Decks provide the ideal outdoor space for relaxing or entertaining. They also add to your home’s beauty and value. In addition, decks are relatively inexpensive and can be completed faster compared with other home additions. Holloway Company, your trusted remodeling contractor, shares some of the reasons homeowners choose to invest in custom decks. [Read more…]
Before the warmer season comes, consider investing in relaxing outdoor recreational areas. Decks can serve as your outdoor kitchen, spa, or living space. If you’re planning one today, follow these tips from Holloway Company: [Read more…]
What is Mold?
Mold is the common term used to describe a growth on the surface of organic matter, caused by fungi, especially in the presence of dampness.
Mold is mother nature’s way of recycling organic matter. Every cubic foot of air has thousands of mold spores floating within it. Every surface – natural or man made, inside or out – has thousands more spores that have settled upon it.
A fungus may be any of a large number of simple microorganisms that do not need energy from light for growth. The fungi bear microscopic spores that are produced in enormous quantities, are always present in the air, and spread via air currents. They are often water repellent and are resistant to drying out.
‘Mold’ is often used interchangeably with the word ‘mildew’. These are the generic terms that describe a variety of microorganisms, including fungi, algae, rusts, yeasts, and bacteria.
Under a microscope, mold has an octopus-like structure. Its legs attach to a surface in a web-like manner. Once a mold has successfully colonized, it turns a dark color and releases thousands of new spores.
What Makes it Grow?
Molds need three things to grow: food, water, and temperate weather. When the spores are in favorable environment, they will germinate. What constitutes a favorable environment is different for each species. Since the spores settle out of the air, they will be more prevalent on horizontal surfaces and are generally not found below overhangs, under porches or patios, or on the undersides of decks, even in damp areas.
The colonies do not migrate, like a rot, but rather establish colonies and release more spores. The reason we recommend regularly sweeping the deck is the colonies are typically invisible; they only change color after they have released spores and died. Sweeping the deck removes the food source (pollen, dirt) and removes any dormant spores as well. After landing on a host material, a spore must obtain sufficient moisture to find enough food. Without moisture, the spores will lie dormant until favorable conditions occur.
There are many common food sources, such as dust, pollen, and other pollutants. Water is essential for the growth of mold. Greater than 60% humidity, steady dampness, and temperatures between 40 and 100 degrees F, are the factors most conducive to growth. It will stay dormant if the conditions are too dry or too cold, or if there are insufficient food sources.
It is important that any cleaning procedure fully remove the web-like “legs” of the colonies, penetrate the water-repellent outer surface, and remove the food source. The ideal cleaner is a steam-power sprayer, although normal power washers, or combinations of bleach, water, and laundry detergent are also effective.
In all cases, use the correct protective equipment such as safety glasses, dust-mask and gloves. Since mold will die at temperatures above 140 F, we have had great success with a steam-power sprayer at 250 + degrees removing the mold.
If staining is still present, follow with a sodium percarbonate product powder sprinkled directly on the stains, left damp for 6+ hours, and rinsed to help remove the stains. Bleach, laundry soap and water can also be scrubbed onto the mold to help with the removal of the mold.
Preventing Mold Growth
Preventing the growth of mold is as simple preventing the three factors that it needs to live. Keep the deck as dry as possible, and remove the food source by sweeping or washing. Here is a checklist of mold-preventive steps:
- Gap the decking properly (minimum 1/8′) for drainage
- Assure that the gutters do not discharge onto the deck
- Check that gutters are not backed up and overflowing onto deck dryer vent does not discharge directly onto or around deck
- Pitch the deck properly away from the house for drainage (minimum 1/8″ in 8′)
- Avoid the use of bark mulch around, on or under the deck (bark mulch is typically heavily laden with mildew spores)
- Avoid the use of lawn or plant fertilizer on the deck (such as overspray from lawn fertilizer or Miracle-Gro from potted plants)
- Sweep the deck every week, especially when pollen is heavy (typically spring and late summer)
Have mold problems? Call us at 703-634-4426 to get help or to explore your options for creating your dream deck. You can also request a FREE estimate!
Perfect decks every time
Virginia deck building can be a lot of fun, and very rewarding. You may already know that decks are trending. Homeowners are building them and renovating them more than ever. But do you also know these three amazing facts about decks?
- Smart investment: Your home is your biggest investment. It’s an even better investment if you add a deck. Experts say you can realize a 100 percent return on your investment. Virginia Home Buyers these days want houses with decks.
There are practical reasons: Decks expand a home’s living space. Plus, they give you countless ways to relax and have fun.
- Party central: Think of the possibilities for year-round fun on your deck with family and friends. On New Year’s Eve, you and your guests can gather on your deck and celebrate the stroke of midnight with champagne. On July 4, you can sip iced tea and grill hotdogs.
A built-in hot tub adds opportunities for fun and relaxation. On Halloween, you can organize a pumpkin-carving contest, with Jack-o-lanterns lined up around your deck.
- Decking materials galore: Consumers have more choices than ever these days when it comes to choosing material to build their decks. Some decking materials are better suited to warm climates, and others are perfect for withstanding snow and ice. You have a wide selection of hardwoods from which to choose, from California redwood to exotic woods, or you can build your deck with composite material like Trex Transcend which is not only environmentally friendly – but also as beautiful as many hardwoods.
There is also a choice over fastener types. There are many types of fasteners available including the traditional brass and stainless steel screws, as well as the new fastening systems and hidden fasteners that keep the fasteners out of sight.
So, whether you’re building a deck or renovating one, you can be sure you’re participating in an amazing and rewarding trend.
So when you start planning your deck building project, there are several things to keep in mind, including the precursor steps to the build of the deck.
The Zoning Approval
A zoning approval is required before starting a use, erecting a structure or building, obtaining building permits, or obtaining certificates of use and occupancy. These are handled and obtained by Holloway Company when starting a decking project of any size within Virginia.
Building Plan Approval and Requirements
The building regulations apply to most building work, therefore it is important to know when approval is needed.
The responsibility for checking the Building Regulations have been met falls to Building Control Bodies (BCBs) – either from the Local Authority or the private sector as an Approved Inspector. The person carrying out the work has the choice of where to get approval for the building work.
How to get approval depends on whether a Local Authority Building Control or Approved Inspector Building Control service is being used.
The other steps which we handle are:
- Building Permit Issuance
- Public Utility Requirements
- Inspection Steps and Procedures
Get a FREE Quote and Design today. Want something more exotic or want to see more options for your decking project? Check out our Curved Deck and Under Deck Room page to learn more about these options.
Decks these days come in so many shapes, sizes, colors and levels it’s no wonder the good life is way better outside. In fact, it’s a life Holloway has perfected with its expertise and innovation in the backyard oasis business. So to help you master the modern luxury deck we introduce our very own systems which allow us to build curved decks and more custom designs.
The design of your house and backyard are often the deciding factors when it comes to selecting a deck shape or the curve in your deck. In fact, it’s a good idea to start the process by deciding whether your deck is a “house deck” or “yard deck.”
A house deck is closer and more connected to the house. A deck that’s raised 4 ft. or more is typically a house deck. A yard deck is more connected to the landscape. It’s generally close to the ground and may incorporate planting beds and other natural features, such as trees and rocks.
In general, house decks look better if they echo the shape of the house, which in most cases is rectangular or square. Yard-oriented porches or decking spaces can take on more irregular or organic shapes.
One exception is half-round peninsulas off a square or rectangular deck — especially when half-round windows are present or when there are natural curves in the landscape, such as trees with rounded crowns or conical shapes. Gently curved deck shapes can also help to integrate a ground-level deck with a hilly terrain.
With the new technology of composite deck boards, and our process bending these boards, curved decks are all the rage.
Contact us today at 703-634-4426 to explore your options for creating a dry space under your deck or request a FREE estimate!