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3 Tips To Help You Pry More Life Out Of Your Plywood Siding

Posted by on 8:07 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Tips To Help You Pry More Life Out Of Your Plywood Siding

If you are planning to build a new home for you and your family, you will quickly find that there are several siding options on the market. It is best to choose your siding wisely based on lifespan, maintenance, and overall cost. Plywood siding, while not as popular as it once was, is still a great choice. It offers a natural wood look that many homeowners love. Of course, all wood siding is susceptible to rot and other issues, but there are ways to prolong the life of plywood siding. Treated vs. Untreated Plywood and other wood sidings typically have a lifespan between 30 and 50 years. One of the main components that can shorten the lifespan of a wood-based siding is moisture. Moisture is the enemy when it comes to the siding on your home. Of course, there is no way to stop rain from falling or humidity from building in the air, so protecting your siding may seem impossible. One way to ensure your plywood siding does not experience too much damage is to purchase treated plywood panels. Untreated plywood typically costs less than treated plywood, but treated plywood is less susceptible to rot. If left untreated, your siding may become the target of rot related to moisture, bugs, and birds, such as woodpeckers. Treated wood offers more strength and durability, therefore providing you a longer lifespan. Staining Options Staining your plywood is always a great idea if you wish to add a touch of color to your home. Stain is available in a variety of colors, although your color options are limited compared to vinyl and other types of siding. However, stain does more than just add color to the exterior of your home. The right stain can protect your plywood siding from elemental exposure. Choose a water repellent stain to paint over the wood in order to prolong the lifespan of your siding. If you are unable to locate a water repellent stain, you could always treat the wood with a water repellent base, stain it, and then apply a stain sealer. It is recommended that you reapply a layer of water repellent and stain at least once every 5 years for best results. The water repellent layer will repel moisture off the siding, therefore offer a protective layer against the threat of moisture damage. Instead, when the water hits the siding, it will form beads of water that slide off the siding rather than collecting there and soaking into the wood. Water that soaks into the wood siding can cause it to expand and eventually rot. Guttering Yet another way to prolong the life of your plywood siding is to add guttering to your home. Guttering redirects water away from the side of your home, therefore preventing water from running down the siding and causing damage. Make sure you have gutters properly installed along all sides of your home. For best results, perform gutter maintenance annually or semi-annually. It is highly recommended that you clean out your gutters between the fall and winter seasons and again between the spring and summer season. Clogged gutters can cause damage to the gutters, which may in turn cause leaks or a buildup of moisture that pours down the side of your home. Use a ladder and a...

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How To Install A Pop-Up Drainage Emitter To Keep Water Away From Your Home’s Exterior

Posted by on 8:00 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How To Install A Pop-Up Drainage Emitter To Keep Water Away From Your Home’s Exterior

Keeping moisture away from the exterior walls of your home’s basement is an important step in the fight against interior flooding. Unfortunately, while basements often utilize drain tile to help capture excess water, rain runoff during storms can lead to enormous amounts of water being dumped into the soil next to the home’s exterior. A gutter system can help control the flow of water, but downspouts merely concentrate rainwater in one spot near the home. That’s why it is important to divert the water to a location away from the home; one way to accomplish this is by using pop-up drainage emitters. These handy systems redistribute rainwater to a remote location where it is needed. Below is how to install a pop-up emitter on your property: Tools and materials needed 3-inch diameter corrugated high-density polyethylene (HDPE) drain pipe 4-inch diameter pop-up drainage emitter with elbow coupling Gravel or rock chips screened to ½-inch diameter Silicone sealant Shovel Corrugated downspout connector ⅛-inch diameter sheet metal screws Electric drill with 1/16-inch diameter bit Tape measure Hacksaw Step-by-step installation procedure 1. Determine where you wish to place the pop-up drainage emitter – The most important factor in choosing where to place the emitter is the distance from your home. At a minimum, the emitter should be no closer than thirty feet from the nearest exterior wall, and further away is better. As for other considerations, think about which areas of your property require more irrigation than others; for example, a garden that needs frequent watering may benefit from the extra water provided during a storm. In addition, place pop-up emitters in locations where they are away from heavy foot traffic in order to prevent tripping and accidental damage to the emitters. Once you have determined where to place the pop-up emitter, measure the distance from your chosen spot to the nearest downspout; this will determine how many feet of HDPE drain pipe you need to buy. Cut the pipe to length using a hacksaw. 2. Dig the drain pipe trench – After choosing the location for the pop-up emitter, you can begin digging a shallow trench between the downspout and the emitter. The trench should be dug to a depth of 2-feet and a width of 6-to-8 inches and either be made level or sloped downward while leading away from the house. Though this depth is relatively shallow, be careful not to cut any buried cables or lines while digging. Always contact your state’s utility location service, and representatives will locate and mark buried utilities. After the trench has been dug, place a 2-inch deep layer of gravel or rock chips on the bottom of the trench to provide support for the drain pipe. Level the gravel as much as possible to provide an even, stable surface for the pipe. 3. Attach the drain pipe to the downspout – Attach the downspout connector to the end of your downspout using sheet metal screws and seal the joint with silicone sealant to prevent leaks. At the other end, slip the drain pipe over the connector and apply a line of silicone to increase the adhesion between the two components. 4. Lay the drain pipe and install the pop-up emitter – Once the drain pipe is connected to the downspout, lay the length of the...

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Can You Heat Your Home Without Electricity?

Posted by on 10:29 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Can You Heat Your Home Without Electricity?

If you live in a part of the country with higher-than-average electricity costs, you may be searching for anything you can do to reduce your monthly electricity consumption. Unfortunately, heating your home — even using oil, propane, or natural gas as fuel — can raise your electric bill, as the process of igniting this fuel and blowing the resulting warm air through your ducts requires some sort of power source. If you’re determined to reduce your energy bills, you may benefit from a more efficient type of heating system that can draw its electrical needs from solar power, rather than from your home’s wiring. Read on to learn more about how you can completely eliminate the use of electricity when heating your home. Exterior wood-burning stove  Unlike interior wood-burning stoves, which don’t generally have a blower fan and operate on the principle of radiant heat (while venting smoke through a chimney), exterior wood burning stoves are installed a safe distance outside your home. These stoves vent smoke through a stovepipe and funnel the heat produced by the wood combustion through buried pipes and into a pump inside your home, which diffuses the heat through your ductwork. In this way, an exterior wood-burning stove is similar to a propane or natural gas furnace, simply with a different (and more energy-efficient) heating source.  Because these stoves use a blower motor rather than radiant heat, they do require a small amount of electricity to keep this motor running and air circulating throughout your home. Fortunately, this energy threshold is low enough it can generally be obtained entirely through solar power — even if you live in cloudier climates.  By installing a small solar panel and battery near your blower motor, you’ll be able to collect and store solar energy that can be used to power this motor and heat your home. Even if you experience a few cloudy days and can’t collect much power during this time, you’ll be able to take advantage of the stored solar energy in your battery to serve as a backup. This will allow you to heat your home at all times — even during lengthy power outages — and can help avoid expensive problems like frozen pipes. Geothermal heat pump  Another type of heating and cooling system that operates on very little electricity and can easily be sustained with a solar panel and battery is the geothermal heat pump. These pumps derive hot and cold air from water flowed through pipes buried beneath the ground. As this water flows through the buried pipes, it reaches the same constant cool temperature found in caves or other openings beneath the earth’s surface. In winter, a small compressor is used to extract heat from this temperate air (much easier than extracting heat from subzero temperatures outside). In summer, air is flowed over these cool pipes and then circulated throughout your home.  Because these heating systems don’t depend on any external fuel source, they’re low maintenance and ultra energy-efficient. You should be able to power a geothermal heat system using only solar electricity, and the purchase and installation of a solar-powered geothermal system could save you money at tax time by qualifying you for a number of federal energy-efficiency and home improvement credits.  The best electricity-free heating option for your home...

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What You Need To Know About Fall Safety And A Full-Body Harness

Posted by on 8:37 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on What You Need To Know About Fall Safety And A Full-Body Harness

When you’re working in an elevated environment, whether you’re on a roof or an elevated platform, you need to prioritize your safety. It’s essential that you take steps to limit your risk of falls and to protect yourself from injury in the event that you do slip. You might think that you’ll have plenty of time to recover your balance before you fall, but the truth is, you may not be able to react quickly enough, or there might not be something in reach that you can grasp to keep from falling. Safety harnesses are one of the most important investments you can make in this situation. Here are some tips to help you choose the right safety harness for your needs. The Advantage of a Full Body Harness A full body harness is a great investment for anyone working in elevated environments. These harnesses have straps that slide over your shoulders, a strap that crosses your chest and straps that go around your legs. What makes these harnesses such a great investment is the fact that their design distributes your weight more evenly to help absorb some of the force if you slip off the work area. This may result in fewer injuries than a strap system that just fits around your legs, which concentrates your weight on the single strap sections around your thighs. The Importance of the Right Size and Structure In order for you to get the most possible benefit from a full-body harness, you need to choose both the right size for your body and the right structure. Look for a harness that has a D-ring in the center of the harness back. The straps should have reinforcement on each side of the D-ring as well, because that extra support may be necessary in the event of a fall. Each harness manufacturer has a unique size chart, so make sure that you consult the size chart before you buy. If you’re shopping for harnesses for a large group, consider investing in adjustable harnesses with locking straps. That way, you can size them to fit each person and then lock the straps in place. If you’re shopping just for you, though, custom-fit is best. Look for a harness that’s sized either according to your height and weight or your body measurements. You’ll have to measure around your chest, the length of your torso, and the space around your thighs. This will help you to get a harness that fits you properly. The Process of Harness Inspection Every time you get ready to use the safety harness, you need to be sure to conduct a complete safety inspection. This will help you identify any potential signs of wear that could put your safety at risk. Some of the things you’ll be looking for include thin spots, frayed fabric and any other obvious physical damage. If your harness is visibly damaged, don’t wear it. Wearing a damaged harness will put your safety at risk. Buckle Components – Safety harnesses are equipped with friction buckles. The buckles interlock, so if any of the pieces are cracked, nicked or bent, it’s important that you replace them. You should be able to get new buckles from the manufacturer. Webbing – Most safety harnesses are designed with webbing in the areas...

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Thinking Of Joining The Tiny House Movement? Maximize Your Living Space With French Patio Doors

Posted by on 9:56 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Thinking Of Joining The Tiny House Movement? Maximize Your Living Space With French Patio Doors

If you’re thinking of downsizing and becoming part of the Tiny House Movement, then you need to find ways to maximize your space, both indoors and out. Installing French patio doors is one way to accomplish this. Below is a brief explanation of the Tiny House Movement and ideas for using these space-saving doors. What is the Tiny House Movement? The Tiny House Movement really got its start in the RV industry. People started selling their brick and mortar homes and moving into homes-on-wheels. Granted, some of those large RVs do have all the comforts of home, but they are packed into a much smaller footprint. Typical RVs are roughly 8 to 8.5 feet wide, and depending on the state you live in, usually max out at 40 feet long. That’s roughly 320 square feet of living space. Slide outs add some square footage, and that varies with the size of the slides and the number on the rig. Since a typical American home has roughly 2600 square feet of living space, that’s a lot of “stuff” to get rid of. The Tiny House Movement evolved from the RV craze. Not everyone wants to be a nomad. Some embrace the tiny home lifestyle, but put down roots in one place. Types of Tiny Houses That Use French Doors Tiny houses may be built with or without wheels. Trailer chassis, stand alone garages, and even garden sheds have been converted. Companies that specialize in designing homes offer blueprints and/or materials and kits to allow people to build their own tiny home from scratch. Most incorporate some sort of outdoor space, such as a porch or patio. French doors, whether single wide or double wide, are a viable option for many designs. Trailer Chassis Tiny homes built on trailer chassis give you the look of a tiny house but the mobility of an RV trailer. Like a regular RV, the width is limited to enable the house to be legally towed, but they rarely have slides. Designs usually incorporate a loft to maximize space. Single-wide French doors tend to work better on these because of the width issue. Converted Garages and Garden Sheds Tiny homes made out of converted garages and garden sheds are meant to stay in one place. This means you can build a patio area, install an awing and use the area as extra living space. Some more sophisticated designs add a regular style roof and/or enclose the space with glass. Depending on the size of the conversion, French doors could be single or double wide. Another advantage is that the doors can be installed so they swing out.  When the doors are fully open, the tiny house and the patio become one big living space.  The Micro Cottage Micro cottages are typically built from scratch. Some are truly tiny homes, with architectural plans showing a footprint of 300 square feet or less. Others may be twice that. The design is limited by your budget, your building space and just how much downsizing you’re comfortable with. Many of the designs are perfectly compatible with French doors because they have permanently installed patios or decks. For example, you could have a wrap around deck on two sides of the home with double French doors opening up from the main...

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5 Signs Your Electrical Wiring Needs To Be Replaced

Posted by on 1:46 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 5 Signs Your Electrical Wiring Needs To Be Replaced

When it comes to your home’s safety, you should always be aware of a number of things present in your house. Remember that electrical wiring is one of the most common dangers in your house. It is highly recommended that you have routine inspections performed on your electrical wiring by a licensed, professional electrician, such as one from a company like Advantage Electric. Throughout the course of this article, you will learn of 5 particular warning signs that your electrical wiring needs to be replaced. Breakers and Fuses Consistently Go Out Your circuit breaker board is an integral part of your home’s electrical wiring and is one thing that can prevent your house from a certain flame laden fate. Circuit breakers tend to trip, which means that power is turned off to certain areas of the house, when the circuit is overloaded. Although an overloaded circuit could be caused by a variety of things, one thing that you may want to look into, especially if this is a recurring problem, is the fact that this could be related to outdated wiring. Dimming Or Flickering Of Lights Whenever your lights dim or flicker, chances are, it is the case that your circuits are overloaded and you are on the verge of having a circuit board trip. You will rarely ever see this phenomenon occur with good wiring, however. Good wiring will not cause the lights to dim or flicker except on very rare occasions. If you experience this, it is recommended that you call the services of a qualified electrician to examine your current wiring. This is a definitive sign that your wiring needs repair or replacement. Buzzing Or Charred Outlets or Light Switches This is another definitive sign that you need to replace your home’s wiring and it is also a warning sign: this phenomenon means that you are in a highly dangerous situation! If you happen to hear any buzzing from outlets, or if you notice them smoking, or if they seem to suffer from char or smoke damage, this means that the wiring in your house has either worn out to a great degree or was improperly installed. It is highly recommended that you have a professional take a look at your outlets, switches and wiring as soon as possible to prevent an electrical fire from occurring. A Distinct Burning Smell Improperly installed wiring or wiring that has not been properly taken care of, tends to cause electrical fires. Contrary to popular belief, electrical fires don’t just happen in the blink of an eye, but rather, it can take up to several months for them to occur. During this time, however, you should be able to sense some of the warning signs. For one, slow burning electrical fires will emit a distinct burning smell. As the chance of a fire grows and grows, you may begin to smell smoke as well. The wires will emit smells as they start to heat up, before they actually catch fire. Switches That Shock You It is not normal for a switch to shock you. If you have experienced this in your home, chances are, it is because of improperly installed wiring or wiring that is failing. The chances of a switch electrifying you to a great degree is virtually non-existent,...

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What You Need To Transform A Shed Into A Woodworking Shop

Posted by on 1:02 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on What You Need To Transform A Shed Into A Woodworking Shop

Whether you do woodworking as a hobby or as a way to earn money, it’s important to have a good woodworking shop. You need a lot of room and good lighting to do your best work. Because of the mess with sawdust and wood shavings, many people are limited to woodworking in their garages. If this sounds like you, do you dream of having a better area to work in? Maybe you are tired of cluttering up your garage with your woodworking tools? Consider transforming the old shed in your backyard into a woodworking shop. Here’s what you will need to install. Outlets Of course you’ll need outlets in your woodworking shop so you can operate your massive power saw. Plan for any future purchases you might make as well. But take time to plan out the exact locations for your power tools before you have an electrician install the outlets and wiring. That way, you won’t be tempted to run extension cords if you want to relocate or reposition your woodworking equipment. It can be dangerous to run extension cords in a woodworking shop. Extension cords clutter the flooring and become trip-and-fall hazards, which is definitely not something you want around dangerous equipment. Lighting Once you’ve figured out where your equipment and power tools will be in the shed, you can then decide where to put the lighting. You’ll probably want a strong light above the table saw and other equipment. The light bulbs should be encased in safety assemblies that are designed specifically for dangerous locations such as woodworking shops. The encasements will prevent most debris from flying up into the light bulbs so they don’t break. The last thing you’ll need is for something to break the light while your fingers are close to an operating saw. Dust Collection System Now that you know where your equipment and lighting will be, you can figure out where to locate a dust collection system. A dust collection system is not necessary, but it can help keep your woodshop clean… as well as your lungs. Breathing in sawdust on a regular basis can cause breathing problems, especially when there is mold or fungus in the wood or the wood contains preservatives and pesticides. Dust can also affect your finished products. It’s difficult to get a nice, glossy sheen of varnish when there is dust settling from the air. Heating You’ll want to keep your woodworking shop at a comfortable temperature year-round. However, do not get tempted into using portable heaters during the winter months unless you have a dust collection system. The dust could settle into the open flame or heating element and cause embers or smoke, which could result in a fire if you are not careful.You might consider installing a wood burning stove, since you’ll be able to throw your scrap wood into it. However, avoid burning wood that contains chemicals or is pressure treated. If you choose to use a stove, make sure your shop is properly ventilated. Insulation Insulation in your shed is a good idea if you plan on working late at night or are worried about the reactions from your neighbors. Look for sound insulation that can also double as a barrier against extreme temperatures. Keep in mind, however, that soundproofing materials block...

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2 Surprise Garage Door Opener Villains (And The Illusive Problems They Create)

Posted by on 3:37 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 2 Surprise Garage Door Opener Villains (And The Illusive Problems They Create)

As a new homeowner, nothing is more frustrating than trying to tackle those first few home repairs. In addition to unpacking and meeting the neighbors, you might find yourself taking apart your garage door opener to figure out why it won’t open or close properly. Although you might mistakenly assume that your entire system needs to be replaced, the issue might be simpler than you think. Here are two surprise garage door opener villains, and the illusive problems they can create: 1: Your Sprinkler System If your home sprinkler system runs in the wee hours of the morning, it might be difficult to spot areas where water is running free. However, if you have a broken or misaligned sprinkler head near your garage door, you might be watering delicate garage door sensors, metal hinges, and roller tracks each time your grass gets a dose of moisture. If water makes its way around the wiring supporting your sensors, it can interfere with currents, overpowering existing lines and frying circuitry. Since irrigation water typically contains small amounts of minerals and sand, sprayed water can leave garage door tracks dirty—wearing down rollers. Over time, a little water might leave your garage door squeaky, unresponsive, or rusted. To track down trouble early, look for these signs of incoming water:   Signs of Standing Water: Look carefully at the area right inside of your garage door. Do you see signs of previously standing water, such as evaporation marks or mold growth? If so, it could be a sign that water pools inside of your garage on a regular basis. Mud Movement: Inspect the sprinkler heads near your garage door to look for mud movement. If there are water trails leading from downspouts, sprinkler heads, or nearby landscaping, it could be a sign that water gravitates towards your garage door.   Gaps in Weather Stripping: Inspect your garage door weather stripping for gaps, cracks, or missing patches. To do this quickly, close your garage door in the middle of the day, and look for signs of incoming sunlight. Replace any missing weather stripping so that rogue water, dirt, and wind stays outside where it belongs.  If your garage door shows signs of corrosion, contact a professional garage door technician. Experts can quickly switch out damaged electrical sensors or rusty panels, so that you can fend off future damage. 2: Your Small Appliances You might not think twice before you plug in your appliances and set up your office, but those small electronic gadgets might be interfering with your garage door opener. Since garage door openers rely on a very specific radio frequency, any device that transmits similar frequencies could cause RFI, or Radio Frequency Interference. Here are a few devices that could cause trouble: Baby Monitors: If you need to check in on your little one, you might have a high-tech video monitor installed in their room. Unfortunately, if these devices interfere with your garage door opener, you might struggle with your garage door anytime the device is on. Router: These days, people use the Internet for everything from working from home to taking care of online banking. Unfortunately, older routers, which use standard frequencies, can create a lot of radio noise, making it harder for your garage door remote to communicate with delicate sensors. Believe...

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4 Factors To Consider When Choosing Replacement Windows

Posted by on 2:35 pm in Uncategorized | 0 comments

You can often fix drafty windows by simply adding more caulking or weatherstripping around their edges. However, there will come a time when your windows have worn to the point that you have no other option than to replace them. Here are four factors you should consider when you are looking for replacement windows. Glass Types Not all window glass is created equal. There are several different types of glass to choose from, and each type has unique benefits. If you are looking to improve the energy efficiency of your home, you should consider low-e, or low-emissivity, glass. Low-e glass is coated with a thin layer of tin oxide or silver that improves the insulative properties of the window. These windows are excellent options if there are very warm summers where you live, as they will block more of the sun’s thermal radiation and allow you to run your air conditioner less frequently. Tempered safety glass is another option if you want windows that would not shatter into dangerous shards if they were broken. Many states’ building codes require tempered safety glass in any windows that are installed in doors or within 60 inches of a standing surface in your bathroom. Number of Panes Single-pane windows are rarely seen in modern homes, with most opting for at least double-pane windows. Double-pane windows have a pocket of argon or krypton gas between the panes, allowing them to absorb more thermal energy and keep your home cooler. For maximum thermal absorption, you could choose triple-pane windows. With two pockets of insulative gas, triple-pane windows are even more effective at keeping heat out of your home than double-pane windows. They will easily pay for their higher initial cost with reduced heating and cooling bills over time. Frame Materials Replacement window frames are not merely an aesthetic choice. The frames of your replacement windows can have just as much of an impact on their energy efficiency as the glass they use. While aluminum window frames used to be a popular option for their durability and easy installation, they have fallen out of favor. Their insulative capabilities are not up to par with other modern options, and they are prone to condensation that can facilitate mold growth. Wood and vinyl are two of the most popular window frame materials that are available today. Both types are highly insulative, although wood frames will require occasional scraping, painting, and sealing to prevent rot. Vinyl, while slightly less insulative than wood, requires virtually no maintenance after it is installed. For a material that combines the rustic appearance and insulative properties of wood with the durability and low-maintenance of vinyl, composite fibrex window frames may be an excellent option for you. Efficiency Ratings The efficiency of replacement windows is rated using two primary metrics: the solar heat gain coefficient, and the U-factor. Solar heat gain coefficient describes the percentage of the sun’s radiation that is able to pass through the window into your home. A low value means that your windows will be more effective at keeping heat out during the summer. U-factor is the rating of a window’s insulative ability as a ratio of BTUs over time. The lower the U-factor of your replacement windows, the more heat the windows will be able to keep inside your...

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Clear Cut Instructions To Plant And Care For Your Crepe Myrtle Tree

Posted by on 2:37 pm in Uncategorized | 0 comments

As a homeowner, you most likely understand the importance of landscaping for your home’s value and curb appeal. While a beautiful lawn, colorful flowers, and lush shrubs are appealing options for your home’s exterior, trees offer some surprising benefits, as well. From purifying air and preventing storm water runoff, to providing shade that can cool your home, it is easy to see the importance of landscaping with trees. Of course, choosing the best trees for your yard can be challenging. However, considering the crepe myrtle tree is a smart option for colorful blooms through the spring and summer. If your landscaping contains one or more crepe myrtle, you may need some clear cut instructions to maintain the look and value of these trees. Using this guide, you can enjoy all the benefits of the crepe myrtle tree. Landscape Design with Crepe Myrtles Crepe myrtles are versatile trees that can grow and thrive in different manners, so consider your design before installing the tree. To create a privacy hedge or screen in your yard, plant multiple trees together, but allow a few feet between each root ball. The trees also make great accent pieces for your landscape. To create a focal point in your yard, plant a medium-sized crepe myrtle that will grow 12 to 15 feet. Installing Your Crepe Myrtle Since temperatures are on the cooler side, spring and fall are the best times to install your crepe myrtle. However, successful installation in the summer is possible with constant watering. Choose an area of your landscaping that receives full sun. Dig a hole that is approximately 3 times the size of your new tree’s root ball. The roots need adequate space to grow, so make sure the top of the root ball is even with the soil. Fill the hole with the soil you dug up and pack it securely using your hands and feet. Spread a few inches of mulch around the tree. The mulch adds appeal to your landscape, but also holds in moisture that your crepe myrtle will need. Watering Your Tree Water is essential for your landscape, but adequate moisture is imperative for your new crepe myrtle. As soon as you install your new tree, soak the root ball and surrounding soil with your garden hose. If planting in cooler weather, water the base of the tree and surrounding soil thoroughly each week. In the summer months, water the tree daily. Pruning Your Crepe Myrtle Once established, you will need to trim off dead limbs and flowers using pruning shears. Unfortunately, many owners prune excessively, which prevents the yearly spring and summer blooms. For lush, colorful blooms each year, use the following pruning tips: Prune in the Winter – Prune your tree in the last weeks of winter, before new growth develops. Prune to Size – The finished look of your tree will depend on your specific taste, so use caution when pruning your tree in the beginning. To create a desirable crepe myrtle shape, cut a few limbs off the bottom part of the tree. Make angled cuts with your pruning shears. Pest Control Due to the sugary, sweet bark of the crepe myrtle, the tree can become home to some problematic pests. Since aphids are common problems for crepe myrtles, it is important...

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