Interior House Painting Tips

Interior House Painting Tips

It seems easy enough. Open a can of paint, dip a paint brush in it and start painting your wall.

But anyone who’s done their own interior painting knows that it’s not nearly as easy as it seems. From an uneven paint finish on the wall to drips on the floor, you need to avoid any number of pitfalls before your DIY paint project can be a success.

Here are a few interior house painting tips and tricks to make your next project the most successful ever.

1. Avoid Roller Lap Marks

When using a roller to paint a large wall, if you don’t do it right you’ll end up with lap marks where you paint over a part of the wall you previously painted. To avoid them, make sure you overlap the places you painted previously before the paint has dried.

2. Keep Can-To-Can Paint Color Consistent

Even if they were mixed at the same time using the same colour formula, paint colours can vary from one can to the next. To keep the colour consistent, pour all the paint you’ll need for the job into a single container (a five-gallon bucket usually does the trick) and mix them thoroughly.

3. Make Edges Cleaner

Even when you use masking tape, getting a perfect edge sometimes seems impossible. When you pull of the masking tape, some of the new paint comes with it. Wait until the paint dries thoroughly and use a knife to cut along the edge of the tape as you pull it off.

4. Get An Even Paint Finish

Make sure you prime the entire wall after patching holes and cracks with filler. If not, the finishing coats will absorb into the repairs differently that elsewhere on the wall and result in a blotchy, uneven finish.

5. Use Cotton Drop Cloths

It’s just about impossible to keep your floors free of paint drops. But a good canvas or cotton drop cloth will do a better job than plastic sheets. Paint drops stay wet after they fall on plastic and you can track a single drop all around your house. Cloth drop sheets also stay in place better, they aren’t as slippery as plastic and they are safer for ladders.

If you’re looking for more expert advice about how to get the best results the next time you paint your home, call an interior painter in Saginaw MI.

Stump Grinding vs Stump Removal

Stump Grinding vs Stump Removal

Getting an unsightly tree stump out of your yard can be quite the ordeal. Small stumps look like they’d be easy enough to dig up or chop off, but this is rarely the case. Tree root systems often go much deeper than many homeowners anticipate. A job that looks like 2 hours instead turns into 12 hours. Luckily, you’ve got two options when it comes to taking care of that tree stump: stump removal and stump grinding.

In this article, you’ll learn the difference between stump removal and stump grinding, and when each option is best for your particular situation.

The Stump Removal Process

Removing a stump often takes heavy machinery, because tree roots spread far and wide underground. The most efficient way to remove a stump is by using massive force to pull it out of the ground. But, as you can imagine, you’re left with a gaping hole where the stump used to be. Plus, heavy-duty machinery has a tendency to tear up yards in the process, leaving you with a mess.

Stump removal is best used in a handful of situations. For example, if you’re clearing a lot to build on it, you’ll probably want stump removal. Or, if you want to plant another tree in the exact place where your old tree was, removal is your best bet. But, for most homeowners, stump grinding is the best option.

The Stump Grinding Process

Stump grinding also requires machinery, but not of the same kind as stump removal. Usually, a stump grinder is brought in, which is much more forgiving to your yard than the heavy-duty machines used for removal.

With the stump grinder, tree removal experts usually grind the stump down to a few inches below the soil. It does create a lot of sawdust, which you can use to cover the stump and as mulch. However, be aware that tree sawdust attracts termites. Many tree removal companies offer to haul off the excess sawdust for you for additional cost, but it is labor intensive and can be equal to or greater than the price of the grinding.

Stump grinding leaves the root system intact, which means you don’t have a massive hole in your yard. You’ll have a shallow hole about the size of the trunk itself, but it’s fairly easy to cover up with a little bit of soil. After many years, the trunk and tree roots will decay into the ground, meaning you don’t have to do anything with them. However, you won’t be able to plant a tree in that exact spot.

Stump Grinding and Stump Removal Cost

Every arborist is different when it comes to cost, but you can bet that stump removal will be more expensive than stump grinding. Removal is more labor-intensive and requires the use of heavy machinery that is sometimes hard to maneuver into yards, depending on the layout. Not to mention the cost of filling in the big hole that stump removal leaves.

Stump grinding is the more economical choice, usually being anywhere from $75 to $200 dollars less than stump removal. Of course, there is a small possibility that the decaying stump will sprout a new tree, but this is not usually the case.

Now you have all the information to make an informed decision. Unless you’re excavating or you insist on planting a new tree right where the old one was, stump grinding is your best option. Either way, working with a professional is the way to go. Both grinding and removing tree stumps require specialized equipment and experience. Avoid the headache and call a tree service for your stump removal needs.

Tree Pollen: Spring’s First Allergy Offender

Tree Pollen: Spring’s First Allergy Offender

When spring allergy season first starts, causing you to sniffle and sneeze, tree pollen is to blame. Trees start producing pollen as early as January in the Southern U.S. Many trees keep producing pollen through June.

What Are the Symptoms of a Tree Pollen Allergy?

Pollen allergy symptoms are commonly called “hay fever.” Pollen released by trees, as well as grasses and weeds, cause these symptoms. They include:

  • Runny nose and mucus production
  • Sneezing
  • Itchy nose, eyes, ears and mouth
  • Stuffy nose (nasal congestion)
  • Red and watery eyes
  • Swelling around the eyes

If you have allergic asthma and are allergic to tree pollen, you might also have asthma symptoms while the trees are pollinating.

Tree pollen is finer than other pollens. Because of this, the wind can carry it for miles. These light, dry grains easily find their way to your sinuses, lungs and eyes, making them hard to avoid. 

What Trees Cause the Most Symptoms?

Some tree pollen causes more problems than others. Some of the trees that cause the most symptoms are: 

  • Alder
  • Ash
  • Aspen
  • Beech
  • Birch
  • Box elder
  • Cedar
  • Cottonwood
  • Elm
  • Hickory
  • Mountain elder
  • Mulberry
  • Oak
  • Olive
  • Pecan
  • Poplar
  • Willow

Being allergic to some trees could cause you to react to certain foods. It happens because the tree pollen is similar to the protein in some fruits, vegetables and nuts.1 Your immune system gets confused and can’t tell the difference between the two. Eating these foods may cause your mouth or face to itch or swell. These foods may include apples, cherries, pears and more. This is called oral allergy syndrome (OAS). Birch and alder trees cause the most OAS food reactions.

In some cases, your tree pollen allergy may cross-react with some nuts, like peanuts or almonds. If you have mouth itching or swelling while eating nuts, you could have a more serious, life-threatening reaction called anaphylaxis, which is common with nut allergies. If this happens to you, call your allergist right away. 

What Can I Do to Relieve My Pollen Allergy Symptoms?

Thankfully, there are several options for relieving pollen allergy symptoms, available both over-the-counter and by prescription. Talk to your doctor or a board-certified allergist about your symptoms and treatment options. Your doctor might have you take a combination of medicines to keep your symptoms controlled. These medicines include:

  • Antihistamines
  • Decongestants
  • Nasal corticosteroids
  • Leukotriene (loo-kuh-trahy-een) receptors
  • Cromolyn sodium nose spray
  • If these medicines don’t completely relieve your symptoms, your doctor might also give you immunotherapy. This is a long-term treatment that can reduce the severity of your allergic reactions. It usually involves regular shots, tablets or drops you take under the tongue.
Gardening with Allergies

Gardening with Allergies

If you have asthma or allergies you don’t have to decorate your yard with stones and concrete. There are many plants you can use in your home garden that won’t affect your allergies. You can choose from several flowers, shrubs, trees and more.

So, even if your garden is more allergy friendly, pollen may still affect you in your neighborhood and when you travel both close and far away. Learn more creative ways to become more allergy savvy and reduce your impact of seasonal allergens. Many plants mate by releasing up to billions of pollen grains into the wind during spring, summer and fall. These include certain grasses, trees and bushes. You’ll want to avoid planting these types of plants in your garden. 

Instead, get plants that use only insects to pollinate. Their pollen grains are much heavier and don’t travel through the air as easily. Also, plant more female plants. Female plants don’t shed pollen and trap pollen from male plants.

Pollen from certain trees are more powerful than others. These include mountain cedar, olive and birch. During a long dry spell, these trees may actually release more pollen.

Some flowers, fruit trees and shrubs also have powerful pollen. Ask a local Chicago allergist to help you find allergy-friendly plants. Make a list of those you’d like to see in your garden.

Working Outdoors

When gardening, use these tips to reduce allergy symptoms:

  • Start taking allergy medicine a couple of weeks before pollen season starts.
  • Wear a NIOSH-approved face mask, hat, glasses, gloves and a long-sleeve shirt to reduce your contact with pollen.
  • Use gravel, oyster shell or plant groundcovers, like vinca or pachysandra, instead of wood chips or mulch. Mulch can hold moisture and encourage mold.
  • Ask family or friends (especially during peak pollen season) who don’t have allergies to mow lawns and weed flower beds.
  • Keep your grass cut around 2 inches high to help keep pollen from reaching too high into the wind.
  • Be careful about using hedges since their branches easily collect dust, mold and pollen. Keep them pruned and thin.
  • Keep your windows closed while mowing and for a few hours after.
  • Garden on windless or cloudy days when pollen in the air is usually lower. Also, garden in the early morning when pollen counts are also lower.
  • Shower and change your clothes right away when you go back indoors. Wash your hair to remove trapped allergens. Remember, if you are sensitive to poison ivy, sumac, etc., wash your gardening equipment too.
  • If you or someone in your family has a peanut allergy, be careful what gardening products you use. Some potting soils contain peanut shells.