Thursday, 19 December 2013

Tips For Summer Maintenance Around The Home

Taking good care of your home not only will help keep your house stay fresh and look great, but it will also help to save you time, money and effort in the long run. Making sure that you perform regular inspections of all aspects of your home can ensure that expensive repairs and problems will not creep up on you when you least expect it. So with a short checklist of things to check around the home, a quarterly inspection is all that is necessary to stay informed.


Doors, Windows, and Security
One of the first things you should check around your home is to inspect and check the doors and windows around your property. Ensuring that no leaks are visible, no mould, mildew or damage has occurred to the window and door surrounds, and that is applicable, wood finishing is up to grade and that all seals are water tight and ready for what the weather can throw at it. Door and window inspection on a regular basis is a great way to ensure you keep tabs on security, too. Making sure that all windows and doors function properly, with working locking mechanisms is also important in a case of fire.

Inspecting and checking the roof for any leaks and issues is another important aspect of a regular house inspection. Leaks and issues arising around the roof can be some of the most expensive repairs to make, especially if dampness has set in, so ensure that the roof is watertight and that a full internal inspection is carried out in the loft space or attic to make doubly sure. Loft or attic spaces should be regularly checked for pests as well as water damage. Make sure that the roof area is secure and that no birds or rodents can get into space, saving you plenty of hassle further down the road.

Your air conditioning system will need to be inspected before any large duration where it hasn’t been used. This is the ideal time to ensure that your air conditioning system is up to working order, as not only will ensuring that refrigerant levels are safe and in tune, but also making sure that the system is cleaned and that the fan system is healthy operational order will also ensure that you won’t be paying extra on your electricity bill due to a faulty system.




Outdoor living spaces and pools
Pools and outdoor living spaces will need a good clean and check for any problems. Making sure that you maintain a healthy pool is a key to its longevity. Making regular checks on the cleaning chemicals used and properly balanced is a priority, and that your pool pumping system is up to scratch. The last thing you want is to be in the height of pool party season with a broken down pump and no pool to cool off in.

Other items of maintenance around the home are important in this season, and by making sure that the exterior of your property is well kept will save you money in the long run. Keeping an eye on your paintwork is also a point of note, as weathering can have a huge effect on your exterior over the years. With a new lick of paint ensuring that your home is looking fresh and tidy, and by making sure that all of your systems around the home are in perfect working order, you can treat yourself to another six months of relaxation before the next inspection.

Thursday, 21 November 2013

The Psychology of Graffiti - Gang Signs to Street Art


Graffiti has been around for thousands of years, since cavemen painted on walls to tell of tales of yesteryear. The majority of people have a natural dislike of graffiti, especially when it’s sprawled all over their neighbourhood. But it is also very popular and can be seen as street art, which is most likely intended to interest people in a similar way that a painting does, rather than to disgust and annoy like standard graffiti does.

As a Part of Gang Culture

Graffiti has come a long way since the days when it was a defining feature of a derelict or rundown part of the neighbourhood. With many young adults wishing to make their mark by tagging their territory, it became an inner city map of gang signs and a visual cue to other people of the neighbourhood that this was their territory. The gang culture of the 70s and 80s only heightened the use of graffiti, as part of a sub culture amongst teenagers and young adults.

Many cities around the globe have tried to tackle the problem of graffiti by allowing dedicated walls to be left to the streets as a place to allow graffiti to be sprayed. This alternative method of controlling graffiti has only helped in a few instances, and overlooked the whole mind-set of why graffiti exists. In its original form, graffiti was a territorial thing; it is intended to mark a territory and allow those who enter it either a welcome or a warning sign.


Those young adults who dabbled in graffiti are now part of the second generation of graffiti sprayers; the graffiti artists, who focus less on territories on more on art. With a distinct change in mind-set amongst many people in society, graffiti is now seen as part of an art culture of the streets, and one that can be celebrated. More places than ever have been dedicated to allowing graffiti artists to show their work, and with those young adults that have now grown into accomplished artists, an adult look on the culture and messages that can be conveyed through graffiti has exploded into a new wave of intelligent-thinking street artists.

If anyone knows one thing about graffiti and the term graffiti artists, then the name Banksy will ring a bell. This celebrated artist who prefers to create thoughtful street art in graffiti form is leading a new wave of cultured graffiti artists into becoming the main stream. With his iconic stencilled designs, Banksy has toured the world looking for meaningful places to adorn his work. From occupied Palestine to New York and Sydney, Banksy has changed much about how we think about graffiti and what it means to be a graffiti artist.

It seems that for now, graffiti is here to stay. With iconic symbols of street culture and inspirational artists such as Banksy, graffiti artists have just awoken to a world of partial acceptance in the art world, with the possibility of creating true pieces of art on the buildings and cities that they call home. But while there are a number of artist that are truly talented and deserve to be celebrated, a lot of graffiti has a single purpose - to vandalise people’s property. This is ultimately how graffiti artist can come to have a bad name, despite their undeniable artistic skills.

Monday, 16 September 2013

How to Remove Graffiti

One of the unfortunate things about owning an urban business or residential property is the common problem of graffiti. Being a completely different type of paint than commercial wall paint, graffiti is one of the most difficult types of paint to remove from a building. However, new and improved techniques allow us to remove graffiti in a few simple steps.


Blast Cleaning


One of the most efficient and ecologically friendly methods of removing graffiti comes in the form of blast cleaning. This process is also used for other uses included moss removal, sandstone polishing and brickwork/concrete cleaning. It utilises a highly pressurised jet of water that gradually removes the paint from the surface of a wall or building structure. This method is great for removing graffiti over a larger area, where entire wall surfaces are have been covered.

Not only does blast cleaning offer a fast and reliable method of removing unwanted graffiti from wall surfaces, but it doesn’t involve the use of any harmful chemicals. Many blast cleaning operators can also treat a wall surface with chemicals to help with the removal, but in many instances, the high pressure of the water itself is powerful enough to remove the graffiti.

Many of the high power blast cleaner guns are backed up by a water and solution mixer box. This combines the necessary detergent and cleaning fluid with the high pressure water to. With this technique, you will notice a clear difference in the quality of the surface after the cleaning is complete. It is often the case that after the removal is complete; the property owner notices the cleaner surface and requests that the entire building’s surface be cleaned via the same method.


Chemical Solutions


For smaller quantities of graffiti where a fully professional graffiti removal services isn’t necessary, it may be the case that the graffiti can be removed simply with an all-purpose paint thinner and paint remover. In these cases, it is recommended that the best paint stripper or remover be used for the specific surface that needs to be stripped. For instance, a paint stripper made specifically for brick or concrete surfaces should not be used on woodwork or metal work.

With a plaster knife or paint stripping tool, you can often peel back the layers of the paint surface and bring back the wall or building’s surface to its former glory. Most chemical solutions can be harsh and dangerous to your health, so it is recommended that all safety precautions be taken. It’s important to protect yourself with all of the appropriate gear.

A professional graffiti removal service is likely to be able to perform the task, from initial inspection to removal and clean up very quickly. Many professional services can have the graffiti removed within 12-24 hours, depending on the severity.

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

The Dangers of Lead Paint

While renovating a house, redecorating or restoring a room to its former glory, have you ever wondered what lurks beneath your walls? Many traditional houses actually contain walls that were decorated with lead paint. But what are the dangers associated with this type of paint, and how can it be safely removed?


Why Lead Paint Was Used?
 

The first thing to do if you are in any doubt is to call a professional painter to inspect your property and ask about lead paint removal. Although lead paint was outlawed many years ago, most homeowners tend to paint over walls rather than strip the paint when they redecorate. But in instances where a wall has deteriorated or needs to be removed or replaced, the danger of lead paint can be quite significant. 


Lead is added in paint to speed up the drying process, which was actually quite effective. Whilst the properties of lead paint can benefit walls by repelling moisture, keeping the surface looking fresh as well as helping the walls to avoid corrosion, lead is regarded as a toxic substance dangerous to human health. It is highly recommended that lead based jobs should be handled by experienced, knowledgeable and trained lead paint removal expert to ensure the safest environment before and after the work.

Before 1965, the government allowed a level of 50% lead in all paints used in commercial and domestic applications. Realising the health risks, the government reduced the legal level of lead in paint to allow paint which only contains less than 1% to still be sold. Lead laws and regulations were established and the latest government recommendation on the levels of lead in paints was decided in 1997, than no more than 0.1% lead is to be used in paint.

   
The Real Dangers... 

The biggest danger comes when people decide to renovate and decorate their houses. They may not even notice that they may be peeling back a layer of paint that contains lead when they are up to painting and decorating. When using paint-stripping sanders, this can create a toxic level of lead dust that can cause serious damage to the body when inhaled. Dust from lead paint can remain in a home for months and even years after any renovation work has been carried out.


Once lead dust from a lead based paint has been scattered throughout a house, it can lay in carpets, cracks and other areas around the house that makes for complete removal of this toxic substance extremely difficult - even for professionals who understand the lead removal process.

The only true way to know if your house contains lead based paint and what level of lead is being used, is to perform a test on all of the walls and painted surfaces around your home. This way you can be ready to remove potentially multiple layers of paint without a worry of harm to you and your family. The lead paint test kits are available in the majority of the bigger hardware and DIY stores for between $10 and $18. The test kit includes a swab that is used to show a chemical reaction when it finds lead in a chip of paint, and can give you peace of mind before calling the professionals.

Lead paint removal can and should be performed by professionals. If you are in any doubt about the levels of lead contained in older layers of paint in your home, you should purchase a lead paint test kit. If the kit shows positive signs of lead, you should contact a professional painter and ask his advice and availability to remove the paint for you. With a professional service available for lead removal from the paint on your walls, you can begin your redecorating and renovation once the clean-up has finished.

Monday, 17 June 2013

A One-Stop Shop for Painting and Decorating Your Building

From excellent customer service to quality products, you want to do everything you can to get your business to stand out among the competition. One way to do that? Make sure your commercial building or facility looks its best, both inside and out. Therefore, finding a company that can paint and decorate your building should be a priority. Operating out of a facility that looks professional will go a long way toward finding, and retaining, customers.

But if you’re looking for commercial painting contractors in Sydney for your business, you want the best: Priority One Coatings. You have customers and clients to take care of. Therefore, you don’t want to worry about things like quality painters and/or decorators, nor do you want your clients, customers or employees tripping over paint cans or for the job to drag out too long. In other words, you want the most bang for your buck when it comes to your business and painting.

Priority One Coatings has many years’ worth of experience painting and decorating. Think of them as a one-stop shop for painting in Sydney. Instead of hiring several different companies or contractors for your painting, decorating and wallpapering needs, Priority One Coatings can take care of all of that at affordable rates.



Their specialties include:


• Wallpapering
• Lead Removal
• Floor Coating
• Color Coordination


Safety Checks


Remember, all your employees and customers will be impacted by the painting and decorative work. That’s why it’s important to know exactly what’s going on your walls, too. You’ll be provided with a Material Safety Data Sheet so that you know everything about the paint and coatings on your walls or floors. This also helps ensure that nothing toxic or dangerous is used and that everyone inside your building is completely safe from harmful materials. This is especially important for daycares, schools and hospitals.

But you also want to make sure that everyone in your building is kept safe while the painting and decorating work is being completed. Remember, whomever you hire will likely be inside (and outside) your building, potentially for a long time. That’s why it’s key that you hire a painting company that keeps careful tabs on its employees.

The company you choose should also be licensed and accredited, so make sure you ask for all qualifications before hiring anyone. You can also ask for references. Much of your research for painting can be taken care of online.



Standing Out From The Crowd


First impressions are important in today’s struggling economy – especially when you’re doing everything in your power to separate yourself from your competition. That’s why having a business that looks professional, both inside and out, can go a long way toward obtaining new customers and retaining current clients. But you don’t have to hire someone for each individual job. Priority One Coatings can take care of all your painting and decorating needs, and their attention to detail, professionalism and affordable rates will go a long way toward increasing your visibility.