them.
Low-sheen paints can be washed, but with care, higher sheen paints are the most washable and have the most durable finishes.
Most people select semi-gloss or high-gloss paints for rooms with high moisture levels such as kitchens and bathrooms, and high traffic areas such as main stairways and halls. Most people prefer to use semi-gloss or high-gloss paint on windows, trim and doors.
Bedrooms, dining and living rooms are more commonly painted with lower sheen paints.
Years ago, enamel meant oil-based paints.Today the term enamel can also mean durable latex paint.
Sealers are primarily used on new wood or masonry surfaces. They seal the surface of the material, forming a base coat which keeps the topcoat from being absorbed unevenly. They can be used to encapsulate materials to seal in gases thus preventing them from offgassing.
Primers are used to make the substrate more uniform, and to create a tight bond between the topcoat and the surface to be painted.
Cementious or masonry paints are used on concrete walls and floors.
Ceiling paints are designed not to drip.
Melamine paints are used for cabinets and shelves, and are very durable and washable.
Choosing paint by the brand is not enough. Many brand manufacturers make higher and lower quality lines of paint. As you move up in quality so does the price. Each grade is usually a few dollars more expensive than the previous grade. Avoid mixing the brands by using the primer of one brand with the finish paint of another. Paint will adhere better if you use the same brand for both applications.
If you buy all the paint you need at one time you have a better chance of getting a uniform colour.
Brushes and other tools
Ensure the rollers and paint brushes you buy are rated for the type of paint you are using. Better quality brushes help ensure that the paint strokes are less visible.
Measure the height and width of each wall to be painted then multiply to obtain the square footage. For rooms with lots of windows and doors deduct the square footage of the windows and doors. A 4-litre (1 gallon) pail of paint will usually cover 37 square metres (400 square feet). When calculating how much paint to buy, check how well it is expected to cover the surface to be painted. This is called hiding quality. Painting over very dark colours may require using primer as the first coat or more coats of paint. Having the primer tinted the same colour as the finish coat can provide better hiding qualities. Latex based paints should not be stored for extended periods of time as they can go bad. When buying paint look for the most current date of manufacture on the container.
Preparation is the most important and most time consuming part of painting. Usually at least 80 per cent of the time spent on a painting project is spent getting ready and cleaning up.
Painting new drywall or wood
Previously unpainted drywall, or plaster must be primed. Previously unpainted wood can be stained, painted or urethaned.
Lead in paint
Lead in interior paint was taken off the market in 1979. Paint in houses or apartments built before that date almost certainly contain small amounts of lead paint. Exposure to large amounts of lead can cause serious illness. Infants and children are especially vulnerable to lead. However, lead paint is not generally a problem if it is not flaking, peeling or blistering.To check if the walls contain lead, you can obtain a lead paint test kit at most major hardware and some health food stores. Sanding or heat stripping lead paint requires safety precautions, including protective clothing, a mask, goggles and gloves. Lead paint in the form of sanded particles are a health hazard. Pregnant women and children should never be exposed to dust or fumes caused during lead paint removal. For further information on lead, order the free booklet Lead In Your Home from CMHC.
Covering water stains, marks and knot holes
Water stains on ceilings, wax crayon marks on walls and previously unpainted knot holes will bleed through most water based paints. A special stain blocking sealer should first be applied sparingly on the knots, stains or marks before applying the paint. For these special situations you may need to use shellac, alkyd or a polyvinyl acetate primer.
These products have an odour and therefore should be used only on the affected areas. When using these products ventilate well, preferably by running a fan. Place the fan in an open window and have the fan facing out.
Severely damaged walls
If walls are badly damaged, it may be quicker and cheaper to install an additional layer of new drywall.
Peeling is usually a result of moisture under the paint, or of using the wrong type of paint. If moisture is the cause, it must first be corrected, then the surface can be scraped and sanded before painting.
Covering mold and water stains
Mold which appears as dark spots on the painted surface must be washed with soap and water, rinsed and dried before repainting. The cause of the moisture which resulted in mold, if not corrected, will allow the mold to come back.
There is no better way to reconnect with old friends after a long Canadian winter hibernation, or meet new neighbours than at a community block party. My wife just hosted one last weekend. Here are some tips for a successful event:
Step 1: send out the invites early. You can drop them off by hand and ask for responses. Be sure to ask what each guest wishes to bring.
Step 2: follow up by e-mail, e-vite, or phone. It is ok to ask your guests if they have tables to set food up on.
Step 3: consider safety. Have an area that is safe for the kids to play. Your town services personnel may have barricades that they can lend out to restrict/block traffic during the event. Make sure you get permission to do this.
Step 4: set up early
Step 5: have a backup plan for bad weather. This year it began to rain during dinner. We were able to move everything into our garage until the storm passed. BTW; close quarters made for some fun mingling.
Step 6: have something fun for the kids to do. Consider hiring a bouncy house, or if the budget is smaller, drag out neighbors play sets into the street.
Step 7: let your guests gravitate to what they do best. There is always someone who likes to BBQ.
Step 8: have fun!