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Andy Alvarez
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The Inspector Newsletter
August 2016: Garage Inspections
Maintenance Matters
Driveway Maintenance and Repair

Water and weeds wage war against driveways every year. Water seeps under hard surfaces and erodes softer surfaces. Small cracks, created by the water, are prone to weed growth. If not treated, small cracks will soon become larger cracks.

Maintenance Matters

If water is cutting rivers through a dirt or gravel driveway, address the drainage issue first, then fill the cracks. For potholes, the same is required. For the best results, start by cutting the edges of a pothole straight down. Add fill material. Tamp down. Add more fill and tamp until the resulting layer is slightly above level. Drive the car over the spot several times until level.

Crack repair compound, cold patches and sealer for asphalt driveways are available at most home repair stores. Follow the manufacturer’s directions for best results. For deeper potholes, you will need to use a fill material and tamping methods above to fill the hole to a level where the cold patch asphalt will work. Avoid attempting asphalt repairs when rain is expected within 24 hours.

No matter what driveway maintenance project you want to tackle, having the right tools and equipment makes the job much easier. If you are dealing with severe cracking, you may need to call a service technician for further assistance.

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Ceiling fans make a room feel cooler

Ceiling fans circulate air, buy they do not ventilate a room or lower the temperature. They simply create a draft. That draft, or air movement over the skin, provides a wind chill effect on our bodies, making the room seem cooler. This can allow a person to set the cooling temperature on the air conditioner higher, reducing energy bills and possibly prolonging the life of the cooling equipment.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, using a ceiling fan with an air conditioning system will allow most people to raise the thermostat temperature setting about 4 degrees without a reduction in comfort. Raising the temperature is what creates these savings, not installing and running the fan. For more energy savings, turn fans off when exiting a room. Furniture can’t “feel” the wind chill effect.

For best efficiency, consider the type of lights in the ceiling fans when purchasing. The fan itself may only be used part of the year; many times lights are used every day. A single bulb can be more efficient than many bulbs and fluorescent lights are far more efficient than incandescent.

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How much did American business magnate Warren Buffet pay for his house in Omaha, Nebraska, in 1958?

Be the first to answer correctly and win a $10 Starbucks gift card. Submit your answer to your local NPI inspector to find out if you’ve won.

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