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Did You Know? About Wood

harwood and softwood treesBrought to you by your Southern MD deck and fence company.

It’s important to know about the wood your fence is made from.

Did you know woods that are harder, and heavier aren’t necessarily considered hardwood?  The terms hardwood and softwood don’t have anything to do with how dense a wood is.

Hardwoods are trees that have broad leaves, produce fruit or nut and generally go dormant in the winter.  Hardwood includes tree varieties such as oak, ash, cherry, maple and poplar.

Softwoods are trees that come from coniferous. These trees grow fast and straight generally making them less expensive than hardwood.  The term softwood is not meant to imply that it is weaker than those tagged as hardwood.  The softwoods include trees such as cedar, fir, and pine.

Decks and fences can be built from some varieties of hardwood, as well as, softwood.

For the many decking and fencing options available call Clinton Fence Company located in Waldorf Maryland.

 

Go Green with Real Wood

Go Green with Real Wood: Brought to you by a deck and fence company in Maryland

home improvementSo many decking materials in stores today … which one to choose? If a beautiful, usable, long-lasting deck is your goal — and you’d like to do your part to protect the environment — then the choice is obvious: real, natural, authentic wood.

Wood has been a part of outdoor living for centuries: the first pine sawmill was at Jamestown about 400 years ago. Look around: so many historic homes and sites feature wood — because it’s always been one of the best building products on the market. Wood is ever-present by the seashore (docks, marsh walkways, fishing piers, boardwalks), in the mountains (decks, arbors) and in backyards across the country (decks, gazebos, fences, trellises). Wood plays a starring role in high-traffic places, such as the Santa Monica Pier, the Destin boardwalk in Florida and the Ocean City boardwalk in Maryland. Look all around you at the beauty of wood — then bring that natural beauty home to your backyard.

A recent Life Cycle Assessment (cradle-to-grave study comparing pressure-treated wood with alternative wood/plastic composite decking) found that wood was, by far, the better product for the environment. A few findings from this study:

* Wood releases less greenhouse gases during production;

* Wood uses 14 times less fossil fuel than wood/plastic composite decking; and

* Wood decking production causes significantly less acid rain, smog and overall ecological impact than wood/plastic composite decking.

Additionally, pressure-treated wood comes from sustainable, well-managed forests — meaning the industry plants more trees each year than are harvested. Fact is, U.S. forests are healthier and more numerous than they were 100 years ago.

Pressure-treated wood is rot- and insect-resistant and readily available in both big-box stores and independent lumber dealers around the U.S. Current tested and approved preservatives are safe for use around children and pets –even veggies in your raised garden beds.

For more information on using real wood in your backyard and the complete LCA study, please visit www.realoutdoorliving.com

No need to search further for a deck company near me… save time Call Clinton Fence Company now.

Prioritize safety when power washing

Prioritize safety when power washing your deck, fences, and patios.

Wood deckPressure washers have various levels of power. Some may be effective for washing cars, while stronger settings are often most effective at cleaning home siding.

Patios, decks and outdoor entertaining areas often need some TLC. Homeowners looking forward to enjoying the warm air again often start their annual chore of readying such areas for the entertaining season in the spring, and cleaning outdoor furniture and entertaining areas is a big part of that process. Very often individuals turn to pressure washing machines to clean such areas; while pressure and power washers are effective, they also can be dangerous if homeowners don’t prioritize safety when operating these machines.

Pressure washing machines come in many varieties, and not all are created equal. Smaller, electric-powered systems may be effective for cars and boats but ineffective at cleaning grime on a house or driveway. Pressure washers also may have hot or cold water supplies. Hot water can help cleaning detergents emulsify dirt faster and more effectively than cold water. The cleaning capacity of these machines is measured in cleaning units — or the water pressure multiplied by the flow rate. The higher the cleaning units, the greater the cleaning power of the device. But more powerful tools also carry a greater safety risk, highlighting the importance users must place on safety when operating such machines. The following are a few safety tips homeowners can employ to ensure their next power washing project goes off without a hitch.

* Clear away furniture and any obstacles from the area where you will be cleaning. You want the area to be free of tripping hazards or items that can be damaged by the spray.

* Keep children and pets away from the area while the cleaning is taking place. Pressure washers are powerful, and highly pressurized water spray can cause injuries. Slips and falls on wet surfaces may occur, and high-pressure injection can happen when water and chemicals penetrate the skin and cause tissue damage.

* Eye and ear protection should be worn at all times when working with a pressure washer.

* Many pressure washers work better when used in conjunction with some type of cleaning solution. A combination of bleach and water will help loosen dirt and will require less pressure from the washer.

* As you grow accustomed to the power of the washer, it is best to adjust the nozzle to a wide angle fan and the lowest pressure setting to see how effectively it cleans a given surface. Increase pressure accordingly as the project progresses. Making the water stream too narrow could cause damage. It takes time to learn the subtleties of the machine, so users should allow themselves ample time to grow comfortable with the machine.

* Keep the pressure wand 10 to 12 inches away from the surface that needs cleaning. Make small passes and check the cleaned area, adjusting the pressure and stream accordingly.

* Begin in the farthest corner of a deck, driveway or patio and the highest spot of a home. Use slow, even sweeps with the pressure wand, being careful to maintain an equal distance from the tip to the work surface. This helps to ensure even cleaning and reduces the chances of streaks and overlapping of the pressure spray.

* When working on a home, avoid spraying the water at a steep angle under siding or directly into corners. Do not spray under the edges of window or doors. Use caution around dryer and attic vents as well. You may end up soaking the inside of the home or cause water damage unwittingly.

* Always use caution when operating a pressure washer while on a ladder. The power of the device can easily compromise your balance.

If ever you feel uncomfortable using the pressure washer, stop and consider hiring a professional. It is much better to make that investment rather than damage your home or risk injury.

Budget-friendly outdoor renovation ideas

A local Southern Maryland Fence Company shares: A little spray paint or some new cushions can refresh older patio furniture and give the outdoor space a completely new look.

patio furnitureHomeowners are increasingly extending their living spaces outside the walls of their homes. Expansive and intricate stonework patios and decked-out outdoor kitchens are the kind of additions many homeowners dream of. Those with unlimited budgets can enjoy just about any look they desire, but many homeowners may not have the money to go all the way with their outdoor living spaces. But that doesn’t mean it’s impossible to create budget-friendly spaces that are functional, fun and eye catching.

Decks and patios are popular gathering spots outside a home, and homeowners have numerous inexpensive options at their disposal when choosing patio materials. Talk to your local patio and deck professionals about all the options available to you.

The cost of patio blocks depends on the material and style. Poured concrete patios will cost less than placed blocks or stones because concrete is less labor-intensive. For those who desire the look of patio blocks without the cost, stamped concrete can mimic the look for less.

Homeowners may not need to replace patio furniture, even if chairs and tables have seen better days. A can of spray paint can cover up any rusted areas or spots where paint has peeled off due to exposure to the elements. Updating cushions and purchasing a coordinating umbrella can revitalize the patio’s entire look. Also, very often stores run sales to clear out merchandise for new displays.

Defining edges of planting borders and refreshing the landscape may be all that is needed to improve the yard. This is easily achieved with inexpensive mulch and some vinyl edging. While cleaning up the yard, use a pressure washer to clean stains off of siding and patios and create a like-new appearance.

End-of-season sales can also be the ideal opportunity to purchase big-ticket items like a pool, a hot tub or an outdoor fireplace/fire pit. Shoppers can learn when stores discount their merchandise to make room for new inventory and then use these sales as opportunities to save.

Sometimes saving means repurposing antiques or items found at garage sales. Thanks to the Internet, people can easily advertise items they no longer need or desire. A person can search for backyard items they need at a deep discount if they are fine with previously used materials. From patio furniture to masonry blocks to above-ground pools, patient homeowners can find just about any item they may need to upgrade their backyards.

Though not all homeowners can afford to create the backyard of their dreams, with a little ingenuity and some sweat hard work, homeowners can still create an outdoor oasis.

Call Clinton Fence for all your deck, fence and sunroom options.

How to check your deck for problems

How to check your deck for problems

PorchHomeowners in Maryland should periodically inspect their decks for signs of wear and tear to ensure their safety and that of their friends and family members.

Summer party season is in full swing, and that means scores of people will be relaxing with family and friends on their decks. But such gatherings are only as fun as they are safe, and responsible hosts and homeowners must inspect their decks for signs of trouble before hosting their first summer soiree.

Deck inspections

Deck inspections can be relatively simple, especially for those homeowners whose decks are newly built or recently refurbished. But even a new deck should be inspected at the start of the season to ensure the safety of all who will be spending time on the deck in the months to come. The following are a few tips to help homeowners spot trouble spots on their decks.

* Check the wood.

Split or decaying wood is a trouble spot that will need to be addressed. Such wood may feel spongy or break off without splintering, and those things are indicative of rot. Another sign of trouble to look for with regard to the wood is whether or not it has any holes. Holes may be a symptom of infect infestation, which can compromise the safety of the deck over time.

* Inspect the ledger board.

The ledger board is a weight-bearing board that connects the deck to the house. Over time, the gap between the ledger board and the house may widen. In such instances, simply tighten the bolts. When inspecting the ledger board, examine the flashing that surrounds it. Flashing prevents the buildup of moisture that causes rot, and when there is an issue with the flashing, it’s often noticeable because mud and debris has become stuck between the flashing and the exterior wall of the home. Clear any such debris and then seal the overlapping areas with caulk.

* Inspect support posts.

Support posts should be firmly connected to the beams below the deck floor. Loose connections between the support posts and beams should be tightened, and replace any bolts that need replacing.

* Inspect the surface.

The elements can be harsh on a deck, so inspect the surface to ensure there is no buildup of mildew, power washing any areas where mildew has started to accumulate. Different deck materials may need certain types of cleaners, so consult with the company who built your deck or speak to a local home improvement specialist to determine which type of cleaning solution your deck needs. Once the deck has been power washed, allow it to dry before applying any additional layers of finish.

* Ensure railings are not loose.

Grasp and shake the deck’s railings to ensure none are loose and all provide ample support for anyone who will be enjoying the deck. Balusters are the short pillars or columns that run perpendicular to the railings and the walking surface of the deck, and these should also be checked to ensure they are not loose. Youngsters may lean against the balusters when relaxing on the deck, so it’s imperative that none are loose.

Deck inspections ideally should be performed in spring before homeowners host their first get-together, and if any problems are discovered, everyone should steer clear of the deck until those issues have been addressed.

If you find problems with your deck call the professionals at Clinton Fence for available options.

Home Improvements That Pay You Back

If you add a fence, deck or sunroom to your home it will make it more appealing.

Fence, decks sunrooms increase the value of your home.

Home Improvements help sell your home.

Making your home more appealing means it will increase in value and be easier to sell.  Statistics show you will be able to recoup 65- 90% of the fence investment.  But best of all you’ll be able to sell your home quicker.  Contact Clinton Fence today for a free fence estimate.  301-843-1108

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Stay Safe When Sledding

Winter Time Safety Articles brought to by by one of the premiere fence companies in Southern Maryland, Clinton Fence.

sledding in Southern MarylandCharles County MD : One of the more popular wintertime activities, sledding attracts scores of participants every time a new coating of snow covers sloping hills. Although sledding can be fun, it also can be risky.

The United States Consumer Product Safety Commission says there are thousands of sledding-, snow tubing- and toboggan-related injuries each year. The majority of injuries occur to children age 14 and younger. Young children are vulnerable to injury because they have higher centers of gravity that can cause them to lose balance more readily. Youngsters’ coordination is not fully developed as well, which makes it difficult for them to steer and avoid obstacles.

When sledding, winter revelers big and small need to put safety first before racing down those slopes.

· Avoid collisions.

Check the sledding space carefully for any obstacles, including waiting children at the end of the run. The Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children’s Hospital says a vast number of sledding injuries are caused by collisions. These occur when a sledder bangs into something, like a fence, tree or another person. Bone fractures are twice as likely to occur from a collision than from falling off a sled. Making sure the coast is clear helps sledders avoid collisions.

· Dress children appropriately.

Treat sledding as you would any activity that involves a moving device. That means making children wear helmets to prevent head injuries. Head and neck injuries are common among children six years old and younger. Helmets considerably reduce injuries when worn correctly.

· Choose the right sled.

Sleds that can be steered with handles are generally safer than snow disks or flat sheets heading down a hill. Handles can prevent falls off of the sled, as they give a child something to hold onto.

· Sled feet-first.

Children should be instructed to always go down a hill feet-first. This way, should they encounter any obstacles, their boots will hit it first and not their delicate heads and necks.

· Follow the sled safety guidelines.

Read the instructions and safety guidelines for your sled. Heed the recommendation for the number of passengers on a sled at one time.

· Check the end of the slope.

Do not sled on driveways, hills or slopes that end in a street, dropoff or pond.

· Only allow sledding under adult supervision.

Children should have an adult with them at all times when sledding. Two adults is preferable because one can stay with a child should he or she become injured while the other goes for help.

· Use common sense.

Never sled in the street or on a highway. Do not ride a sled being pulled by a motorized vehicle.

· Sled only during daylight hours.

Unless sledding will occur in well-lit areas at night, it should be done during the day when visibility is best.

· Dress in layers.

Sledding can be a demanding physical activity. Dress in layers that can be removed if you get too warm. Sweating while sledding increases your risk of hypothermia. Adjust clothing layers accordingly for comfort.

Sledding is an enjoyable winter activity that can provide hours of fun and exercise. Sled safely so injuries do not ruin an otherwise festive afternoon.

If you need a fencing company in Southern Maryland this winter we hope you’ll call Clinton Fence.  Check back to this website often to see other helpful information.

 

Service Areas: Charles County, St. Mary’s County, Anne Arundel County, Calvert County and Prince Georges County. We also service parts of Northern Virginia and Montgomery County.

To Include the following areas of Adelphi | Aspen Hill | Beltsville | Berwyn Heights | Bethesda | Bowie | Brunswick | Burtonsville | Camp Springs | Capitol Heights | Cheverly | Chevy Chase | Clinton | Colesville | College Park | Damascus | Darnestown | District Heights | Dumfries | Forestville | Frederick | Frederick County | Ft. Washington | Gainesville | Gaithersburg | Germantown | Glenarden | Greenbelt | Haymarket | Hillcrest Heights | Hyattsville | Kensington | Kettering | Landover | Lanham Seabrook | Largo | Laurel | Laytonsville | Manassas | Marlow Heights | Mitchellville | Montgomery County | Montgomery Village | Montpelier | Mt. Airy | New Carrollton | New Market | Nokesville | Olney | Oxon Hill | Potomac | Prince George’s County | Prince William County | Quantico-triangle | Riverdale | Rockville | Silver Spring | Suitland | Takoma Park | Temple Hills | Upper Marlboro | Waldorf | West Bethesda | West Hyattsville | Wheaton | Woodbridge

Welcome Spring

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Welcome Spring with a Real Backyard!

As temperatures climb in Maryland, thoughts turn to the backyard: is it ready for spring? If your outdoor living space needs some serious TLC, here are some great ideas for creating a natural, authentic backyard oasis.

Get decked out. The heart of any backyard is a solid wooden deck. It’s the perfect spot for grilling, sharing family meals, relaxing with friends, playing with the dog, and enjoying nature. Whether you have a deck that needs a little updating or you’re thinking of building a new wood deck, contact Clinton Fence for information, design and construction.

Porch
Welcome spring with a real wood deck for a
natural, authentic backyard oasis.

Add an outdoor room. Already have a wood deck? Great! So what’s next for your yard? Brad Staggs, HGTV and DIY show host and producer, and a licensed contractor, offers a few ideas: “Think outside the box and create a lovely little outdoor living room for your family and friends with a screened in room on the deck.  Add a garden bench and a couple of chairs, and a table.    Involve the entire family by building a simple bench and chairs, and let Mom pick out the perfect flower for the arbor. Then, sit back, relax and enjoy the fruits of your labor of your new screened in deck!”

Keep it real. Your deck and other outdoor living projects should mesh with your backyard and be a seamless partner with nature. Pressure-treated wood is the best option for decks and outdoor projects. It’s beautiful, strong, durable and affordable. When treated properly, wood is impervious to rot and pests. And treated wood is proven to be people- and pet-safe. Sure there’s a little bit of upkeep — no building products are truly maintenance-free. Every spring when you clean your home and wash and wax your car for the first time, take a look at your deck and see if it needs a little cleaning or perhaps another coat of sealant. That’s all it takes.

Concerned about our forests? Choosing wood for any home improvement project is a very wise environmental decision. Thriving, sustainably managed forests create a healthier environment for all of us. Choosing forest products — wood — encourages US landowners to keep replanting trees. The forest industry plants more trees than they harvest every single year, ensuring wood will be around for generations to come. Wood is one of the only naturally renewable building products available, and the only energy it requires to manufacture it comes from the sun. You can’t get much more green than that.


Deck or Porch Permit

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Why do I need to get a permit to build a deck or Screen Porch?

wooddeckClinton Fence Company requires Permits for all of our Decks and Screen Porches. We carry all the decking materials you will need to build your deck.  All wood materials are ACQ (type of treatment used to preserve your wood with no toxic effects) and have a polymer type wax injected inside and on the outside.  We carry Vinyl decking, Composite decking and railing, and wood decking. We can install and obtain your permit, too!

There are several reasons and all are important.
Building codes are set up for your safety. When you apply for your permit at your local county office your drawings are checked for the code requirements for your project.
These requirements include but not limited to the following:

  1. •How many beams and posts you will need for proper sub-structure strength
  2. •The height of your railings or knee wall
  3. •The right height or rise of your steps
  4. •The spacing of your pickets for your railings
  5. •How the roof of your porch is attached to your existing home

These are just a few of the components of your project that are looked at, again all designed for your safety.

Homeowner Associations or HOA
So many neighborhoods have HOA requirements concerning any changes made to the exterior of your home.  Each HOA has its own specific process for obtaining an approval to do your project.  Some county’s require a copy of this approval before they will submit  a permit. If you are thinking in the near future of making any exterior improvement on your home it is best to start the process at least one month before you expect to start your project.  Typically it takes 4 to 6 weeks to get your HOA approval.

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