Showing posts with the label house maintenance

Upgraded Garage Spring - October 2020

 Our garage door is oversized.  And, when I say oversized, I mean a lot.  It is a normal width, but the height makes it bigger than most.  And heavier than most. Our spring snapped after just three years.  Seems like it didn't have a normal life.  So, instead of swapping out like-for-like, we replaced it with this monster: Still needs tweaking because it SCREAMS on the way up and on the way down.    The Garage Door Guy has an idea - and it involves PVC pipe to separate the spring from the metal rod.

Ice Melt Concrete Safe - Calcium Chloride

In November, I posted about how I had applied a second coat of concrete sealer to our driveway in an attempt to preserve it as best I can .  Part of that preservation is also trying to NOT use rock salt on it to melt ice and snow.  That's a best practice - not using salt - that was shared by our builder, but you can also find it online all over the place.    Some folks call salt the "#1 enemy of concrete" .  So, I try to take care of my driveway without salt or any other melting products.  The issue is that our driveway is on an incline.  You might not be able to tell from this photo , but we're uphill from the street to our driveway. Have you ever come across a concrete driveway that looks like this ?  Pitted and full of pockmarks?  That's very often because of salt damage.  From this story : The pock marks are likely from rock salt deterioration on your concrete drive. It can be caused by using rock salt (sodium chloride) to melt ice on your drive, or c

Concrete Driveway Sealer - Slippery When Snowed On?

I posted a [ house maintenance ] post recently talking about how I applied a coat of concrete driveway sealer earlier this Fall as part of just trying to keep up with things around the house.  Back a week or so ago, Nat had to drive the kids to school one morning when it was snowing.  And after she got the van back into the driveway, she sent me this photo showing her - ummm....nonlinear - route up the driveway.  I had recently brought our van in to the tire store and the guy told me that the tires were fine.  They had about half of their life left on the treds.  Yet, she had a tough time getting up our inclined driveway.  So...that has me wondering:  have I made my driveway slicker than it would be without the sealer?  I imagine that it would be the case, right?  I mean...if the water beads up and there's a little bit of a glossy coat on the concrete, isn't it going to be slippery when wet?  I've tried over the past few Winters to use as little salt on the dri

Driveway Sealer - Re-applied Fall 2019

This photo above - of part of our driveway - is a few weeks old, but I wanted to drop this down here on the blog, so I could refer back to it in terms of house maintenance.  When we built the house, the concrete guys laid down a nice thick concrete sealer on top of our brand new driveway.  I subsequently worked earlier this Summer to powerwash the whole thing and put on a first coat of sealer.  That meant that it was about two years old before I put on a second coat. Then, late in October, I found a day that was 'right' in terms of temperature (air temps in the 50's and rising for a few hours, surface temps in the 50's and no rain in the forecast).  So, I quickly grabbed the garden sprayer, filled it with sealer and slopped it on.  I used this SealBest Concrete Sealer from Menards (not the high gloss stuff) that retails for $79.99 for five gallons .  You can see it in varying degrees of absorption with a purple/white-ish hue.  And, as I mentioned above, I used a ha

Getting Our Chimney Swept - Summer 2019

I've posted here on the blog all about our firewood consumption over the past couple of Winters.  This past Winter, we started with a Face Cord of Cherry and a Face Cord of Birch .  Burned through both of those.  Then in February, we ordered a third Face Cord - a combo of Cherry and Oak . The previous Winter, we ordered just one Face Cord and ripped through it in no time.  We also burned a bunch of wood that we had on hand when we bought the property.  Not quite a face cord there, but close.  So, all in, that's about five Face Cords that have been burned.  We built the house new, so I *knew* that the Chimney was clean when we started.  But, I wasn't sure when we should get our chimney swept.  With the Summer here, I figured it was a slow time for the service providers, so I called one locally and set up an appointment.  When he got there, he asked me some questions:  type of wood we burn and how often.  Told him we burn everyday and we burn mostly hardwoods.  When