It’s Important to Practice Ladder Safety

ladder

Ladders are essential tools for every home and work environment. We use them for all types of indoor and outdoor projects, including pruning trees.

They help us to reach difficult points such as the top of the wall, attic and many other places to complete construction works.

Professionals recommend following few important safety tips for using ladders carefully. There is no doubt to say that ladders can cause lots of terrible accidents when not used properly so it is good to follow right instructions to use to them well.

The very first thing that you need to do is choose appropriate ladder while making a purchase. Prefer to pick the one that has great strength and can stay safe even from electric shocks.

While choosing your ladder, prefer to check the duty rating of your ladder and it must be specified well in terms of user weight as well as materials.

Choose the ladder with right capacity to handle your construction work or home needs. Note that failure to purchase the right product may cause huge damage in future, it can lead to serious injuries and even to death.

Start with the ladder inspection tips to start a safe use:

  • Prefer to check the ladder every time before your climb on it. Go through the bent, damages and broken elements and ensure that it is in good working condition.
  • Take a look at all joints, buts, bolts, and rivets as well as to the steps and rungs so that complete safety can be ensured. Never forget to check rung locks, pulley and spreaders.
  • It is always important to keep your ladder clean and free from snow, mud, oil, grease and wet paint. Also, ensure that your shoes are clean before you climb up. It is not good to use shoes with leather soles to climb up on a ladder.
  • Never ever try to make any temporary repair to the missing or broken parts, it could lead to accidents.
  • If the ladder is exposed to fire or chemical corrosion then it is good to destroy it.

When you need to climb up:

  • Never forget to read the instructions before each use to ensure that for what kind of person and material this ladder is designed. Duty rating and weight included in the current task must be cross-checked.
  • It is important to take help from another person while climbing up to ensure that ladder is placed well. Never use a ladder in the area where kids are playing, take them out first.
  • If your health conditions are not well then it is not good to climb on the ladder.
  • When you are drunk, never try to use a ladder because you may not be able to maintain balance on it.
  • Make efforts to maintain your body weight perfectly between rails of the ladder.

Storage safety tips:

  • Always prefer to place your ladder at a dry and safe place.
  • It must stay clean as well as safe from the attack of foreign particles.
  • Never ever store other materials on the ladder.
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Does Your Home Need a New Roof?

moss roof

One never really bothers about the roof above their heads. Unless it’s raining and a tiny stream of water drops down from the ceiling and ruins your life! For reasons that are beyond obvious, one might argue that roofs are the most important part of your house.

If not, what kept you safe the last time there was a hurricane? It is important to keep checking your roof and ensuring that it is in the best condition. Here are some signs that you may need a new roof soon.

SIGNS YOU NEED A NEW ROOF

Check on the Inside

If you are serious about checking the condition of your roof then the best idea would be to start from the inside. Grab a flashlight and go check your attic. If you see any signs of leakage, or any beams of light coming through the cracks in the ceiling then mate, it’s time to get a new roof.

Check the Shingles

Firstly, what are shingles? Shingles are basically roof coverings that are overlapping. They are typically rectangular and flat and are placed from the edge of the roof to the top, with each course overlapping the joints below. If your shingles are not flat against the roof and you see some cracks and other damages, then repair work may be in order. Also check for shingle granules. If a roof is losing too much shingle granule then it needs urgent repair.

Use the Flashing Technique

Roof flashing around skylights, vents and chimneys helps seal the seams of the roof which prevents damage because of the weather or the rain. It is important to examine these parameters in order to ensure that there are no breaks or cracks which could lead to leakage. While in older homes, roof cement and tar are used for flashing, it is advisable to shift to metal flashing for more durability.

Check for Rotting

A saggy, droopy roof is going to be your worst nightmare. Make sure you conduct timely check for rotting to avoid this. Check the surface of your roof for signs of rotting boards, trapped moisture and sagging spots. The lowest portions of your roof are most vulnerable to rotting so be sure to check them thoroughly.

Unwanted Plants

Now, moss looks amazing when it is decorating your garden but on a roof? Not so much. Moss, fungi and mould are indications that moisture is getting trapped on your roof. Moss generally tends to accumulate on the shaded parts of your roof. To remove it, use a stiff brush to gently brush it out. However, make sure that there aren’t any underlying problems like moisture getting trapped, as mentioned earlier.

The most important advise to keep in mind, though, is to not panic. Yes, a leaking roof is nothing short of a nightmare, but if you spot the signs early, then a solution is not too difficult to find. If your roof is less than 15-20 years old then you might not even need a full replacement. A mere fixing job will do the trick. But, if your roof shows most, or all of the signs above, then if it is definitely time to get your roof replaced.

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Laminate vs. Hardwood Floors

hardwood floor

You have torn out your old carpet and now you need to choose your new floor type. Will you install new carpet or consider a hard surface like tile or laminate or hardwood floors?

The choice between laminate and hardwood floors use to be easy. If you could afford them, you would purchase hardwood floors. If you couldn’t afford them, you would purchase laminate floors. But with recent improvements to the construction, style and performance of laminate floors, the choice is no longer as obvious.

Here are some of the differences between laminate and hardwood floors:

CONSTRUCTION

Laminate wood is fiberboard. Fiberboard is very thin and nowhere near as durable as real hardwood. The laminate then has paint or acrylic to create the appearance of wood and then another protective sealant over that layer.

Hardwood floor is, well… it’s hardwood. It is extremely durable and very high-quality.

Hardwood Floors: 1

Laminate Floors: 0

INSTALLATION

This one is a win for laminate floors. You can install laminate floors in your home fairly easily. Laminate floor often can be snapped together. Hardwood floor requires professionals or renting various equipment you won’t have on hand at your home. In almost all aspects, hardwood floor will cost more than laminate floor.

Hardwood Floors: 1

Laminate Floors: 1

COST

Like we mentioned above, cost favors laminate. You can buy a quality piece of laminate flooring for around $3 per square feet whereas hardwood floor can cost upwards of $5 per square feet depending on the type of wood you choose. If you do purchase laminate, don’t skimp too much on the quality and construction to save money. You should still invest the $3 per square foot.

Hardwood Floors: 1

Laminate Floors: 2

DURABILITY

You should expect a decent laminate floor to last for around 10 years. Laminate will deteriorate from scratches, UV rays, water and several other factors. Hardwood floor is extremely durable and can last your entire lifetime if you care for it properly.

Hardwood Floors: 2

Laminate Floors: 2

RESTORATION

You cannot sand or repair laminate floor. If a piece of laminate floor is damaged it must be replaced. You can refinish hardwood floor several times to renew its color and polish. This is another benefit related to the durability of hardwood floor.

Hardwood Floors: 3

Laminate Floors: 2

RESALE VALUE

Laminate has improved over the years but there is no denying that real hardwood floors will increase the chance of selling your home for a price you desire. Hardwood floor is an excellent long-term investment in this regard.

Hardwood Floors: 4

Laminate Floors: 2

APPEARANCE

Hardwood floor used to be a clear winner here but laminate has improved to the point where a high-quality laminate floor will look very similar to hardwood. Hardwood floor still has the better appearance but due to the low-cost of laminate, we will call this a tie.

Hardwood Floors: 4

Laminate Floors: 2

PETS

If you live with pets, we recommend laminate floor. The synthetic wear layer over the top protects against claws and scratches whereas hardwood floor does not have a protective layer over it.

Hardwood Floors: 4

Laminate Floors: 3

You can see that overall we still prefer hardwood floor vs laminate but the gap is much less than it used to be and if you don’t see a noticeable difference between laminate and hardwood floor you could consider it a tie, but for now, if you are installing new floor today, we would recommend hardwood floor.

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How to Tear Out Old Carpet

tools to remove carpet

Before you tear out old carpet, you should hire a carpet cleaning Tampa professional to attempt to remove stains and renew the color. If the company is not successful, then it is time to remove the carpet from the floor.

There comes a point in time when carpet is no longer salvageable. If you purchase new carpet or new hardwood floor or tile, you can pay the installation service to tear out the old carpet but we recommend doing it yourself since it is not too difficult and should save you some money.

Here are the steps to tear out carpeting from your floor:

The first thing you need to do is locate a pair of pliers, a crowbar, some working gloves and boots or shoes.

Then you can start the project. Start by removing the baseboards along the wall and any molding. You don’t want to damage areas surrounding the carpet during the removal process. This can be done with a putty knife or the crowbar if necessary, but be careful.

Then start in a corner of the room and use the crowbar to pry up the carpet from the corner. You should be able to tear out most of the carpet itself using just your hands after you have pulled up a large enough piece from the corner.

You likely could remove the entire carpet in one piece but for disposal purposes we recommend using a razor blade and cutting seams across sections of the carpet and tear it out in smaller pieces. This will make it much easier to carry to your vehicle or transport elsewhere for disposal.

Beneath the carpet you will find tack strips that previously held it in place as well as the carpet pad that was under the carpet.

You need to remove the pad even if you are buying new carpet. The pad is an important factor in how a carpet performs over its lifetime in your home. When it comes time to invest in new carpet, it is time to invest in a new pad too. The good news is that pulling up the pad is very easy as it is very lightweight.

The tack strips are much more difficult to remove. To remove tack strips from the floor, you need to use the crowbar and pry them up from underneath. Sometimes the strip will pull off cleanly and other times it will break apart or leave a staple in the floor. Be patient during this process as you do not want to damage the wall or the wood floor if you intend to refinish it.

Now it is time for the staples. Depending on the size of the floor, there will be well over 100 staples in the floor that fastened the carpet to it. The process of removing the staples is extremely tedious and laboring. You can use a hammer or a pliers to remove each staple but we recommend a visit to a hardware store in Tampa to purchase a tool called a floor scraper.

A floor scraper is a long-handled tool with a flat blade at the bottom of it. You just need to push the scraper into the nails with a little force and it will push them out from the floor. We highly recommend the floor scraper since it will save you a few hours during the process of tearing out the carpet. This is even more true if you will be doing this for multiple rooms in your home.

Now sweep all the debris and staples into a pile and then use a vacuum to remove all of the scraps from the floor.

This completes the project. You should have a smooth surface on your floor. You can now either purchase new carpet, refinish hardwood floor or install wood or tile flooring for your home. We recommend a professional Tampa service to install new carpet and flooring for best results.

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Tree Pruning Tips

tree pruning

Home repair and maintenance is more than just caring for the interior of your home or completing large bathroom remodeling projects and other upgrades. There are several chores you must complete for the exterior of your home too, including landscaping and tree pruning.

There are two kinds of trees. There are evergreen trees and deciduous trees. Deciduous trees are the type that lose their leaves during the fall and winter months of the year. Evergreen trees retain their color the entire year. Our tree pruning tips are for deciduous trees.

Why Do You Need to Prune Trees?

Tree pruning and trimming trees is more than just getting rid of dead limbs and branches on the trees in your yard. The process also helps trees grow new, healthy branches in place of the dead limbs.

You want to trim the dead limbs for a few reasons. One of the reasons is because dead branches are not very pretty to look at. The other reason is that a dead branch on a tree could fall at any moment. You do not want the limb to fall and break something beneath it or fall onto you or someone in your family.

The more decayed and hollowed areas you notice on your tree and on its limbs, the greater chance that dead branches and limbs are about to fall off. Raised roots and soil are also an indication that the root structure of the tree is not healthy or strong.

You can trim them or cut them off prior to them falling and causing any damage.

Tree pruning helps with the health of the tree too. Dead branches are a burden for trees to lift up. Crossed branches and vertical branches are also detrimental to the health of a tree.

You will also notice sprouts and small trees that grow around the base of the stump. These plants steal nutrients away from the tree and should be cut down or trimmed as well. This can be done with a pair of handheld trimming shears.

Another reason for pruning your trees is to direct the growth of new branches. After you cut off a dead branch, a new branch will grow in a different direction. If done properly, this should lead to a stronger branch structure for your tree.

Pruning trees also helps them produce fresh fruit and flowers.

When Should You Trim Trees?

If the tree blossoms in the early spring, you should trim it in the summer after the flowers bloom. If the tree blossoms in the late spring, you should prune it in the fall or in the winter. If a tree does not blossom at all then it should be trained during the dormant winter months of the year.

Light trimming is OK in the summer months to ensure the trees look as beautiful as possible but this trimming is more for appearance than maintenance.

How to Prune Trees?

Always keep safety in mind during tree pruning. Be mindful of dead branches that could fall on you and do not trim trees near power lines. If your tree is near a power line you should call a professional tree removal service.

You will need a ladder to trim your trees. Do not climb higher than six feet off of the ground and do not use a chainsaw on a ladder. Learn more basic ladder safety tips.

You can use a hand saw for pruning trees but a pull saw is much safer. You can purchase a pull saw online or at your local hardware store.

If you are cutting down a long branch, do it in sections. Start far away from the tree and saw off the end, then work inwards toward the tree until the entire branch has been cut down.

You do not want to pull bark off the tree during the pruning process. To prevent bark from coming off, you should saw an inch or two into the bottom of the branch and then saw the remainder from the top of the branch. This will create a nice clean cut and not put any additional stress on the tree or its bark.

Be sure to cut down and out when sawing from the top of the branch. You can prune and direct the growth of branches by trimming terminal buds from the end of branches and clearing all smaller branches off the tree to give the main branches more strength.

You should not need to trim your tree more than one or two times each year. If you are not confident in our tree pruning tips you can hire a company to trim your trees for you each year.

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Benefits of Remodeling Your Bathroom

The signs of wear and tear in a bathroom can never be hidden. That’s why you many homeowners consider remodeling their bathrooms and investing in their home. Homeowners should never take a bathroom renovation as an additional or unnecessary expense. Renovating your bathroom will go a long way to add value to your home. We both know that this is a place most of us do spend a lot of time taking care of our bodies.

The bathroom is, therefore, a place that should provide you with the luxurious comfort you want while also ensuring that everything in there is functioning well. Here are some of the benefits of remodeling your bathroom.

Invest in the value of your home

One of the things that appears top on many home buyers’ lists is the bathroom. That means, when the time to sell your home comes, potential buyers will most likely want a remodeled bathroom. However, if you don’t have any plans of selling your home, investing in a bathroom remodel wills still provide you with more comfortable toilets and tubs as well as refreshing fixtures. You bathroom will look clean and more beautiful thus contributing to the improved look of your home.

Increase your Energy Efficiency

Upgrading your bathroom with fixtures and appliances that are energy efficient will save you a lot of money on energy costs every month. Installing modern fixtures will also reduce the amount of water your use thereby saving you more money.

Add More Space

Did you know that it’s possible to make that small space in your bathroom feel more spacious? Remodeling your bathroom will help you de-clutter it by spacing the fixtures or replacing them with more efficient ones that utilize less space. With the additional space, you can hire a professional to add additional space for storing linens and towels.

Upgrade your Safety

Remodeling helps you to get rid of any hazards posed by your old bathroom. Cracked or damaged tiles can be replaced and any soft spots on the floor fixed. Remodeling will also help you uncover any hidden mold and remove it thereby protecting your family from health complications that may arise from the spores. Renovating your bathroom may also involve inspecting your piping system and checking for corrosion that could be seeping in your tap water. All these undertakings will help you upgrade your safety. Remember to work with a professional when renovating and remodeling your bathroom.

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