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Winter Is Coming – It’s Time for Driveway Sealing

Driveway sealing is critical to maintain its lifeYour driveway should last anywhere from 15 to 35 years – if you take care of it well.

The average homeowner pays anywhere from $1,000 to $5,000 — and even into five-figure territory — to tear up and repour a new driveway. Although the cost varies depending on driveway length, material and shape, one thing’s for sure – it’s not cheap. Such a large investment, especially for an item so heavily used, certainly needs to be taken care of adequately.

Once installed, the life of your driveway is calculated based on the materials from which it’s paved, weather conditions and good old-fashioned TLC. While it’s difficult to control what exactly happens to a driveway – after all, it’s outside and at Mother Nature’s mercy — the one proactive step homeowners can take is driveway sealing.

What is driveway sealing, anyway?

In short, driveway sealing is the application of a protective coating which adds years to a driveway’s useful life.

Homeowners typically choose between asphalt or concrete when constructing a driveway. Cheaper to install and easier to maintain, asphalt is typically the go-to driveway building material. While concrete is more expensive to install and maintain, those driveways can command 10 additional usage years over asphalt. Asphalt also expands in response to the weather, while concrete cracks under extreme fluctuations or pressure.

Driveway sealing helps protect asphalt driveway

Asphalt can be cheaper to install and easier to maintain/repair.

Driveway sealing helps protect concrete driveways

Concrete is more expensive but requires less maintenance.

Ironically enough, these materials are nowhere near as resilient to the elements as one would expect from something as sturdy as concrete or asphalt. Rain, snow and even UV rays and oxygen damage a driveway over time, shortening its expected decades-long lifespan. In enters driveway sealing, the top line of defense homeowners have to protect their driveway against the elements.

How pre-winter driveway sealing protects your pavement

  • Driveway sealing repels rain, and consequentially, snow. It might sound counterintuitive, but rain is actually one of the most harmful substances for pavement. Moisture can deteriorate asphalt surfaces, while rain and snow can worsen any cracks in a concrete driveway. Accelerated by the snow-melting road salt, this moisture settles into the crevices and expands when it re-freezes, worsening imperfections in the pavement. Northeast homeowners who expect snowstorms and maybe even a blizzard over the course of a standard winter are particularly vulnerable to this kind of damage. Driveway sealing repels this damaging moisture, adding years to your driveway’s crack-free life.
  • Sealants fill in surface damage. All that melting snow makes its way into small imperfections, tiny cracks or indecipherable dings. When the snow melts and re-freezes when the temperature drops, any moisture in the cracks expands and worsens any “cosmetic” imperfections. Driveway sealing prevents moisture from entering these imperfections in the first place by filling in surface damage.
  • It serves as a repellant for oil, fuel and fluid. If your driveway is susceptible to sun and air, it goes without saying that fluids from your car will be even more harsh. Gasoline, oil, antifreeze and other fluids break down asphalt, significantly shortening your driveway’s lifespan. Driveway sealing is the protective layer which keeps these harmful materials from stripping your driveway’s surface.

How often do you need to seal your driveway?

Just like the life of your driveway can vary widely, so too can the life of your sealant. The estimates vary wildly, from annually to every 10 years. Much of this depends on the weather, if your driveway is built from asphalt or concrete, and the TLC you’re putting into your driveway in the first place. In the northeast, homeowners can expect sunshine, snow, road salt, rain and wildly-fluctuating temperatures over the course of a year. These conditions mean that annual or biennial driveway sealing will help extend the life of your investment.

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Dreading Bathroom Repair Services? Take These Preventative Steps!

preventative maintenance in your bathroom lets you focus on the important stuff, like familyAs long as water is running from the faucets and straight down the drain, your bathroom is certainly in fine working order… or is it?

In many ways, the bathroom is a center point of your home. Many major systems such as plumbing, water supply, electrical, drainage and ventilation all come together in your bathroom. Without a properly-functioning bathroom, all these systems can be affected in some way.

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How a Rental Property Maintenance Company Assists Faraway Landlords

new york landlord maintenance solutionWhen it comes to owning rental property, there’s always something needing to be done throughout the year. Whether it’s getting ready for new tenants, fixing issues or upgrading the property, rental property maintenance can turn into a large job which needs frequent attention and supervision.

Such work may not be a big burden if your rental property is located in the same building, block or town in which you live. But what if you live a few towns over, an hour away, or even in another state? If you don’t live close by, rental property maintenance can become a tremendous nuisance.

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Which Home Maintenance Service Plan Fits Your Needs?

Plumber checking off task list on clipboardIt’s so easy to put home maintenance on the back burner. After all, if everything looks fine, it must be fine, right?

While that’s not exactly the case, it’s certainly the most convenient way to approach our homes between long days at the office, shuttling kids to soccer practice and nights out with friends and family. Who has time to think about the sluggish shower drain or the slightly-askew gutter downspout?

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A Cheap Handyman Can Do More Harm Than Good

cheap incompetent handyman can do more harm than good

Collecting and comparing price points is one of the most important pieces of information you’ll receive during your search for the right handyman. You want to make sure you’re getting the best quality at the best possible price, but prioritizing price over quality can be a risky approach.

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How can a rental property maintenance company make a landlord’s life easier?

rental homes can be more profitable for landlords using rental property maintenance servicesProperty owners and managers are all-too-familiar with the summer rush to fix up, prep and rent out the apartments and homes in their purview. Between summer downtime, children moving to new school districts and students starting new academic programs, July and August are two of the busiest months to rent an apartment – and end a lease agreement.

There’s a lot to do in the mad rush to prepare apartments for this quick turnover. Some, like repainting an apartment, are required by law in certain locales at certain intervals. Other minor jobs such as wood rot repair, or small handyman tasks like rehanging closet doors, need to be taken care of before a new tenant moves in, whether the old tenant was at fault or not. In a competitive market, property owners may need to do even more to spruce up or upgrade the entire unit to make it more appealing to renters. No matter the reason, July and August are still the season to tackle the little projects that added up over the lease term.

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HomeSquare’s Summer BBQ Safety Guide

safety important when grilling, as shown in this photo of man charcoal grillingIt’s that time of year again – time to break out the patio furniture and toss some hamburgers and fresh veggies on the grill!

Grilling is an extremely popular pastime, with about 75 percent of households owning at least one charcoal or gas grill. But before igniting the coals or the burners, it’s important to refresh your memory regarding proper cleaning, grill prep and usage so your dinner doesn’t turn into a charred mess – or a painful lesson in fire safety.

Food certainly tastes great cooked over a smoky grill, but working with open fire invites some risk. Grilling causes nearly 9,000 home fires each year, accidents that occur most often during the peak grilling season in July. Grill accidents cause $118 million in property damage every year and send 16,600 people to the emergency room, more than half of those for burns.

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Ask your local handyman these 5 questions before hiring

Questions to ask when hiring local handymanA little drywall patch here, a leaky faucet there — your “honey-do” list is piling up and it’s time to enlist the help of a local handyman who can help you out.

We may know some surefire red flags to avoid when starting the handyman search — high-pressure sales tactics and door-to-door solicitation, for example, are clear signs to run in the other direction. But do you know which questions to ask once your potential new handyman has passed this important “red flag test?” Just a few simple, direct questions should guide your local handyman selection process and help you choose a home maintenance professional who is well-equipped to tackle your “honey-do” list.

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Deck staining, painting, and sealing: oh my!

clean wooden stained deck with attached pergolaThe winter months aren’t kind to your home. Heavy snow, harsh ice, strong winds and bitter temperatures can be particularly rough, cosmetically and structurally.

Of all the parts of your home that are regularly exposed to the elements, your deck is one of the most vulnerable. It’s not just about the deck staining or paint fading over time — cold weather can worsen existing problems, wood rot can crop up if the water protection wears off, and in extreme cases, the beams can warp.

Thankfully, you don’t need to think about old man winter for several months. Spring is here, the sunshine is pouring down, and if you’re anything like us, you’re itching to spend longer hours outside in warm, breezy weather. The deck, of course, is the perfect place to host a party, eat dinner, or just relax and read a favorite book.

But before you head out, it pays to take a closer look at your deck. If it’s not quite ready for its summer debut, read on to find out what your options are for a “facelift” and to learn about other deck repair services you may need during a regular deck check.

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Why do I need gutter cleaning services?

overflowing gutters rain water pouring off roofGutters tend to be out of sight and out of mind – until they stop working how they’re supposed to.

As rain flows down the slope of the roof, it takes leaves, sticks and other debris along with it. This junk and sediment ends up sitting in the gutter – the gallons upon gallons of water flowing off the roof isn’t strong enough to push the mounds of wet leaves through and out of the gutter system. Improper drainage isn’t the only problem, either — backup could become so intrusive that it could cause roof-damaging rot.

Fortunately, regular maintenance and care, starting with a thorough gutter cleaning every spring and fall, can keep your gutters working and your roof in good shape!

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