Expanding Foam

General Info:

Expanding Foam comes in an aresol can, which reacts to air when it is sprayed, expanding and hardening into a solid foam. This product is most commonly used for form fitting unusual shaped objects for shipping, filling cracks in exterior walls for insulation and to prevent access by pests.

Tools & Chemicals:

Acetone, an old rag, pecut strips of cardboard or small pieces of wood, tools.

Technique:

  • If this foam ends up where you don’t want it, act immediatley! When this stuff cures it is absolutley permanent, forever and ever, until the end of time. Take the small pieces of cardboard and scrape off any excess. Throw this piece of carboard with the waste foam away now, put it down and you will get foam everywhere!
  • Be sure the area is well ventilated and there are no open flames! Pour some acetone onto the old rag. Using the rag, wipe away any residue that the cardboard did not remove. Use caution as acetone will damage some painted and plastic surfaces.
  • Throw this old rag away once you have used it!
  • If the foam has hardened, which means it has cured the only means of removal is mechanical (cutting, grinding, scraping).
  • Use whatever tools are nessecary to remove the excess foam, it can be cut, ground down, sanded filed, scraped, and the remaining residue can be removed with a wire brush. These actions are also likely to damage the surface that the foam is on.
  • There is no way to remove ‘fresh’ or cured foam from clothing. It is permanent.

How to dispose of empty aersol cans

General Info:

These disposal methods are commonly accepted, however your local government may have specific instruction and bylaws for safe disposal. To be certain of any restriction contact your local government or waste disposal utility.

Technique:

  • Throw out with the regular trash. Never throw into a fire, or incinerate.

Yards & Lawn

The yard is probably the most popular place to spend most of your time and also is probably the biggest creator of summer projects. To start with spread the work over a few weekends so it isn’t as overwhelming. For most, because we spend much less time outside during winter, our yards are neglected. There are exceptions, like the fortunate residents of Florida and Hawaii, but for the most part being beneath a foot of snow puts our yards at the bottom of our priorities.

Then the snow melts, and you wonder, where did all of THIS come from. Snow carries with it, pollution and dust, which is left behind when the snow melts. The freezing and thawing cycles of winter can push rocks up to the top of the soil, crack concrete patios, and shift improperly built fences and structures.

The first task would be to survey the entire yard. Walk your entire fence line to check for visible damage. Shake the posts to see if they are secure. Check for damaged boards, rotten posts, and evidence of mildew or fungus. There are many products available for cleaning fences and protecting them from future weathering. Some of the best environmentally friendly (safe for lawns and plants) products available is made by Biowash, which can be found at most Home Centers.

Retaining walls should also be inspected for cracks, or movement. There should be material (ie. crushed rock) that drains well behind retaining walls, so excessive moisture does not build up and cause damage during freezing cycles. Water is also very heavy, and may stress walls if there is no means for drainage.

The best general cleaning of a yard involves removing fallen branches and twigs, sweeping and hosing down drives and walks. Check driveway for fluid leaks from vehicles. Absorb as much as possible using, non clumping kitty litter, or a commercially available absorbent powder. Remember antifreeze tastes sweet, and attracts pets, however it can be fatal for pets that lick it up.

Yards & Lawn

The yard is probably the most popular place to spend most of your time and can also be the biggest creator of summer projects.  To start with, spread the work over a few weekends so it isn’t as overwhelming.  For most, because we spend much less time outside during winter, our yards are neglected. There are exceptions, like the fortunate residents of Florida and Hawaii, but for the most part being beneath a foot of snow puts our yards at the bottom of our priorities.  Then the snow melts, and you wonder, where did all of THIS come from.  Snow carries with it, pollution and dust, which is left behind when the snow melts.  The freezing and thawing cycles of winter can push rocks up to the top of the soil, crack concrete patios, and shift improperly built fences and structures.

The first task would be to survey the entire yard.  Walk your entire fence line to check for visible damage.  Shake the posts to see if they are secure. Check for damaged boards, rotten posts, and evidence of mildew or fungus.  There are many products available for cleaning fences and protecting them from future weathering.  Some of the best environmentally friendly (safe for lawns and plants) products available is made by Biowash, which can be found at most Home Centers.

Retaining walls should also be inspected for cracks, or movement.  There should be material (ie. crushed rock) that drains well behind retaining walls, so excessive moisture does not build up and cause damage during freezing cycles. Water is also very heavy, and may stress walls if there is no means for drainage.

The best general cleaning of a yard involves removing fallen branches and twigs, sweeping and hosing down driveways and walkways. Check driveway for fluid leaks from vehicles; absorb as much as possible using a  non clumping kitty litter, or a commercially available absorbent powder. Remember antifreeze tastes sweet and attracts pets, however it can be very  fatal to pets that lick it up.

Hot Tubs

Tools & Techniques:
The proper cleaning of a hot tub begins with proper chemical treatment. Follow your manufacturers instructions, or see a pool or hot tub dealer for advice on treating your hot tubs with the appropriate chemicals. Remember to clean your filter on a regular basis. For example, clean the filter when you are cleaning your hot tub. Manufacturers would recommend filter cleaning more frequently, however it maybe more realistic to do so when cleaning your tub. To properly clean your hot tub you drain it completely so you can use a soft cloth or sponge to thoroughly clean the inside of the hot tub.

Use a manufacturer recommended product or mild detergent (Most tubs are acrylic, do not use anything abrasive). Rinse your tub before refilling to prevent soap suds when turning on your tub. The frequency of cleaning depends on the frequency of use, a general rule of thumb is once every three months.

Tips & Timesavers:
Body oils can be bothersome in hot tubs this is lessened by regular cleaning of the tub. You can buy a specialty product called a ”Zorbie” which can be placed directly into your hot tub, it floats and it absorbs body oils keeping your tub that much cleaner.

Cleaning The Gutters

Gutters help move all of the moisture that collects on your roof, away from your home. Pretty straight forward, but usually the only time we even look at our gutters is when they aren’t doing their job, or when we hang our Christmas lights. Regular maintenance will ensure that you gutters don’t leak, get clogged, or cause damage to your roof.

In the fall, after the bulk of leaves have fallen, BUT before the snow comes, you should check your gutters. A clogged gutter can cause snow and water to back up underneath the shingles. This, with the freezing and thawing cycles of the spring and fall, can cause serious damage to a roof. It is also helpful in the spring to be sure they have not been damaged by these winter freezing cycles, and to be certain they will be ready for “April showers”. Use an approved ladder, preferably with an assembly that will allow the ladder to lean on the roof itself, instead of against the gutter.

Most gutters are thin gauge metal, or even plastic, which can be badly damaged by leaning the ladder directly on them. Before starting, it can be a good idea to use a garden hose to wash any loose debris from the roof into the gutters. Take a small pail, or plastic garbage bag up the ladder with you. Wearing rubber gloves, scoop any debris from the gutter into the pail or bag. A two inch putty knife can be a great help in removing stubborn collections of gunk. Work your way along the gutter, and never stretch beyond a comfortable reach when standing on a ladder.

A final rinsing with the garden hose, can remove small bits of debris that you may have missed. While you are checking the gutter, it is a good idea to tighten screws or tap in nails which have loosened.

If the downspout is slow to drain, or plugged completely, use a garden hose to push the debris out with a strong stream of water. If the downspout goes directly into a drain, you should undo the connection, to avoid pushing the debris into the drain itself.

How to dispose of empty aersol cans

General Info:

These disposal methods are commonly accepted, however your local government may have specific instruction and bylaws for safe disposal. To be certain of any restriction contact your local government or waste disposal utility.

Technique:

  • Throw out with the regular trash. Never throw into a fire, or incinerate.

Gum

This solution for removing gum from your shoe requires that you either have this product already or that you purchase it.  Take a can of WD-40 and spray the area of the shoe with the gum.  Allow at least one minute to pass. Use a paper towel or rag to wipe away the gum and the oily spray from the shoe.  Use a clean rag or paper towel to wipe the shoe a second time to remove any additional residue.