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What to Avoid When Using High-Pressure Cleaning Equipment

Posted by on Aug 29, 2016 in Uncategorized |

High-pressure cleaning equipment, or just a pressure washer as it’s often called, is a great tool for homeowners. You can more readily remove stubborn mildew or stains from a deck and make quick work of cleaning off those grimy and greasy tools with a pressure washer, or even wash your car without going to a car wash. When you are using this type of equipment, you might note a few common mistakes to avoid so you know you don’t damage your property or ruin the equipment itself. Not winterizing the system When you put your pressure washer away for the winter, you want to protect it from corrosion and damage that might form due to cold weather. To do this, use an RV-type antifreeze and run it through the washer and out into the discharge hose on the side. Be sure you use an antifreeze meant for an RV as this is good for something stored long-term and not meant for cars that are driven even through the wintertime. This antifreeze will keep condensation and frost from forming inside the hoses and other wet pieces while the unit is stored.  Don’t use the washer on a ladder Keep in mind that the pressure from the washer is actually pushing back on you; when you’re standing on solid ground, you may not think about how it’s affecting your balance but if you’re on a ladder, even a sight pushback can put you off balance and cause a fall. It might also cause the ladder to push away from your home or other surface. If you need to wash upper windows and your current pressure washer cannot reach, either upgrade to a stronger washer or rent scaffolding with a safety rail that keeps you balanced and safe. Not using the right detergent for the washer A pressure washer will have a type of nozzle that is meant for certain detergents; a thicker detergent that can’t get through a thin nozzle will simply clog the hoses or mix unevenly with the water. You may have not thought about the nozzle that comes with your pressure washer or may have chosen the cheapest model on the market, which usually means a thin nozzle, and then have wondered why it’s always getting clogged. Check the nozzle and switch detergents or invest in a larger nozzle meant to handle thicker soaps used for homes and greasy tools to protect your machine and get the job done right. Click here for more...

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How to Spot the Signs of Concrete Cancer

Posted by on Jun 10, 2016 in Uncategorized |

Concrete is one of the most common building materials today and chances are you will find it in almost every home or building. But if it’s not laid correctly, concrete becomes prone to concrete cancer, and this can be a serious condition necessitating repairs. Concrete cancer occurs when the steel reinforcing within a concrete slab begins to rust. When this happens, steel expands causing the concrete around it to delaminate and flake away. It is important to have concrete cancer addressed before it accelerates and causes further cracks on the building. Causes of concrete cancer Concrete cancer occurs when steel rusts and expands within the concrete slabs. Various factors contribute to the wearing out of steel and subsequent delamination and cracking of concrete. They include the following: Poor workmanship during construction, resulting in poor treatment of reinforcing steel during the pouring of concrete. The installation of reinforcing steel with inadequate concrete cover. As rainwater seeps through the concrete, it reaches the steel which is close to the surface. The water reacts with steel to cause oxidation which occurs in the form of rust. Using incompatible reinforcing metals in proximity to each other. If they come into contact, they cause a chemical reaction which can trigger rusting. Poor installation of window and door lintels causes exposure to elements of weather, which results in rusting. Fractures or wearing out of concrete which allow water to seep through the concrete and react with the reinforcing steel to trigger rusting. Signs of concrete cancer Various signs indicate a building has concrete cancer. The most common ones you need to look out for are as follows: Localized brown discoloration on the surface of the concrete. It is usually one of the earliest signs of steel rusting. Concrete with a rough and flaky surface. It may also be pitted. Cracks in concrete with some chunks falling off the surface. The appearance of leaks in the roof or internal walls of the building. Often people mistakes these signs for general weathering or dilapidation caused by elements of weather. While such factors may play a part in exacerbating the problem, the underlying issue lies within the concrete. How to address concrete cancer If you notice any brown stains and cracks on your wall, concrete floor, or roof, it is important to contact a construction contractor for immediate repairs. The repair process usually involves removing all dummy concrete and rust from steel. After this, an anticorrosive is applied to the steel and fresh render on the concrete to restore the original look. Waterproofing may also be necessary to prevent ingress of moisture into the concrete. Concrete cancer compromises the integrity of buildings. Once detected, it should be addressed immediately to avoid further damage which could cost you more...

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Property Assessment: Understanding Statutory Land Valuation

Posted by on Apr 13, 2016 in Uncategorized |

The regular evaluation of your land is an important process in the long-term maintenance of the property. Basically, this type of assessment will help you keep up to date with the exact value of the investment. The information is also critical in managing property tax responsibilities correctly. In addition, the valuation can be fundamental in helping you determine the best way to develop the land for maximum profitability. You should hire a professional expert for statutory and evaluation to ensure that the report can withstand legal scrutiny. However, it is important to understand the process so that you can gain the most benefits from the process. Considerations for Valuing Land The statutory land value is determined by examining aspects that affect the potential profitability of the property. The most important consideration during this process is the performance of the general property market. If the real estate sector is doing well and land is appreciating, your property will have more value. The valuing expert will examine the purchase interest of your land type in the local market and take into account the feedback from land vendors and investors. Additionally, the land value will be affected by the zoning under current planning schemes, and any constraints in terms of accessibility or unfavourable physical attributes can lower the property worth. Valuing Rural Land If your land is classified as rural in the local planning schemes, it will be valued as an unimproved property. Generally, when valuing this land, the aim is to determine the potential purchase price for the natural undisturbed land. This type of statutory assessment does not take into account any developmental approvals and even land leases. Therefore, the value of your land might be rated lower. You should discuss this aspect with the assessment expert. On the other hand, the potential land taxes for property that is rated as unimproved rural land are lower, and this can be a good long-term benefit. Valuing Non-Rural Land If your property is zoned in a non-rural sector or even rural residential, you will be subject to valuation of the actual monetary value of the improved land. This means that the assessment expert will account for any improvements that have been performed. For instance, aspects such as installation of retaining walls, clearing vegetation, setting up of drainage and remediation of contaminated land will be considered. The improvements will increase the value of the land, but the potential taxation will also be higher. Therefore, check if you are eligible for deductions for the cost of site improvements.  For more information, talk to a professional like Ferrier...

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3 Reasons you Need Stoneware Baking Pans in Your Kitchen

Posted by on Mar 18, 2016 in Uncategorized |

Stoneware is a type of clay that is fired at a very high temperature (over 1000 degrees Celsius!), and it can be used to create all kinds of household items such as plates, cups, and vases. These can look very beautiful stacked on your kitchen shelves, but many people don’t realise that stoneware items can also be used for baking. Head to any ceramics specialist and you should be able to find baking pans made from stoneware. Perhaps you like the look of these stoneware baking items, but might wonder if they are any good for using in your oven. Well, there are actually many benefits of stoneware baking pans, and here are a few. It retains heat well. Stoneware is a material that keeps heat inside very successfully. This means that you can ensure that everything you cook in the oven is baked through evenly, but you should also be aware that once you take something out of the oven, it will carry on cooking for a little while because of the residual heat in the pan. For this reason, take a cake out when it is still a little wet in the middle, and it will be fully cooked by the time of serving. It’s extremely durable. Stoneware really stands the test the time. So much so, that you’ll probably be able to pass it down to your kids. The high temperatures of an oven really don’t affect the integrity of stoneware at all because it will have already been fired at such a high temperature. Of course, with clay, if you drop it on the floor, it will most likely break or shatter, unlike something like an aluminium pan, but aside from this kind of accident, your pans will last for a very long time. Beautiful and functional. One of the greatest things about stoneware is how beautiful it looks. You can find stoneware that is painted and decorated in all kinds of ways, and it keeps its beautiful aesthetic throughout the baking process. This means that you don’t need to transfer a batch of cookies or a loaf of banana bread to a serving dish when you take it out of the oven, because bakeware made from stoneware is beautiful enough to double as a serving plate or container. Just make sure your guests are aware that stoneware is hot and they should be cautious about touching it on the...

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Simple Guidelines on Extending Magnesium Anode Lifespan

Posted by on Feb 19, 2016 in Uncategorized |

The galvanic anode is an important product that is designed to protect important but susceptible metal structures from corrosion. Basically, these are submerged or buried features that are vulnerable to accelerated wear due to exposure to moisture. This anode component is fabricated from a more reactive metal and installed in the pertinent feature. When the items are exposed to water, the reactive anode will be corroded in preference over structures such as water heaters, boats and pipelines. There are different materials used in anode fabrication, but magnesium has numerous benefits compared to alternatives. This type of galvanic metal can protect most metal structures because of its high reactivity, and it has no limitations in terms of temperature and general environment. Unfortunately, the product is relatively pricey, so frequent replacement can be very expensive. Here are guidelines on extending the magnesium anode lifespan. Monitor Water Quality The quality of the water in which the anode will be used will affect the rate of magnesium corrosion. This property refers to the special characteristics of the water, particularly the chemical aspects. Generally, the magnesium rod should not be installed in hard water because of the difference in terms of reactivity. The anode will react at an accelerated rate to the minerals and salts in the hard water, causing premature corrosion. If you are installing the magnesium rod in a water heater and the supply has hard water, it is prudent to add a softener for better performance. However, you should not soften completely to zero because the added chemical might have a negative impact on the tank and anode. If the anode is intended for use in boats or pipes and the water is hard and saline, consider selecting zinc anodes. Choose One Anode Material The installation of two sacrificial anodes is suitable for big metal structures for better protection. However, it is important to install two magnesium anodes instead of products fabricated from two different materials. For example, if you purchase a heater with a pre-installed aluminium anode and add a magnesium one, the latter will wear faster. Aluminium is less reactive, so the magnesium anode will be sacrificially corroded to protect this metal and the heater. Regulate Temperature Finally, you should regulate the environmental temperature in which the galvanic anode will be used. This is important when working with industrial pipelines that are prone to heating and water heaters. Magnesium is unreactive in cold environments but it will corrode easily as temperatures rise. Therefore, do not utilise higher than necessary temperature for a prolonged...

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Four ideal tiles that will help make your bathroom water-resistant

Posted by on Jan 25, 2016 in Uncategorized |

Bathroom remodeling is one of the things you might have thought of when maintaining your house. The big deal comes about in selecting the right tiles for the bathroom, especially when you want the room to be water-resistant. Irrespective of whether you have selected your favourite type of tile or not, it is crucial to make the right choice. Before doing any installation, you must not only consider the look, but the choice you make must also stand up to the children’s tidal waves, your daily steamy shower, and your pets that hate bathing. It is vital to go to a store that will help you in doing in-depth tile testing to get the right one for your bathroom. The test should incorporate scratch hardness, moisture absorption, abrasion and chemical resistance, breaking strength, and the coefficient of friction. This gives you a rough idea of every kind of tile. Here are some ways you can use tiles to increase water-resistance of your bathroom: 1.    Bathroom wall tile Besides being a stunning statement design, a bathroom wall that is fully tiled is more water-resistant. You can put natural stone into consideration as it offers a continuous design on the wall and the floor. For an additional distinguished look in your bathroom, you can use marble or granite. Alternatively, the entire wall can be extended using the mosaic tile. The mosaic has an advantage of giving you the opportunity to customize on your patterns and colours. 2.    Bathroom floor tile The floor of your bathroom needs to withstand frequent cleaning, wet conditions, and still look good at the same time. Ceramic and porcelain tiles will give your bathroom a stylish look and still maintain their water-resistance function. Porcelain tile combines distressed cement with a feel of old pavers, giving it one of the most enduring and hottest looks. 3.    Bathroom backsplash tile A backsplash is one of the necessary elements of a bathroom as it takes care of water damage. However, it can be made even more beautiful by incorporating traditional tile or mosaic. The backsplash tile can be metallic, natural stone or glass. It can be added an interesting finish or unique colour and not overwhelm the room. 4.    Bathroom shower tile Your bathroom tiles don’t have to be dull and boring to take care of their uses. They should inspire your senses with their functions and spa-like feel all over the...

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How to take care of your roll on lawn

Posted by on Dec 30, 2015 in Uncategorized |

A roll on lawn is a great way to ensure you get a good looking lawn without you having to wait a long time to enjoy it. If you have performed the proper preparations and rolling, your lawn should look great already. However, to keep it in the same condition as when it has just been rolled out, you need to give it the proper aftercare. Water your lawn often As the roll on lawn is essentially just a plant that has been removed from its soil and transplanted, you need to make sure you give it the conditions it needs to grow. The first step to do so is to water it. Roll on lawns have a tendency to dry out quickly, as they can’t access water as easily through their roots. Watering should be done 2–3 times a day during the first 2-3 weeks and more in hot weather. You need to continue watering thoroughly until the roots have been established under the lawn. You can check the rooting by lifting a corner of the lawn to examine whether it sticks to the underlying dirt or not. If you can’t lift it, it means you can start watering less often. You should also take it easy with the watering if you see puddles of water on the lawn or if you find signs that the grass has started to rot. When to fertilise Fertilising roll on lawns does not differ from fertilising regular lawns. However, you should leave the fertilising until the lawn is firmly rooted to the ground. Roll on lawn suppliers usually fertilise the grass before delivering it, so there’s no real need to start doing it immediately. When you fertilise the lawn for the first time, make sure to use light products that won’t cause harm to the sensitive new lawn. When and how to mow Mowing is another thing that also shouldn’t take place until the lawn is firmly rooted. You should test the lawn and make sure it is stuck to the ground as well as keep an eye out for growth of the grass. If taken care of properly, a roll on lawn can have quite a growth spurt just after it has been rooted. Despite this, however, you shouldn’t cut the grass too low the first time you mow it. The lawn will need the leaf material to continue to root into the ground and if you cut it too low in the beginning, you can end up with a very sparsely grown lawn after a few...

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Common Areas in a House Where Asbestos Is Found

Posted by on Nov 25, 2015 in Uncategorized |

Many homes were built using asbestos based products. These can present a serious hazard to you, your family and anyone who enters your home. Asbestos is made dangerous when it becomes airborne, as people will inhale the dust, which will become trapped in their lungs. Sustained exposure to this dust can lead to many different debilitating illnesses. Therefore, you want to avoid asbestos at all costs. Before the dangers of asbestos were widely known, it was used in many different materials during the construction of housing. If your house is more than a decade or two old, there is a chance that you have asbestos in your house that needs to be removed. This is not something you want to deal with yourself. If you suspect a certain materials to be asbestos based, you should have a professional technician come to your home and take an asbestos sample. If the results come back positive, your home should be treated by a professional and have the asbestos-based products removed. Here are some of the most common fixtures and fittings that are found to contain asbestos. Heating ducts Ducts can be made from asbestos or they can be wrapped with asbestos based insulation. These will look like a sort of faded white corrugated cardboard. These fixtures may also contain internal asbestos taping. This is a major concern, as when the asbestos deteriorates, it will become airborne and easily spread throughout the house through the ducts. Plumbing fixtures Many pipes are fused with asbestos based jackets, most prevalently those pipes which are connected to steam heat or radiators. This can be apparent if the piping has a surface that is white and crumbling. If there are holes present in the pipe, they should be covered up with canvas until such time that they can be sufficiently replaced. Never use duct tape as this will easily fall off. Ceilings and walls Many ceilings that have been sprayed with protective seals will have asbestos contained within them. There are also large amounts of asbestos in certain paints, which can become airborne if it is chipped or if holes are drilled into them. A lot of the plaster that used to be used in the construction process had small amounts of asbestos contained within it. This is why you should not try to scrape or sand these walls and the dust will enter into the air. Some walls may also contain asbestos based insulation within them in order to keep the house warm. Contact an asbestos inspection company for more...

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Tips to Properly Using Your Dishwasher

Posted by on Oct 29, 2015 in Uncategorized |

Dishwasher installation tends to cost a pretty penny. If you do not make use of your dishwasher in the appropriate manner, not only will you be missing out on its potential but you will also be decreasing its shelf life. Here are some tips to properly using your machine to avoid unnecessary repairs or replacement. Get rid of food that is caked on dishes The first thing you would need to do is remove any food chunks that may be stuck on your dishes. You do not have to rinse the dishes after you do this. All you need to do is ensure is that the chunks of food have been scraped off, as the dishwasher cannot do this for you. If there is food that was burnt on your cooking utensils, you will need to scrape this off too. Dishwashers are not designed to do this for you. Most dishwashers though can typically get rid of all kinds of food stains, so once you are done with the scraping, put them in the dishwasher. Arrange crockery appropriately Large, wide platters that should be placed at the sides of the dishwasher. This is to ensure that water is not being obstructed from reaching the other utensils that need to be cleaned. The top rack of the dishwasher should be reserved for your drinking glasses, tea and coffee mugs, as well as plastic items. You should check to ensure that the plastic items that you need to be cleaned are safe to be put in the dishwasher. On the bottom rack of the dishwasher, place your eating plates as well as your bowls. Load glassware securely Glass items should always be secured on the prongs in the dishwasher. This is to prevent them from breaking while they are being washed. Glassware shattering in the dishwasher could result in a horrific mess that is best avoided. For items that you used for baking, you should place them upside down on the bottom rack of the dishwasher. This ensures that they come in direct contact with the sprayer. When putting your cutlery in the basket for silverware, ensure that you insert them with their handles down. This does not apply for knives though, which should go in handles up. Lastly, get your dishwashing detergent and fill both the dishwasher cups with it. Get your rinse agent and dispense a healthy amount of it to the rinse agent dispenser. Proceed to close the door of the dishwasher, ensuring that it is securely locked so that there are not any leaks. Select the wash cycle that would be best suited to the load of dishes that you want to be cleaned. Then select a dry cycle for once your dishes are done. Switch on the...

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Creative Corporate Gift Ideas For Your Clients

Posted by on Oct 6, 2015 in Uncategorized |

If you are the owner of a business, corporate gift-giving can be a beneficial way for you to retain your clients by showing them how much you appreciate their patronage. But instead of going the easy route and sending flowers or chocolate, you can make a better impression with an unusual or creative gift. Here are some corporate gift ideas that may help your business stand out. Wired Selfie Stick — No matter where you stand on the great selfie debate, there’s no doubt that this mode of taking photos has become one of the most popular throughout the world. That’s why sending a wired selfie stick is a gift that is both contemporary and relevant, and one that will likely get a lot of use. Wired selfie sticks have adjustable arms and a knob that locks mobile phones in place. You can also engrave the handle with the client’s name or inscribe a short message. Corporate Yo Yo– This is a fun gift that harkens back to childhood, and is perfect for your executive clients who need to release some tension. The corporate yo yo is made of stainless steel, silver or gold-plating, and you can engrave it with your company logo or the name of the person who is receiving the gift. It’s a conversation piece that your client will enjoy and it’s unique enough that you will be remembered as the head of a company that gives creative gifts. LED Umbrella — This is a gift that no one will expect, and one that will definitely brand you as a unique gift-giver. An LED umbrella lets your clients push a button to trigger different colours that are built into the handle. It not only allows them to see in the dark, but it’s probably going to draw attention, because the colours are vivid and interesting, and most people have never seen an umbrella that glows in the dark. You can engrave the handle or add a logo to the umbrella for branding purposes. Good Luck Bag — Good luck bags are the definition of a gift that keeps on giving. They are bags that contain items that people associate with good luck or good wishes, including a four-leaf clover, horseshoe, shooting star and dice. The luck items are usually made from pewter, but you can also buy luck bags with items made from sterling silver and gold plating. Your clients can carry the bag wherever they go for good luck, and if you engrave them, they will always remember that your company was a part of whatever good fortune comes their...

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Trying To Collect Money From People Who Claim They Have None? Five Money Sources Your Debtors Can Use To Pay Off Old Bills

Posted by on Aug 27, 2015 in Uncategorized |

Trying to convince a client to pay an old bill can be frustrating for both you and the person who is in debt. In many cases, people simply need help knowing where to look for the money. To that end, consider giving your clients a bit of friendly advice. Here are five places people who may not have money in their pockets or in their banks may be able to find some extra cash: 1. Home Equity When did the debtor you are approaching buy his or her home? If he or she has owned it for years or decades, there may be equity in it, and if the debtor liquidates that equity, he or she can pay off the bill he or she owes you as well as his or her other debts. Best of all, since the loan has the debtor’s house as collateral, the debtor is likely to enjoy a lower interest rate than he or she is currently facing on credit cards or other debts. 2.  Superannuation Many people believe that you can only cash out your superannuation when you reach a certain age. However, in certain situations, you can actually cash it out early. If the client who owes you money is experiencing severe hardship due to financial issues, he or she may be able to cash out his or her account through the early release program and use some of that money to repay you. 3. Whole Life Insurance Although it is no longer sold in Australia, whole life insurance was popular during the 1970s and 80s, and if your client is older, he or she may have one of these policies. With a whole life insurance policy, you can access some of its value, and you don’t even have to die first. Unfortunately, term life insurance, which is currently common, does not have the feature where you can cash it out. Ask your client what kind of life insurance policy he or she has. 4. Payday Loans In other cases, you may be able to convince your clients or debtors to take out a temporary loan to pay off their debts to you. Payday loans, because they do not require a credit check, can be used for this purpose. 5. Friends and Family Finally, if you can convince your debtors that they need to pay their bill as soon as possible, you may be able to convince them to turn to friends and family. You can convince them to borrow the money from family or to have their family cosign a loan. Convincing someone to take out a new loan against their home or to talk to their grandma about a loan can be difficult. It is essentially an art, and if you find it challenging, you may want to consider outsourcing your debt collection efforts to a professional third-party debt collection agency, like Smart...

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