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How to Ensure Your Thatched Roof Has a Longer Lifespan

Posted by on Nov 20, 2015 in Uncategorized |

In centuries past, having a thatched roof on your home would have been a sign that you were poorer than a person who could afford slate, for example. But now the tables have turned and a thatched roof is seen as an opulent choice for people who want to achieve a rustic aesthetic for the exterior of their home. But thatched roofs are extremely unique in their properties, and if you don’t look after your thatched roof well, you’ll find it ageing and needing to be replaced before its time. So what are some of the things that you can do to increase the longevity of a thatched roof? Choose the material carefully. Thatched roofs are not one-size-fits-all; you can choose from a variety of thatching materials such as longstraw, ridge, and water reed. To secure the longest lifespan, you should opt for water reed because roofs made from this material can last up to sixty years without collapsing. Of course, this is nothing compared to a slate roof, but as far as thatched roofs go, this is a long lifespan. Opt for a high roof slope. The angle of your roof slope will also affect the lifespan of your thatched roof, and generally speaking, the steeper the angle the better. This is because rainwater will run off the roof much more quickly, and water is the enemy of a thatched roof. This is because water that sticks around can cause mould. It could also attract birds, which like to peck at thatched roofs. And the longer that water is on your roof, the greater chance there is of that water leaking through, which can then also cause problems for the interior of your building. Brush the roof. A thatched roof also needs to be brushed on a regular basis. Head somewhere that sells roofing supplies like Combined Metal Industries and ask them for a brush specifically for brushing thatched roofs and they will be able to help you out. Brushing is important because the top thin layer of the thatch will retain the most moisture, and this is bad news because mould and algae can develop. And the longer that moisture sits in that top layer, the more chance it has of penetrating deeply into the thatch. If you feel uncomfortable getting on to your roof yourself, a roofer can also be hired to take care of this task for...

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How to Safely Remove Non-friable Vinyl Asbestos-Containing Floor Tiles

Posted by on Nov 12, 2015 in Uncategorized |

Nonfriable asbestos is basically asbestos that cannot easily be broken, crushed, or reduced to dust under ordinary circumstances. The following guide offers insightful tips to help you get rid of vinyl asbestos floor tiles while in a nonfriable state. Recommended safety equipment ·         Safety glasses for eye protection ·         Respirator ·         Gloves ·         Coverall ·         Boots Materials needed ·         Garden hose featuring a spray nozzle or a water sprayer ·         Thick plastic sheeting ·         Putty knives, paint and floor scraper ·         Plastic bags, containers Step 1 Cover the entire doorway section, the floor registers, and other areas with the thick plastic sheeting to avoid contamination of those surfaces from asbestos fibers. Step 2 The vinyl floor tiles ought to be kept moist during removal. Soak the floor section for at least 2 hours prior to the start of the removal process. This helps to slacken the tiles and thus helps create an easy removal task. Furthermore, wetting serves to minimize the chances of the deadly asbestos fibers from being discharged into the air. Step 3 Place a flat floor scraper or a broad putty knife beneath the floor tiles and lift up the tiles one at a time. The pried up tile pieces should be kept in whole pieces and not shattered into small pieces to avoid release of the toxic asbestos fiber. Safely put the removed tiles in a separate container to avoid breakage. Step 4 For projects spanning a very small section of one to five tiles, you may use either a heat gun or solvent to help take out the tiles. The use of a solvent demands that the area should be properly ventilated. Step 5 Put the vinyl floor tiles in a tightly-sealed container and place a relevant warning sticker on the container informing anyone of the presence of asbestos-containing material inside the container. Step 6 Find a landfill that is sanctioned to allow asbestos waste and be sure to ask about any particular packaging stipulations they may have. In the unfortunate event that one of the vinyl asbestos floor tiles becomes crumbled or damaged, it is referred to as friable and there’s a high likelihood that it may release the poisonous asbestos fiber. In such a case, work should cease immediately and you should get in touch with a professional asbestos removal service provider. Friable asbestos containing materials should only be removed by certified contractors and...

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Leadlight-making for Beginners: Proper Glass cutting techniques

Posted by on Nov 3, 2015 in Uncategorized |

The first thing that comes to your mind when you hear ‘stained glass’ is probably a huge cathedral with dome windows, right? Well, think a little further: imagine making a smaller version of that window, in any shape, color and style and having it in your home. That’s basically what a leadlight is. Leadlights add an aura of beauty and sophistication to a space, and they are so easy to make you can do it as a hobby. Leadlights can be used in place of any window in your home, partially or wholly. You can create simple images like flowers, plants and birds using glasses of different sizes cut and fixed together with lead came (hence the name ‘leadlights’ or copper foil). If you’re looking to get into leadlighting as a hobby, accurate glass cutting is one of the most important things you can learn. Glass cutting is done using a small metal wheel which creates a score-line on the surface of the glass. The glass surface is then penetrated along the score line for full separation of parts. The following are a few glass-cutting tips to help you transition into proper glass cutting for your leadlight projects: Choose a self-oiling, high-quality cutter which comfortably fits your grip. Before any cutting confirm that the reservoir has enough oil. Buy a snug-fitting pair of safety goggles and wear them each time to protect your eyes from glass and lead dust and/or chips Invest in clear, bright light for your work surface to ensure that you make precise, accurate cuts If you haven’t ever cut glass, start with plain clear glass, which separates much easier. It’s also cheaper, so you can replace any ruined pieces and keep practicing until you’re much better before transitioning into leadlight glass. Do not cut glass on padding; ensure it’s on a flat wooden surface to ensure you don’t make any cracks that will cause the glass to break where you didn’t want it to. Use paper templates to ensure you cut accurately. You’ll need to stand most of the time, so ensure that your workbench is a comfortable height for standing. This is because you need to apply pressure on the cutter, which is hard to do when you sit. Place your patter templates 1-2 inches from the glass edge so that you have something to hold when breaking. Always cut from the smooth side if you’re using textured glass. Ensure that your score line is steady and continuous, but light. However, don’t apply too much pressure, as this may crush the glass. If you notice a bright-white score-line and chips fly from the line as you cut, you’re using too much pressure. Don’t retrace a score line using the cutter. If the initial line is discontinuous or otherwise inaccurate/unusable, move a half-inch beside it and start over Where possible, after scoring, break the glass with your hands. If you need extra leverage (e.g. if you scored too close to the edge), use glass-breaking pliers. Use grozing pliers’ ridges to smoothen any rough edges, ensuring that your cut glasses are the exact size of the pattern templates. This way, they will fit perfectly when you bring them together. Clean up the work surface in between cuts so that the chips and shards won’t scratch your...

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When a Tap Does Not Turn Off: Getting to Know the Isolation Valve

Posted by on Oct 23, 2015 in Uncategorized |

When a plumbing problem becomes evident, you’re going to want to have it repaired as soon as possible. If you notice the problem during regular business hours, then this is fine. You can call a plumber and they will be able to deal with it relatively quickly. But what if you happen to notice a plumbing problem late at night or on a Sunday or public holiday? You would still want to have the situation remedied as soon as possible, but calling an after-hours emergency plumber can be an unnecessary expense. A fairly common problem is when a tap will not turn off. In some instances it can be an emergency, but you can temporarily remedy the situation yourself and then call a plumber, such as those at A and C Plumbing, for a permanent solution. This can usually be dealt with on the next business day, saving yourself rather a lot of money. Taking Action Now A tap that does not turn off can quickly become an emergency if the sink in question has drainage issues and there’s a very real threat of the sink overflowing. A plumber will be able to permanently fix the problem, and yet you need to take action now. You might not realise that each tap has an isolation valve, and you can cut the water supply to the tap by simply turning this valve. The Isolation Valve Check under the sink; in many cases the isolation valve can be turned like a tap (and it looks just like one). With smaller sinks, you might need to turn the isolation valve using a flat-head screwdriver (as there was not enough space to install a tap sized isolation valve). The tap will then be out of action until repaired, but this is a mild inconvenience when compared to the cost of an after-hours emergency plumber. When the Isolation Valve Does Not Work In older homes, it’s possible that the isolation valve has not been touched for years, and so it might not be possible to activate it. Don’t be tempted to try and force it using a pair of pliers, as this can damage the fixture and even rip it clear off the wall. If you cannot easily activate the isolation valve, then it’s necessary to call an after-hours plumber. There is the possibility that the continuous flow of water can overwhelm the sink, and a huge amount of water will be wasted if left for too long. If the plumber is not able to reach you within a short time, you might want to turn off your main water supply to prevent water damage. It’s a good idea to find each tap’s isolation valve before you need to use it. If the tap should ever not turn off, you’ll know where to look and what to do. A plumber can then fix the tap at a more convenient (and less expensive)...

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Applications of Horizontal Directional Drilling

Posted by on Oct 14, 2015 in Uncategorized |

Suppose you drilled a borehole and you now want to deliver water to people around the borehole. This requires an underground piping system, which was conventionally installed through the very disruptive open-cut method – digging long trenches to pay the pipes. Today however, you can easily do the same thing using horizontal directional drilling, which is a trenchless drilling method that can be used to install underground cabling systems or piping through a preset pathway using highly specialized equipment. This approach is a great alternative where open cut piping methods are impractical, prohibited or economically and environmentally nonviable. Horizontal directional drilling reduces environmental impact of drilling activity, saves costs and reduces exposure of the general public to potential hazards. Common applications of horizontal directional drilling 1. To reach targets that are inaccessible by vertical drilling For instance, if you have a resource reservoir under a city or public park, you may not be able to access it vertically. However, horizontal drilling enables you to be able to reach the reservoir by simply positioning your drilling pad at the edge of that city or pack then drilling at an angle so as to interest with the reservoir. 2. Draining board areas from just one drilling pad This method is especially useful when you want to reduce the impact of drilling operations on the surface. Using a single drilling pad strategically located, you can drill more directional wells to tap into a natural resource reservoir and still take advantage of the resource, rather than drill vertical wells in multiple locations. 3. To increase “pay zone” length If you have a rock unit seventy feet thick, vertical drilling earns you a ‘pay zone’ of only that length. With horizontal directional drilling however, you can turn the well and drill through the rock unit horizontally, giving you’re a pay zone that is as long as the length of the unit, which can extend thousands of feet across. In this way, you enjoy a huge increase in productivity with minimal surface impact from a single drilling endeavor. 4. Improve well productivity in fractured reservoirs To do this, the angle of drilling is set such that the drilling pathway intersects with the highest number of fractured reservoirs. Usually, the drilling direction is set perpendicular to the direction of the dominant fracture. A common application is in geothermal fields within granite bedrock, which normally draw most of their water exchange from fractured reservoirs. 5. To relieve pressure or seal uncontrollable wells If you have an out-of-control well, you can use horizontal directional drilling to create a ‘relief well’ intersecting with it. This intersecting well can then be used to relieve pressure or completely seal the uncontrollable well 6. To lay underground utility piping where excavation is impossible This is the most common application to our daily lives, where horizontal drilling is used for the installation of gas and water piping or electric and other cabling in major settlement areas. However, the same can be applied if you need pipes and cables to cross roads or...

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Up The Ladder You Go: Two Roof Parts To Inspect Before The Upcoming Summer Storms

Posted by on Oct 6, 2015 in Uncategorized |

The one thing you can guarantee about summer weather in Queensland is that there will be violent summer storms. Now that winter has passed and the days are drier, this is the best time to get your ladder out to take a closer look at your roof. By repairing any small issues now, you can avoid major damage occurring when the weather gets ugly. Here are the main things you are looking for. Flashing There are two parts of the top layer of your roof that prevent water from getting into your home. These are the roofing sheets, and the flashing pieces. Flashing surrounds all points on your roof that have been cut away to allow a ventilation spot. For example, the chimney that is sticking out of your roof has flashing around to stop water getting between the roofing sheet and the side of the chimney vent. To check the flashing, you will need to get onto the roof. Once there, the first thing you are looking for is flashing that has rusted to the point where there are now holes that could let water through to your ceiling below. Additionally, check every edge where the flashing meets the roof or projection objects. The flashing should be tightly secured and will need to be reattached if it is loose. You can use screws to re-anchor the flashing to the roof, and this will prevent rain water penetrating the flashing during summer storms. Roofing Sheets Another part of your roof that needs checking right now is the roofing sheets themselves, and since you have already gone up the ladder there is no time like the present. Have a look where each roofing sheet has been attached to your home, and in particular you are looking for missing nails or heavy corrosion around nails that are still there. If the wind from a summer storm gets beneath a loose roofing sheet, the force could lift the roofing sheet away from your roof and make it a very dangerous flying projectile to anyone outside the home. Roofing nails can be purchased from your local hardware store, and it is simply a matter of replacing those that are missing. Corroded nails should be removed and replaced with new ones. Any small holes in the roofing sheets around the corroded nails can be repaired with roofing cement or other colorbond roofing materials, which can also be purchased at your hardware store. If you are not physically able to get onto your roof before summer rolls in, contact a roofing professional and arrange for them to inspect your roof for you. Then, when the summer storms are rolling through this year, losing the roof of your home is one less thing you’ll need to worry...

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How To Salvage Old Ceramic Tiles

Posted by on Sep 22, 2015 in Uncategorized |

If you’re planning a kitchen or bathroom renovation, you can save yourself a lot of money by salvaging existing ceramic tiles instead of throwing them away.  Here’s how. How to remove ceramic tiles Ceramic tiles require careful handling.  Although ceramic has good compressive strength, its tensile strength is comparably low.  This means that although you can gently place heavy objects onto ceramic tile without damaging it, the material won’t withstand bending or twisting. Your first job is to remove any existing grout from around the tiles.  Tile grout effectively connects all the individual tiles into one sheet.  If you stress just one of the tiles with the grout still in situ, you’ll stress those adjacent to it and risk breaking them. What you’ll need flathead screwdriver hammer thin putty knife   Work on one tile at a time.  Place the screwdriver against the grout and tap it gently with the hammer to create a small void.  Angle the screwdriver so that you are chipping at the grout in the direction of the void you’ve made.  Take your time and gradually get rid of all the grout around the tile.   Now you need to remove any trim that’s concealing the edges of the tile.  Do so by prising it loose using your flathead screwdriver, taking care not to twist the tile as you do so.   Once the grout is gone, place the putty knife at a slight angle to the tile and the surface to which it’s affixed, and tap it gently with the hammer.  Begin at one corner and work your way along the edge of the tile.  Try to keep the knife as flat as possible so as to avoid bending the tile and cracking it.   Gradually tap the putty knife further under the tile.  When the knife will go halfway under, apply a firm upward pressure.  This should be sufficient to release the tile. Removing tile adhesive When you’ve removed the tiles, you’ll need to get rid of any mastic or old tile adhesive that is still clinging to the back of them.  It’s very important the the backs of the tiles are completely smooth, otherwise any new tile adhesive that’s applied won’t achieve full coverage, and the tiles will not lay flat when your builder attempts to re-fix them. What you’ll need adhesive remover (available from good DIY stores) coarse grain sandpaper   Lay all the tiles out flat with the back side uppermost.  It’s a good idea to lay the tiles on an old towel or cloth so that the good sides don’t get scratched.  Apply a proprietary adhesive remover product as per the manufacturer’s instructions.  Wipe the tiles clean using an old rag.   Any remaining scraps of proud adhesive should be sanded off using coarse grain sandpaper.   Wash the tiles in a mild solution of washing-up liquid and warm water to get rid of any dust, and dry them off. In conclusion By taking the trouble to salvage your old ceramic tiles you’ll be saving money both on new tiles and on your building contractor’s...

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Things to Consider during Site Analysis

Posted by on Sep 8, 2015 in Uncategorized |

Site analysis is an important step during any construction process. Site analysis precedes the actual design phase and bears critical importance on the ultimate implementable design. A site analysis is done by architects before laying down a design so as to eliminate chances of future errors brought about by the surrounding features of a site. When conducting a site analysis, it is important to pay attention to several factors about your site. There are, however, key features in the site analysis that prove crucial to the final design and orientation of a house. Soil type Different sites have different types of soils. These soils further possess different qualities. During the site analysis, it is important to note the type of soil in your site. From that, you can comfortably determine the soil’s load bearing characteristics and determine whether your structural design is suitable for the area. Information on the load bearing capacity of the soil is also useful for foundation digging specifications. Some soils could also be problematic in future courtesy of their water retention characteristics and drying style. Temperature, wind and sun path The sun path in the area is important in determining different orientations of the design. The side which faces the sun more will always heat up more. To minimize conductive temperature buildup, the design should make this side smaller. The wind paths, in coalition with the sun’s path, also determine features such as location of rooms and even windows. In colder regions, information on the sun’s path during site analysis is used to determine the side that will be made larger to trap more of the sun’s incident rays. Topography Topography defines how the land slopes and in what direction. Generally, a more sloped site will require much more work than a fairly level land. It is important to also observe the contour lines of the area. It is easier building within contours than crossing contours. Slope also determines the orientation most suitable for your design. This takes into consideration the fact that slope will also determine the direction of drainage. Once the slope has been determined during the site visit, it is also crucial to determine if the slope will hold the design. Some slopes may not be suitable for some building types. The stability of the slope will determine to a great extent the height of the building as well as the acceptable weights.  Some slopes are too unstable to permit any form of construction on them. For more information, contact site analytics companies, like Steve Palmer...

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3 Essential Tips for Core Drilling on Your Own

Posted by on Aug 25, 2015 in Uncategorized |

Core drilling refers to rounded drilling through the core of cement, concrete, masonry, brick, and stone. This type of drilling usually involves special drill bits that cut round and hollow openings in these materials, for running plumbing pipes, electrical wiring, and the like. If you’re going to be doing some core drilling on your own, note a few essential tips from the pros to make it easier and more effective. 1. Less water When using a wet drill, keep in mind that less water is better. You may be tempted to use more water to keep the drill cool, and this is of course essential, but diamond drills work better when they can wear down so that new diamond tips are exposed. If you use too much water, there won’t be enough friction against the drill bit to expose the harder diamonds underneath, and you’ll be drilling with a worn and soft bit. Use just enough water to control heat and dust, and no more, and your drilling will go much faster and be more accurate and effective. 2. Draw an outline When using a core drill, you need to ensure you drill directly through the material or your core will angle up or down. This can cause a problem for plumbing pipes, as this might interfere with water flow. It may also make it more difficult to thread electrical wiring through the core. To help you keep your drill even, draw an outline of the drill bit on the wall or other surface before you drill. Watch the outline as you gently guide your drill through the wall,rather than the drill bit. This can help you to concentrate on keeping the drill level and even as it makes its way through the surface. 3. Increase the bit depth slowly Core drill bit extensions can allow you to drill the core through the wall or floor easily, but you want to increase this depth slowly. Since you typically cannot see the other side of the surface through which you’re drilling, it’s important that you use the right depth of extension. If you cannot measure the depth you need easily, increase the depth slowly, one inch or centimeter at a time. Remember that you can always continue to drill if the bit doesn’t reach deep enough, but if you drill too far, the patch or repair work can be difficult if not impossible. Don’t be overeager when it comes to drill extensions, but take your time to ensure you drill as deep as needed but no deeper. For more tips on core drilling, you may want to contact professional...

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Three Types of Concrete Joint Sealing Products

Posted by on Aug 14, 2015 in Uncategorized |

Concrete is a valuable building material because it is resilient, durable and versatile in terms of potential applications. In addition, there are diverse design options for concrete since the material can be coloured, stained and even textured to produce varying visual effects. However, you should note that concrete structures require some maintenance for continued quality performance. This is particularly important if you have installed a concrete driveway or sidewalk in your property. Generally, these surfaces are constructed with expansion joints which allow proper enlargement and contraction depending on temperature fluctuations. If the joints are neglected, they will allow moisture to flow under the slabs causing structural damage. Concrete joint sealers are soft materials which are filled into the space to prevent intrusion from water and dirt. They do not limit expansion and can improve the surface appearance. Here are the main types of concrete sealers available in the market. Liquid Sealants As implied, liquid sealants are purchased as fluid products which can flow easily into the expansion joints. They can be purchased in local stores and they are typically packaged in tubes and even pails. The material can be applied using a nozzle or you can obtain a backer rod to control the seepage of the sealing fluid. The main benefits of choosing liquid sealants are the ease of application and the relatively low cost of purchase.  Good products such as high-quality silicone sealants will provide watertightness, resistance to UV degradation and long-term service. Impregnated Foam Sealants Impregnated foam sealants are made using cellular polyurethane. The process involves impregnating or filling up the foam cells with water repellent adhesive compounds. The material is compressed to provide a compact sealant product which can be placed directly into the expansion joints. You can purchase the preformed and pre-compressed foam sealant as finished products from building material stores. The main advantage of choosing this type over the liquid sealants is that the foam provides thermal insulation in addition to moisture non-permeability. This reduces the probability of cracking due to sudden temperature changes. Hybrid Sealants Hybrid sealants are manufactured by combining the properties of both the liquid and impregnated foam sealants. Basically, the products are designed and produced by applying silicone fluid over a polyurethane foam backing. The foam provides the secure anchoring between the joints, thermal insulation and resilience against the movement of concrete. The upper liquid sealant provides stability and durability because it can fold and unfold without extensive stress or allowing penetration by moisture. For more information on sealing your concrete, you can contact a concrete construction company like Allied Concrete Cutting & Drilling Pty...

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Important Factors to Note When Buying a New Carport

Posted by on Aug 5, 2015 in Uncategorized |

A carport can protect your car as well as any RV, ATV, lawn care equipment and anything else that needs some protection from the elements. They’re a very affordable alternative to a garage, or they can be installed on a property in addition to a garage. They can even be used as a patio area for outdoor entertaining. Before you buy a carport, note a few important factors to consider and to review with the installer so you choose the right style and know what to expect.  1. The roof type The roof type you choose will be determined by your budget and the level of protection you need for items stored under your carport. Most standard roofs are two simple panels that curve at the frame of the carport. This type of roof may be the most economical. A more costly option, but one that offers more protection, are roof panels that are connected to the frames and which don’t have sloping ends. These allow water and other debris to slide off the roof and away from the carport, whereas the roof style with curved sides allows the water to run by the sides of the carport. When choosing a roof style, you also want to note the direction of the ridges. These can run side to side or back to front; if the carport is installed right next to your home, you may want water to run off the front and back of the carport versus the sides. 2. The cement pad If you’re going to be pouring cement as a pad for your carport, be sure you ask your installer or the company from which you purchase your carport the measurements needed. In some cases the pad must be smaller than the actual dimensions of the carport, so the frame can be placed in the soil and not on the pad itself. In some cases, a carport can be installed over concrete, but it may require special anchors and this may be an additional charge. 3. What upgrades can be added? Don’t assume you can easily add side panels to your carport or a gate for a barn-style carport, as a lightweight metal frame may not easily support added rivets and screws for these add-ons. It may be best to determine what upgrades you want rather than starting with a simple carport, and choose the right style that has all these upgrades and additions included. And you can read more about custom-designed carports to decide which additions or upgrades are within...

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