Next on Deck: Re-seal or Replace?

While the climate in our nation’s capital has been harsh this winter, our weather has been relatively mild. Many St Louisans are already venturing out onto their decks.

Unfortunately, many don’t like what they see. Rotted boards, washed-out stain, boards with cracks, wobbly rails, and a general sense that their decks are just yucky.

So, what can be done about your deck? Get it repaired? Re-stained? Replaced?

The good news is this: If you like your deck, you can keep your deck. You don’t have to tear it down a build a new one. That’s because Fix St Louis can:

  • Replace rotted floor boards, stairs, rails, joists, fascia, ledger boards, and every other part of a deck’s anatomy.
  • Replace all your floor boards with no-maintenance composite boards that will look great now, and will look just as great 10 years from now.
  • Repair or replace failing posts and the concrete piers they sit on, or at least should be sitting on if they were built right in the first place.
  • Stop leaks from your deck into the side of your house caused by missing or damaged flashing.
  • Powerwash and stain your deck – only this time with Sherwin Williams elastomeric coating which looks terrific, fills cracks, and turns staining your deck from an ongoing chore into something you’d only do as often as painting your house.

This season, make a pledge that you won’t be a do-nothing household. You’ve got the power, and Fix St Louis has the people, to make your deck great again!

Dr Steve
Fix St Louis
314-434-4100

Feeling all insecure inside about your security lights outside?

It’s getting dark a bit earlier these days, ESPECIALLY now that daylight savings time is over. So now those lights on the sides of your house are even more important. But, we find that most homeowners are always feeling a little insecure about their security lights.  They’re never quite sure whether or not their outdoor lights are working, or even what makes them turn-on.

They can never seem to answer some basic questions. Is there a wall switch somewhere that needs to be turned on and, if so, is it possible someone turned it off? When was the last time I checked to see if all the bulbs were on? Are the lights supposed to go on when it gets dark? Or when someone moves in front of them? Or when it is both dark AND someone moves in front of them? Or maybe it’s on a timer? And maybe that timer wasn’t reset the last time we lost power.

In all fairness, it’s NOT that easy to check whether your outdoor lights are working. When you’re checking an inside light fixture all you have to do is flip a nearby switch and see it with your own eyes. But for outside lights, if there actually is a switch, it’s not nearby and it’s inside, so you’d have to go outside after flipping the switch. And then, during the day how do you check a light fixture that only comes on at night? And, just what wild and crazy motion do you have to perform in front of your motion-detecting light to get it to turn-on? And, what will your neighbors think when they see you doing it?

The fact is that dealing with outdoor light fixtures is not a natural do-it-yourself project. To add an outdoor light fixture, would you know how to run wires through your walls and ceilings, then through an outside wall? How would you know the power is off before you touch the wires? And, do you really want to do all this stuff while standing on a ladder?

You can make this all quite simple by letting our bright technicians at Fix St Louis be your guiding light. We can diagnose your lights, fix them, change bulbs, add new fixtures, and give you sound advice on which lights should be timed, motioned, dusk-to-dawned, or simply just switched.

Don’t keep your prowlers in the dark. Let Fix St Louis help you send them scurrying!

For a Better First Impression, Think Outside the Mailbox

unnamedIt’s one of life’s great mysteries. Why do so many people living in upscale subdivisions have mailboxes fit for an Old West ghost town? Posts are slanted like old tombstones, mailboxes are rusted, and the posts look like something you’d hitch a horse to.

They spend so much time and money on flower beds, siding, and exterior painting, and yet the very 1st thing that 1st time visitors see, when finding the house for the 1st time, is a mailbox that makes a bad 1st impression.

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Deck Restore – How to Stain Your Deck Less Often

Deck restore St. Louis ideas. Fix St. Louis blog
Image: abram via Flickr

Can you never really enjoy using your deck unless you choose not to look at it? There are splinters and cracks you don’t quite know what do about. And it looks like it needs to be stained but you don’t want to spend that kind of money too often.

Well, the deck industry has actually been working quite hard to meet the needs of deck-owners like you, even though they haven’t done a particularly good job telling you about it. They realize most people don’t really enjoy spending the time and money to stain their deck, and are willing to trade-off maintaining its natural appearance for the opportunity to stain it less frequently.

Below you’ll find our “6 Degrees of Restoration” if you are seeking to stain your deck less often!

The 6 Degrees of Restoration When it Comes to a Deck Restore

1. Transparent Stain: Highlights the wood’s natural appearance, but provides the least protection. You may have to stain every single year to protect the deck from weather.

2. Semi-Transparent Stain: Contains some pigment and more protection. So, prepare to stain every other year.

3. Solid Color Deck Stain: Now we’re getting more serious about protection, and less serious about highlighting the wood. Ought to last 4-5 years before you need to stain again.

4. Deck Paint: So, let’s forget about the wood’s natural appearance and concentrate more on overall color and protection. Maybe we’re up to every 5-6 years now.

5. Deck Restorer: Oh, there’s wood under there? Now we’re talking about layering a new thin surface over the deck boards, perhaps even filling in all the cracks and masking the wood’s overall texture. Some manufacturers claim this product will last for 12 years.

6. Composite Decking: If you like the look of wood but don’t care whether or not it’s real, NEVER want to stain your deck again, and your financial situation is comfortable, this is the right solution for you. Replace your wood boards with these. Call us and we’ll show you samples.

If you want to stain less and enjoy your deck more, give us a call and we’ll figure out the right solution for you.

Dr Steve
Fix St Louis

It’s Time to Repair, NOT Stain, Your Deck

This recent warmer weather is now drawing people into their backyards, where they catch their first glimpse of the condition of their wooden decks. And for many, it ain’t a pretty sight.

If you don’t like the deck you see, your first instinct might be to stain or paint it, thinking it will cover-up all your problems, so you can go on enjoying it again. Oh, if only life were that easy.

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Deck Maintenance: 7 Tips To Stain Your Deck Less Often

In a recent national survey, it was revealed that when it comes to critical activities adults are most negligent about, ‘not staining their deck’ was ranked at the top, 2nd only to ‘not flossing’. OK, so I totally made that up. But, you get the idea. We know that not staining a deck frequently enough will lead to rotted wood and costly repairs, just as we know that not flossing will lead to rotted teeth and dentists driving late-model cars.

But, staining a deck does not come cheap, so you don’t want to have to do it very often. According to Home Depot, staining a deck costs the average homeowner $600-700. (And this time, I did NOT totally make that up!). The moral here is proper deck maintenance can save you money in the costs associated with staining your deck,  just like flossing can save you money at the dentist and save your teeth.

So, here are 7 tips that will allow you to stain your deck less often:

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