Think I am just thinking.

Words are but thoughts made visible.

PVC Decking – A Warning! – And a cure for White Staining!

  Well, we have now had our new deck for a couple weeks and had our first scare during the first week.  In an effort to protect our deck from dripping grease from the grill, we purchased a nice protective mat to lay down underneath the grill.

   With what turned out to be luck on our side in the long run, we had a couple days of rain the first week.  Having accumulated large amounts of water, we picked up the new mat to dry it out.  What we found underneath drew heartache and fear at what the cost was going to be.  For everywhere under the map the deck had turn white!  We first thought is was perhaps minerals or reaction from the water being heated in the Sun later in the day.  We tried cleaning the deck to no avail.  The white film remainded regardless of what we did.

   Consulting the TimberTech web site, when drilling down to the XLM information page, what I found at the bottom of the page was information which struck a note of fear.  The information warned of the danger of placing a Rubber based mat ontop of PVC decking due to chemical interation between rubber and PVC.  This has nothing to dowith TimberTech, but rather to do with chemical properties of rubber and PVC, regardless of the product.  The two items just do not play well together.

   So now I knew what caused the problem, but I had no clue if anything could be done about it.  So I did what any red blooded American would do, I wrote the company a “HELP” letter.  Using the company web site, I sent a message with what had happened and a request for if there was anything that could be done to repair the damage, hoping that replacement was not the answer. 

   Replacement would not have made us very happy as we had purchased a really nice big rubber backed mat which ended up whitening over six boards which are about 20 foot long.  Estimated replacement cost would have been around $300!

    The company wrote back the very next day with instructions which were somewhat surprising and which I was really hoping would work.  What the compay said to do was:

            1.) Get a heat gun (I used the wife’s hair dyer)

           2.) Heat up the surface of the deck, taking care to keep moving the heat gun around to prevent overheating, to the point where the white coloring fades and disappears from the surface of the deck.

     Though I wondered how this would work, I figured I had nothing to loose?  So, taking a long extension cord and hairdryer in hand, I proceeded to entertain my neighbor by sitting out on the deck, hairdrying my deck.  At first nothing seemed to happen, but then as the deck surface warmed up, suddenly the white film faded and disappeared before my eyes!  Though the hairdryer was slower than a heat gun it did the trick.

   So for the last week we have once again been able to enjoy the beauty of our new deck.  Now I need to figure out a better way to stop any grease dropping from the grill which seems to happen during slow cooking from the back of the lid.  But, regardless, I have learned a lessen and a little chemistry along the way.


July 3, 2009 Posted by | Household Improvements, Remodeling | , , | Leave a comment

Deck the halls with… Oh forget it!

   Is realize that “Deck the Halls” brings visions of the Christmas Holiday season to mind for most people.  Currently, just the work “Deck” brings to mind numbing sticker shock!  Who would have thought that in a time when housing costs are dropping, that trying to fix up just your old deck would cost almost as much as what we paid for our first house!

   Ok, the first house was a small country rural home back in the 70’s, but just the same, it was a whole house.  We currently have obtained multiple bids and have found that the costs go from “Holy Cow” all the way up to “You have to be Kidding!”  But alas, even the lowest bid is still near the cost of that three bedroom ranch, with a full basement.  Well, perhaps we will not count the basement, as it had a habit of trying to fill up with water each spring during the first snow melts of spring. 

    But again, it was a whole house we are talking about.  One of the things we really loved about our current house, is the big wrap around deck in back.  Little did we realize what it would cost us ten years later to replace the beast.  I refer to the deck as a beast as combining the main deck with the upper bedroom (smaller) deck and the smaller cement patio area off the deck, it does add up to almost 900 square feet of surface area to replace. 

     Now that I think of it, our first house was about 1,100 sq.ft.  So I suppose if you discount the fact that there are no walls, ceilings, or roofs on a deck; plus no piping, no electrical, no carpet, or no windows, you are paying probably about the same cost per sq.ft., once you take amost 40 years into account.  Well, at least that is what I am going to keep telling myself until I fully believe it.  I will let you know just how that works out for me!

April 29, 2009 Posted by | Remodeling, thinking | , | Leave a comment

Well, the Windows are in.

Though four days did not seem like a long time, the week did seem to drag on forever.  What with taking turns with the Mrs to run back and forth between work and home throughout the day, it really felt like we both were working two jobs throughout the week.  Maybe because we were?

Front entry is completed on the outside.

Front entry is completed on the outside.

Front office window has a new look.

Front office window has a new look.To the left, the new Kitchen window.


New window off the game room.

New window off the game room.


To the left, the new Kitchen window.

To the left, the new Kitchen window.

August 23, 2008 Posted by | Remodeling | , , , | Leave a comment

Holy Cow Batman, what happened to the bat cave?

  Ok, so we do not live in a Batman, our cave (home) sometimes needs just a little fixing.  First there was the back yard fence.  But no sooner was the exercise program project of rebuilding the back yard fence completed than the next project kicked into high gear.Cave opening number One, is made.

Amazing just how ugly a great big hole in the side of the house can look.

Second opening is made.

Second opening is made.

Opening number two is the same size as number one.  You have to admit, ventilation is good.
Opening number three, creates a problem.

Opening number three, creates a problem.

Opening number three is on the basement level and presents a little bit of a problem, when it is discovered that we might have a weak header over the old window…. What to do?  
 Just build a temp wall on the inside to help hold everything up while the work get done.  Luckily, the wood was in better shape than thought and the temp wall was not really required, but then waiting to see if things fall down is not really a good idea.
What happened to the entry?

What happened to the entry?The front Entry is not imune to the raviges of remodeling.The Batcave become Swiss Cheeze

No side of the house is save from the Batcave remodeling project. 
Yes, just as Scotty said to Captain Kirk, “There Be Whales of Holes Captain!”.  Well it was something like that anyway. 
Just when it was looking safe out in the back yard, along comes the Batcave’s new windows and doors project. 
Say, just how long are they supposed to leave these big opening in the house anyway?  Sure hope it doesn’t rain!

August 20, 2008 Posted by | Remodeling, thinking, thoughts | , , , , , | Leave a comment