Spring isn’t the only time of year you should clean and prepare your home. Fall is the perfect time to get your house ready for the dampness that comes with the change of seasons. Two of the most common ways to combat moisture is with sealants and waterproofing. Sealants are predominantly used in basements to help keep the moisture out. Waterproofing via different methods is mostly used on wood around your home.
More than half of US homes have an issue with moisture in their basements. Some common causes of moisture in the basement include condensation, runoff, and leaks. A good basement sealant is vital to protecting the contents of your home and your foundation from moisture. Most basement sealants are simple enough to be a DIY project for you. So what should you do?
- First, don’t ignore a persistent musty smell in your basement. This is usually a sign of a moisture problem.
- Make sure to identify the source of the moisture problem before trying any DIY repairs, whether it is from condensation, runoff from your yard, or from a leak.
- Check the grading around your home for potential runoff sources, check your downspouts to make sure they are pointed away from foundations and that they aren’t leaking, and check for any cracks in your driveway. Also check your gutters to make sure they are free of debris or consider installing gutter guards to help prevent clogs and make cleaning much easier.
- Patch any cracks you find in your basement floor and walls.
Once you’ve identified any issues and fixed them, you can then apply your sealant. Sealants coat basement walls and floors for quick waterproofing that can also be decorated! You may need to apply more than 1 coat depending on the size and condition of your walls and floors.
Wood is the world’s oldest and most common building material. Without any protection, wood is subject to damage from moisture and high humidity leading to swelling, warping, and even rotting. Unprotected wood is also left exposed to pests like termites. Choosing the best method of waterproofing your wood depends on several factors including whether or not the wood is on the interior or exterior of your home and whether or not it is light or dark grained. So what options are out there?
- Hand rubbed oil finishes: Hand rubbed oil finishes are derived from linseed or Tung oil and are usually used on dark grained woods like walnut and mahogany. As the name implies, these oils are rubbed on by hand and typically take longer to apply than other waterproofing options. These oil finishes can be combined with other ingredients to make them dry quicker or to help eliminate stickiness that is often left behind after application. They can be purchased pre-blended or you can mix your own if you want a more custom finish.
- Sealants: Sealants come in several different varieties including polyurethane, varnish, and lacquer. These are all sealants with waterproofing properties. Sealants can be sprayed or brushed on making their application much easier than hand rubbed oils. They are also quicker to dry than hand rubbed oils. A negative property of sealants is that they usually contain ingredients that have strong fumes and require ventilation while applying and until they are dry.
- Stain/Sealant Combos: A third option is a stain/sealant combo which mixes a hand rubbed stain finish with a sealant in one product. These types of waterproofing products are especially good for use with larger scale projects like wood decks. Combo products allow you to apply a color or stain while also waterproofing in one easy application. They will need to be reapplied every 1 to 2 years for continued waterproofing.
How to Maintain the Value of Your Home with Termite Control
Your home is probably the biggest investment that you will make in your lifetime. Not only is it a monetary investment but it’s a place where you want to feel safe, comfortable, and at peace when you are there. So what does termite control have to do with the value of your home?
Termites work 24/7 to find food. Unfortunately for us, and our homes, their choice of food is wood…as in the wood that is used to build our houses. So here we have these creatures that are eating wood around the clock…they are bound to cause damage.
Termite damage can be severe. Each year, termites cause over $2 billion of damage to homes in the US. In most cases, termite damage is not covered under homeowner’s insurance. So with all of that being said, it’s easy to see why termite protection is important to maintain the value of your home.
Preventing Termite Damage To Your Home:
- Be proactive. Don’t wait until the damage is done. Prevent termite infestations before they have a chance to cause damage.
- Have a reputable exterminating professional perform a termite inspection on your home. This will help to determine if you have active termites or termite damage already. They can also educate you on things you can do to deter termites away from your home.
- Save time and money by working with your pest control professional to treat your home with the termite treatments that are right for your property and situation.
By maintaining the quality of your structure you are maintaining the value of your investment, your home.
What Are 10 Ways to Prevent Mosquito Bites?
Here in the South, mosquitoes and summer go together like peanut butter and jelly. In North America there is an estimated 170 different species of mosquito. Sometimes it feels like 169 of those species live right here in the south. Aside from being a nuisance, mosquitoes can be a threat to our health. West Nile virus is a disease that is carried by mosquitoes and has become a concern in the US in recent years.
So how do you keep those pesky mosquitoes away? Below are 10 ways to Prevent Mosquito Bites:
- Wear long clothes – We know it’s the summer and it’s hot but if possible, wear long sleeves and pants when you’re going to be outdoors.
- Eliminate areas of standing water – Empty areas where water collects such as flower pots and bird baths. Properly landscape areas of the yard where water pools.
- Use insect repellant containing DEET – Follow the instructions on insect repellants that contain DEET.
- Ensure windows and doors are screened – If you have windows and/or doors open make sure they are properly screened to keep mosquitoes from entering your home.
- Avoid the outdoors between dusk and dawn – Mosquitoes are most active between dusk and dawn. Avoid going outside during those times.
- Try not to work up a sweat – Mosquitoes are attracted to the lactic acid in sweat.
- Don’t move – Mosquitoes are attracted to movement, so be still!!
- Wear light colored clothes – Mosquitoes are attracted to dark colors so wear lighter colors to avoid their bites.
- Don’t drink beer – Mosquitoes are beer lovers and will likely bite you if you are drinking one.
- Keep body temperature low – Stay cool. The higher your body temperature, the more attracted mosquitoes are to you.
Mosquito treatments can also be a great way to prevent mosquitoes. Northwest Exterminating offers a GREEN mosquito program that targets both mosquito larvae and adult mosquitoes.
Are you looking for pest control in the Smyrna, GA area?
If you’re in Atlanta, Austell, Avondale Estates, Chamblee, Decatur, Mableton, Marietta, Sandy Springs, Scottsdale, Shady Dale, or Smyrna then you are serviced by our Smyrna service center.
Our Smyrna service center offers Green pest control, Green termite control, wildlife control, Green mosquito control, bed bug control, ant control, lawn care, TAP Insulation, and Complete CrawlSpace.
Meet the Manager
Pete is the best of the best and has been with Northwest for over 19 years. He exemplifies the “Customers for Life” attitude that we strive for at Northwest Exterminating.
Shoo “Bottle” Fly, Don’t Bother Me
The bottle fly is a common household fly. They are known for their metallic blue or green color and look like they are wearing aviator sunglasses. Some may enjoy their appearance but you won’t enjoy them if they’re in your home.
Bottle flies breed amongst unsanitary and filthy conditions. Like many other flies, they can spread diseases on the surfaces they land on including your food, kitchen counters, animal waste, and garbage. They are usually the first ones on the scene of a dead animal. Bottle flies lay their eggs in the carcass and the maggots will develop by eating the carcass. They develop from egg to adult in less than 3 weeks.
What if I find bottle flies in my home?
Finding bottle flies in your home is a good indication that you have either a dead animal located somewhere in your home or a sanitation issue. Either problem should be addressed immediately. Calling a pest control professional will allow them to identify the source of the problem and help to eliminate the original problem, as well as, the bottle flies.
Could your gardening ideas effect your termite treatment?
Spring time is an ideal time to get out in the yard, work in your garden, dig in the dirt…all those enjoyable things we like to do in the warm weather. These are great ways to improve the aesthetics of your property and also enjoy the sunshine. Hold the shovel! Wait one second before you start digging in the dirt!
Digging around the foundation of your home could disturb your termite barrier system. Minor disturbances are nothing to worry about but a major disruption can put the effectiveness of the treatment in jeopardy…causing concern for your home.
What to consider before digging around your foundation?
Mulch is a great way to spruce up your yard. Mulch provides protection, warmth, and moisture to plants but can also provide those same things to termites. Not to mention that mulch is wood! TERMITES LOVE WOOD! Other pests, such as, roaches and earwigs also find comfort in mulch.
This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use mulch around your home.
Don’t be discouraged. You can still use mulch around your home. Just make sure when using mulch that it is kept 1-2 feet away from the structure. Any wood that is in contact with soil and your foundation is considered a major risk for termites.
If you’re concerned about disturbing your termite treatment or suspect you may have termites, give us a call!