Tag: cold weather

Concrete Walks, Steps and Porches: 7 Tips for Success

Handsome, hardwearing concrete walks, steps, and porches will form an impressive entree to any home. To achieve the best looking and most durable outdoor concrete, follow these 7 pro tips. They will help you to understand the steps of readying your surface, preparing the concrete, and taking care of it after it has been laid. 1. Prepare the subgrade carefully before laying a concrete walk, steps, or porch. The subgrade should be uniformly compacted to help minimize cracking as the concrete settles. Make sure that your walkway will not be placed close to trees with large (or even potentially large) root systems, which can cause damage to the concrete as they grow. 2. The concrete should be formed by mixing ingredients in the proper proportions, according to weight. Eleven percent cement, 26 percent sand, and 41 percent aggregate (crushed stone or gravel), plus 16 percent water and 6 percent air is the formula specified by the Portland Cement Association . Generally, it’s best to thoroughly blend the dry components, together with an air entrainment agent, before adding the water. Air entrainment works to increase the finished concrete’s resistance to damage caused by freeze-thaw cycling and the application of de-icing salt or other chemicals, while sufficient aggregate aids in forming a strong top layer. 3. Use the correct compression strength. A compression strength of 400 PSI is recommended if the...

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4 Important Facts about Bathroom Exhaust Fans

A well-functioning exhaust fan is a bathroom essential. It protects your bathroom from excess humidity which would otherwise lead to unpleasant odors and unhealthy mold growth. To get the best performance out of your bathroom exhaust fan (also known as a ventilating or extractor fan), you’ll need to learn the right way to select, install, and maintain it. Cheap is Expensive It may be tempting to install an exhaust fan which is the lowest cost version on the market. However, as Grandma used to say, “Cheap is expensive,” meaning that a small price tag tends to go hand in...

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Install Energy-Efficient Windows The Right Way

Energy-efficient window installation not only decreases your carbon footprint and lowers your utility bills. It also helps reduce your HVAC equipment requirements, while keeping your home more comfortable in cold weather and hot. What’s more, it will control indoor humidity (less vapor condensation on your window panes!) and diminish noise. Just buying the greenest windows on the market is not enough, though. To really get your money’s worth, make sure that they are optimally installed. 1.Before purchasing energy-efficient windows for a retrofit, try “hacking” your current windows. Add storm windows, insulate with weather stripping or caulk, and seal to...

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Stroke risk tied to cold, humidity and weather swings

There may be a link between weather and the risk of suffering a stroke, say researchers who analyzed climate trends and hospital records on millions of Americans. Cold weather, high humidity and big daily temperature swings seem to land more people in the hospital with strokes. As it got warmer, risk fell — 3 percent for every 5 degrees, the study found. “Maybe some of these meteorological factors serve as a trigger,” said Judith Lichtman, a Yale University stroke researcher who led the study. With global climate change and extreme weather like this week’s freak storm in the South,...

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Cold Weather Tips For Family Pets, Plants

Now the valley has been seeing a stream of cold fronts and we’ve all been doing their best to keep warm. But it’s important not to forget your plants and animals as well. With temperatures dropping 20 to 30 degrees below average in the rgv your four-legged family members will need some extra attention. Just like people a pet’s tolerance for the cold varies. “Well for our outside dogs and cats it’s real important when it’s cold like this for them to have shelter to be able to get out of the wind. It’s the wind that really saps...

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