Don’t let the (storm) door hit you on your way out!

Hey, what’s with that flimsy extra door that’s right in front of your front or rear doors? The one that’s got a screen in it (or was that glass, or both, or neither?). That often ugly door that visually blocks your front door’s curb appeal, making your investment in a good-looking front door seem pretty silly. That door that either doesn’t close all the way or closes way too fast, giving you an undignified public spanking whenever you enter your house.

They call it a “storm door,” although what it has to do with a “storm” is anyone’s guess. How could it be of any use in a storm? Is this your front door’s equivalent of slipping-on a windbreaker? Or maybe the storm door is a vestige from the days when houses used to have storm windows, before double-paned glass on windows made storm windows obsolete. Is it possible that similar technological advances indoor construction and weather stripping have made storm doors obsolete, but storm door companies have no particular interest in telling us that?

Do you really need a storm door? Honestly, in all our years in business we can only recall ONE request for a storm door where one did not previously exist, and even then it was a townhouse where adjacent units had one. A case of storm door envy? In every other case, it’s all been about repairing or replacing a storm door that was already in place.

But, let’s give the storm door industry its due and brain-storm all the reasons you might actually want a storm door:

  • Maybe it’s because they provide an extra layer of protection from wind, rain, and snow from penetrating your front door, especially if you don’t have a porch roof above it.
  • Maybe people like them because they keep pets from running out (or jumping on your friendly handyman!) when you’re talking to someone at your front door. A handy feature, but clearly not the reason they were invented, or they would have named them something like “Fido Doors”.
  • And maybe people like them because they let in a lot of fresh air, particularly when you’re running a whole house fan. They do provide a larger opening for fresh air than windows. Some people may even like the way they let in sunlight to a normally dark section of their house.

So for those of you who find the above arguments for storm doors compelling, bully for you. You know who to call to repair or replace them. Oh, that would be us, Fix St Louis.

But for those of you who view your storm doors as more of a nuisance, we bring you good news. Our skilled technicians regularly perform storm-door-ectomies, in which we not only unfasten, detach, and haul away old storm doors, we also restore whatever holes, mortises, cracks or unpainted-areas are left behind, so no one would ever suspect you even had a storm door there.

OK, inviting us over to your house to repair, remove, or replace a storm door may not be the most exciting thing to happen to you that day. But it sure beats a smart whack in the backside from a storm door.

Dr Steve
Fix St Louis
314-434-4100

Are You Living in a Crack House?  Let us mud, mortar, caulk & grout!

Can you never quite relax in your house because it’s always reminding you of what needs to be done?

You look up, there’s a crack in the ceiling. You look down, there’s a crack in the tile grout. You’re at the kitchen counter and there’s a crack at the top of the backsplash. You can’t take a relaxing hot shower or bath because there’s grout missing in the wall tiles and caulk missing along the top of the tub or shower base. You can’t even run outside to get away because there’s mortar missing in the brick walls or chimney.

OK, some of these cracks may be just a matter of appearance. And, who are we to judge if you don’t mind your kids’ friends reporting back to their parents — a.k.a. your neighbors — that there’s a crack house on their block? Or if you don’t mind those relatives who visit over the holidays making cracks about your housekeeping throughout the rest of the year?

But those cracks in your bathroom matter. They can let water enter the walls, rot the drywall and lumber behind them, and stain or damage the ceiling below.

And those cracks on the windows and siding of your house can let in rain, ground water, and all kinds of insects and other pests.

So, damage caused by cracks is not just limited to your reputation.

Call Fix St Louis today and let our crack team get to work. We’ve got joint compound, mortar, caulk, grout, and sealants of all kinds. We can even finish-off the cracks by smoothing out and painting these areas so that no one would ever suspect those lost years, when you let this kind of stuff fall through the cracks, and let your house go.

Why wait until just before the holidays to get your house in top shape for visitors? Get cracking! Let Fix St Louis help you enjoy your house all year long.

Dr Steve
Fix St Louis
314-434-4100

Are You Ready for Your Screen Test?

People talk a lot about protecting the planet, but does it sometimes seem like the planet doesn’t care all that much about protecting us?

We need to build houses to protect ourselves from snow, rain, hot, cold, water, wind, and animals of all sizes. And if we dare leave so much as a 1/4″ gap anywhere in the house to let some of that natural air come in, we’re rewarded with pesky little flying creatures, some of which even bite! Whose idea was this?

So, it’s not even enough to have screens on your windows, storm doors, and patio doors. They have to fit properly so that all gaps are closed. And they can’t have any holes or tears in them.

Now, you may not think that the average bug is particularly intelligent. But somehow, they are all members of Mensa when it comes to finding every hole or gap in your house big enough for them to fly through. Worse yet, this is the time of year they like to impersonate Hollywood directors, and they’re about to give each one of us a screen test.

So, if there are holes or tears in your screens, or Fido was getting a little impatient waiting to get out, you might want to call Fix St Louis.

Not only can we replace torn screens, we can also fix or replace those annoying sliding patio screen doors that get stuck or leave gaps. We can also upgrade you to newer screen materials that resist holes, tears, and damage from man’s so-called best friend.

At Fix St Louis, we’re looking forward to coming to a screen near you!

Dr Steve
Fix St Louis
314-434-4100

Turn on the A/C? Don’t touch that dial! Whole House Fan Season opens today

Now that the weather outside is starting to climb above room temperature, you may be tempted to start running your air conditioner and running-up your electric bills with it. We have some simple advice for you. Don’t.

Now, don’t get me wrong – air conditioning is great and all that. It has made the development of human civilization in St Louis possible despite our summers. But in the Spring & Summer, science has proven that the human species can flourish here better without it.

The secret is the use of an invention called the Whole House Fan, which everyone in the world, with the exception of me and the folks who print the boxes they’re shipped in, mistakenly call an “attic fan.” But, that is a hectoring lecture for another day.

A Whole House Fan is typically a 3′ x 3′ louvered rectangular object installed on a hallway ceiling, with a fan above it in the attic, and a wall switch nearby. When you turn it on and open screened windows and doors, it sucks in air from outside, and creates a gentle breeze of fresh air flowing through your house making it comfortable on all but the very hottest days. And, it’s especially good at night when it’s usually less than 72 degrees outside, bringing naturally air conditioned air inside. In fact, it’s even useful on most SUMMER nights, when the temperature dips to 72 degrees or below.

We at Fix St Louis are big fans of Whole House Fans. After all, who WOULDN’T prefer fresh air from the outside flowing through their home. OK, maybe not residents of Sauget, Illinois. But who else? Nobody.

Give us a call to install one this Whole House Fan season. BTW, there’s another one coming up in the Fall.

Dr Steve
Fix St Louis
314-434-4100

Think of us as Plastic Surgeons. For Decks.

While beauty may fade with age, we are not alone – it is a fate we share with our decks. They come into this world made of freshly cut lumber, and are even stained and sealed to preserve their appearance. But just like us, time, weather, the harshness of the sun, and gravity eventually take their toll.

We at Fix St Louis are proud to join the great tradition of our colleagues in the medical profession to reverse these effects, as we extend the practice of plastic surgery todecks.  We would ask that you give your deck a thorough examination for symptoms, and consider whether any of the following procedures may be right for you:

 

  1. Chemical Peel– Known more commonly as “power washing,” we direct water at high pressure at deck surfaces, combined with a chemical surfactant commonly known as “soap.” It washes away dirt, grease, and loose paint, opening the deck’s pores so that the stains applied immediately afterwards sink in and grip the surface to last longer.
  2. Surface Pigmentation– In this procedure, we stain and seal your deck, creating a pleasing, more uniform color while preserving the lumber to extend its life. We have recently introduced a more advanced method, using an elastomeric coating instead of stain. This coating expands and contracts with temperatures to resist cracking, extending the time between re-stainings by many years.
  3. Grafting– If you have some rotted boards, you don’t necessarily need a new deck – you may just need some boards replaced. We perform board transplant surgery that can greatly extend the life of your deck.
  4. Fascia Lift– Sometimes deck problems are more cosmetic than structural. We can re-secure or replace deteriorating boards that line the edges of your deck floor and railings of your deck.
  5. Post Operative Surgery– The posts that support your deck may not have been built upon a proper concrete pier foundation, so may be sinking or rotting from excess contact with water. We can perform the required reconstructive surgery. We can also tighten-up loose or wobbly deck and stair railings, and perform “dental work” on the pickets.
  6. Deck Augmentation– If you are embarrassed by the size of your deck and would like to increase its floorspace, we can handle that as well.

Call now for a free consultation, more commonly known as a “free estimate”. Unlike our medical peers, we DO make house calls.

 

Dr Steve

Fix St Louis

314-434-4100

MIRACLE CURE for guilt associated with not staining deck enough

Many may believe that the 3 greatest salesmen of all time were PT Barnum, Veg-O-Matic’s Ron Popeil, and Donald Trump.

But, I’ve got another candidate. It’s the fellow who convinced people with beautiful homes to attach a stack of raw lumber to the back, commonly known as a ‘deck.” These decks require an ongoing, expensive maintenance procedure called ‘staining’, which most people don’t do nearly often enough to keep them from deteriorating, and looking really, really bad – even those fancy-schmancy decks made of cedar.

But, it gets worse. Decks often lead to ongoing anxiety among homeowners who feel guilty they have let theirdeck go. In turn, this can lead to a mental condition called ‘deck avoidance,” shunning use of their decks because it exacerbates their guilt.

So, here’s the offer you’ve been waiting for. Fix St Louisis proud to announce there is now a MIRACLE CURE for both the physical condition of decks and the mental condition of their long-suffering owners. The mad scientists at Sherwin Williams have introduced a line of products that is neither a stain nor a paint, but leaves thedeck with a COATING of . . . well, maybe you should ask Sherwin Williams.

The technology behind these products, ‘elastomeric’, allows the coating to expand and contract with the temperature to resist cracking. It even fills existing cracks. Some claim this product can look great and last more than 10 years, although it appears that the lawyers at Sherwin Williams don’t permit their selling materials to brag.

But, that’s not all! This product is sold in a kit that includes folks who can apply it. That’s us! Call now for our always-free Fix St Louis estimate, and your free estimate will be absolutely free! Why suffer from deck-o-phobia one minute longer? Operators are standing by!

Dr Steve

Fix St Louis

314-434-4100