Hiring a Concrete Contractor: Driveway Tips

If you want to make a dramatic improvement to your home, consider installing a new concrete driveway and sidewalk system. Or, maybe you are thinking about a new patio or installing a pool. All remain as popular residential concrete projects. But to do the job right, hire a professional concrete contractor or concrete company. Today, concrete has many options like texture, pattern, color,staining, and much more. There are a lot of options to consider when installing concrete. To hire a concrete contractor, ask detailed questions. To make an informed choice, talk with several concrete companies and obtain a few written estimates. Before making a final choice, perform thorough research. The prospective candidates should provide a written estimate that includes a reasonable time frame to complete the entire job. To allow the newly installed concrete driveway to reach maximum strength, wait a few weeks before parking on a new concrete driveway. Most professionals will recommend a waiting period of two to four weeks.

Installation Expertise

The prospective concrete contractor should have thorough knowledge about installing concrete. They should know what causes concrete to crack and how to prevent it. The contractor should know about water and also about weather and how both affect concrete. The correct ratio of water in the concrete mix should be used to prevent the concrete from shrinking and cracking. They should be aware that joints also aid in preventing cracking of the concrete. Depending upon the depth of the poured concrete, i.e., five inches, the joints should be placed every 10 to 15 feet. The joints allow the concrete material to be flexible without cracking and breaking. Without proper installation and proper placement of joints, a long unbroken stretch of concrete will crack during the first winter, if not before, after a concrete driveway is installed. The contractor should know about the importance of site preparation and the use of the proper materials and tools to install the concrete. As well, they should know that weather plays an important part of installing concrete. Choose a dry day, an acceptable temperature, and it should not be raining nor extremely cold. Nor should the ground be frozen. They should be aware of the weight of the vehicles that will be driven upon or parked on the concrete driveway. Vehicles weighing over one ton or more will likely cause a concrete driveway to crack.

Do Your Research

Ask for written estimates, references, check for licenses and certifications. Check with the Better Business Bureau. Read the fine print in the contract, ask about warranties or guarantees, product quality, and get all of the contract details in writing. Installing concrete takes knowledge and skill. Ensure that the cost or price is fixed. Never pay the full price upfront. Use a credit card which can help with a guarantee and that you will not be stuck with a poor job. You want the best return on investment and hiring a skilled concrete contractor is crucial to receiving the best product. If you want a properly installed concrete driveway, patio, or sidewalk system, hiring a skilled professional is the best way to go.

Cockroaches: Not In My House!

Cockroaches are sneaky pests that find ways to enter even clean homes. They can hitchhike a ride into your home and enter undetected. They sneak into the smallest of openings around pipes, small cracks, and openings around doors and windows. The eggs can enter a home undetected. Cockroaches have nocturnal habits; though, they are also visible during daylight hours. Some cockroaches are large. However, smaller ones can fit into openings as narrow as 1/16 of an inch or 0.15 centimeters.

That old myth is somewhat true that cockroaches are attracted to dirty households. True, they will stay longer in unclean places. But, they invade clean homes or businesses as well. Typically, they seek warmth, moisture, dark damp places, and food sources. They like any type of food, i.e., pizza or food left out on a counter is a bonus find for a cockroach.

Roaches can quickly infest a building and survive on very little food. They are attracted to water, food, and warm places. They have existed for over 320 million years. They can exist in walls, under sinks, in dark places, behind picture frames, and anywhere inside a home or business that they can hide. Remove enticing food sources and seal up cracks and crevices. Seal around pipes, windows, and any type of entry point.

Within the USA, four types of roaches exist. The German cockroach are usually found nesting in the kitchen and bathroom which are wet areas. The Brownbanded cockroach thrives in hot and dry regions. They will nest in areas at eye-level or higher. The Oriental cockroach is drawn to damp humid areas and are often referred to as water bugs. The American cockroach is commonly referred to as the “palmetto bug” because they favor hot and humid regions. Determining the type of cockroach invading your home is important because it can help with finding a method to remove them from your home or business.

Pest Control Company

Choosing the correct removal method is a matter of choice. Some people use the DIY (Do-It-Yourself) methods and others hire professional exterminators. The DIY methods may include chemicals or natural methods or a combination thereof. Whatever the chosen method, be vigilant in keeping up the battle to remove them from your home. It can be an arduous task to remove cockroaches from your property. Find a method that works the best for you and your situation. When choosing a method to use, be mindful of children and pets.

Simple methods to use include the following: Remove water sources. Fix water leaks and remove standing water from inside and outside of your home. Eliminate water sources and they will be more likely to eat gel-based bait traps. Keep the house clean and remove dirty dishes. Promptly after meals, store away food. Quickly wipe up crumbs and spills. Cockroaches love grease, so clean up countertops and stovetops. Keep food containers sealed and don’t leave food out on tables and countertops. Keep the dishes cleaned up and don’t leave dirty dishes out overnight. Don’t leave fruit and sugary foods out where cockroaches can access them. Be vigilant and it will help to eradicate cockroaches from your home or business.

Wooden Fencing: Care and Maintenance

Nothing dresses up your property like a nice looking sturdy fence. With proper maintenance, a wood fence will last a long time and stand up to harsh weather. Instant curb appeal, will be yours with a properly installed and maintained wood fence. To keep your fence looking good, use a quality stain or paint and a sealer on your fence. Without proper care, a wood fence will begin to deteriorate and take on a worn out appearance and lose its curb appeal. Here are some simple maintenance tips to keep your wood fence looking sharp and durable for several years.

Use a protective paint, stain, or a polyurethane sealant. Applying a quality paint or stain on the fence, will add color, texture, and protect it from harsh weather. A good sealant will add a protective layer. During the first year of your new wood fence, at least twice, seal the fence. Then, reapply the sealant every few years. Performing annual maintenance will keep your wood fence protected. Neglecting the maintenance of your wood fence, will cause the wood to rot and the fence will fall to disrepair and degrade far sooner than necessary.

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Use a good solid wood material for your fence. If you want a wood fence with a “weathered” appearance, use cedar or redwood fence material. These two types of wood are resistant to rot, and applying a sealant will provide an additional protective layer. Avoid excessively spraying water on the fence. Of course, you won’t be able to avoid rain. However when watering trees, flowers, or shrubs, avoid spraying the fence because municipal water is treated with chlorine and other chemicals not contained in rainwater. Also, don’t place trees and plants too close to your fence or buiding foundation. The roots can grow into a fence or other structures. Place sprinklers so that they will spray away from the fence. The better that you care for and maintain your wood fence, the longer it will last.

If you reside in an area that receives a high amount of inclement weather, consider treating the fence with a protective sealant that thwarts the growth of mildew and fungus. Your local home improvement store or hardware store will have anti-fungal products available for purchase. Plants and dirt can also harm your fence. Wood-boring insects found in the dirt and plants will harm your wood fence. The grass and plants, are a path for the insects, i.e., termites to easily reach your wood fence. Fence posts set in concrete keep the wood posts away from the soil and grass. It is true that cement alone, will not deter the termites; however, every attempt to protect your wood fence will increase its lifespan. Keep your grass and plants trimmed and don’t let them touch the fence. Simple measures to maintain your wood fence, in the long run, will be the best way to obtain a return on your investment and keep that curb appeal going a lot longer and cost you less to maintain your fence.

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