What Should You Be Doing For Your Driveway?

After you get an asphalt driveway poured onto your property, you might be happy with how it looks and start focusing on other improvements you want to make on your land. However, as you notice the condition of older asphalt surfaces that you see on a day to day basis, you might start to wonder what you can do so that your own driveway continues to look smooth, black and new. Consider doing the following actions for your asphalt driveway so that it stays beautiful.

Sweep the Asphalt

It may never have occurred to you that your driveway needed to be cleaned. Sweep it regularly and keep it clear of twigs, leaves and other debris. Not only will this keep your driveway looking neat, but it will also help you to notice any stains and cracks that need to be taken care of.

Take Care of Stains

What should you do if you see stains on the asphalt surface? It’s easy to want to ignore them if they aren’t too big. However, the chemicals in car fluids, paint and other substances may interact with the asphalt surface and make it more susceptible to damage.

There are a number of things you can do to address stains that you see. You can use some cat litter or baking soda to soak up grease and other liquids, or you might use laundry detergent and a bristle brush to scrub stains out. If you cannot seem to remove the stains on your own, it is wise to seek out the help of a professional.

Fill Small Cracks

You might imagine that it’s best to ignore small cracks, as you may think that’s normal for driveways. However, even small cracks can ultimately lead to huge problems for your entire driveway. When it rains, water is able to get into even the smallest of cracks, and may unsettle the soil beneath the asphalt surface. If that happens, your driveway might crack even more.

To avoid this, keep a commercial crack filler on hand and when you see little cracks, and fill them so that they don’t become worse.

Sealcoat the Surface

Another smart idea for your driveway is to have a chemical sealcoat applied to it. With a chemical sealcoat on top of your asphalt, your driveway is protected against rain, spills and stains and other problems so that it retains the glossy, black shine for a longer time. It’s important to note that the sealcoat must be redone every two years to provide adequate protection.

For more information, contact ASAP Asphalt Sealing & Paving Co. or a similar company.

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What To Know About Water Damage And Mold Growth

One of the big concerns with a water leak in your home is mold growth. In the right conditions, mold will start growing in just a day or two, even if the water spill is small. As long as there is dampness, there is the risk of mold growing in your home. Here are a few things to know about mold when it comes to cleaning up water damage in your home.

Mold May Be Unseen

You may think you lucked out and avoided mold if you don’t see it covering your floor or walls. However, there is a good chance the mold is growing somewhere unseen. It may be behind drywall, under the carpet, or under the flooring. Your first indication of a mold problem may be a musty smell in your home or irritation of your respiratory tract. You want to get rid of mold before it spreads and causes damage to your belongings or makes you sick. Therefore, it’s a good idea to work with a contractor when cleaning up water damage. An expert knows where to search out mold in hidden places so it doesn’t cause problems for your home or health.

Mold Thrives In Organic Matter

One thing mold needs in order to gain a foothold in your home is a food source. Mold isn’t really picky, it thrives on all kinds of organic matter including the wood in your floor and structure of your home. Also, drywall, clothing, upholstery, carpeting, and paper clutter are good food sources for mold when they are damp. Keep this in mind as you assess the water damage. You may think your bedroom looks dry, but if the room holds onto dampness, the clothing in your closet could start to mold and be ruined. For that reason, it’s best to remove everything from the affected room. If it isn’t raining, you can take your clothing and furniture outside to dry in the sun and to kill off mold.

Mold May Ruin Carpets And Fabric

Removing water from a soaked carpet is tricky. You’ll probably need to let a contractor extract the water with commercial equipment. Even then, it may not be possible to save your carpet. Although the carpet may dry out on top, the padding acts as a sponge and holds onto water. That means mold will grow underneath your carpet, even though the top looks clean and dry. One solution is to pull up the carpet and replace the pad with new material. One problem is that your carpet may shrink after being soaked with water and then dried. Therefore, you should be prepared for the possibility you’ll have to replace soaked carpeting. In addition to throwing out your carpet, you may have to get rid of your couch or other upholstered furniture if you can’t dry it out fast enough. If you face a big cleanup operation, you may find it quicker to throw out fabric items soaked with water or covered with mold so the restoration process moves along quicker.

Mold Can Spread Through Your Home

Be aware that mold can spread through your home to areas not affected by the water spill. This is especially true if you turn on your HVAC unit when you have a lot of mold growing in the wet area. The HVAC will pull mold spores into the ducts and disperse them into other rooms of your home. To prevent this, seal off the damaged area as much as possible. The contractor may even use negative pressure to pull air from the room to the outdoors so it doesn’t circulate through your home. If you attempt to clean up mold yourself, be careful about dragging moldy pieces of drywall or furniture through your home or you may contaminate other rooms in the process.

Also, keep in mind, working with mold is dangerous. It probably isn’t a good idea to attempt DIY cleanup, especially if you have allergies or asthma. Instead, a contractor can do the dangerous work and protect the rest of your home at the same time. In addition to staying safe, one of the most important aspects of cleaning up mold is to work quickly to dry out your house. For that, you’ll need fans and a dehumidifier because you not only need to get rid of standing water, you need to dry up dampness to keep mold at bay.

For more information, contact a company like RTC Restoration.

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Understanding Asphalt Cracking And Ways To Prevent It In Your Commercial Lot

One common parking lot problem many business owners experience is alligator cracking in the asphalt. The term refers to many shallow cracks forming across the surface of the asphalt. The pattern left behind resembles that of an alligator’s scales. If your parking area is showing these cracks, it’s important to address it immediately. Otherwise, you risk moisture seeping in beneath the asphalt, which can not only erode the base soil but also freeze and cause further damage. Here’s what you need to know about alligator cracks and ways to deal with them.

What Causes The Cracking?

Alligator cracks usually form due to insufficient support beneath the asphalt. Sometimes, they are the result of persistent traffic flow that exceeds the weight capacity of the parking area. You may also see them form in parking areas that are poorly maintained, because that lack of care allows the asphalt to deteriorate. Whether the problem starts with a poorly formed foundation at installation or is the result of general lack of maintenance, any combination of these factors can lead to this type of damage.

How Do You Prevent The Cracking?

You need to be sure that the foundation is stable and strong. If you bought the property with the parking lot already paved, though, that may be beyond your control. You can give the existing pavement the best chance at lasting durability through maintenance and care.

Make sure that your parking area is clearly labeled with weight limitation signage if there is a weight limit for your property. If it’s only rated to withstand moderate commercial vehicle weight, you want to prevent semi-trucks and large construction trucks from driving through that area.

In addition, have an asphalt paving company apply sealcoating every year or two in order to help protect the surface. While they’re at it, they can patch any stress cracks that may appear. Addressing them right away may help prevent the problem from spreading. By sealing the surface regularly and filling cracks right away, you close off any path that water might have of reaching underneath the asphalt. This prevents further deterioration of the soil underneath, which helps to keep the existing asphalt stable and minimize cracking.

As you can see, alligator cracking is a serious concern, but not an unavoidable one. With the tips here and a reliable asphalt paving company, you’ll be able to protect your investment and keep your company’s parking area looking great.

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How To Change Your Window’s Weatherstripping

Over the years, your window fixtures are bound to become a little less efficient. Just because you have a couple of leaky windows does not mean you need to immediately consider investing in new fixtures for your home. You can easily fix many of the most common problems with leaky windows on your own. Perhaps the most common issue that can be repaired with a simple DIY project is ineffective weatherstripping. You can remove your old weatherstripping and replace it with the new felt product quite easily. This article explains how to replace weatherstripping along the sash of a window. 

Removing the Old Weatherstripping

First, you need to remove all of the old weatherstripping and make the surface as clean as possible. A simple putty knife, that is not too sharp, can usually help scrape away the old weatherstripping. However, if it still has a stronghold, you might need to use some heavy duty cleaner or degreaser. Often, if your weatherstripping is very old, it will peel right off of the frame. After the actual weatherstripping is removed from the window, you need to make sure there is no leftover residue or sticky substance. Use a sponge or rag with basic household cleaner to make sure the window is perfectly clean before applying the new weatherstripping.

Applying Felt Weatherstripping

Paper-backed felt weatherstripping is the easiest to apply. It comes in large rolls, just like tape that stick directly to the window. The key is to try to not cut the weatherstripping. Instead of cutting when you reach the corner of the window, bend the weatherstripping around the corner. Any gap between separate pieces of the stripping can become problematic. Not only can air seep Beneze these gaps, it can also start to lift up if the edge gets caught when the window is opening and closing.

After your first install the weatherstripping, your windows might be a little harder to open and close. However, the felt will eventually get packed down, so the window will become easier to operate over time. Adding weatherstripping to a sliding or casement window is obviously a very simple process. Just make sure you thoroughly clean the window before you apply the new product. When done correctly, your window will have a far better seal and heat loss will not be an issue. This will ultimately help make your home much more cost efficient to run.

For further assistance or window replacement, contact local professionals.

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Is Your Ventilation Costing You Money?

If you have noticed a recent spike in your utilities when heating your home, then there are a lot of problems that might be responsible. You might need to look at your heater or your insulation. However, problems can also pop up in one of the most overlooked elements of your heating system: your air ducts. To help you get a better idea of why your air ducts might be increasing your bills, here are some ideas to consider:

Your Air Ducts Might Have Leaks

One of your biggest problems might be that there are leaks in your air ducts. In other words, some of the air flow might not be getting to the rooms in your house, instead being lost somewhere along the way.

In many cases, this is caused by general wear and tear on your air ducts. However, it can also be caused by insects or rodents. The former case is often widespread, meaning that you may need to seal the entirety of your ductwork. To contrast, the latter case is often much more localized, meaning that there may only be a few problematic areas to deal with.

Your Air Ducts Might Be Dirty

You might also simply be dealing with a case of your air ducts having too much dust. Debris can build up over time, particularly if you haven’t been using your ventilation lately. Dust can enter from any of the access points to your ventilation, meaning that you might need to check every vent cover, as well as the filters on your heater and air conditioner.

From each of these access points, you should be able to clear out a fair bit of the dust that is giving you problems. You’ll need a screwdriver to open up the vent covers, and a vacuum with a hose attachment can come in very handy for rapidly remove lots of dust that is deep inside your vents.

Your Air Ducts Might Not Be Properly Insulated

Finally, your air ducts might have good airflow, but might just be losing a lot of heat due to improper insulation. If your air ducts have poor insulation or don’t have any insulation at all, then a lot of heat can be pulled through the ducts as it moves from the central heater to your rooms.

To rectify this, you will likely need the services of a professional. Adding insulation can be a daunting task, particularly when working on air ducts in a cramped environment. Contact a company like McGuire Plumbing & Heating Inc. for more information.

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How To Manage Vinyl Siding Installation

Installing vinyl siding is a popular DIY home project. Many people take it on because it is one of the few exterior remodels that can be done without being a general contractor. Vinyl siding is designed with the consumer in mind. The planks are made modular so they can be attached to each other without any tools. That being said, the installation is still very strenuous and time consuming. You should not take on the job unless you are prepared to handle the workload. This article explain some of the installation requirements so you can decide whether or not it is a project you want to take on.

Cutting the Vinyl Planks

You will need to cut the vinyl siding planks to fit around window and door fixtures. Vinyl is very easy to cut, even with a handheld hacksaw. However, you can hugely speed up the process if you have a circular power saw. This allows you to stack multiple panels and cut them at once to ensure that you get even cuts.

Speed Up the Installation with a Few Assistants

Installing vinyl siding is a project that will go much quicker if you have at least 3 or 4 people on the job. You can streamline the installation and reduce the amount of times you have to climb up and down the ladder if you have assistance. The fastest method is to set up a ladder or scaffolding at the point on installation. One person stays atop the ladder and takes measurements. The other workers can carry and cut the vinyl siding, then bring it to the worker on the ladder. The person on the ladder will not have to deal with the physical stress of climbing up and down a ladder for each piece of vinyl. Furthermore, several pieces can be cut at once. Meanwhile, another installed can work at the ground level and install the vinyl until the two installer meet in the middle. As you can see, with just 3 people, you can speedily cut and hang vinyl siding. If you are unable to enlist this many helpers, it might be best to leave the installation to professionals or hire day laborers for assistance.

In the end, you should probably make your decision based on your personal budget and physical capabilities. Vinyl siding kits are sold with all the accessories you need and they include detailed instructions that will make the installation as easy as possible. It is definitely a manageable home improvement project for most households.

To learn more, visit a website like http://www.bramblebuilders.com

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3 Tips New Homeowners Should Keep In Mind During A Property Survey

Property surveying isn’t the most exciting part of owning a new home, but it’s certainly one of the most important. If you fail to have the property surveyed, you may run into a host a problems: you may encounter severe structural damage that wasn’t apparent when you first moved in, or you may have trouble proving to an insurance company that damage to your home existed prior to you living in it. For these reasons and more, you’ll want to consider having your property surveyed if you’re a new homeowner. Keep the following three tips in mind during a survey, and then you’ll be able to rest easy knowing that your property is in good shape.

Strong Roots Might Mean a Weak Foundation

Fruit trees and a lush garden may add to a home’s value substantially; after all, who doesn’t like the atmosphere provided by a beautiful backyard? But what’s lurking beneath the surface may give you more headaches than delicious fruits and vegetables. A tree’s roots can, over time, affect the foundation of a home and cause it to weaken considerably. So during a survey, don’t forget to look for any damage to the foundation that large tree roots might have caused.

Rainy Days are Great Opportunities

For most, a rainy day means staying inside, but a home buyer should do everything they can to get out of the house — more specifically, they need to get up on the roof. Meticulously checking for leaks in the roof can mean the difference between minor costs for repairs and major costs for repairs because the leak got out of hand. Taking preventative measures will always save you money in the long run. 

Make Sure The Surveyor You Hire is Qualified

If there’s one thing you shouldn’t be cheap about as a homeowner, it’s hiring a property surveyor. Surveying your own home for structural damage from roots or leaks is a great cost saving measure, but for a more thorough survey, you’ll need to hire a professional. In doing so, you’ll want to confirm that the surveyor you plan to hire is licensed to perform the services they are contracted for, and that they have liability insurance in case something goes wrong. Finally, be sure that the surveyor provides a written contract before any services are rendered so that you know exactly what you’re being charged for and when payment is due. Consider hiring a surveyor from DC Gohn Associates Inc Surveyors & Engineers.

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