Finish Strong: 7 Things to Do Before Summer Ends

All good things must come to an end, and that goes for summer too. On a blistering August afternoon, cold weather may seem like an almost inconceivably remote prospect, but you can be sure that it's coming—and sooner than you think. Before the summer ends, pull out your to-do list and check to see if it still includes any projects you won't be able to complete once the temperature takes a plunge. If, for example, the task involves concrete, there's no better time than the present. Start now, and you ought to have plenty of time, especially thanks to rapid-setting, easy-to-use products from innovators like CTS Cement | Rapid Set. Click through now to see only a sampling of the concrete repair and maintenance jobs that homeowners should try to finish up before this balmy summer becomes merely a fond memory.

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  1. Doctor Your Driveway

    Doctor Your Driveway

    Has your concrete driveway seen better days? The bad news: Crumbling, chipping, or cracked concrete only worsens in winter. Even worse, if you let the material deteriorate to the point of irreparability, there's nothing to do but rip it out and start over. The good news is that you can fix up your damaged driveway, quickly and completely, using Rapid Set Cement All. Three times stronger than most concrete, Cement All sets faster too—in fact, within a mere 15 minutes!

  2. Secure Your Steps

    Secure Your Steps

    When snow and ice blanket your property, even the trip up and down the porch stairs can become fraught with danger. That's never more true than when there are loose bricks to avoid. Rather than risk life and limb later, repair those steps now, using durable, low-shrinkage Rapid Set Mortar Mix. Whereas frigid temperatures complicate the process, you can speed through your repairs in summer, particularly given that the Rapid Set product accepts foot traffic after just an hour.

  3. Refresh Your Foundation Walls

    Refresh Your Foundation Walls

    Given the critical role it plays, your house's foundation doesn't have to be pretty. But in winter, when so many landscape plantings die back or go dormant, a shabby-looking foundation can really detract from the overall curb appeal of your home. If you're concerned, why not use Rapid Set Mortar Mix to give your foundation a smooth, attractive, like-new appearance? Simply prepare the multipurpose product with water, then apply it in a thickness up to six inches.

  4. Build a Shed Foundation

    Build a Shed Foundation

    In the seemingly ceaseless quest for additional storage space, many homeowners look beyond the walls of their home and in their backyard. Here, a shed can provide the extra square footage needed to hold everything from patio furniture to gasoline. Of course, whether you're buying a prefab model or custom-building your own, a shed needs a foundation. While shed foundations take many different forms, the best are poured concrete slabs. With its fast strength gain, high durability, and low shrinkage, Rapid Set Concrete Mix is an ideal choice for the purpose.

  5. Establish a Fence

    Establish a Fence

    When the trees go bare in winter, you may feel suddenly, uncomfortably exposed. Offset that effect with a privacy fence. Here, solid anchors are a must, so you'll need to set footings—and this must be done before the first freeze. Meeting that rapidly approaching deadline won't be a problem if you're properly equipped. Combine a posthole digger with high-strength Rapid Set Concrete Mix, and in just one weekend you'll probably be able to set all the posts you'll need to support your fence panels.

  6. Wake Up Your Walkway

    Wake Up Your Walkway

    Concrete is the building material of choice for walkways for plenty of reasons, not the least of which is durability. Over time, and especially with heavy foot traffic, a concrete path may develop such cosmetic issues as flaking, staining, and crazing. Want to revitalize your path's look? It's easy to do with a resurfacer like Rapid Set NewCrete. Spread the product in a thin layer over worn-out concrete, then watch as it self-cures within a few hours to a pristine appearance.

  7. Beautify Your Basement

    Beautify Your Basement

    Tired of the institutional look of your basement? If it's plagued by prison-like walls of concrete block, simply concealing them can make a major visual impact. The preferred technique, known as parging, couldn't be much simpler. All you need to do is trowel on a thin layer of mortar, such as Rapid Set Mortar Mix, creating either a smooth or textured decorative finish. So, don't lose your summertime DIY momentum—finish strong!

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    If you have the money to hire a handyman for every household woe, go ahead. But if you want to hang on to your cash and exercise some self-sufficiency, check out these clever products that solve a million and one little problems around the house. Go now!