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Paint That House

June 5, 2019

Repainting the house is not exactly the project that most people look forward to, but hey who am I to judge.  There are many different approaches to this project and the amount of time you spend painting really depends on your canvas (house siding)  You can go with a simple wash and paint, you may have an older house with 6 layers of wash and paint already applied and elect to strip it, or you may have a combination of both!

The first step most take is to clean the house and see what they have to work with, so to start a pressure washer works perfect.  2500 psi is definitely are most popular unit as a good all around washer.  The pressure washer is going to wash any dirt, grime or moss that has been clinging to your siding for the last few years.  It will also loosen up or even remove some paint.  A pressure washer will NOT strip all the paint off your house and it is not designed to. Some feel that if the paint stays on after a good pressure washing then painting over that should not be a problem, whats left should stay on well enough.

If things are looking a little worse than expected and stripping off some of that old peeing paint is needed, there’s  a tool for that.  Enter siding sanders and paint shavers.  These tools will sand the paint off the siding with either carbide teeth or very aggressive sandpaper, but are packaged an a siding friendly setup that makes them easy to use.  Add a HEPA vacuum and you have environmentally friendly way to a better looking house!

Then the fun part, painting!  A couple of different approaches here, you can brush and roller the hole thing which is going to cut down on prep work.  You won’t have to cover all the windows, doors and surrounding areas with tarps or paper.  However, if you would rather be out doing something way more fun, you may want to speed up the process with a paint sprayer.  Id doesn’t make a big of mess as you might think, and covering a few windows or doors really isn’t that hard.   The plus side is it goes fast!  Which is way better for people that don’t want to hang around the house all summer but still want the best looking house on the block.

See how easy it is!  If it turns out you need to get up in the world there is everything available from short step ladders, long extension ladders or even powered lifts.

Aurora Rents
206-659-7368
Shoreline – Greenlake – Lake City
AuroraRents.com

 

Don’t procrastinate!

Fall Lawn Care

May 1, 2019

Take advantage of cool fall weather to fertilize, control weeds, and improve the health and appearance of your yard. Read on for more!

Adjust Your Mowing HeightWhere to find MOWER, SELF PROPELLED W BAG in Seattle
If you raised the height of your lawn mower in summer to reduce heat stress to your lawn, return the mower deck to its normal mowing height (about 2 inches tall is best for most grasses) in fall. Cutting your lawn slightly shorter in autumn helps prevent the grass from matting down under leaves and snow. Avoid cutting the grass too short, however. Tightly clipped turf has fewer roots and allows weeds to get a foothold.

Water on Schedule
Most lawns need water whenever it’s dry — no matter the season. If drought persists into autumn, water once or twice per week long enough to soak the soil several inches deep. Early morning is the best time of day to irrigate because winds are usually lighter so you’ll waste less water to evaporation. Avoid watering in the evening because that encourages fungal diseases.

Where to find OVERSEEDER, LAWN in SeattleOverseed
Overseed warm-season lawns with ryegrass each autumn. This type of grass provides a lush, green carpet through the cool winter months. Prepare the lawn for overseeding by mowing it 1/2 inch shorter than usual and removing the clippings. Sow grass seed over the mowed area, making two passes at right angles to each other.

In the North, overseed thin lawns or large dead areas. Keep the newly seeded sections moist while seeds sprout. Frequent light sprinklings are best at first. Gradually increase the interval between waterings to encourage the roots to grow deeper into the soil.

FertilizeWhere to find SPREADER, DROP SMALL in Seattle
Fall is the best time to fertilize your lawn if you live in the North. Cool-season grasses, such as bluegrass, fescue, and ryegrass, respond well to feeding in early September and again in late fall (late October or November). It helps them green up earlier and look better in spring. Fertilizer spreader options.

Avoid fertilizing dormant warm-season grasses in the South unless they have been overseeded with winter ryegrass.

AerateWhere to find AERATOR, LAWN GAS in Seattle
Aeration reduces thatch, improves drainage, and loosens soil. Make sure that the aerator you use pulls plugs of soil from the turf rather than simply punching holes in the ground, which actually increases compaction over time. Aerate cool-season grasses in early fall and warm-season grasses in spring.

 

Aurora Rents
Shoreline   –  206.368.7368
Greenlake  –  206.729.7368
Lake City   –  206.362.7368
AuroraRents.com

* Article courtesy of the Better Homes & Gardens.

Addicted to Pressure Washing?

April 2, 2019

Well the one good thing about the rain, its a good day to pressure wash (you are already wet!)  The one thing I have learned about pressure washing…be careful its very addictive.  How can pressure washing be addictive you ask?  Try and stop at just the patio….the patio looks so good, now you move onto the walkway, can’t have a clean walkway next to that deck,  well might as well do the driveway….next thing you know you are pressure washing the street and the neighbors sidewalk!!  See what I mean.

When it comes to pressure washers, there are a few different ones to choose from.  You first have to determine what you want to clean and how fast you want to get the job done.  Think of it this way…the higher the pressure, the larger area you can clean in one pass.  With a 1500 psi (pounds per square inch) pressure washer you might be happy with the result you get cleaning 3″ at a pass.  You can get the same “clean” with a 3500 psi washer but clean 6″ to 8″ at a pass. Get the picture?  It also depends on what type of surface you will be cleaning.  For wood fences or decks you can get away with a smaller washer than would be required for a sidewalk or driveway.  Pressure washers can be found from 1000 psi all the way up to 5000 psi. My favorite washer is a 2500 psi.  It is fairly small in physical size (about the size and weight of a gas lawnmower), it has the pressure to do driveways and not so much pressure that it damages wood.  As a caution:  Any pressure washer can damage a surface if the nozzle is placed to close (yes even concrete!), the secret is find that sweet spot that gives the clean you are looking for without leaving marks or damage.  All pressure washers come with a variety of tips as well, these tips vary the fan width from 0 degree (basically a pin point) to 40 degree.  Besides pressure or psi there are other options for pressure washers as well.  They are available in gas powered (These are the mos popular due to the psi they can produce) or electric powered (These are usually the smaller units that are not nearly as effective as the gas models but are very compact).  They are also available in hot water, these are usually used to clean oil or grease such as engine compartments or even commercial restaurant equipment.

There are also a few attachment available that can help you out with specific jobs.  Rotary surface cleaners are very popular for large flat areas such as sports courts or large driveways.  They basically look like a water powered lawnmower with jets spinning underneath cleaning the surface.  (For these we recommend a 3500 psi washer as they require more pressure due to the multiple jets underneath)  There are also extension wands available to reach those high places without having to resort to a ladder.  Lastly there is the bad boy of the attachments, the rotating nozzle.  This nozzle actually has a steady stream of water that rotates quickly over a small area.  You have to be careful with this one, but nothing works better for those really hard to clean items like paint or graffiti off of concrete.

Now that you know a little more about pressure washers, get out and CLEAN!!  Just remember I warned you about it being addictive.

Aurora Rents
Shoreline   –  206.368.7368
Greenlake  –  206.729.7368
Lake City   –  206.362.7368
AuroraRents.com

Time to think about THE LAWN

March 1, 2019

Every year about this time, as spring gets closer we all start to look at that ugly winter lawn and yearn for greener pastures.  Yeah I said that.  So the phone starts ringing and asking for tillers, sod cutters, aerators and thatchers.  We all want that green lawn to showcase our front yard, and if it happens to look a little better than the neighbors…well even better yet!  So a quick search through the internets gives plenty of different opinions and suggestions.  We can help with the equipment you will need to handle this seemingly large task and make it a little easier.

As you do your research the terms dethathing and aerating come up quite frequently and are probably the most popular items that we rent for lawn care.  Thatch is the grass, moss etc. that blocks out the water to the roots. A rake could be used to pull up this mess….or you could rent a thatcher!. Anytime you can use a power tool instead of doing it by hand sounds good to me.  This process is best done when the lawn is fairly dry and prepare for a big mess.  Some customers rake up this mess by hand others simply run it over with a lawn mower to bag it up.  The next step is typically the aerator. The aerator or plugger pulls “plugs” from the lawn usually they are 1 1/2″ to 2″ plugs of dirt, this allows nutrients and water to reach deep down into the roots of compacted lawns.  These “plugs” are left all over your lawn at this point and again you have options.  You can simply leave them and they will dissolve in a few days after a good watering or rain, or if you want you can rake these up.

Aurora Rents
Shoreline   –  206.368.7368
Greenlake  –  206.729.7368
Lake City   –  206.362.7368
AuroraRents.com

Fix That Lawn

January 30, 2019

Sometimes all the thatching aerating and overseeding just doesn’t help and in order to get that perfect lawn back, you have to rip out whats there and start over.  Guess what?  There’s a tool for that!  The first thing is to run down to your local rental store….(we prefer this one – Aurora Rents)…and pick up a sod cutter.  We offer sod cutters in two sizes either a 12″ sod cutter or an 18″ sod cutter. The first inclination is to go with the bigger unit so it gets done faster, while this is true just remember you are going to be rolling this sod up and removing it and 18″ of sod is a lot heavier than 12″!  So with that said its time to get busy, the sod cutter is going to remove approximately the first 1 1/2″ of dirt and grass.  Once this is removed you are going to end up with a dirt yard that is most likely compacted and uneven.  Now its time to break out a tiller, for most yards I would recommend a rear tine tiller that is self propelled.   We do have smaller tillers but those are typically used for small gardens or very soft soil.  Now would be a good time to add top soil and possibly lime to the yard and till everything up.  There are many sources to dive into how much of each you may need.  One of the sites I liked was our local gardening hero Ciscoe.  So now you have a tilled up yard that really isn’t too impressive, lets change that.  The next items that will help you out will be a landscape rake and a lawn roller.  With the landscape rake you can level out the yard and remove any large rocks that have worked there way to the surface,  things are starting to take shape now.  Now to really leave an impression….fill the lawn roller with water and start rolling out your fancy new yard.  Once the lawn is rolled completely you want to fill any low spots and make sure you are happy with how the surface looks, because this is going to be the final step before planting seed!  Now its time to add fertilizer and seed (again research is your friend here depending on how much sunlight, shade get your yard tends to get there are many types of seed and everybody has an opinion)  If you are more of the instant gratification sort, this is the time to lay new sod, if not seed away!  Once the new seed or new sod is on the ground its time to bust out the lawn roller again.  If new seed was put down laying down a layer of peat moss with a roller is probably a good idea.  Now all the hard work is done!  The new grass is going to like a good amount of water especially if the weather gets warm. (hey we can be optimistic!)  Time to sit back and watch the grass grow.

Aurora Rents
Shoreline   –  206.368.7368
Greenlake  –  206.729.7368
Lake City   –  206.362.7368
AuroraRents.com