Time to Raise The Roof

Concrete Versus Asphalt: Which Is Right For Your Driveway?

Putting a new driveway on your property can make your home look more beautiful while taking stress off of your tires as you pull up to your home every day. The most important decision you will make is what type of material to use for your new driveway. There are a lot of options out there, but two of the most popular materials remain concrete and asphalt. Here is a look at some of the pros and cons for each material, so you can decide for yourself which is best for your new driveway.

Asphalt

Asphalt is a resilient material that can resist cracking, giving you a beautiful driveway that can last for many years. This material is actually flexible, so it can move with the ground ever so slightly. This is especially helpful for homes in areas that experience extreme temperatures, as the expanding and contracting of the ground can cause cracks in other materials. Damage can be easily repaired with a top coat applied by your asphalt contractor. While asphalt is traditionally black, there are other colors to choose from that add a unique look to your property.

One major drawback to asphalt is that it needs proper drainage to prevent it from falling apart. Talk to your asphalt contractor about building a proper drainage system and foundation before laying the asphalt to ensure the best results for your driveway.

Concrete

Many people choose concrete because it is durable and resilient. Although it is prone to cracking, it can last for decades if properly cared for. Unlike asphalt, concrete allows for clean edges along your driveway. This is one reason that many people choose concrete over asphalt. Concrete can be easily cleaned and cared for, so your driveway will look like new for longer. Concrete can be poured in the traditional way, or you can choose concrete pavers or stamped materials that add an elegant look to your driveway.

Installing a concrete driveway is a time-consuming process. Unlike asphalt, a concrete driveway takes several days to cure and dry properly. This is only a minor inconvenience, however, if you have easy street parking in the area. Concrete can’t be touched up with a top coat like asphalt, so repairing cracks and unsightly damage can be more difficult.

Both asphalt and concrete need to be resealed every few years in order to protect the surface of the driveway. Talk to your asphalt contractor about which options are best for your driveway. Be sure to ask about drainage systems and foundations for your driveway that help to keep either material looking its best.

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Stay Dry And Protect Your Investment – Options In Roof Sealants

Owning your own home can be a source of great pride and accomplishment, but it also comes with a wide variety of challenges. Chief among these is making sure your home stays dry and stable, as water leaks can cause mildew, rotting, and eventual structural damage that could even cause your home’s roof to collapse.

One of the best ways to prevent dangerous roof leaks is to make sure your roof is sealed. Below, you’ll find a guide to some of your options in roof sealant materials, providing you with the knowledge you need to make sure that you stay dry and avoid the structural challenges that could end in disaster and expensive repairs.

Silicone

Commonly used in a wide variety of household applications, silicone sealants are also used to protect your roof from leaks. Typically installed around joints and other danger spots on your roof, you can choose a coating in a wide variety of colors in order to blend in with your roof design.

One benefit of silicone is that it tends to reflect sunlight better than other sealant materials. This can allow your roof seal to assist in also deflecting sunlight away from your home, keeping it at a comfortable temperature and decreasing your home energy costs by allowing your heating and air system to function more efficiently.

Polyurethane Foam

If you have larger areas that need coverage, spraying polyurethane foam may be the right choice for you. The foam is applied in a liquid state and quickly hardens to a stable solid, creating an impermeable layer that will effectively wash water away.

Polyurethane can be especially useful if you have large trees or other obstacles overhanging your roof. While other sealants may tend to peel away if damaged, polyurethane tends to keep the damage in only one area. Small cracks or punctures do not easily spread, guaranteeing that you’ll maintain the majority of your seal if a small failure were to occur.

Metal Sheeting

It stands to reason that one of the simplest tactics for improving the structure of a roof is to add more layers to it. Metal sheeting systems can be laid underneath the existing shingles or tiles of your roof. This allows you to maintain the look you have with your current roof while also having a strong layer of protection beneath. These systems are built with channels and gutters that are designed to divert water away, forming a strong seal that will offer you consistent protection.

Talk to a roofing company like Russ Lundin Roofing to discover which sealant will best protect your home from roof leaks. 

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Simple Toilet Repairs That Anyone Can Perform

There are difficult plumbing repairs that are best left to professionals, such as Salinas & Sons Rooter Service, but there are also simple repairs that anyone can perform with a few simple tools. Examples of these easy plumbing repair jobs include:

Toilet Repair

A leaking toilet can cost you hundreds of dollars on your next water bill. If you hear water running in the area of your toilet tank, there are two items that may be the cause of the problem. These include:

  • Your flapper.

This is the small rubber piece that is connected to your flush handle by a chain inside your toilet tank. When you flush the toilet, it opens to drain the tank and flush the toilet. It then falls with the water level to close the drain at the bottom of the tank. If the flapper gets worn over time, it may not properly seal the drain, so water is continuously running as the filler tries in vain to fill the tank.

To replace the flapper, simply unhook the chain and pull the sides of the flapper away from the posts to which they are attached. Install the new flapper in reverse order. They cost only a few dollars in a hardware store, and are universal, so you don’t need to buy one that’s model-specific.

  • Your fill valve.

This is the part of your toilet that controls the flow of water into your toilet bowl. It may become worn over time, or may be damaged by sediment from old pipes. You may have an older model that uses a ball float that rises with the water level and shuts off the filler when the tank is filled. You can replace it with the same model, or convert to a newer model that eliminates the ball float.

Replacing your fill valve begins with turning off the water supply valve that supplies the toilet. It is located near the floor beside the back of the toilet. After shutting off the water, flush the toilet to empty the tank. It will not be completely empty, so you will need to absorb the rest of the water with a sponge or cloth until the tank is dry.

To remove the fill valve, first disconnect the supply line that connects the shut off valve to the bottom of the toilet. You may need an adjustable wrench to loosen the supply line. After it is disconnected, remove the large plastic nut on the bottom of the tank that holds the old filler valve in place.It should only be hand tightened, so no tool should be necessary.

Place the new filler valve in the tank and turn the top counter-clockwise to adjust the height so that the top of the valve is one inch below the top of the overflow pipe. this pipe, located in the middle of the tank, prevents flooding if a filler valve breaks. Place the adjusted filler valve in the opening where the old valve was removed. Be sure that the rubber gasket in seats securely in the opening, and tighten the large plastic nut onto the valve from the outside of the tank to hold it into place. Hand tighten it only, or you may crack the porcelain tank. Reconnect the supply line, using plastic teflon tape (available at any hardware store) on the pipe threads to avoid leaks. Turn on the supply valve, and you’re finished.

You can purchase the filler valve and flapper together for less than twenty dollars at department stores or home improvement stores.

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Is Vinyl Siding Environmentally Friendly?

There has been intense debate around the issue of whether or not vinyl siding can be considered an environmentally friendly building material.

While many green building experts have criticized the use of this siding material, those in the vinyl siding industry itself have made claims that their products offer considerable benefits in regards to environmental sustainability. 

Getting to the bottom of the matter

So is vinyl siding really environmentally friendly? It’s not so easy to definitively answer this question. If you’re considering vinyl siding but are having some reservations because of environmental impact, perhaps you should consider the following advantages of vinyl siding:

Durability

Vinyl siding is a durable siding material that can be expected to last at least 50 years. The longer a siding material lasts, the more environmentally friendly it is. Vinyl siding will often last longer than other siding materials like aluminum or wood siding. 

The sustainability of the production process

Statistics reporting the environmental toxicity of the production of siding materials show that vinyl siding production emits lower levels of toxic chemicals than the production of other common siding materials.

For example, fiber cement siding and brick siding production can be shown to emit higher levels of toxins into the environment than vinyl siding production. 

Insulation efficiency

While some building authorities have claimed that fiber-cement siding is more environmentally-friendly than vinyl siding, it’s important to consider the energy advantages of insulated vinyl. When vinyl siding is insulated, it is light years ahead of fiber-cement in terms of efficiency.

In the long run, energy efficiency in the home is as important or more important than production considerations when it comes to determining the environmental advantages of a siding material. Insulated vinyl offers a R-2 to R-6 insulating value, and over time, this extra insulation goes a long way in reducing utility bills. 

Cost effectiveness

Vinyl is on average cheaper than fiber cement, stucco, wood, and synthetic stone siding. The cost savings that can be had when vinyl siding is chosen can be used to invest in additional environmentally friendly building materials when constructing other parts of a home. 

Resistance to deterioration

Vinyl siding tends to last a long time because it is not susceptible to many of the forms of deterioration to which fiber cement, stucco, and wood are susceptible.

Vinyl is not nearly as susceptible as wood to rot, mildew, insect infestation, and more. Vinyl also burns much less easily than wood, and fire resistance can lengthen the life of a siding material. 

For more information, contact Marsh Building Products or a similar company.

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Things To Consider When Choosing A Patio Awning

If you need shade around your house, patio awnings are a great alternative to expensive landscaping solutions such as trellises or mature trees and shrubbery. Trellises need to be filled with dense vines in order to be useful for shade. Mature trees and shrubbery are expensive and not always available in all regions of the country. Not all patio awnings are created equal, however. Here are some things to consider when choosing a patio awning.

Movability

Even though you think right now that you’re going to be in your current home forever, things can easily change. People sell and relocate all the time for various unexpected reasons. If you invest in a movable awning instead of a permanently-fixed awning, you’ll be able to take your awning with you to your next house. In addition, having a movable awning means you’ll be able to easily take it down temporarily while you have your house re-painted or power washed.

Esthetics

A beautiful awning can add curb appeal to your home as well as providing practical shade and protection from the wind and rain. Remember that your awning will be in place for years, so make sure you choose one that you like the looks of. You should know that you aren’t limited to old-style aluminum awnings in plain shades of green or white. Nowadays, you can get awnings, such as the popular Sunsetter awnings, in washable, durable fabrics that are fashion-forward. In the case of Sunsetter, you can even get samples mailed to you so you can see firsthand what the colors look like in person.

Practicality

Assuming you’re not just considering an awning because you want to dress up the exterior of your house, you need to make sure it will do what you want it to do. An awning that doesn’t spread out far enough past your house to shade your patio will disappoint you. Take some rough measurements during the day to see how much shade distance you need. Then make sure your awning will span that distance. If you want to be able to sit under the awning during the rain, make sure you get a waterproof awning. It would also need to hang at a sufficient angle so that water flows off, rather than pools up in the center of the awning.

Take your time when choosing a patio awning, and make sure you cover all the considerations mentioned above. Talk to a professional like Sunrise Shading for more information.

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3 Ways A Bobcat Can Solve Your Landscaping Problems

Whether you’re redesigning the landscape around an office park or changing the layout of your home garden, a Bobcat rental could solve all your biggest landscaping headaches. The compact heavy equipment company provides convenient, easy solutions for any problem you’re likely to run into.

Cover Big Plots

If you’ve got a lot of acreage, you know how difficult it can be to access project sites miles from the nearest roadway. A sturdy pickup truck might be able to handle the job, but if you’ve got uneven terrain and no clear trails, even an F-150 might have problems. Bobcats offers two big advantages over pickups. First, they’re lower to the ground and thus less likely to roll while cruising over difficult terrain. Second, they’re more compact, so they can squeeze through tighter spaces on their way to the work site. Those two advantages don’t cost you any carrying capacity, either, since Bobcats are stronger than you’d think.

Remove Tree Stumps

If you’re trying to clear land for a new garden or a homesite, you’ve probably already run into the problem of stubborn tree stumps. With root systems that can easily penetrate 30 feet underground, stumps and roots are incredibly time-consuming to remove by hand. If you’re sick of chopping away with axes and shovels, a Bobcat rental is the perfect solution. Bobcats offer a variety of attachments and incredible torque built in to every system, so you can yank those stumps out of the ground with minimal effort. That saves you time to get back to work on the real project, and it’ll save you plenty of blood, sweat, and tears, too.

Lift Serious Weights

Suppose you’re moving bricks from the roadway to create a nice path to your garden or the dock at the nearby pond. If all you’ve got is a pickup, you’re never going to be able to lift a pallet of bricks up into the bed. You’ll have to break open the pallet and start loading bricks manually. A much more cost-effective solution is a Bobcat rental. With a forklift attachment, you’ll have no problem picking up the pallet and motoring over to the precise spot where you need your bricks. Bobcats can easily handle all sorts of building materials, so whether you’re moving lumber, stones, cement blocks or bricks a Bobcat is the way to go.

Don’t let your next big project drag on for months. Rent a Bobcat and save yourself weeks of hard manual labor.

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3 Types Of Roofing Materials

When it comes to protecting your home from the weather elements and providing the necessary amount of shelter, your roof will play a large role. It is important for your well-being and the structure of your home to use a high-quality roofing material. Knowing the various types to select from can help you when you are faced with replacing your roof.

Asphalt roofing

One of the most common types of used roofing materials is asphalt shingles. This type comes in a variety of textures and colors for you to select.

These may be made of multiple shingles or a single one and may last up to 20 years. This time span may vary based on the location in which you live. Extreme weather conditions may potentially shorten this time.

This shingle type is easy to install, although most homeowners will hire a roofing contractor to complete the job accurately. Additionally, you can expect to pay $1-$4 per square foot for the removal of your old shingles and installation of the new ones.

Metal roofing

One of the longer lasting types of roofs to choose from is a metal roof. This typically comes in long sheets and is easily installed by a professional.  The advantages of choosing this type of roof include it being light-weight, and fire resistant.  Additionally, a metal roof can last 50-75 years.

The major disadvantage of selecting a roof of this type is the cost. This is one of the most expensive roofing options. The average cost per square foot for a metal roof is $3-$7.50.

Tile roofing

If you want to add an improvement to the architectural look of your home, you may want to consider tile roofing.  These are made of ceramic or concrete for you to enjoy.

Listed below are some of the advantages of this roof type:

1. Fire-resistant – A tile roof won’t be capable of catching on fire.

2. No staining – A roof of this type won’t stain or grow mold over time.

3. Durable – A tile roof can last for 50-75 years depending on the type of material that is used.

The average cost of this type of roofing is $4.50-$9 per square foot which makes it the most expensive type to select for your roof.

Finally, it’s important to choose the best type of roof to meet your individual needs. Once you have made your selection, consider talking to a roofing contractor (such as Damphousse Roofing LLP) for the installation of it for the best results.

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