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Posted by on Nov 20, 2015 in Uncategorized |

How to Ensure Your Thatched Roof Has a Longer Lifespan

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 you.

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Posted by on Nov 12, 2015 in Uncategorized |

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

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 personnel.

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Posted by on Nov 3, 2015 in Uncategorized |

Leadlight-making for Beginners: Proper Glass cutting techniques

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 leadlight glass pieces.

If making your own does not appeal to you, contact a company like Moorabbin Glass.

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