Tree Pruning: An Often Forgot About Task

Periodically, trees need pruning or trimming. Due to overgrowth or broken branches, trees need annual maintenance which means pruning or trimming off dead or diseased branches. By removing old branches, further damage is prevented and new growth flourishes. Falling branches can damage your property. You wouldn’t want a branch to fall on your house or car necessitating expensive repair costs. When your trees have overgrowth and diseased or broken branches, these are all signs that your trees need pruning or trimming. If you do not have the skill or equipment to prune your trees, hire a reputable tree service company. A trained and knowledgeable tree service technician will be able to inspect and assess the damage and expertly prune your trees.

For some species of trees, the winter season is the optimal time for pruning or trimming them. With no leaves to clean up, the cuts heal quicker. Pruning encourages bud growth allowing for healthy leaves when the spring season arrives. During the winter season, there is less tree sap which makes it easier to prune your trees. Ask a qualified tree technician to inspect your trees to determine the best time for pruning and trimming them.

You might be wondering about the difference between pruning and trimming a tree. Mainly, tree trimming is performed on shrubs and hedges to keep them in a pleasing shape and appearance. Also, trimming is necessary to ensure proper growth. Tree trimming removes overgrowth and allows for more moisture and light to increase the growth of a shrub, hedge, or bush. Tree branches that cross over one another need room to grow. Pruning improves the growth and health of a tree.

Pruning is done to protect a tree or shrub. Pruning is a preventive and protective measure that rids a plant, tree, or shrub of loose dead leaves and small branches or twigs. Pruning prevents damage to other plants, trees or shrubs. If you want beautiful trees, pruning is necessary to improve the tree’s shape and future health. Pruning can protect against disease, insect damage, and allows for growth. Disease and damage prevent a tree from growing. The idea is allowing the tree to thrive and not to hinder growth. Beautiful trees are important for improved curb appeal and increased property value. By pruning your trees and shrubs, you can maintain a pleasant appearance of your home or business property. For do-it-yourself pruning, you will need equipment such as pruning shears or lopping shears. If you truly want to improve your trees and protect them, consult with an arborist or trees service specialist. They have the training and knowledge and they know which trees need trimming or pruning. They also know the correct time or season to trim certain species of trees. An untrained person can damage a tree because they do not know which branches should be pruned. With fruit and flowering trees, to improve production yield and to protect the trees, hire a professional tree service company. Properly maintained trees live longer.


Patio Installation: The Hard Facts

A patio… we’ve all dreamed about getting one for our homes at least once.


A big outdoor space (or small, if you want), where you can host weekly Sunday BBQs, hang out with your friends, or turn into an open air venue for parties. Anything’s possible with a multifunction patio— we’re sure most homeowners will agree with us on this!


But it’s easier said than done. Installing your very own patio has quite a few steps to it. But with a good concrete contractor— you’ll find yourself with a beautiful patio in no time, with practically little to no effort at all!


Patio installation is a piece of cake— when you’ve got us to guide you through it. We’ll let you in on some insider tips for hiring a concrete company, the right way!


  1.  Legal Documents


Whether you’re looking for a contractor physically or on the internet— it’s important to note their certifications. A reliable and trustworthy company can present the legal documents upon request, and they can guarantee skilled workers who undergo training. In hardscaping and landscaping design, some companies will even have their own professional designers on site.


Pro tip: Call up a bunch of your first picks to pool quotes. Once you’ve surmised the average cost of patio installation in your area, you should get a few bids from contractors that offer reasonable prices inside of your budget.


  1. Design


Most patio installation companies have a portfolio that you can look through. This project compilation solidifies their talent and skill in the industry. And if you’re looking for a legitimate contractor that you can trust to work on your home— portfolios can give you an idea of who they are design-wise. 


Since the design process is pivotal, especially if you already have an idea of what you want, communication between you and the designer is quite important. A designer should consider your landscape and your needs. Heads up, a custom concrete patio might add fees to your bill, so make sure to ask before you agree.


  1. Reviews


Check out the reviews of the concrete company. References from previous clients can help you figure out if they’re up for the job. Look into projects with a similar scope such as yours. Are there any bad reviews? How about customer satisfaction? Did they get it done on time? Questions like these can reveal their workmanship as well as the contractor’s work ethic.


  1. Guarantee


In all projects, insurance is a must. Concrete patio installation is manual work, and you’ve got a team of experts coming in and out of your house and utilities with heavy tools and equipment. The risk of someone getting injured inside of your property is possible, so make sure to ask your chosen concrete contractors if they are liable for compensation insurance. 

O’Fallon Concrete Company

You can also ask your concrete contractor if the patio installation is covered for, in in case of any mishaps. A workmanship guarantee can assure you a conditioned patio in the long run. You can ask how long the warranty is for, and what it covers.


Choosing the Right Roofing Company

We have all heard the saying “four walls and a roof.” Indeed, a house is not complete without its roof. Some would even say the roof is the most important part of a house. And when that roof of yours breaks, you’re gonna’ have some serious problems until you get it fixed. Lucky for you, there are hundreds of roofing contractors out there willing to help you patch up that roof of yours! In the hands of an expert, your home and your roof has never been safer!

That just leaves one simple, but important question: Which roofing contractor should you choose? Of the hundreds of roofing contractors out there, it’s not gonna’ be easy choosing the best one for you. Knowing which contractor to hire is as important as getting an actual roof, because if a subpar company delivers a poor job, you run the risk of damaging your roof further.

Roofing Company Edmond

Here’s 5 tips on how to choose the best Roofing Contractor for you!

1. What Services do you Need?

It’s important that you know what type of service you need for your roof. Maybe you need to repair a leak, replace a damaged skylight, address waterlogging, replace some damaged shingles, or maybe even get a new roof entirely! It’s a no-brainer, definitely, but knowing which service you need will help build your initial list of roofing contractors to choose from. Why choose a company that doesn’t cover your roof problem, right?

2. Which Company Offers Better Deals?

Well done! You’ve significantly narrowed down your selection from hundreds, to a list of maybe twenty or thirty. Now you want to start comparing the companies you’ve chosen. How close are they to you? How much are their services? Do they offer free estimates? You’re gonna’ have to get rid of the more outrageous deals and leave in the fairer ones that work for you, your wallet, and your situation.

3. Are They Reliable?

Another way to narrow down your list is to start asking your friends and family. Maybe they’ve visited X and Y company before and can vouch for them. In case they haven’t had to call a roofing contractor before, start asking online. Discussion sites like Quora or Reddit will usually get you answers within minutes. Narrow down your location, and ask about your list of roofing contractors, see what they recommend.

4. Do They have Insurances and Warranties?

Here’s the thing: no matter how good of a roofing company you hire, you’re never safe from disasters or accidents. Check if your company is insured. This should help you out greatly, should anything bad happen while roof repair is undergoing. Be on the lookout for warranties as well. Ask for warranty details in case you need it at some point in the future. Better safe than sorry.

5. What the Customers Are Saying?

More of an extension of tip number 3, check in what their previous customers are saying about them. See reviews, critiques, and testimonies if they have a page for it. If not, you should check out review sites online. A company with integrity will have a trail of good reviews in their belt. After all, nothing can speak for a company better than the customers that they have left satisfied.


Saving Money on Your Utility Bills: Easy Tips

Summer is in full swing and saving money on air conditioning bills is on every homeowner’s mind. Add to that fall and winter seasons will be coming and creative tips about lowering expensive heating bills are always of interest. This summer season, across the nation, extremely high temperatures have caused an increase in the use of air conditioning. Pushing the use of A/C to extreme levels and wracking up expensive utility bills. To stave off the heat, use some energy-saving tips to reduce your high A/C bills.

To lower your spring or summer energy bills, use some tried and true methods as well as creative tips. Plug up the cracks, crevices, and holes in your home. Seal the windows and use door sweeps or stuffed draft dodgers to keep the air from escaping your home. Your summer season goal is to keep out the hot air and retain the cool air. Saving a few pennies or dollars here and there does add up. If you have the funds to invest, add insulation to your home and consider updating your windows and doors. Old windows and doors leak air and waste money. If you don’t have money for new home improvements, then, use tips to improve what you have in place now.

Investing a few dollars on updating old caulking, weatherstripping, and insulation will pay off later with lower electric bills. Find the leaks in windows and doors and seal them up. Fill in the holes and gaps around pipes and fill in cracks in the foundation. Fill in gaps around electrical outlets. Close off unused rooms. Use room darkening shades and blinds. Keep out drafts and purchase insulated curtains. If you feel a draft, find the source and seal it off. Keep the air conditioning system on during the day and reduce it at night. The same goes in the winter months. Lower the heat at night and use warm clothes and blankets to stay warm. During the spring and summer months, use screens in the windows. When the air outdoors feels cooler, open the windows at night. Consider installing a modern programmable thermostat that has a built-in timer and auto-settings. Install the thermostat out of direct sunlight and away from lamps and appliances.

HVAC Company Columbia

When you are home, set the thermostat at 72 degrees, or a comfortable temp, and leave it there. Constantly adjusting the thermostat wastes energy. When not in use, turn off the lights to keep your home cooler. Lighten up, on the wattage that is, and save money. Instead of using a 100-watt bulb, whenever possible use a 60-watt bulb. Switch to energy-saving fluorescent bulbs that screw into standard bulb sockets. Outside of your home, replace old incandescent lighting with high-pressure sodium lights or outdoor fluorescent lighting. Use solar-powered lights and motion-detection lights. They come on and go off as needed and save money on your utility bill. Simple methods to lower your utility bills adds up to big savings and puts money in the bank.


Fence Companies: Which Ones Can I Trust?

Fences are a great way to improve the street appeal of your property.  They are also a great way to keep unwanted pests and people from easily gaining access to your home.  However, fences do not last forever and will require maintenance at some point in their life.  So where do you turn when its time to replace…or repair that old fence.  Not surprisingly, there are many fly by night companies that are more than willing to take your hard earned money and leave you with a cheap, ugly fence.  Let’s avoid that at all costs.  Below are the big 3 things that you need to consider when choosing a company to handle your fencing project.

Read the Reviews

Nowadays it is really easy to find reviews on fence companies.  Google is a great source for reviews on local companies.  Simply do a google search for “fence companies” and you will be presented with a list of fence companies in your area.  When reading reviews, do not just always go with the company that has the most reviews.  It is not uncommon for companies to use “fake” reviews in an attempt to bolster there online presence.  It is usually pretty easy to find the “fake” reviews.  Reviews that have pictures to go along with them are the most reliable.  Obviously, if a company has many bad reviews, you are going to want to steer clear of them.  So go ahead, play around on google and see what you can come up with.  You can also visit these businesses websites to see if they have any pictures of some of their completed projects.  If you have questions about any of the pictures or what types of fences they install, give them a call! Select 3 to 5 companies with great reviews and call them to see what they have to say.

Is It a “Better” Business

I’m sure you have all heard of the Better Business Bureau…?  They are still around and are very busy online.  You can go to their site, enter a company’s name, and poof, you can see if they have had any major complaints in your area.  Any company with multiple negative reviews is one that you surely want to avoid.  Keep in mind that one bad report does not necessarily mean that its a bad company, but you will certainly want to do further research before you hire that particular company.  Yelp is another great place to search for a company.  There are many reviews for most local companies on Yelp.  The reviews on Yelp are often more reliable than the ones on Google because Yelp reviews do not improve a companies online presence on Google.  In other words, people go to Yelp to post honest reviews.

Fence Installation in San Antonio

Ask Around

Does your neighbor have a great fence that you wish continued onto your property?  Well go over there and ask them who installed it!  There is no better source of referrals than someone that you trust such as a friend, neighbor, or family member.  Often times, these groups of people can point you to a fence company that you may have never found on Google.  Sometimes there nothing better than a small company with great fence installers, but they just don’t have the advertising budget to have much of an online presence.   So ask around and take your time.  It is often worth delaying hiring a company in order to find one that will leave you with a fence you and your neighbors will love.



Maintaining Your Deck: Power Washing and Waterproofing

Cleaning and Maintenance

Though wood decks are durable, they do require cleaning and maintenance. One way to clean a wood deck is to use a power washer. Power washing your deck requires some knowledge, a bit of skill, and equipment. Using a power washer can be tricky because misuse can damage a wood deck. If you don’t want to purchase a power washer, you can rent the equipment. Using a power washer is the quickest method to clean the deck to make it ready for staining and sealing commonly called the finishing process. However, it is also the fastest way to cause gouges in the deck’s surface. Using high-pressure water removes the surface layer. Though it does remove the gray dull color and restore the natural color, using the power washer requires skill to avoid irreparable damage.

To avoid serious damage, keep the sprayer approximately four to eight inches away from the deck’s surface and keep moving the sprayer as you use it. It will take some practice to achieve the correct distance to use and to learn how to use the power washer. Perhap’s you could practice using the power washer on another object. Still, using caution is advised no matter the object that is to be cleaned. As you use the power washer, the results should be immediate and you should be able to notice the difference in the color of the wood. To avoid cross-grain streaks and ridges, move the tip of the power washer parallel to the wood grain.


Waterproofing Your Deck

Waterproofing a wood deck is another maintenance task. Materials needed to waterproof or seal your deck include the following: sandpaper, broom, stiff scrub brush, water, paint stirrer, deck sealer, paint tray and liner, lint free nap roller (1/2 inch), small paintbrush, and a lamb’s wool pad. Prep the area to be sealed by removing all items from the deck surface. Check for loose or damaged boards and repair them. Use sandpaper to smooth rough edges or fix minor cosmetic damage. Sweep away leaves, dirt, and debris. Use a stiff scrub brush to thoroughly clean the deck using water. Rinse with clean water and allow the wood to air dry. This process will take two or three days for the wood to completely dry. Choose a time when the air is not humid and it is not going to rain for a few days.

Power Washing Company in Columbia, MO

Choose a recommended sealing product, or sealant, that is manufactured for use on wood decks. Watch the weather pattern and choose a time when the weather will be dry for a few days. Put the tray liner into the paint tray. Using the paint stirrer, thoroughly mix the sealant and pour it into the paint tray. Use the 1/2-inch lint free nap roller to coat the wood. Roll the sealant onto the wood as if you were painting the surface. Use a method of covering two to three sections of the deck boards at a time. Apply a thin and even coat. Use a paint brush to apply the sealant to the corners and railings. Read the manufacturers directions for applying the sealant. Apply several thin layers of the sealant and take your time completing the entire sealant process.


Termites: What Exactly Are They?

Termites can be found within the USA. Termites all belong to the classification of phylum Arthropoda, the class Insecta, and the order Isoptera. They are the infraorder of eusocial insects that are familiar to cockroaches. There are over 2,300 species of termites. They have soft bodies and straight antennae. They vary in size and the queens and kings are larger, capable of reaching over one inch long. The colors of termites range from white to light brown where worker termites often appear lighter colored, while swarming termites are of a darker color. Flying termites are called reproductives. They have two pairs of prevalent wings. Most of the termites are found in tropical or subtropical regions such as deserts and rain forests. However, more than 50 species can be found in the USA, Australia, and Asia. Within the USA, termites cause more than $12 billion in annual damage, repairs, and termite prevention costs. Termites are a major pest in Japan, South East Asia, India, France and Australia. No matter where they are found, termites wreak havoc damaging structures.

Subterranean termites build large colonies under the ground, which consist of very elaborate tunnels and chambers. These colonies contain Worker termites that build protective tunnels with mud and saliva. These tunnels reach above-ground wood. The diet of the termite consists of wood and other cellulose material. Termites are classified into groups. The three major groups are subterranean, drywood, and dampwood termites. Further, subterranean termites are divided into more groups such as the Western subterranean termite, Eastern, Formosan, Desert, and the Arid-land subterranean termite.

Below are various types of termites:
Alates (swarmers): Dark-brown to black color, about 1/4 to 1/2 inch long with two pairs of wings equal in length.
Worker termites: With this type of termite there are no wings. They are approximately 1/4 inch or less in length and cream colored.
Soldier termites: Again, they have no wings. They have large jaws. They are termite colony defenders. Their color is creamy-white and their heads have a brownish color.

Pest Control in St. Louis

A termite infestation causes severe damage to your home or property. Termites, often called the �silent destroyer�, hide and thrive in your home or yard. They silently inflict damage without any immediate signs of detection. Termites eat cellulose-based plant materials. Regardless of their construction material, all homes provide cellulose food for termites to eat. Found within the USA, are subterranean, drywood, and dampwood termites. They like moist or damp conditions. Though termites do serve a purpose, they cause expensive damage to a building or structure. Ecologically beneficial, termites break down detritus to add nutrients to soil. These same behaviors that prove helpful to the ecosystem in turn cause severe damage to buildings and your home. Primarily, termites feed on wood. They compromise the strength and safety of a structure. Structures become inhabitable until expensive repairs are completed. Take precaution and have a thorough termite inspection conducted on your home or business property. Call a reputable termite inspection service to review your home or business and suggest the course of action to take to prevent and avoid further damage.