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Grout vs. Caulk for Bathroom Tiles

bathroom tiles

If you’re renovating your bathroom, you may be wondering whether you should use grout or caulk to fill in the joints between your new tiles. While grout and caulk are similar materials, they have very different uses.

Materials

Caulk is made from polymers like silicone, latex, rubber, or polyurethane, which means it’s flexible and can help absorb movement. Grout, on the other hand, is made from a mixture of water, cement, and sand. These materials aren’t flexible and dry harder than caulk.

Use

Because caulk is waterproof and flexible, it’s often used for tile joints and corners around bathtubs, showers, windows, and other ledges. Grout, which isn’t waterproof, is often used for tile joints in backsplashes, flooring, walls, and tiling projects that don’t have 90-degree angles.

Application

Caulk and grout are applied very differently. When you grout tile joints, you spread the grout all over your tiles using a grout float and push the grout into the crevices. Then, after it’s set, wipe the excess away with a sponge. You’ll have to do this several times before all of the residue is gone.

Caulk, however, is applied using a caulking gun. After you cut the tip of your caulk cartridge to the desired size, you put the cartridge in the gun. Then, seal your tile joints by squeezing out a smooth, even bead of caulk in between the tiles. Before the caulk dries, you’ll want to smooth it down with your finger or a smoothing tool.

Other Things to Know

Caulk is flexible, so it can be used to adhere two different materials together (such as tile and glass). Grout, on the other hand, won’t adhere to the surface of materials; it needs a crevice to sit in.

Because caulk can shrink over time, it shouldn’t be used in large projects.

Grout dries firm and strong, so it helps protect the edges and corners of tiles from cracking or breaking.

Grout comes in two different types – sanded and unsanded. Which you use depends on how wide the joints are between your tiles.

Both grout and caulk come in colors, so you can match or complement the color of your tiles.

No bathroom renovation is complete without an updated tub or shower! Our bath solutions can replace your tub with a quality, 100% acrylic model or turn it into a beautiful shower that you’ll love to use every day. For more information, visit our Bath Solutions page.

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Don’t Forget – We’re Here During Snow Storms!

snow

At P.J. Fitzpatrick, we know that inclement weather can be frustrating and the last thing you want is a snow storm that damages your home. That’s why we’re always available – even in bad weather! Our experts are here for you for a wide array of problems – whether it’s something major or something minor.

Roofing

Our Pennsylvania roofing company professionals can help get your roof back in tip-top shape. Whether it’s damaged by debris, leaking from water build-up, your flashing needs attention, or another issue, we’ll be at your home as soon as possible to fix it.

Gutters

During the winter, ice accumulation can weigh your gutters down, which can lead to gutter damage and a possible gutter replacement. Ice in your gutters can also prevent water from draining properly and can cause it to back up and leak into your home. No matter what your gutter problem, we’re here to help.

Insulation

Do you find yourself huddled underneath a blanket every time it snows? Your home may be in need of insulation to keep it warm. Let us take a look and make sure you’re comfortable in this cold weather.

And More…

If you have another problem during the next snow storm, don’t hesitate to call us at 1-888-446-6492! We’ll send one of our friendly and knowledgeable technicians out to help solve your problem as soon as possible.

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Our Blue Bell Bath Project

Recently, the Walsh family in Blue Bell contacted the bath solutions experts at P.J. Fitzpatrick to help them with their master bathroom. The Walshs are moving to Atlanta and need to sell their house as soon as possible, so we added some pizzazz to help them with the sale! Check it out:

blue bell bath 3

Before

blue bell bath 4

After

 

 

 

 

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7 Popular Home Siding Materials

 

Maryland siding

At P.J. Fitzpatrick, we highly recommend vinyl siding for your home, but some homeowners have a different vision or a different preference, so we’re always willing to discuss your options. Here are some of the most popular Maryland siding materials for today’s homes:

Vinyl

Vinyl siding is low maintenance and affordable, which is why so many homeowners opt for it. It’s also comes in a variety of colors and is very durable – it can withstand high winds and resist the heat and the cold.

Wood

For a rich look, some homeowners turn to wood siding. Wood siding is available in many shapes, sizes, and colors, however, it requires more maintenance than other siding materials. If not properly maintained, wood siding can be susceptible to mold, mildew, termites, and swelling.

Brick

Since brick is often used on Colonial and English homes, it tends to give a home a completely different look compared to other siding types. While it comes in a variety of colors, there are not as many options as materials like vinyl or wood. However, brick Maryland siding is very durable and requires virtually no maintenance.

Stucco

Stucco consists of cement, lime, and sand, which essentially creates a shell around your home. Stucco is very insulating and is low maintenance, however, it tends to be more costly than other siding materials. It also is very durable, but can’t withstand a lot of water, so it’s not recommended for homes in rainy areas.

Stone

When it comes to siding that gives your home a unique look and texture, some homeowners turn to stone. Stone is considered the most durable siding option available, but is often on the costly side, since the stones have to be harvested and finished before they can even be installed.

Fiber Cement

Fiber cement siding is made from wood pulp, cement, clay, and sand, and it can be molded to look like a variety of styles, from wood to stone to stucco. It also can withstand heat and is low maintenance. It tends to be more costly, however, than materials like vinyl or wood because it’s harder to install.

Aluminum

Aluminum siding is known to withstand both hot temperatures and cold temperatures without damaging, however, it needs to be paired with a good insulation because it has the potential to draw heat from your home in the winter and add heat to your home in the summer.

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Attics, Moisture, and Mold: Part 3

mold3

In the first two parts of our three-part blog series on attics, moisture, and mold, we discussed the difference between moisture and humidity, how mold forms, what affects mold growth, and what you can do to prevent it. In this last part, we’ll discuss some lifestyle changes you can make to further prevent mold growth.

Contributing to Moisture

Every day, the average household emits 2-4 gallons of water into the air by doing things like:

  • Breathing
  • Cooking
  • Showering
  • Watering plants
  • Using a humidifier
  • Not properly ventilating dryers, bathrooms, and range hoods

All of this moisture will eventually make its way up into your attic, where it could cause mold growth.

So how can you reduce the moisture you produce?

Make sure you properly ventilate your dryers, bathrooms, and range hoods and run your humidifiers at the right setting. You should also make sure your home is properly insulated and there should be a good vapor barrier between your living space and your attic. Any roof leaks or leaks in your basement should also be taken care of.

Be Aware…

There are other seemingly innocent things that can lead to moisture and mold growth in your attic. These include:

  • Cedar roofs and siding (which hold a lot of moisture)
  • Homes in heavily shaded areas
  • Homes that are protected from the wind
  • Low-sloped roofs (that don’t allow for much air circulation)
  • Soffits blocked by insulation
  • Open spaces between your attic and living space (including attic accesses, chimneys, recessed lighting, duct work, etc.)

If you have any of these things, talk to our Pennsylvania roofing company experts about how you can counteract their effect on moisture. Remember: no one thing you do will prevent mold growth, but the more steps you take, the greater chance you’ll have of preventing it.

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Attics, Moisture, and Mold: Part 2

attic mold

In part 1 of our “Attics, Moisture, and Mold” blog series, our Pennsylvania roofing company shed some light on moisture conditions, how mold grows, and what you can do to reduce the moisture in your home. In part 2, we’ll continue our discussion:

Humidity vs. Moisture

You’ve probably heard both of these terms used to describe the presence of water vapor, so what’s the difference? Moisture usually refers to water vapor that’s found on a surface, while humidity usually refers to water vapor that’s found in the air. When you listen to the weather forecast, you’ll hear the expert use the term “humid” to describe a warm, sticky day.

Relative Humidity

Though relative humidity is another measurement of humidity, the two terms aren’t interchangeable. Relative humidity (abbreviated RH) is expressed in a percentage, and refers to the amount of atmospheric moisture present relative to the amount that would be present if the air were saturated. Humidity, also called “absolute humidity (AH)” refers to the amount of atmospheric moisture present.

For example: If one day, the dew point is 34 degrees Fahrenheit and the temperature is 38 degrees Fahrenheit, we would get a high RH value and a low AH value. If another day, the dew point is 63 degrees and the temperature is 85 degrees, we would get a low RH value, but a high AH value.

The Effects of Seasonal Changes

When it comes to moisture, the seasons have an effect on its presence. When the weather gets warmer, humidity causes your attic to collect moisture and promotes the growth of mold. The highest RH level that building codes and manufacturers recommend is 40%. If your home is over that during the summertime, it could overwhelm your attic ventilation system and increase your attic moisture.

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P.J. Fitzpatrick Newsletter: Winter Edition

PJ Fitzpatrick Ice DamOur newsletter is back! After an extended hiatus we’ve decided to return with a quarterly newsletter. More information to come on a number of upcoming changes and events soon!

Charity and Events Committee
Wilmington Showroom: Bath Solutions
Easter Seals Volleyball Competition
February Birthdays and Anniversaries


If you would like to assist by writing a piece, or have a suggestion to contribute, please contact Almena or Pete Jr. as we would love to have more people contributing.

 

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Charity and Events Committee

Starting in late 2015 we put a renewed focus on volunteer work in our community, and reached out to several members of our staff to help facilitate our charity work. Our current Charity and Events Committee includes Almena Faux, Peter Fitzpatrick Jr., Beth Reeder, and Christy Connor.

Almena-FauxChristy-ConnorBeth ReederPeter-Fitzpatrick-Jr

 


Their work entails things such as coordinating charity walk efforts, the finalization of the paid time off for volunteerism policy, and other future company events. They also will be devising our casual day promotions as well.

If you are looking for volunteer opportunities, or you have a charity you’d like the company to work with, track down a member of the committee and they will be able to assist you.

You’ll be hearing more from the Charity Committee soon regarding a number of things they have had in the pipeline, including the Easter Seals Volleyball Competition coming up in March.

AIDS WalkBack to the P.J. Fitzpatrick Newsletter: Winter Edition

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Easter Seals Volleyball Competition

Easter Seals Challenge LogoWe are excited to announce that P.J. Fitzpatrick will be participating in the Easter Seals Volleyball Challenge on Saturday March 21st at 6:30pm. We are looking for 6-12 enthusiastic teammates to play on the the team this year, and they do not have to be company employees.

If you are interested in joining the team you can do so through this link:
http://es.easterseals.com/goto/PJFitzpatrick

The Volleyball Challenge, now in its 34th year, is an annual event that raises urgently needed dollars to provide services for children and adults with disabilities – services like: children’s therapy (physical, speech and occupational therapies), day programs for adults with physical disabilities or cognitive disabilities, assistive technology services, year-round camping at Camp Fairlee and respite services for caregivers.

Easter Seals VolleyballBack to P.J. Fitzpatrick Newsletter: Winter Edition

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Birthdays and Anniversaries

PJ Fitzpatrick Company PartyBirthdays
Doug Long 02/09
Todd Elliot 02/13
Joe Paoletti 02/15
Dave Radulski 02/15
Jawanda Howard 02/16
Dave Zimmerman 02/18
Russ Stankina 02/21
Andy Miller 02/22
Robert Kargher 02/22
Walter Collins 02/23
Ryan Stewart 02/24
Robert Montgomery 02/25
John Tobin 02/27

aids walk 1Anniversaries
Jeff Johnston 02/01/2007
Tim Radulski 02/03/2003
Deborah Carletti 02/04/2013
Chris Gays 02/14/2011
Joe Paoletti 02/19/2013
Samuel Commale 02/20/2012
Shane Faux-Dugan 02/21/2005

 


Back to P.J. Fitzpatrick Newsletter: Winter Edition

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