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Posted by on Oct 14, 2015 in Uncategorized |

Applications of Horizontal Directional Drilling

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 rivers.

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Posted by on Oct 6, 2015 in Uncategorized |

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

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.


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 about.

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Posted by on Sep 22, 2015 in Uncategorized |

How To Salvage Old Ceramic Tiles

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  
  1. 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.  
  2. 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.  
  3. 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.  
  4. 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  
  1. 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. 
  2. Apply a proprietary adhesive remover product as per the manufacturer’s instructions.  Wipe the tiles clean using an old rag.  
  3. Any remaining scraps of proud adhesive should be sanded off using coarse grain sandpaper.  
  4. 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 time.

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Posted by on Sep 22, 2015 in Uncategorized |

What to Discuss With Your Roofing Contractor Before Getting a New Roof

Before you get a new roof installed on your home, ensure that you’ve covered every detail with your roofing contractor. This is because your new roof is meant to last for decades and can be an expensive investment, so ensure the job is done right the first time to avoid calling back the contractor after the job is finished. Note a few things to discuss with your roofing contractor before any work begins.

1. Type of roof to be installed

Don’t assume that standard asphalt tiles are your only option for a new roof, even if every home in your neighborhood has this type of roof installed. A metal roof may provide better insulation and last longer, and metal is easier to recycle than asphalt shingles. If you’re very eco-conscious, you may find recycled metal pieces that can be used for your roof or know that the roof you install now can easily be recycled in the future when it needs to be replaced. You might also take the opportunity to look at slate tiles, as these can enhance the overall look of your home and they too are very easy to recycle.

2. Solar panels

Since your roofing contractor will be on your roof and tearing up its surface to install your new roof anyway, you might discuss the option of installing solar panels. Many roofing contractors offer solar panel installation services, and these can cut down on your energy consumption and utility bills. You may even qualify for a government rebate or credit for the cost of solar panels, so talk to your roofing contractor about this option.

3. Energy efficiency checks

Many roofing contractors will offer an energy efficiency check for your home. They may note if there are cracks in the chimney that may be letting in cold air, and may check for drafts around windows. They may also evaluate the type of insulation you have installed and if an upgrade to blown foam insulation can better insulate your home. 

4. Other repairs

A roofing contractor may be able to repair your home’s gutters and downspouts and have you change them to something larger and wider, if needed. They might also make repairs to cracks in the chimney if needed. If your home needs a new roof, it may also need new gutters or may have an older chimney that is starting to crumble, so ask if the roofing contractor can make these repairs while they’re at your home and on the roof.

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Posted by on Sep 8, 2015 in Uncategorized |

Things to Consider during Site Analysis

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 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 Surveys.

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Posted by on Aug 25, 2015 in Uncategorized |

3 Essential Tips for Core Drilling on Your Own

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 contractors. 

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