Show Notes: Patch, Resurface or Replace Your Driveway? – On the House

Show Notes: Patch, Resurface or Replace Your Driveway?

By on May 20, 2017

As the weather warms, homeowners start considering repairs for winter damage. No matter where you live, weather wracks havoc on driveways and they are certain to show it. The question is: should the driveway be repaired, resurfaced or is it so far gone that replacement is the only option.

Thank You To Our Guest:

Jeff Kenkelen; President Of Air King America

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May Is National Electrical Safety Month

Spring Safety Tips

Warmer weather stimulates an increase in outdoor work in many parts of the country, both on the job and at home. A focus on electrical safety awareness can help ensure these activities do not 0

Following a few simple safety rules can help reduce the number of electrical deaths and injuries:

  • Ladders—even those made of wood—that come into contact with a power line can prove fatal. Keep all ladders at least 10 feet away from overhead power lines.
  • Unplug outdoor tools and appliances when not in use.
  • Inspect power tools and appliances for frayed cords, broken plugs and cracked or broken housing. Repair or replace damaged items.
  • Water and electricity do not mix. Avoid damp conditions — including wet grass — when using electricity.


Cool Product Review: Ella’s Bubbles

We’ve been in the building trades for more than forty years – about 35 of them spent in the home remodeling business. During that time we’ve seen trends and fads come and go.

Large whirlpool tubs were the rage in the ‘80s and ‘90s. Today, we’re making a great living removing those tubs because homeowners, like us, are aging baby boomers who find it increasingly difficult – even dangerous – to get into and out of the tub. Some opt to replace the tub with an accessible “curbless” shower, a “walk-in” bathtub or both.

Recently, former remodeling clients invited us to have a look at their old bathroom and to explore their idea for a remodel plan that would allow them to remain in their home now – in their early days of retirement – and as they approach their golden years.

We provide design and product selection as part of our full “remodeling service.” Turns out that they didn’t need much of either. They had spent a good amount of time researching “high boy” toilets that are easier to navigate, arthritic-friendly faucets with paddle handles, and a bathing solution that would still allow them to enjoy the therapeutic experience of a whirlpool tub without having to crawl over the Great Wall of China!

After comparing several models, they chose the Royal model walk in tub from Ella’s Bubbles due to its superior design, features and engineering. There were several factors that sealed the deal for them.

  • Wider than normal seat: Our client is a former college football player and, as you might imagine, needs plenty of elbowroom. The seat in the Royal model is a bigger-than-average 23+ inches wide.
  • Access & Therapy: Old football injuries not only make it difficult to get into a normal tub, the therapy provided by the 10 air and 14 hydro jets on dual massage units offer much needed comfort combined with easy access.
  • Quick In & Out: The idea of being stuck in a tub while waiting for it to fill and drain wasn’t an option. So, they went with Ella’s fast fill faucet and quick drain system, which gets them in and out of the tub in less time than it takes for a conventional jetted tub to fill and drain.
  • Comfort: A heated seat, inline water heater and a multi-color LED chromatherapy light makes an already great bathing experience even better and adds to the therapeutic benefits. Plus the patented 360 degree swivel tray is the perfect location for their favorite “while bathing” beverage.
  • Safety: An attractive and easy-to-open door, two built-in grab bars and a slip resistant floor provide added safety and an extra level of comfort when getting into and out of the tub.
  • Maintenance: The tub has and attractive and durable, easy-to-clean acrylic finish and an ozone sterilization system that keeps the bathing system fresh and clean.         

We had not previously installed a walk-in tub and were completely blown away at how installation-friendly the experience was. Although our project was a “full gut job,” the Ella’s tub could have easily been retrofit into an existing bathroom with little disruption. The optional extension panels provide attractive and easy space fillers.

Our concern about extensive water and waste plumbing alterations were quickly allayed when we learned that all we had to do was replace the old shower valve with a couple of quarter turn ball valves that deliver hot and cold water directly to the tub via a couple of 4-foot braided stainless steel water supplies. And modifying the drain line was a piece of cake. Ella provides two 2” gravity drains and dual overflows that allow the tub to be connected to either an existing 2” shower drain or an 1-1/2” tub drain. The dual overflows provide the needed air displacement for proper drain and venting. An attractive toe kick access panel allows for easy access to all electrical, plumbing lines and pumps.

One of the biggest advantages for both the consumer and those of us that make our living in the construction business is Ella’s quick turnaround. We received our unit in less than a week from the time we placed the order. According to Ella, their walk in tubs typically leave their Chicago warehouse within three business days of receiving an order.

Our client’s finished bathroom with the Ella Royal walk in tub looks spectacular and they are delighted with their product choice and our work. Looks like this experience has earned us a major kitchen remodel later this year. There simply is no substitute for quality product and installation along with top-of-the-line customer service.

For product and pricing information, or to become an Ella’s Bubbles dealer or installer, visit or call 800-480-6850.


Indoor Air Pollution and Health

Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) refers to the air quality within and around buildings and structures, especially as it relates to the health and comfort of building occupants. Understanding and controlling common pollutants indoors can help reduce your risk of indoor health concerns.

Health effects from indoor air pollutants may be experienced soon after exposure or, possibly, years later.

Immediate Effects

Some health effects may show up shortly after a single exposure or repeated exposures to a pollutant. These include irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat, headaches, dizziness, and fatigue. Such immediate effects are usually short-term and treatable. Sometimes the treatment is simply eliminating the person’s exposure to the source of the pollution, if it can be identified. Soon after exposure to some indoor air pollutants, symptoms of some diseases such as asthma may show up, be aggrevated or worsened.

The likelihood of immediate reactions to indoor air pollutants depends on several factors including age and preexisting medical conditions. In some cases, whether a person reacts to a pollutant depends on individual sensitivity, which varies tremendously from person to person. Some people can become sensitized to biological or chemical pollutants after repeated or high level exposures.

Certain immediate effects are similar to those from colds or other viral diseases, so it is often difficult to determine if the symptoms are a result of exposure to indoor air pollution. For this reason, it is important to pay attention to the time and place symptoms occur. If the symptoms fade or go away when a person is away from the area, for example, an effort should be made to identify indoor air sources that may be possible causes. Some effects may be made worse by an inadequate supply of outdoor air coming indoors or from the heating, cooling or humidity conditions prevalent indoors.

Long-Term Effects

Other health effects may show up either years after exposure has occurred or only after long or repeated periods of exposure. These effects, which include some respiratory diseases, heart disease and cancer, can be severely debilitating or fatal. It is prudent to try to improve the indoor air quality in your home even if symptoms are not noticeable.

While pollutants commonly found in indoor air can cause many harmful effects, there is considerable uncertainty about what concentrations or periods of exposure are necessary to produce specific health problems. People also react very differently to exposure to indoor air pollutants. Further research is needed to better understand which health effects occur after exposure to the average pollutant concentrations found in homes and which occurs from the higher concentrations that occur for short periods of time.


Driveway Repair: Should You Patch, Resurface Or Replace?

Whether it’s concrete or asphalt, driveway repair can be expensive. Is it better to patch, refinish or replace?

The decision to patch or replace your driveway requires several considerations. In the end, your personal preference will play a significant role.

Driveway repairs

The constant freeze-thaw cycles and the thousands of pounds of metal moving over your driveway every day are going to damage it at some point.

This damage will normally show up as small cracks across the surface or small divots in the material, and it’s these signs of minor damage that really call for driveway patching.

Driveway cracks that are less than a quarter-inch wide don’t really indicate any deeper damage to the driveway surface and can be repaired easily with liquid crack-fillers.

Driveway cracks that are larger than a quarter-inch wide in your driveway or that are more than a few inches deep often signal more significant issues. Filling in those cracks will only temporarily solve the problem.

You can fix driveway holes using a patching material that you tamp down to be even in height with the rest of your driveway. The fixes are always temporary because water will seep in between the old and new material and start to open up the hole again.

If you plan to do driveway patching yourself, expect to pay about $3 to $5 per square foot, about half the cost of hiring a contractor for driveway repair.

You’ll eventually have to replace concrete and asphalt driveways with deep holes, numerous holes or large cracks. Patching could push this replacement back a few years, but the driveway will look less than ideal during that time.

The age of your driveway matters

If your asphalt driveway is approaching 20 years old or your concrete or paver driveway is pushing 25, it’s probably time to just completely redo the whole thing.

After many years spent in the elements, these materials just start to fail. Trying to patch these ancient driveways is normally not worth the effort, since new issues will almost certainly arise as soon as you’ve patched the old ones. Regardless of age, doing repairs can always make your driveway last a little longer, but at some point the extra work isn’t worth it.




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