Have An Asphalt Driveway? Two Signs It’s Time To Have It Seal-Coated

If you have an asphalt driveway it was likely seal-coated when it was initially laid down.  Seal-coating an asphalt driveway is essentially like putting an invisible barrier on its surface to protect it from the elements.  However, if you aren’t the first owner of the house, you may not know when the seal-coating was originally done.  As a result, you could be at a loss as to whether or not it’s time to have the coating reapplied.  Use this information to learn more about the signs that it’s time to seal-coat your asphalt driveway.

There Are Cracks In Your Driveway

One of the first signs that it’s time to seal-coat your driveway can be detected by the cracks in it.  When you find tiny cracks starting to appear all over your driveway, it’s time to add a fresh coat of seal-coating.

It can be so easy to ignore cracks in the driveway.  You may reason that the cracks are only there because of the weight of your vehicle, or may take for granted that cracks are simply par-for-the-course when you have an asphalt driveway.  However, you definitely don’t want to ignore the tiny cracks because they can easily spread and become larger ones.  The longer the cracks remain in place, the greater the opportunity for water and snow to sink down into the asphalt and cause premature deterioration.  

That’s why it’s so important to take action when you start seeing cracks.  Call in an asphalt professional right away so you can get the help you need.

Your Driveway Has Taken On A Faded Appearance

Another sign that you need to have your driveway seal-coated is when the color of the material has started to fade.  The deep, dark black color that used to be so attractive has now turned into a grayish color that could be killing the curb appeal of your home.

When the seal on your driveway is strong, the rays from the sun aren’t able to cause as much fading.  Over time, as the seal wears away, more and more sunlight is allowed to seep through.  The ultraviolet (UV) rays eventually do a number on the coloring of your driveway.

Paying attention to the signs is the best way to determine if it’s time to have your driveway seal-coated.  If either of these symptoms crops up, don’t delay.  Contact an asphalt professional so you can get the seal-coating done today

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Precautions To Ensure Your Roof Doesn’t Leak While You Are Away On An Extended Vacation

Would you want to come back from a vacation to find that your home has experienced water damage from a leaking roof? Nobody would like such a welcome, but that is exactly what may be in store for you if you go on an extended vacation without confirming that your roof is in good shape. Here are three precautions to ensure you aren’t greeted by such a disaster on your return:

Inspect the Most Likely Leak Spots

Some parts of the roof are more likely to leak than others. Therefore, before you leave for your trip, inspect these areas to ensure they are structurally sound and that they don’t have telltale signs of impending doom.

For example, you need to inspect the roof valleys, which are joints where two sloping sections of the roof come together. Rainwater or melting snow gathers in the valley and can cause leaks. Valleys also tend to weaken after being stepped on, which can cause leaks. Roof projections (such as vents and chimneys) also tend to leak a lot, usually at the point where they meet the roof. This is usually due to the decay of the flashing covering the joint between the roof and the projection.

 Replace Missing Sections of the Roof

If your roof has a few missing shingles or tiles, then it is headed for a leak even if it hasn’t started leaking. Shingles or tiles are the first layer of protection for your roof; they actually protect the waterproof layer. When the waterproof layer is exposed because of missing shingles, it deteriorates (due to sun and moisture action) and becomes inefficient. Because of this, replace any missing shingles or tiles before setting off for your vacation.

Ensure the Gutters and Roof Are Clean

Lastly, you need to clean your roof and gutters since debris on the roof or in gutters can also encourage leaks. A dirty roof traps more moisture than usual. The longer the moisture stays on the roof, the more it encourages metal parts of the roof to rust and the wood parts to decay, both of which can cause leaks. At the same time, clogged gutters don’t drain away water, and water standing in the gutters can easily seep under the edges of the roof. Not only that, but clogged gutters encourage ice dam formation, another roof phenomenon that can lead to leaks.

For more information, contact local professionals like Gulfside Roofing Inc.

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3 Must-Do Maintenance Tasks For Your Garage Door

Most modern homes are equipped with automatic garage doors that make accessing the garage space more convenient. If you enjoy being able to enter and exit your garage without having to leave your vehicle to manually operate the door, then you need to keep your garage door in good working condition.

Here are maintenance tasks that you can’t overlook if you want your garage door to remain safe and functional in the future.

1. Check the balance.

Each year there are some 30,000 injuries caused by malfunctioning garage doors. Many of these injuries are the result of an improperly balanced garage door. When your automatic door isn’t balanced. it doesn’t have the ability to stay open. The door could come crashing down at any moment, resulting in serious injury.

You can easily check the balance of your garage door by taking the time to close the garage door completely and pull the release level that allows you to manually operate the door. Lift the door off the ground, and check to see if it stays open on its own. If the door shuts, the balance is off and professional attention is needed to restore safe functionality.

2. Lubricate the moving parts.

An automatic garage door relies on a series of moving parts in order to raise and lower the door on a regular basis. Over time, these parts can lose their ability to move smoothly. Adding lubrication to your garage door’s moving parts is the best way to ensure the door goes up and down without issue.

Add a silicone lubricant to all metal hinges, springs, rollers, and chains to provide maximum mobility, but avoid letting the lubricant come into contact with any plastic parts since the lubricant could cause premature weakening of the plastic.

3. Check the sensitivity of your door.

Modern automatic garage doors are equipped with sensors that prevent them from crashing down too hard. When the settings for the sensitivity of these sensors is off, your garage door could sustain damage during normal use.

You can easily check the sensitivity of your garage door by placing a piece of wood directly under the door. If the door bounces back up when it comes into contact with the wood, then your sensitivity level is appropriate. If there is no bounce-back, you will need to adjust the settings on your sensors manually until you achieve the right level of sensitivity.

Taking the time to complete regular maintenance will keep your garage door safe and functional well into the future. For more information on garage doors, contact a company like All Pro Quality Garage Doors, Inc.

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Important Information About Home Electrical Problems

Did you end up with numerous electrical problems in your house after a storm struck your area? If there was a blackout during the storm, the problems might stem from the transformer outside being damaged. However, there are a few things that might need to be inspected depending on what specifically is going on. This article will cover a few of the common electrical problems that are experienced by homeowners.

Using Electronics Leads to a Burning Odor

If the transformer on the light pole outside of your house was damaged in the storm, it is possible that too many volts are being sent through the power lines. The excessive amount of electricity can lead to the wires in outlets overheating when electronics are used. It is possible that the wires will need to be replaced. No matter what kind of repair is necessary, stop using the outlets until work is done if you don’t want to risk a fire starting up.

Sparks Occur When Plugging Devices into Outlets

The sight of sparks coming from outlets is a serious electrical problem. You might be dealing with an electrical arcing problem in the walls of your house. Basically, arcing can happen when electricity jumps around through the wires as it flows to outlets. All of the jumping causes the wires to become hot, which is possibly why sparks have been coming out of the outlets.  Keep in mind that faulty wiring in electronics can also be the cause of the sparks coming out.

Light Fixtures Are Suddenly Making Noises

When noises come from light fixtures, it can mean a few things. For example, you might hear popping sounds because the bulbs are faulty and need to be replaced. It is also possible that you simply have old light fixtures that are damaged beyond repair. A more serious reason for the noises points to there being bad wiring in your house. A house with bad wiring is a fire hazard and requires prompt professional attention.

Touching Appliances Lead to Getting Slightly Shocked

You should not be feeling any electricity when you make touch the appliances in your house. Slightly getting shocked means that something is wrong with the appliance, or the outlets are problematic. You will need to get the amount of volts flowing to the wires in the outlets checked. Make sure your house is thoroughly inspected by an electrician from a company like Conway Electric as soon as you are able to.

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How To Secure Your Glass Pane With New Caulk

Wooden windows are well liked for their traditional, old-fashioned style. However, if your wood is not properly treated, the glass can be vulnerable. The most common problem is that the actual wood sash gets warped due to moisture or extreme temperatures. The glass pane becomes loose inside of the sash when the wood warps, and your window can become leaky. You can usually fix this problem just by replacing the caulk. Here is the best way to scrape away the old caulk and apply a new product that will seal your windows.

Removing the Old Caulk

In order for the new caulk to be effective, you need to thoroughly scrape it away and clean both the glass and the wooden sash. Often, this job is very easy because the old caulk has deteriorated so much that it is no longer stuck to the window. However, you will probably need to use some sort of scraping device to get all the caulk that is still stuck to the window. A normal putty knife works well, but a painter’s knife is the best if there is still a strong seal. This has one angled corner on the blade, allowing you to gouge away and cut away the stubborn caulk. Once you scrape away the caulk, you also want to make sure there is no adhesive residue still stuck to the window. Just use a basic all-surface cleaning liquid to thoroughly remove any leftover adhesive.

Applying the New Caulk

At this point you can apply the new caulk. Make sure you use a waterproof caulk that is also designated for use on glass surfaces. Glass caulk has a little extra adhesive to help it adhere to such a smooth surface. You will need a caulk gun to shoot it into the corner. But, to spread it and make the line look straight and clean, you just need to use your finger. Wear latex gloves to protect your finger. The trick is wipe the caulk with pressure. Do, short wipes and then clean your finger off between each wipe. If your fingers are clean, the caulk texture left behind after the wipes will be smooth. If you use a smaller finger, you will wipe away more of the caulk and leave behind a small line. This step is not only essential because it makes your lines look better, it also forces the caulk into the corner to create a strong seal.

For assistance with your windows, talk to a professional.

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How To Make An Outdoor Fire Pit With Entertainment Area

Fire pits are a wonderful idea, especially if you like to entertain while sitting around a bonfire on a cool night. They are a way to keep your fire under control and contained, while also giving your backyard some style. Sure you can invest in a metal fire ring that sits on the ground, but that sounds a little boring. Give your backyard a little added beauty by creating an in-ground fire pit surrounded by an entertainment area. See below for instructions on how to create this small oasis in your own backyard.

Here’s What You’ll Need:

  • Shovels
  • Wheel barrow (or something to put the dirt into)
  • 1 inch flat bricks (enough to place around your fire pit)
  • Lava rocks
  • Decorative rock (for the surrounding area)

Instructions:

  1. Once you have decided where you would like your fire pit to go in your backyard, you can begin digging it out. You can make your fire pit any size you would like. A good size is 4 feet wide by 12 inches deep. This may require a lot of digging on your part, so grab a friend or two for help, or you can rent a small excavator to help you out.
  2. After your hole is dug out, tamp the ground down inside of the fire pit so it’s level. Then add about 4-5 inches of lava rock to the bottom of the fire pit, leveling it off with your hands (or a shovel).
  3. Now you can add the 1 inch flat bricks to the fire pit. You will lay them in a vertical position along the sides of the fire pit, tilting them slightly so they are even with the top of the fire pit.
  4. Remove the sod surrounding the fire pit. You can remove just a small 12 inch area surrounding the fire pit if you don’t want to create a large entertaining area. If this is the case, add some large flat rocks to give it a decorative touch. If you want an entertaining area, you’ll need to remove a large amount of sod surrounding the fire pit. The size will depend on the size of the entertainment area you want. Once the sod is removed completely, you can lay down some weed blocking fabric and add decorative rock to the area. 
  5. Finally, add a few chairs to help your guests relax around your new fire pit. You can also add some string lighting around the perimeter for added ambiance.

Creating a backyard fire pit is not too difficult, creating a backyard oasis takes some thought, planning, and work. If this is too much of a job, call in a professional to get the job done for you or visit a website like http://www.alpinefireplaces.com.

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Some Very Good Advice for Replacing Vinyl Flooring

Want to spruce up a room in your house? Consider replacing and installing a new vinyl floor! Installing a vinyl floor is not difficult, though there are some factors to take into consideration that can make a big impact on the finished results.

Some tips for installing your vinyl floor include the following.

Your best guess is not good enough. This is not the time for guesswork. Measure the floor space carefully, after the trim and molding are removed, to obtain the most precise figure when estimating how much material you will need and what it will cost.

Do it when no one is home. The best time to plan your project is when nobody is home. If this isn’t possible, try to schedule the project for when there will be a minimum of foot traffic in the space.

Assess your surface. Vinyl flooring can be installed directly on a concrete subfloor as long as the surface is clean, dry, and smooth. Vinyl flooring can also be laid on existing vinyl, linoleum, or laminate flooring if the surface is smooth and tightly adhered to the subfloor beneath.

Plan on an underlayment. If you are using vinyl over a wood floor, you will need to use an underlayment, such as plywood. If you are replacing a cushioned or resilient flooring material, you will also need to use an underlayment. When floors are compromised, buckled, or warped, you will also want to take the time to install an underlayment before you proceed.

Consider the clearance. Keep in mind that adding a new vinyl floor will add around half an inch to the total height of your floor. This means that you will need to consider the clearance on top needed for appliances and cabinetry to be flush with your counters or fixtures. Also, make sure that this difference doesn’t cause an issue at the bottom of your built-ins or cabinets that may be flush with your floor; if necessary, you may need to take time to remove layers of subflooring or raise counters and cabinets.

Take time to deal with the trim. The trim around your flooring helps to keep it in place and wrinkle-free. Be sure to remove the trim when measuring and installing your vinyl flooring. Here are some tips for removing the trim and keeping it intact.

  • Take care to locate the original nails that were used to install your trim.
  • Use a nail-set and hammer to pound the nails through the existing trim so that it easily pulls away from the wall. Remove the nail from the wall with the claw-end of your hammer.
  • You may also use a flat-sided pry bar to gently and carefully pull the trim and nails away from the wall. Work slowly, or you run the risk of damaging your piece of trim or molding.

Don’t forget to fill. Use products from your home-improvement store or flooring retailer to fill in the gaps, cracks, and seams after your floor is installed. These fillers can be used to repair issues or imperfections with the floor too. Typically, these fillers should dry completely, and then the spots should be gently sanded so that they are level with the flooring.

It is amazing the difference that a new vinyl floor can make in any room of the house. Use these tips to ensure that your floor lasts and lives up to your standards and expectations. Talk with retailers such as Simple Scribe about vinyl flooring options and tools. You can reach out to a flooring contractor if you don’t have time to install the floor on your own.

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