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4 Common Winter Maintenance Steps to Prevent Commercial Property Damage

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You might think that spring and summer are the only times that you need to worry about outdoor maintenance. After all, the yard may not look very good in the winter, regardless of the things that you do to keep it maintained. But aesthetics is only part of the reason that you should keep up with outdoor maintenance. There are some things that can be done during some of the winter months, and you'll be happier that you did it now than you will be if you wait. After all, you'll save yourself time later. Plus, you could avoid some major damage if you do some maintenance before you have a problem. Here are four things that you should do to maintain your property.

Clean Up the Landscaping

Storms during the fall and winter can do some major damage. Fallen branches and leaves can be unsightly, regardless of the time of the year. If a branch falls during a winter storm, make sure that you take the time to pick it up. Having a commercial property also usually means that you have the public looking at your property at all times of the year, so you want to give a good impression. Also, if you get heavy snow and ice, you want to make sure that any branches that are close to falling are taken down before they fall on the roof and do real damage. So if you see a branch that is about to fall, take the time to cut it down or hire a professional to do it for you if you're not comfortable doing it yourself.

Source: https://restorationmasterfinder.com/restoration/check-your-trees-for-winter-storm-damage/

Clear Out the Gutters

Cleaning your gutters is an important step, but gutters are sometimes forgotten about. They aren't an aesthetically pleasing part of your house, but they serve a very important role in your home. Cleaning your gutters might not seem like a crucial consideration, but it's important to do it at least once a year. Not only do clogged up gutters look unsightly, they can also cause damage to your premises. If water is unable to leave via the gutter, it may seep into the building instead, potentially leading to damp and other problems. Also, when gutters are full of debris, you can get icicles. These icicles can be dangerous to you, your employees, and any members of the public that are walking underneath when one falls. If you see icicles, take the time to knock them down. You should also clear out debris before it's too cold. Cleaning debris out of your gutters is one of the most important outdoor maintenance activities. And if you have a lot of snow on your roof that is hanging over the edge, make sure that you get rid of it. When the snow melts then freezes quickly, this adds to the possibility of icicle formation. And if you have a snowstorm, then the weather suddenly warms up, you're more likely to have snow fall off the roof. This can hit people who are walking underneath.

Source: https://www.seersgroup.co.uk/gutter-cleaning-cardiff/

Have Your Chimney Swept

If you have a wood-burning fireplace in your commercial property, make sure that you have it swept. You should definitely have this done at least once during the year. By having your chimney swept, you could save your property from fire damage. When soot builds up, this can cause smoke and other problems, so have a schedule of when you have your chimney swept.

Source: https://www.mychimney.com/blog/about/how-often-do-you-need-to-clean-your-chimney/

Insulate Pipes

If your pipes aren't insulated, you'll want to make some time to do this before the really cold weather hits. Uninsulated pipes can be especially dangerous to your home if the heater goes out. If your pipes are insulated, this can buy you more time so that you can turn the water off if the heater goes out. Also, pipes that are on exterior walls can burst if the weather is particularly cold. When a pipe bursts, this can cause significant damage. You might have to close off certain areas of a commercial property for days if you have water damage. Undiscovered water damage can lead to additional problems like mold. This can cause health concerns. It's always best to take precautionary measures rather than wait until you have a really big problem.

Source: https://www.merchantsgroup.com/watch-frozen-pipes-winter/ When you own a commercial property, it might be easy to forget about winter maintenance. This is especially true because you're more concerned about the business that you need to run. But if you forget to maintain the property, someone could get hurt or your property could be damaged, so take a few minutes on a regularly scheduled basis to take inventory of what needs to be done.

If you’re looking for a reliable, trusted, and professional maintenance crew for your commercial or residential properties then you need to keep Crider Landscaping in mind! Get in contact with us today, and see how we can help!

3 Ways to Modernize Your House's Exterior

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After many years, even homes with beautiful exteriors can become outdated. Siding begins to fade, landscaping becomes overrun and driveways can become cracked and ugly. When your house's exterior begins to look outdated, it's time for a little tender loving care. If you're thinking about updating the exterior of your house, there are a few places that you can start. Here are three of them.

Landscaping

Overgrown landscaping can really put a damper on the appearance of your entire yard. One of the first steps you should take is to remove any weeds or landscaping that has grown too large for the space that it's in. Many bushes and trees start out tiny, but after many years, they begin to grow beyond their spaces. After you remove everything that is either too big or dead, you can then add in newer, more attractive landscaping.

Driveway

The driveway is one of the first impressions of your house that people have. Driveways are more than just functional. If yours is starting to crack or has chunks missing, understand that repaving or upgrading your driveway doesn't have to be a complicated or expensive process. If you have a blacktop driveway, even a simple coat of tar can greatly improve the aesthetic appearance. If your driveway is concrete, you can shop around for the best deals or wait for the off-season. If you're interested in getting a completely new driveway and want some upgraded features, you can install heated driveways so that removing ice and snow is easier in the winter time.

Paint

Some siding should be painted, and if the paint is beginning to fade or chip, it's time to give your house a makeover. The siding might need to be done, or you can even paint your front door or garage door an accent color. However, as a word of caution, be careful if your house is currently a darker color. If you choose to go with a lighter color, remember that it will take several more coats to go over your current color, and it will likely need a good primer paint.

The exterior is people’s first impression of your house, and if you want to give off a good impression, you'll need to do some maintenance from time to time. There are many projects that you can start with, but take some time to plan and budget so that you have a house that you can be proud of when you're done.

Raise the Value of Your Home With These 4 Outdoor Elements

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When looking to increase the value of your home, it's important to look beyond just the interior of the house. The yard and landscaping features set the tone for the rest of your house and entice potential buyers to give the home a further look. These features also prepare your home for a better appraisal, allowing you to secure a much better mortgage interest rate. You can raise the value of your home by incorporating these four outdoor elements:

Outdoor Living and Kitchen Area

The latest trend in backyard design is the outdoor living space. Families everywhere are recognizing the value of installing an outdoor kitchen or living area in their backyard. Not only does this area provide an ideal place to entertain guests, but it also serves as a natural extension of your indoor living space. A porch is a great way to increase the outdoor living space for any home. A well-designed porch can support a hot tub, play area, seating area, and a grill. You'll have to consider your needs and budgeting into account. There are financing options for hot tubs and more to help you achieve your dream backyard.

Window Well Covers

Window well covers boast a myriad of practical uses in any yard. These covers serve as a protective measure because you do not have to worry about anybody falling into your window well. Window well covers are also good for home security — intruders often enter homes through low-lying windows, window well covers work to keep people from getting into your home through the lower windows. The covers also keep debris, leaves, and more from piling up in the well and hindering the exit of anyone in the event of an emergency.

Lighting

Outdoor lighting is an easy and practical way to add value to your home. With an abundance of options including tiki torches, solar lighting walkways, and ornamental bulbs, there is an outdoor lighting option for every personal taste and budget. Lighting provides a unique ambiance to any outdoor area while also adding security to the yard.

Raised Flower Beds

Add a touch of color to your house with the addition of raised flower beds. Although it is a cliche, it is true that you never get a second chance to make a first impression. A well-maintained flower garden in the front of your house will greet visitors and set the tone for a cozy and beautiful interior of the home. Do not miss this opportunity to impress potential home buyers before they even step foot in your house.

With a little work and creativity, you can raise the value of your home with these four practical outdoor elements. By carefully researching and choosing what features to invest in, you can ensure that you will get the most out of your house when it is time to put it on the market.

 

Signs You May Have a Sinkhole on Your Property

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A sinkhole can occur whenever a hole inside the ground causes the surface layer to collapse. There are often a few telltale symptoms of a sinkhole that appear before the top layer of the earth actually falls in. Be sure to keep an eye out for these sign of a sinkhole on your land.

Holes in the Ground

The most obvious sign of a sinkhole is a large hole that rapidly appears in the ground, but this does not always happen. In some cases, the earth might only form cracks or tiny little gaps. The lawn might not even display any noticeable cracks or gaps, but it might still begin to warp and look dipped.

Cracks Inside the Home

If the sinkhole appears underneath your house, the uneven shifting of the ground can cause issues. You might find that the grout between your tiles cracks, or the sheetrock near the windows and doors may develop cracks. You can also look at your interior walls and door frames to check for cracks. If you begin to notice these signs within your home, these environmental safety experts counsel, “If the hole is directly impacting a house, and sinking, sagging, or cracking walls are apparent, stay out of the dwelling. Call the property insurance adjuster and report it immediately.” Any amount of damage could cause structural damage, which can cause the house to collapse partially or entirely, risking the lives of anyone inside.

Unusual Water Movements

Anything unusual happening with water in your lawn might be one of the signs you have a sinkhole. This includes puddles that always appear in one spot after rain or a puddle appearing at any other time. You should also be wary if you notice that a pond in your yard is rapidly losing water, especially if it is not especially dry outside. Sinkhole repair experts explain, “for lawn sinkholes, the repair process is generally considerably easier than a foundation or interior sinkhole. Usually lawn sinkhole repairs include excavation or existing soil and dirt, grouting, and adding more soil to the hole, ensuring the problem won’t occur again.”

Foundational Issues

Even tiny sinkholes can cause problems with your foundation. You might notice that your floors in your house are beginning to slant. There is also a chance of a void or gap developing in your foundation, and the edges of the foundation might display cracks. These need to be looked into by a professional immediately because, as these conservation specialists explain, “sinkholes can be dangerous to the foundations of the building. Toxic chemicals beneath the earth can come up and may pollute the groundwater. Sinkholes can also progress rapidly, sometimes forming large and hazardous holes in a matter of minutes as has been seen in many cities.”

Odd Changes to Plants

A sinkhole can also affect your landscaping. You might have a sinkhole if you notice that one of your trees is beginning to slant or tip over. In some cases, the grass or other plants situated on top of a sinkhole might start to die because their roots are being disturbed.

If you notice any of these signs appearing on your property, it might be a good idea to get your land checked out by a professional. Catching a sinkhole early can keep it from causing excessive damage. If you find the sinkhole before it collapses completely, fixing it can be as easy as getting help from an engineering expert to fill in the sinkhole before repairing your landscaping.

If you’ve had some issues with sinkholes in your lawn, and are in dire need of some landscaping or restoring care, keep us in mind! We don’t think of your lawn as just a piece of earth, plants, and rocks. We consider landscaping to be an art form all on its own. We guarantee you’ll be happy with the results. Check out how we can help you today!

7 important steps to get your home ready for winter

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winter home picture

Photo by Diane Deaner at Unsplash

Getting ready for winter is about more than just dragging out your coats, scarves and gloves. You’ve got to make sure your house can manage through the season, too.

Don’t worry -- the list of chores isn’t too long or expensive. But getting these things done before the weather gets cold can really help your home mind the weather better, and it can save you some extra money and hassle in the long run.

Here’s a list of things to do and why they’re important:

  1. Check your alarms: Your carbon monoxide and smoke detectors need to be checked to make sure they’re in working order and not too old. If you look at the back of your smoke detector, you’ll see the manufacture date. If it’s more than 10 years old, get it replaced, asap. Why: These detectors save lives: One out of three fire deaths happens in homes without smoke detectors. With furnaces and fireplaces being used in winter, fire hazards increase.
  2. Change your filters: Furnace filters should be changed every three months if you get high quality filters. Check the MERV rating, and get one somewhere around the 11 to 13 range. The higher MERV rating will filter out dust, dander, cigarette smoke and even bacteria. Why: Your furnace needs a filter to prevent dirt, dust and dander from getting into it, causing it to get clogged up or to spew that stuff back into the air you breathe. It’s better for the furnace, and it’s better for you.
  3. Insulate your pipes: Check your pipes in non-heated areas to make sure they are insulated. Don’t turn your heat off when you leave -- keep it at 55 degrees or higher. Why: If your pipes aren’t insulated or heated, they will freeze, and frozen pipes often burst on the coldest day of the year. When that happens, you have to call a plumber, and you might even have flooding in your home.
  4. Rake your leaves: Use a rake, a leaf blower or a lawn mower to remove the leaves from your yard or turn them into mulch. Put piles of leaves into your compost pile to have nice, fertile compost next Spring. Why: Leaving your leaves on the lawn will smother your grass over the winter. Having wet leaves down there can also cause mold and rot to infect your lawn.
  5. Seal your windows: Put a bead of caulk around the drafty areas of your windows, and add weather stripping to the parts that move. You can do the same with your doors, and add a draft snake to prevent more drafts. Why: Drafty doors and windows leak out your money in the form of heat. Keeping the seals nice and tight will ensure you aren’t wasting any of the heat you’re already paying for.
  6. Secure crawl spaces: If you have openings in your crawl space, make sure you fix any holes or loose openings before winter. Make sure crawl space doors are secured with a strong padlock. Why: Criminals can get into crawl spaces and steal copper pipes, as well as listen to the home’s activities for later burglary.
  7. Get your furnace checked: Call an HVAC professional to do an inspection and check that your furnace is working well for the winter. You can also ask him to do a tune-up on it. Why: Making sure all is working well before winter will help prevent parts from breaking down or your furnace quitting in the dead of winter. It also helps spot gas leaks early so they don’t cause fires or carbon monoxide poisoning.

Taking care of these things before the real cold sets in can save you costly repairs down the line, and it helps ensure that you’ll make it through the winter warm and cozy.

Cedar window box planters - Custom sizes

How to Make a large window box or planter

While perusing the Lowe's and Home Depot stores this past weekend with my wife I had an "idea". I can't entirely claim it as mine as I am sure I got the inspiration from pinterest or someplace similar.

We were looking at window boxes and planters but I could not bring myself to spending $20 on a plastic or cheaply built wooden box. So, while looking at fence posts for another project, I saw the cedar fence slats.

Cedar fence slats are perfect for making planters. They are made of cedar - so slower rot, they are cheaper than premium cedar boards found in the lumber section of the store and the width is perfect for windowsill planters.

For under $10 we were able to make four planters, 5'6" long and had no waste left over other than a little saw dust. To make the planters you will need 3 fence panel slats at  6' long with a dogear end. You will also need a drill (or air stapler/brad nailer  - recommended), a saw and a little bit of time.

We cut off 5 1/2" on the dogear end of the planters and used those as the ends and a center brace for the planter, using all of the wood material. The easiest assembly was with the air stapler as it made assembly quick and would not split the panels. We did try one using screws, but had to pre-drill holes for screws and also add small pieces of 1x1 to mount the screws to. We could also assemble 3 boxes in the time it took to make one using screws.

I immediately put them to work as a "row" in my garden, in the future I have plans to hang them along the deck rails around both my pool and upper deck, plant horsetail reed in them or a similar plant and have a nice privacy screen.

I'll have to post the finished pictures at a later date.

Backyard Makeover

This past Saturday, my wife and I were "surprised" by our church family from Berean Baptist coming to our house and "crashing" our Backyard. I knew it was coming, however my wife did not, they decided that at least one of us needed to know. I had purchased a pool liner for our above ground pool. I had been needing to do this since we bought the house. They installed this, removed a portion and repaired our pool deck and even installed a walkway using pavers to the pool deck.

My wife used picstitch? and uploaded some pictures of it to her facebook page. We are greatly blessed to have a church family willing to do this for us, and we are excited to finally have use of our back yard in the summer. Yes, there will be pool parties!