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Improvement For All

Month: March 2020

Making Your Facility Energy Efficient

Regular maintenance to your building will keep your company running efficiently. However, making repairs that are energy efficient will help the environment and cut your utility costs. Here are a few things you can do to improve your building.

Doors and Windows

Check your automatic doors to make sure that the heavy duty spring loaded hinges are functioning properly. These keep the doors shut preventing cold air from getting inside your building which will conserve energy. Inspect the insulation around these and the windows for wear. Add extra caulk to seal any cracks that might have formed to reduce the energy from escaping the structure. 

Lighting

Consider changing out switches for sensors in your lighting fixtures. These will control the light you use and only allow it on when someone is in the building. Install a timer to shut down only a few lamps for security purposes when the building is vacant. Change out your fluorescent bulbs for LED ones. While these initial costs for these might be more, the cut to your utility bill will be worth it in the end. You can do this within your facility as well as the security lamps and street lights in your parking lot.

Temperature Control

Set up a digital thermostat within the office space of your building. Program it to lower the temperature in the winter and raise it in the summer when the space is vacated. Regularly maintain your furnace or boiler to prevent shut down and to regulate the energy it uses. Look at the insulation that is already installed in the facility and determine if more should be added to trap the air within the structure. Consult with your maintenance supervisor to see which areas might be the most susceptible to let energy escape and find out how much it will cost to reinforce these spots. 

Review Your Costs

Bring an expert in to look over your facility and find what might be using the most energy. Watch your utility bills for any increases or decreases in the costs and where the change might be. Consider the opinions offered by the person hired to complete your audit and determine the amount of money it will take to implement the measures they suggest. Write out a timeline when these improvements can take place, then budget for the repairs to be done. Monitor your energy costs for the savings that will come as each job is accomplished. 

3 Things To Know About Plastic Welding

Since plastic is a large part of modern life, the techniques and processes used to make those items are of great interest such as extrusion molding and plastic welding. In general, extrusion molding is used to make many of the smaller or single piece plastics available to the general public while plastic welding is used to fuse together semi-finished plastics into larger or more complex items.

Who Uses It?

Plastic welding is used to manufacture items used to make other products such as plating tanks or in industrial processes like ducting and drip pans. It is common to outsource your plastic welding needs to companies and individuals who have the skills and tools to make the things that you need. For instance, it is a lot easier for metal plating companies to source their tanks from a specialty company than to set up an area dedicated to making them, buy the equipment and hire welders.

What Is It?

The welding of plastic is like the welding of metals in that it uses softened materials to fuse together pieces in an air-tight seam. This allows the product in question, from tanks to boats, to not leak and is incredibly important when working with hazardous materials. There are two types of welding techniques which can be used, applied heat and solvents. Solvents are more often used in plastics and applied heat is more often used in metals, but the method used depends on the properties of the materials and the specifications of the finished product.

How Is It Done?

Welding, in general, requires the right location, it needs to be done in a well-ventilated area with access to everything you need to clean and weld the surfaces. Safety equipment for plastic welding includes heat or solvent resistant gloves and clothing, a mask to filter dust and fumes and eye protection. Since plastic does not require the same amount of heat that metal does to melt, you only need a soldering iron instead of a welding torch, and your eye protection does not need to filter harmful light. Once the items are cleaned and held in place, heat or solvent is applied to both the seam and to the rod of material used to fill any gaps and the weld is made.

Plastic welding can be done on an individual basis at home to repair products or on an industrial scale to make items like plating and storage tanks, drip pans and ducting. Many manufacturers will get their plastic items from a welding company to make their lines run more smoothly and even work with these businesses for custom items.

4 Renovations That Will Make Your Home More Accessible

Most homes are not designed with accessibility in mind. Tight corners, cabinets to the ceiling, and sunken tubs are all beautiful and attractive features, but they can pose problems to individuals with mobility concerns. Whether you are being proactive about aging concerns or you have an immediate need to increase accessibility, certain changes have a bigger impact than others. 

1. Remodeling the Bathroom

There is so much you can do in a bathroom to make it more accessible. Start by adding grab bars and assistive devices for a quick solution to limited mobility. Removing vanities so that a wheelchair or seat can go in front of the sink, lowering countertops, and installing a roll in shower are all great ideas for a bigger project. 

2. Updating the Flooring  

Not all flooring options are good for wheelchair or walker traffic. Area rugs can be a serious safety hazard, and wheels don’t travel well through thicker pile carpeting. At the same time, very slippery floors can lead to excessive speed, slipping, and accidents. Try to find flooring that offers a middle-of-the-road compromise. it should be slip-resistant and durable enough to handle the weight of a heavy wheelchair rolling over it on a regular basis. There are guidelines for flooring that meets ADA regulations that can be a helpful guideline as you update the floors in your home. 

3. Adding Outlets and Switches

Take a look around your home and make a note of where all the outlets and switches are located. Now, try to imagine using them when seated in a wheelchair. Most switches could be lowered about a foot or two to make them more accessible. If you don’t want to move the wiring or cut into the walls, this might be accomplished by adding an adapter designed to make them easier for kids to reach. Outlets near the floor or above counters pose problems, too. Use power strips where possible to make them easier to reach. 

4. Rearranging the Kitchen

If you enjoy spending time in the kitchen, then you ‘ll want to focus on this space as well. Moving items to lower cabinets, using drawers that can pull out to make things easier to reach, and adding an accessible sink are all great options. If your budget allows, consider a full remodel that moves work surfaces and cooking appliances to a comfortable and safe height. 

Even the least accessible home can be modified to fit your current mobility needs. Start by making changes that affect important daily tasks and safety concerns, and then work up to convenience features to help maximize the impact of any renovations you perform. 

5 Tips for Cleaning Up After a Storm

Spring is almost here, and while that means warmer weather and outdoor activities for many people, it also means potentially dangerous thunderstorms.

Storms can wreak havoc on your property, and it is important to clean up the damage in a timely manner. However, if your property has been hit hard, it can be difficult to know where to begin. Here are some helpful hints for handling the herculean task of cleaning up after a storm.

1. Repair Broken Windows

Broken tree branches and flying debris can hit your windows and cause them to shatter. Your first task is to clean up the broken glass so that no one gets hurt. Ultimately, a broken window will probably require glass repair Irving TX. In the interim, however, you can board them up to protect your home until you are able to arrange the repair.

2. Extract Water

Strong storms can sometimes result in flash flooding. If this occurs, water can collect in your basement. A regular old mop and bucket may be sufficient to handle this job, or you may require a wet vac. Drains may become covered with debris, so make sure you clear this away. This should be one of your first priorities because of the potential for mold growth.

3. Check the Roof

It is very important to inspect your roof for any damage, such as lost or broken shingles. If discovered, these problems should be fixed as soon as possible or they can allow water into your house, which can cause even more damage that can be even harder to mitigate.

3. Inspect the Interior

In addition to checking the roof, you should also look carefully at walls and ceilings inside of your home for discoloration or any other signs of water damage. If found, you should check for the source of the leak and try to have it repaired as soon as possible while also taking steps to mitigate mold growth.

4. Remove Wet Drywall and Insulation

These are porous materials that absorb water. Because they are behind the wall, it is unlikely that they will dry out on their own. Your best bet is to remove them entirely and have them replaced.

5. Clean Up Your Yard

If the damage is minor, this may be a relatively simple matter of raking up leaves and clearing away small branches. However, if you have trees that have sustained major damage, you should consult with a tree expert about whether the tree needs to be removed entirely or it can be saved.

Though not a clean-up task per se, it can be helpful to take pictures of the damage for the benefit of your insurance company.

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