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!

4 Common Spiders You Might See in Your Yard in the Southeast

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While you're working outside in your yard or trying to clean your home, going through boxes in a dark closet, you might come across a spider. If you live in the southeastern area of the country, then there are a few spiders that you might see more than others. It's important to pay attention to the details of some of these spiders as there are some that are poisonous and can severely impact your health if you're bitten.

American House Spider

This is a small brown spider that sometimes has yellow specks on its back. The front legs are a bit longer than the back legs. You'll usually see this spider inside your home more than outside. They like dark areas and often build nests where they feel that they won't be disturbed. If you shine a light on the spider, you can sometimes see the shine on its back. This spider grows to less than an inch in size. It's similar in appearance to the black widow, but the black widow can be deadly whereas the house spider just wants to be left alone.

Source: Rest Easy Pest Control

Wolf Spider

If you come across a wolf spider, then you'll see why it has its name. Thick hair that is either brown or gray covers the spider, making it look rather like a small, eight-legged wolf. They enjoy living around a lot of plants and are nocturnal spiders. The head is in an oblong shape as well as the body of the spider.

Source: The Real Dirt Blog

Cellar Spider

This is a spider that resembles a daddy longlegs. Its legs are very long and thin, giving it the ability to easily climb on walls and plants. Although it has venom, it's usually not detrimental to people. The spider tends to make a nest in dark corners, such as the ones found in cellars, basements, or attics.

Orb Weaver

The orb weaver is a beautiful spider that that creates a majestic web. Fields and gardens attract orb weavers more than other areas, which is why they are also commonly referred to as ‘garden spiders’. The large abdomen can be as large as an inch across. You'll usually see the orb weaver in sunny areas of your yard as this is where it likes to build a nest to capture more prey.

Source: Kid Zone

Spiders can be beneficial to have around the exterior of your home as they can keep insects away. When you see a spider, pay attention to the details on it. There are some that look harmless but are actually quite venomous. If you want to keep spiders away from your home, then consider using an exterminator or using natural products that include peppermint oil or black pepper.

Maintenance of your own property is easy enough, but taking on a huge landscape remodeling can be quite daunting. If you want to upgrade and enhance the appeal of your home, you need high-quality landscaping services, which will not only transform your outdoor space but will enhance the value of the property! We provide expert landscaping and care, so make sure to get in contact with us!

5 Great Landscaping Tips for an Attractive Property

An attractive landscape can make a big difference in the overall appearance of your home. But for some people, it's difficult to come up with good ideas for landscaping their property. The choices can seem overwhelming, as well as a lot of work.

To help make it easier for you, here are some simple landscaping ideas. These tips are easy to implement. And they'll keep your yard looking beautiful without a lot of work.

1. Start by evaluating your soil in order to determine what kind of vegetation you should plant. Some plants thrive in soil with more acidity, and others prefer a little more alkali. Some soil contains a lot of sand or clay, and some is loamy. In some cases you can change the components of the soil in order to grow the plants you want by adding soil amendments.

2. You should know how much space each plant and shrub needs to be healthy. Some root systems take up more space than others. A plant that grows wildly without sufficient room will crowd out your other plants. Also, make sure you understand the spacing requirements between plants. Make sure there's enough room for their leaves and branches to spread out.

3. Select plants that are native to your area. This way you'll know that the plants you choose are appropriate for the climate and soil. If you choose plants that aren't native, try to find ones that come from a climate similar to yours.

4. Plan your landscape around different blooming times. Your property will only look its best for a few weeks of the year if all your plants are in full glory at the same time. One way to help avoid this is to choose bushes and shrubs that look good green, but also have some sort of flower. You should also group together several varieties of plants that flower at various times throughout the season. For instance, you can plant spring flowers such as tulips and daffodils in between plants that will bloom a little later.

5. Arrange decorative bark or mulch around your trees and shrubs. This will cover the ground and look more attractive than dirt. It will also help keep in moisture, repel weeds, and provide natural food as it breaks down. Other attractive landscape design ideas include using attractive groundcover like chicks and hens placed around trees and shrubs.

A Concrete Patio is a Better Choice

The patio of most homes can also be utilized as another area to socialize or relax. Patios may be the base of an attached gazebo or removable tarp cover. Patio flooring is commonly made of concrete, wood or stone. Wood or concrete are often the most desirable. The homeowner has many beautiful style choices with concrete patio flooring.

Advantages of Concrete Patio Flooring

When making outdoor patios you can use a variety of materials. Concrete patio design can be included as a choice. There are many reasons for a homeowner to choose a concrete patio.

A concrete patio floor could possibly outlive you. Concrete is highly durable and can weather the sun, rain or any other weather disturbance that may come its way. This sets concrete apart from other materials. It is very durable able to withstand weather, constant use, as well as heavy furniture being dragged accross it.

Another benefit of pouring a concrete patio is that it can formed into a custom shape or size to suit the individual's needs. You can also have your patio au naturel or just the color and texture of concrete if you want. To give a stone, brick or tile appearance to their concrete many decide to add a little tint to the concrete. As the concrete is poured onto the area, workers make designs on the soft concrete before it sets. To add interest and definition to a concrete patio a tint or color can be added.

Concrete Patio Flooring with Pavers

Pavers are also an alternative to having concrete flooring for your patio. Pavers are concrete that are shaped in small patterns made to fit each other. These are great for concrete patio flooring because they conform to the landscape easily and since there are small gaps in between each piece, water can easily seep into them. This will make it smooth and not allow water to collect on the surface. If one becomes cracked it can be easily removed and a new one set in place. To obtain an eyecatching look to their floor some use pavers of different shapes, sizes and colors.

Concrete patio flooring has benefits that will serve the homeowners well. No matter what your taste there is a tint, shape or size to fulfill the needs of any consumer.

A Lawn "Super Food" That Can Revive Your Lawn

Over time, the ground beneath grass tends to get compacted. This happens primarily because of foot or equipment traffic, such as lawn mowers, periodically putting pressure on it throughout the year. It may also be compacted if it has a heavy composition of clay which is a very dense material.

Compacted soil is bad for plant growth of any kind, including grasses. Plant roots need air to help them breathe, but compacted soil has much of the air squeezed out of it. In addition, many beneficial insects are turned away from soil that has become so dense that they find it difficult to bore through it. In frustration, they seek a more hospitable terrain, possibly in your neighbor's lawn. Over the years as the grass roots get less and less oxygen and nutrients delivered to them because of the impacted soil, your grass slowly begins to suffocate and starve.

But how do you know if your dirt is too compacted? One very easy method it to take your screwdriver and try pushing it into the dirt. The best time to do this is when the ground is dry. If the soil is hard to push through, then it is probably a sign be a sign that your soil is too densely packed. If the dirt gives way without too much effort, then it's probably fine.

A main feature contributing to packed soil is the lack of humus in the soil. Humus is the material that remains after microbes have finished digesting organic matter such as lawn clippings, decaying plants, food garbage, and so on. After the microbes have finished their work, what is left is a dark moist substance that is incredibly rich in nutrients and trace minerals called humus.

Instead of Scott's lawn care products, you might try this ancient super food. Periodically, placing this plant super food on the surface of or mixing it with your lawn's top soil can invigorate your entire lawn. It restores lost nutrients to the soil and helps to make it healthy. Humus is a very spongy material and, particularly if your soil has a high percentage of clay, it will make your soil less dense. And unlike many chemical fertilizers, humus will not burn your lawn or other garden plants and it's very difficult to give your lawn too much of it.

If you have the room in your back yard, you can choose to produce your own humus. It takes time, but with the right equipment, it's not difficult at all. Otherwise, there are many organic garden centers where you can find organic, fully decomposed humus

Soil rich in humus also has another great benefit. It helps to keep your grass roots moist by preventing water evaporating from the lawn. This not only means that you need to water less, but also your lawn will be less susceptible to periods of rain draught. This is especially true if you have a sandy type of soil which tends to have difficulty retaining water.

Many gardeners believe that the high concentration of nutrients in humus that it passes onto the grass, helps the grass to fight off disease and bacteria.

In a sense, your grass and plants are similar to your body. Like your body, it's health is dependent to a large degree on what you feed it. If you feed it junk food, which is what many chemicals are, your grass will grown but it will not be strong. If you feed your lawn humus which is the equivalent of giving your body vitamins, minerals and proteins - your lawn will grow to be strong and healthy.

A Landscaped Swimming Pool Is A Must

You just fulfilled your dream of putting a swimming pool in your backyard, and you can already envision the amazing pool parties and neighborhood get-togethers that will fill your summer weekends for years to come.  Only one thing stands between you and your first big party: the challenge of landscaping your swimming pool area. swimming pool landscaping can seem like a daunting task, but if you follow these ideas your poolside will look amazing.

Choosing The Right Fence And Decking Sets You Off On The Right Foot With Swimming Pool Landscaping

Fencing a swimming pool is a major safety precaution that every pool owner needs to follow. In fact, many cities require fences as a part of getting a swimming pool permit. Since your fence will be a major focal point around your pool take the time to choose one that will look attractive next to your house and provide a great backdrop for swimming pool landscaping. Putting your fence too close to the pool is a big mistake as it will limit your options for the placement of plants.

Depending on the type of pool you have, the way that you surround your pool will vary. Above ground pools often have wrap around wooden decks and in ground pools are often wrapped in cement sidewalks or flagstones. The shape of the pool, type of fence surrounding it, and the type of swimming pool landscaping ideas you have, will have a big bearing on the type of decking you choose.

Swimming Pool Landscaping And Plant Choice

When you are landscaping your swimming pool area, sometimes the plants you don’t choose are as important as the plants you do choose. Many people like the idea of shade around the pool, but planting trees around the pool means you will be cleaning leaves out of the pool on a regular basis. If you want shade choose evergreen shrubs, such as junipers and you will have a cleaner pool.

It is very tempting to plant highly fragrant or flowering shrubs next to your pool. As beautiful as a flowering bush can be, it can also be a haven for bees. Pool parties are great so don't spoil them by planting shrubs that attract bees otherwise you will spend all your time evading these stinging insects.

Planting your shrubs, plants and flowers in containers and spreading them around the pool area is a great way to add greenery near your pool.

A Great Landscape Lighting Guide

Landscaping is something that many homeowners strive to improve, but some don't know to the extent that the word covers. The lawn is part of the landscape, but things such as flowerbeds, trees, ponds, fountains, pool areas, garden, wooded areas, patios, verandas, and decks are also included. Working directly on those things can improve the appearance of your landscape, but landscape lighting can do help to refine it. The following are a few ways to improve your landscape and house with landscape lighting

4 Words for Landscape Perfection - Repetition Sequence Balance And Rhythm

Your success in producing a beautiful landscape on your property will depend upon how well you can combine the many plant forms, textures (mainly of foliage) and colors at your disposal to give a result that is pleasant and orderly. Doing this is called landscape composition. And since you cannot see your entire property from one point at one time, it leads you into a complicated but most interesting and quite intriguing art.

A Few Facts about Landscape Gardening

Landscape gardening represents the special decoration of the outdoor area around the house so as to meet certain style characteristics. The concept came into use during the 19th century when more and more people started cutting their gardens in very fashionable styles. People know landscaping under the name of English Gardens, because the English were the first to impose the trend. Most home owners will try do-it-yourself options, while others will hire professional designers to create some fanciful decoration.

The hedge and lawn cut make the basics of landscape gardening. Then, the flower arrangements, the presence of fountains with water statues or rocks, small bridges and special lighting systems contribute to the artistic effect specific to landscape gardening. With a bit of effort and some investments you can even preserve the same colors all year round by planting new flowers every season.

The flowers, bushes and trees are incredibly important for landscape gardening. The most daring of effects can be achieved by working on these elements. Thus, when you cultivate the flower beds you can choose complementing colors or you can make patterns by careful plant arrangement. This takes time, effort and plenty of hard work. River rocks, gravel, sand and carved wood find their place in landscape gardening too, if you know how to exploit every detail into your advantage.

Normally, landscape gardening is different depending on the alternation night-day. Lights are often used for landscaping purposes. Everything falls into shadow at night, but with light fixtures placed in strategic locations, you can achieve some things of incredible beauty. For instance, use small lights to show the way along the alleys, and create a touch of mystery by hiding the lights in the background.

The choice of the furniture, the porch or the gazebo further contribute to the impact of landscape gardening. It is important to adapt all these elements to the features of the house, the size of the garden and the overall decor. The main objective of landscape gardening should not be that of showing off but rather of creating an atmosphere that you love. Personal satisfaction and comfort definitely come first here!

By using pest control instead of chemicals, you can get rid of pests from your garden more safety. You can check out the reviews about this pest control on ultrasonic pest control site, where you can get useful information on ladybug pest control option. Compared with all the other methods, using this pest control will be the most convenient and eco-friendly method.

5 Things a Homeowner Should Consider Before Building a Pool

Many people are wishing to own their own pool in their own backyard. Who has not thought of it, considering the fact that its existence contribute to many beautiful landscapes. Your house can be a Nirvana with a pool that has been designed and carefully planned. For some the benefit does not only lie on being able to convert your homes into a therapeutic environment. It is also good to be able to enjoy swimming without having to leave home, just to join other people in the public pools.

Putting a swimming pool in your backyard is one of the most luxurious upgrades you can do for your home. As beautiful as it may look in your outdoors, there is so much to consider in making them. Having the advantage of being able to swim and relax brought about the benefits of owning this pool, entails many responsibilities as well. Therefore, before you decide to have one, make sure you have weighed the pros and cons of having one built.

Therefore, if you do ever decide to have on in your backyard, here are some of the considerations that you should be looking for.

The Cost

Building a pool is like building a small home. It may not cost as much as your house but the construction entails work force and materials. You will have to buy construction materials, pool finish, plumbing materials and a lot more. For a days work, it can cost much.

The Space

If you ever want to enjoy a pool, you got to have a vision on what you want to do with it. Do you want to dive on it? Do you want your kids to be able to wade on it without fear of drowning? Do you want to swim and practice your strokes just like in the Olympics? Then, you must know the size. However, it should match the space that is allotted for it. If you have not, you got start counting steps to be able to determine what could the right size to construct.

The Design

In construction, the drawing says it all. However, you also have to know the kinds of materials you will be using. What kind of pool are you considering to have? Three of the options are concrete, fiberglass and vinyl? Do you want it to be in ground or above ground? What kind of pool finish do you want to use? Do you plan to use pebble, quartz or even plaster? What kind of ground cover around the pool are you going to use, a simply landscape stone or something more exotic such as Mexican Beach Pebble?

The Time

You do not want to take a lot of time in constructing your pool. Not only will it take up much of the labor cost but it can also be an eyesore in your backyard. Construction is never pleasant to the eye. You also probably could not wait to enjoy swimming on it. Therefore, if time is of an essence for you, you should ask for options on which or how you can have, it built faster.

Landscape & Maintenance

 

There is a significant amount of time that goes into maintaining the pool and the surrounding landscape. Not many people think about the amount of time and money that these things take. A simple and elegant low maintenance solution for the landscape is using Mexican Beach Pebble. There is a significant price difference between this and standard ground cover but if you are looking for an elegant look it is well worth it.

3 Important Steps To Pond Pump Upkeep

Pond pumps usually are must-have pond accessories for people who have outdoor water fountains on your property which include fountains or maybe ponds. Water pumps help to fix up the actual curb appeal of the home by means of facilitating various water fountains a person used in your landscaping and also backyard design to work effectively. To make ones yard features last long periods of time, appropriate repair of the actual water pump is extremely important.

What to Consider Before Committing to Buying a Fixer Upper

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Many first-time homebuyers receive a rude awakening after they begin hunting. Unless you have an unlimited budget and magical powers, it’s impossible to find everything you want. This is what draws so many people to considering a fixer-upper. If you are willing to put in the sweat equity and embrace do-it-yourself projects in an aging or shabby home, your dollars can go a lot further with your realtor in the marketplace.

Intimidated? Don’t be! If you approach buying a fixer-upper with realistic expectations and the right mentality, your big commitment can pay off. You will have left a beautiful mark on a once-blighted property, and you’ll likely have increased the property value, which is useful if you decided not to sell the home instead of stay in it once you’ve fixed it up.

Lifehacker recommends hiring a trusted home inspector before purchasing a fixer-upper. An inspector can give help you identify what areas in the home need to be repaired or renovated, and they will see things that an untrained eye will surely miss. Once your qualified home inspector has helped identify need-to-fix elements of your future home, you can combine that with want-to-update elements and begin estimating how much your renovation will cost you altogether.

You should prioritize repairs that could cost you more in the long run if left unattended. Shoring up the foundation and addressing any roofing issues would fall under this category. If your goal is to sell the home after you’re done renovating it, then you should also prioritize things like bathrooms and kitchens that add the most resale value. If you plan on living in the home indefinitely, you can prioritize based off your whims and availability of funds.

When you’re figuring out projects and their related costs, don’t forget about the exterior of the home. This is especially important if you plan on selling the home once you’ve finished working on it. The landscaping and condition of the exterior of the home (curb appeal) is the first thing potential buyers will see, so you want to make a good impression. As you do your fixer-upping, you’ll want to address any structural or cosmetic issues with the roof, fences, shutters, paint or sidewalks outside your home, as well as tend to the landscaping. Remember: A few flowers can go a long way!

 

After you have identified everything that needs to be done, you’ll have to decide what to farm out to a contractor and what to tackle yourself. For that, you should definitely factor in the level of difficulty and expertise needed for your various repair and renovation projects. Certain things -- like projects involving foundational or structural elements of your home, or major electrical rewiring -- should not be skimped on because they are crucial to safety. Don’t forget to factor in the cost of buying, renting or borrowing the right power tools for the job. Depending on what DIY repair you’re tackling, you could need drills, sanders, jigsaws, etc. You’ll want the right tool for the job, so factor that cost in.

After you have done all this planning, do one more thing: expect the unexpected. Every project comes with unforeseen costs or challenges, so build some wiggle room into your budget. Unexpected costs often add somewhere between 10 and 25 percent onto the project. It could be the difference between crossing the line from “fixer upper” to “fixed up.”

Once you have a comprehensive plan in place, you can get to the fun part. Pick up that hammer and turn that house into your dream home!

Photo via Pixabay.

Boost Your Home’s Curb Appeal to Increase Home Value

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Boost Your Home’s Curb Appeal to Increase Home Value

home for sale with curb appeal

You may put a lot of money into your home, but that doesn’t necessarily make it an investment. Since the housing crisis of 2008, financial experts advise people to look at buying a home as a lifestyle choice and to stay within one’s means. Looking at homeownership as an investment is an outdated mentality.

And, while your home should not be viewed as a financial investment, that doesn’t mean you should not do what you can to maintain or even increase its value. If you plan on putting it on the market, the best way to ensure you get the most money is by increasing its curb appeal.

What is Curb Appeal?

“Curb appeal” is a term that refers to the attractiveness of a house based on its first impression from the outside. When looking at multiple listing services (MLS) or even just browsing your neighborhood, potential home buyers see your front yard as a first impression to decide if they want to discover more. If you don’t hook them right away, that’s another sale slipping through your fingers.

Improving your home’s curb appeal does not have to be an expensive endeavor. Much of what you can do is simple maintenance around the front yard. However, if you are looking to add dollars to your asking price, there are larger projects that correlate with higher prices.

Below are some ideas on improving your home’s curb appeal to increase home value.

How to Boost Your Home’s Curb Appeal

  • Over time, traffic and weather can leave your driveway and walkways looking stained and discolored. Rent a power washer or hire a professional service to blast all that dirt and grime away for a brand new look.
  • Nowadays, people look for energy efficiency as a standard feature in a new home. If you are due for a roof replacement, look into cool roofs that lower power bills and keep homes comfortable. If you are worried about the cost of replacement, worry not. A new roof has one of the best returns on investment of 75 percent.  
  • Make sure your yard is attractive and manicured. If you have a lawn, fill in patches and keep it trimmed. Make sure flower beds are weeded, watered and protected with mulch. Consider planting native flora to increase biodiversity and add character to your garden.

 

  • Painting your front door grey or blue can increase your home’s value up to $1,514 and the project only costs dollars to complete.

 

  • If your home has a pool, make sure it is constantly clean and ready to be viewed. Clear away equipment, toys, and other items that get in the way of its visual appeal. If that is too much work for your busy schedule, close it down by balancing its chemicals and using a winter cover to protect it from the elements.

 

  • Install outdoor solar lighting that illuminates walking paths without draining electricity.

 

  • Plant flowers in window boxes that add color and character to the front of your house. You can mix and match the flowers based on your color scheme.

 

  • Replace the hardware on the outside of the house such as door knobs and address numbers. Use a single metal or other material to create a cohesive look.

***

While you home is not a financial investment, that shouldn’t stop you from trying to get the most you can when you put it on the market. To do so, it’s best to focus on the curb appeal of the house. Projects like power washing the driveway and replacing the outdoor hardware can breathe new life into your home’s look and increase the number of interested home buyers.