Home Maintenance Tips: Keep Your Home in Tip Top Condition

September 10, 2020 by Lexi Klinkenberg

Buying a home is one of the biggest decisions and purchases a person may make. Not only does it come with the financial responsibility of paying a mortgage, but also making sure to keep up on your home maintenance. If you are a homeowner it is important to regularly get your home serviced and cleaned to keep it looking its best. If you live in a rainy climate like Seattle, WA then having your gutters and roof cleaned, or your foundation inspected regularly is imperative, and the same goes for homes in other climates. To help you keep track of the projects that need to be completed around your home, we’ve created a list of home maintenance tips to keep your home looking its best.

Deep Clean Your Home
When we are busy in our day-to-day lives, maintaining cleanliness of our homes is often low on the priority list. You probably keep your home tidy, but when was the last time you did a true deep clean? After a few months of casual cleaning, there comes a time when deep cleaning your home can no longer be ignored. There are many reasons why a clean and hygienic home is necessary for you and your family. It is important to have your home deep cleaned at least once every couple of months. This means cleaning appliances, dusting every nook and cranny, mopping the floors, vacuuming, wiping down all surfaces, cleaning your windows, and much more. This can often be a daunting task and hiring a professional cleaning service may be the best option if you haven’t had your home deep cleaned in a while. You may also want to consider hiring a cleaning service to come deep clean your home regularly every month.

Have your foundation inspected and repaired
Whether you are getting ready to sell your home, or happily spending your 10th year there, having a home foundation inspection is a must for home maintenance tips. The foundation of your home is very important and any potential problems with it could be serious. This is why having a regular foundation inspection is key to keeping your home in its best condition. If you want to check the foundation yourself, you need to know the signs of what to look out for. The main issues to watch out for are bulging in your exterior walls, cracks in your foundation, sloping floors, leaks, and cracked moldings around doors or windows. If you find any of these problems in your home call a professional and have your foundation repaired.

Reseal your countertops
Just like your home, granite and marble countertops can be an expensive investment, and they require some ongoing home maintenance. to keep them beautiful. Reapplying sealant is the best way to ensure your countertops avoid stains or damage. Many professionals recommend sealing your granite or marble countertops at least once each year. The more you use your countertops, and the type of cleaner you use on them can affect how often you need to have them professionally resealed.

It is important to note, the color of your countertop is one of the main factors that can determine the frequency of resealing. Dark colors tend to be denser than light-colored granites, meaning they are less porous and won’t stain as easily, and they also hide stains better than lighter colors. The lighter the countertops you have the more often they may need to be professionally sealed. If you have been living in your home for a significant period of time and have yet to have your granite or marble countertops resealed, reach out to a professional for advice and assistance.

Get your carpets cleaned
Most homes have carpet in at least a few rooms, if not most, giving those rooms a warm and inviting feel. But if you have carpet in your home it requires regular home maintenance. In addition to regular vacuuming and spot cleaning, it is equally important to have your carpet professionally cleaned every year. Having your carpets professionally cleaned can extend their life, remove dust mites and bacteria, and prevent indoor allergies. It can also give the carpet a new look and feel. If your carpets are looking a little dated, or you’re finding it more difficult to breathe in your home it’s time to call in a professional to deep clean your carpets.

Test smoke detectors
Smoke detectors are vital to keeping you and your loved ones safe in case of an emergency. They are also commonly overlooked and aren’t tested or replaced as often as they should. Smoke detectors don’t need a ton of maintenance but they should be checked once a month and their batteries replaced at least once a year, according to the U.S. Fire Administration. As well as replacing the batteries and testing your smoke detectors, they also need to be replaced at least once every 10 years, even if they seem to be working perfectly fine. Staying on top of your home’s safety equipment is very important and following these home maintenance tips can help keep you and your household safe.

Have a roof inspection completed
If properly maintained, your roof can have an extensive lifespan. A well taken care of shingle roof can last up to twenty years without needing to be replaced, while a tile roof can last up to one hundred years. But taking care of your roof requires periodic inspections and repairs. The NRCA recommends a self-check at least twice a year in addition to professional inspections once every three years. Check your roof regularly after severe weather or storms. You will want to look for missing shingles, leaks, or water stains. If you find that your roof has any of these damages, call a professional quickly to have repairs done. Additionally, if you have lived in your home for 10 or more years and have not had your roof replaced, consider hiring a trusted roofing company to give you a new roof. This will make your home look new and help to keep it in its best condition.

Clean and repair your deck and patio
Our homes are often exposed to many elements throughout the year. Certain weather conditions can cause your deck to build up dirt and grime. A deck is a great addition to any home, but it also needs regular cleaning and home maintenance to remain habitable and safe. It is recommended that you clean your deck thoroughly, or have your deck professionally cleaned, at least once a year. It’s also important to inspect your deck periodically for soft or splintered spots, loose nails, and deck attachments, and split or rotten planks. If you find any big problems that could cause a hazard to you or your family, call a professional to come and fix any damage right away.

Test your sump pump
A home maintenance tip that is often forgotten is testing your sump pump. Many homes use sump pumps to prevent groundwater from getting into the basement or crawl space. Extra water can build up along your foundation, especially during the rainy months. If you live in an area with a lot of rain you should test your sump pump often. There are two types of sump pumps – one with two cords and one with a single cord. If you have a sump pump with two cords you can test it by tracing the two electrical cords of the sump pump. The pump cord plugs into the back of the float cord plug. Both cables should be unplugged, and only the pump cord should be plugged into the outlet. If you hear a humming sound when turning on the pump, the pump works.

If you have a single-corded sump pump, pour about 20 liters of water into the pump pit until the float rises. Once the float has risen your pump should kick on. While the pump is running the water must be pumped out and the pump will turn off once it has removed all the water. If your pump removes all of the water successfully then repeat the process. The water should drain again letting you know your sump pump is good to go. If anything is not working or you come across any problems when testing your sump pump then you should call a professional and have your sump pump serviced immediately.

Clean and reseal your driveway
To keep your driveway looking its best it is important to clean it regularly. The best way to do this is by pressure washing it. Pressure washing can be a difficult task, and if you have never done it before, hiring a pressure washing service can ease the process and ensure it gets done correctly. In addition to having your driveway cleaned, it also needs to be resealed. You should seal your driveway every 1 to 3 years. Driveway sealing is an important part of driveway maintenance, but it’s not the only thing you need to keep up on. If your driveway has any cracks or potholes you will need to fix those before you apply any sealant. Additionally, if it has pre-existing damage you should contact a professional who will evaluate and fix your driveway before resealing it.

Service appliances
Appliances are very helpful to our everyday lives, and we often forget that they need to be serviced. Servicing your appliances regularly will keep them running smoothly and last longer. It is recommended that you have your dryer vent system professionally cleaned by an appliance technician every winter. This can help prevent the possibility of a fire hazard. In addition to servicing your dryer vent, you should also vacuum your refrigerator coils and have your washing machine and dishwasher cleaned thoroughly. Keeping up on appliance maintenance will ensure your appliances last longer and will save you money in the long run.

Taking care of your home is an important part of being a homeowner. If you are planning on selling your home soon, or even years down the line, keeping your home looking its best will ensure your home will sell for more. Lean on the professionals to help you get your home maintenance tasks done and keep your home in tip-top shape.

Originally Published on Redfin

Costs and Financing Options for Paving Your Driveway

There are five major signs that it is time to repave your driveway. These include big cracks, ruts, potholes, chunks of eroding pavement, a weathered and aged appearance, or missing pieces of brick or cobble. The end of summer is generally one of the best times of the year to repave your driveway because it has cooled down enough from the hottest part of the summer but is still warm enough to avoid freezing.

The cost of repaving your driveway depends on both the size of the driveway and your choice of materials. The project can cost an average of $1,000 to $10,000 and up though, according to HomeAdvisor, so some homeowners may need to find outside financing in order to complete the home improvement project.

Cost to Pave or Repave a Driveway

Asphalt or blacktop driveways are the cheapest to install and repair. The cost of installing an asphalt driveway is generally around $3 to $4 per square foot, while repaving it costs around $1 to $3 per square foot, on average. So, installing a 1,000-square-foot asphalt driveway could cost between $3,000 and $4,000 while repaving it would cost around $1,000 to $3,000.

Installing concrete driveways usually costs more than asphalt at around $6 per square foot while repaving should be slightly cheaper. Brick and cobble driveways can be many times more expensive to install, from $10 to $70 per square foot, depending upon the cost of the individual stones or bricks.

The total cost of paving or repaving your driveway includes the materials, tools, and labor costs if you are not going to do the work yourself.

How to Pay for Paving or Repaving Your Driveway
Personal Loans for Repaving a Driveway

Personal loans are a common method for homeowners to finance a new driveway or to repave an existing driveway. A personal loan is an unsecured loan, which means there is not an asset that serves as collateral for the loan, and can be used as a home improvement loan. This makes the loan riskier for the lender, so interest rates typically are higher than they would be for a secured loan. The application process, however, is much easier, and borrowers can get the proceeds from their loan within a couple of days.

The interest rates and loan terms on personal loans can vary dramatically among lenders. So, it’s especially important to do your research and make sure that you are choosing the right personal loan for you. Interest rates typically vary from around 5% to 36% and loan maturity can range from two to seven years.

Lenders also charge origination fees that can range from 0% (no origination fee) to 7% of the loan amount. Borrowers who have credit scores above 720 have the best options when choosing lenders and tend to get the most competitive rates and loan terms.

If you only qualify for a personal loan with high fees or a high interest rate, this can be an expensive option for repaving a driveway. But, if you do qualify for a low-cost personal loan, it may be a good choice.

Read the full article here: Costs & Financing Options for Paving or Repaving Your Driveway

What to Do????

WHAT TO DO

Who do I contact when I need a Tar & Chip Paving contractor?
Look online or in your local phone book, call all local paving companies ask if they do Tar & Chip Paving.

How do I know if my asphalt driveway or parking lot should be Paved with Tar & Chip Paving?
Is the asphalt old or cracked? Is there any potholes in your driveway or parking lot? Is there going to be a lot of truck traffic on the road? If so then you are a great candidate for Tar & Chip Paving.

What do I look for in a Tar & Chip contractor?
A good Tar & Chip contractor will have fully functional Chip Seal Equipment, A experienced crew, Great reviews, Lots of references, A great website with lots of photos and videos like www.cdpaving.net, Acceptable insurance, Knowledge in all Tar & Chip Paving requirements and of course competitive prices.

What is the average Tar & Chip Paving Job Scope?
Scope 1 Bidding
Scope 2 Contract
Scope 3 Mobilization
Scope 4 Prep Work
Scope 5 Tar Spraying
Scope 6 Rock Spreading
Scope 7 Rolling Rock to compaction
Scope 8 Payment

Scope 1 Bidding – Get your Bids to see what is the best approach. Some bids will be very high, some will be very cheap, be wary of both, it’s easy to say no to the highest bid but very cheap bids usually mean cheap work or inexperienced in bidding, no insurance or old poor equipment. There are lots of new contractors getting into the Tar & Chip Paving industry that just don’t know what they are doing or how to do it. They will do anything to get the job, but usually cut corners or leave the job half done costing the customer more money in the long run

Scope 2 Contract – Always make sure you get your job on a contract, handshakes just don’t get it done anymore. Contracts protect the customer and the contractor. Tar & Chip Paving is a business, a good contract makes for a good understanding and a good understanding makes for a good business relationship.

Scope 3 Mobilization – Your Tar & Chip Paving contractor will bring out their equipment to start the job, this is usually the time you would give your contractor any down payment needed to start your project.

Scope 4 Prep Work – Prep work on a gravel base driveway or parking lot will begin by grading or spreading more base if needed followed by rolling the base to compaction. If your driveway or parking lot is old asphalt then the contractor would clean the old asphalt and do any necessary patch work before the Tar & Chip Paving begins.

Scope 5 Tar Spraying – When prep work is complete the contractor will start to spray the hot tar with a asphalt distributor, this will be accomplished by a spray bar system or hand wand spray system. Both methods are acceptable.

Scope 6 Rock Spreading – After the Hot Asphalt tar is sprayed the rock spreading will begin. Chip spreaders is what is used either by a self driving chip spreader, a chip spreader on back of a truck or a chip spreader hooked up to a skid steer attachment

Scope 7 Rolling to Compaction – After Tar is sprayed and the rock is spread, then the rollers will come in and roll all gravel to compaction into the tar. But the Rock will pack better into the tar as traffic starts to drive on it.

Scope 8 Payment – After your job is completed, inspect your job and make sure it’s everything you agreed on your contract, if it is and the job is satisfactory then it’s time to pay your contractor and enjoy your new Tar & Chip Driveway.

What to do when you see grass growing in Tar & Chip Paving?
This is not a big problem. The truth is grass and weeds grow, your contractor will take every step to kill the grass and weeds but they can grow back, so keep a bottle of Roundup or any type of herbicide in the garage and when you see a blade of grass or weed pop up spray it, don’t let it grow and overtake. Attack the vegetation before it grows wild then when the weed or grass dries out and die away then the chip seal will usually bond back together.

What to do 10 years later when My Tar & Chip Driveway needs done agin?
Call your contractor back and tell them it’s time to Chip Seal your Driveway agin. Usually prep work is at a minimal and you can go over your old Tar & Chip Paving with a new layer of Tar & Chip Paving, the price would be cheaper than a new install however you must account for inflation.

What to do if I have low areas in my Tar & Chip Driveway?
There is not a driveway or parking lot anywhere in the United States of America that does not have a few low areas, it’s just a imperfection with all pavements Concrete, Black Top and Tar & Chip Paving. To have some low areas is normal but it’s usually not something worry about.

What to do if no paving company in my area does Tar & Chip Paving?
Unfortunately Most local paving companies don’t do any Tar & Chip Paving, it can be a challenge trying to find some one who will do driveways or parking lots, so reach out to us and let’s see if we can recommend someone close to your city.

Complements to Tar & Chip Paving www.tarnchip.com for the post.

Chip Seal Paving is a Big Industry.

Reduce Cost and Material Use When Chip Sealing – Technology and Equipment Help Save
Southwest Surfacing teams its computer-controlled chipspreader and recycling transfer broom to offer an efficient chip seal in New Mexico.
KIMBERLY HEGEMAN FEBRUARY 17, 2009 Chipsealstransferbroom10374057 Southwest Surfacing uses the Broce MK-1 transfer broom to pick up and recycle aggregate that does not stick to the liquid asphalt during a chip seal. This extra aggregate can then be reused for other chip seals.
Most contractors have realized that the current economy has increased material costs while many customers’ budgets have shrunk. This is no different if the majority of your work comes from cities, counties, or states. But it’s not all bad news if you’re in the pavement maintenance industry.

“We’re going to see a lot more maintenance like chip seal and other types of sealing with the cost of asphalt going up,” predicts Tracy Turner, owner of Southwest Surfacing in New Mexico. Southwest Surfacing is a chip sealing contractor that does most of its work for counties. To make sure his company stays ahead of the game – and the economy – Turner has turned to technology and new equipment.

In 2007, Quay County, NM, hired Southwest Surfacing to chip seal nine miles of road. The county, which is on the eastern side of the state and has limited access to asphalt materials, was very conscious about saving money, Turner says. And Southwest Surfacing had just the thing to help.

Turner employed his 2004 E.D. Etnyre chip spreader with computer controlled accuracy for the nine-mile stretch of road. Having computer controlled accuracy for the chip spreader provided benefits for both Quay County and Turner.

“With a manual controlled machine, when you take off it starts dumping the same amount whether you’re going five miles an hour or 10 miles an hour,” Turner says. “The computer controlled machine evenly distributes material from start to stop. It’s always an evenly spread amount of material because it’s calculating the speed of the machine. So every time you start and stop you’re not wasting a bunch of material.”

Less wasted material can save the customer money. “With the computer controlled chip spreader we get a savings of about 25% on our material,” For Southwest Surfacing, the technology offers the benefit of increased productivity with the computer controlled accuracy.

“If the machine isn’t wasting rock, it’s not using it. And if it’s not using it that means the machine can go that much further on that much gravel,” Turner says. “It’s fewer loads that have to be hauled to that machine and there’s less clean up time,” he adds. Turner estimates that with his old manual chip spreader he was laying down approximately 210 tons of rock per one mile of road. With his computerized controlled chip spreader, he estimates he now lays down about 154 tons of rock per one mile.

Plus, the computer controlled chip spreader doesn’t alter Southwest Surfacing’s chip sealing process, it just refines it. For the Quay County roads, Turner’s crew first repaired any cracks and potholes in the road and then swept the road.

Turner then used his Bear Cat 4,300-gal. asphalt distributor – which also has computer controlled accuracy – to apply the HFE 90 (High Flow Emulsion) on the road. The computer control prevents extra liquid asphalt from being applied and wasted. The E.D. Etnyre chip spreader, fed by a dump truck, follows the Bear Cat and applies the 3/8-in. aggregate to the road. Two pneumatic, nine-wheel rollers followed the chip spreader to finish the job. After the chip seal had time to cure, Southwest Surfacing came back to sweep the road and remove any loose rock that did not stick to the emulsion. At that time, the loose rock was just swept to the side of the road.

Taking the next step
In 2008, Southwest Surfacing returned to Quay County, this time to chip seal a smaller, three and a half miles of road. What was different about this job? Turner used the material saved during the 2007 job to chip seal this stretch of road. And, Turner had a new piece of equipment in his chip sealing fleet: the Broce MK-1 Transfer Sweeper.

Turner used the same process and his Etnyre chip spreader for chip sealing the road. But at the end, instead of sweeping the extra rock to the side of the road, he now had the ability to come back with the MK-1 and recycle any aggregate that had not stuck to the liquid asphalt.

“Street sweepers are not designed to pick up the volume of rock that is left on the road,” Turner says. “In some cases, with the MK-1 Transfer Sweeper, we pick up about 15% to 20% of what we laid down.” In years prior, that 15% to 20% would have been swept off to the side and wasted. But the MK-1 is designed to sweep up all the loose rock, resulting in approximately 20 tons of recycled rock per mile, Turner says.

The MK-1’s rotary broom sweeps up the rock onto a conveyor belt which then carries it into the back of a dump truck in front of the sweeper, Turner says. “If you sweep fairly soon after doing the chip seal, we find there’s very little contamination in the rock. Leaves and debris gets onto the road; but, barring any inclement weather, if you do it within a day or two it’s relatively clean and can be reused,” Turner says.

The recycled aggregate can then be stockpiled and used for chip sealing other roadways. When using the recycled aggregate, Turner suggests wetting down the rock before reuse to ensure there is no dust on it. Dusty rocks may not stick to the asphalt when chip sealing.

The MK-1 is an 8-ft.-wide unit, so a 24-ft.-wide road can be done in just three passes, Turner says. “I would say you can safely sweep up two to three miles a day with this sweeper,” Turner says.

The ability to recycle aggregate goes beyond saving money. Drivers benefit, too. Loose rock on roads can get kicked up and crack windshields. It is also a danger to speeding vehicles. Hitting loose rock at high speeds can cause a driver to lose control and result in an accident.

For Southwest Surfacing and Quay County, technology and recycling equipment was the solution that offered the most benefit to Turner’s company’s process, the customer’s bottom line, and the safety of motorists traveling on the chip sealed roads

Five Common questions about Chip Seal Driveways

  I    When it comes to paving your driveway, you have options. CD PAVING & SEAL COATING has talked about concrete and asphalt driveways before and today we are going to answer common questions about another surface option—chip seal driveways.
Asphalt, concrete, and gravel are more common options, but chip seal driveways are just as valid. In some situations, it may actually be the best choice! However, many people aren’t familiar with this material. To make the most informed decision for paving your driveway, it will help to have some basic knowledge about chip seal. To that end, here are the answers to five common questions about chip seal driveways.
1. What is Chip Seal?
To create chip seal, a thin asphalt foundation is poured and then crushed stone is compacted over it. Then, a couple more layers of crushed stone are compacted on top of that. The end result is a stable and eye-catching driveway. Asphalt is a great option and looks clean, but chip seal driveways add a textured and colorful look. The crushed stone is also customizable to fit your particular environment. Live in the desert? Match the landscape with tan or brown. Cabin in the forest? Lay down some grey stone and contrast the green conifers. Also, driving on chip seal is just as smooth as any other option—it’s not at all like driving on a bumpy, loose-rock gravel road.
2. How long will Chip Seal Last?
If you’re looking for maximum longevity, you should probably lay down asphalt or concrete. While the texture looks great, the crushed stone does wear down more easily. Asphalt lasts 15 to 25 years, and a chip seal driveway will give you 10 to 15 years or longer. However, don’t think of it as fashion vs. function. Shorter longevity doesn’t mean it isn’t as good to drive on. Also, it is much easier to resurface than asphalt and concrete. Although it doesn’t last as long, it’s less of a headache to replace and maintain.
3. How is Chip Seal Maintained?
There really isn’t any consistent maintenance that needs to be done on chip seal driveways. Asphalt and concrete start to crack and need to be sealed regularly. Chip seal, on the other hand, doesn’t need to be sealed. However, it can be damaged if anything heavy is dragged over it. For example, snow plows are a common culprit. As long as you’re mindful while your shoveling or plowing, it isn’t too difficult to avoid scraping.

4. How Much Does Chip Seal Cost?
Chip seal driveways are a cheaper alternative to asphalt. It’s a little more expensive than gravel, but gravel isn’t nearly as smooth or pleasant to look at. Typically, you’re looking at about $2.50 to $5.00 per square foot. Of course, this varies on conditions and surfaces. For all our penny pinchers and landscape misers out there, chip seal is definitely a good option. You may be thinking, If cheap seal lasts half as long as asphalt, won’t it be way more expensive? There is a chance this might be true in the long-term, but chip seal is less expensive to maintain and replace, too. It isn’t a bad idea to talk to your contractor about the price of resurfacing down the road.
5. What are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Chip Seal?
We’ve covered a lot of information on the blog today, so we’ll wrap up by reiterating the advantages and disadvantages of chip seal driveways. Afterwards, you’ll know everything you need to know to pick the best material.
Advantages
* Unique, customizable, and eye-catching color and texture
* Doesn’t require regular maintenance or sealing like asphalt and concrete.
* Cheap and easy to install—an estimate of about $2.50 to $5.00 per square foot.
* Just as stable and smooth to drive on as asphalt or concrete.
Disadvantages
* Longevity: Needs to be resurfaced every 10 to 15 years.
* Can be damaged more easily by certain vehicles.
* Harder to find contractors who install chip seal driveways.
Still on the fence about chip seal? Now that you know all about chip seal, you’ll start to see it around town in driveways and parking lots. Words on a page are great for getting information, but sometimes you just need to see for yourself. Check them out, see how they look, feel how they are to drive on. You may find this is just what you needed to make your decision.
If you didn’t know about chip seal before, you certainly know about it now. We’ve heard all of these common questions before, and we’ll hear them again. The real question, though, is if chip seal is right for you. Luckily, we at Sunrise Asphalt have been installing chip seal driveways for years. contact us today and we’ll provide the best service in Texas, Oklahoma or New Mexico. Check out this Video of CD PAVING & SEAL COATING Chip Sealing a Parking Lot.