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Choosing a Contractor

How To Fix Potholes In Asphalt Driveways

Posted by on Mar 24, 2017 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How To Fix Potholes In Asphalt Driveways

If you have an asphalt driveway, it will develop potholes with time. Asphalt driveways and roads are made from a foundation layer of compact soil and gravel covered by asphalt. The weight of vehicles and sun cause cracks in the surface, which allows water to get in them. It eventually caves the asphalt making the pothole. You don’t need advanced skills to fix potholes. Here are tips to fix potholes in an asphalt driveway. Prepare to Work For this project, you need: work gloves tape measure trash bag hose with spray nozzle broom shovel or dustpan chisel mallet 4 by 4 plywood board or hand tamper stirring stick or drill with stir attachment sand or dust cold-patch asphalt mix emulsified liquid asphalt sealer Use the shovel to dig loose asphalt pieces, and discard them. Sweep the pothole to remove gravel. Break up loose pieces from the hole with a mallet and chisel. To get rid of loose gravel, or the materials won’t bond well. Rinse the hole with the hose, and let it dry. Mix the Cold Patch Measure the pothole to determine how much cold-patch mix you need. A pothole smaller than two-square feet commonly needs a fifty-pound bag of mix. Cold-patch is available in pre-mixed cans or bags. Mix the cold-patch according to directions. If you buy a can, you will need to stir it. Apply a priming layer of sealer with a trowel on the inside of the pothole. .Seal the Hole Add the mix until it is a half-inch above the surface. Use the plywood or hand tamper to pack the mixture; beginning from the outside. Another option is to rent a power tamper from a home improvement store. Compact the cold-patch more by laying a piece of wood over the hole, and driving your vehicle over it several times.Tamping the mixture down is essential to prevent deterioration, so don’t be tempted to skip it. Add another layer of mix, if the hole is deep, and tamp. Continue in the same manner until the mix is flush with the driveway. Repeat the process for other potholes in the driveway. Add some sand or dust to make the patch job blend with the driveway and to keep your shoes from getting dirty from the repair material. Give the patch area about twelve hours to dry. After several days, apply the sealer over whole driveway. Fixing potholes in your asphalt driveway makes your driveway safer. If you don’t trust your skill, or your driveway is seriously damaged, contact an asphalt service, like Lakeridge Paving...

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How to Choose the Right Draperies When You Have a Curious Kitty

Posted by on Mar 24, 2017 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How to Choose the Right Draperies When You Have a Curious Kitty

If you own a cat and are tired of constantly needing to move your draperies away from the claws that can quickly damage the delicate materials often present in draperies, changing their presentation and expected function is worth consideration. It is important to note that while the risk of damage to the fabric is obvious, it is also possible that your feline could incur significant injury as a result of the experience. Therefore, it is a good idea to consider the following advice when you want your draperies to remain intact and fully functional despite the presence of your curious kitty with sharp claws. Consider the Materials & Construction  You may already know that cats have been known to judge several feet or more in the air when they are after something they consider to be prey. That means that it is best to plan around those distinctive leaps by providing curtains that are thick, sturdy and do not present with the possibility of your cat’s claws becoming entangled in them. You can use those new draperies for the entire length of the new draperies or you can elect to use curtains that only have a lacy or delicate construction for the area at the top. Your cat’s temperament and behavior should help you to determine the most appropriate option. However, if you have doubts, your veterinarian should be able to make an informed recommendation.     Choose Draperies That Can Be Completely Secured to the Wall Another option that might help you to benefit from draperies as a cat owner is choosing draperies that can be secured to the wall or another surface that is near to them. Cats are often fascinated by the movement of the draperies resulting from external breezes or treated air within the home. As a result, your goal should be to limit the movement of the draperies, which will then allow the area to be of less interest to the feline. Therefore, a very heavy fabric that can be snugly hidden behind nearby pieces of furniture is a good idea. Alternatively, opting for draperies that are already designed or can be modified to attach to the wall without movement or gaping of the material at any point can allow the units to remain unharmed. Finally, combining short draperies that are too high for your cat to access with the use of sturdy, blinds or internal shutters made of wood, is a viable option to consider.  In conclusion, it is often necessary to modify the furnishings in your home around the needs of your family members. Since many families include one or more felines, it is a good idea to be aware of the above information when you want to be able to enjoy both your draperies and your cat’s presence for the foreseeable future.  To learn more about your options, contact services like Park City Blind &...

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Things To Consider For A Private School

Posted by on Mar 16, 2017 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Things To Consider For A Private School

Opening a private school is a great way to achieve greatness in life. There is nothing better than helping to pave the way to a bright future for children. When you open your private school, you might want to make it competitive with other private schools in the area. You must keep in mind that parents will be paying for their children to attend your school, so make sure that it is worth their money. Take a look at this article to discover things that should be considered to make your private school attractive to parents and students. 1. Don’t Make Parents Pay for the Uniforms If you intend on making your students wear uniforms, consider making them something that comes with enrollment. For instance, most private schools make parents pay for uniforms, but you can make your school standout by not charging any money for them. You can also provide uniforms in many different styles to give students more options to wear to school. You can provide skirts, dresses, shorts, pants, and different uniform shirts. Just make sure all of the clothing items are within the same color scheme to keep your private school with a professional appearance. 2. Keep the Children Safe by Getting a Fence Installed It is important for parents to know that their children are safe when they are on the playground. You don’t want strangers to have easy access to your property. You can provide protection by getting a fence installed around the playground area, or even around the entire perimeter of the school. You want to opt for a fence type that is difficult for someone to climb across, as well as one that gives the children a view to the other side. Steel or chain-link fences are nice options for you to consider, and a fence company can put one up in a timely manner. To learn more about your options, check out websites like 3. Limit the Amount of Students in Each Classroom One of the purposes of a parent sending their child to a private school is for a quality education. Public schools will usually have a large amount of students in each classroom, which makes it difficult for them to receive personal attention. Keep your classroom limited to a small amount of students so the instructors can spend more private time with each one. You will end up with a fewer amount of students in your school, which is a great way of maintaining control over their...

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Simple Guide To Maintaining Your New Vinyl Windows

Posted by on Mar 10, 2017 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Simple Guide To Maintaining Your New Vinyl Windows

When it comes time to put money into your home, you may be overwhelmed by the different options. Building on an addition, improving your landscaping, or updating flooring are smart tasks, but installing new energy-efficient windows is a worthwhile investment that will stand the test of time. While shocking for most people to learn, replacing single-pane windows with new Energy Star windows provide a layer of insulation that can save you up to $465 a year in energy costs. Of course, protecting your new energy-efficient, valuable investment will require some work. With this guide, you will learn the best techniques for maintaining and cleaning your new efficient windows. Inspect Maintaining your new windows does not have to be difficult. However, you should spend time inspecting your windows once or twice a year before cleaning. To get started, inspect the window screens for signs of distress. If you see any cuts, scrapes, or tears in the screen, replace them immediately. Check the screen frames as well for cracks and damage. Your screens are an imperative part of filtering heavy debris that could damage your actual window panes. Remove the screens even if they are in good condition and set them aside for cleaning. Once the screens are removed, inspect the weather stripping around the windows. Be sure it is in good condition and providing proper insulation and security. Make sure to check the weather stripping inside and outside the home, around each window frame. Apply new weather stripping if necessary. Inspect the glass and vinyl frames of your windows. Cracks in either glass or vinyl are obvious signs that your windows need to be replaced. If the windows appear foggy or show signs of condensation, the window seal has failed or is beginning to fail. Failed seals will reduce the insulation of your window, allowing outside air to come into your home. This can increase the cost to heat and cool your home properly, so make sure to have these windows replaced or repaired by a professional. Cleaning Focus on the window screens first, since these will require time to dry before reinstalling. Rinse off each screen under your sink faucet to remove light dirt and debris. Use a household cleaning brush to scrub away heavier residue. Set the screens aside while you focus on your frames and panes. Open each window and use a damp cloth to remove residue from the window tracks. After closing, use the cloth to wipe away any other residue that you notice. Many homeowners will use a pressure washer to wash their windows, but the excess water pressure can actually damage the window seals. For the safest and most effective option, wash each window pane by hand. Add the following ingredients to a spray bottle: 2 cups of water 1 cup of white vinegar Shake to mix the ingredients before spraying on one glass pane. Allow the solution to soak the glass, eating through dirt and debris. Then, use a squeegee tool to remove leftover cleaning solution. Swipe from the left to the right and then up and down. Be sure to wipe off the blade of your squeegee tool after each swipe. Your vinyl frames should also be cleaned during this time. Wiping each frame down with a damp cloth is usually sufficient....

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3 Creative Ways To Use Extra Bricks Around The Home

Posted by on Mar 6, 2017 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Creative Ways To Use Extra Bricks Around The Home

Masonry plays a critical role in the design and function of many homes. If you are installing a new brick exterior or fireplace on your property, you may find that you have some bricks left over when your project is complete. Rather than throwing these bricks away, you should strive to give them new life by incorporating them into unconventional places within the home. Here are three creative ways that you can use your extra bricks in the future. 1. Use an extra brick to help you conserve water. Water conservation is a topic that many homeowners take seriously. If you are looking for simple and effective ways to reduce the amount of water that you use within your home, then those extra bricks could be the answer. Placing a brick into the tank of each of the toilets within your home will slightly reduce the amount of water that you use each time you flush. The brick takes up space in the tank, which displaces some of the water and tricks the tank into thinking it is full without completely filling with water. Putting a brick into your toilet tanks will help you see a noticeable difference in your water consumption over time. 2. Use extra bricks to create votive holders. Votive candles can add ambiance and charm to your home’s interior. The empty spaces in the middle of bricks provide the perfect nesting space for a votive candle. If you like the color of your bricks, then leave them bare as you place them around your home. If you want to add more interest and character, you can distress the bricks with chalk paint or cover them with metallic spray paint before filling them with votive candles. The brick will act as an insulator to prevent the candles from getting too hot, and they will add an element of intrigue to your interior design. 3. Use extra bricks as flower pot fillers. Colorful flowers can give your home’s exterior a certain charm during the warmer months. Large flower pots can be decorative ways to add more foliage to your home’s landscape, but filling these pots completely with quality potting soil can be costly. By placing some extra bricks in the bottom of your flower pots, you can reduce the amount of soil required to fill these large pots. The bricks can also encourage proper drainage, contributing to the health and beauty of your flowers. Taking the time to learn about some simple ways that you can use the bricks left over from a large masonry project around your home will allow you to get creative when it comes to giving these construction materials new life. For more information about bricks, talk to a professional like Corrado...

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A Few Tips to Help With Your Spring Tree Trimming Tasks as Spring Arrives

Posted by on Mar 1, 2017 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on A Few Tips to Help With Your Spring Tree Trimming Tasks as Spring Arrives

The weather is getting warmer and soon your trees will have new growth and be full of leaves. Before it is too late, you will want to do all the pruning that is needed. Pruning your trees will ensure that they grow healthily and do not develop problems that may necessitate removal. Here are some tips to help you with your spring pruning before new growth starts:  1. Pruning Fruit Trees for Healthier Growth and Better Harvest There are some trees that provide fruit every summer or fall. Fruit trees are usually smaller and need special care to ensure that provide a bountiful harvest and are healthy. Generally, you want to keep fruit trees trimmed low to get to fruit when harvest time arrives. It is also important to keep the branches cut to shorter lengths, which will prevent them from becoming overloaded with fruit. Too much fruit on branches can cause them to easily break and expose trees to insects and disease. 2. Trimming Trees to Promote Healthy Growth and Prevent Problems Trimming trees is also something that needs to be done to promote healthy growth. It is especially important to prune younger trees every year to train them to grow and give them a good shape. As trees mature, the trimming will become less intensive and will be done mostly to remove growth that can cause problems if left alone. Remove odd branches and sprouts when you trim your trees, leaving behind only the healthiest growth. 3. Tree Trimming to Remove Dead Growth and Problems That Lead to Infestations Over the year, there may be branches that have died due to different issues. It may be due to storm damage, which is something that requires emergency care to ensure your tree is not exposed to insect infestations or disease. In addition, you will want to remove any branches that have died due to insects. When removing branches, cut any broken branches too, which will ensure that fungal infections do not develop. In extreme cases, the damage to your trees may mean that you need to have them completely removed. These are some tree trimming tips to help you with the pruning maintenance that your trees need in late winter and early spring. If you need help with care for some of your trees, contact a professional like Smitty’s Tree Service Inc to help you with some of your tree trimming...

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5 Ways To Take Excellent Care Of Your Garage Door This Winter

Posted by on Nov 7, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 5 Ways To Take Excellent Care Of Your Garage Door This Winter

Garage doors are an incredibly important yet often overlooked part of the home. Too many homeowners take a “wait and see” approach to their garage doors, ignoring signs that they need maintenance until there is a major problem. This is an especially unwise approach in the winter, when a broken garage door could lead to letting snow and cold air into your garage. A better idea is to implement these five garage door tips into your winter home maintenance plan: Add Insulation to Your Garage Door Your garage doesn’t have to be a miserable place to spend time in the winter. By adding insulation to your garage door, you will help keep the cold air outside where it belongs. This will help keep adjacent rooms warmer as well, while using less energy. Once your garage door is insulated you may find your garage is comfortable enough in the winter for you to finally spend time out there tackling all those projects you’ve been meaning to get around to. Best of all, insulating your garage door is an easy and affordable DIY project if you are handy and don’t feel like hiring a professional. Lubricate All Moving Parts Many garage door issues can be prevented as long as the moving parts are kept clean and lubricated. A properly lubricated garage door operates smoothly and quietly, without damaging friction that can lead to components breaking down much sooner than they should. Start by cleaning the various parts of your garage door with warm soapy water. Rinse and dry thoroughly before lubricating any metal hinges, springs, and bearings with a manufacturer-approved lubricant.   Consider Adding Smart Home Technology If you’ve been thinking about incorporating smart home technology into your garage door, winter is the perfect time. You will no longer need to worry about forgetting the garage door open on a snowy day when you are at work, and you won’t be forced to get out of the car in the cold because the batteries in your garage door opener died at an inconvenient time. Instead, you will be able to open, close, lock, unlock, and monitor your garage door remotely from your smartphone, and so will any approved family members. Clean the Weatherstripping and Replace as Needed Just like with your home’s doors and windows, weatherstripping and seals around your garage door’s bottom and sides help to keep out the elements and protect both your garage and the garage door from the harsh effects of extreme temperatures and weather. Over time, however, weatherstripping can accumulate dirt and debris, be torn away from the garage door or dry out and crack. Start by cleaning the weatherstripping and rubber seals with soapy water. Then inspect both carefully for damage. If you notice cracks, holes, or areas where the weatherstripping no longer adheres, it’s time to replace it. You can buy cut-to-measure weatherstripping at any major home improvement store. Schedule a Tune-up A great way to keep your garage door in tiptop operating shape for many years to come is to schedule an annual tune-up. Your garage door is integral to your home’s security and comfort, and is also a large, expensive component of your home with many moving parts. For these reasons, it only makes sense to schedule an annual inspection just like...

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Staying Grounded When It Comes To Overhead Crane Safety

Posted by on Sep 22, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Staying Grounded When It Comes To Overhead Crane Safety

Electrocution is one of the most common causes of workplace death for overhead crane operators. According to a recent study from the Center to Protect Workers’ Rights (CPWR), half of all electrocutions occurred when a crane boom or cable was brought into contact with an overhead power line. Safety is paramount when it comes to operating overhead cranes and other lifting equipment, and the importance of keeping this equipment grounded can’t be overstated. The following takes an in-depth look at grounding requirements for overhead cranes, as well as what workers can do to protect themselves when working on or around overhead cranes. Why is Grounding So Important? Proper grounding is an absolute must for crane operators and nearby workers, as it provides an opportunity for electricity to return safely to the ground without posing a danger to others. Keep in mind that electrical current favors the path of least resistance. Without a proper grounding system, the crane operator or anyone unfortunate enough to touch the crane could end up becoming the ground. It’s not just worker safety that makes proper grounding so important. Today’s modern overhead cranes are outfitted with the latest in remote monitoring equipment and other assorted electronics. These electronics are also vulnerable to electrocution hazards and require protection against shock. Common Rules on Grounding Overhead Cranes The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has several rules governing how overhead cranes and hoists should be grounded. These rules actually incorporate several existing standards set by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) and the American National Standards Institute, including the grounding standards found in the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Number 70 National Electrical Code. According to these standards: Exposed metal components that aren’t carrying current must be bonded by bonding jumpers or mechanical connections to create a ground-fault current path. An overhead crane’s moving parts are considered to be grounded through their bearing surfaces. The exceptions include removable accessories and attachments with metal-to-metal bearing surfaces. A separate bonding conductor is required for trolley frames and bridge frames, since they’re not considered to be grounded through the bridge and trolley wheels. OSHA’s standards also require the frames and tracks of electrically operated cranes to be grounded. It’s also important to note that separate grounded conductors and equipment grounding conductors cannot be the same color as other existing conductors. Instead, grounded conductors should be white or natural gray in color or markings, while equipment grounding conductors can be green in color or marking or, in many cases, left uninsulated. Three Grounding Bars Aren’t Enough It’s not unusual to see older overhead cranes equipped with only three grounding bars, as opposed to the four grounding bars usually seen on newer cranes. However, operating a crane with just three grounding bars in place can expose operators and nearby workers to an unnecessary electrocution risk. Current OSHA regulations also require overhead cranes outfitted with additional electronics to have a fourth grounding bar equipped. Many owners of older overhead cranes will point to the grandfather provision in 29 CFR 1910.179(b)(2) as their reason for not adding a fourth grounding bar. However, this provision is constantly misinterpreted. Despite referring to the overall design of the overhead crane, the grandfather provision does not touch on how the equipment is installed and connected. As a result,...

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5 Eco-Friendly Insulation Products

Posted by on Aug 1, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 5 Eco-Friendly Insulation Products

If it’s time to redo the insulation that helps keep your home cool in summer and warm in winter, you may be wondering if there are green options among insulation materials. Fortunately, a variety of eco-friendly insulation exists. Following are five types of green insulation for your consideration — you’re sure to find one that works for your specific situation.  Hempcrete Hemp is a crop that grows quickly and requires very little maintenance during cultivation. It’s a versatile plant that can be grown in both temperate and tropical climate and absorbs significant amounts of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Hempcrete has high insulating properties and is made from the cellulose cores of commercially grown hemp plants.  Recycled Denim Also known as cotton fiber insulation, recycled denim insulation is made from the scraps left over from the process of manufacturing denim clothing. This insulation is made from materials that would have otherwise ended up in landfills, and it can be further recycled once the insulation reaches its usable lifespan. Denim insulation is also about 30-percent acoustically superior than insulation materials like fiberglass, resulting in a more serene indoor environment. Using recycled denim insulation also results in higher indoor air quality because it contains no formaldehyde or other volatile organic compounds that have the potential to pollute the indoor environment. Recycled denim insulation is treated with a safe borate solution for superior fire-resistance, earning it a Class A rating from the EPA, which means that it is not readily flammable and will not contribute to the growth and spread of existing fires. It’s also treated with an EPA-approved fungicide to protect against the development of mold and mildew colonies.  Sheep Wool Insulation  You’re probably already familiar with the superior insulating properties of sheep’s wool — after all, most people reach for a wool sweater when outdoor temperatures become chilly. Sheep wool makes superior household insulation for the same reasons you can count on it to keep you warm on a blustery winter day. It’s a breathable, fire-resistant material that contains tiny pockets that trap air, keeping homes warmer in winter and cooler during summer. Homeowners with sheep wool insulation find themselves adjusting their heating and cooling control systems less often than with other types of insulation. Sheep wool insulation also absorbs moisture from the atmosphere, preventing conditions from becoming overly humid.  Cellulose Insulation  Newspapers and other waste paper gleaned from community recycling programs are used to create cellulose insulation. You may be thinking that paper-based insulation products are probably extremely flammable, but that’s not the case with cellulose insulation — it has a Class A fire-resistance rating. This type of insulation can actually help control the spread of fire. Cellulose insulation also doesn’t contain formaldehyde or other potentially harmful compounds that can pollute the indoor atmosphere and pose health risks to humans and domestic pets.  Expanded Cork Insulation  This all-natural insulation product might already be familiar to you if you are a wine connoisseur — it’s the same material that’s used to produce wine corks. Expanded cork insulation is made from cork granules that are treated by exposure to ultra-heated steam that activates a natural binding agent present in the wood, resulting in an end product with superior density. Expanded cork insulation also has enhanced acoustic properties, making it an excellent choice for those who live in noisy...

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5 Common Myths About Home Fire Sprinklers Debunked

Posted by on Jun 27, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 5 Common Myths About Home Fire Sprinklers Debunked

Automatic sprinkler systems have been a standard safety requirement for many commercial buildings for decades, but expanding the equipment to the residential market has been a very slow process. Most homeowners aren’t aware of the facts about these life-saving sprinklers and instead make their decisions based on widespread myths. Learn to separate the truth from the myths when it comes to home fire sprinkler systems. Home Sprinklers are Expensive It’s true, installing sprinklers in your home will cost more than simply not adding any fire safety equipment at all. However, it’s less expensive than you probably think to add the plumbing and sprinklers during the construction process. For a new home, you could spend as little as $1.35 per square foot for continuous and automatic coverage. For a 1,000 square foot home, that’s just $1,350. When you consider the costs of repairing after even a small kitchen fire, that’s a drop in the bucket. Fire damage restoration costs $45,000 on average and that’s only if the home can be saved, so even spending a few thousand on installation in an existing home will save you money in case of a fire. Home Sprinklers are Banned Some homeowners believe that their local or state building codes have banned the installation of automatic fire sprinkler systems in residential buildings. However, this is very unlikely to be true. In fact, it’s a growing trend for building code officials to require new home construction to include these safety features. In fact, there have even been proposed revisions to the International Building Code that would mandate this equipment for all new construction. Double check your local codes by calling the code enforcement office for your city or county before assuming you’re not allowed to install such an important life-saving system in your own home. Home Sprinklers Don’t Work A poorly maintained or incorrectly installed sprinkler system can definitely fail to put out a fire, but that’s a fact that extends to everything in life. A fire sprinkler system that functions as it was intended to does work to put out a fire and will save lives and prevent damage to the home. Sprinklers that go off at the wrong time are very rare, and modern systems are built to only trigger the sprinklers in the room where the fire has started. This minimizes water damage, which is still easier and less expensive to clean up than fire and smoke damage. It’s not smoke that triggers the water to come on but heat instead, so you won’t have to worry about soaking your carpet just because your toast got a little too dark. Installing a sprinkler system reduces your chances of dying if there is a fire by 82%, so obviously they do work to control fires and save lives. The 97% reduction in property damage is nothing to sneeze at either. Home Sprinklers Waste Water It might seem silly to worry about how much water is being using to douse a flaming oven or curtain, but some homeowners do use it as an excuse not to invest in fire sprinklers. Yet this is an easy myth to debunk simply by checking the gallons of water used by firefighters when they’re putting out a blaze. In a 15-year study, sprinklers were able to put out...

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