Claudette Reichel | 1/11/2007 9:26:52 AM
Low-maintenance surfaces and products not only save you time and labor, they typically last longer and reduce the expense and environmental impacts of frequent refinishing. Many low-maintenance materials have the added advantage of being flood-resistant.
Materials: In addition to the familiar low-maintenance claddings (brick, stucco, stone, vinyl and aluminum siding, etc.), examples of low-maintenance home products that need little or no refinishing or infrequent replacement from the effects of weather or wear include:
Mildew/algae resistant: Smooth, nonabsorbent surfaces tend to be less mildew prone.
Cleanability: Choose smooth, non-absorbent, durable surfaces that can be wiped clean. Specify scrubbable paints (ask for its scrubbability rating) for walls and woodwork. Choose water-based urethane, aluminum oxide and factory finishes on cabinets and floorings.
Examine appliances for crevices and ridges that collect grime or are difficult to reach. Avoid hard-to-access horizontal details that collect dust, such as open areas above kitchen cabinets. Use vertical window treatments, such as vertical blinds, instead of mini-blinds, and machine-washable curtains. Include space for shoe cubbies and smooth flooring at family entry.
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