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Posted by on Aug 29, 2016 in Uncategorized |

What to Avoid When Using High-Pressure Cleaning Equipment

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 information.

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Posted by on Jun 10, 2016 in Uncategorized |

How to Spot the Signs of Concrete Cancer

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 money.

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Posted by on Apr 13, 2016 in Uncategorized |

Property Assessment: Understanding Statutory Land Valuation

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 Hodgson.

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Posted by on Mar 18, 2016 in Uncategorized |

3 Reasons you Need Stoneware Baking Pans in Your Kitchen

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 table!

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Posted by on Feb 19, 2016 in Uncategorized |

Simple Guidelines on Extending Magnesium Anode Lifespan

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 lifespan.

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Posted by on Jan 25, 2016 in Uncategorized |

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

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 room.

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