How to Properly Clean Your Inground Pool

Who doesn’t love a relaxing or fun dip in the pool on a hot summer day? Having a swimming pool may require a good amount of maintenance, but the good times are well worth it. Be sure the enjoyment never has to stop from a dirty, unkept pool with these inground pool cleaning tips: 

Skimming and Brushing

Skimming your pool consists of cleaning all the debris and built-up algae off the top of your pool. To do this, you first want to make sure that you have a telescopic pole with a net attachment. Use the net to scoop out any leaves or debris you notice on the surface. Skim the surface daily to ensure there is no contamination. Make sure you have a brush attachment for your pole to clean the pool’s ladder, steps, and sides at least once every week. Both of these attachments should be regularly rinsed off and cleaned after use.

Vacuuming

The purpose of a pool vacuum is to clean the pool’s floor of any debris that made its way to the bottom. You can use either an automatic or manual vacuum. Manual vacuums are cheaper, but automatic cleaners will save you time since you don’t have to operate them yourself. Like at the surface, a lot of bacteria and debris build up on the bottom, so make sure the pool is vacuumed weekly.

Managing the Chemicals

There are various chemicals in your pool that make it safe and clean for you to swim in. Ensure it stays that way by checking the pool’s pH levels with a tester at least 2 or 3 times a week since weather and contaminants can alter it. The pH levels should be between 7.2 and 7.8 for safe use. Make sure to properly chlorinate your pool to kill any germs and bacteria with items such as sanitizing chlorine tablets or pool shock.

Check The Filter

The filter works to remove debris from your pool as well, so regularly check and empty it to make sure it stays functioning properly.


Exterior Home Care in Norwalk

If you have any further questions or need help maintaining your property, give the experts at Landmark Exteriors a call at (203) 838-3838.

How to Pick The Right Roof Shingle Color

Your home’s roof not only serves a critical purpose but also plays a significant role in your home’s overall aesthetic and appearance. Ensure your home’s exterior is complete by picking the right shingle color for your roof to match the rest of your home!

What to Consider When Choosing Your Roof Color

  • Where you live – In northern climates, natural sunlight has a slightly bluish hue, making gray and blue colors a safe option for your home exterior.
  • Temperature – Dark colors absorb heat while light colors reflect it.
  • Look at your neighbors – Looking at the roof colors of your neighbors can help you see what you like. Still, you may want to also consider how your home harmonizes with the surrounding environment, especially if you plan to sell soon.
  • Look at the other exterior elements of your home – Let all the different aspects of your home’s exterior guide you in your decision process. Make sure the color you pick for your roof will match the other elements.
  • Architectural style – Think about the architectural style of your home and make sure your roof color compliments that as well. Is your home more modern or traditional? Does it have a colonial, Spanish, or Mediterranean style of architecture?
  • Hide or standout – Do you want your roof to stand out from the other exterior elements, or do you want your roof to blend in more?

Matching Your Roof Color To Your Home

Here’s some guidance on what colors look best together based on the color of your house:

  1. Red – Dark brown, dark green, gray or black shingles.
  2. Blue – Black, gray, or white shingles.
  3. Beige/tan – Dark brown, black, dark red, gray, dark green, or dark blue shingles.
  4. Gray – Dark gray, black, dark blue, dark green, or white shingles.
  5. Brown – Dark gray, black, or dark blue shingles.
  6. Wood – Dark brown, black, or gray shingles.
  7. White – Just about any color shingles work!

Roofing in Fairfield County

If you are looking to get your roof redone, let the experts at Landmark Exteriors help you bring your vision to life. Give us a call at (203) 838-3838 for more information.

Do I Want Vertical or Horizontal Siding?

Are you interested in getting new siding for your home? 

We know that you want the exterior of your home to look attractive and leave a good first impression. However, we know you also want to make sure that you consider, like any other exterior home renovation, factors such as cost, installation, and durability. Siding is one of the critical components to your home’s exterior, and one of the first things you’ll need to decide is whether you want vertical or horizontal siding.

Here’s what you need to know when considering whether to get vertical or horizontal siding for your home:

Vertical Siding

  • Aesthetics – If you are looking to add uniqueness to your home, vertical siding is the perfect way to do just that. Vertical siding work to elongate your home and will undoubtedly help it to stand out from your neighbors.
  • Installation – Since this siding is more uncommon, the process will likely be longer and more difficult. There are also more steps in the process of installing vertical siding.
  • Durability – Vertical siding is very durable and less likely to suffer from water damage than horizontal siding.
  • Cost – The price for this type of siding will likely be slightly more expensive than with horizontal siding because it has more steps to the process and is much less common.

Horizontal Siding

  • Aesthetics – If you want a more traditional, sleek, clean look for your home’s siding, horizontal is the way to go. Most homes have horizontal siding and will probably never go out of style.
  • Installation – Since horizontal siding is just much more common, the installation process will most likely be quicker and easier.
  • Durability – Horizontal siding is also very durable, but there is the risk of water seeping underneath the siding strips and causing damage to your home.  If the siding is wood, this also opens up the risk of mildew and mold growth and will lead to a need for routine cleanings.
  • Cost – The price for this type of siding is often the cheaper option because it is much more common and quicker to install.

Home Siding Installation in Fairfield County

If you are looking to get new siding for your home, give the experts at Landmark Exteriors a call at (203) 838-3838 and let us help you achieve your perfect home exterior.

Pressure Washing Tips For Beginners

New to pressure washing? We’re here to help! Pressure washers can even be fun to use and give you quick and effective results when cleaning the exterior of your home. Pressure washing enables you to remove dirt, grime, and other stains from your patio, deck, fence, or siding to help your home look good as new! 

Make sure you’re getting the most out of your pressure washing with these helpful tips:

Your Pressure Washer Options

The pump to the pressure washer can be powered by either gasoline or electricity. So is a gas or electric-powered power washer better for you?

  • Gas – With a gas-powered pressure washer, you can clean more efficiently and faster than with electric because you there are a wide range of PSI (pounds of pressure per square inch) and GPM (gallons of water per minute) levels to use. Gas pressure washers are also cordless, and you don’t need to be near a power outlet. On the other hand, gas power washers require regular maintenance, need the oil changed periodically, are louder, and produce environmentally-harmful emissions.
  • Electric – With an electric-powered pressure washer, there are no harmful emissions, and you won’t have to worry about maintenance and oil changes. However, they are less powerful, and you need to be near a power outlet.

Tips for Pressure Wash Effectively

  • Preparation – Clear off any debris on the area you plan to pressure wash before starting. Lay tarps over any plants or furniture near you that you don’t want to get damaged.
  • Choose the right nozzle – The nozzle you choose will affect the angle and strength of the spray and depend on what material you are pressure washing.
  • Safety first – Always wear eye and hearing protection since pressure washers are very loud, and debris can spray back on to your face. Check that all the connections are secure, and your pressure washer has had proper maintenance.
  • Grip tightly – Hold the sprayer with two hands when starting to make sure that it doesn’t fly out of your hands.
  • Direction – Move the sprayer in an even, continuous motion up and down or side to side.
  • Be careful – Avoid windows as they could break, don’t use too much force on your home’s siding to avoid moisture leaking through, and stay focused on the task to prevent damage or injury.

Exterior Home Maintenance in Connecticut

If you need help maintaining, redoing, or refreshing the exterior of your home, let the experts at Landmark Exteriors help you by calling (203) 838-3838.

Why is my Lawn Yellow?

A beautiful, healthy, green lawn can be hard to maintain during the summer heat and there can be a load of different factors that are affecting its health and color. Seeing that your lawn is a sickly yellow color can be concerning and seem like a tough fix. But don’t worry! We’re here to help you figure out what is the reason for your yellow lawn and how to correct it.  Which of these could be the most likely cause of your lawn turning yellow?

Dryness

The most common cause of your lawn being yellow is that it is dry and desperate for some water. Excessive heat and sunlight will quickly dry out and damage your lawn if it isn’t getting any hydration. Set up a sprinkler or water it regularly with your hose to bring it back to life! 

Over Fertilizing

Fertilizer helps your lawn be green, healthy and keeps it growing. However, if you over-fertilize, your lawn will have an excess of nitrogen and will turn an unattractive yellow color. Putting mulch over these yellow spots can help draw out the nitrogen and correct the discoloration.

Dog Urine

If you have a family pooch or even multiple, they may be the culprit for your yellow lawn. Similar to fertilizer, dog urine has high levels of nitrogen that can burn out your grass turning it yellow in any spots that your dog urinates repeatedly. Watch where your dog urinates and use mulch to help get rid of yellow spots.

Insects

If you still can’t find the problem, you may need to get up close and look closely at the grass for insects or larvae. These little guys can eat away at the roots of your grass causing the color change. Use a proper insecticide to get rid of any of the insects or larvae eating at your grass.

Disease

Another cause for your yellow lawn could be disease that affects the healthy growth of the grass. These diseases are typically fungal, with the most common being fairy rings or snow mold. Use a proper fungicide to correct the problem.

Expert Exterior Care in Norwalk

If you have any questions or need help making sure your home exterior is in tip-top shape, give Landmark Exteriors a call at (203) 838-3838.

Common Connecticut Birds to Look Out For in Your Backyard

Bird watching is a great way to appreciate nature and all the amazing wildlife in your surroundings. Some of the most beautiful birds can be found in your own Connecticut backyard! Here are some of the most common birds to look out for while enjoying some fresh air at home:

American Goldfinch

These sweet little birds are easy to spot with their bright yellow plumage. Their black heads and tails help the yellow to pop even more. You’ll likely hear them making a very high pitch, short, chirping sounds. Make sure to leave out some birdseed specifically with sunflower seeds in it to keep these birds coming back!

American Robin

The American Robin is the state bird of Connecticut, so of course, you’ll be seeing them around! Their coloring varies but they typically have a gray or black head, red chest, and brown back. Their diet consists of insects, worms, fruits, and berries. Because of their diet, they can stay up north much longer than other birds as they can rely on eating winter berries.

Baltimore Oriole

The Baltimore oriole, with colors of yellow and black that match their cities baseball team, might be far from their original home in Maryland up here in Connecticut, but can actually be found all over North America! Their thick, pointed beaks allow them to eat insects, fruit, nectar, and seeds. Listen for a loud, bold, echoing chirp if you think one might be around.  

Barn Swallow

Barn swallows are the most widespread of the swallow species and can be found all over the world. When it comes time for their breeding season, they often use man-made structures, often barns, to make their nests, hence how they got their name! They have beautiful, deep blue colored wings with sometimes white spots, with an even darker blue tail, and reddish-orange face and chest. Look out for these swallows as they dive down quickly to catch their preferred prey; insects!

Black-Capped Chickadee

These birds are highly characterized by their bold and curious nature. They can often be seen eating directly from people’s hands and are not afraid to get up close and personal. Just like the name, they have a black head and chin, with white by their cheeks and chest, and a dark tail. Black-capped chickadee’s love to eat their favorite caterpillars and other insects, but will resort to eating winter berries so they can stay up north during the cold-weather seasons. To help them survive, they also like to store food in secret hideaways that they can recall for up to 28 days after hiding food there!

Northern Cardinal

The iconic northern cardinal can easily be spotted with their bright red plumage and dark-colored face. These birds love to eat seed and will sometimes even feed each other when seeking a mate. These birds as well love to get loud and have a variety of different sounding chirps depending on what they are trying to tell their fellow northern cardinals.

If you need help fixing up your outdoor space so that you can enjoy being outdoors on your own property, give Landmark Exteriors a call at (203)838-3838 and let us know how we can help you.

Tips For Protecting Your Home From Heavy Rain

Don’t let a rainy day dampen your mood even more than it needs to.  Heavy rain can cause serious damage to your home if you’re not doing what’s necessary. To ensure your home is ready for whatever summer storms we have ahead, here are some things to consider:

Get Your Roof Inspected Regularly

Your roof is what directly protects the inside of your home from the rain. However, a damaged or neglected roof can easily lead to a leak or flood. That’s why it’s important to get a roof inspection done, so you can avoid any costly problems down the road.

Make Sure Your Gutters Are Clean

Gutters work to drain rainwater from the roof away from the house. If they’re clogged, the backed up water can cause damage to the gutters, roof, yard, driveway, and foundation of your home making it very costly to fix. Clean your gutters at least twice a year to keep them functioning properly.

Check The Seals Around Your Doors And Windows

Look at all your doors and windows and see that they seal completely when closed. You can often feel a draft or breeze in poorly sealed areas. If not, make sure to reapply caulk to get the right seal so that no water can enter. If your windows or doors are made from wood, make sure they are properly repainted and stained to prevent rot.

Check Your Property For Low-Lying Areas

Have a professional, or do so yourself, and look for areas all across your property for low-lying areas that can easily become too saturated when it rains and can cause costly damage.  

Install a Sump Pump

Is your basement or crawl space subject to a yearly summer flood? It’s time to invest in a sump pump. Sump pumps are used to drain water out of the inside area where they’re installed to outside of the home and will make those summer floods less of a worry. 

If you need help protecting your home from heavy rain or need any repairs done, call Landmark Exteriors at (203) 838-3838 so we can help!

How Often Should My Gutters Be Cleaned?

Gutters serve an important function to our houses in making sure that they guide and transport rainwater off of the roof and away from the foundation of the home.  Unfortunately, that also means that unwelcome items such as leaves, dirt, and sticks can get stuck in them, leading to a clog that prevents them from doing their function. Because of this, it’s important to clean them out and get rid of any debris.

 It’s not easy to take a look at your gutters and spot any issues making it tough to know if there’s a problem.

So, how often should they be cleaned?

Like many other areas of home cleaning and repair, how often you clean your gutters depends on other factors such as the amount of rain you receive and the number of trees that hang over your roof and gutters. Ideally, it is best to keep in mind that you should clean your gutters at least twice a year: in the spring and in the fall.  Specifically cleaning your gutters during these two seasons when the temperature changes greatly, there are more storms, and more leaves and debris fall from the trees.

What happens if they’re not cleaned?

If there is a clog in the gutters, water can’t freely flow through, and it will sit there. Leaves sitting in the still water can grow mold that you don’t want to get inside your house. Sitting water also attracts bugs. Other problems that can arise are flooding in your house, damaged roofs, cracks in the home foundation, and yard or driveway damage. All of these problems can be very serious and costly to fix.

If you need professional help cleaning your gutters that’s quick and easy or help correcting the damage that your gutters have caused, give Landmark Exteriors a call at (203) 838-3838.

Tips for Maintaining Your Wood Fence

Wooden fences make great additions to your property for privacy, security, and beauty. With a typical lifespan of 15 years, it’s only natural that your wood fence might start to rot over time. However, with proper care and routine maintenance, you might be able to stretch that lifespan for another five years. 

If your wooden fence needs some TLC, here are some tips to consider:

Practice Routines Inspections and Repairs

At least once a year, you’ll want to take a walk along your fence and look for any possible damage or issues that need to be addressed. Some of these issues could be rot, insect damage, overgrown bushes or vines, broken pieces, loose nails or screws, or posts that have become loose from the ground. Correct any of the issues on your own if possible by cutting overgrown bushes or vines, hammer in any loose nails or tighten any loose screws, and fix any broken pieces.

 If significant issues are present or you don’t feel comfortable taking on the task, consider getting your fence professionally repaired if needed.  

Check Your Sprinklers

Water from your sprinklers can cause discoloration and rot of the wood. Make sure that your sprinklers are aimed away from your fence. It will also help you reduce your water waste, too.

Give it a Good Cleaning

Give your fence a good cleaning at least every two or three years. You can do this by clearing off any dirt or moss and power washing the fence. If you can’t power wash, scrub the fence with a formulated wooden fence or deck cleaner and a long-handled brush. If you notice any mildew, mix a solution of 20% and 80% mild detergent and spray it over the area before washing. This will kill any mold and prevent it from growing back.

Reapply Paint and Stain

Coat your fence with a water-repellent coating to prevent water damage after it has been thoroughly washed. To reduce your chance of rot and discoloration, consider reapplying any paint or stain to your fence at least every three years.  

If you need help maintaining or repairing your wooden fence, give Landmark Exteriors a call at (203) 838-3838 for more information on how we can help you. 

Fun Family Activities For the Backyard

Your backyard is the perfect place to spend time as a family and get the kids active and out of the house.  With the weather getting warmer and nicer every day, being outside is becoming more and more enjoyable! To get your family to soak up some sun, consider these below activities: 

Games Galore

There are plenty of fun games to play outside as a family.  There are of course the traditional fun games to play such as tag, hide and seek or a scavenger hunt. There are also a wide variety of sports you can play or try out as a family such as soccer, whiffle ball, football, or badminton. Why not get creative and make your own ring toss, corn hole, or bocce game?  There are so many options that can be played by people of all ages right in the comfort of your own yard! 

Opt For Some Water Fun

If you have a pool you can jump in, go right ahead! If not, grab the sprinkler, gardening house, or even fill up some water balloons and have fun in the hot weather!

Let’s Eat

Take your family meals outdoors! Fire up the grill if you have one, eat dinner on your patio set instead of the kitchen, or go picnic style. Just don’t forget dessert, after all, it’s not summer without some s’mores!

Get Swinging

Do you have a sturdy tree branch in an open space in your backyard?  Give making an easy rope swing a try! With only a few materials needed and plenty of ways to make one, a rope swing will be a lot of fun making and enjoying all summer long.

Make a Garden

Get together and plant and decorate a family garden in an area of your backyard. Consider planting flowers or even make it a vegetable garden and decorate with painted rocks, stones, and shells. 

Movie time

Do you have a projector somewhere in the house? Grab the popcorn, pillows, blankets, and lawn chairs; it’s family outdoor movie night! Set up a white sheet against the house or on the lawn and project a favorite family movie or show you can all enjoy together.  Perfect for a warm summer evening!

If you need any help perfecting the exterior of your home, give Landmark Exteriors a call at (203) 838-3838 for any questions or information on how we can help you!