Professional Concrete Cleaning And Sealing Services

dka712sThe surface of concrete is very similar to a sponge in many ways. The surface of your driveway, sidewalk or patio is very susceptible to a number of factors such as cold temperatures, precipitations, road salt, oil and more. As your concrete absorbs these items or comes into contact with certain conditions, this can cause concrete to crack and chip. Concrete is not a cheap investment so it is important to consider concrete cleaning and sealing. This helps protect your concrete and will keep it looking its best for many years to come.

Concrete Cleaning
To begin the process, a thorough power wash of your concrete driveway, patio, sidewalk, etc. is done. This helps remove any built up contaminants or grime. Power washers are designed to give a much better cleaning than would be accomplished with a regular garden hose or a scrub brush. Professional power washers have a number of attachments that can be switched on and off to provide different cleaning strengths and abilities. A professional will know what kind of pressure to apply in order to clean the surface but not etch it or damage it.

Concrete Sealing
There are a number of high penetrating concrete sealants that can be applied to concrete. The product will soak in and provide a protecting layer to help prevent future contaminants from absorbing into the concrete surface. You can have this product applied every year or so to refresh the protection from dirt, oil, algae, mold, etc. Different products apply to different climates. If your area sees a lot of moisture that freezes on top of your concrete, this should be considered. Very hot climates that have sun beating down on the concrete day after day might need a different type of protection.

Concrete cleaning and sealing is imperative when it comes to a great concrete maintenance plan. Each property is different, so it might vary how often you need to have this professionally done. A very harsh winter or sunny summer might be enough just cause for you to call in a professional. A reputable concrete contractor in your area can help recommend how often you should have this process done and can complete the task for you so it is done right. This will help protect your concrete investment for many years to come so you can enjoy the look of concrete without having to deal with imperfections.

Swimming Platform for Summer

Swimming-PlatformDuring the summer months, it is natural that people love to swim and sunbathe. And for lakefront property owners, having the freedom to do this within short walking distance from their front door is even more desirable. Floating Swim Platforms can easily fulfill this need for property owners who are looking to create a perfect spot on their property for friends and family to enjoy swimming and lounging under the sun on. There are many different types of floating swim platforms available on the market, however there are a few things to keep in mind when choosing what kind of swim platform to buy. Factors such as the ease of storage and assembly, shape and size, as well as being eco friendly are all important to consider. One quality option available to choose from is Dock Blocks.

These specific swimming platforms are made out of a series of connectable blocks, each of which can hold up to 200 hundred pounds. This enables a platform of any size and shape to be made constructed, according to preference and need. This allows the owner to also have a swimming platform that is eco-friendly in comparison to other wooden platforms that float on dense foam underneath, because the blocks are made out This gives the owner an advantage over owners of other platforms, because each block is made out of an eco friendly plastic.

Another great aspect of being able to take assemble and disassemble your swimming area in small pieces, is that it allows for easy storage and transportation. It can be a difficult and frustrating process that requires a lot of strong people to take a one piece swimming platform out of storage and get it into the water. Taking it back out can be just as strenuous. But a single person could put together a Dock Block swimming platform if necessary.

Oftentimes a swim dock will get very hot when exposed to sunlight for an extended period of time, or can become incredibly slippery. Both cases can make it difficult to stand and walk barefoot on the platform comfortably. A slippery surface could even potentially end up causing injury if someone were to accidentally fall. Dock Blocks do not collect as much heat, making them more comfortable to stand on, and built in anti-slip textures are a nice touch go a long way in helping to keep someone from injuring themselves while having fun.

Why Should You Buy Tohatsu Outboard Motors From An Authorized Dealer?

50_221If you’re a boater needing high-end new or used Tohatsu outboard motor for your vessel; it’s paramount that you source it from a reputable supplier. This brand outboard motor is a reliable, sophisticated range. It’s not just pushing heavy horsepower. It’s backed by sound engineering and durable construction too. If you’ve lost hope in generic models and need an equipment that’s smart, efficient and economical, this outboard motor line is a cut above the rest.

Boaters that buy outboard engines and other essential components from a licensed supplier are the least likely to encounter mechanical problems. The marketplace offers an extensive inventory outboard motors for portable boats. That said, you’ll need to find a trusted supplier that has superior knowledge of the latest technology and models to help you. Tohatsu outboard engines are among the industry’s elite products. The manufacturer extends the most-sophisticated boat engine motors. The Tohatsu brands have over 75 years of industry experience in outboard engine designing.

Boaters that have limited marine experience should consult a professional boat mechanic before buying Tohatsu outboard motors. This is to get enough information to make an educated purchase decision. With boat engines pushing different ranges of horsepower and having sophisticated technology, you’ll need a specialist to gauge your options. If you shop from an authorized dealer, you’ll notice that your experience is the least unpleasant. With OEM-grade parts sourced directly from the factory, you’ll get to enjoy your outboard engine longer.

If you’re trying to get something that’s just right based on your experience level; you should develop your buying skills. It’s to judge multiple outboard motor models against each other to buy a type that’s just right. Another all-important feature to check when buying a Tohatsu outboard engine is the fuel consumption rating. You’ll need to decide which engine type complements your experience level, be it a 2-stroke, 4-stroke or another. It’s a key component that has a core function in the vessel’s overall performance. The latest engine models of Tohatsu outboards endure the toughest conditions. Plus they’re fuel-efficient despite their aggressive speed.

In events of mechanical failures, it’s convenient to have a reliable outboard motor supplier in your contacts. If you fail to source premium-grade OEM parts for your outboard, it’s impossible to maximize its performance. You won’t encounter problems if you order your Tohatsu outboard engine from an authorized dealer. This source usually has an extensive inventory of OEM parts and accessories. It’s a convenient option if you’re interested in getting professional upgrades done. With certified technicians at your fingertips, you’ll enjoy factory-grade testing and inspection. If you’re keeping a tight budget, don’t worry. Authorized outboard engine retailers have enough high-end products to suggest the best deal for your budget.

Contractors Are Not Designers

natural stone outdoor kitchen designComprehensive companies that are involved in outdoor architecture evolved from deck builders. The deck initially was simply an outdoor porch that was often uncovered. Now reputable companies offer multiple outdoor solutions for enjoying an outdoor life. Additionally, these companies have become national companies that offer the same integrity as the well-run small companies. This also means that they have very strict standards of excellence and a vast amount of experience that translates into groundbreaking designs both in aesthetics and durability. This happens because they have a large amount of very talented designers and contractors that produce designs all over the country for a varied amount of clientele with different demands.

In order to replicate these designs, a person would have to pay a premium in both designers and the skilled contractors that are employed to implement their innovative designs. Archadeck has both. This means that they often drive the developing trends instead of following them. One of the latest trends in this industry is outdoor kitchens. Many people choose a design with their contractor. The best possible outcome of this association is to get a cookie cutter style of outdoor kitchen. However, discerning clients want innovative designs that are modeled on their own tastes versus the same design as their neighbors. This is because these clients want all of their spaces to reflect their own personal identities and properties.

They also want their particular needs addressed. These concerns can only be addressed adequately when they are designed by outdoor kitchen designers and with skilled contractors that are accustomed to bringing these designs to fruition without compromise and with consideration of the specifics of the region and climate. In addition, the latest materials and methods are also used by these innovative outdoor kitchen designers and contractors. By using the latest technology, the designs last much longer than designs that use simple pressure treated wood applications.

This is especially true with outside kitchens because they have an actual function, and if inferior products are utilized, the finished product will reflect this cheapness both in aesthetics and the length of their durability. All these methods combine to offer a finished product that is unparalleled in the industry. Because this is a national company, these methods can be modified for the certain climactic, architectural and geographical circumstances that are indicative of particular areas. It also means that the contracting crews and designers understand the various personalities of the clientele in these areas. An even more in-depth consideration can be made by visiting the website at www.archadeck.com.

How To Improve Your Curbside Appeal

landscaping_lightingFor many people the thought of a national holiday or some other event which encourages the brightening up of their property is a reason to celebrate. Every year, especially around Halloween and Christmas holidays, residents can be seen expending bucket loads of money to compete with the homes on their street. These lighting arrangements are intended to be removed when the season is over, a chore that some residents attempt to avoid for as long as possible. The good news is there are companies that can help you focus on making your property look its best, regardless of when those lights are needed.

Looking Your Best

Most homeowners understand the importance of landscape lighting, which is probably why it won’t take much convincing when they are asked to get involved in a lighting project. Unfortunately, some residents are willing to try the project on their own in an attempt to save a few dollars, and they lose the impact of the lighting that a professional can provide them with. Considering the importance and value of a lighting project, this is not the time to try to cut corners.

Setting The Mood

There is little doubt that effective lighting can work wonders towards setting a mood. Some situations may require a softer touch, while others could demand a more festive arrangement. In either event, the goal is to have the lighting installed with the most effective results and within budget guidelines you can afford. Consider an event which you plan on hosting at your home or office and remember that it may be necessary to expand your guests to the outside of your home, a task that will be much easier to accomplish with the right mood lighting.

The Benefits

There are several benefits that a homeowner can derive from introducing landscape lighting for their property, not the least of which is curbside appeal. Any property which has been properly lighted will also reduce the incentive for unwanted burglary. Thieves have been known to avoid homes that stand out in the neighborhood, especially since they are clearly visible to the neighbors on the block. There is also the added benefit of more places to hang out during warmer evenings.

Added Value

If the homeowner considers all the benefits they will gain from improving the lighting on their property, there is little doubt that they will choose to ignore this option. As a property owner, you should also think about the fact that the value of that property will improve considerably when you set the mood outside. Rather than allow your home to appear dark and uninviting, it is a good idea to invest in outdoor lighting. Your neighbors will appreciate it and potential buyers will certainly give it a second look.

Building Your Own Skateboard

Building Your Own SkateboardChances are that in your busy and hectic lives you may not have much time for a hobby currently. I know for the past couple of years that has been my particular predicament. However I feel it is important that we make time for hobbies in our lives.

Why is having a hobby so important? Not only does a hobby help to keep you occupied, but it is crucial in helping you maintain a healthy body physically, mentally, and emotionally. Hobbies are great because they allow an individual an outlet to release tension and regroup. We all know the devastating effects of stress. I for one know this in a very real sense, as I struggle with chronic high stress. If you try to spend some time each and every week doing something you enjoy such as a hobby, you can help to relieve your body from this negative poison.

Hobbies also have the ability to reaffirm an individual’s self worth. Just like it is important to look outside ourselves and serve others, we need to serve ourselves as well. Taking time to give yourself a much needed break and allow yourself to work on a hobby can help you to take care of your self and to feel important as you accomplish a project or something you like!

That being said, I know a lot of people enjoy skateboarding. That could be a great hobby because it gets individuals outside, and moving so it has a few different benefits. However, have you ever considered building your own skateboard? Talk about accomplishing a project! First you will need to gather a few materials. These materials include: veneer, tie bond glue 3 ultimate glue, a molded press, jig saw, router of rasp, spray paint, clear coat laquer, and painters tape. You will need a total of seven planks. The top plank will be sanded only on one side, the next plank will not have any side sanded, the third plank will be cut against the grain, the fourth plank will be both sides non sanded, the fifth plank is cut against the grain again, the sixth plank is another no side sanded plank and the bottom or seventh plank is another one where only one side is sanded. Take your tie bond glue and glue all seven planks together in the order previously mentioned. Once the glue is dried put the group of planks in a molded press and let it take shape for a day to a day and a half so that it sets good and strong. Figure out the design of your board and lay a blueprint on top of the planks. Once you have determined where you want things start cutting the shape out. Once your board is now cut out, use the router of rasp to curve the edges so that you won’t get slivers. Then using sandpaper or even steel wool take the time to completely sand the entire board. Finally you will paint the board however you see fit using spray paint and the clear laquer.

I was shocked to learn how seemingly easy it would be to build a skateboard. So instead of going to the nearby skate shops consider making your very own and unique skateboard today! There won’t be anything else like it! 

Finding the best Shooting Glasses

Shooting GlassesWhen you want to perfect your ability to hunt, you need to have all the right training and equipment on your side. One of the best things you can do is invest in some training classes at the local gun range. They can teach you some great skills on how to perfect your shooting abilities. The other thing you need to do is take a look at what is hampering your shooting skills. Are you having a hard time seeing when you are out in the field? If so, you need to invest in a quality pair of shooting glasses. Here are some tips to help you find the best shooting glasses:

Prescription option. If you have to wear prescription glasses, you need to get yourself a nice pair of prescription shooting glasses. This will allow you to properly see when you are out shooting. You can find a great pair here, http://www.shootingglasses.com/prescription-rx.html.

UV protection. When you are searching for a good pair, always look at the UV rating. You need to make sure you are getting adequate protection from the sun. The harsh rays can cause problems with your ability to see. Over the years you might even struggle to see properly as years of squinting in the sun have hurt your vision. The protection is great for your eyes and the skin around your eyes.

Protection. One of the most important things to look for is a pair of glasses that will give you the right protection. Tree bark, bullet shells, and many other things can easily ricochet and hit you right in the eye. If you do not have glasses that allow you to maintain the right level of protection, you could end up seriously injured.
Frame. Wearing safety glasses for a long time might cause you to have a headache. It is a good idea to plan on trying out a variety of styles so you can find a frame that fits your face well. You do not want the frame to be too heavy as it will cause your ears and nose to ache under the weight.

Lens color. You should plan on buying a few different colors when looking at the right shooting glasses. Bright colors can help you see better as it gets into the evening hours. There are various tints that can help out during the day to give you better visual control. Having several pairs is a great way to protect your eyes and to make sure you are able to maintain your high level of visual control and accuracy.

You can choose from custom made shooting glasses to the standard options in most stores. It is smart to try out both styles so you can find a pair that really fits your face properly and gives you the visual control you need to be an excellent shooter.

3 Essential Camping Accessories

campingIf you consider yourself an outdoors kind of person than there is most likely nothing that you would appreciate more than a simple innovation that makes your outdoor experience even the smallest bit easier. Keeping yourself in touch with a home base, getting around in the dark, and finding a sanitary way of answering nature’s call are three good examples of necessary tasks when camping that are made easy by simple and cheap camping products. For these particular camping quandaries, the best products available would be:

  1. A foldable solar panel
  2. A ten day lantern
  3. A folding stainless steel hand shovel

Safety has to be of the upmost importance when considering what you need to pack along with you. With that in mind you need to make sure that you have a dependable means of communication with home. It is not worth the potential risk of losing that connection on the off chance that you need to reach someone who can give you medical aid. To avoid this it would be very wise to equip yourself with a foldable solar panel. This allows you to keep your phone totally charged and at the ready for any situation that might require you to get in contact with someone who is not on the camping trip with you.

A ten day lantern only makes practical sense. If you are planning on a camping trip then there is no doubt that you have already planned on bringing with you some source of artificial light, a flashlight, or maybe even some other lesser lantern. These options are fine, but should be reconsidered with the idea of a ten day lantern in mind. Sure, you can get by with a flashlight or something similar, but why choose a flashlight that will need battery replacement after the first few days? Having a lantern that lasts ten days allows you to forget about packing more than one set of extra batteries, and makes your night time visibility one less thing to worry about.

Finally, keeping yourself clean while you answer nature’s call should never have to be something that is a gamble. Keeping a foldable stainless steel shovel does three things for you while on a camping trip: 1) it helps your personal business go a little smoother, 2) it cuts down on space being used in your backpack, and 3) it is the lightest of the options and reduces the weight of your backpack. With these three things all playing their part there is little reason not to consider the small expense of one of these incredibly handy shovels for the next time you find yourself out in the wild.

These three products can improve any campers experience and can also allow for some unexpected luxuries along the trek.

I Am A Big Fan Of Road Trips

This is a guest post from Regina Atwood- her twitter feed is @lovepeacecanoe

I am a big fan of road trips. When one of my best girlfriends agreed to my crazy plan of five days of camping, hiking, and driving through AZ. I was downright ecstatic.

 

Coming fresh off a pharmacy conference in Las Vegas, Amanda flew into Phoenix Airport where I picked her up. We began our road trip by frantically repacking the car and heading to Flagstaff for the night.  We woke up the next morning and headed to the Grand Canyon by way of Cameron, AZ on the Navajo Indian Reservation.

If you have never driven this route to the Grand Canyon or you are deciding which route to take, drive this stretch. It introduces you to a plethora of western scenery. The pinkish blue cliffs in the distance, set behind red rock and soil of the desert make you realize why this land is both destitute and breath taking. Approaching Cameron and beyond, you will see road side stands selling everything from jerky, to jewelry, to Navajo Tacos. I say the only thing worth stopping for is the Taco.

Amanda and I stopped for lunch at a roadside stand gas station-adjacent. I asked the older Navajo woman what consisted of a “Navajo Taco”. The base is a plate size round disc of fried bread, the topping consists of ground beef, pinto beans, lettuce, diced tomatoes and cheese. We sat down and ate this feast on the side of a cold windy road, near the intersection of Rt. 89 and Rt. 64. After finishing off, pretty much the best food ever, we turned on Rt. 64 to finish up the last leg of our drive to the Grand Canyon.

On this stretch you will see more roadside stands and more beautiful scenery. There is a small canyon on a dirt turn off which you will see signs for. Stop and walk around, its a really nice place to stretch your legs.

 

We approached the GCNP at Desert View, you have to drive about 25 miles to reach Grand Canyon Village from this entrance but again the views are much better then taking Rt. 64 through Williams. Grab a map of the park at any desk/lodge/store in the whole village or the grocery store. The map also gives you a schedule of park activities and a shuttle schedule. TAKE THE SHUTTLE, it’s awesome, runs every 15 min or fewer.

Really the park is a lot of fun. Camping in Mather Campground gives you cheap lodging you bring the tent! After bunking in our Big Agnes Emerald Mountain 3P, we had sunrise coffee at El Tovar Lodge, and moseyed on to the shuttle to hike the South Kaibab Trail. You have to take a shuttle to this trailhead but the 2.7 miles offers a moderate hike and big pay off in terms of scenery. You have a good chance of seeing a line of mules bringing up/down supplies from Phantom Ranch, and friendly fellow hikers who are willing to take your picture at “Ohh Ahh” point.

Let’s skip the rest of this excursion and move on to Sedona, AZ….Oh Sedona, vortexes abound and so do weird people who want to tell you about them.

 

In any case we two punch drunk 20 something women drove through Flagstaff, veered right and took 89A, the scenic route, through Oak Creek Canyon. Make sure you have good breaks because although beautiful, this road twists and turns through a gorgeous canyon, dumping you out, tossed and awed into downtown touristy Sedona. We camped at Manzanita Campground, also ridiculously cheap. Prior reservations are necessary. The campground sits right beside Oak Creek, nearly every site is water side and very clean.

 

We had girly-margarita time at Oaxaca Restaurant on Main Street. They have a balcony with a great view, killer margaritas and insanely delicious nachos. The shops in this part of town offer aura readers, all sorts of crystals and some pretty awesome jewelry. You can have a girly shop-gasm for hours and buy absolutely nothing.

 

We returned to our campsite, started a raging fire and laughed about college, talked about our relationships, families and ate marshmallows and deserts shared with us from our neighboring tent sites.

 

Although I have spent probably hundreds of nights outside this was Amanda’s first camping trip. So far we had eaten till we popped, slept in freezing temps and almost peed ourselves laughing driving from town to town. But I diverge.

 

The next day we woke up, made some pretty awesome pancake fruity scramble, and set off to try and find a vortex. After stopping at the The Hike House we decided to hike West Fork Canyon. This hike boasts plenty of stream crossings, beautiful scenery, and ruins of house/barn/ some sort of hotel or something. It’s cool and creepy at the same time. The hike is 6 truly mild miles out and back, we finished around sunset, having decided to go back to Phoenix, and started the drive back to the city.

After spending the evening with my two wild dogs and fiancé, Amanda and I took much-needed showers and ate much-needed hot non-freeze dried food. The next day we set off to Tonto National Monument, a Native American ruin monument with paid guided tours (3$/person reserve in advance) and near total access to archeological sites. These ruins are located near Roosevelt Lake, Apache Lake, Saguaro Lake, the Snake River, and the Apache Trail, a 25-mile dirt road that will make your car cry.

 

The ruins at Tonto National Monument are very cool. There are both upper and lower ruins. The lower being a large dwelling you can see from the parking lot. A Park Ranger takes you on a guided tour to the upper dwellings where they stop often and tell you about flora, fauna and history. Much of the hike is sun exposed. My fiancé, Amanda and I had a great time walking among the ruins and taking pictures. My fiancé Brad is over 6’5”, I am 6’1”, we estimate average height of the Native Americans who built this site to be 5’5”…we bonked our heads more then a few times.

 

Visitors have near total access to the site, where you can still find, over 800 yr old, pottery fragments, cotton string, and roasted corn cobs. Now vultures use the site to roost and safely raise their young, who leave rodent bones everywhere. It’s pretty awesome. If that sort of stuff doesn’t gross you out.  We left the site to head back to Phoenix and decided to take a “short cut”.

 

You can access Tonto National Monument from multiple directions, you can go through Tonto Basin or you can take the Apache Trail through Apache Junction and cut mileage, but not time, off your trip. I suggest doing both which offer completely different scenery.

 

The Apache Trail is nearly all dirt, rocky, and not well maintained: You have been warned. You do have a chance to see beautiful water views, tarantulas, and towering saguaro so really it’s worth it. This also offers you access to Apache Lake, and gorgeous, cheap campsites.

When my fiancé and I moved to Phoenix we did this road in our 2005 Scion XA, our “jelly-bean” as we called it. Before we did the road again we had purchased a 2007 Mitsubishi Outlander, a much better car to explore this road on. It took us well over an hour to complete the road and hit Apache Junction. Leave yourself plenty of time, especially if you don’t have experience driving this type of road. We landed in Phoenix and the next day Amanda left to return to our home state of Maryland.

 

I’m sure you can surmise how our trip went emotionally, you’ve seen the movies, read the books. We weren’t going to go all “Into the Wild” or “On The Road” but we certainly had fun, and were able to shed a bit of the pressures of home for a few days. Arizona can be both lush and desiccated within minutes walking distance; you have to lose yourself for even a few moments to truly appreciate this landscape.

 

In our few day excursions we were snowed on in Flagstaff, experienced icy cold in the Grand Canyon, had warmer days in Sedona, and got a tan in Tonto National Forest. Two girls conquered a chunk of the Wild West and ate tons of marshmallows doing it.

 

 

 

 

 

Cool Camping Accessories

campingAnyone who wants to venture into the great unknown should only do so when they’re properly prepared. In this day and age, we worry about things like phone solar charger and other high tech supplies that would have been unheard of in previous eras. Too many people go into the wilderness without the right supplies or information. They end up lost or worse. You have the option to choose your fate and prepare for the trip you want to have. You don’t necessarily have to pull out all the stops as long as you make sure to pack the essentials. Don’t think that you can get away with packing just enough to last the duration of your day. Pack as much as you can carry. You never know if you will end up lost in the wilderness with no way to return home. Out of all the supplies you can pack, food and water are the ones you need to pack a lot of. Water is more important than anything, especially if you’re heading into an area where the temperatures get high. Dehydration is one of the main causes of people veering off the beaten path never to be seen again.

There comes a time when you need to stop trying to get the best high tech camping accessories and start stripping down your current repertoire to get back to basics. You don’t want to bring everything including the kitchen sink on your camping trip. It would defeat the purpose of going camping in the first place. That doesn’t mean you should avoid packing the stuff that makes you feel the most comfortable though. At some point, you need to consider going out into the wilderness with nothing more than food, clothes on your back, and a tent to sleep in. It’s camping in its purest form. If you have everything you have at home while you’re on a camping trip, you should just stay at home. You should go to a sporting goods store and ask the people who work there about what would work best for your particular trip. You will be surprised at the differing suggestions they will produce for you in the blink of an eye. When you’re buying stuff based on advice experts give you, it’s more likely that you will have the best camping trip possible. It will cost you extra to get the good stuff, but it’s worth it when you consider the benefits you will get from these purchases.

Camping can be fun. It’s good to get away from it all with people with whom you enjoy spending time. You need to do so only when you have all the right supplies to make your trip a success. The two most important things you need to pack are water and food. Disasters can happen when your group runs out of food, but things will get much worse for you if your water supply runs out. Everything else falls into the category of mere conveniences and could easily be left at home.