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3 Easy Ways to Improve Energy Efficiency in Your Timber Windows and Shutters

Posted by on Jul 20, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Easy Ways to Improve Energy Efficiency in Your Timber Windows and Shutters

When incorporating wooden windows in your house, it’s important to ensure that they are properly installed and that steps are taken to protect you from unnecessary heat gain or loss that would crank up your energy bills. If you already have timber windows in your house, you may be wondering how you can improve their thermal insulation capability. Replacing should actually be your last option; if you have sturdy frames, you or your contractor can take the following steps to cheaply increase efficiency and keep your old materials from the landfills. Use putty Window putty is made by blending lime-based powder with natural oils such as linseed oil to give a malleable product which sets over time to cover any spaces between the glass and timber frames on a window. Slightly varied formulations can be used as a sealant and filler for plumbing as well as in other areas. If your window putty is cracked, you could be losing energy to the atmosphere and it should be repaired or replaced. To do this, you or your contractor will take out the old, cracked putty, clean the area and then install the new putty. You can use ready-prepared putty or only prepare as much as you need for your application — any extra will set over time and go to waste. Once finished, unsightly smears on glass can be removed by rubbing out with mineral spirit and a piece of lint-free cloth. The putty should be allowed to dry before painting. Be sure not to add paraffin as some people do to hasten drying; paraffin causes the putty to crack much faster. Replace your wooden beads Some timber windows have wooden glazing beads on the external frame to hold glass panes secure. These beads should hold snugly to ensure that there isn’t any space between the glass and timber frame. If there is a loose fit, take out the old beads use window caulk and glazing silicone to seal up the space. New beads can then be nailed in the silicone, ensuring that the beads sit properly against the glass to hold in place. Use double- or triple-glazed glass Double and triple-glazed glass are made by combining two or three layers of thin glass respectively, separated by an air space. Each layer of glass therefore provides additional insulation as the air pocket traps some heat. You can also improve insulation by getting glass with reflective coating. In addition to insulation, adding a layer of glazing can improve noise transference, and hence double-, triple- and even quadruple-glazed windows can be used to minimise noise if you live in a noisy...

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Tips to Maintaining Limescale-Free Shower Screens

Posted by on Jul 8, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Tips to Maintaining Limescale-Free Shower Screens

Do the hard white substances on your shower screens disgust you? Shower screens can be affected by the buildup of limescale over time. Limescale chiefly contains calcium carbonate that remains as white deposits after hard water (containing minerals) evaporates on the surface of your shower screen. If you often clean your shower screens and then rinse them off using water from the showerhead, leaving the screens to air dry, you will find limescale to be a recurring problem. Since the bathroom is used every day, it’s important to keep the shower screens free from limescale as well as grime. Keeping your shower screens limescale free is simple. Here are a few tips to help you. Eliminate the Buildup of Limescale The first step to keeping your shower screens limescale free is eliminating the buildup of the limescale. This means that you will have to consider this aspect when purchasing the shower screens. Therefore, look for shower screens with a protective glass. This glass prevents the buildup of limescale and water spots on the screens. Some manufacturers apply a protective spray on the glass when making the shower screens. Therefore, you can ask your supplier about this when buying the screens. You can still eliminate the buildup of limescale on your existing shower screens. This may be the case where you are not comfortable spending on a new set of shower screens. You can simply buy a specialised DIY spray from your local home improvement store and apply it on the screens. The spray should work the same way as the factory-applied one. Reduce the Buildup Where elimination has failed, (for instance, when the specialised DIY spray doesn’t do the trick), your next option is to reduce the buildup. To do this, you will need some preventive measures. Limescale typically builds up in humid areas. Therefore, try as much as possible to reduce the levels of moisture. You can achieve this by removing soapsuds and water droplets from the screens every day using a squeegee. You should also leave your bathroom door open for a few minutes after showering to help keep the humidity levels down. Leaving the door open works the same way as using a fan while showering. Remove the Limescale Deposits You need to know how to remove the deposits that already formed on your shower screens. Start by removing grime using an old toothbrush. You can then mix vinegar with some warm water and apply the solution to the screen. Scrub the screen until the limescale disappears. One key thing to remember when removing limescale is the contact time. In order to break down the limescale, the solution requires enough time to react with the calcium carbonate deposits. The longer you leave the solution, the better. However, remember that if you use strong acidic cleaners, leaving the solution for too long may cause it to start eating into surfaces such as...

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Quick Tips for Choosing the Best Type of Kitchen Vent and Filter System

Posted by on Mar 4, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Quick Tips for Choosing the Best Type of Kitchen Vent and Filter System

In a commercial kitchen, you need to have a vent and filter as required by law. However, it can also be good to consider going beyond simple legal requirements and investing in the best vent and filter system for your particular facility and type of cooking; this will ensure the kitchen is as clean as possible and may also contribute to the comfort of your staff. Note a few quick tips for choosing the best type of kitchen vent and filter system for your commercial kitchen. 1. Extraction depth When choosing a commercial kitchen filter and vent, you’ll note that they come with an extraction depth. This refers to how much cleaning and filtering they can perform; the greater the depth, the more air the filter or vent can clean. If your kitchen uses mostly fresh ingredients without a lot of grease and oil, you might be able to choose a filter with a very shallow extraction depth. However, the more oil and grease used in the kitchen along with pungent spices and other such contaminants that can get in the air, the greater the depth you should choose for your filter. 2. Condense canopy A condense canopy is made to easily handle and clean condensation or extra water in the air. This condensation can clog normal filters or simply drip back down a standard filter canopy as it’s collected. A condense canopy, made for trapping water and humidity, is better for use over anything that produces steam. Put a condense canopy over burners that are used for boiling pots, over dishwashers, and over sinks. 3. Spark arrester A spark arrester canopy is one that has a special filter meant to stop any type of flame or spark. This type of canopy is needed when you cook with an open flame or solid fuel, such as a gas stove, grill, charcoal oven, wood stove for pizzas, and the like. The filter works to stop flames from entering the actual vent of the exhaust system, and in turn, this can reduce the risk of kitchen fires that start because of burning embers.  4. Hinged filter You may note that a vent with a hinged filter is often more expensive than any other type, but this can be well worth the investment, especially in kitchens with lots of grease and oil that could clog the filter. The hinged filter allows you to open it and clean it as needed, without having to call a professional service that would access the vent from the rooftop or...

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Should you choose a portable or window air conditioner?

Posted by on Feb 5, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Should you choose a portable or window air conditioner?

If you don’t have access to central air in your home, you might be wondering about the other options for cooling off your home. Your two main options are portable air conditioning units and window air conditioning units. Here are some things to consider about each of these options so you can decide which one is best for you. Window Air Conditioners Provide a Lot of Power When you turn on each of these A/C units, you will notice that you get a little more power from a window unit. It tends to have more flexibility and provides a stronger air current than a portable unit does. While they both have settings to change the temperature and speed of the fan inside the unit, window units have the benefit of utilizing the outside air, so they do tend to provide faster air. They are ideal with very hot climates when you want to cool off as fast as possible. Portable Air Conditioners Can be Easily Moved A benefit of choosing the portable air conditioner is the fact that you can move it quickly and easily between rooms. While window air conditioning units can technically be moved, it isn’t easy to do. If you want to be able to cool off different rooms during different times of the day, the portable unit is the way to go. For example, you can keep it in the living room during the day, then move it into your bedroom at night when you’re trying to sleep. Window Air Conditioners Cool Off Multiple Areas Not only do window air conditioners have a bit more power than portable units, but they often cool off more than one room at a time. While meant to cool off just one room, the air tends to circulate faster and cool off multiple rooms. Portable air conditioners are more difficult to provide cool air throughout the home, without moving it to different rooms. Portable Air Conditioners Are Less Expensive In terms of cost, the portable air conditioner is often less expensive than a window unit. It also has the benefit of fewer maintenance and repairs needed, so you save on that as well. If you are on a limited budget and want immediate cool air, you will be glad you chose the portable air conditioner. Both of these air conditioning units provide excellent alternatives to central A/C or split system units that require installation. For more information, contact a company like...

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Subdivision Approval: Exemptions, Zone Requirements and Application

Posted by on Nov 16, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Subdivision Approval: Exemptions, Zone Requirements and Application

The process of subdividing land is also known as reconfiguration of a specific lot. Basically, this involves creating lots by sectioning an existing lot or merging at least two lots to form a single one. Rearranging the boundaries in a plot of land and creating an easement within the property is also considered as subdivision. Additionally, the subdivision term can be used if you lease out part of a lot or create an official community title scheme. If you are planning on subdividing your lot, it is critical to understand the regulations and rules that govern subdivision. The information will help you attain your sub-division planning approval more efficiently. Exemptions Most subdivision projects require development applications before they are approved. However, there are some that are exempt from these regulations because they are not considered to be significant subdivision developments. You should inquire about the specific exemptions in your local area before making a planning application. Generally, if your project involves sectioning and redefining the structural elements and not the land itself, you do require approval. This is also not necessary if you are incorporating your lot into common property in order to attain a community title scheme. In addition, subdivisions within community schemes or for road widening projects are also exempt projects. Zone Requirements The proposal that you will make for subdivision will be considered depending on the specific zoning of your lot. Therefore, it is crucial for you to understand the zoning location of your property before applying for subdivision planning approval. The zoning is designed as a guide of the type of building developments that can occur within your site. If your subdivision proposal does not match with the restrictions imposed in the zone, the application will be rejected. For example, a plot in a low density residential area will not be approved for subdivision if the two new lots will not have the minimum area requirements. Application You will need to make an official application to the local council for your subdivision project. Generally, a development application fee is required when you present the planning proposal. In addition, the council will levy some infrastructure charges to cater for the development assessment process. These charges will apply to every new plot, and extra fees can be imposed for plan-sealing and inspection. It is advisable to engage a subdivision specialist during the subdivision planning application for assistance. The professional is knowledgeable on specific restrictions and laws in your local area. Therefore, they can offer custom information depending on your unique...

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4 common fire equipment deficiencies

Posted by on Oct 30, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 4 common fire equipment deficiencies

It’s a no-brainer that fire safety equipment is a monumental part of any building’s safety program. They can be the difference between life and death in case an accident occurs. That’s why most facilities have this equipment installed. However, a number of code violations are normally broken, and deficiencies in the equipment are disturbingly common. Here are some of the most common fire code violations. You need to ensure your organization doesn’t suffer from any of them. Extinguisher not meeting hazard type Fire extinguishers are like clothes, with different types designed for different occasions. The hazards are different and can range from electrical fires to combustion of metals. That’s why manufacturers have divided fire extinguishers into different classes to suit the different hazards. Having a fire extinguisher that doesn’t properly meet the hazard level is a recipe for doom. You can’t use extinguisher designed for ordinary fires to extinguish combusting metals like magnesium. Painting sprinklers Sprinklers have attained a pretty god reputation when it comes to saving lives. Chances of death are reduced by a whopping 80% when they are installed. However, one common mistake people make is painting them. The major reason for this is to improve their décor. But doing so prevents it from functioning optimally. If you’re looking for beautiful sprinklers, then get painted ones directly from the manufacturer. Exit signs and emergency lights internally inspection Another major code that is broken involves the inspection of the exit signs and emergency lights. These components need to be tested by experts, but unfortunately, most organizations leave the job to the maintenance staff. This can take very many hours particularly if the organization is large, and the testing may not be exhaustive enough. Moreover, the test needs to assure that the battery can sustain its charge for up to 90 minutes when a fire or power blackout occurs.   Untested alarm systems The alarm systems need to be frequently tested to ensure it is properly functioning at all times. Additionally, the code requires the system to be tested only by qualified personnel. The maximum period between inspections should not exceed six months, but weekly checks need to be done by the user. Ensure the control panel is working as desired and alarm sounders are satisfactory. The inspector should have a look at the batteries, fire alarm devices and even the automatic transmission of signals to the ARC (alarm receiving centre). Remember that a failing to comply with the codes not only puts your facility in jeopardy, it is also...

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Quick Tips for Adding Stonework to Your Home or Property

Posted by on Sep 29, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Quick Tips for Adding Stonework to Your Home or Property

Natural stone can be a great choice for a building material, whether it’s for a home’s face or for a large privacy wall. Stonework is very durable and very regal looking while still looking natural, and it works well with any type of décor. Your contractor or builder can help you determine the best choice of stone for your home or for a wall around your property, but note a few quick tips before talking to him or her. This will help you to determine the best choice of stone for any project. 1. Choosing color The color of stone you choose is very important because once you start stacking it for a wall or add it to the face of your home, you’ll have a very large and eye-catching surface. Using a dark stone for a wall around your property can make it look somewhat gothic, and if you have a home with dark red brick and choose a dark stone to add to the entryway, this too can make the surface seem overly dark. For a brick home, choose a flagstone with a grey color and some red in the pattern.  For a home with siding, choose a stone that enhances without clashing with the color of the home. A soft grey is very neutral and coordinates with just about any color. For a property wall, a natural earth tone of brown and tan may keep the look neutral without overwhelming your property.  2. Choosing the type of stone Country field stone is large stone that is usually somewhat round in shape. It is typically applied face up so that you can see the round shape and variation in the design. It can be a good choice for building a chimney or for when you want to create a contrast to the square shape of brick, such as when you want a stone entryway.  Stacked stone is often used for property walls; this is a type of natural, square stone that is often something thin and which is set on top of each other rather than face up. The stacking can provide added strength and durability. Density should also be considered when choosing a type of stone, as your climate can affect the stone’s durability. Granite and bluestone can withstand cold weather, whereas other thin types of stone may get brittle in very cold climates and actually crack. Limestone and sandstone are very porous and can absorb snow and moisture and, as this freezes, it can expand and break the stone. Choose a stone density according to your climate so it lasts. For more information and tips on using stonework, contact general contractors that specialise in stonework, such as Dobson’s Monumental Works Pty...

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Mechanically Cleaning A Water Cooling Tower

Posted by on Aug 27, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Mechanically Cleaning A Water Cooling Tower

Cooling towers should be washed down with a pressure washer on a yearly basis. This ensures that the tower performs as it should. This, in turn, reduces the inefficiency of the tower and can save money. For some businesses, washing the cooling tower also helps to improve the overall cosmetic appearance. This article looks at the steps involved when mechanically cleaning a cooling tower. Pre Wash Preparations There are some things you must do prior to washing the tower. These are: Isolate the tower from the rest of the system by turning off the electrical power. Check that the tower’s pumps and fans are inactive. Close the tower’s supply valves that move water to and from the tower. Open the tower’s bottom drain and remove the overflow pipe. If possible, locate and remove the grate that covers the suction intake. Once this has been done, make sure you are wearing the appropriate clothing and have a squeegee, brush and sponge (as well as the pressure washer) close to hand. Begin The Cleaning You are looking to remove all traces of dirt, debris, scaling and algae. Go to the hot deck of the tower and switch on the power washer. Use a concentrated stream of water to thoroughly clean the hot deck. Then move on to clean the blades of the screen of the cooling tower. Once this has been done, carefully clean the inside and outside parts of the exhaust collar. Use a brush or broom to remove any stubborn dirt or debris and clean away anything that has collected on the ground. The Fill You will have to switch to a fine mist spray to clean the fill, as it is a little more delicate than the other parts. Carefully work your way across the fill, giving it a good clean with the pressure washer. If you do use the concentrated stream of water, this – in combination with the steam – may serve to damage or even break the fill. Inside Of The Tower Next, it is time to clean the inside of the cooling tower. Use the concentrated stream of water to clean from the top to the bottom of the tower, remembering to use the squeegee or brush for hard to remove dirt. Ensure that all algae is removed. Move on to the float valve and continue to use the washer to clean this area, as well as the sump. Lastly, switch back to the fine mist spray and clean the underside of the fill. It is a good idea to check that dirt or debris has not fallen from the exterior clean and is lodged between the fill. Clean the inside of the fill to remove this...

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Optimising Investment plus Uptime

Posted by on Aug 4, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Optimising Investment plus Uptime

Tight deadlines, stormy weather and insufficient tank capacity are some of the many problems facing road line marking contractors. However, with the use of the right line marking equipment, contractors can be able to optimise their investment as well as uptime. Given that today’s traffic volume is extremely high, completion of the line marking projects must be done as fast as possible so that any closed roads can be opened up again for motorists. This article addresses three main factors that road marking contractors should consider in order to better their performance:  The right equipment The right road marking machines simplifies the job and allows operators to perform a lot within the available working hours. In order to select the right machines, contractors need to take into account several important points. One of the key aspects to consider, probably unexpectedly, is maintenance. Note that maintenance is essentially a crucial uptime parameter. The right equipment is easy to maintain and this means that contractors have quite an easy time keeping their machine in top running condition.  Another factor to consider is that the right line marking equipment ought to be easy to operate to achieve perfect results. It is every road marker’s dream to have equipment that allows them to easily control all line marking tasks ranging from pre-marking to line application. Tank size capacity matters Tank capacity greatly influences uptime and productivity. Today’s road marking machines are very effective to an extent that they can drain a material tank in the shortest time possible. Suppose a line marking project requires the use of thermoplastic material, this may mean a longer waiting period for additional material to soften and reach the ideal temperatures if the material tank capacity is not large enough. The amount of time wasted on waiting for line marking material to liquefy is unnecessary and can be avoided. One of the options to increase uptime when working with hot thermoplastic is to opt for larger material feeder tanks. Adjusting to new demands Currently, council authorities and road marking organisations are demanding increased retro-reflectivity of the line markings, particularly under soggy conditions. To adjust to the new industry demands, road marking contractors can select machines featuring the advanced dot and line system. A well-marked highway is a safe road. In respect to the road marking contractor, a project well done translates into handsome profits and a burgeoning work portfolio. Having to grapple with variables including fluctuating weather conditions and traffic volume, contractors should choose the right road marking...

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What You Need to Know Before You Hire a Skip Bin

Posted by on Mar 27, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Skip bins are ideal if you are renovating your house, or you need a container because you have a lot of trash items to throw away, and your standard bin is far too small. Skip bins are available in a variety of sizes and styles to match just about every need, but if this is your first time renting them, here are the important things to know before you make a choice. You Can’t Put Them on the Sidewalk – Local council regulations don’t allow you to put a skip bin on the curb, which is considered public property over which you have no jurisdiction. The only way you can actually place the skip bin on a sidewalk, is to obtain a permit, which will cost you money. And when you do obtain that permit, you will still have to take safety precautions to ensure that pedestrians are aware of the bin’s presence. You Can’t Throw Everything into the Bin – When you rent a skip bin, the companies that rent you the bin do not let you just toss any item you want into their containers. Most skip bin rental companies will not let you throw in any type of liquid into the container, nor can you put hazardous materials such as pesticides, paint, oil, paint thinner, electronic waste and batteries. You may be able to rent skip bins for these purposes, but that will incur a much higher fee, as you will need to pay for the proper disposal of those items. You Can’t Move Most Bins – When you rent a skip bin, the company from which you rent, will have an operator deliver the bin and place it exactly where you need it. However, most of these bins are not moveable, so you have to be sure where you want the skip bin placed before the operator leaves. If you need the skip bin moved, you will have to contact the skip bin rental company to have the operator return to move the bin. Needless to say, this will incur an additional charge. One way to offset these issues, is to rent a skip bin that runs on wheels. These are known as mobile skip bins, and they are delivered via towing, instead of mounted on a truck. Another benefit of a mobile skip bin is that because it’s not considered a stationary waste container, local council regulations allow you to place these bins on a sidewalks, because they are...

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