Smart Tips – Pressure Washing Safety Tips When Using Chlorine

Always make sure you wear safety goggles and have available running water near by when handling any chemicals for your pressure washing project.

The running water should be another source other than the hose hooked to your pressure washer for immediate access. You don’t want to have to fool around with unscrewing the hose from the pressure washer if the need for fresh water is urgent.

You also want to wear medical gloves or other gloves that are thin and easy to work with. Using bulkier gloves can alter your ability to grip precisely or use precise manuevers in case of an accidental spill. These gloves can also give you some extra comfort while using the pressure washing wand or”gun.”

Chlorine can be very caustic. It also is about 2.5x the strength of household bleach.
Most surfaces can be pressure washed with chlorine by diluting it down to 50% strength. This will make it safer to work with and also give you more bang for your buck.

Sodium Hypochlorite is the active ingredient in chlorine and bleach. Typically household bleach is around 5% and Chlorine is about 12.5%. The higher the percentage of hypocrite, the more cleaning power you have.

Always remember when pressure washing, to rinse all surfaces thoroughly especially any aluminum framed windows and metal surfaces. This will help avoid any crystallization build up after you are finished with your pressure washing project.

Rinse your windows well with a water hose, not the pressure washer, as this can cause a void in the seal and your window warranty.

When you are complete with your pressure washing job, ensure you rinse everything down, including your pressure washer to avoid corrosion from the chlorine. Don’t be so worried about getting water on your pressure washer motor. If the gas can is on tight and you don’t shoot water directly into the exhaust vent, your pressure washer will be fine.

After you dispose of your safety gloves, thoroughly rinse your hands with fresh water. If you ever come in contact with chlorine in your eyes, immediately flush your eyes out with a water hose with a light flow and contact a doctor immediately thereafter.

With these and other safety measures, pressure washing can be a fun and effective way to keep your home attractive. It makes a big difference in appearance and if you have not had it done in a while, you will surely see for yourself the effectiveness of a good pressure washing job.

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Some Opinion About Exterior Wood Surfaces

Exterior Wood Surfaces

Restoration or Vandalism?

You need your deck, log cabin, wood siding, or for that matter, any surface on your valuable property restored it is important to define exactly what you want done and then make sure you or the contractor know how to accomplish the task to meet your desired result. First, we need to define a few terms.

Restoration – The action of returning to a former owner, place, or condition. The act or process of returning something to its original condition by repairing it, by replacing it, cleaning it, etc.

Cleaning – Make (something or someone) free of dirt, marks, mess, especially washing, or brushing. The activity of removing the dirt from things and places.

Washing – To cleanse by or as if by the action of liquid (as water). To remove (as dirt) by rubbing or drenching with liquid.

Blasting – The shock wave of an explosion (in this case with water). A forcible stream of air, gas, or stream from an opening (in most cases water from a pressure washer).

Vandalism – Willful or malicious destruction or defacement of public or private property. Willful or IGNORANT destruction. ANY activity that is considered to be damaging or destroying something that was good.

Most people want their valuable home, deck, or other structure restored to a “like new” condition. Sometimes this can happen by cleaning but that is not the case with wood surfaces. The goal for wood surfaces is to restore it to a former condition as defined above. To do this let’s address the other processes that contractors use. Today you get different trades that state they work on decks or exterior wood surfaces but how are they performing their work? There is a trend toward using an extreme amount of chemicals to “soft wash” wood surfaces. What these contractors are actually doing in most cases is spraying a higher than recommended dilution of bleach which lightens the surface and initially “wows” you with the result. A couple of items with this process, BLEACH DOES NOT CLEAN it lightens and remediates mold and mildew. Soap and detergents clean. When these contractors bleach your wood with too strong of a solution it can hurt landscape and other surroundings. Applying too much bleach can result in leaving it IN the wood where it will dry the wood out and could cause it to prematurely decay. Applying too much bleach, too strong to wood surfaces can cause it to burn the wood and cause excess fuzziness to the wood. The contractors who are selling you this service are not selling restoration services, they are basically selling you snake oil and taking your money while damaging your property. See vandalism above! The next item regarding restoration of wood is that most of these surfaces have grayed from exposure to the sun. What happens is that these surface wood fibers that have grayed need to be removed with a light amount of pressure or brushing and rinsing. Many of these contractors who are just applying bleach are just lightening the color of these fibers and not removing them. What happens next is when you apply a sealer or stain to the surface it fails and becomes blotchy in appearance quickly. This is because that eventually these fibers begin to separate from the wood surface because it was not properly prepped for coating. All wood restoration contractors know that the optimal final appearance is determined by how well the prep work that goes into it.

There are other contractors who “pressure wash” your wood surfaces to “restore” them. While this may not be a bad method, it is not if it used as a tool to rinse with only. Matter of fact, wood surfaces used with the right product always require less than 1000psi and in most cases 600psi or less is all that is needed. Softwood species like cedar requires less pressure while hardwood species like mahogany or Ipe withstand higher pressure. Many homeowners think that the pressure washer “cleans and restores” surfaces. This is so wrong, just ask a neighbor that has ruined or damaged a surface using a pressure washer in this way. Let’s look at this closer, how does pressure clean? Too much pressure will damage and possibly destroy your valuable property. The restoration process uses cleaners, restorers, strippers, brighteners and so forth to do the actual work. Actually, the first step is to remove grayed wood fibers or strip an older coating. In these situations we use surfactants that help lift and remove the wood fibers or older coatings from the surface where they now just need to be lightly rinsed off with no damaging pressure. A good analogy would be cleaning your oven, when you apply an oven cleaner to the surfaces and allow to dwell for 20 minutes it is an easy wipe down and clean. If you did not use the oven cleaner, you would spend a lot of time using quite a bit of elbow grease to clean. When cleaning and restoring surfaces this procedure should still be used, use the right product and allow to dwell to make the job easier. It is so important to make sure you or your contractor is using more than just pressurized water. Pressurized water is basically blasting the surface and blasting wood surfaces will not restore anything.

While these terms may also apply to other surfaces like exterior home surfaces, outdoor furniture, concrete, concrete pavers, stamped concrete, etc. it must be recognized that unless one is using some type of cleaner, stripper, or other product to actually do the work you are not providing any type of restoration. Why do we see so much damage caused to people’s valuable property and assets? Mostly because there is not enough education and research provided to the contractor or end user. Vandalism is defined as “willful or ignorant destruction” so it is not an excuse for those who do not know the proper procedures and techniques used in restoration, the information is out there. When planning your next restoration project do research for yourself or ask the right questions to your contractor to insure they will be restoring your property and not vandalizing it.

The Reasons – Why Homeowners Opt For Attic Conversions

As of now, more and more homeowners are looking for ways on how to make their homes more appealing and functional. And, one of the most common options is attic conversions.

Attic or loft conversion is a process where homeowners transform an empty attic space or loft into a functional room, typically used as a bedroom, office space, a gym, or storage space. Many homeowners prefer such solutions since it can provide numerous features. Below are some of the following.

To improve living space easily

One of the main reasons why homeowners plan for attic conversions is to improve their living space easily. Of course, there are cases when homeowners need to have an extra space for a new member of the family. However, creating such space can be stressful most especially if you do not have sufficient property space. Luckily, opting for attic conversions can be a good option. With this, you do not need to huge properties to create a new living space.

To avoid substantial improvement costs

The next reason why homeowners opt for attic conversions is to avoid substantial improvement costs. Home improvement projects are quite expensive. It gets even worse if you are planning to improve living space. Luckily, attic conversions are better options than building new establishments in your property. Apart from that, attic or loft conversions are easier to do than building, which can help you reduce your expenses significantly.

To create new means of income

Another reason why homeowners opt for attic or loft conversions is to gain new means of income. Renting out converted attics can be a good source of income. But, before planning for this venture, you need to make sure that you have sufficient space. Not to mention, you need to call in experts to assess your establishment first to ensure safety. And, you also need to call in experts to help you convert you attic. This is important to ensure that you can make attics functional and appealing.

To enhance house value

Finally, attic conversions can also help homeowners increase the value of their house. Surely, having gardens and lawns can increase value. But, homeowner can also increase the value of their property by enhancing home aesthetics and functionality. In addition, attic conversions also help homeowners enjoy better views of their street and community.

These are only some of the benefits homeowners can enjoy by opting for attic conversions from reliable service providers.

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Use a Oak Wood For Your Staircase

If you are thinking of updating your wooden stairs by replacing the banisters, it’s worth spending some time considering which timber to use. After all, stairs are a prominent architectural feature which can make a big difference to the overall look and feel of your hallway.

Oak staircases, in particular, are becoming increasingly popular with home owners looking for a premium, durable product that won’t easily go out of fashion.

Oak sources

Strongly associated with quality and luxury, oak is grown mainly in Europe and North America. The trees are carefully nurtured in large forests and can take up to 120 years to mature, with only the biggest and best specimens considered suitable for the construction of high-end products such as furniture, flooring, doors and staircases. The amount of time and effort spent on cultivation ensures that oak will always remain a premium option.

White oak versus red oak

There are two main groups of oak wood: red and white. Both types are extremely hard and durable, but white oak is generally considered the most desirable because it matures more slowly. This produces a straighter, denser grain, making the timber almost water-tight and highly resistant to rot. For this reason white oak is a sought-after material for use in boat-building and outdoor structures.

Red oak, being faster growing and more abundant, is a little cheaper to produce and has a more open grain which is prone to swirls and wavy lines. It should only be used for indoor items such as furniture and cabinets.

Many home owners choose white oak rather than red not only for its good looks, but also because it has fewer variations in colour and grain pattern. This makes it easier to match new staircase parts with existing white oak fittings such as doors, floors and skirting boards to complement the rest of the decor.

American white oak is particularly popular, with a lighter colouring and lower production costs than the European equivalent. Shades range from pale yellow-brown to a light tan colour. The straight, knot-free grain is ideal for creating attractive and hard-wearing stair parts such as handrails, newels, base rails and balusters. It also accepts wood treatments very readily, so can be easily stained, varnished, waxed or painted.

Tips on fitting oak stair parts

Firstly, white oak is acidic, so is liable to corrode any metals that contain iron. To avoid the resulting bluish discolouration you should only use non-ferrous fixings such as stainless or zinc-coated (galvanised) screws and brackets when assembling your stair balustrade.

Secondly, as oak is a natural material it is likely to shrink and expand according to the temperature and moisture content of the surrounding air. For this reason you should always leave new oak stair parts to acclimatize in the room where they are going to be fitted (or somewhere close by with similar humidity) for at least 48 hours before installation.

Finally, if you are planning to varnish, wax or stain the banister rail, try out a small amount of the treatment beforehand on a stair component that won’t be visible afterwards – the base of a spindle, for example – to make sure you still like the colour after it has dried.

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