Categories Home Maintenance

A Simple Guide to Caring for Concrete Driveways

Homeowners love concrete for various reasons, but mostly because it’s practical and durable. That’s why most driveways are made from concrete. But even though they are made to last, there still might be issues after time.

While it is strong, it isn’t going to last forever. So, if you have a concrete driveway, there are some things you should keep an eye out for, as well as some regular maintenance you should mix into your routine.


Signs Your Driveway Needs Attention

Whether there are aesthetic issues or problems with functionality, these are the things you should look out for:


This falls under the aesthetic category.

If you notice a stain, whether its gasoline, oil, or even antifreeze, it’s best to address it right away. It will be much easier to clean the same day, rather than 6 months later.

If you don’t have time to do so right when it happens, throw an absorbent material like cat litter or baking soda on the stain to cover it for safety until you have time.



Have you noticed your driveway is uneven or has a few bumps? This is a sign the surface beneath the paving is unstable and has suffered structural damage.

You probably don’t need to pour a whole new driveway (unless you want to spend all that money). A quicker and more cost effective fix is to add an overlay on top of the uneven driveway. How uneven the surface is will determine how thick your overlay should be.



Harsh chemicals or even extreme weather conditions (especially using rock salt for de-icing) can cause corrosion. Whatever the case, you should take care of it before bigger problems arise. You will probably need to call a concrete contractor on this one.



Typically after a harsh winter and recurring freezing cycles, cracks will appear. Keep an eye on these. And if they get too large, call in a professional for a second opinion.


How You Can Care for Your Driveway

Aside from looking for the warning signs of concrete damage, there are several preventative measures you can take to ensure a healthy concrete driveway.

Clean it

Using a power washer once a month is a reasonable chore. This will allow you to get rid of any dirt or grimy buildup before it has time to grow into something harmful.


Ditch the chemicals

Some chemicals can have a positive effect on concrete, but others are meant to erode it. Tri-sodium phosphate (TSP) and baking soda are examples of stain removers for your driveway.

Be sure you do your due diligence when choosing chemicals that will come in contact with the concrete. Sulfates and calcium chlorides are corrosive chemicals you’ll want to avoid.


Get it sealed

Perhaps the best defense for your driveway is getting it regularly sealed.

Using a water-based agent, acrylic, or urethane to coat your driveway can help protect it against the elements. A sealant will also ultimately lead to a reduction in cracking as well as the potential to stain easily.



With all of these tips and red flags to look out for, we’re certain you’ll be able to care for your concrete driveway and benefit from this long lasting element to your home.

How often do you take care of your driveway? Did we miss any maintenance tips on our list? We’d love to hear from you! Leave us a comment below.


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Categories Home Maintenance

How to Address Water Damage to Carpet

Water damage in any form can be a nightmare for homeowners. Whether your house has flooded, or there was even a small amount of moisture intrusion, there will be a lot of damage control afterwards.

Today we want to focus on one particular problem we’ve come across in our years of inspections — carpet damage after water incidents.

If you have carpet in your home, knowing how to minimize water damage will be essential. This is simply because if left untreated, there are a number of problems that may arise after the fact.

Mold growth doesn’t take as long as you’d think to appear. And once it’s there, a whole host of problems can start to appear.


Protect Your Carpets

Immediate action is necessary to prevent any long term and more expensive repairs. If you experience a leak or flooding, act fast with these tips:

Dry it out

Immediately start drying as much as possible. Using tools like a wet/dry vacuum will help get water out fast. Additionally, bring in fans and a dehumidifier. The fans will help dry and circulate air while dehumidifiers will remove any excess moisture in the air.


Steam clean

Doing so will remove odors and sanitize. Check underneath, too. If the carpet padding is too damaged, toss it out and replace it.


Check walls and baseboards

Depending on the height of the water, you should sanitize these areas as well. Clean the walls and baseboards with soap, water, and 1.5 cups of chlorine bleach for every gallon of water.


Inspect furniture

Make sure your furniture didn’t suffer damage. Take a close look at all areas, especially the base, for water damage.


Toss it if you have a doubt

If you’re not sure if an item is salvageable, take precaution and just ditch it. Even if it is a favorite chair or a useful household item, it’s not worth holding on to if it’s going to spread mold spores later on.


What Can Happen if Left Untreated?

Water damage in carpeted areas is just the beginning.

In fact, water damage in any area of your home will likely begin wreaking havoc almost instantly.

Issues like color staining, musty smells, spread of mold, warping wood, appearance of fungi, and paint blisters are just a few of the issues you can expect to deal with after water damage.


What If It’s not Obvious?

Sometimes water damage isn’t as dramatic as a burst pipe or flooding from a harsh storm. It could be a small leak that occurs over a long period of time. If that’s the case, these are signs to look out for:

  1. Visible stains or spots
  2. Walls and floors change shape
  3. Utility bills don’t match your water usage
  4. Strong odors (especially around carpeted areas)


Noticed any of the above signs in your home?

Have you dealt with water damage before?

If so, then you know how serious it can be and the amount of time it requires to address.

If you’re buying, selling, or concerned that your current home may be suffering from water damage, call in the pros! Schedule an inspection with us today and we’ll be out in 48 hours or less!



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Categories Home Maintenance, Home safety

Are You Ready for Summer Evenings? 8 Ways to Keep Outdoor Lighting Safe

‘Tis the season…for entertaining outdoors! Whether you’re looking to have a few friends over late into the night, or to whip up a late sunset BBQ, you’ll surely need good outdoor lighting.

Any great yard space is sure to have a few features for water, or even a fire pit. But most commonly, light features are what you’ll find in a backyard for flawless entertaining. Whether it’s a few security spotlights or a beautiful set of string lights, they all pose a risk if not properly maintained.

If you want to add ambiance to your home, you can definitely invest in some outdoor lighting features. And if you want to make sure your space is safe year round, keep these tips in mind.

Ensure Your Yard Is Free from Danger

1. Choose the right bulb

LEDs are generally the best choice, because they don’t attract bugs like old-school incandescent bulbs.

But they don’t always fit old hardware. If you’re installing LED lights, be sure you are getting the right hardware to support them. Additionally, you should only be using bulbs that are rated for outdoor use.


2. Avoid overloading

Most fixtures will have a notice of their maximum wattage capacity, so be sure to follow this rule. If the fixture comes with a sticker that says “Max wattage: 75W”, don’t go over 75W, as doing so could lead to the wiring overheating.


3. Make some room

Keep all lighting out of reach of flammable materials. Light bulbs can get very hot, so take precaution when organizing your space.


4. Waterproof receptacles

Don’t let your switches or fixtures fall victim to harsh weather. Buying the correct waterproof receptacles can prevent damage and corrosion.


5. Clean wisely

Whenever you get around to cleaning the bulbs, you should first make sure they’re off, and then use the correct cleaners. Cleaners full of chemicals can strip special finishes right off of metal lamps.


6. Use the right extension cord

Just as you should only use bulbs rated for outdoor use, you should only use extension cords rated for outdoor use. Also, keep in mind that these are for temporary lighting, not year round.


7. Install GFCI

That’s short for “Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter”, and this will give you an extra layer of protection when working around electricity.


8. Make a plan

The safest and surest way to avoid any disasters is to make a solid plan before attempting any work with outdoor lighting.

Plan exactly what materials you’ll use, where they’ll be placed, how and when they’ll be tended to, and map out where all the wiring will go.


Something as simple and fun as making your home beautiful shouldn’t put you, your loved ones, or your home in danger. With a little planning, precaution, and regular upkeep, you can have a safe experience with outdoor lighting.


If you’re concerned that your backyard or other areas of your home may be in danger, don’t worry! Let the pros handle it by scheduling an inspection today.

Fill out this form here and we’ll be out in 48 hours or less to give you the peace of mind you deserve!


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Categories Energy Savings, Home Maintenance, Home safety

4 Ways to Tell Your Windows Need to Be Replaced

We replace our windows for many reasons.

For example, do you have little ones running around the home?

Then you may, unfortunately, have been witness to the sound of shattering glass on more than one occasion.

Visibly broken glass is a surefire way to tell you should be replacing a window or two. But there are plenty of other signs your windows may need repair that are much harder to notice.


Why Does It Matter?

Our windows are an important part of our home and hold various functions.

They offer curb appeal, bring in natural light, and can even affect energy efficiency. So being able to recognize when windows need to be replaced is quite important.


How Can You Tell?

We’ve established that broken glass is a pretty obvious sign of window repair. But we’ll go through some of the more difficult problems to detect.

1. High Energy Bills


Can you walk around your home in a t-shirt on a cold day or does it feel drafty? If your windows aren’t doing their job, hot or cool air (depending on the season) may be escaping. You might as well toss your wallet out of a moving car if that’s the case.

If you’re not sure, test it out by holding a lit candle near a window and move it around the edges — does the flame flicker? If so, air is likely coming in from the outside, and the air temp you want in you home is going out.


2. Difficulty Opening

There are tons of reasons why you may not be able to open the window anymore.

Maybe it was painted over, it is a warped frame, or even problems stemming from the foundation.

Whatever the case is, this isn’t good for you. Not only is it poor functioning, it’s dangerous. In the case of an emergency (e.g. fire), you’ll want access to an escape route.


3. Rotting Frames

A decaying window frame is one of the most obvious signs for needing replacement.

Wooden frames that are exposed to the elements will eventually warp over time.

Possible mold and moisture intrusion may even lead to more serious decay issues down the road. The frames may be leaking due to poor installation, a failed sealed unit, or just time.


4. Lack of Noise Control

Do you feel like your neighbors talking outside are just in the other room?

Can you hear a car coming from down the road?

If you can hear outside noise clearly, your windows aren’t doing a great job. A great window will absorb sound waves, preventing them from ever making it into your house.

Reducing the transfer of sound can drastically improve your quality of life. And if you are a light sleeper or have babies, this will be a huge plus!


There are various reasons why people put off replacing their windows. It can be a large investment, but when looking at the big picture, it can save you from the money pit down the line.

If you’re worried your home may be suffering from window issues or other problems, let us have a look! Members of our professional team can be out in 48 hours or less.

Schedule your inspection here!

We Can Help


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Categories Home Maintenance

Is Your AC Ready for Summer?

Your HVAC system is a complex one and quite a large investment in the home. With this in mind, you should take extra precaution to care for the system all year long.

While the winter may not have been that harsh we all know how hot Texas summers can be. Hence our common first instinct is to blast the AC as soon as warmer weather makes its appearance.

However, there are some steps every homeowner should take before starting up their AC after a long break.

The AC is essential to your home and loved ones’ comfort during these long hot months. So take the time to make sure your system is in good shape and ready to go come summer!


Pre-Summer AC Care Checklist

Replace Filters

In a perfect world you should change your filters every 2-3 months. But if you don’t, you definitely want to before running your system this summer. If you have pets you should be changing your filter more often.


Inspect Air Vents

Around your home you should have various vents. Just take a quick walk around to ensure they are all free of blockages so that airflow will not be constricted.


Check Insulation

On the back of your unit there are coolant lines that connect to your home. If there is missing insulation or signs of wear, you’ll want to call in a professional.


Test Run

Turning on your unit before needed just to make sure everything is working properly is a good idea. It’s not necessary to cool off your entire home, just flip on the thermostat and make sure cold air is coming out then shut it off again!


Clean Condensation Lines

This pipe can get clogged and lead to a nasty back up in the unit itself or worse, into your home. Therefore, it’s a good idea to pick up an algaecide from any pool supply store and run it through the pipe to avoid any problems later down the line. Bleach can also work to clean out the clogging. Try to do this 3 times per year.


Remove Debris From Outside

If you have an outside unit, make sure all plants, leaves, high grass, or other debris isn’t affecting the unit. It’s important to continuously check these units throughout the summer as the grass can grow much faster during these months.


Clean Condenser Coils

If your outside unit didn’t have a cover on it through the winter, you should give it a good cleaning. Use a refrigerator coil brush to tackle the job and dislodge any trapped dirt or debris.


Pro-tip: Before taking on this cleaning, you should make sure the power is OFF and remove the side panels and protective covering.



There’s nothing more satisfying than returning to a cool home after running around outside on a hot summer day. So make sure you and your loved ones can enjoy that icy cool air all season long by performing these simple checkups.

If you’re concerned that your HVAC system and other areas of your home aren’t ready for summer, give us a call!


We’ll send out of one of our experienced professionals in 48 hours or less!


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