by Sam Hickey | Dec 4, 2020 | Home Improvement, Maintenance, Outdoor Accessories, Outdoor Kitchen
A majority of stainless steel outdoor kitchen equipment owners never know how to protect stainless steel outdoors. Some ignore, assuming that the outdoor equipment will still corrode even when protected. However, that’s not always the case. You can learn and implement simple ways of maintaining a shiny and bright surface on your stainless steel kitchen equipment.
How can you keep your outdoor stainless steel looking new?
The solution to spotless stainless steel surfaces are never far from what you can readily access or what you already know but not applying well. To keep your stainless steel outdoor kitchen equipment spotless, you’ll need to follow the simple steps listed below.
- Use the Right Tools
- Clean with the Polish Lines
- Use Alkaline Containing Cleaners
- Rinse Well
- Restore Stainless Steel
1) Use the Right Tools
Non-abrasive tools like microfiber, sponges, or plastic scouring pads are ideal for cleaning these surfaces. While they clean perfectly, they minimize scratches on the surface. Scrapers such as steel wool, wire brushes, or anything that might scratch the surface are not ideal for cleaning a stainless steel surface.
2) Clean with the Polish Lines
Stainless steel possesses a grain that runs in one direction or another, defined as lines. When cleaning, it is best if you wipe or scrub along the lines. This is particularly important to consider when you are using something more abrasive than a soft cloth..
3) Use Alkaline Containing Cleaners
Alkaline is the best cleaner for stainless steel. A cleaning solution containing a mixture with traces of alkaline, non-chlorinated chemicals, or chlorinated alkaline solutions will work perfectly to clean these surfaces. You should, however, avoid cleaners that contain quaternary salts as they cause rusting and pitting.
Pro Tip: If you are unsure of what alkaline solution to use, get stainless steel cleaners specifically designed for stainless steel surfaces.
4) Rinse Well
If you used chlorinated cleaners, you should rinse and wipe the kitchen surface and equipment immediately. You should wipe off the standing water mostly if it contains chemicals you used to wash the surface. However, if you use sanitizer to clean and disinfect the kitchen surface, do not wipe off or rinse the surface after cleaning.
5) Restore Stainless Steel
After all cleaning and scrubbing, you can restore the shine of your stainless steel with lemon oil or food-grade mineral oil. You can apply the polish in line with the grain’s direction using a lint-free cloth. You can as well dry it using another lint-free cloth.
Use These Tips to Refresh Your Stainless Steel
You now perfectly understand how to protect stainless steel outdoors without too much trouble. When you use these tips effectively, you end up preventing rust and corrosion, maintaining a sparkling surface for your outdoor kitchen equipment.
Contact us if you need help with your outdoor kitchen surfaces.
by Sam Hickey | Nov 13, 2020 | Custom Features, Home Improvement, Maintenance, Outdoor Lifestyle, Patio Covers
If you love spending most of the time outdoors, especially in summer, it’s essential to learn how to clean a patio umbrella. It can accumulate a lot of grime and dirt if exposed to the elements for a very long time. Not to mention, the bird droppings can worsen the situation. How do you clean your patio umbrella after using it outdoors for a full season?
Cleaning and maintaining your patio umbrella regularly will make it look fantastic all the time. You have to ensure that the umbrella is super-clean before storing it away during off-seasons. The good news is, it’s easy to clean and maintain. In this guide, we’ll look at the tips of cleaning and maintaining a patio umbrella.
Cleaning the Canopy
Cleaning an umbrella’s canopy can be pretty simple if it’s detachable. Here are the tips on how to clean an umbrella’s canopy.
- Remove loose dirt on the canopy using a sponge or a soft, bristle brush to prevent the soil from getting deeper into the fabric
- Using a cleaner or a mixture of warm water and mild detergent, scrub the canopy in circular motions
- After scrubbing the canopy, let the cleaning solution stay on it for 20 minutes, then rinse thoroughly to remove stains and mildew
- Leave the canopy open until it’s completely dry
Some fabrics like Sunbrella require a quality fabric protector to restore its UV inhibitors and improve water repellency.
Cleaning the Frame
The method you’ll use to clean an umbrella frame will depend on the nature of its material. Here is how to clean both wooden and aluminum frames.
a) Wooden Frames
You can clean most wooden umbrella frames with a mixture of water and mild detergent and a soft brush. Follow the manufacturer’s cleaning instructions if available. However, you shouldn’t oversaturate the frame’s surface. Allow it to dry after cleaning.
b) Aluminum Frames
Wipe the frame using a soft towel and a mixture of mild detergent and lukewarm water. If there are build-ups or water spots, mix one part of white distilled vinegar with nine water parts. Soak a soft cloth in the solution and wipe down the frame. You can then rinse the frame with clean water and dry it using a towel.
Patio Umbrella Maintenance
Maintaining a patio umbrella can help to keep it in great shape and extend its lifespan. Here are some of the maintenance tips to practice.
- Always ensure that the umbrella is clean before storing it
- Don’t force the umbrella to close or open as that could destroy its functionality
- Add a cover on the patio umbrella to protect it from adverse weather conditions
- Store the umbrella indoors when there’s an impending storm or strong winds
- Avoid using abrasive cleaners on the umbrella’s frames or canopies
Pro Tip: You can clean fabrics such as Sunbrella using bleach solutions, and it won’t fade. However, it’s imperative to check the manufacturer’s instructions to confirm that.
Keeping Your Patio Umbrella Looking Like New
Now that you know how to clean a patio umbrella, you can make yours look super-clean without struggles. Ensure that you follow the patio umbrella cleaning and maintenance tips we’ve shared in this guide. That way, you’ll keep your umbrella in excellent condition.
Connect with us to learn more about patio umbrella cleaning.
by Sam Hickey | Jul 3, 2020 | Design Inspiration, Home Improvement, Outdoor Lifestyle
Hot, humid Houston summers aren’t always the most pleasant times to be outdoors. Fortunately, you can still enjoy the fresh air and gentle breezes by adding a few features to your backyard to protect yourself from the heat. You can even have outdoor parties during the summer! All you have to do is make sure your outdoor kitchen and hangout spots are ready to provide comfort during the hot weather.
Getting Your Backyard Ready for Summer
With strategic designs for your outdoor kitchen and hangout space, you can create a backyard ready for any summer day. Here are just a few ideas to spruce up your yard for warmer weather:
- Tidy up the yard
- Cover your dining area
- Upgrade your appliances
- Style outdoor furniture
- Add a bar
1) Tidy Up the Yard
Nobody wants to party in a dirty, overgrown yard! Mow the grass and haul away any trash. Consider pressure washing your patio and any concrete surfaces for a brand new look. In general, just take the time to make your yard look appealing and ready for when guests arrive.
2) Cover Your Dining Area
An outdoor dining room may sound appealing for backyard parties of any kind, but if it starts to rain or the sun gets too hot, your guests will have to run indoors again. Prevent this issue by installing a new patio cover over your dining space! Let the party continue, rain or shine, and enjoy a shady spot all year round.
3) Upgrade Your Appliances
Whether you have an entire outdoor kitchen or just a grilling station in the backyard, you likely enjoy the ability to cook fresh food for your guests. Why not upgrade your appliances to make your experience easier? Swap your old grill for a more efficient model or see what your outdoor kitchen still needs. A few new cooking appliances could make a big difference in your party hosting experience.
Pro Tip: Hosting parties after dark? Hang string lights or install solar pathway lights for an elegant touch and to let everyone see in the dark!
4) Style Outdoor Furniture
Outdoor dining areas or hangout spots need comfortable seating for all your guests. Of course, it’s equally important to make sure that the furniture you choose can withstand the elements. Find outdoor-safe furniture to match your design scheme and furnish your backyard to get the party started!
5) Add a Bar
Finally, add the finishing touch to your summer party space: an outdoor bar. A nearby wine fridge or full-sized refrigerator can keep drinks cold and produce ice for everyone. A well-designed, comfortable bar is the perfect addition to a summer evening spent with friends outdoors. Give it a try!
Enjoy Your Summer!
Upgrading your backyard relaxation spaces goes a long way toward making summer days that much more enjoyable. Try throwing a family cookout or moving a planned party outdoors. Take full advantage of your newly refurbished space!
Connect with us for more backyard inspiration.
by Sam Hickey | Jun 12, 2020 | Home Improvement, Outdoor Lifestyle, Patio Covers
You’ve decided to install a patio space or update your old one. Now comes the next question: which style is best? Some will mesh nicely with your home and last for years to come, while other styles are simply less visually appealing or durable. How can you choose the right design and construction materials for your new patio?
Common Patio Styles
Your home design and overall backyard aesthetic will influence which construction materials you choose for your patio cover. However, you must also consider durability. Will your new patio stand the test of time? How often will it require repairs? Take the time to research each of these popular styles:
Wood is a classical deck building material that perfectly complements a rustic-style backyard. A well-built wooden deck can last for about 15 years without needing extensive reworking. And nothing beats the natural colors of solid wood!
Bricks or flat stones called pavers are laid flat and lined up with each other to create a paver patio. This design has endless potential for creativity. Differently colored stones, differently shaped stones, and custom layout patterns all contribute to a patio deck that is uniquely yours. Just make sure the stones have a sturdy, flat surface to lay on so your patio will last for years without issue.
Flagstone patios are similar to pavers in a way, but their design is slightly different. A flagstone pattern is designed to allow water to trickle through and out of the design, rather than simply running off like it would on other materials. Because of its durability and its lovely earth tones that seem to complement any backyard, flagstone is a popular choice for patio materials.
Pro Tip: Flagstone patios use concrete to hold the stones in place, while paver patios only press the stones together without any binding agent.
Perhaps the most straightforward patio design, a concrete patio involves just pouring and setting a slab of concrete in your backyard. This design isn’t quite as ideal as it may sound. While the installation process doesn’t require a huge amount of time or effort, a solid slab of concrete is somewhat brittle compared to other patio designs and can crack or split with time. You may need to replace or significantly renovate a concrete patio in a few years.
Designing Your New Patio
Choosing the right style and construction materials are crucial steps toward creating your new outdoor space. Your patio should complement your home and be durable enough to last for years without significant repairs. Find your favorite style and start enjoying your new patio!
Connect with us for a preview of what your newly built patio could look like.
by Sam Hickey | May 15, 2020 | Home Improvement, Home Value
Indoor home renovations add significant value to your home on their own. But why stop there? After all, a visitor’s first impression of your home won’t be what it looks like on the inside, but how appealing the front yard or backyard is. Investing a little extra time and money on backyard renovation could give your home significant resale value when it’s time to move.
Outdoor Remodeling Inspiration
Maybe your backyard has the best-looking grass in the neighborhood, but there’s nowhere to sit down. Likewise, even the fanciest outdoor kitchen doesn’t look appealing next to a brown, dying lawn. What kind of work does your yard need? Try one of these proven remodeling ideas:
- Patio space
- Hangout space
- Fire pits
- Eye-catching landscaping
1) Patio Space
Prospective buyers have a list of features they want in their new house. While everyone wants something slightly different, many people would agree that they’d love for their new house to have a patio. A brand new patio will certainly catch the attention of many potential buyers! And in the meantime, you get a great place to spend time outdoors or host parties in your backyard.
Is there a particularly scenic area behind your home that you’d love to look at? Maybe a see-through fence is best. On the other hand, a tall privacy fence ensures no one can peek at you while you’re in your backyard. Whichever style you choose, installing a fence of some type is an excellent way to secure your home and increase its appeal at the same time.
3) Hangout Space
Plenty of people love spending time in their backyard. Why not set up a permanent hangout space to enjoy the great outdoors? An outdoor kitchen, dining area, or even covered entertainment space gives you the chance to relax outside with family or friends. And better yet, this feature will definitely boost your home’s resale value.
4) Fire Pits
What’s the perfect addition to an outdoor cooking space? An open fire! A fireplace or fire pit gives you the opportunity to cook over open flames or just add a touch of atmosphere to your evening hangout. Light up the night and catch others’ attention with a customized fireplace.
5) Eye-Catching Landscaping
Finally, the yard itself needs attention. How healthy is your grass? Are your trees or decorative plants in good shape? Now’s the time to institute a lawn care routine to keep your plants healthy. The healthier they are, the better your yard will look, and the more curb appeal your house will have.
Pro Tip: Give your backyard a facelift! Plant flowers native to the Houston area that will thrive throughout the year.
Find Your Favorite Backyard Renovation
Even a few changes to your backyard layout or style can significantly increase what a potential buyer will pay for your home. Which idea appealed the most to you? Start planning your brand new backyard today!
Connect with us for an idea of what your renovated backyard could look like.
by Sam Hickey | May 8, 2020 | Custom Features, Design Inspiration, Home Improvement
Does your living room not have enough space? Does it simply feel cramped or too small to be comfortable? While it may seem like the most logical solution is knocking out a wall, you can take less drastic measures to make your living room seem bigger than it truly is.
Don’t worry about rearranging your entire home’s layout to fix a too-small living room! Several strategic decorative choices will help you create a brighter, more open atmosphere for your living area. Here are just a few ideas to get you started.
Very light or very dark colors tend to give a room depth. Combining the two, such as painting the walls white and buying dark navy furniture, makes the space pop even more. Your eye is drawn to the contrasting colors that create the illusion of a bigger room. This also has the advantage of giving your living space a clean, elegant look.
Pro Tip: Decorating with pale or bright colors in a room with low natural light will accent the light it does have, making a compact space feel more open.
A few strategic decorative choices can help outline your space. Large rugs on the floor and large paintings hanging on the walls trick your mind into seeing the room as bigger than it actually is. A large mirror hanging on the wall also helps create the illusion of depth and makes a room feel more open.
Additionally, your choice of accessories comes into play here. Too many small decorative items can make your room feel cluttered and tiny. Buy a few larger decorative pieces instead to complement the room and mesh perfectly with your paintings and rug.
One excellent method of saving space is to find creative ways of storing necessary items. Plenty of homeowners accomplish this through specialized furniture. For instance, cushions on a window seat could lift up to hold extra blankets or pillows. A couch can fold out into a bed. A coffee table can expand into a standing desk. You can even find creative ways to incorporate shelves or drawers into your furniture plan. Whatever you choose, removing excess clutter without sacrificing any necessary things will definitely help your room feel more open.
Making Your Living Room Look Bigger
With an eye for color and decor, it’s not difficult to make a room feel larger without actually changing the floor space. It’s all about tricking your eyes! Experiment with different colors, decorations, furniture, and more to create your new ideal living room.
Join the conversation to see how other homeowners decorated their living areas.