Posts by Maisy Wilcox

Workplace Holiday Decorating: 3 Safety Tips for Hanging Holiday Lights

When the holidays arrive, it is time to start thinking about decorating your offices and commercial building. If you want to hang lights outside of the building, there are some things to keep in mind. Since this can potentially be a dangerous job, make sure you take the right safety precautions before getting started.

Check All the Lights First

Having a faulty strand of lights not only means you have some lights on the string that won’t be lit, but it can also be an electrical hazard. It is important that you inspect each and every strand before hanging them. Look for damage on the rubber coating and don’t use any strands where there is excessive damage, fraying, or where the wire underneath the coating is visible. Also check that all the bulbs are present. Plug in the lights before hanging them to see if any of the bulbs are not lit. These might need to be replaced. If any of the strands were in water, such as if they were in a box on the floor of the building basement and you had a water leak, do not use them. This is another dangerous safety hazard.

Don’t Use Any Faulty Outlets

If you have an outlet outside your building that looks worn or burned, do not use it. Call an electrician first to have it inspected. Outdoor outlets should not spark or look burned on the outside. This is often a sign of old and faulty wiring. If the outlet is warm to the touch, also do not use it. It should always feel cold. If after plugging in your string of lights to one of the exterior outlets the lights start to dim, that is another sign of an electrical issue and requires an inspection from a professional.

Use Outdoor Lights and Cords Only

When you are decorating outside your office building for the holidays, make sure all strings of lights and lighting fixtures are meant for outdoor use. These have special cords and bulbs that can withstand different weather conditions, like heavy winds, rain, and snow. These are protected from these conditions, so they will not be a hazard. The same goes for any extension cords you decide to use. Indoor extension cords don’t have the same features as outdoor ones, so don’t think they are interchangeable.

Remember to turn the lights off each night when you leave the office. You can also get lights with a timer to turn off automatically.

For more tips, information, or any other assistance, contact local commercial electrical contractors

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4 Latest Trends in Building Construction And Contraction

Due to increase in urbanization, the need for commercial buildings has greatly increased and is likely to continue doing so in the coming years. Towns are developing into cities, cities into metropolises, and so on. Nowadays, the construction business has become really lucrative with so many interested parties venturing into it. If you also plan to join the pack someday, below are some modern trends you could catch up on.  

Domestic Input

Why travel so many miles searching for something that you can get just around the block? Commercial building contractors are now sourcing for factors of production locally. Not just raw materials, but labour and capital, as well. This can also be said to be a move towards ‘going green’. Because materials are now transported over shorter distances, the amount of carbon dioxide being emitted into the atmosphere by vehicles has reduced. In addition, hiring local specialists like engineers is also more affordable for builders than importing the services of foreign ones.

Zero Building

Constructing net zero buildings has now become a reality. What happens is that a building is made in such a way that it produces enough renewable energy to sustain its own energy consumption. The aim is to reduce, if not eliminate, the consumption of non-renewable energy. Contractors are coming up with new and different zero building designs to set them apart from their competitors. They are looking to generate energy on site, purchase carbon offsets, and decrease energy loads, and so on. Therefore, if you are planning to be a builder, start researching on net zero energy consumption as soon as possible.

Improved HVAC Systems

Did you know that a normal HVAC system can consume 40- 60 % of a building’s energy? The heating and air conditioning have now become an emerging issue whereby contractors are struggling to come up with more efficient and effective systems. One of the few solutions they are coming up with is centralized air conditioning, whereby the entire building’s temperature is controlled from one point so as to reduce energy levels. In addition, builders also aim to increase the insulation of upcoming buildings by emphasizing on tight sealing to prevent infiltration of air.

Increased Building Transparency

Just take a look at some of the new buildings out there. They consist of more glass than stone. Commercial builders are now aiming to increase the day lighting of the building’s interior, which involves strategic positioning of windows to allow more natural light into the building. In addition, commercial builders are also practising selective demolition, where new openings are made on certain parts of already existing buildings to let in more sunlight. This has helped reduce electrical lighting costs significantly.

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Excavation Tips 101 | Important Safety Tips To Consider When Digging Trenches

For any structure to stand tall and strong, it needs a firm foundation. However, the work it takes to come up with such a base is quite engaging and tedious. Depending on the type of structure you want to set up, excavation could take days or even up to several months. Unfortunately, not everyone makes it through the excavation process. People die, and this is usually due to negligence and ignorance of safety rules and tips. Therefore, if you are intending on digging trenches, below are some important safety guidelines you should take into account during the digging process.

Pre-excavation checklist

As said earlier, excavation could be quite an engaging process, and failure to begin the right way could have negative repercussions for your safety. First of all, always ensure you have a pre-excavation checklist. The beginning item of concern should be your state’s one-call law. If you are consistent with them, next is a thorough survey of the job site to ascertain there aren’t any hazardous materials. You can also mark and log utilities, and check for trench lines. Lastly, make sure you have the equipment and emergency contacts for tackling dangerous situations nearby.

Safety wrap

It is highly likely that you are going to bump into pipelines during your digging. Therefore, you need to ensure their safety from damages as well. You can do this by installing safety wraps on them. These are coverings placed on pipes to prevent them from breaking, puncturing, and scratching. They are brightly coloured to make them highly visible and instil caution during the excavation process.

Brace your walls

This is actually a matter of life and death since most excavators die from being buried alive. Not to worry. You can prevent such an occurrence by trench shoring, which is the process of strengthening trench walls to prevent landslides when excavating. The best way to do this is by using shores and not timber or other materials. This is because they are lighter and easy to install, thus making them highly adjustable to various soil conditions and crossing utilities.

Inspect trenches

Since excavation is an engaging process, it is sometimes easy to forget yourself, and this could pose a danger to you or anyone else. Therefore, always make sure you take a good look at your trenches after every day or two. Test the quality of air by checking the oxygen levels and emissions of hazardous fume using a confined space gas detector. The last thing you want is having chest health problems. 

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Pipe Repair 101 | Glass Piping Repair Tips

Fixing glass piping can sometimes be quite difficult without the right knowledge. However, with clear direction, it can be a bit easier. Below is an article highlighting a few tips on how you can repair your home glass pipes.

Use Quicksteel

Usually, the first thought that creeps into our mind when we hear a shatter or crack is glue. Unfortunately, it cannot be a solution for repairing glass pipes. Quicksteel is a grey-black chemical substance that has the texture of clay. It is the best putty for repairing home glass. Unlike your ordinary glue, this compound is specifically designed to easily bond with glass. In addition, it is able to withstand very high temperatures. Therefore, you may want to use this for repairing your broken glass heating system pipes. Also, this putty is mostly suitable for thick and high-quality glasses. Therefore, avoid applying it on thin tubes.

Use Heat Fusion Method

The best way to fuse your pipes is by melting them together. However, this method is suitable for medium to thin glasses, since they require less heat. You may want to use it for glass pipes that have broken into big pieces that can simply be conjoined to form the original shape of the pipe. All you need to have is a Bunsen burner and protective wear. Simply heat the ends of the pieces you want to join with a blue flame as you squeeze them together. After they are well joined, let them cool for a while and then test them with running water. If you find any holes, simply melt some extra glass on top, and your pipe should be ready for use.

Use Sodium Silicate

This is a chemical compound made up of sodium and silicon compounds commonly known as liquid or water glass. The substance can either be a solid or a solution. As a solid, it is used like cement for sealing pipe holes. In addition, it contains adhesive properties that allow it to stick to the glass. Moreover, this compound is fire proof and can be used under extremely high temperatures. Therefore, you can also use this for mending your glass boiling system pipes. Lastly, sodium silicate is known to be very long lasting and can act as a permanent tube repair solution.

Attend to Breakage Signs

Don’t wait for your glass pipe to shatter. You need to mend scratches and cracks on your pipes regularly. For example, you can apply nail polish on thin cracks or scratches. The polish is adhesive and will help prevent any further increase of the crack. Moreover, it is easier to acquire than the other chemicals above.

If you find the task overwhelming, consider contacting a professional glass repair service to take a look.

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What to Know About Roofing for Verandahs

If you are looking to improve your home, adding a verandah is one option. The roof you choose for the verandah can add to the aesthetic as well as the functional appeal. In fact, these features could improve the value of your home if you intend to sell. Construction of the verandah floors mainly consists of either a concrete, tiled or wooden option. However, there are mainly two options when it comes to roofing. These are steel and polycarbonate. Knowing more about these roofing options and how to go about the selection can help you make the right decision.

Verandah Roof Design

The best roofing design option to consider is always the one that complements the roof of the main house. This means that the colour should match so that you do not give an appearance of the verandah being an afterthought. However, you can also decide to be adventurous and choose from a wide range of design options such as hips and gables or a flat design. An architect or designer can help advise further on the type of roof to choose for the verandah.

Roofing Materials

Steel and polycarbonate are the most commonly used materials when it comes to roofing the verandah. If you want to match the colour of your existing roof with that of the one for the verandah, steel provides the easiest way to do this. It is easier to paint over the steel in the same colour scheme than painting the polycarbonate material. The installation process of steel is simple, and it offers durable service since it does not rot. Because it is reflective, steel makes for cooler verandahs. The polycarbonate roofs, on the other hand, allow light to permeate to the verandah while filtering out harmful UV rays. However, you should be prepared to deal with the fact that polycarbonate will not match with the colour scheme of your house perfectly. However, since it is meant to be translucent, you should not try to paint it over but just leave it as it is.

Guttering

After building the verandah and its roof, you have to redo the guttering. This is done while ensuring that the guttering for the main house and the verandah are still kept separate. Having one gutter system serving the expanded roof can overwhelm the gutters. The increased surface area can cause water to overshoot the gutters and land haphazardly on the ground. The risk of leaking to the walls and the roof is also increased. Therefore, strengthen the existing gutters on the main house to incorporate the changes made by adding the verandah roof and install new gutters for the verandah.

For more information, you may want to contact local contractors that install verandahs

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