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Keeping Gravel Or Dirt Contained In Your Truck Bed

If you plan on doing a home improvement project that requires the use of stone, gravel, or soil, you may need to take a trip to a quarry or landscaping service to pick up necessary materials. While most people will have loose items delivered, you can save money by doing the job on your own if you have a pickup truck. Keeping loose matter contained in the bed area of your truck will be a priority as you navigate your way back to your home. Here are some tips you can use to help you keep those on the roadway safe when hauling loose materials.

Find The Best Path To Get Home

Before you head out to make your material pick-up, take the time to plot out the best route to get back to your home. Use roads where you can drive at slower speeds with a shoulder present to pull over to let others pass you if necessary. Avoid roads where there are inclines, as this could lead to your supplies spilling out of the back of your truck as you try to make your way up hills.

Purchase A Containment Source

It is a good idea to purchase a truck tarp to aid in the containment of loose items you place inside the back portion of your truck. A tarp will work well at keeping pieces of rock or dirt from flying out of the truck without the need to spend a lot for a cover. The tarp can be secured to the sides of the truck bed via straps or rope to help keep any material in the back safely in place during your ride to your home. Plastic storage containers can be placed in the bottom of your truck bed to carry material so it does not scratch or dirty your truck bed. Alternately, line the bottom of your truck bed with a tarp to keep items from causing damage to the metal body of your truck. Click here to learn more.

Consider Making Smaller Hauls To Avoid Problems

If you are concerned about spilling material while navigating your way through streets back to your home, you may want to consider making more than one trip rather than taking everything at one time. With a truck tarp securely in place, smaller batches of material will be safely enclosed within your truck bed without risk of a spill onto a road while you are in transit. This will require that you use more gas and more time. However, you will have the peace of mind that material will not be lost or put others at risk of injury. Another option would be to have a few friends help you bring your materials home in the backs of their own vehicles.

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How to Know It Is Time to Have Your House Locks Replaced

It is important to make sure that you are replacing the locks on your house doors as soon as it is needed, as this will help you avoid poor security in the future. To help you determine when it is time to have the locks on your house doors replaced, you will want to read through the following signs.

The Key Gets Stuck

Your house key should be able to slide in and out of the door lock without any problems. Therefore, if you find that the key is getting stuck in the lock and you have to wiggle it out, you may have a problem on your hands. You may want to first try to lubricate the inside of the lock. You can do this by purchasing and spraying any lubricant. Allow the lubricant to dry and try to use the door lock again. If the key is still getting stuck in the door lock, you will want to call in a locksmith in order to have the locks switched out.

Someone Lost a Key

If you’ve lost a house key, you will want to consider having the door locks replaced. Even if only one key was lost and you have plenty of spare keys, this is still an issue. If someone saw you drop the key and they know where you live, they can use that key to get into your home. Therefore, to protect your belongings and your loved ones, the moment you realize that one of the house keys in gone, you will need to start considering replacement options.

Someone Keeps Forgetting Their Keys

It can be difficult when you have one or more people in the house who keep forgetting their house key. This could result in someone having to leave work in order to let those people in the house. If this is something that you are experiencing, you may want to think about hiring a skilled locksmith who can replace your standard door lock with something a little more advanced. For example, there are some door locks out there that require a pin number to be punched into a keypad before the door will unlock. Some other options include the use of a thumbprint in order to unlock the door. A professional like those at Bob’s Lock & Key can help you decide which option is best for you.

With those three signs in mind, you should have a much easier time understanding when it is time to replace the locks on your home doors.

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When Your Field Stone Foundation Is Crumbling: What You Can Expect

Many old houses and historic houses in Illinois and other parts of the Midwest have what is called a “field stone foundation.” Just as the name implies, the foundation is constructed entirely of stone and rock pulled from farm fields and stacked on top of each other to create a foundation for the house on top of it. The openings between the field stone are often packed with cement or mud and clay–whatever was available to the builder at the time they built the house. Unfortunately, these field stone foundations cannot hold up for an eternity, and they eventually begin to fail. Here is what you can expect from your field stone foundation when it begins to fall apart.

First, the Foundation Issues

As the field stone foundation begins to falter, it will crack and flake. Stones and rocks will come loose and fall inside the house, either in your basement or in a crawl space. The stones and rocks generally do not fall outside the perimeter of the house because the weight of the house’s walls on top of them holds the rocks and stones in place. Still, the toppling and sinking rock and stone inside the house lead to other problems, like cracking and sinking house walls.

Then, the Walls in Your House

Next, you will see the walls that rest on these crumbling foundations split. Cracks in the house walls will travel upwards, usually up the center from where the foundation is crumbling below. If you do not seek out professional foundation repair by this point, the cracks will continue to travel up to the ceilings.

Now the Ceilings Will Be Affected

Once the cracks in the walls hit the ceilings, the cracks will diverge and travel along the edges where the ceilings cap the damaged walls. As the foundation continues to buckle and crumble down below, this causes the walls and the ceilings to be pulled downward with the foundation. The structural damage is a nightmare to fix.

Finally, Complete Structural Failure

When enough of the field stone, cement, and rock collapse under the weight of the house and falls out into your basement, the entire side of the house that is supposed to be supported by that foundation wall will fail too. Most people do not allow their homes to reach this point, but on rare occasions it can happen quite suddenly. Regardless of whether you encounter this problem over time or you have an emergency occurrence, the cost of fixing the foundation and repairing all of the structural damage is astronomical. It is best to catch the early warning signs and then have the foundation repair completed before the old field stone and rock get the least bit loose.

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3 Locations In Your Home Where Decorative Straps Can Really Enhance The Way They Look

Decorative straps add uniqueness to any structure. This article will discuss three locations in your home where decorative straps can really enhance the overall aesthetic. 

Beams On Your Ceiling 

Large beams going across your ceiling generally creates a very open and classic look for your home. However, just leaving the wood beams without anything on them can sometimes be kind of boring. Adding decorative straps to ceiling beams not only looks great but can also be a way to help reinforce them. The straps can go on corners and connecting pieces to bolt them together and cover any areas where the wood comes together and doesn’t look very visually appealing. While you can choose whatever color of decorative strap you would like, a contrasting color often looks best against the wood. For example, a black decorative strap would look great with a light colored wooden beam. 

The Hinges Of Your Front Door

If you want to add a little something extra to your wooden front door, then you can do so by simply adding some straps to go over the hinges of your door. You can choose whatever color and design of painted metal you would like your straps to be. This can add to the overall wood cut out design of you door and is likely a very affordable option for you as well.  

Your Garage Door

Since your garage door is a basic door that can sometimes look boring and without personality, it is a good idea to personalize it by adding different types of decor. While adding windows to a garage door is great for breaking it up and giving it a unique look, decorative straps are excellent as well. You can choose the style and number of straps that you would like, and then you can add them to either side of your garage door, as well as the center. This breaks up the monotony of the garage door without the costs associated with adding windows. Also, depending on the color, design, and overall style of the straps that you choose, you can give it a modern look or a more vintage appearance. For example, if you want more of a vintage feel for your garage, you can add some black, metal straps that have a damask shape on the end of them to the sides of the garage, and place two handles in the middle.

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Why You Should Use LED Lights To Grow Tomatoes In Your Green House During Winter

Although customers still find fresh and delicious tomatoes in grocery stores In the middle of winter, the prices are quite high. This is because the produce has been sourced from far away due to the limited supply from local farmers. The drop in local produce is attributed to the high consumption of energy by greenhouses where tomatoes are popularly grown by small-scale farmers. However, a recent study carried out by Purdue University is likely to change this current outlook. This is because the study advocates for the use of LED lights instead of the popular high pressure sodium (HPS) lamps when it comes to growing tomatoes in greenhouses. LED lights are associated with certain benefits that will be discussed below.

Less energy consumption

One of the biggest impediments of growing tomatoes in a greenhouse during winter is the high energy cost due to the long hours of darkness. Experiments carried out by Purdue University using LED lights showed that the tomatoes were still able to yield the same size of plant as those grown using HPS. The only difference between using LED and HPS lighting was the energy cost. According to the scientists, LED lights consumed much less energy (approximately 25 percent less) compared to the traditional HPS lamps. This study shows that growing tomatoes using LED lighting can help you to save significantly when it comes to the total greenhouse energy cost.

Higher Vitamin C Levels

In another study carried out by Wageningen University, the researchers focused mainly on testing the amount of Vitamin C in LED-grown tomatoes. They noted that the Vitamin C content in tomatoes exposed to LED lighting was significantly higher than the Vitamin C content of those that were not. This was because the LED lights were placed under the tomatoes as they were cooler, exposing them to extra light. The LED lights can also be placed along the sides of the tomatoes, which will help in illuminating the understory and not just the top of the plant, as in the case of the traditional HPS lamps. By so doing, the LED high-intensity rays penetrate into the plant canopy, including those leaves in the lower branches. According to the researchers, this extra dose of light increased the Vitamin C content of the fruits, making them healthier.

Growing tomatoes under LED lighting is associated with the benefits described above. If you want to get nutritious fruits that are cost efficient, you should consider using LED lights when growing tomatoes in your greenhouse during winter. You can contact a company such as Outdoor Accents to order LED lights. 

    

   

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5 Questions To Ask Before Buying The Right Fire Pit For Your Backyard

There is nothing quite as inviting on a chilly summer of fall evening than the crackle of a warm and glowing fire. Fire pits are an awesome alternative to building a fire on the ground, because they keep the fire well-contained and keep your yard free from burnt debris. While there are thousands of different types of fire pits to choose from online, not every fire pit will be the right fit for the right use. Before you settle on a specific type of fire pit to enjoy on your property, there are a few pertinent questions you should ask yourself. 

1. Will there be children around while you use the fire pit?

If you know there will be kids around while using your fire pit, it is best to go with one of the more child-friendly designs. While all fire in use should involve adult supervision for safety purposes, there are some models that pose less of a threat to little ones. For example, a fire pit that is a little taller prevents a youngster from accidentally tripping over the edge and falling into the hot embers. 

2. Will the fire pit be used to entertain guests?

If you will be using your fire pit to entertain guests, it is a good idea to check out some of the designs that double as a table. These fire pit tables have a recessed pit in the center for the fire and a table that surrounds the space. When the fire pit is not in use, you can use the entire piece as a table because fire pit tables usually have a cover that situates over the recessed center.

3. Do you live in an area where there is a lot of rain?

If your fire pit will be parked in an open area, moisture from rain is something that should be considered. After all, trying to build a fire or start a propane-powered flame in a wet space can prove to be a challenge. The good thing is a lot of fire pits actually come with a lid that completely covers the fire pit when it is not in use. 

4. Are you comfortable with gathering wood and getting rid of ashes?

Fire pits can be powered in the traditional way with wood, but they can also operate with the use of a fuel source like propane. Propane-powered fire pits are an excellent choice if you would prefer a clean-burning fire pit because they basically involve no maintenance. On the other hand, burning wood will mean things like gathering wood for burning and cleaning out ashes. However, some people prefer the natural smell of burning wood and obtaining wood is relatively inexpensive. Contact a company like David Cooke Industries for more information.

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