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What your driveway has in store for you come spring!

Still on the spring shtick, hoping it will arrive sooner rather than later. Spring is a beautiful time of the year! However spring can also be a bearer of bad news, due to the unfortunate effects of temperature change.

Underneath the banks of snow is the thing we used to call a driveway, made of either concrete or asphalt. These materials are affected by weather and depending on the damage, could become a serious problem for you and your vehicle!

So let’s say the snow is gone and the sun is shining, what should you inspect your driveway for and how should you treat it?

Concrete driveways

Concrete is a great looking driveway material, and has a low maintenance requirement. However, concrete is an expensive material as well, meaning if a problem occurs and is let go for a period of time, the endeavor of fixing it will grow in cost.

Cracked and crumbling concrete is no good. Water from the melting snow, or rain even can both seep below your driveway causing the ground to shift, which can lead the stress on the material and the aforementioned results.  Due to living in a climate that often drops below freezing point, this means we our more susceptible to the damage. If you see any pooling of water on the surface of your driveway, and that is left, there is a good chance of cracks occurring at that point as well.

When the weather is permitting, inspect your driveway carefully for cracks, holes or crumbling.  Be sure to check the expansion joints of your driveway as well, for this is often a location people miss and regret later on!

If your unsure of the situation of your driveway, call a professional! Generally, getting someone to just look at your driveway is free, along with the advice that follows!

If you happen across cracks, use some driveway sealing material like caulk. If you have parts of your concrete driveway that dips in, you can fix that as well with concrete re-surfacer! It is recommended to re-seal your driveway every 3 to 5 years to ensure its life span, as well as keep away damaging growths such as moss and lichen!

Asphalt

Asphalt driveways give a great smooth texture that makes your feel like your driving on a cloud. Asphalt is also durable, however, it does require regular maintenance and a watchful eye. If your asphalt develops a little crack and is let to sit, the whole driveway can fall apart after a while.

Just like concrete, asphalt is susceptible to damage from extreme temperatures and moisture. Weed encroachment, potholes, as well as cracks are a possible result. Just like concrete, make sure there are no dips in the surface that would allow water to pool. This will also result in cracks and problems!

The remedies for these issues are basically the same as concrete driveways. Fill any potholes and patch any cracks, while also filling in any dips in the surface! If you happen across weeds rising along the edges of your driveway, be sure to pull them and clean up the area with and edging tool or hoe. If there is a really invasive weed problem, consider installing rubber mulch edging around your driveway with a weed proof mat underneath. Asphalt is recommended to be re-sealed every one to three years, while also being aware of any moss and lichen to prevent them from entering between the seal-coating.

We are all excited for this gray sky to fade in wake of the shining sun, however we cant be dazzled by the light and forget to check our driveways condition!

If you have some need for a new driveway or questions, feel free to give us a call! We at Xpand are dedicated to achieving your dream home! Cracks free!

 

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Garage maintenance in the winter

With the cold of the wind and the frozen falling sculptures comes salted roads and slush in abundance. Often during the winter through the slipping and sliding we track the slush indoors, and the location that receives the worst treatment is the garage. So for this little snippet, we are going to give some tips for protecting your garage from the harsh season and prolong its life!

Initial inspection

  • Before anything else, we need to return the garage to it’s former clean, salt free glory. This will require some manual labor, but it will be well worth it in the end.
  • Sweep, mop and scrub the problem areas of the garage floor to ensure there are no salt stained locations that will cause problems for the health of your concrete flooring in the spring.

Protection from the weather

  • Once the floor is clean and returned to the point of acceptance, it’s time to anticipate and prevent the further damage. Inspect your garage and make any repairs now that may be needed involving the concrete. This may involves cracks, gaps, or chips.
  • Once the floor is whole again we need to implement defenses from further snow, slush and salt encounters. We can achieve this protection from a simple garage car mat which can contain the mess that is drudged in from the cold world outside.
  • Garage mats are easy to clean and store when the need for them is no more, and this will ensure the start of the next winter season is already accounted for, because this mat is easily reusable through the years!
  • If your concern is bigger than just the car and what it brings in, and you need more protection for a wider areas of the garage, consider different mats. There are mats that can be tailored to your garages dimensions  and cover a much larger surface area, preventing the concrete floor from interacting with the winter at all!
  • Finally, there is a sealant option  to really ensure the protection of your garage flooring. Siliconate penetrating sealer is applied with a acrylic sealer and simple to use. The result of this sealant is a glossy finish that will enhance the clean and orderly look of the garage!
  • The sealant is a strong physical barrier that will prevent things like salt and deicing from running through your garage floor and causing larger concrete issues for the spring.!

That’s all we have for today! If you have any questions or concerns about your home please don’t hesitate to give us a call! We at Xpand are here for the family and you! 

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Concrete floors? Let’s give it a shot

I know, we have been doing a lot of posts that involve the floor of your home lately, but to be fair, it’s only because there are so many great options! Concrete floors are no exception!

For this snippet, we will explain the aspects of concrete floors in a home that really give it an advantage over other flooring options! Most often we think of an organic material like wood or bamboo, but concrete has some seriously rocking advantages to them!

Let’s quit dilly dallying and get into the bullet points!

  • Variation in design- Concrete often brings forth the idea of grey, cold and industrial, however it doesn’t have to be that way. Concrete has some great options for visual alteration ranging from stains, colors and hardeners. How you integrate the color into the floor is a big part of the process as well. You can add the color during the mixing process to add a nice even spread across the concrete or produce a translucent finish with a unique design finish!
  • Texture- Not only does concrete have a wide range of color application but concrete can also be altered with surface texture for design or practical purposes! Some surface textures include troweled, smooth and polished, each of which can add a unique feeling to a room. There is also an option called stamped, which allows for the creation of patterns such as tile!
  • Type of concrete- Generally there are two types of concrete flooring options. Existing concrete which uses the concrete already in your home but enhances it for visual appeal and daily use. Decorative overlay, which is concrete on top of certain surfaces that are already installed, and can be used to either mask damage, or just give a new and fresh look to a room!

Concrete flooring has some strong innate functions that can benefit not only your home, but the world as well! That’s right, concrete flooring can be a eco-friendly option! The creation of concrete does not deplete natural resources, does not requires as much energy to create, and is poured locally! Concrete is a strong defense against mold, mildew and odors, which can improve or at last keep a healthy air quality. Concrete absorbs the temperature around it, which can help cut energy costs for heating and cooling, due to the minimizing need for continual production! Lastly concrete can be recycled, cut down and reprocessed!

That’s all for today’s rock solid dream home options! If you have any questions for comments don’t hesitate to call! We will work with you to achieve the home you and your family can call dreamy!

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Front of house

How to maintain that pristine concrete driveway!

A clean, crack-free driveway is the best, it adds a strong aesthetic component when you pull up to the house that just makes you excited!

Concrete driveways, or any type of paving material for that matter, is not perfect. All paving material is susceptible to some form of damage, however, concrete is one of the easiest of the options to maintain!

So lets get into those handy dandy lists on how to preserve the life and beauty of your concrete driveway!

  • Sealant- Making sure your driveway is cleaned and the sealant is strong is a must. Weather is the determining factor for how often you need to clean and reseal your driveway, as well as the amount of vehicular traffic it endures. In the general sense, every two years or so would be a wise time to re-seal your driveway, or whenever the finish begins to show signs of wear and tear.
  • Stains- Oil, gasoline, grease, and all forms of spill and stain should be cleaned up as quick as they come. If any stains have started to set in, there will be a discoloration, which can often times be taken care of with a strong pressure washer and cleaning chemical. It is best however to not have to power wash your drive way for it can reduce the lifespan if done too often, so its best to clean up right away!
  • De-icing chemicals- Chemicals that de-ice the driveway may seem convenient however can cause some serious surface damage in the winter. The most notable forms of damage are scaling and spalling, due to the constant expansion and  contraction. Products that include ammonium nitrates and ammonium sulfates specifically have a severe effect on the driveway, by attacking the concrete chemically. The best and safest method would to be plain old sand as a form of traction on your driveway during the winters.
  • Care treatment- This last point is pretty simple. Be kind to your driveway. Typical residential driveways cant handle the pressure of huge moving vans or construction equipment, its also a good idea to avoid metals blades when shoveling or plowing, for this can scratch the surface.

Easy! Concrete will last as long as you help it! So go and ensure the safety and beauty of the concrete carpet to your home! (it’s like a red carpet, but not)

After your driveway care, why not give us a call and ask us how we can help you achieve your dream home! You already have a beautiful driveway, its time to focus on everything else! 

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Formal Living Room

Got a roof over your head? Is it raining inside still? Check out our tips on roof integrity!

A roof is a wonderful addition to a home, its basically a necessity, so how do you know if its condition is holding?

Here are some quick tips to identify  if your roofs integrity is holding up!

Starting from the inside, there are 4 main things to keep an eye on!

  • Locations where the roof deck is sagging.
  • Any signs of water damage or leaking.
  • Darker spots or trails in relation to tile locations.

These indications can help you asses just how poor the condition of some or all of the tiles may be!

Now lets check for exterior signs!

  • Look at the roof and try to notice any form of cracks, tears or missing shingles. DO NOT walk on the roof, especially if you have ceramic tiles, for it is dangerous and can also damage more tiles.
  • Look for loose material or wearing around chimneys, vents, pipes, or other protruding objects.
  • Check your gutter for excess amounts of shingle granules. These look like larger grains of sand, and they can be a strong determinant of advanced water wear.
  • Look for indications of moisture, rotting or mold. It only takes 24-48 hours for mold, fungi and bacteria problems to become prominent.
  • Double check your drainage and ensure the gutters and downspouts are securely attached. also make certain the drains are all open so water may exit and there is no blocking debris.
  • It is vital to make sure that all bath, kitchen, and dryer vents go entirely outside of your home, not just leading to the attic.

If there are any problems while checking off the steps in either of these lists, be sure to look further into the issues, using safety precautions and calling professionals if need be!

Something else to consider when concerned about roof tiles, is what the roof is made of!

  • Cedar: Lasts about 20 years, and is in need of replacement or repair if there is any split or locations falling apart, due to dry climates. In more humid climates, there will be development of moss.
  • Tile: As mentioned above, tile roofing is dangerous to walk on and this could cause bigger issues. Look for broken tiles that need to be replaced and call a specialist.
  • Concrete: Generally concrete should never need replacing.

 

If you find you do have water damage, don’t panic and throw on an entirely new roof. If your roof is only 15-20 years old, it can often be repaired!

However if you do decide you need a new roof, take into consideration your location and weather conditions, that would best suit your roof and ensure it lasts the longest it possibly can.

We hope these tips and tidbits of information will give you the option for a more informed decision! Be sure to call us today to say hello and see what we can offer you if terms of house services!

 

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