Concrete Paving vs. Concrete Pouring

I’ve always liked the look of concrete hardscaping but I’ve only recently discovered that there’s more than one way to install concrete — apparently you’ve got concrete paving and poured concrete slabs. Pouring wet concrete onsite and leaving it to dry as one huge concrete slab is one option (which can also be stamped with a pattern to give it a tile-like appearance), and the other is when smaller concrete blocks arrive already prepared and are ready to install. To get into further detail, you can get 2 types of concrete pavers; one is called architectural pavers which is better aesthetically but thinner, and the other is interlocking pavers which are sturdier and better for parking spaces, driveways, etc.

Now what about costs and durability? While poured concrete is the more affordable option, paving is far sturdier and has a tried and proven longer lifespan than poured concrete.

So depending on what you’re looking for, you might want either one. If you’re looking to save some money short term, poured concrete might be for you. But for the long term it seems like concrete paving is the way to go.

Thanks to our buddies in Concrete Contractors Santa Maria CA for the useful information.

DIY project

This is the story about how I wasted multiple weekends trying to refinish my oak floors myself. I had budgeted a certain amount of money for all the repairs I needed on my new house, however when looking at everything that needed to be done the floors weren’t really something I considered. After living in the house a couple months I realized that the hardwood floors had some stains on them, and were generally looking worn and faded in areas.

I did go online and do some research one night and convince myself this would be a pretty easy task. I have a small pantry area in my kitchen that I thought I could use as a trial area. I set about to start testing this project myself. I rented a circular sander and looked at a bunch of different stain options. I eventually settled on a darker looking floor stain that I thought would complement the light walls I had painted. After finally getting the hang of using the sander I noticed the finished result wasn’t really what I wanted. I had uneven sanding marks and circular grit lines all over the floor. I tried my best to even it out but I found that I was doing some of the steps for the flooring out of order. After much frustration eventually I realized I could most likely just work some overtime and save up the money to have a pro do it. I went on thumbtack and searched for what I needed, floor refinishing near me.   And I ended up finding someone who banged it out nicely that weekend for me. Came out gorgeous and most importantly I was able to enjoy it right away. It’s great because when people come over they think I actually have had new floors put in, but it’s really just the old ones refinished and all polished up. Next time I’ll just hire a professional from the start since I definitely have better things I can be doing with my time than trying to learn an entire skill in a few days that others have spent years perfecting.

Fallen Trees

Winter of 2018 has been especially devastating one homeowners concerned about property damage was falling trees. Heavy winds along with three Nor’easters this winter have contributed to not only falling trees damaging houses but also bringing down power lines.  This is especially dangerous as many of these trees are falling on the roadways where people drive.  It also can be dangerous with downed power lines that in many cases police will ask residents to stay indoors so they would not be in danger of live wires.
Many people wonder why trees fall down in these high winds and especially why certain trees. The main reason trees fall down is because of shallow roots roots. Roots which are important for absorbing water, also act as a tree’s anchor keeping the tree upright so if a tree has root issues, heavy winds could essentially uproot it and knock it over.

While trees with shallow roots tend to fall over and more easily, certain species of trees are the most susceptible. The most common trees that you will see fall over and wind tend to be white pine, Cedar, Willow and white spruce.

You can usually tell when trees could topple or other signs that they may fall over as there are telltale signs. Many times the tree that’s at risk of falling over has had some of its roots compromise maybe there is been excavation done nearby, or a trench has been dug. If you see a lot of mushroom growth at the base of the trunk or on the root system that can be an obvious sign of the tree is dead or decaying from rot. Some trees may just be at risk of falling over because they’re very old while there are trees that can live up to 100 or 150 years many trees. Many trees simply have a shorter lifespan.

If you were concerned about trees falling over or uprooting during the storm there are a couple of things you can do to help prevent this. You can water your trees frequently so that the trees roots will grow closer to the surface. Make sure that your watering can your hose is only turned on to a small dribble and keep it near the major root zone leave it on for 2 to 3 hours. And then you can do that in another area of the roots do this a couple of times and you should do it once or twice a week. But make sure you don’t put too much water on your tree or you can drown it. Also make sure that any large dead limbs or giant branches are removed.  If you do find that you need your tree professionally assessed and you’re searching on your phone for tree service near me, call one of the friendly tree companies nearby.

Wiper Blade Care

Wear, Tear, and Care of Windshield Wiper Blades

Many of us take our windshield wipers and wiper blades for granted as a helpful feature for inclement weather. However, getting stuck in rain or snow without properly functioning windshield wipers will quickly make you realize the importance of well-maintained windshields and wiper blades. While natural wear and tear is normal for your wipers, the following windshield care tips and tricks will help you make sure that your wipers are ready for any condition.

1. Clean your wiper blades regularly

Wiper blades can be cleaned easily and regularly by wiping them with a wet towel along the rubber edge to remove grime, dirt, dust, and any other debris that builds up with daily use of your wipers. We recommend cleaning your wiper blades each time you fill up your gas tank.

2. Look for signs of wear and tear

When cleaning your wiper blades, look for any scratches, cracks, gaps in the rubber, or hardened rubber areas. Damaged areas like these can actually scratch your windshield, leading to damage that could be permanent. Regular inspection can help ensure that your windshield remains in peak condition.

3. Clean your windshield regularly

While we recommend regularly cleaning your windshield to ensure maximum visibility, a dirty windshield can also prematurely wear down or even damage your wiper blades. If your windshield is dirty, there’s an increased chance of you wiper blades catching on any debris or stones and damaging the blades, and most likely your windshield as well. Most gas stations have windshield cleaning stations that are free to use for customers.

4. Maintain proper windshield fluid level and type

Make sure to regularly check your windshield washer fluid levels and add additional fluid as needed. For correct windshield care, it is also imperative to use the right mix of fluids for your climate. Use a mixture of washer fluid and antifreeze, and be sure never to use plain water in your windshield washer system, as it can develop bacteria or even freeze during cold months.

5. Notice symptoms of malfunctioning wipers

If your wipers are malfunctioning or damaged, they may make unusual noises, such as squeaking, screeching, or the sound of nails on a chalkboard, all sounds that indicate that your windshield is being damaged. In addition, you may no longer be able to effectively wipe down your windshield with your wipers, causing your windshield to remain dirty or become streaky with dirt and debris that the damaged wiper blades drag across it.

6. Replace your wiper blades when needed

Finally, no matter how well you take care of them, you will at some point need to replace your wiper blades due to wear and tear. Experts recommend replacing your wiper blades anywhere from every 6 months to once a year. When the time comes to replace your wiper blades, work with an auto glass service that will provide the proper wiper blade replacements to ensure your wiper blades are working smoothly, so that you can drive more safely in any weather.

Pianting a Brick Fireplace

How to Paint a Brick Fireplace

Brick fireplaces are a gorgeous accent to any home. Perhaps your brick fireplace is in need of some TLC for mildewed or faded brick, or maybe you are just looking to change the color to give a room a fresh look—either way, painting a brick fireplace is a relatively quick and simple interior painting project as long as you follow the right steps and know how to clean, prime, and paint brick properly. Follow these steps to make sure your newly painted brick fireplace looks great for a long time to come.

1. Clean the brick

First, thoroughly clean the brick of the fireplace to make sure that it is ready to prime and paint. In order to clean the brick, we recommend using a wire scrub brush to remove all dust and dirt. A heavy-duty cleaner such as diluted chlorine bleach works well to make sure the brick is cleaned fully. Rinse the brick thoroughly and let it dry before beginning the priming and painting job. Never use acid cleaning solutions, any of which might compromise your paint job. Acid cleaning solutions can compromise your paint job, so never use those.

2. Prime the surface

After the brick is fully washed, rinsed, and dried, make sure you tape off any areas on or around the brick fireplace that you do not want to get paint on. In addition, lay a drop cloth on the floor to protect it from paint and primer. We recommend using a stain-blocking, oil-based primer on the fireplace in order to ensure that the paint lasts and is protected from any soot stains. Depending on the area of the fireplace, you can use either a roller or a paintbrush to apply the primer. Add additional coats of primer on any parts of the fireplace that had mildew before it was cleaned. Wait for each coat of primer to dry before adding another, and then make sure that all of the primer is completely dry before beginning to paint.

3. Paint your fireplace

Now that your brick is cleaned and primed, you are ready to paint! We recommend using an indoor latex paint that is designed to withstand the high temperatures that come with a lit fireplace. A roller that is specifically designed for textured surfaces in order to make sure the brick is fully covered and any gaps are filled. If there are any spots that are missed by the roller with a small paintbrush. White paint can brighten up a room in a softer way, while a black fireplace can stand out against white walls and make a bold statement in any room. Regardless of the color you choose, we recommend using two to three coats of paint for full coverage. Make sure that if you intend to paint the inside of the firebox, you use a heat- and fire-resistant paint.

Once your brick fireplace is cleaned, primed, painted, and dry, it is ready for you to use all fall and winter long!


Sponsored by House Painters Boston

Flat Tires are a bummer

Three Causes of a Flat Tireand What to Do If You Get One

No matter where you’re headed, getting a flat tire on the way there can certainly put a damper on your day. Knowing the causes—both manmade and natural—of flat tires can help you prepare. This article will cover 3 common causes of flat tires, as well as what to do when you find yourself with a flat tire.

1. Puncture by sharp object

The most common cause of a flat tire is a sharp object puncturing the tire.This object could be a nail, debris, or even purposeful tire slashing. When a tire is punctured, it may or may not cause the tire to go flat. The sharp object may miss the lining of the tire, or the lining may be completely sealed around the object. A tire pressure test can help assess whether the sharp object is causing air to leak out of your tires. If the pressure of the punctured tire is lower than normal, it is important to either patch or replace the tire.

2. Weather conditions

Have you ever woken up the morning of a heat wave or cold spell and seen the tire light on in your car? Significant drops or increases in temperature can cause your tire pressure to decrease or increase respectively. Heat is the particular culprit when it comes to flat tires. When the temperature outside rises, the air inside the tire expands, raising the tire pressure. If the tire pressure becomes too high—when the air expands beyond what the tire walls can hold—the tire can pop, causing a flat tire. (Similarly, over-inflating your tires can cause them to pop.) Routinely monitoring your tire pressure can help avoid this situation; if the tire pressure seems abnormal, do not drive on the tire.

3. Wear and tear

Finally, even if you avoid debris and hazards and live in a consistent climate, wear and tear can still cause your tires to go flat. The recommended number of miles between tire replacements is 25,000 to 50,000, depending on the climate, road conditions, type of tire, and other variables. Once the tires are beyond their recommended lifespan, they can start to wear down. This can cause leaks in the tires’ rubber, which can lead to a flat tire.

Even if you know the causes of a flat tire, you can still end up with one. In fact, the average American will encounter 5 flat tires in his or her lifetime. It is important to know what to do when you have a flat tire. We highly recommend contacting roadside assistance. Roadside assistance can send a towing service to help you safely get your car to a garage where your tire can be replaced. Roadside assistance can be especially helpful in the event of a late-night flat tire, or a flat tire in an unfamiliar area. Regardless of when and where your flat tire happens, knowing you can contact a reliable towing service when you need one can help make a stressful situation more manageable.  Sponsored by Towing Service Worcester MA