Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Snow & Ice Removal Tips...

Old man winter is almost here and it looks to be a bad one. Before you grab anything that says "Ice Melt", you may want to read this first. Here are some tips for you when it comes to snow & ice removal.
Concrete has great strength under pressure. Our houses sit on it, we drive on it, we depend on it. It does however have a weakness. Salt. It is kryptonite for concrete. Why is salt bad for concrete? Concrete is porous when installed. It soaks up moisture like a sponge. Salt, when diluted and absorbed, will eat up the concrete and cause what is called spalling. Spalling is caused by water freezing inside the concrete. Salt makes this worst by not only eating away at the concrete to allow water to absorb easier but salt also attracts water. Sealing your concrete helps prevent spalling but make sure you do this long after a rainfall and only in temperatures well above 50 deg. If you seal concrete with moisture still inside it can cause massive spalling when it freezes. If you need to get rid of ice on your steps or on concrete, make sure you use a product that does not contain any traces of salt. The best thing to use is Magnesium. I have a great source for some if you need it. Oh, and please don't slam your metal shovel into the ice and try to "chop" it. You will not be happy with the results when it melts.
Keep in mind that any ice melt product including salt needs moisture to activate it. If it is -3 deg. outside with no sun, you can dump the whole bag out and it wont do anything. Keep an eye on the temps and wait to put it down so you don't waist it. A little bit goes a long way...

Another problem that has come up over the last couple of years is the pre-treatment of the roads. I am sure you have seen the white lines on the roads a day before the storm. It is liquid sodium chloride, aka, liquid salt. After driving threw a snowstorm the snow will get stuck in your wheel wells. When you park your car on your concrete driveway, the snow starts to melt and drips onto the driveway causing spalling. I have seen this first hand. Try to get the snow off of your car before parking in on concrete or in the garage. Also, if you see the truck applying the Sodium chloride, stay away from him. It is very bad for your cars paint job!

Snow removal. Please remember to use the plastic shovels when removing snow from pavers and concrete. The metal shovels can chip and crack decorative surfaces. If you plan on having a plow truck do the work for you, please tell them they need to use a rubber blade on the snow plow.

As always feel free to call or email if you need anything and Good luck this winter!

Nick with NRC.

Firepit Season Is Upon Us...

Time to light up that firepit or outdoor fireplace! Before setting a blaze, remember to inspect your fireplace or firepit to make sure it is ready for action. Animals love to cozy up inside the chimneys and under piles of debris. Keep an eye out for nests and babies. Remember to always start your fires naturally. That means that throwing a bottle of gasoline on a pile of wood to start your fire is a no no. Its not only against the law, but it is also dangerous. The gas may be on the pile of wood but the fumes are settling to the bottom of the firepit. When they ignite... KABOOM! A firepit is designed to bring people together, not blow them away. Also, if you need gasoline to start a fire, that just means that the wood has not seasoned enough. If it does light it will produce a large amount of smoke and send your guests running. Wood that is properly seasoned will light with a couple of pieces of cardboard. You can use cedar shims or a starter log as well. I personally collect my junk mail threw out the year and use that. As long as it is dry it will do the job.

NRC Landscape Construction designs and installs very unique and functional fireplaces and firepits that are strategically placed on a patio or in a yard to funtion properly. If you plan on making your own this year, here are a couple of tips. Make sure you do your homework. The list of materials that can be used is short and must be able to withstand the heat. Natural stone is a material that is NOT on that list. Natural stone will pop and send very sharp, extremely hot shards flying across the yard and can cause serious injury. If you do use natural stone, make sure they are large boulders and keep plenty of distance between the fire and the stone. Of course you can always call us and have us build one for you. This way you can set a blaze and enjoy the night. Call NRC or email us at to set up an appointment for your firepit or outdoor fireplace today and enjoy it by the Holidays! 

Nick with NRC.

Pool Renovation

Thank you for a great Summer!
We had a great summer with a lot of very happy customers enjoying their new outdoor spaces. Fall is here and if you want to enjoy your pool next summer, now is the time to renovate. Lets get a design going!