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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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Beyond Gutter Cleaning: Essential Maintenance Services You Need Every Fall

fall home maintenance means more than gutter cleaningWhile our transition into fall typically involves treating ourselves to a pumpkin spice latte, your home also needs seasonal pick-me-up. Checkups and calibrations are the equivalent of your home’s “winter coat,” insulating and protecting your property during the coming winter storms against the cycle of precipitation, freezing and thawing. Although you probably won’t see snow until November or December, the changing weather will start taking its hold before you know it.

You’re probably familiar with some basic autumn-time tasks, such as gutter cleaning before the snow and ice arrives, but there are a variety of to-dos to put on your list to ensure that your home weathers the cold season in stride.

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Update Your Welcome

by guest author Shawna Feeley

As the adage goes, “You never get a second chance to make a first impression.” This is something I learned from either a dandruff commercial or my Nana Ruth, (both, I think), but the message is sound.  Take a good look at your front door and see if you are maximizing your ability to wow and welcome your guests.  With new door paint, plants, container gardens, doormats, house numbers, wreaths and door knockers, there are many ways to spruce up your curb appeal.

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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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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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Wanna Hang Out? Yes Please!

hanging sofa on house porchBy guest author Shawna Feeley

I bought a hanging chair with a stand last year in the hopes of recreating a moment from an amazing Costa Rican vacation house.  The stand was very cumbersome and swinging from the stand did not have the appeal I was hoping for.  I decided this spring that it had to be hung properly, from my porch ceiling, and that, my friend, has made all the difference.  The waterfall sounds more soothing and the moss is a bit greener in my neck of the woods.  Hanging swings, sofas, beds and lounge chairs are a great way to add a vacation feel to your home. Here are some of my favorite pins.

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