If you own a second home, especially one that's in another town or another state, you've probably discovered how hard it can be to get maintenance done, You have to get in your car and drive over just to tighten a loose doorknob... and a big job like interior painting is even more involved.
Case in point: One of my clients recently inherited a home that was in good structural shape, but needed a complete interior repaint as well as a few other minor repairs. The home is here in Asheville, but she lives in Texas, which is quite a drive for a paint job! Luckily a neighbor referred her to me, and I was able to help her with the project.
I'm halfway through the interior painting, and the patched and repainted walls have already made a huge difference in the look and feel of the home. Take a look at these before-and-after pictures which I recently emailed to her.
I had to paint over old wallpaper in some places, but luckily I know how to do that.
Now that the new paint is on, you can pay more attention to the fine old woodwork in the home.
The fresh paint really brightens the space up and makes it look clean and move-in ready.
I still have lots to do on this job, but I already have the satisfaction of seeing an "old" house become a "new" home. More importantly, I get to help someone tackle a long-distance project which otherwise might seem impossible, and I can send pictures and status updates so the homeowner knows everything is being done right.
If you need maintenance or updates on your second home, please let me know and I'll be glad to help. I'll keep you in the loop and make sure everything is done to your satisfaction. Give me a call... I love this stuff!
Last week I worked on a concrete floor that was having a few minor paint adhesion problems.
Just kidding about the "minor" part... most of the paint on the floor was peeling off in big sheets.
It seems that there was a moisture problem in the room which has since cleared up. No one reported any flooding, and the water was already gone when I did my weekly inspection. I don't know the source of the moisture, but I suspect it came in under the entrance door as a result of drainage problems caused by the construction going on next door.
After scraping up all the loose paint, I primed the surface with "Peel Bond". I mentioned this stuff in a previous post about fixing a peeling concrete ceiling. It's made for problem areas where paint won't adhere. This foyer gets some foot traffic, so this should be an excellent test of Peel Bond's durability.
After letting the Peel Bond dry over night, I came back and top coated the floor the next morning. Cutting in and rolling out really takes the least amount of time. Most of the work was in the prep.
I'll be interested to see how the Peel Bond holds up to foot traffic. It's held up so far on the ceilings I used it on, so I'm very optimistic about it.
I do regular property maintenance on an historic building in downtown Asheville. It's an interesting challenge, because like every historic building, it has "character." In other words, it's got lots of little quirks that need a special approach if I want to fix a problem and make it stay fixed.
Lately we've been plagued with peeling ceilings. This is an old industrial building where the ceilings are made of concrete, and there are a few problem spots where the paint just won't adhere. I have stripped them, primed and repainted only to have them peel again. The paint seems to be peeling due to recurring moisture in those areas. (Click pictures to enlarge.)
The property manager and I spent hours working on this mystery. First we checked with the company that maintains the roof. They came out twice and found no problem. We also combed the building looking for potential leaks. Eventually we determined that the roof is probably sound and the moisture is coming from another place. This makes sense since some of the peeling ceilings aren't on the top floor.
Where is the moisture coming from? We can't be sure. I could advance several theories, and it probably has more than one cause. Concrete can be tricky in this regard, because it can wick moisture from one place to another. Basically we couldn't stop the moisture. We needed to find another solution.
One thing I've learned as a handyman is that there is a pre-manufactured product to fix every conceivable problem known to handymankind. It's just a question of doing the research to find it. After internet research failed us, we took our problem to the Asheville branch of PPG Paints. The tagline on their website says "Every job matters," and they lived up to their motto. They actually sent a representative out to look at the problem and bring us a can of this stuff:
Say hello to XIM Peel Bond. According to Rustoleum's product page, it penetrates into the surface and creates a tough, flexible surface that helps prevent the paint from peeling.
So as not to waste any more effort, I decided to test how well this product works on a small area in a bathroom that was particularly problematic. The Peel Bond went on with a white hazy look and dried clear. It looked a lot like watered-down Elmer's Glue.
After waiting 3 weeks, I checked on it again and it has held up very well. The area that was not test coated had peeled even more. I tried to scrape the area where the "Peel Bond" was applied and I wasn't able to even scrape a small portion off. This stuff is tough!
Now that I have confirmation that the peeling won't continue, I painted the entire bathroom ceiling with Peel Bond, waited the required two hours while it dried, and then top coated it. I'll be sure to keep an eye on how it does over the next few months, but I'm cautiously optimistic that this product does the trick.
Need a handyman to help you fix your ceiling? Give me a call... I love a challenge.
For those of you that are interested in property management (that is, being a landlord and managing rental properties), I thought I would share a pair of articles which I recently wrote on LinkedIn:
If you like these, take a moment to connect with me on LinkedIn. I'm always glad to meet new people!
Image credit: First image is by me. Second image is by JDHRosewater on Flickr.
I know... I know.... that's a grandiose title. I'm just trying to be fun here. But as a matter of fact, that's what it feels like to be handyman.
Some of my coolest jobs seem boring from the outside, because there's not a big difference between the "before" and "after." But I really enjoy doing them. It's a small but tangible way of making the world a slightly better place to live.
Case in point: these handrails. Before, they were "okay." They could help you balance yourself as you walked up the stairs, but they weren't very sturdy.
But take a look at the "after." Now that's a handrail you can trust!
When I look at these pictures, I imagine an apartment dweller going up the steps on a rainy day. I like to think that they notice and appreciate the firm grip these railings offer. It might not look exciting, but it's a good day's work, and that's why I love my job.