90 SE Bridgeford Blvd, Bend, OR 97702 (541) 385-0752
Outdoor, Renovations, Restoring
Is your outdoor patio starting to look old and worn out? No worries! There are a few do-it-yourself projects that you can do to renovate it and give it a completely fresh look within a reasonable budget. 

As the weather warms up with summer on the horizon, you’re likely starting to plan out all of the outdoor activities that you will be partaking in soon. As you think about grilling outside, having company over and soaking up the sun, you may notice that your patio looks like that it has had better days. The thought of throwing a bunch of money down for a new patio can be unsettling for a lot of people. Instead, why not just do it yourself? This way you don’t have to be self-conscious about your patio when you have company over, and you get to save money on having a professional come and tell you that you need to redo the whole thing. Here are a couple techniques that can help give your patio a new look that wows all of your guests this summer:

1.) Cover up cracks with the right concrete repair products. 

If your patio has accumulated cracks over the years, you can cover them up with concrete repair products. All you need to do is find a respected Re-Cap Concrete Resurfacer product at your local hardware store. This product will smooth out the cracks and make your patio look like it’s brand new! The best part? It will likely take you less than an hour to finish the whole patio. After as little as eight hours, the patio will be dry and ready for use. 

You must make sure that you properly clean your patio before applying your re-cap concrete resurfacing product. It is recommended that you use a pressure washer to remove all of the loose concrete before filling in the cracks with the re-cap resurfacing product mixed with water. Once you have finished patching the repairs, rinse the patio with water and then remove the water. Next, use a trowel to spread the re-cap surfacer over the patio to make an even surface. Lastly, use a broom over the new surface to apply a broomed texture (this way people won’t slip from it being too smooth when it is dry).

2.) Overlay your patio with pavers.

Another method that you can do to revitalize your patio is overlaying it with pavers. Why deal with all the cracks when you can just cover them up and make it look as good as new? In order to do this, you can get “remodeling pavers” that are designed to go right over the top of your concrete patio. Before doing this, it is recommended that you use a joint sand product to fill in all of the cracks and create an even surface for the pavers. Simply lay the pavers on top of the joint sand and tap them into place with a rubber mallet. Make sure that you glue the outermost row with a construction adhesive (this prevents the pavers on the inside row from shifting). When you are finished, simply sprinkle more joint sand over the surface until it is evenly distributed in the spaces between the pavers. 

That is all there is to it! We wish you the best of luck on making your patio fresh and presentable this summer. 

Source: Bob Vila
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Outdoor, Preventative

Winter in Central Oregon can be fun, but it’s also a time to be extra careful both in and out of the house. Frigid temperatures can make water freeze and expand, causing pipes to burst. Ice buildup on the roof, if unnoticed, can damage both the roof and gutters. Slick black ice between the house and your car can turn that short walk into a hazard.

Here are a few things you can do to prevent further damage to your home during these winter months.

Heat Tape

Homeowners often shut off the water supply to outside spigots in late fall, but some indoor pipes—such as those located in unheated basements, crawl spaces, or even under sinks in poorly insulated houses—can still be at risk of freezing.

Radiant Heat Mats

Icy driveways and sidewalks lead to wintertime falls—and visits to the emergency room. Fortunately, safety doesn’t have to involve spreading toxic chemicals or plant-killing salt on paved surfaces. Approved electric radiant heat mats can be used outdoors not only to save time shoveling, but also to create safer environments with less ice, fewer slips and falls, and less need to salt and condition the surface.

Roof and Gutter De-icing Cable

An accumulation of snow on the roof can pose a risk if it begins to melt and then refreezes, resulting in heavy ice buildup along the edge of the roof and in the gutter. These accumulations, known as ice dams, can damage roof shingles and lead to leaks, and cause the gutter to tear away from the house.

Frost Free Sill-cocks

Exterior faucets are notorious for freezing and breaking in winter. One solution is to turn off the water supply to the faucets and bleed the lines so they can’t freeze. A better solution would be to replace your standard outdoor faucets with frost-free sillcocks. In a frost-free sillcock, unlike a standard exterior faucet, the valve that shuts off the water sits at the end of a long pipe so it’s situated inside your house.

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Custom Home Building, Outdoor

Use these tips for getting your outdoor spaces ready for summer.

With Spring finally here, this is the perfect time of year to get your outdoor furniture, cushions, play equipment and bbq ready for spring and summer entertaining. If you’ve done a good job storing these items over the winter, you might not need to do too much work to get them ready. But even furniture that’s been covered up or kept in the garage might still need a bit of prep work. Here are some tips for getting your outdoor things ready.

Outdoor furniture

Most outdoor furniture will last longer when covered up for the winter. Lower temperatures, ice, water or fall debris can slowly damage finishes, weaken joints or cause rust. No matter what material your outdoor furniture is made of, start by simply wiping down the surfaces so you can assess next steps. Teak or wood furniture usually does best with an annual application of teak oil. If wood furniture was sitting directly on top of wet ground, you may notice that the legs have become discolored. The legs might need additional sanding or oil application – be sure to elevate it next winter. Plastic furniture can easily become discolored from pollen, dirt or winter weather. If it’s been left uncovered all winter, you can try a little soap and water to remove dirt. Sap might require a product like WD-40, just use a little at a time to make sure it doesn’t affect the furniture. Some outdoor furniture can withstand the power of a pressure washer, which can quickly remove moss and dirt. But keep in mind that pressure washers can also damage certain types of materials so if you’re unsure,  test a small patch on the underside of your furniture first.

Outdoor cushions and fabric

Ideally, outdoor cushions and fabric are stored inside over the fall and winter months. Leftover oil spills or food stains can attract bugs and dirt over the winter so it’s important to keep those cushions or outdoor fabrics in good shape before long-term storage. Too much humidity, dirt or debris can discolor or ruin outdoor fabrics. Really durable outdoor fabric can be wiped down with a dry cloth to remove cobwebs, loose dirt or other winter remnants. If the cushion covers can be removed from the insert, you may be able to wash them however be sure to follow the manufacturers instructions first. Some outdoor fabrics are treated on the surface, and this treatment may not do well with a regular cycle.

Grill or bbq

Like your other patio or porch furnishings, the grill or bbq should be stored under cover in the winter months, protected from damaging rain, ice or falling branches. To get it ready for the spring or summer, remove the cover and wipe down all surfaces with a dry cloth, removing pollen, dirt or other debris. You’ll want to oil moving parts to make sure they are well lubricated. The grills or cooking surfaces should be cleaned according to the manufacturers instructions. Some grates can be cleaned with a bit of soap or water but others are prone to rust and may just need a dry rub or oil to clean the surface. Reconnect your propane tank or purchase fresh charcoal for the season. Your bbq and grilling tools were ideally stored inside during the winter. It’s a good idea to give them a thorough cleaning before using again.

Play equipment

Most of us keep the large, outdoor play equipment outside all season and generally these pieces are too big for a cover. Before your kids use it for the season it’s a good idea to inspect the equipment for bug or animal infestation. Remove cobwebs and wipe down all surfaces and check moving parts to make sure everything is in working condition. Wood may need to be lightly sanded to remove lichen or moss, and plastic might need to be cleaned with soap and water. If your outdoor play equipment utilizes sand or wood chips, this might be a great time of year to pick up a fresh supply.
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Outdoor

Our favorite Christmas traditions around the world are wonderful – sometimes wonderfully weird – and are guaranteed to put you in the festive spirit

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. For a couple of weeks every year the world takes on a magic glow, people seem merrier and even winter somehow feels cosy. Whether you’re celebrating a religious festival, like Hanukkah or Christmas, or a more secular occasion, you’re sure to have your own selection of rituals or customs that make the holiday season so special. Our favorite Christmas traditions around the world are loud, proud, and guarantee oodles of festive fun.

Giant Lantern Festival, Philippines

Looking for some festive sparkle? Spend Christmas in the Philippines
Looking for some festive sparkle? Spend Christmas in the Philippines
The Giant Lantern Festival (Ligligan Parul Sampernandu) is held each year on the Saturday before Christmas Eve in the city of San Fernando – the “Christmas Capital of the Philippines.” The festival attracts spectators from all over the country and across the globe. Eleven barangays (villages) take part in the festival and competition is fierce as everyone pitches in trying to build the most elaborate lantern. Originally, the lanterns were simple creations around half a metre in diameter, made from ‘papel de hapon’ (Japanese origami paper) and lit by candle. Today, the lanterns are made from a variety of materials and have grown to around six metres in size. They are illuminated by electric bulbs that sparkle in a kaleidoscope of patterns. Find a flight to Manila

Gävle Goat, Sweden

People overlooking the Gävle Goat in Sweden, just moments before it's set ablaze
People overlooking the Gävle Goat in Sweden, just moments before it’s set ablaze
Since 1966, a 13-metre-tall Yule Goat has been built in the center of Gävle’s Castle Square for the Advent, but this Swedish Christmas tradition has unwittingly led to another “tradition” of sorts – people trying to burn it down. Since 1966 the Goat has been successfully burned down 29 times – the most recent destruction was in 2016. If you want to see how the Goat fares this year when it goes up on December 1st, you can follow its progress on the Visit Gävle website through a live video stream. Find a flight to Gävle

Krampus, Austria

Scaring kids into the festive spirit, Krampus is the most chilling of Christmas traditions
Scaring kids into the festive spirit, Krampus is the most chilling of Christmas traditions © Stefan Klauke
A beast-like demon creature that roams city streets frightening kids and punishing the bad ones – nope, this isn’t Halloween, but St. Nicholas’ evil accomplice, Krampus. In Austrian tradition, St. Nicholas rewards nice little boys and girls, while Krampus is said to capture the naughtiest children and whisk them away in his sack. In the first week of December, young men dress up as the Krampus (especially on the eve of St. Nicholas Day) frightening children with clattering chains and bells. Find a flight to Klagenfurt

Kentucky Fried Christmas Dinner, Japan

A family get ready to tuck into a KFC share bucket, a pretty bizarre Japanese Christmas tradition
A family get ready to tuck into a KFC share bucket, a pretty bizarre Japanese Christmas tradition © ajbrusteinthreesixfive
Christmas has never been a big deal in Japan. Aside from a few small, secular traditions such as gift-giving and light displays, Christmas remains largely a novelty in the country. However, a new, quirky “tradition” has emerged in recent years – a Christmas Day feast of the Colonel’s very own Kentucky Fried Chicken. The festive menu will soon be advertized on the KFC Japan website and, even if you don’t understand Japanese, the pictures sure will look delicious with everything from a Christmas-themed standard bucket to a premium roast-bird feast. Find a flight to Tokyo

The Yule Lads, Iceland

Icelandic Yule Lads run amok this time of year in one of the more fun and mischievous Christmas traditions
Icelandic Yule Lads run amok this time of year in one of the more fun and mischievous Christmas traditions
In the 13 days leading up to Christmas, 13 tricksy troll-like characters come out to play in Iceland. The Yule Lads (jólasveinarnir or jólasveinar in Icelandic) visit the children across the country over the 13 nights leading up to Christmas. For each night of Yuletide, children place their best shoes by the window and a different Yule Lad visits leaving gifts for nice girls and boys and rotting potatoes for the naughty ones. Clad in traditional Icelandic costume, these fellas are pretty mischievous, and their names hint at the type of trouble they like to cause: Stekkjastaur (Sheep-Cote Clod), Giljagaur (Gully Gawk), Stúfur (Stubby), Þvörusleikir (Spoon-Licker), Pottaskefill (Pot-Scraper), Askasleikir (Bowl-Licker), Hurðaskellir (Door-Slammer), Skyrgámur (Skyr-Gobbler), Bjúgnakrækir (Sausage-Swiper), Gluggagægir (Window-Peeper), Gáttaþefur (Doorway-Sniffer), Ketkrókur (Meat-Hook) and Kertasníkir (Candle-Stealer). Visit Iceland this Christmas and catch them all! Find a flight to Reykjavik

Saint Nicholas’ Day, Germany

Saint Nicholas with his three amigos: Santa Claus, Knecht Ruprecht and ... a donkey
Saint Nicholas with his three amigos: Santa Claus, Knecht Ruprecht and … a donkey
Not to be confused with Weihnachtsmann (Father Christmas), Nikolaus travels by donkey in the middle of the night on December 6 (Nikolaus Tag) and leaves little treats like coins, chocolate, oranges and toys in the shoes of good children all over Germany, and particularly in the Bavarian region. St. Nicholas also visits children in schools or at home and in exchange for sweets or a small present each child must recite a poem, sing a song or draw a picture. In short, he’s a great guy. But it isn’t always fun and games. St. Nick often brings along Knecht Ruprecht (Farmhand Rupert). A devil-like character dressed in dark clothes covered with bells and a dirty beard, Knecht Ruprecht carries a stick or a small whip in hand to punish any children who misbehave. Find a flight to Nuremberg

Norway

Never leave a good broom behind in Norway over Christmas: it might get stolen
Never leave a good broom behind in Norway over Christmas: it might get stolen
Perhaps one of the most unorthodox Christmas Eve traditions can be found in Norway, where people hide their brooms. It’s a tradition that dates back centuries to when people believed that witches and evil spirits came out on Christmas Eve looking for brooms to ride on. To this day, many people still hide their brooms in the safest place in the house to stop them from being stolen. Find a flight to Oslo

Lighting of National Hanukkah Menorah, Washington, D.C. – US

The lighting of the Menorah in Washington, D.C.
The lighting of the Menorah in Washington, D.C.
The Jewish holiday of Hanukkah is celebrated with much fanfare across the United States with one of the most elaborate events taking place on a national stage. Since 1979, a giant nine-metre Menorah has been raised on the White House grounds for the eight days and nights of Hanukkah. The ceremony in Washington, D.C. is marked with speeches, music, activities for kids, and, of course, the lighting of the Menorah. The lighting of the first candle at the White House takes place at 4pm, rain or shine, and an additional candle is lit each successive night. The event is free to attend, but tickets must be booked in advance. Find a flight to Washington, D.C.

Venezuela

Enjoy a Christmas dinner consisting of 'tamales' in Venezuela
Enjoy a Christmas dinner consisting of ‘tamales’ in Venezuela
Love Christmas, but think it could be improved by a spot of roller-blading? If the answer is yes, visit Caracas, Venezuela this year. Every Christmas Eve, the city’s residents head to church in the early morning – so far, so normal – but, for reasons known only to them, they do so on roller skates. This unique tradition is so popular that roads across the city are closed to cars so that people can skate to church in safety, before heading home for the less-than-traditional Christmas dinner of ‘tamales’ (a wrap made out of cornmeal dough and stuffed with meat, then steamed). Find a flight to Caracas

Day of the Little Candles, Colombia

Light-up your festive season with this sweet Colombian Christmas tradition
Light-up your festive season with this sweet Colombian Christmas tradition © Mafe Aristizabal M
Little Candles’ Day (Día de las Velitas) marks the start of the Christmas season across Colombia. In honour of the Virgin Mary and the Immaculate Conception, people place candles and paper lanterns in their windows, balconies and front yards. The tradition of candles has grown, and now entire towns and cities across the country are lit up with elaborate displays. Some of the best are found in Quimbaya, where neighbourhoods compete to see who can create the most impressive arrangement. Find a flight to Armenia, Colombia

Cavalcade of Lights, Toronto

The sky lights up during the Cavalcade of Lights in Toronto
The sky lights up during the Cavalcade of Lights in Toronto © Ben Roffelsen Photography
In wintry, wonderful Toronto the annual Cavalcade of Lights marks the official start to the holiday season. The first Cavalcade took place in 1967 to show off Toronto’s newly constructed City Hall and Nathan Phillips Square. The Square and Christmas tree are illuminated by more than 300,000 energy-efficient LED lights that shine from dusk until 11 pm until the New Year. On top of that, you’ll get to witness spectacular fireworks shows and engage in some outdoor ice skating.    
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SPECTRUM BUILDING & RESTORATION IS PROUD TO SUPPORT OUR VETERANS

Take your time to thank a veteran this Saturday, November 11th. Without our Veteran’s, we wouldn’t have such a great country. Veterans Day is an official United States public holiday, observed annually on November 11, that honors military veterans; that is, persons who served in the United States Armed Forces. It coincides with other holidays, including Armistice Day and Remembrance Day, celebrated in other countries that mark the anniversary of the end of World War I; SPECTRUM BUILDING & RESTORATION Supports and Thanks our Veterans. To Read More About Veterans Day, click here: History of Veterans Day
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Outdoor
You’ll need perfect timing to catch the exact moment the moon blocks the sun in your city. The total solar eclipse on Aug. 21 lasts less than a minute in some places, while a partial eclipse can be visible for an hour or more. Everyone in the USA will be able to see at least a partial eclipse, weather permitting, on Aug. 21, but when is the best time to watch? The short answer is that it depends on where you live. Type your zip code here to find out when to head outside. The celestial show will start will start in Oregon at 9:05 a.m. PT, reaching totality at 10:17 a.m. PT. The last glimpse of the moon’s shadow will fade out near Charleston, S.C. at 4:10 p.m. ET. The view will be the best for those lucky enough to be in the “path of totality” which crosses these 12 states: Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming, Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina
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Outdoor

 

OREGON

And that land will be United States soil. On the beach in Oregon, at a rocky spot of ground just north of Newport that sticks its nose out into the Pacific, the shadow first touches land at 17:15:50.6UT (at about 10:15 in the morning). This lucky piece of Earth experiences a full minute and fifty seconds of totality. The actual centerline of the eclipse path hits solid ground a full six seconds later, and plunges Lincoln Beach and Depoe Bay into darkness for 1m58s! It takes only about two minutes for the shadow to race eastward toward its first date with a large population of folks who will be breathlessly awaiting its arrival. Dallas, Albany, Corvallis, Lebanon, Philomath, McMinnville, Woodburn, and yes, Salem itself, experience various durations of totality (based on their varying distances from the centerline); on the steps of the State Capitol in Salem (the first of five state capitals the shadow will visit), lucky viewers will be treated to 1m54.5s of shadow at just after 10:17am. (Great time for a coffee break!) The great city of Portland is NOT in the path of totality! If you’re there, or in Eugene, you will not get the full meal deal! Folks in Portland need to move south, and get into the shadow! That’s right: IF YOU STAY IN PORTLAND, the eclipse will never be total for you! You will need to use your eclipse glasses for the entire partial eclipse, and you will not see the beauty of totality! (In Eugene, you need to head north!) The eclipse then leaves our most western friends, and travels through the forests and deserts of central Oregon, hitting the mountains at Madras and Warm Springs at about 10:19. Mitchell and Prairie City are next, and the shadow leaves Oregon just north of Ontario. (Actually, Ontario gets 1m23s of totality at 11:25am MDT, but folks there would be better served to head north to the rest area north of Huntington on I-84, or into Idaho on US95 between Midvale and Weiser, for better than 30 seconds more totality! Soak them up; those seconds in the shadow are precious!!!)
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Outdoor

How Eclipses Work

Eclipses, whether solar or lunar, occur because of the periodic alignments of the sun, Earth, and moon. These three bodies, orbit in space in very predictable paths (yes, the sun orbits too. It orbits the galaxy once every 200 million years!). Ever since the days of Kepler and Newton, we have been able to predict the motion of planetary bodies with great precision. So, why do eclipses happen? The Moon moves right to left in its orbit around the Earth. The shadow it casts hits the Earth during the August 21, 2017 total solar eclipse. Solar Eclipses Happen when the moon moves between Earth and the sun. You might think that this should happen every month since the moon’s orbit, depending on how it is defined is between about 27 and 29 days long. But our moon’s orbit is tilted with respect to Earth’s orbit around the sun by about five degrees. Not much, you say? Yes, but the moon, itself, is only about ½ degree in width in the sky, about ½ the width of your pinky finger held at arm’s length. So, sometimes the moon misses too high and sometimes too low to cause a solar eclipse. Only when the sun, moon, and Earth line up close to the “line of nodes”, the imaginary line that represents the intersection of the orbital planes of the moon and Earth, can you have an eclipse. The Moon orbits the Earth in the months prior to the August 21, 2017 total solar eclipse. Viewed from above, the Moon’s shadow appears to cross the Earth every month, but a side view reveals the five-degree tilt of the Moon’s orbit. Its shadow only hits the Earth when the line of nodes, the fulcrum of its orbital tilt, is pointed toward the Sun. This is true for both solar and lunar eclipses. This situation is somewhat unique as no other moon in the solar system orbits roughly in the plane of the “ecliptic”,  Earth’s orbital plane, that the planets more or less follow. Total solar eclipse diagram When the moon does eclipse the sun, it produces two types of shadows on Earth. The umbral shadow is the relatively small in diameter point on Earth where an observer would see a total eclipse. The penumbral shadow is the much larger area on Earth where an observer will see a partial eclipse. Here, the sun is not completely covered by the moon.
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Outdoor, Preventative

Portland will be 99.4% of totality on August 21

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — It’s true Portland metro is not in the path of totality for the August 21 solar eclipse. But it’s pretty close. Portland will experience 99.4% of totality at 10:19:07 that Monday morning. So where is the best place in this part of the region to see the eclipse? Jim Todd from OMSI suggested looking to the southeast and be in an open area to see the moon’s shadow come and go Todd said you’ll be able to see Venus to the right of the sun It may be a good idea to stick close to home: ODOT officials said the eclipse may cause the greatest traffic jam in Oregon history. Don Hamilton with ODOT said there may be a million people who descend on the state for the eclipse, especially in the 60-mile path of totality that spans the state from west to east. The risk of wildfires is increased during the eclipse as well — not from the eclipse, but from the thousands of campers and out-of-staters unfamiliar with the terrain and dryness. And don’t forget to get the right kind of eyewear. Without certified glasses, the eclipse could fry your eyes
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Outdoor, Preventative

Eclipse concert crowds jam Prineville-area roadways

PRINEVILLE, Ore. – Thousands of festival-goers heading to Big Summit Prairie have been traveling through Prineville since Wednesday, causing traffic backups of 15 to 30 miles east of town, according to authorities. Oregon State Police reported late Wednesday a 30-mile backup from the concert site, where 30,000 or more people are expected to attend the weekend event that begins Thursday. Here’s a news release issued Thursday morning by Crook County: Traffic has been extremely heavy traveling East through Prineville since Wednesday, August 16th.  We saw an increase in congestion later in the day yesterday with traffic traveling East toward Big Summit Prairie.  Already today traffic is heavy from just west of Prineville headed east through town. County operations and Law Enforcement is working with County Emergency Management, Fire and EMS as well as the Road Department and ODOT to mitigate the impact to our community. Crook County Sheriff, City of Prineville and Crook County Court strongly urge travelers who do not need to travel today or early on Friday please consider delaying your journey.  Traffic later on Friday the 18th and over the weekend is expected to still be heavy but moving better as most of the attendees of the event at Big Summit Prairie will have already arrived at their destination. If you do need to travel today or Friday please be aware of the higher than normal traffic and congestion through Crook County and plan accordingly for your trip with extra water and snacks.  With the high temperatures our region is expecting plan to stay hydrated.  Practicing patience will help make your journey more enjoyable. For real time ongoing updates with traffic and local information you can go to:                 coemergencyinfo.blogspot.com Also follow us on social media at:                 Twitter@COEmergencyInfo Contact 211 for more information about our Central Oregon Region and where to find what you need.
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