Your Home Can Look Like New

If you would like to upgrade your home but can’t afford renovations at this time, you may want to consider giving the exterior of your home and yard a thorough cleaning. You can get your concrete driveway, hardscapes and walkways cleaned and sealed. You may also consider wooden siding and deck cleaning and sealing.

Cleaning Concrete

Concrete can be stained from constant exposure to the elements and from grease from vehicles. It can also be ruined by incorrect pressure washing. A professional cleaner can make your concrete look like new without causing any damage. They can also take it one step further by applying a protective sealant that resists ultraviolet (UV) rays that damage the surface. There are environmentally-friendly solvents that gently lift the dirt and grease off of the concrete, so it can be washed away without pressure scrubbing.

Cleaning Wood

If you have a wooden deck, fence, stairs or pillars outside, they will most likely be faded and stained by mold, mildew and accumulated dirt. Power washing can also damage wood as it damages concrete, so a solvent is used first to soften all the grime. The wood can then be gently power washed to make it look like new. A protective sealant will resist water damage and UV rays that fade and weaken the wood.

Deck Cleaning

Decks are a great addition to a home for expanding the living space. Unfortunately, they tend to look dingy after a year or two and require deep cleaning to bring back the glow of the natural wood. Even if your deck is covered in mold and mildew, it can be restored. There are non-chlorine solvents that are friendly to the environment and will not harm plants. They don’t bleach the wood they simply gently lift off the soft old wood fibers, so they can be gently rinsed away. The polymer sealant is the key to making the wood look like new and keeping it that way for years.

Siding

Before you look into an expensive paint job for the siding on your home, consider a deep cleaning first. After all the dirt and stains are removed, a protective sealant will make your siding look like new, and you won’t need to have it repainted.

Deep cleaning that doesn’t damage your wood, siding or concrete is a good option before you consider expensive home renovations.

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The great Australian deck

DeckingAustralians are of course blessed by fortune. It’s not for nothing that the moniker gets applied to the great big land under the equator. The lucky country indeed. Beautiful weather almost year round, depending on which part of the country of course, with enough space for everyone to sit outside and enjoy it. It’s from these fortuitous circumstances that deck life has been born.

It is pretty much a requirement in this country now to have some kind of outdoor space, and it’s often on those slowly weather timber slats, with wooden, or occasionally plastic, furniture. On summer evenings a stroll through the suburbs you can hear the joyful simmer of chatter and good times emanating from the decks and floating over the roofs. Its always a pleasure to arrive at a friends house on a balmy evening and be lead through the humid and sweltering house, through the sliding doors at the back and out into a decked back area.

I’ve got fond memories of the time I spent growing up on modest little decking of my family home in country Victoria. The purple flowers of the wisteria blossoming in the spring and protecting the ever-strengthening rays of the sun as summer approached. Barbeques in the late afternoon with friends and neighbors walking over from town and milling around chatting joyfully as the day finishes around us. Sometimes there would be a mass exodus inside as a thunderstorm hits after providing a dramatic backdrop of clouds rolling in all afternoon, there we would stand inside looking out as heavy rain beat down on the water resistant decking will beautiful lighting strikes lit up the horizon and cuts through the dripping wisteria.

These days you can see huge decking’s on new houses in the outer suburbs of the country’s major cities. With the new wealth of the last two decades have come an ever-expanding standard of mansions appearing, as well-to-do people try to out do each other with the monolithic palaces to obscene wealth. These houses take the great Australian deck to the next level, often two or three levels, of their castles, or they might have a wrap around type structure. I wonder though if these ultra decks are somehow a detriment to the traditional uses of these spaces. Can you really have a gathering with close friends on multiple decks, are we alienating ourselves and place in the community by showing off our wealth?

But I’m always relieved when travelling back to the countryside and a drive around town on a quiet week night reveals a healthy culture of deck life. Whether it’s the old man setting himself up with the paper on his front porch to watch the world go by, the same position he takes up everyday so that he is as much a feature of the deck as the deck itself. Or the young family who’s rowdy dinner spills its racket over the fence and down the street, reminding neighbors that here is a family that cares about each other, that still find value in a family meal eaten together. Or just the quiet evening I spend by myself sitting on the family deck with a book and just let the peaceful world hum by around me. All these moments are a testament to the parts of our life that exist in this strange space, this softwoods timber decking, neither inside nor outside, where life seems somehow suspended in time, it’s a neutral space where we have the chance to slow down for a minute and take stock of what we have and why it’s important.

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4 Myths about Safe Crane Operation

Whether you are operating an indoor lift crane or an outdoor lift crane, it’s important that safety is always first and foremost on your mind, and on the minds of your employees. It’s all too easy for experienced, full-time employees to slack a bit in terms of safety, but this type of laxness in the workplace can result in serious injury to people, damage to equipment, or both. Consider these misconceptions and recommendations, and make sure you inspect all of your crane equipment on a regular basis to catch and fix any issues.

First, don’t dismiss manufacturer recommendations on weight and balance. While it’s certainly true that you may have a bit of leeway, it’s never a good idea to overload a crane. All it takes is a minor shift in a heavy load to create a very dangerous situation.

Second, when using straight-lift cranes, don’t assume that having slack rope in your hoist means you can bend the rules and lift from an angle. If you’re operating a straight-lift crane, then use it for straight-lifting only; otherwise, you may end up with a non-working crane and disabled crane parts.

Third and foremost, don’t rely on OSHA and local inspectors to provide thorough, top-notch inspections for you. While they do have checklists and regulations to check and enforce, you are ultimately responsible for keeping tabs on your equipment and making sure that everything is working as it should be.

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Decorating with Ladders

Today, almost anything can be reused in a way that gives them new life other than their original purpose, and old ladders are no exception. These ideas can help you repurpose an old ladder and add a unique look to any room in your home.

Storage Uses

One way to repurpose an old ladder for decoration is to attach the ladder flat against a wall as a shelf. The rungs separate and outline items you wish to display, while the rails are used as a shelf for the items. You can sit small items on the bottom rail and larger items, such as pictures on the top. A folding ladder can be opened slightly and nailed sideways on a wall to create wider storage areas for items such as painting canvases, record albums or books. A ladder could also be hung from the ceiling of a kitchen as a pot, basket or utensil rack. Use multiple ladders side-by-side with rough boards between them for shelving as well.

Towel Racks

A vintage ladder is the perfect towel rack for any bathroom or kitchen. By adding casters, like those found on this site, you can shift the towel rack to any location that is convenient. This is an excellent suggestion for homes with no linen closet in bathrooms or limited space in the kitchen as the ladder can be moved around freely on the casters. A ladder could also be used in a dining room to hold table runners or placemats, displaying them as an added decorating idea.

Plant Stands

Ladders are the perfect plant stands as well, perfect for a rustic porch or patio. Ladders are excellent trellises for climbing plants, such as morning glories or honeysuckle. Place the ladder in a garden and plant climbing vines around the base. Eventually, the vines will grow and entwine the entire ladder, creating a unique centerpiece for your garden. If you have a patio with a roof, even if it is an open design, consider hanging a ladder from the ceiling and attaching canning jars or even cleaned tin cans with twine from the rungs. The jars or cans can be used to hold fresh cut flowers, plants or candles.

These simple ideas using vintage ladders are a great way to provide a unique, rustic look to any room, garden or patio. By using easy to install casters, ladders can even become portable so they can be moved to different areas of a room or home.

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