Contractor Tips Blog


Benefits of Seal Coating Asphalt Driveways

A little regular maintenance will help your asphalt driveway look great and last a long time.  One of the most important maintenance tasks is seal coating the driveway.  Seal coating is applied to the surface of the driveway to fill small cracks and to protect the asphalt against the elements.

Asphalt seal coating should be applied about every three years.  You should wait until the previous coating has worn off to apply a new coating.  Applying seal coating too often will result in unsightly peeling and flaking of the coating.  Waiting too long between seal coating will accelerate the wear and tear on the driveway.

You can purchase seal coating made for do-it-yourself application at your local home improvement center or you can have it professionally applied by your asphalt driveway contractor.  Professional grade seal coating usually has consistently good results.

Seal coating sold to homeowners can vary in quality between brands and even the same brand of seal coating can vary in color and quality from batch to batch.   If you choose to tackle the job yourself, it’s worth the extra cost to buy high quality seal coating and try to buy all of your cans from the same batch.  If you have to buy cans from different batches, try mixing some of the seal coating to avoid abrupt color changes.

Be sure to follow the instructions on the container.  The driveway should be clean and free of oil, transmission fluid, and other stains.  Fill larger cracks with crack filler and allow the product to cure thoroughly before applying the seal coating.  Choose a warm, dry day with no rain in the forecast for several days and start early so that you can get the job done and allow the seal coating time to dry before nightfall.


Mosquito Control

Posted in Insect Control

Consider this scenario – It’s a wonderful spring evening and you are entertaining friends and family on your outdoor patio, but just as the evening is getting started, the mosquitoes start swarming and drive everyone indoors.

If you want avoid ruined weekend get-together, you will need to know how to control mosquitoes in your yard and lawn.

First and foremost, eliminate breeding areas for mosquitoes. Water is the only breeding requirement for mosquitoes. Mosquitoes need stagnant water for laying their eggs so you need to find any pools of water and remove them. These can be anywhere that a small puddle of water can form including children’s play areas, birdbaths, and so on.

Remember following points to control mosquitoes in your lawn:

#1: Check your drainage system. See if there is any breakage or leakage and subsequently small puddles are formed close to leaking points. Repair the damaged points.

#2: Water can accumulate in garbage cans. Drill holes in the bottom of garbage containers so water does not accumulate.  Make sure the water has somewhere drain and doesn’t simply puddle under the garbage can.

#3: When you are going to be away from home for vacations or for work, make sure your pool is properly treated with chlorine.  Arrange for a pool service to keep the pool chlorinated or use an automatic chlorinator.

#4:  Check your yard for low areas that accumulate standing water.  Have your landscaper grade these areas or install french drains to keep your yard dry.

#5: Do not over water potted plants.  Remove old tires, cans, and other debris from the yard that can hold water.

Finally, consider installing an automated misting system to control mosquitoes.  These systems use safe, natural pesticides that are automatically released at timed intervals to kill mosquitoes and break the mosquito life cycle.


Facts about Golf Carts

Posted in Golf Carts

A golf cart is also called a “golf car”. It is a vehicle mostly used in golf courses for moving golf equipment and golfers around the golf course. They are also popular in retirement communities The Villages in Florida and planned communities like  Peachtree City, Georgia. Most of modern golf carts carts are powered by electric or 4-stroke gas engines and generally driven at a speed less than 25 mph.

History of Golf Carts

The first golf cart for a golf course was made in 1932. The golfers did not like to use it as initially the golf cart was used for disabled golfers only. By the late 50’s, most players started accepting golf carts.

Earlier golf carts were powered electrically; however, gas-powered carts are also being developed now. In most areas electric powered golf carts are preferred but gas golf carts are still in demand especially in hilly areas where the extra horsepower comes in handy.

Production of Golf Carts

Producing golf carts is a big business now as the uses have increased and are not limited to golf course only. Custom golf carts are even available that are custom built according to specific needs of the customer.

Since golf carts are driven generally in restricted areas and at low speeds, in some areas the allowable driving age is 13 years. In the US, the age restriction for driving a golf cart varies in different states.


Glass Break Detectors For Certain Intrusion Detection

Posted in Home Security

Glass break detectors take your security to the next level. Traditionally home and office security systems have relied on contact based systems for your windows. If the window is opened then a magnetic circuit is broken and the alarm sounds. The problem with this approach is that if the burglar smashes a pane of glass then the window itself remains closed and so does that magnetic circuit.

Unlike contact detectors, the glass break detectors use radio frequencies to detect the sound of breaking glass and also the vibrations that are associated with breaking glass to offer complete protection for your home or office. Because of the way they work you don’t need a glass break detector for every window. You usually only need one per room or for every twenty five feet of radius that you need to cover in especially large spaces.

It is possible that you may get the occasional false alarm through a glass break detector. This is usually caused by objects that vibrate in a similar way to breaking glass – so the sound of cutlery being smashed together or the ringing of a bell can occasionally set them off, but won’t usually be a regular occurrence and it’s better to be safe than sorry.

A good security installation company can supply you with and install glass break detectors quickly and efficiently, so that you and the people around you can enjoy peace of mind knowing that you’ll be able to react quickly and safely in the event of an intrusion into your private space. If you think about it, you’ll understand how much sense it makes to get some glass break detectors for your home or office.


Wireless Monitoring For Total Residential Protection

Posted in Home Security

One of the best things about current home security products is that fire alarms and burglar alarms can let your alarm provider and the police know if there’s any trouble in your home. However if the intruders or the flames have cut your telephone lines then there’s a problem. With traditional alarm systems it’s not been possible for home owners to feel totally secure with their security protection.

Plus, what if you don’t use a land line normally? This is a situation more and more folks find themselves in, after all, with advances in mobile phone technology and cheap ways to make calls over it such as VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) it means than families find themselves with the unwanted overhead of a land line just to maintain their alarm system.

If that all seems a little impractical and may be a touch less safe than it could be – then the good news is that you don’t have to rely on a land line to protect you and your loved ones any more. A wireless security system adds additional protection without the need for a land line.

Wireless monitoring for residential homes works by installing a wireless monitoring system in your residence which, in the event that your alarm is triggered, sends out a message over the cellular system to your security provider’s monitoring station ensuring prompt response from the emergency services.

If you like your land line or want to add another layer of protection, the wireless monitoring system can act as a redundancy solution for when the phone lines are down, have been tampered with or if you or any of your family is in a difficult situation such as being held hostage.


Get The Perfect Home Movie Experience With Custom Home Theater Design

Posted in Home Theaters

Getting a home theater can be a daunting experience. You’ll want to recreate that perfect movie experience with immersion in sound so that it feels like you’re in the action. You’ll want to thrill with your kids as you jump out of your seats as the monster leaps out in front of the hero or heroine. The range of options to get there can be dazzling and confusing, and it takes a fair amount of skill to assemble even the most expensive of systems to give great audio.

The good news of course is that you don’t have to do it all yourself. Reputable home theater integration providers will take all the hard work away from you so that all you need to do is get the popcorn ready and choose which seat to grab on the couch.

Custom home theater design companies employ skilled engineers with years of experience at getting everything just right for families like yours. They will understand how everything affects the movie lover’s pleasure and make sure your home theater is perfect for your needs.

The engineers take into account the dimensions of your viewing room, the way the seats are arranged, select the right audio components including amplifier, speakers, bass units, cables, etc. and find the ideal projector and screen, all taking your budget into account.

If you don’t have the space for a dedicated home theater, you can consider the construction of a dual purpose media room instead using space saving technologies that won’t overpower your living space when it’s not in use.

Install a custom design home theater and your family can enjoy the latest blockbusters without leaving the comfort of your own home.


Consider a Central Vacuum System For The Good Of Your Health

Home automation offers people a great range of simple and convenient money and time saving benefits, as well as potential security benefits and along with this growing trend more and more folks are turning to central vacuum systems for the amazing benefits they can offer a home owner and their family.

Current research suggests that the air quality in your home is often worse than the quality of the air outside of it! Why is that? Because of the opportunities for mischief present in a home – trapped moisture, pet hairs, insects, output from electrical appliances, the materials used in cleaning products, dirt, mites, and many other things we don’t normally consider. This can be bad news for people who suffer from asthma or allergies.

A central vacuum system offers a real advantage to these families, because unlike ordinary vacuum systems a central vacuum system will not recycle dust and other potential allergy causing particles in the air of your home. The system works by filtering the air in your home through tubing placed behind the walls, and sucking in air through inlets in each room. This air is then expelled outside of your house and doesn’t allow those allergens to stay in the air inside.

Recent studies at the University of California have demonstrated that a central vacuum system can and will provide relief from discomfort and symptoms for asthma and allergy sufferers. What better reason could you have for investing in a central vacuum system? It’s a fully automated process so once you’ve had it installed you can forget about it and just enjoy the clean fresh air inside your home.


Home Automation for Energy Savings

Posted in Home Automation

Home automation technology has come a long way in recent years.  As technological advances are made and prices for equipment come down, homeowners are finding more and more ways to use home automation to increase safety, improve comfort, and enhance their quality of life.  From simple systems that automatically adjust temperatures or turn lights on and off to fully integrated home automation systems that control lighting, audio visual, heat and air, security, and other systems with remote access, home automation provides, comfort, convenience, and security.

One of the many benefits of home automation is its potential for energy savings.  Reducing energy consumption not only saves you money on your energy bills, it also reduces the impact on the environment.  Home automation can help you reduce your home’s carbon footprint will lowering your energy costs.

There are almost an unlimited number of ways to automate your home for reduced energy consumption.  Lighting controllers can be programmed to automatically turn on the lights when you arrive home, to turn the lights in a room on as you enter and off if it is unoccupied, to replicate your usage pattern to give the appearance that someone is home, and to control the brightness of any or all of your lights.

Power controllers turn appliances off automatically and save energy but cutting off all power to the appliance.  Many appliances continue to use power even when they are turned off.  A power controller can eliminate this usage and save you energy.

Climate controls can reduce energy consumption by adjusting the temperature setting your home according to your usage patterns.  Your home is kept at a comfortable temperature when it is occupied, and at an energy saving temperature when you are away or asleep.

These are just a few of the many ways that home automation can help you save energy and do your part for the environment.  Your home automation contractor can help you with these and other energy saving ideas.


Fingerprint Scanners

Posted in Home Security

Advances in biometric technology have made biometric based security systems available to the homeowner seeking enhanced levels of security for their homes.  Biometric security systems include fingerprint scanners, facial recognition technology, iris scanners, and palm readers.  Fingerprint scanners and other biometric security devices are now widely used on laptop computers, vehicle entry, ignition, and alarms, and in home security systems.

When used in your home, can operate garage doors or gates, exterior access doors, or access to certain areas of your home.  They can also be incorporated into your home automation system and your home security system.  Fingerprint scanners can be used to activate almost any device such as a television, computer, lighting, and so on.

One of the primary benefits of a fingerprint scanner is that you don’t have to remember any pass code or carry a key or access card.  Pass codes can be forgotten or compromised and keys and access cards can be lost or stolen.  Not so with a fingerprint scanner.  You will always have what you need right at your fingertip!

Fingerprint scanners can store multiple user prints so you can carefully control who has access to your home or areas within your home.  In addition, a fingerprint scanner provides a record of who accessed an area and when.

The two common types of scanners are optical scanners that use photo imaging and capacitive scanners that rely on electrical impulses.  Optical scanners are less secure than capacitive scanners because they are more easily fooled by an image of your fingerprint.  Like any other type of security device, fingerprint scanners are not 100% foolproof.  However, they can be a valuable enhancement to your security system.


Motion Sensors Have Many Uses

Posted in Home Security

Motion detectors play an important role in many home and business security systems and home and business automation systems.  For most businesses and homeowners, motion sensing outdoor lighting is the first thing that comes to mind when thinking of motion detectors, but in addition to security motion detectors have many more applications including energy savings, home automation, and remote monitoring.

Outdoor motion activated lighting detects motion outside of your home or business and illuminates the area, increasing personal safety as family members and employees enter or leave the premises.  The illumination also discourages would be intruders.  In addition, the lighting is programmed to turn off automatically after a set period of time, saving energy costs.

Outdoor motion sensors can be used in additional security applications such as monitoring driveways and entryways or other areas around your home or commercial facility and sending an alert when vehicles or visitors are arriving at your home or business or entering one of these areas.

Indoors, motions detectors can be integrated with your security system to sound the alarm when unwanted intruders are detected inside your home or business.  In addition, motion detectors are used as occupancy sensors to automatically activate and extinguish lights or other appliances.  They save energy by automatically ensuring that the lights or appliances are only turned on when needed.

Motion detectors can also integrated with remote monitoring systems to help monitor elderly family members, babies, or to keep an eye on your home or office while you are away.  Talk to an experienced security and automation company about how motion detectors can help meet your needs.

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