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Many Uses of Slate

Many Uses of Slate

Slate, a metamorphic rock usually associated with roofs and floors, has a surprising amount of uses. The rock itself has a fine grain, is usually gray in color, and is the result of sedimentary rock that is created because of low-grade metamorphism. Its mineral composition is quartz and illite with many other minerals mixed in, like hematite, pyrite (also known as Fool’s Gold), and even graphite or other minerals. It’s a versatile rock, and can be used for a number of things.

The most common use for slate has occurred for many a century in Europe, where they used slate (mostly from Spain) to put roofs on their buildings and houses. Slate has a low absorption rate, which makes it good for roofing since it prevents leaks and resists freezing and cracking. While current asphalt roofs have a 20-year life span (if you’re lucky), a properly installed slate roof can last for up to 100 years – quite a difference, and the result is very much more attractive.

Slat e is also used for flooring. Because the “tiles” are pretty flat, they make a good flooring surface, and they are good for the same reason slate roofs are good. They resist moisture and are very durable. One problem is that the tiles can be slippery, especially when wet because the rock does not absorb the moisture, and it stands on the surface.

Under the fuzzy green felt, most professional grade pool tables have a slate top. That’s why they are so heavy. The surface is hard, level, and resistant to those accidental beverage spills. The first blackboards were also made out of slate. Because the rock is so non porous, it makes a wonderful writing surface.

Because slate is stable thermally and chemically inert; many laboratory tables are topped with slate. That makes those pretty hard to move, too, but they provide a safe place for chemists and others who work with volatile chemicals to work. It wouldn’t do to accidentally drop hydrochloric acid on a wooden table top, but if it happened on a slate one it wouldn’t matter.

Another benefit to slate for roofs or floors is the fact that it is fireproof. That fact meant that some of the earliest electronic switchboards and the relay controls for motors were made out of slate. Slate is resistant to the flow of electrical current, which is why that worked.

Slate has also been long-used for gravestones, because it is such a flat and attractive rock, and easy to engrave. It is also less expensive than granite or marble, so in the past it was used and the lettering was usually gilded or painted over in white to make it stand out against the dark rock.

Finally, slate is also used as a whetstone to sharpen knives – even today. It has to be the finest slate, but it will sharpen a knife very well.

Slate is a wonderfully versatile type of stone that has many uses. The most common use – as roofing or flooring material – is seeing a comeback in the United States as people strive to add more quality, enduring materials to their home’s construction. Slate is a wonderful way to set your home apart from the rest.…

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Grill Preparation is Part of the Fun

Grill Preparation is Part of the Fun

Getting together with family or friends on a special occasion or at the weekend is one of life’s most pleasurable pastimes. We love outdoor barbecuing, especially in the summer months or when we have a beautiful day to enjoy. When everyone is hungry and ready to eat it’s time to wheel out the barbecue grill and get ready for those pleasant aromas.

When we are thinking about entertaining, grill preparation is not something we want to spend a lot of time on, although we should always remember safety must be at the forefront. It’s great that it doesn’t take much effort to cook well on the barbecue and remember that the residue from previous cookouts will add to the flavor and the enhancement!

Grill preparation can be quite straightforward. You just have to remember to put it in a position where smoke will go away from your party and remember to think of the neighbors as well. Never light a grill underneath an overhang and make sure that there is plenty of room for the fumes to disperse.

While gas grills are a lot easier, charcoal grills take a little bit of time to put together. Nevertheless, watching it heat up can be part of the enjoyment but never try to accelerate the fire until the coals become white-hot by squirting some kind of starter fluid on the flames. Your focus for this weekend is on food preparation and not on first aid.

Move your grill away from any wooden structures, sheds or outhouses and if you are cooking on a wooden deck keep an eye on the situation all the time. You should get a fireproof deck protector or patio plates to put beneath the unit and at all times have a fire extinguisher handy.

While grill preparation is part of the fun, remember that you do not want to spend too much of your time cleaning up afterwards. While many grills come prepared with a special drip tray, we often forget to change this out and it can often leak, especially if we are moving the grill back and forth. For this reason, pick up one of those absorbent pads, which are especially designed for this purpose. You can find them online rather easily and they will help you to avoid having to clean up a stained outdoor area.

When cooking outside remember that you have to be slow and steady and not try to rush things. Generally keep the temperature on low as otherwise you might well burn the outside of the food before the inside is correctly cooked.

At the top of the list when it comes to grill preparation is an adequate amount of propane. If you run out halfway through cooking and have to run to the store to get another gas tank you will not be particularly popular!…

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Home Repair Near me

Know the Types of Sandpaper and Their Functions

Sandpaper is one of the tools needed to smooth the surface of the media to be finished, whether wood, iron, or other types of materials. Choosing the right types of sandpaper is very important in order to produce a good finishing result.

Get to know the types of sandpaper

So, what about the needs in the world of finishing? To meet the needs of finishing, the manufacture of sandpaper is always updated. Therefore, it is very important to know the types of sandpaper and the types of sanding needs before starting the project.

Knowing the types of sandpaper will help make it easier for you in the finishing process. By choosing a good sandpaper, it will make the sanding process easier . This results in a smooth surface. In the end will help produce the desired finishing results. There are many types of paper or sandpaper made from various materials. The following are the types of sandpaper according to the material they are made of. You also need to read sandpaper 101 guide for selecting the right sandpaper products.

Types of Sandpaper Based on the Making Material

Garnet, this sandpaper is made from natural materials and is usually used on various types of wood. This type of sandpaper is very good and easy to use but is smoother than other sandpapers.

Silicone carbide, this sandpaper is very good for materials such as titanium, iron, copper, brass, plastic, rubber, glass, stone and wood. It is suitable for use on materials to be glued. The sanding results are very neat because it can lift all rough surfaces that are still attached to the wood.

Aluminum oxide, this sanding paper material is used specifically for wood, metal, stainless steel, leather, and paint materials. The surface is smoother than silicon carbide but lasts longer.

Ceramic, this material is quite expensive because it can sand strongly and last a long time. It is often used to sand cobalt and nickel-based steel as well as forged steel.

Alumina zirconia, this sandpaper is very hard and durable. If you are going to sand using a tool/machine, you can use this sandpaper.

Use Sandpaper According to Its Purpose

If you are familiar with the types of sandpaper, of course, the next step is to choose the sandpaper according to its intended use. If you are going to use sandpaper then there are two types of ways that you have to do, the first is with a wooden block and the second is using a machine.

If you choose to use your hands, of course, the results of the sandpaper can’t be flat because of uneven hand pressure. If you use a block of wood wrapped with sandpaper, of course the results will be the same. It’s the same if you use a sanding machine, because the surface of the belt is the same so you will also get an even result.

Sanding Steps To Prepare Wood Media Ready For Finishing

Before the finishing process is carried out, the thing that must be done is to make sure the wood media is ready for finishing. One of them is by sanding. The following are the steps for sanding the wood media so that it is ready for the finishing process.

After the wood media has gone through the process of planers, shavings, etc., in this first stage of sanding, you can use sandpaper with grit number 80/100. At this stage the sanding process is intended to cut large wood fibers as well as smooth the edges that are rough and sharp in shape and appearance.

Sanding in the Wood Media Finishing Process

The sanding process also plays an important role in the wood finishing process . At each stage of finishing, the sanding process needs to pay attention to the type of sandpaper used. Make sure the sandpaper you use is the right one for it.

In the post application stage of wood filler/wood putty, use sandpaper no 240, 280 or 320. Make sure the sanding process is carried out optimally until the remaining wood filler is what fills the pores.…

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General

Do-It-Yourself Home Repairs – Be Careful

Do-It-Yourself Home Repairs – Be Careful

How do I put this in the simplest terms to make most do-it-yourself handyman are homeowners understand that there are some things that their not going to be able to tackle by themselves. I don’t advise anyone to mess around with electrical, plumbing, heating or structural framing, if they don’t have any idea what they are working with.

There are however some do-it-yourself home repairs that you can do on your own and if you have any problems, you can always consult with a contractor or even hire at contractor to perform the difficult tasks that you can’t perform on your own, or seriously just don’t have any idea how to make the repair.

One of the most important things that I can tell a do-it-yourself home repair man is that electricity is dangerous. Plumbing pipes that leak water can do more damage than anything else I can think of to a home, besides a roof leak. Heating and air-conditioning repairs can also be difficult and some air conditioning chemicals and gases are more dangerous than electricity.

Now when it comes to structural framing, if you don’t know what you are doing, this could be the most dangerous out of any home repairs and I don’t suggest the amateur home repair man, tackle any structural repair projects. I’m not talking about electric shocks or dangerous air conditioning gases, I’m talking about removing a structural component and having a large section of the home collapse.

I’m writing this to warn people and give them a heads up. I am the person they call after the damage has been done. The do-it-yourself home repair man tried to fix it himself, spent good money and now has to pay double, because the damage they have done is more than the original damage to the home. I’m just asking you to think twice, before tackling some projects and nothing else.…

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Does Bleach Harm Septic Tanks?

Does Bleach Harm Septic Tanks?

Today, homeowners are using a wide range of products to clean their toilets and other plumbing fixtures and drains. Many of these products are safe for the plumbing systems; however, there are products that can cause serious damage to the septic system, including the septic tank. One product that many people have used and ended up putting in the septic system is bleach.

Most experts do not recommend putting bleach in the plumbing system because it can cause damage to the tank. The septic tank contains bacterial micro-organisms that break up and digest the waste that has flowed through the septic system. The bacteria in the tank provide an anaerobic breakdown of solids in the tank. When bleach is added to the septic system, it will kill the bacteria. The result is a septic system that does not work properly. Waste will not be broken down and eventually, the waste will accumulate and cause the entire system to back up. This can be a very expensive problem to fix and it can be messy if the sewer line backs up and flows into the basement. As well, if waste leeches into the drain field, the result can be a blockage that can cause the drain field system to fail.

A septic system needs naturally occurring bacteria to break up the waste. There are bacterial additives that you can purchase and flush down the toilet which will go into the septic tank. The bacteria will be activated and begin to break down the organic materials within the septic tank. It is important not to pour any harmful chemical into the drain to avoid damage to the septic lines and septic tank. Bleach can be very corrosive and can damage the pipes. Bleach is also unsafe to humans if inhaled and it can burn the eyes. It is better to use natural non-chemical additives and cleaners. Healthy septic tanks should always have an abundant of bacteria to prevent septic tank failure.

When shopping for cleaners, look at the ingredients in the cleaner to see what harmful chemicals are in the product. Natural is always the best choice as the plumbing system will not be damaged. You can even make a homemade drain cleaner that consists of A� cup of baking soda and 1 cup of vinegar. It is non-toxic, safe, and cleans drains without harming the tank. Proper care of the septic system is essential to keeping it running smoothly. Choosing the safest products to clean drains and toilets is one way to properly maintain the system. As well, it is important not to put items that do not belong in the septic tank such as grease and oil in the plumbing system.

Anyone who has a septic tank fail knows how frustrating and expensive it can be to get it repaired. Properly maintaining the tank is essential to keeping the tank working properly. Keeping bleach out of the tank is one way homeowners can protect their septic systems.…

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Keeping Home Repair Supplies in Order

Keeping Home Repair Supplies in Order

As any homeowner knows, keeping supplies in order can be daunting when there are so many things that are needed to fix a home. Whether you looking for a way to contain nails and screws or store caulk and glue, it is important to have a system that allows you to put everything in its place. Not only does this help keep your work room or basement looking neater, but it also saves money, because you know what supplies you have and which ones you need to buy.

Try the ideas below for keeping your home repair supplies in order.

Sort It

Before you start purchasing containers and trying to figure out where you are going to put everything, take the time to sort the items you have. Group like things together and pitch any empty containers or broken items, Everything from picture hangers to screwdrivers to extension cords should be separated and sorted.

Contain It

The next step is to find a way to contain everything. Look at the size and shape of each group of items to get an idea for the type of container you may need. You can also re-use items like margarine tubs or food jars to store smaller items like nails and screws. This is a great way to be environmentally aware as well as organized. Other types of containers that work well are handled shower caddies to store caulk or cans of wall patching and small square plastic buckets to hold different types of tape. If you have a pegboard, or can easily install one, they are ideal for hanging items like extension cords, paintbrushes and screwdrivers. They allow you to keep all your items organized on one wall, with possibly a shelf underneath, and have easy access to all your supplies. Do not be afraid to think outside the box and use containers that are intended for other purposes if they will work for your supplies. Craft stores, home improvement shops and even thrift stores usually have a wide range of containers that can help you get organized.

Label It

After you have found a spot for each item, label that spot with what belongs there. For example, label the hook where the extension cords hang so that everyone in the family knows that is where the cords go after use. Labels do not have to be fancy, but they should adhere well to the surface. Dollar stores often have blank printer labels that can be used for labeling items for a fraction of the cost of expensive label makers. Use whatever type of labeling system is going to work best for your needs.

Keeping your home repair supplies in order will give you peace of mind should you need them in a hurry. No longer will you have to hunt around for just the right screwdriver or search for the hammer, because everything will be in its place.…

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Have You Prepared Your Snow Garage?

Have You Prepared Your Snow Garage?

Those of us who live in the far north of our country have learned a long time ago not to fight the precipitation that we know will come. We expect it as the winter months come toward us and we just look at it as a different, if not more challenging way to live. Snow looks great when you can gaze at it out of the window, huddled around a nice warm fire and it does help to make the holiday time more authentic experience as well. We quickly learn that you need to take time to prepare for the arrival of the cold and convert the area that you store your car into a snow garage.

Our way of life in northern climes is an integral part of the weather that we experience during the winter. Our snow garage needs to be prepared for the onslaught and we must continue to function with as little disruption as possible. Don’t store anything on the floor level and relegate everything to the loft or high shelves. Your next step will be to get absorbent mats to put on the floors.

Your snow garage is basically a halfway house between the frigid outdoors and the welcoming inside. You will undoubtedly be able to close the garage door to keep the worst of the frigid weather outside, but understand that there is very little you can do to stop a lot of the snow from finding its way inside this room. This is why you need absorbent mats to capture and retain all of the melting snow before it gets out of control.

When you get ready for the winter season there is quite a lot to do. While this ritual is time-consuming and can be costly, we must take it in stride. Getting snow shovels together with snowblowers available to get rid of the excess layers that form ensures we can get in and out. Ideally it’s best to have a four-wheel drive vehicle as well, or certainly to make sure that you have winter tires, up to the job. The snow garage is the place to keep all these utensils as you position yourself between winter wonderland and safety and warmth.

Absorbent mats will indeed take care of all those solid clumps of snow that fall from beneath your vehicle. As the temperature in this room is slightly warmer than the outside, the snow will melt over time. Without these mats in place, though, just imagine the mess that would accumulate very quickly. With the mats in place, the liquid will simply evaporate.

It does not snow every day of the winter season, except, perhaps if you live in the really far north! When the snow clears, all that precipitation will evaporate from the retaining absorbent mats and you can then simply vacuum them when they are dry to get rid of debris.

The snow garage can be converted back to regular use when the season passes, but absorbent mats are equally as important during the summer. Heavy storms can bring a lot of water in when you return from a drive and during the summer you will also have to guard against potential buildup of nasty mildew and mold.

It looks like we’re in for a long, cold and snowy winter. If you have not done so already, now is the time to convert your way of thinking and to fit your snow garage with those absorbent mats.…

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Should I Hire the Cheapest Contractor? – Pay Attention All Homeowners

Should I Hire the Cheapest Contractor? – Pay Attention All Homeowners

When you go to the grocery store and you’re looking at bananas, you can buy the cheapest bananas and usually get away with it. If you see bananas at one store for $.49 a pound and go to another store in their $.89 a pound, and they don’t look any different. I would buy the cheaper bananas.

In the construction business, it’s completely different. If you’re going to hire a contractor, you had better pay attention to what I’m about to say and try not to ever forget it. You usually get, what you pay for and in the construction business, that is usually what you will get.

I personally have never hired the cheapest contractor and I never will. As a building contractor, home builder, homeowner and anyone else involved in fixing and repairing homes, I can guarantee you one thing, that you will always be able to find someone cheaper.

If you’re truly looking for the cheapest contractor, here’s a great tip for you. Just keep calling on the phone and wasting the contractor’s time as you bring them out to look at your project by the hundreds. Even during good times, you can find someone to do the job cheaper.

I do not recommend hiring the cheapest contractor but I do recommend hiring the most competent contractor who has given you the fairest price. The only way that you will know what a fair price is going to be, is to get at least three bids from experienced contractors.

Never higher the cheapest contractor, if you’re not comfortable with the other contractors who have bit the job, call a few more. Make sure that you’re comfortable doing business with who ever you choose to hire.…

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The Damage of Being a Good Husband – Home Repairs

The Damage of Being a Good Husband – Home Repairs

I don’t know how many homes I’ve visited throughout my three decades in the construction business, but at least two or three times a year, I run into home repair problems created by the husband. Every one of these husbands were trying to fix something on their Honey Do List, but the project didn’t work out the way they had envisioned it.

I like to call this the damage of being a good husband. They purchased all of the tools and have all of the building materials, but really don’t know what to do. Some of them go as far as purchasing a few books, but still don’t understand what they’re looking at.

One of the funniest things that ever happened to me as a contractor, was the time a woman called me to ask a few questions about a siding home repair. I walked her through most of the home repair, before realizing that I had spent over an hour talking to her on the phone. I told her that I needed to get back to my job and wished her the best of luck. She sent me $25 in the mail, I couldn’t believe it.

Another time, the husband said that he would pay anything, just fix it and don’t tell my wife. It wasn’t an emergency, so I went over to the home, where the homeowner had all of the building materials waiting and made the repairs. The husband was too afraid to even start on the project, yet told his wife that it would be done the next day, and it was. That was our little secret forever, unless she’s reading this article and can figure it out.

I hate to see people dealing with problems, but I understand their motivation to make the repairs. They want to save a few dollars, learn something about home remodeling or even tell all their friends what they did. For all those husbands out there attempting to do the home repairs, I salute you and wish you nothing but the best of luck.

However, don’t forget that you can always contact a local contractor, if the home repair looks difficult.…

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Conservatories: Interested In Having One Built For You?

Conservatories: Interested In Having One Built For You?

Are you currently looking for a qualified company to build you a conservatory for your home? Do you know what to look for in a building company before making this very important decision? Building a conservatory is a big job and requires experienced tradesmen who can give your conservatory the exact look you desire, while still following the building codes in terms of safety and durability. Here we will take a look at conservatory construction, including the many options available for these structures.

Historians are quick to note that both the style and function of conservatories, especially as it relates to some of those built in 18th century Europe, has changed dramatically-and not necessarily for the better. What started as a sort of greenhouse to help protect plants during the colder winter months, gradually evolved into a grand structure, a type of sunroom linking the house to the garden. Hosts would often entertain guests in the conservatory, hosting garden parties and treating them to lavish suppers. Conservatories of yesteryear were often beautifully designed with a combination of translucent and stained glass, beautiful stone pillars and hand-carved edifices.

While a conservatory is still considered a “grand meeting place” in many parts of the world, the modern conservatory is used for a variety of other purposes as well. Some enjoy the room as a family room or sunroom, while others take advantage of the natural light and set up office here. Modern technologies and techniques used in building these breathtaking structures have improved so dramatically that the conservatory can literally be used for any purpose “under the sun.”

When looking to hire a builder for your conservatory there are many things you’ll want to consider. For example, does the company have highly trained craftsmen on staff? A conservatory is (and should always be) more than just an adjunct building. A conservatory requires a combination of construction mastery and the fine touch of an artisan. Does the company have a portfolio? Before you hire just any builder for your conservatory project, ask to see their portfolio so you get some idea regarding their previous work.

Whatever your reasons for adding a conservatory to your home-whether it’s for entertaining, relaxing with the family or toiling in the office-you’ll want to pick a company that has a proven track record for success. Conservatory construction companies can be found online and in most local directories.…