How to remove and clean your mini blinds

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Before you consider buying new mini blinds, you should consider cleaning the old ones. It’s a whole lot less money to clean them than it is to replace them.

Guest post today from Active Paving – Dublin patio specialistsfor many years.

Cleaning Mini Blinds, Cleaning Mini Blinds

The first thing you want to start with is understanding the types of mini blinds and what the manufacturer recommends for cleaning, because you don’t want to hire someone that does a different kind of cleaning, that’s not recommended for your blinds.

Before you consider buying new mini blinds, you should consider cleaning the old ones. It’s a whole lot less money to clean them than it is to replace them. The process is simple. To clean white vinyl mini blinds, fill your bathtub 1/3 with water, mix in 1/2 cup of bleach. Soak the blinds in this for about 30 minutes, then rinse well. Hang them up outside to dry. Even the string comes clean as well as the blinds.

When it comes to spring-cleaning, mini blinds are among the most over-looked items in your home. When was the last time they got a good cleaning? Just make sure you read the manufacturer’s instructions so you don’t damage them.

If you purchased your mini blinds from K-Mart and it cost you fifteen dollars, obviously you’re not going to clean that type of product. But if you have a custom blind that cost $100 a window, you want to keep them looking like new. The cost of cleaning runs from about $14 up to $32 per shade or blind, depending on the kind you have.

How to remove a double hung wood window

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Learn how to remove an old wood double hung window and install a vinyl replacement window.

Guest post today from Active Paving – Dublin patio specialistsfor many years.

Vinyl windows, replacement windows, how to install windows, installing vinyl replacement windows, double hung windows

Last week I told you how to measure your wood window openings to properly order your new vinyl replacement windows. This week I’m going to explain how to remove your old windows. The vast majority of wood sash double hung windows in America have the same specifications. Starting from inside the house and working out, you have a wood stop approximately 3/8″ X 3/8″. Then comes the lower sash (the sash is the piece of glass and surrounding wood frame). Then you have another wood stop (called a parting bead) between the lower sash and upper sash. This stop is approx. 1/4″ X 1/2″. Then you have the upper sash, and finally, the outside wood stop (called a blind stop) that is approx. 1/2″ X 3/4″.

Before beginning, be sure to wear safety glasses and gloves. The safety glasses will protect your eyes from debris, and the gloves help avoid splinters. The inside stop needs to be removed first. Try not to damage these,they will be re-installed after the replacement windows are put in. If you should happen to crack the old stops, you can take a piece to a hardware store or molding store to get replacement wood stops. If the stops have been painted to blend into the surrounding trim or wall, you need to put a flat screwdriver or putty knife into the indented area that separates the stop from the surrounding area. Drag the blade from top to bottom to chip away the paint. Then put a stiff blade putty knife into this seam and pry the stop away from the frame. Start in the middle of the stop where there is the most flexibility. Work the putty knife from the middle to the top, then from the middle to the bottom. The number of nails that were used to install the stop will determine how difficult removal will be. I have seen some stops that have just 3 nails, while others have had 6. Most of the time there will be stops around all four sides of the opening, but I have seen some openings that didn’t have a top stop, and others that had no bottom stop.

After the inside stops have been removed, you should be able to pull the lower sash out. If the windows were painted shut at some time, you might have to pry the area where the lock is located to separate the sashes. Now, once you get the lower sash out, it will still be attached to the cords that hold the window up when you raise it. Take a pair of tin snips and cut the cords while maintaining tension on them. The cords will recoil back into the assemblies. Take the lower sash and set it aside.

Next,we need to remove the middle stop, or parting bead. This piece is going to be thrown away, so you don’t have to be careful when removing this piece. The parting bead will be on top and along both sides. It’s never on the bottom. Take a screwdriver and tap it into the groove between the side frame and parting bead. Pry out. The bead is nailed into a recessed groove. When all of the parting bead is out, the upper sash will come out. If it’s painted to the outside stop, CAREFULLY pry the sash from the outside stop with a stiff putty knife. You want to avoid damaging the outside stop. Remove the upper sash the same way you did the lower sash, cutting the cords under tension.

At this point,you should have the inside stops removed and set aside to be installed later, both sashes removed, the middle stop or parting bead removed and discarded,and the outside blind stop left in place undisturbed. Check to make sure there are no obstructions in the opening such as nails,the metal tab at the bottom for holding in the old screen, etc. The final step is to take a stiff putty knife and scrape the inside face of the outside blind stops to get rid of any old caulking. This is the surface that the replacement windows are going to rest against, and we are going to want this area as smooth as possible. Clean up all loose debris from the opening, and you are now ready to install your replacement windows. That will be our topic for next weeks article.

John Rocco has been installing replacement windows since 1978. To learn more, visit How To Install Windows

How To Refinish Hardwood Flooring

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Whether you’ve just found a hardwood floor under your old carpeting or the wood floor you installed is looking a little beat, refinishing is the best option to bring out it’s inner beauty. Here are the steps you need to take to refinish your floors on your own.

Clear the Area

You need to remove everything you can from the floor area you are going to refinish. Sofas, curtains, tables, rugs, etc. Another, often overlooked, important thing is to block as much of the airflo…

Guest post today from Active Paving – Dublin patio specialistsfor many years.

wood floor refinishing,hardwood finish

Whether you’ve just found a hardwood floor under your old carpeting or the wood floor you installed is looking a little beat, refinishing is the best option to bring out it’s inner beauty. Here are the steps you need to take to refinish your floors on your own.

Clear the Area

You need to remove everything you can from the floor area you are going to refinish. Sofas, curtains, tables, rugs, etc. Another, often overlooked, important thing is to block as much of the airflow through the area as possible. While your finish is drying any airborne particles will stick and become part of the floor. Anything left in the area or those surrounding it should be properly protected while sanding. Dust covers and plastic blocking doorways are two of the best ways to accomplish this.

Before Sanding

You want to go over your floor and fill in any cracks or gaps in the wood. Use wood putty in visible areas and caulk along the baseline if necessary. If your floor was beneath carpeting, use diagonal pliers to remove any left over staples or remaining carpet padding. Then go around and sink any nails that may be sticking out as these can damage the sanding equipment.

Floor Sanding

You need to wear a dust mask and ear protection, sanding your floor might the noisiest, dustiest thing you ever do! You want to start your sander above the floor and gently lower it down. Be careful not to gouge your floor, it isn’t hard to do. Just remember to be gentle and let the sander sort of float along the surface of the wood. Also make sure you never let the sander sit in one place on your floor, it will leave a swirl mark in seconds that will take you hours to remove.

Sand with the grain of the wood. Move forward and backward over each row so you get a nice even sanding. The first pass is your rough pass, now you need to change to a medium grit paper and go over the entire area a second time. Then go over the floor again looking for cracks, gaps and nails. Use putty and sink any nail heads you see.

Now you want to use a palm sander with a fine grit paper for your final sanding pass. Once finished, vacuum the whole area including the walls and ceiling. You need to remove all particles, dust, and anything else that can stick in the you wood finish. Now it’s time to buff. Follow the grain in the wood and start in the middle of the room. After that your wood floor is ready to be stained, that’s it.