4 Tips for Keeping an Asphalt Driveway Durable

A freshly paved asphalt driveway can add a lot of curb appeal to a house. However, the asphalt can become very unappealing to look at when it begins to wear out, which can happen from exposure to outside elements. If you want to get your damaged asphalt driveway repaved without having to worry about untimely repairs, there are several things that can be done. This article provides a few helpful suggestions in regards to keeping an asphalt driveway in good shape.

1. Make Sure Prompt Repairs Are Made

The best way to keep your asphalt driveway in good shape is to never allow minor damages to go unfixed. You must get an asphalt driveway repaired as soon as you are able to if you don’t want to deal with bigger problems down the road. Something as minor as a tiny crack in an asphalt pavement can grow into a large one in no time. Make sure small cracks are sealed up as soon as you notice them appearing in the pavement.

2. Get a Carport Installed Over the Driveway

Outside elements, such as the sun, rain, and freezing temperatures, are very detrimental to an asphalt driveway. The best thing that you can do to protect the asphalt against the elements is to get a carport installed. The carport will protect all or most of the asphalt pavement from exposure to the ultraviolet rays of the sun. A smaller amount of rainwater will get on the driveway with a carport in place as well. Rainwater can become a big problem when it freezes beneath the surface of the driveway and the begins to thaw out because it contracts and expands.

3. Be Careful About Using Deicing Products

You can keep your asphalt driveway durable by staying away from deicing products. There are chemicals in the products that can react badly with the asphalt. The aggregate materials in the asphalt can then deteriorate and lead to you needing to replace the pavement altogether. Use sand on the asphalt if you ever need to cover up ice. You can get rid of the sand with a garden hose later on.

4. Pay for Sealcoating

A good technique that is used for protecting asphalt against outside elements is called sealcoating. A contractor will basically apply a protective coating to the surface of your driveway, creating a barrier. It will then be difficult for ultraviolet radiation and rainwater to penetrate the asphalt and cause damage. 

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Where Fire, Water, Earth And Wind Meet: Commercial Boilers And Their Elemental Issues

Commercial boilers are industrial marvels. They are one of few machines where all the elements come together to produce a fairly clean source of heat. However, for each element that plays its part in making a boiler what it is, there is the potential for malfunction and the need for repair. Here is how that “boils” down.

Water: Boiled and Steamed

The primary source of heat from a boiler lies in the fact that the boiler boils water and produces hot steam, which then rises into the vents and heats whatever you need it to heat. A component that helps boil the water and which frequently has need of repair is the heat coils. Water injected into the boiler tank encounters the heat coils and immediately begins to simmer into a rolling boil. When the coils are worn out, you cannot boil the water.

Earth: Resources Garnered to Fuel the Boiler

Boilers rely on coal, oil, gas or wood to operate. All of these resources are taken from the earth, either deep within it or just above the surface (i.e., wood). Components that are responsible for harboring these fuel resources and which might need repair are the oil tank and/or the lines and valves associated with it. The viscosity of the oil or burned remnants of the oil can clog lines and prevent further consumption of earthly resources. Your repair technician can perform regular maintenance to prevent these issues and/or repair the valves and tank if they fail.

Wind/Air: Necessary to Circulate the Steam

Wind and air are often considered another element. In boiler systems, air is vital on a number of levels to get the steam to circulate. The water has been transformed into hot, moist air, and air pressure within the boiler is responsible for circulation processes, both in and out of the boiler. Pressuretrols and pressure gauges are just some of the air-related components that experience problems because of the constant pressure they are required to monitor and control. False readings or readings that are atypical to your commercial boiler are definitely something you want a repair technician to check out.

Fire: No Fire Equals No Heat and No Steam

In all boilers, ignition is necessary to create fire, and fire creates the heat needed to boil water. A lack of fuel (e.g., coal, oil, etc.) or a faulty ignition switch prevents the creation of fire. If your boiler is cold or the temperature gauge registers temperatures far below normal for proper boiler operation, everything relating to these components (and this element) will have to be examined.

For information on boiler repair, contact a company like Boiler Services, Inc.

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Tips to Find a Contractor for Your Home Renovation

Renovating your home is an exciting thing for most people. There is a lot of planning, a lot of time working out of the design, and a lot of research that goes into the process, so it would stand to reason that finding the right contractor is near the top of the to-do list. It may take some time and a lot of work to find a company or contractor that you feel confident in. Here are some things to consider while looking at potential contractors to work with.

Research, Research, Research

The first step in the process of finding a contractor for your build is to research the area and find as many contractors as you can to talk to. Start working through the list and eliminate any that have no experience with projects like yours. If the contractor is a good fit for your project, put them on the “maybe” list and move to the next one. Be specific in your search and include details that are important to the final renovation as you search.

Check Their References

Just because the contractor has worked on a project like yours does not mean you are done. You need to compile a list of references for each possible contractor. This will take a little time, but you need to call these references if you are going to consider the contractor. The people or companies they have worked with in the past are the best people to tell you what they are like to work with.

Ask the Right Questions 

When you talk to people that these contractors have worked with, you need to ask some basic questions. How were they to work with? How was the quality of the work? Did they meet the deadlines and within the budget? How reasonable were they when it came to changes? The answers to these question will help you decide whether you want to work with a given contractor or not.

Make the Final Decision

Now that you have narrowed down the list, it is time to talk to the contractors. Go over the job with them and get a feel for whether or not you can work with them. Since you will work closely with the contractor for many months to come, you need to be able to gel with them. Meeting in person is the best way to determine how your relationship might be. Don’t feel like you have to pick the most experienced contractor if you don’t think you can work together. Go with the company or contractor that you feel best about!

Start interviewing contractors like Parkview Homes so you can find one that’s a good fit for you.

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Replacement Window Grille FAQ

Purchasing new replacement windows requires a bit of research to ensure you get the most value. If you are like most consumers, you already know that you will need to decide on the type of window frames – aluminum, vinyl or wood – as well as on whether you want single-pane or insulated windows. There is one decision you must make that you may not be aware of, though. That is whether or not you should get a window grille and, if so, what type to get. The following guide can help you with this decision.

What is a grille?

Window grilles are the decorative metal framework placed on some windows to give the appearance of multi-pane glass. They can be made in a variety of designs, from simple gridwork to more more ornate patterns that may even include curves. The metal is sometimes left un-coated, but it’s more often painted white, chromed, or treated to look like black wrought iron.

How are grilles installed?

The most common and least expensive option is to have the grille installed on top of the glass. Keep in mind, this does make it more challenging to clean the windows since you will need to remove any dust or dirt that collects in the seams between the glass and grille.

If you invest in insulated windows, you can have the grille installed within the airspace. This makes maintenance simple since the grille won’t interfere with the window’s surface.

Are there any benefits to grilles beyond decoration?

Grilles can provide some security. Although they aren’t as sturdy as security bars, they do make it more difficult to kick in a window. Airspace grilles can also provide some protection for the insulative gas between the panes. The grille divides the space so, if a leak occurs in one section of the window, not all the gas will be lost.

Can grilles be added later?

Although you can’t add airspace grilles at a later date, there is an option for exterior grilles. Perimeter grilles are specially made to fit your window. They snap into place with the aid of hidden hardware, which your window installer will place. One benefit to this exterior grill option is that you can remove the entire grille when desired, either to change the look of the window or just to make cleaning easier.

Contact a window installer in your area for more help in choosing the right grilles for your replacement windows.

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Little-Known Rules About Trees, Your Home, and Property

When it comes to trees, most people do not realize that there are rules for planting them and rules for keeping them out of the way. A tree-removal service such as Scott Lanes Tree Service can help you if you are now having problems with your trees, but first you should know why they might remove all of your tree rather than just part of it. Here are some lesser known rules about trees, your home, and your property.

Trees Should Not Be Planted or Growing Within Ten Feet of Your House

In most cities and states, there are rules about planting trees within ten feet or so of your house. The idea is this: if a storm takes the tree down, it is probably going to go right through your roof or the side of your home. If the tree is within ten feet of your neighbor’s home, the same thing could happen to their house, and then you would be held liable. Do not plant trees that close to your home, your neighbor’s home, or any other buildings on your property. If they are that close, have a tree service remove them promptly.

Do Not Plant Trees Close to a Sidewalk

Most homeowners think it is a good idea to plant trees close to the edge of the property so that when the trees get really big they will provide a lot of shade from the sun. While this is generally a good idea, trees should not be planted near a sidewalk. The sidewalk actually belongs to the city, and when the sidewalk is destroyed by the root system of your enormous tree, the city will charge you for the repairs to the sidewalk. If you are not sure just where you can plant a tree to get shade and not have it wreck something, ask a tree service where the best spots on your property are.

Trees Near a Fence Should Have at Least Five Feet Between Them and the Fence

Trees in the backyard and in your landscaping near the fence are lovely. However, trees tend to spread out, grow thick over time, and become quite enormous. As such, you should leave at least five feet between the saplings you plant and the fence itself. As the tree grows and the roots spread out, the fence is less likely to be upset by the roots or pushed out of line by the widening tree. If you accidentally planted a tree too close to the fence (or a squirrel planted a tree seed for you!) then the tree service you hire can remove the tree and replant it for you in a better location in your yard.

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How Sealcoating Can Be Financially Beneficial To Your Business

Sealcoating, unlike crack sealing, is a preventive type of sealing that’s performed before your pavement has any cracks in it. Not only does it make your pavement look good, but it also helps prevent future damage. As a savvy business owner, you may know that preventive maintenance is often a great time- and money-saver, but you may not be aware of all the ways your business can benefit from performing this particular type of maintenance on your parking lot. Here are a few ways this can actually save you money in the future despite the fact that you’re spending money now to have the sealcoating done.

Saving money on repairs and replacement

If you don’t have your parking lot sealcoated regularly, it’s more susceptible to damage from the weather. Sealcoating actually protects the pavement from UV rays, making it less likely that the surface will become compromised enough to allow water through. This means you’ll end up spending less money overall on repairs such as crack sealing and patching later. In addition, the pavement itself will have a longer working lifespan if it’s protected this way, meaning you won’t have to replace it as often.

Giving the front of your business a facelift

Another thing about sealcoating is that it makes your parking lot look great. This in turn can give your entire business the appearance of better upkeep, making it easier for customers to be attracted to your business and feel that they can trust you. And as you know, more customers and more trusting customers mean more working relationships and consequently more profits! Of course, this effect works best if the rest of the outside of your business already looks great (or if you update it at the same time). 

Making sure your entire parking lot is usable

In some cities, parking space is very hard to come by, but no matter where your business is located, each parking spot is an asset to your business. Even if your parking lot rarely fills up except at the busiest hour and/or the busiest season of the year, keeping the entire parking lot in good working order is crucial. If you don’t perform regular maintenance, the freeze-thaw cycle may cause the asphalt to develop faults such as alligator cracking and even potholes, causing great inconvenience to customers who are trying to use the area (especially since potholes are more likely to develop in high-traffic areas). Keeping your pavement sealcoated is the best way to avoid this type of issue.

These are just a few of the ways that the preventive maintenance step of sealcoating your parking lot can help your business maximize profits and minimize expenses related to the parking lot itself.

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Planning The Perfect Pantry — 5 Easy Tips

One of the most-used spaces in most kitchens is the pantry. Unfortunately, it’s also one of the least-planned spaces, as well. How can you design an efficient and attractive pantry? Here are 5 tips to get you started.

Avoid Long, Plain Shelves. Most people think of a pantry as a simple cabinet or walk-in space with long, basic shelving on which to place food. This, however, is a quick trip to disorganization, food waste, and frustration. Instead, try using a variety of shelf sizes and/or installing cube-shaped shelving to help you group and organize foodstuffs. An experienced cabinet company can help you brainstorm ways to maximize your shelf design. 

Make it Accessible. The problem with basic shelving or drawers in a pantry is that it can allow food to get lost in the shuffle or make it hard to get to everything. Solve this problem by including slide-out cabinets and custom shelving for things like spices or other small items. Wire baskets are another good way to corral groups of food items in a way that’s easy see, to pull out, and to access.

Decant Food. Taking food and liquids out of their original packaging is a good way to help organize it and prevent spoilage. Using coordinated clear containers and bottles purchased specifically to match your pantry design can make it easier to know how much is on hand, identify liquids or spices, and store more in less space.

Use all Space. Don’t let space go to waste in a small pantry. Instead, use hanging racks or attach wire shelving to the door of the pantry or to cabinet doors. Do you have a small leftover space next to shelves or walls? Tall, narrow spaces are great for storing baking sheets, racks, and cutting boards. Space above the pantry? Add a horizontal row of wine bottle holders. Work with your cabinet contractor to help utilize unusual spaces.

Keep the Food Together. Maximize kitchen efficiency by placing the pantry near the rest of the food in the kitchen — by the refrigerator. Incorporating storage for both dry and cold items into your work triangle (consisting of the sink, stove, and refrigerator) will help reduce excess steps and make cooking easier. 

By applying some or all of these pantry tips when planning your kitchen remodel, you can help turn an ordinary kitchen into a cooking mecca that you will love to use every day. For more information, contact local professionals like Gerald L Scott Custom Cabinetry.

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