Cleaning Out The Loft? Here’s What You Need To Know

A spring bank holiday weekend clear-out… Why not? You’ll gain space, peace of mind and perhaps end up with a sizeable donation to give to charity. Sure, it can be an effort (been there just a couple of weeks ago), but the more prepared you are, the easier and more rewarding it will be. Read these 5 things to get you ready for operation loft clearance.

  1. Prepare for dust
    Dress for battle if you aren’t calling in professionals like Seriously. Shifting long-forgotten pieces of furniture, boxes and old loft insulation will dredge up industrial levels of dust, fluff, mould and Lord knows what. We suggest wearing an FFP3 grade dust mask, CE marked, available at any hardware store. You may feel slightly overdressed, but your lungs will thank you for it. (Ours were black after a couple of hours’ work.) And put on goggles and gloves while you’re at it. And, of course, take a good torch.
  2. Beware of dead stuff
    Look out for fauna. Dead more often than not. Wasps, bees, moths, mice, spiders, bats, birds – the animal kingdom loves a life between the eaves. Careful with active wasps’ nests – they don’t need much provocation, but that’s what pest control is for. Also, when we say dead stuff, we don’t mean vintage taxidermy – that’s bonus cash in the attic; if you find that, flog it!
    3. Don’t mention the C word* – hoarder, moi?
    Beer mat collections, tacky holiday souvenirs, broken vacuum cleaners you’ve been meaning to repair (we found three… don’t ask), videos, trampolines and other well-intentioned NY resolutions/regimes that we didn’t follow through… Hey, we’ve all accumulated stuff/clutter*.

The trick is to know what to hang on to and what to let go. Of course, it’s not for anyone to tell you what to keep or not. Based on personal experience, we’d say be honest with yourself. Yes, you may protest, ‘Oh, but I need that!’ But if you really need it, what’s it doing in the loft you visit once in a blue moon?

  1. Think like a Buddhist – no attachments
    An attic clearance can be a sentimental journey, full of nostalgia and wistful reminiscing (‘So that‘s where my favourite doodah went’). And while it’s easy to clear stuff you don’t want (ie things you’ve no emotional connection with), it can be difficult to part with the things you’re attached to. We’re talking furniture from previous homes that doesn’t quite work in the new place, stuff the kids made, letters, photos, heirlooms.

To clarify your judgment, try asking yourself: Do I use it? Would I save it in a fire? Would I buy it now? Have on hand boxes/black bags marked Chuck, Charity and Keep. Why not pass on the stuff you don’t like to someone who might actually use or enjoy it? Try Freecycle or eBay. Be grateful for the things that served you, then move on. If you are keeping it, organise it. Use transparent boxes and label.

What Is Grit Blasting?

Abrasive grit blasting with,  or sand blast cleaning, is a surface treatment process widely used in a variety of different industries with many diverse purposes. Abrasive blasting is the process by which an abrasive media is accelerated through a blasting nozzle by means of compressed air. The abrasive used varies based on the surface treatment required. Common abrasives used include:

  • steel shot
  • steel grit
  • glass bead
  • crushed glass
  • aluminum oxide
  • silicon carbide
  • plastic
  • walnut shell
  • corn cob
  • baking soda
  • ceramic grit
  • copper slag




Media selection is a crucial decision in the engineering of abrasive blasting processes. The different media types have different hardness, shape, and density, and each is available in a wide range of particle sizes. Many times it is necessary for sample processing to take place to lock in the final media type and size. The equipment used to perform the sand blasting process varies through industry; there are hand cabinets, dedicated automatic high production models, and completely robotic systems with closed loop process controls. The type of machine utilized depends on the surface treatment applied as well as the end use of the component.

Traditionally abrasive grit blasting with has been considered a “low tech” process, generically called sand blasting. Today, however, abrasive blast cleaning is a vital process used not only to remove rust, but to prepare surfaces for high performance coatings or to treat final products to give them the luster and surface texture desired by the retail consumer

The range of uses for abrasive grit blasting are very broad and include:

  • surface preparation prior to painting, bonding or other coating operations
  • removal of rust, scale, sand, or paint from fabricated components
  • roughening of industrial gas turbine engine component surfaces in preparation for thermal spray coating
  • removal of burrs or edge profiling machined components
  • providing a matte cosmetic surface finish on consumer products
  • removal of mold flash from plastic components
  • surface texturing of tooling, and molds to alter the appearance of molded or stamped products

Shot peening is a metal working process which enhances the surfaces of a variety of different materials.

Various manufacturing processes used throughout the aerospace, aircraft, automotive, energy, and heavy equipment industries can produce tensile stresses on the surface of components. These processes include milling, turning, drilling, welding, severe grinding, heat treating, bending, and forming. The tensile stress left behind on the surface provides a perfect environment for a cracking or stress corrosion to start forming, reducing the life of these components.

Shot peening is performed by accelerating spherical media toward the surface of a part. When the media hits the part, a small dent is formed, stretching the surface of the part. The material surrounding that dent resists this, and creates an area of compressive stress. When the surface of the part has these small dents all over the surface, there is a continuous layer of compressive stress on the surface of the part. This replaces the tensile stress on the surface with a compressive layer. The compressive layer stops the fatigue cracks and stress corrosion that typically start at the surface of the part.

Shot peening has been used successfully for many years. Although skill trades realized the benefits of this coldworking process long ago, modern shot peening has only had widespread use since the 1930’s. In 1945 a patent was issued to John Almen for a method to measure the intensity of shot peening. Mr. Almen is considered by many to be the father of modern shot peening. His patent uses a thin metal strip, now called an Almen Strip, and an arc measurement device, now called an Almen Gage, to assign a value to the intensity of the shot hitting the part. An Almen Strip is held down on a flat block with 4 screws. When the strip is shot peened, a compressive stress is placed into the surface of the strip. When the strip is removed from the block, the strip arcs because the thin cross-section cannot resist the stress placed into the surface of the strip. This arc is measured with an Almen Gage.

Need A New Roof?

Is it time to repair or replace your old roof? Look for these red flags before calling a roofer.

Most homeowners figure they need a new roof after they spot a leak in their ceiling. This leak could be due to many different roofing problems. But, what factors really determine whether a roof repair will solve the problem or the house needs a roof replacement?

Here are some tips to help you determine if you need a new roof:

  1. Roof age

How old is your existing asphalt shingle roof? Most experts agree that a typical roof will last between 20 and 25 years. It also depends on whether the old roof was removed and you only have one layer of shingles, and if it is properly ventilated. If the roof was installed over another layer or several layers and it is older than 20 years, chances are you need a new roof.

  1. Shingles curling and buckling

Shingles that are curled or buckling are another sign that you may need a new roof. Look at the slopes of your home that get direct sunlight and if you notice the shingles are curling and losing granules, it could mean the shingles are past their life expectancy. There could also be a possibility that the roof is defective. Contact a licensed roofing contractor like to see if you could be eligible for reimbursement.

  1. Roof valleys

If your roof shingles are falling apart or missing in this area, it’s a definite sign you need a new roof. Valleys are one of the most important areas of your roof. Snow and rain flow through valleys and into gutters. If the valley is compromised, you could be susceptible to roof leaks.

  1. Missing shingles

These are another sign your roof could be failing. Check to see if all of the shingle “tabs” are intact.

  1. Chimney flashing

This is another area to be concerned about. If your flashing consists of roof cement or tar, it may need to be replaced with a long-term, water-tight fitting, which would be a metal flashing system.

  1. Shingle granules in the gutters

Look in your gutters to see whether they are loaded up with shingle granules. Roofs tend to lose more granules toward the end of their life cycle. Inconsistant or darker color on some parts of the roof is another sign the granules have worn away.

  1. Daylight through the roof boards

You notice a spongy feel or trampoline bounce when walking on the roof, which means the underlying decking is weakened from moisture. Check your attic to see if there is any daylight coming through the roof boards. Also check for moisture in the insulation.

How To Install A Combi Boiler

A combi (or combination) boilers are a type of boiler in which gas is used for both high efficiency domestic water heater and central heating boiler within one compact unit. A combi boiler with is an ingenious space-saving idea, and an increasingly popular choice in UK homes. They are easy to install, simple to use and economical to run. Installing a combi boiler might be a onetime hassle but your boiler still needs to be serviced every now and then, especially if you are experiencing strange noises or temperature fluctuations.

How does a combi boiler work?

The conventional arrangement of a boiler with is to have a normal boiler that heats up the radiator through a sealed water circuit. To heat the water the storage cylinder has a hot coil in it through which the radiator water flows.  A combi boiler heats the water only when a hot tap or shower is turned on.  This ensures maximum efficiency of the boiler. The hot water is delivered to the taps with pressure so that you can enjoy your shower.

Why install a combi Boiler?

  1. A combi heater incorporates hot water being conveyed through your taps or shower at mains pressure.
  2. Combi boilers are available in gas, electricity or oil depending on your fuel preference. Your combi boiler doubles as a central heating unit by adding a radiator.
  3. The combi boiler doesn’t require a bulky storage cylinder and can easily fit into most kitchens or storage cupboards, making them the ideal system for houses with limited space.
  4. Combi boilers are reliable. They are manufactured using proven technology.
  5. Combi boilers are convenient and easy to use.
  6. Another combi boiler benefit is that it can generally save you money on installation time and costs, since no tank in the roof space means less pipe work and a shorter installation time
  7. Unlike the conventional boiler, combi boilers provide on-demand heating to your radiators and domestic hot water.
  8. Combination boilers are also versatile because they take care of your central heating as well as your hot water supplies.

It is economical and practical. These high efficiency boilers reduce your energy bills.

Installing a combi boiler with can be a bit difficult because the system gets added to your water mains but they are much more likely to fit into your home because of their smaller size. The installation can also be a bit more costly than system boilers that can simply be connected to an old boiler system.

Boilers can last up to 15 years and if your boiler is reaching that age then it’s time to get a new one. To ensure the best lifespan annual services and maintenance is mandatory. But the older they get the risk of malfunctions increases especially if the initial installation was not done correctly.

Purchasing a new combi boiler is one thing, but installing it is a whole different story. While you can always hire someone to perform the new combi boiler installation for you, taking the DIY approach can save you quite a bit of money. But before you actually dive in and to start installing, there are different factors that you’ll need to consider.

The first is that combi boilers are relatively compact, so they’re perfect for smaller spaces. But this can also make the installation aspect of it a bit trickier too. Second, you will need to consider whether or not you want to purchase a fitter separate from the manufacturer, or simply purchase it as an “all-in-one” option. If you aren’t sure on how to install a combi boiler then it might be wise to invest in a secure installation company because you could end up damaging your newly bought combi boiler. If you absolutely have your heart on installing the boiler yourself then you need to do proper research on the correct installation techniques.


Types of Home Care Services

If you think you need help and assistance in caring for an elderly member, hiring a home care services such as at is a good option for you to have a caregiver. There are few types of home care services that you can choose from. This also depends on your choices on whether or not you want to hire.

Home care services come in various forms and this also has many names to address a caregiver such as carers and care attendants. This suits your elderly in providing their needs as following;

  1. Companionship– most of the elderly are left at home by their working children and if having a caregiver to accompany them all throughout the day is helpful and would make them feel less lonely too.
  1. Domestic work– there are simple ways for an elderly to do activities of daily living but make sure that it corresponds to their level of capability. For example, if they have limited range of motion, assisting them in cleaning the dining table or vacuuming.
  1. Cooking meals– this is another factor that you should consider. If the elderly are used to cooking meals for their loved ones, having to assist them with a caregiver in preparing for the meal would make them feel better.
  1. Proper Hygiene and Self-care– physiologic needs should be met daily. Having to take care of an elderly is just like taking care of a child. So, they need to bathe, wear clean clothes, and groom themselves as well.
  1. Health– maintaining their health is a priority at all times. Keep in mind that their immune system is lowered thus they require compliance with their medication. In this way, you are guaranteed that their health is monitored at all times. A caregiver must have an idea in terms of administering medications.

There are home care services that offer 24/7 services to meet all of the elderly needs. Some elderly clients would want the same person to take care of them, so this means that they are acknowledging the presence of being assisted by a caregiver. Establishing a relationship is helpful and this makes them feel comfortable, secure, and convenient. There are as well long term services which depend on the elderly needs such as a home health care for elderly individuals who need extended care due to their situation, such as an injury.

Shared home care services

This means that the caregiver can stay in your home to have a continuous quality care. This is another type of home care wherein elderly clients can feel at home.

Independent home care services

This is a type of service wherein there are different people who are taking turns of caring for the elderly. However, if you are not comfortable with this type of home care style, it would be best for you to look for another option to ensure that care is provided according to how you want things done. This is also not recommended for people who are on a budget because you will have to pay not just one caregiver but a few more.