Steel Versus Poly Water Tanks: Which Way Should You Go?

Sadly, most people in the world must come to terms with the fact that water is becoming severely scarce. Cities, towns and populations are growing at an alarming rate that cannot be matched by the available sources of water. For this reason, it is advisable to make good use of the any water that you can use through conservative use and proper storage. Investing in a water tank is a good way to do this, as it also allows you to optimise the use of alternative water sources like boreholes. Here is a thorough look at steel and poly tanks to help you make the right choice when buying:

Strength and Durability

The last thing you want is to pump lots of money into a water tank that will only last a months or days. This makes strength and durability an important consideration when you are choosing a between a steel and poly tank. Chromium is a constituent element of steel that makes the tanks highly resistant to chemical corrosion. However, a steel tank can still corrode or undergo pitting if any section is in contact with iron or metals susceptible to rust. Poly, on the other hand, is naturally resistant to corrosion and the addition of ultraviolet radiation stabilisers keeps it from becoming brittle when exposed to lots of sunlight. Regardless of contact with metal that can rust, poly will always maintain its structural integrity.

Installation of the Tank

Water tanks, regardless of what they are made of, need to be installed on solid and sturdy foundations that can hold immense weight. There is a thin line between steel and poly in terms of weight. Poly tanks are available as one-piece units that can be sustained by a foundation of crusher dust. This is a mixture of crushed rocks. On the other hand, a steel tank has more foundation demands. They require compact foundations that must be kept free of moisture, treated timber, dissimilar metals, chemicals and treated timber.

Maintenance Needs

Steel and poly tanks differ in terms of maintenance. Steel requires a protective coating as a back up to the layer of galvanic coating. Paints and other protective coatings must be replenished with time to keep rust from spreading and developing in any case. On the contrary, poly is a maintenance free material that will give you less to worry about. It’s the go-to material when you have less time to attend to your tank.  

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Three Simple Guidelines on Minimising Skip Bin Expenses

The skip bin is one of the most efficient tools for managing residential waste, particularly during a special project. For example, if you are performing a house renovation, gardening, or spring cleaning, a skip bin will come in handy. This option is convenient because the rental company will deliver the container to your property. When it is filled with the pertinent waste, the pick-up truck will get the bin and dispose the waste. Use these simple tips to minimise the total skip bin expenses so you get cheap skip bins and improve waste management efficiency.

Only Put in Accepted Waste

You should understand that there are strict rules with regard to the type of waste you can put into the skip bin. If you violate these regulations, you will typically be financially penalised because the bin might require special maintenance. Moreover, there might be some challenges and extra charges involved in disposing unacceptable waste materials. Therefore, you should request for an explicit breakdown of the acceptable waste types. If you are uncertain about a specific type of material, make an inquiry before proceeding.

Fill the Bin Properly

Skip bins are generally spacious, as long as you have requested for the right size for your application. However, if you do not pack the waste properly, a lot of the space will be lost. Consequently, you might have to get another skip bin or look for an alternative way to dispose the waste. This will increase your total project expenses. For the best result, put in the larger items first and fill in the remaining gaps with smaller items. If possible, you should cut up your bulk waste before putting it into the bin. However, you should note the recommended limit and adhere to it.

Reduce Your Waste

When you hire a skip bin, it is tempting to put in all your residential rubbish into it during the rental period. Unfortunately, this means that you will lose a lot of room for the critical waste materials. Therefore, you should consider reducing the total garbage by continuing to use the council bins for your normal household waste. Generally, you can place plastics, papers, general vegetation and even food scraps into the council waste bins. This will ensure that your skip bin expenses remain low.

Finally, you should consider sharing the cost of the skip bin with your neighbours. This is ideal if you have limited waste materials, and it is particularly beneficial during the spring cleaning or gardening season. 

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Found Asbestos in Your Home? Here’s What to Do

Asbestos is a versatile material that was widely used in buildings up until 1999, when it was discovered to present a serious health risk. Breathing in asbestos fibers can cause several types of lung cancer which are often fatal. It’s natural to feel concerned when discovering that a part of your home contains asbestos, particularly a large structure like a garage. Luckily, there are ways to safely remove and dispose of asbestos.

In some cases, it may be possible to remove the asbestos yourself, while following the correct procedure and using appropriate tools. This can save money, but if you’re not confident of your ability to carry out the work then it’s best to contact a professional, rather than risk your health. The steps below outline the safe removal of asbestos from your home.

Confirm that removal is the best option

It’s easy to read horror stories about asbestos and assume that removal is essential, but that’s not always the case. If asbestos is in good condition, with no signs or wear and tear, and not located in an area where it’s likely to be damaged, then removal might not be necessary. There’s a very low risk of asbestos fibers being released from material that’s in good condition, or sealed within other, non-asbestos materials. If removal looks like it will be costly and inconvenient then it’s worth contacting a local contractor to discuss alternatives like encapsulation.

Remove asbestos yourself or hire a professional

If you’ve looked at the alternatives and decided that removal is the best option, you’ll need to choose between carrying out the work yourself and hiring a professional. When removing asbestos yourself, it’s important to keep the surface wet to prevent the spread of fibers, not to use power tools, aggressive cutting discs, high pressure air, or hose pipes. You should wear overalls and and an asbestos-approved safety mask during all work. Asbestos should be stored in a safe place where it will not be crushed or broken while waiting to be disposed of. The area you work in should be well ventilated at all times.

If you don’t want to risk removing the material yourself, or local laws don’t allow it, then contacting a professional is the best option. They’ll be able to safely remove the material, following procedures to keep you, your family, and your neighbors safe.

Dispose of asbestos according to local guidelines

Asbestos must not be thrown away with the normal rubbish, as it poses a risk to workers in the waste sector. You should ask your local council for guidelines on removal – some areas offer a free collection service, while in others you can dispose of asbestos in a specific area of the local waste and recycling center. If you’ve had your asbestos professionally removed, most companies will dispose of it for you for a small extra fee. This is the easiest option, and ensures that you comply with all local regulations.

For more information, contact a business such as Total Asbestos Services.

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Hydromulching: Simple Guidelines for Site Preparation

The lawn is an important feature in residential landscaping because it will affect the aesthetics and general function of your outdoor space. You can choose natural or artificial grass for your compound, but the former is more favourable in terms of authenticity, durability and comfort. If you are planning on planting fresh turf, you should consider using the hydromulching method. This method involves spraying a slurry mixture of the seed, mulch and fertiliser directly on the soil. Therefore, this technique will reduce the total project time and ensure that the yard is covered uniformly. Here are some guidelines on preparing your residential site for hydromulching. 

Eliminate Unwanted Material

The soil in yards is filled with debris and random vegetation, and these materials will interfere with the growth of the grass seeds. Therefore, it is important to clean out the site before the hydromulching mixture is sprayed on the surface. You will need to manually remove tree stumps, rocks and sticks from the soil. You can pick the larger items and use a regular garden rake for maximum efficiency. Other plants and weeds will compete with the growing grass for nutrients and compromise the health of the seedlings. Therefore, you should till the area or apply herbicides and collect the plant material. The herbicide option is more favourable because it is non-selective and can kill perennial plants.

Apply Quality Topsoil

The topsoil is a critical element to consider because it will be responsible for nourishing and anchoring the roots of the growing grass. If your site has sandy soil, it will not retain moisture effectively, and the seedlings are likely to wilt due to dehydration. Clayey soil retains water, but it will crack and become hard when the weather is dry. You should apply fresh high-quality topsoil on your residential yard to overcome these detriments. You can acquire loam soil and manure mixture from specialist dealers. This will need to be spread on the yard and lightly packed. You might need to excavate and remove some soil from the ground in order to accommodate the new material.

Water the Soil

The topsoil should be watered before the hydromulching mixture is applied to soften the surface. In simple terms, the moisture in the lightly packed soil will allow the grass seeds to penetrate the soil slightly. Consequently, the turf will be able to germinate efficiently, away from exposure to the elements. If the topsoil is still hard after light watering, heavy harrowing, raking or aeration will help loosen the surface for the seeds.

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Answers to Two Commonly Asked Questions About Fire Extinguishers

Having a fire extinguisher at home can be a great safety feature, especially if you tend to cook with a lot of oil or have a gas stove with an open flame; these can increase your risk of a fire in the kitchen. In the office or any place of business, a fire extinguisher may be a legal requirement. While you will hopefully never need to use your extinguisher, it’s good to know the basics about their operation and maintenance so that you ensure they are always functioning as they should. Note two commonly asked questions about fire extinguishers and then discuss these with a salesperson or your local fire inspector during their next visit.

1. Does using the extinguisher lower the pressure?

You may realize that a fire extinguisher contains a type of pressurized propellant that helps to project the material inside toward a fire. This propellant gets released whenever you open the valve to squeeze out the extinguishing material inside. This, in turn, lowers the pressure of the propellant inside the extinguisher.

However, the amount it gets lowered will depend on how much you use the extinguisher. If you use it for just a short burst or a few quick seconds, the pressure may still remain at a useable range. To note if your extinguisher should be serviced after any use, check the gauges on the front. The needle on the pressure reading should be in the middle of the gauge. If it’s lowered at all, have the extinguisher serviced.

2. How long does a fire extinguisher last?

A fire extinguisher should last for years but this doesn’t mean it never needs replacing. The materials inside that extinguish a fire may break down over time so that you need an entirely new extinguisher or to have the materials inside tested and replaced if necessary. To determine the lifespan of your extinguisher, note the labels that tell you when it should be replaced; the extinguisher should have an expiration date just like any other product you buy.

Note too that in many places, fire extinguishers kept in businesses must be examined every year or even more often, to check their pressure and the materials inside the canister. It can be good to have yours at home inspected at least annually as well. This will tell you if the materials inside are still intact and the extinguisher itself is in good working order, or if it needs replacing even before its expiration date.

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Possums And Tree Damage: Advice For Homeowners

For some people, the possum is a much-loved Australian animal, but these small mammals can cause problems for gardeners and tree lovers. Possums enjoy living in Australian suburbs and will make their homes in many places, including trees and shrubs, but they can also cause extensive damage. If you have a problem with possums in your garden, learn what you can do about the problem.

About Australian possums

Australian homeowners will normally see one of two possum species, the brushtail possum and the common ringtail possum. In most places, the law protects possums, and homeowners have limited options to deal with an infestation. Some states allow people to hire licensed wildlife controllers to deal with brushtail possums, but it’s illegal to move the animals further than 50 metres away from the capture site.

Possums will eat leaves, flowers and fruits from a wide range of trees and shrubs. Most possum activity is normally harmless, but if you have a lot of possums in your trees, they can over-graze and cause long-term damage. Sometimes the creatures will nest in trees, and they may also use trees to gain access to your home or other buildings.

Protecting trees from possums

Many homeowners use possum guards or bands around the trunks of trees to stop the creatures climbing. Tree bands need to be at least 60cm wide to effectively stop the animals getting up the tree. You can buy these devices in metal or clear polycarbonate. Cats and dogs commonly attack and injure possums, so you should place the guard above the first fork of the tree to give the animal refuge. 

Effective pruning and lopping can also stop possums causing trouble. Cut back the crown of any trees near your home or other buildings, and aim for clearance of at least 2 metres between the tree and any surrounding structures. Remember that young possums can leap up to 2.5 metres horizontally or downwards, so you may need some fairly severe pruning to protect your house.

Repelling possums

Possums can also damage ornamental plants and fruits in your garden. A floppy fence around your garden can stop the animals getting in. Install a galvanised chicken wire fence that’s 80 centimetres wide and buried 20 centimetres in the ground. Bend the top of the wire to curve the upper section outwards, as this will stop the possum climbing over the fence.

Chemical repellents are not generally effective against possums, and you should only consider trapping possums if the creatures cause serious damage to your property. Only a licensed trapping company can offer this service, which possums find highly stressful. Generally speaking, you should look for more humane ways to stop the animals gaining access to your property.

You may want to consider installing a nest box. If one territorial possum adopts the nest box, it will keep other animals away from your garden, and is more likely to leave your trees alone. Install the box upright, at least three metres off the ground, and avoid treated timber, paint and smelly glue.

Possums can damage your trees and shrubs, but Australian homeowners must take careful action to control populations. Contact an arborist, like Southern Highlands Tree Services, for more advice about keeping possums away from your trees.

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Benefits Of Installing An Outdoor Awning This Summer

As summer rapidly approaches, it’s time to start thinking about how you plan to keep your home cool and how to survive the summer months in relative comfort. While air conditioning is a modern convenience many of us lean on throughout the hotter weather, minimising the need to use it is a financially savvy and environmentally friendly option.

Installing an awning on the exterior of your windows is a highly effective method of passive heat reduction. Here are some of the top reasons why you should have awnings installed before summer hits this year.

Heat Reduction

If you have large windows facing east or west in your main living areas, you might have the privilege of watching beautiful sunrises and sunsets; however, you will also be victim to increased heat entering your home. If your windows receive considerable sun in the morning or afternoon, heavy, rubber-backed curtains or double glazing can only do so much to keep the heat at bay during an Australian heat wave.

Installing an outside awning can reflect the suns rays to drastically reduce the heat that enters through your window panes by up to 80%. Harmful UV rays are also stopped by an awning, keeping you cool and skin safe.

A cooler room means less air conditioning, equating to an energy bill reduction during the summer months. When the hot weather passes and you want the heat to come in, awnings on a roller system can easily be retracted to provide your living areas with full sun for maximum heating effects.

Increase Visual Appeal

Installing attractive awnings that are historically appropriate for your home design are not only functional. They add to the character and style of your home. Think of an awning like the eyebrow that your window is missing! There is a huge range of colours, designs and awning styles to suit your tastes and budget, so speak to a local authorised awning dealer, like Quin’s Canvas Goods Pty Ltd, for a catalogue today.

Shade Your Outdoor Living Space

So many Australians have beautiful decks and patios that just don’t get used regularly during the summer months because the heat and UV rays make the idea of a relaxing outdoor meal or beverage an unappealing prospect. A retractable awning installed over your patio area gives you back that outdoor living area for entertaining and enjoying precious family time. The size, shape and colour of your awning can be tailored to suit your outdoor space, offering  your guests not only a shady place to rest, but also an area where your outdoor furniture will also be protected from the elements. Automatic retractable awnings make entertaining a breeze. With the click of a button, you have an instant shady outdoor entertaining area, without the need for awkward, heavy umbrellas or an expensive permanent roof.

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