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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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Myths Debunked By Plumbers

Posted by on Jul 24, 2015 in Uncategorized |

If you are a homeowner, chances are you will have to deal with a plumbing emergency at one time or another. However, you can decrease the instances of this by simply being more familiar with your home’s plumbing system. There are myriad of things people do thinking that it helps with the drainage in their home, yet these are what could be causing the problem in the first place. Here are some of the myths homeowners believe debunked by plumbers. Your garbage disposal can handle anything A garbage disposal system is quite convenient in your kitchen. However, it is wrong to believe it can handle anything that is thrown down it. Some of the substances that you should never pour down this system include cooking grease, vegetable oils and more. Although they may go down in liquid form, they eventually coagulate in the disposal system. Left unchecked, these will gradually form clogs in your disposal system. Other food items that should not be disposed of in this way include soft foods such as pasta, rice and some soft vegetables. They may not attach themselves on the rotors of the garbage disposal, but they will steadily accumulate at the bottom. This eventually leads to congealment and thus blockage. By watching what you throw into your garbage disposal, you are taking measures toward enhancing its lifespan and keeping it in good working condition. You can clean your pipes regularly with citrus juices One green cleaning habit homeowners have is using the juices of lemons or oranges to clean their drainpipes. Although this will give them a natural fragrance, you could be doing more harm and good. The acid in these citrus fruits is quite high. Regular exposure to this acid puts your drains at risk of corrosion and eventual rusting. If you would prefer a green cleaning method rather than opt for commercial cleaners, you are better off with a solution of vinegar and hot water. The hot water will loosen the grease whereas the vinegar will get rid of dirt without corroding your piping. Low water pressure is normal It is not unheard of to experience low water pressure from time to time. However, this does not mean that it is a passing phase and that your plumbing system is fine. There are various reasons why you could be having low water pressure ranging from blockages in your system to an unidentified leak. It is always best to seek the professional services of plumbers to establish the problem and remedy it before it becomes...

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Common clutch and transmission problems in heavy machinery

Posted by on Jul 9, 2015 in Uncategorized |

The kinds of transmissions being implemented are undoubtedly different and these models use varying transmissions in their designs. However, the goal is similar: to drive the engine. Transmission systems also have their fair share of problems and even the ones used in heavy machinery need repairs in some cases. So if you’ve got heavy machinery, or you want to own one, here are some of the problems to watch out for in the different transmission systems. Torque converter glitches The torque converter system works hand-in-hand with the gears and its main purpose is to distribute power to the other components of the engine. Once the gears are changed, then the converter controls the power to give the engine components. Malfunctioning of the torque converter causes the whole system to lose a lot of power even if the source of the power is just right. So this is one of the issues you should check when your system doesn’t perform as expected. Most transmission systems such as the ones seen in trucks and cars use the gearbox as the torque converter and another major problem experienced is the slipping of gears due to wear. This causes unequal transmission of power which then damages the transmission system. Hydrostatic transmission glitches The use of hydraulic components in hydrostatic systems reduces the likelihood of errors that occur, unlike in moving parts. A few examples of machinery with such systems are forklifts, tractors and even excavators. The major problems to be aware of occur in extreme weather conditions. Freezing conditions or very high temperatures affect the pressure of the fluids and thus naturally affect the performance of the whole system. More problems also occur between the transmission and drive shaft where a lot of activity occurs. Hydrodynamic system glitches In these systems, fluids are also used, but unlike in hydrostatic systems, the focus is not on the pressure characteristics of the fluids. Hydrodynamic systems use the momentum and movement of the fluids to achieve their purpose. This means that there are more veins and seals to aid in the control of the engine turbine. But this is where majority of the problems occur. Damaged seals and clogged pathways rank as the most common problems. So whichever system you use, ensure you plan for the worst because such heavy machinery have a huge economic impact when down even for minutes. You can also have a team that specializes in heavy machinery gearbox repairs to ensure smooth flow of...

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Services Offered By a Land Surveyor

Posted by on Jun 30, 2015 in Uncategorized |

Whether you own a construction company, or you are a land developer, you may have need to contract with a land surveyor from a company like John C Bested & Associates Pty Ltd to maximize the success of your building project. To help you understand how these professionals can add value to your business, here are the services they can offer you. Boundary Surveys — Land surveyors can provide you with boundary surveys, which is a process that certifies the dimensions of a piece of undeveloped property for building purposes. In some instances, a land surveyor may discover that there are differences between the measurements delineated in the Certificate of Title, and the actual dimensions of the land. In that case, land surveyors can perform a redefinition survey, which details the actual dimensions of the land. Land surveyors then create a document that is sent to the Land Title Office for review. In some cases, a piece of land that you want to develop or build on doesn’t have a survey plan, which means that a land surveyor will need to create a boundary survey for the property, or adjoining landowners can make a claim that the land is theirs. 3D Models — A land surveyor can also create a three-dimensional model of an existing structure, subdivision or piece of land. This can help make your new design plans more efficient, because the 3D model is flexible, and can incorporate your new ideas and show you a small-scale image of what the property will look like. 3D modelling is an affordable way to create new blueprints for your construction and development, using computer-aided design. Topographical Surveys — Land surveyors create topographical surveys, which are also in 3D, but unlike 3D modelling, survey not only the land you want to build on, but all the major buildings, structures and residential areas that surround the piece of land. Topographical surveys are required for development applications, and are often the first step in gaining approval from city development departments. They are designed to help determine the impact that your development will have on an existing terrain. Lease Plans — If you are building multiple structures such as an office building or a shopping centre, local Council regulations require a lease plan, which is either a lease of land plan or a lease or premises plan. A lease of land plan is required whenever you are building a subdivision. The lease plan must be created by a Registered Land Surveyor, and must include the purpose of each structure that you are building. A lease of premises plan is a survey of all the walls within a project in which tenants will be leasing space for retail or commercial purposes. Land surveyors can prepare both lease plans for your...

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The Best Computerised Upgrades to Your Home’s Security System

Posted by on Jun 19, 2015 in Uncategorized |

A home’s security system today is usually about much more than locks and deadbolts on the doors. Today’s security systems take full advantage of computerized programs that allow you to control those features remotely, and which give you full access to your home’s security even when on the road. If you’re not sure of the best upgrades to consider for your home’s security system, you don’t want to overspend on unnecessary features, but you still want to ensure your home and family are safe, note a few suggestions to keep in mind. 1. Remote locking Today’s door locks can be connected to a switch that you control remotely. This allows you to lock and unlock the doors even when on the road. You can ensure that you haven’t forgotten to lock the doors behind you when you leave for the office in the morning, and that your children haven’t forgotten to lock themselves inside after arriving home from school. 2. Private web monitoring Being able to record the images picked up by security cameras is not your only option today, as you can have a private, secure website show the images on the camera in real time. You can then easily log in from your smartphone or laptop and know everything that is happening in your house, as it happens. Along with private web monitoring, you may also want camera control with your system. This allows you to control the direction and focus of the camera remotely, as you monitor your home. If you see something in the distance or in a corner that you’d like to check out as you watch the image on your computer, you can have the camera tilt, swivel, or zoom in and out with the touch of your mouse or with the swipe of a finger. 3. Remote intercom In addition to being able to view your home when you’re away, a remote intercom can also allow you to interact with any visitors or unwelcome guests who might arrive. It’s not unusual for a potential thief to actually try to get a homeowner to the front door under some type of ruse, so they can assess who is home during the day and take a quick look inside. With a remote intercom, you can talk to anyone who rings your doorbell, and if you note someone on your property who doesn’t belong there, you can alert them that they’re being recorded. This can scare off potential burglars while still allowing you to interact with legitimate delivery drivers, salespersons, and the like. Learn more about your options by contacting companies like Border...

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Three Soil Tests Every Homeowner Should Do Before Starting Construction

Posted by on Jun 8, 2015 in Uncategorized |

A key element to the success of your building is the soil. If the soil is too loose then you may have to reinforce the foundation in order to prevent sinking. You can pay to have a professional conduct soil tests for you, but there are a few you can also do on your own. By doing the following three tests on your own, you can help determine what possible costs may go into the construction project you have planned: Squeeze Testing There are three different types of soil that you may find on your property. You can determine which kind you have by simply going to an area of your property, ideally where you plan for the construction to take place, and grab a handful of the soil. Squeeze the soil to determine the strength of the soil. If it holds it’s shape and crumbles when you poke it with a stick or your finger, it is loam soil. This is ideal for gardening, but may need some work to be ideal for construction foundations. Clay soil is more suitable for buildings and other constructions with foundations and is identified by holding it’s shape and staying firm when poked. The final type of soil is sand. Sand is loose and will not hold its shape at all. Drainage Testing The last thing you want during the construction process or after your construction project is completed is to have issues with drainage. Not only is drainage important during seasonal weather conditions like storms, but it is also important if you have broken pipes or other water issues in the home. To test the drainage of the area, dig a hole approximately one foot deep and wide. Fill the hole with water and allow it to drain. Repeat this step several times. if the water does not drain out of the hole into the surrounding earth, then you may have drainage concerns your contractor will need to address. pH Testing You may not think that pH testing is important for your soil, especially if you are placing a building as part of the construction. It is important if you plan on placing a garden, shrubs, or other plants around the building then the pH can be vital for their growth. In order to test the soils pH level, you will need to purchase a kit from your local gardening or hardware store. These kits will come with pH strips and soil testing guides to help you determine your pH level and if it is right for your gardening and landscaping needs. These tests will help you determine what possible issues you may have prior to the start of your  construction project. If you are ready to get started on the project and discuss possible issues with your soil as it pertains to the project, then contact your contractor...

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