Author Archive: Ryan Cox

Types of Shovels for Landscaping

garden shovel

Do you have a garden? Yes! Then among your must-own DIY tools you must be having a collection of shovels. Even if the collection is not so wide, the few essential ones must be your gardening companions and they are curved blade type and the pointed tip shovel. Actually, there are so many varieties of shovels that you may need time to time to fulfill your gardening requirements. If you have recently created a garden at home and now are searching for the essential tools that you should collect, go through the details below. Here we are going to talk about most common shovel types that every gardening lover must have.

Note that, the spades and shovels use to be of various sizes, shapes and they deal with a variety of functions. Some of the most common types that you may need for home improvement tasks or gardening needs are:

Digging Shovels:

Digging shovels, as the name indicates are used to dig the surface. When you want to create a hole in the ground or wish to take soil away from the certain area, the digging shovel can be your best companion to complete the job. These digging shovels can be designed with pointed tips or flat tips. They are often used for law edging, trenching, dividing perennials, cutting small roots, and transplanting. Their handles are usually made up of metal, composite or wood. The pointed digging shovels are used for digging tilled soil whereas the flat tip shovels are useful for hard-packed heavy duty soils.

Trenching Shovels:

These shovels are used for clearing the trenches. They are generally available with a pointed, sharp tip and have square sides so that users can ensure clean digging or trenching. People often use them to remove the plants having deep roots, to create a composite trench and for laying the irrigation pipes.

Scoop Shovels:

These scoop shovels cannot handle the digging job well but yes they are capable enough to move loose materials like stone, grain, snow or coal from one place to another. They are made up of steel scoops and use to be little heavier when compared to the aluminum versions of shovels.

Scarpers:

Scrapers find their usage in cleaning the driveways or roofs by removing accumulated ice. Their structure is inspired from the flat bladed shovels but they are not meant for scooping or digging task; rather they are dedicated for ice removal. Many homeowners also use these scrapers to remove shingles as they have flat blades and work efficiently on the roof area.

Edgers:

Same as scrapers, the edging shovel is a nice landscaping tool and it also finds origin in the flat-bladed shovel. The major application of edgers is to cut the plant roots and other materials so that a neat, flat and nice area can be created in gardens. They help to separate plants from the unwanted offshoots but cannot be used for digging. Their blades are not able to move soil and they must be used carefully.

Signs of Carpet Wear

A quality carpet should last around 10-15 years if cared for properly. The best type of carpet for durability is nylon carpet.

You can also preserve the performance of a carpet and extend its lifetime with routine carpet cleaning from a professional service. We recommend Hello Carpets & Floors in Beaverton, OR.

Even still, carpet will wear down over time and you will need to replace it. The key is to identify the signs of carpet wear as opposed to dirty or damaged carpet.

If you notice these signs of carpet wear, it is time to consider replacing the carpet in your home:

CARPET BUBBLING

A wall-to-wall carpet should be flat across the entire surface of the room or a home.

If you start to notice bumps, bubbles or hills in the middle of the room or away from the walls and corners, it is a sign that the adhesive and pad beneath the surface are wearing down.

Once the pad and adhesive wear down, you must replace them. You cannot repair a carpet pad or backing. Wear is irreversible.

COLOR FADE

Your carpet is colorful due to the dyes from the manufacturer. These dyes create bold or neutral tones for style in your home. But over time, the colors and dyes will fade.

The color fade could be due to dirt or soil on the surface of the carpet and deeper in the fibers. You should first hire a professional steam cleaning service to clean the carpet and see if the color returns afterwards.

If the color does not return from deep cleaning, it will not return. You will then need to decide if you want to replace the carpet in your home with new, more colorful carpet.

CARPET STAINS

There are several causes for carpet stains. Foot traffic, food stains and pet stains are the most common. You can typically remove most carpet stains if you address them immediately or hire a carpet cleaner soon after the stain occurs.

But the longer you leave a stain on carpet, the greater chance that stain becomes permanent. Depending the size and severity of the stain, the entire carpet could be ruined from it.

Carpet stains have a way of attracting the eye and will soon become the focus of the floor. If this is the case for your carpet, you will want to install new carpet as soon as you can.

CARPET MATTING

The most common sign of carpet wear is matting. Matting occurs from excessive amounts of traffic over time.

The carpet will be pressed down over and over again every time someone steps on it. New carpet is more resilient and will bounce back after someone steps on it. Old carpet will stay pressed down and over time the resiliency will be gone from the carpet.

Matting will indicate that it is time to tear out the carpet and replace it with new carpet in your home.

Examine these signs of carpet wear closely to see if cleaning will reverse them. If not, you will need to invest in new carpet to improve your décor and the appearance of the home.

How to Mix Concrete

concrete mix

You will need to use concrete mix for the installation of poles for fencing or the walls for a garden bed.

There are many needs for concrete when it comes to DIY home repair and outdoor projects. You will want to know how to mix concrete.

The good news is the process is very easy. You can mix concrete very fast and continue with your project right away.

You will need a wheelbarrow, concrete mix, hoe, gloves, measuring quart, bucket and shovel in order to properly mix concrete for your repair or installation.

STEPS TO MIX CONCRETE

You first need to wear eye protection and gloves that are waterproof. Safety comes first for all home repair projects. Please take the time to consider the safest way to complete any home repair project. This includes mixing concrete.

STEP 1: POUR MIX

Pour the concrete mix into a wheelbarrow. Pour the mix into the middle of the wheelbarrow and create a crater in the middle of the pile of mix. We recommend you use Quickrete® mix.

STEP 2: MEASURE WATER

Measure the correct amount of water you will need for the mixture. You should plan on using around 3 quarts of water to create a good mix for your project.

You need to be careful to not add to much water. You can ruin concrete mix if you add to much water. Too much water will make the mixture too weak and you won’t be able to return it to a stronger consistency after.

STEP 3: MIX & MASH

Pour 2/3 of the necessary water into the crater you made in the middle of the pile of concrete mix. Now use a hoe to work the mix and gradually pour the rest of the water into the mix as you continue the process. You want a uniform consistency across the mixture that is similar to oatmeal.

The wheelbarrow will be much heavier once the mixture is complete. Be careful to not overexert yourself in pushing the wheelbarrow to your desired location.

You will need to repeat this process for however much concrete you need. You will need one bag of mix per fence pole so plan on purchasing five or more bags of concrete mix for a proper fence installation.

Types of Nail Heads

finishing nails

We discussed the different types of nail guns used in home repair projects. But what about the nails themselves? Did you know there are many types of nail heads to choose form for a woodwork and DIY project?

We will explain in detail each kind of nail head and what type of project you should use each one for:

ROUND HEAD NAIL

This is more of an all-purpose nail head. A round head nail is often used when precision isn’t required. The large, round head creates a larger target for the head of the hammer.

FINISHING NAIL

This type of nail features a small head that will sit flush on the surface of a wall or the piece of wood. You are unlikely to split wood using this type of nail head and you will often see a much more polished finish. This is a good nail head for hanging picture frames in your home.

OVAL HEAD NAIL

This type of nail head is similar to a finishing nail only it features an oval-cut cross center and is even less likely to split the wood.

ROOFING NAIL

A roofing nail is used for attaching asphalt or roof felt on roof. The construction is galvanized to reduce the chance of rust from harsh outdoor weather.

MASONRY NAIL

This type of nail and nail head is made of zinc and is able to penetrate brick and metal. The construction is very hard and thick and features a small head.

DRYWALL NAIL

This nail is specifically used for hanging drywall onto studs and wood frames. The head of the nail does not cut the paper construction of the surface and sits 1-in. deep from the surface.

SIDING NAIL

A siding nail has a galvanized finish for outdoor use to prevent rust. This type of nail head is used to attach siding materials to the wood exterior of a home.

You will use finishing and round head nails for most general home repair projects and woodwork around your home but it is good to know there are better and more-specific types of nails to use for more specialty projects around the house.

Types of Nail Guns

nail gun

There are must-own tools for DIY enthusiasts and one is a nail gun. Home repair projects and woodwork projects will require the use of a nail gun. You want to be sure you own the correct nail gun for the job you are doing.

There are five common types of nail guns and two types of firing mechanisms (dual-contact firing and sequential firing). We will explain each model of nail gun and which one to use for specific home repairs.

FINISHING NAIL GUN

A finishing nail gun is the best all-around nail gun of the five options and the one most amateur handymen will own in their home. A finishing nail gun use nails that are shorter and low-gauge.

You will use this type of nail gun for trim and baseboards as well as cabinetry, moulding and chair rails. The nail gun is available in both cordless and air pressure models.

FRAMING NAIL GUN

This is the most heavy-duty of the five types of nail guns and is often used for construction projects and wood framing. The tool uses much longer and heavier nails and is available with both sequential and dual-contact firing.

ROOFING NAIL GUN

This nail gun uses shorter nails with large heads for siding and roofing materials. The nails are strung on a coil for use. You will find roofing nail guns with both dual-contact and sequential firing mechanisms.

FLOORING NAIL GUN

This is a specialty tool used for tongue-and-groove floorboards. This is a much less manual way to install floor nails and will save your back and knee joints from a lot of pressure during floor installation.

BRAD NAIL GUN

This is the lightest of the models and often used for smaller woodwork projects that require more precision. You will use a brad nail gun for nailing upholstery to wood furniture frames. The nails are very small but do hold strong. You purchase this type of nail gun in cordless models for more convenient use.

SAFETY TIPS FOR NAIL GUNS

Be careful using a nail gun. Wear protective eye gear and be sure to leave your finger off of the trigger of the nail gun until you are ready to press and release the nail into the wood.