Is Treated Lumber Safe for Raised Bed Vegetable Gardens?

As concerns about food safety increase, more people are opting to grow their own organic vegetables at home, and raised bed gardens have become extremely popular. Since wood is the most economical material for building these beds, a concern has been raised about using treated lumber in their construction. Educating yourself before you buy will ensure your garden is safe.   

What is Treated Lumber?   

Treated lumber is pressure-infused with chemicals to keep it from rotting and being infested with termites and other wood-eating insects. It is generally used in building construction and outdoor structures, such as homes and playgrounds. Some of these chemicals can leach into the soil, making it toxic to the plants and to humans who ingest those plants.   

Creosote Treated Lumber   

The first treated lumber was used in railroad ties and utility poles, and it was treated with creosote. Creosote is deadly to plants, but it breaks down after a few years, so discarded railroad ties are a safe and long-lasting material for building raised beds.   

Arsenic Treated Lumber   

Lumber was next treated with chromated copper arsenate or CCA, which contained arsenic and chromium. Studies showed that these two chemicals could leach into the soil and cause health problems, such as an increased cancer risk and miscarriage. It was banned for residential and playground use in 2004 when studies showed that it posed long-term health risks, especially to children. While most lumber is not treated with arsenic and chromium now, some industrial uses for this treatment still exist, so be sure you are not buying industrial CCA lumber for your raised beds.   

Copper and Salt Treated Lumber   

Today’s pressure treated lumber is infused with copper. While excess copper can be a health concern, studies show that the leaching of copper into the soil from these products is virtually non-existent and they are safe to use for raised bed edible gardens.   

How to Choose the Proper Lumber for Your Raised Beds   

Rot-resistant woods such as redwood or cedar are good substitutes for treated lumber, but they can be expensive for large projects. Visit your local lumber yard and ask questions to learn more about which wood products they recommend.    Pressure treated lumber is an economical and long-lasting material for building raised bed vegetable gardens. There are several types of treated lumber, and not all are suitable for use around edible crops. The trained professionals who sell lumber can guide you to the right choice to ensure your family’s good health.    

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Tips To Help Your Garage Door Survive The Coming Winter

A functioning automatic garage door has quickly emerged as a standard luxury found on most homes. However, these systems are rather complicated, and while they may be extremely durable, it is still possible for them to experience malfunctions. This is especially true during the winter months when cold temperatures can wreak havoc with the mechanical and electric components of the door. The following two tips will help you avoid some of these problems next winter. 

Keep The Garage Warm

One of the best ways of avoiding winter related problems with your door is to add insulation to it. This can be done in a variety of ways, but it will usually entail adding sheets of insulation to the interior of the door. This can be an ideal solution for homes that experience relatively mild winters, but homes in more extreme climates may require a more aggressive solution. 

For these homeowners, it may be necessary to install a small heater in the garage. These heaters will keep the temperature warm enough to prevent the mechanical parts from freezing together. In addition to this benefit, it will also ensure that you have a warm garage to walk into each morning, which can be more than worth the price of this upgrade. 

Apply Additional Lubricant

The cold temperatures can cause the lubricant on your door’s mechanical components to deteriorate. When this happens, the door will be far more likely to experience a damaging malfunction. To prevent this, you will need to add lubricant to these parts of the door. 

The exact lubricant needed for your door will vary based upon a variety of factors, and you will need to consult the owner’s manual to determine which one will be best. Also, when applying it, avoid adding too much lubricant. Generally, it is best to add a small amount, and inspect the door on a regular basis to see if more should be applied. This will help ensure that you do not damage the door through over lubrication. 

Keeping your garage door from experiencing winter related problems can seem like a minor problem to worry about. Yet, the harsh temperature can cause major problems for this system, but these problems can largely be avoided by following a couple of simple preventative maintenance tips. By keeping the garage warm with a space heater and applying lubricant to the moving components, you can help ensure that your garage door safely makes it through the coming winter. If you need any assistance is making your garage door winter-safe, contact a company like Action Door Services Ltd.

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3 Reasons Why You Should Consider A Horizontal Water Well

Do you want to install a water well on your property? A well can be a great way to take advantage of the natural resources around you and reduce your monthly utility bill. Most wells are drilled vertically deep into the ground. However, there’s nothing saying that a well has to be vertical. In fact, there are some very good reasons why you may want a horizontal well. A horizontal well catches water just beneath the surface, but otherwise operates much like a vertical well. It’s constructed with a directional drill, which drills across land rather than straight down. Here are three reasons why a horizontal well may be right for you:

To use a slope in your hill. Every time it rains, do you see water running down a slope on your property? That’s water that you could be using. A directional drilling company can bore an underground well across the face of the slope. As water runs down the hill, it can work its way into your well and go through a filtration system. You’ll then have a constant supply of water. As a bonus, a well prevents that rain water from running down into your yard and making a mess.

To avoid a layer of rock under your soil. Rock is one of the biggest obstacles in creating a vertical well. If the drill hits rock, they usually have to find a new spot and start all over. A directional drilling contractor can drill underneath the layer of rock. They’ll find an entry point and then drill horizontally under the layer so the rock isn’t a problem. That eliminates the need to stop and start in an effort to find soft soil.

To reduce complex maintenance. In a vertical well, the supporting walls can sometimes corrode and collapse. This can be a big problem if it happens at the deepest levels of the well. Sometimes those issues can be repaired, but other times they can’t. In the worst case scenario, a well wall could cave in, blocking access to the water. In many cases, there’s no option but to seal the well and drill a new one. With a horizontal well, the entire structure is just below the surface, so it’s easy to access for repairs and basic maintenance. Your well service contractor simply digs up soil around the well to access the damaged area.

For more details, learn more from a directional drilling company. They can evaluate your property and advise on whether a horizontal well makes sense for you.

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How To Find The Best Possible Paving Contractors For Your Home Paving Project

Just because you need your home driveway paved versus a business parking lot does not make your need for a professional paving company any less. In fact, you might be more in need of professional help since your driveway is likely to become a major focus of the outside of the property. To help make sure that you are selecting the best possible paving contractor, you are going to want to check out the following tips.

Look For Specialty Skills

If your driveway needs to be extra wide with a wheelchair accessible ramp coming right off of it, you are going to need someone that is capable of handling that type of work. Then again, maybe you just need a driveway with proper drainage because you have a yard that has a sharp slope towards the driveway. Either way, you need to find a paving contractor that has dealt with the specific issues that you are dealing with. This is the only way to ensure that the vision you have for your driveway will become a reality.

Ask For Additional Services

A great way to save money is to hire someone who can not only pave your driveway, but also can do some other things around your property as well. For example, your paving company might also be able to offer retaining wall services or garage door installation. You would be surprised at how many different skills a single person or company can have. All you have to do is ask. After all, if you are working on remodelling or repairing the outside of your property, you are going to want all of the help that you can get.

Only Work With Contracts

When talking to various paving contractors, insist that they provide you with written documentation for everything from the quoted estimate to the date the job is supposed to be completed by. If you find that there are some paving companies that are simply not willing to do any of those things, it could be that they are either hiding something or are simply a little inexperienced to realize just how important contracts are. Therefore, you are only going to want to work with those that do not give you any trouble when it comes to providing written documentation.

With these things in mind, you should have no problem figuring out just how to make sure that you are getting the best possible paving contractor. For more information, contact a business such as Rubydale Asphalt Works Ltd.

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4 Things That Your Plumber Wants To Tell Your Kids

You would probably find it a bit inappropriate if your plumber started lecturing your little ones while doing a service call, but your plumbing professional knows that kids can wreak havoc on your pipes and plumbing system.

If your plumber had a chance to talk to your kids about your plumbing, however, these are a few things that he or she would say:

1. You Don’t Need That Much Toilet Paper

As a parent, you’re probably pretty proud of yourself for teaching your little one how to use the toilet and clean up after himself or herself properly. However, your plumber might disagree with your little one about the amount of toilet paper that is necessary.

Putting too much toilet paper in the toilet and then flushing can cause clogs, even if they aren’t immediate. Large clumps of toilet paper can get stuck farther in the pipes and can be just as tricky to remove as paper towels, hair clogs and more.

2. There are Only Three Things That Should Go in the Toilet

Countless kids have used their toilets as car washes for their toy cars or have tossed things like coins, small toys and other no-no items in the toilet. Along with being a rather unsanitary way of playing, this is also a great way to create massive clogs and to damage your pipes. If your plumber got a chance, he or she would probably tell your kids that only #1, #2 and toilet paper belong in the toilet period.

3. You Don’t Have to Flush the Toilet That Hard

Kids might seem weak, but they actually have superhuman strength when they set their minds to something. Some kids think that they have to press down on the toilet flusher with all of their might, but doing so can damage the components inside the toilet. Teach your little ones to use the minimum amount of pressure necessary to cause the toilet to flush to avoid damage and a high plumbing bill.

4. Small Toys Do Not Belong in the Tub

Your little one probably loves to play with toys in the bathtub, and you’re probably happy about anything that will encourage your child to get excited about bath time. However, not all toys should go in the bathtub. Tiny parts, small army men toys and other similar items can go into the drain and can cause major clogs.

Although your plumber might not get the chance to lecture your kids about your plumbing, you have the chance to do so. Teach them these four things to help prevent plumbing issues and the need to hire a plumber. To learn more, contact a company like Valley Rooter Ltd. with any questions or concerns you have.

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Add Molding To Your Recessed Windows So They Match Your Door Frames

Many track homes are built with recessed windows on the interior. If your interior windows are recessed, they probably do not have any decorative molding around the edge. However, you can add molding along the edge of your window frame to make it match with the molding around your doors. This a great way to add uniformity to your interior.

Practical Considerations

Adding molding to recessed windows is a purely cosmetic remodel. However, you do need to take into consideration what type of blinds you have on your windows. Often, when adding molding around the edge of your window, you will need to buy smaller blinds. One thing about adding molding around your windows is that you can get rid of decorative valances or drapery. You may not want these to cover up the stylish edges of your new windows.

Installing the Molding

Adding molding to new windows is an extremely easy process. Shop around and try to find a product that matches with the existing molding around your door frames. First, you need to cut your molding to the proper length. The best way to do this is to actually hold the molding up, along the edge you are cutting, and mark it with a pencil. After piece is cut to length, attach it, and then hold up the next piece and mark it accordingly. This is the best way to get the most perfect fit at the corners where the molding meets.

Cutting the Molding

There are two simple ways to cut molding. It is easiest if you have a compound miter saw. This allow you to cut the 45° angle’s where the molding meets at the joints of the window. If you do not have a miter saw you can use a handsaw or a circular saw. In general, these latter options do not leave behind a clean cut. So, you need to sand down the edge after you make the initial cut.

Using an Air Gun

The best way to attach molding to your window is with a pneumatic nail gun and air compressor. If you do not own a compressor or nail gun, you can simply rent them. They will greatly speed up the installation process because the nail guns do not leave behind large holes. In fact, the holes can be so small that you do not even need to fill them after the frames are painted.

Some people paint their molding before they install it. This is a good idea, but you will probably need to do a little bit of touch up to the frame after the molding is installed

For more information, contact a business such as Alartco Windows & Doors Manufacturing.

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The Advantages of Fiberglass Decks

Decks have traditionally been made out of wood for decades, with alternative materials making up just a small part of the market. However, alternative decking materials have become increasingly common due to their varied benefits over traditional wood decks, offering consumers choices that better fit their needs.

Fiberglass decks are one such recent development. If you are looking to replace an old deck or simply want a brand new deck to be installed, understanding the benefits of a fiberglass deck can help you make an educated decision.

The Advantages of Fiberglass Decks

Fiberglass deck boards are made out of plastic reinforced by glass fiber, which provides a high degree of structural stability and allows fiberglass to be much more durable than regular plastic. In fact, fiberglass is much more durable than wood or metal, and will not dent or become damaged due to regular use.

Additionally, it does not warp or change shape due to exposure to water or the weather, and will not rot as wood can. It is also immune from termites, and pests will not make their home in an inorganic material like plastic.

Fiberglass decks are extremely easy to cut, which in turn makes them much easier to install than wooden decks, allowing you to custom fit your deck to your specifications in less time and at a lower cost. 

Fiberglass decks will not rot, and will not crack due to rapidly changing temperatures. This makes fiberglass decks ideal for areas that experience severe weather at any time of the year, as your deck will be able to take the punishment without changing shape or losing its structural stability. Additionally, fiberglass decks will not rust as metal decks do, and require little maintenance in order to stay in top shape.

Considerations of Fiberglass Decks

There are a number of things you should take into account when considering a fiberglass deck. First of all, fiberglass is heavier than wood or metal, and it is important that you ensure that you have the right foundation available for the installation of a fiberglass deck.

Secondly, fiberglass decks cost more initially than traditional wood decks, though they are about the same price as metal decks, depending on the metal used. However, it is important to note that the fact that fiberglass decks will last much longer than wooden decks. They will cut down on your maintenance and replacement costs, which means that fiberglass decks are ideal for those who are looking to save money in the long run, but who are willing to put in an initial investment.

Learn more about your decking options by contacting local experts such as Coast Fiber-Tek Products Ltd.

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