Monthly Archives: November 2013

How to Efficiently and Easily Insulate Your Attic

A somewhat overlooked energy and heat cost-cutter is “adding insulation to your attic.” Central Indiana is known for harsh winters, and this year is no exception. By spending a little time and money re-insulating your attic this fall you will not only save on heating costs, but you’ll ensure a comfortable and happy home for the rest of the year.

Attic Insulation Installation

A few things to consider…

First and foremost, determine if you even need to re-insulate your attic. There are several key indicators:

  • Heating bills are significantly higher in the winter months than normal
  • Snow melts on-contact with your roof
  • Your A/C ran more than normal this past summer
  • Your rooms are drafty and uncomfortable
  • There are noticeable temperature changes in different parts of your house

You may also be able to tell by actually going up into the attic and inspecting the current insulation, doing a DIY attic audit if you will. An obvious tell-tale is how much insulation is in place, the condition (wet, soggy, molded), etc. Once you know for a fact that installing new insulation is a must, then you can move to the next step.

One of the first things you need to know prior to doing any insulating is what R-value your batts should have. For a colder, temperate climate like Indiana, R-49 is an accurate estimate. Make sure you ask your local hardware store or insulation supplier which value is best suited though, because a higher insulation level will prevent hot air from escaping via the attic during the next few winter months. And if you’re feeling ambitious, for more information on how to calculate your own insulation needs, visit this blog post.

After determining your R-value, you’ll need to gather equipment – the fun part! We recommend using both an insulation vacuum and an insulation blower. You can use both of these in lieu of simply laying down rolls of insulation, or you can use them all in conjunction. It really depends on your preference. Keep in mind however, that using an insulation vacuum and blower will cut your time in half, as opposed to putting it all in by hand. Other tools necessary:

Bundle up and get to work

Once you have all the insulation you need – per your supplier’s instructions or DIY determination, and the insulation vacuum and blower, you can begin insulating. First things first, remove your old insulation with an insulation vacuum. This machine makes quick work of wet or dry insulation and drywall chip removal. All you do is plug it in and start sucking up everything. Some of the bigger pieces of insulation you can grab and throw out by hand, or you can use the vac for everything, especially for smaller pieces in nooks and crannies.

A word of advice though, use bags to tarp off the vacuum port. Otherwise, it could catch fire from all the debris churned up at such a high volume. A little maintenance goes a long way!

After getting out all the old insulation, it’s time to install the new insulation. You can either lay down rolls between the ceiling joists and blow insulation over the top, or you can use an insulation blower to install it all. The beauty of using a blower is that it is durable and powerful enough to insulate the main sections of your attic, in addition to the smaller, hard-to-reach spots. It can also blow both types of insulation – cellulose or fiberglass. Strive for uniform, complete coverage. The better you insulation the entirety of the attic, the warmer and more efficiently your household will modulate temperature. After you finish installing the insulation, you may also want to go back over loose bits with the vacuum, so keep it handy.

And voila, another item you can mark off your checklist! If you would like more information on how to add insulation to your attic in a safe and energy-efficient way, refer to this Energy Star guide.  And as always, we are here to help! So please contact us with questions or use the comment section below.

About the Author

Jack Runyon is the president of Runyon Equipment Rental. He has 21 years of rental experience, as the 3rd generation son to carry on the family tradition and his grandfather’s vision. He prides the company for its devotion to ethics, quality products and customer service. Jack is known for his passion and vast expertise.

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Categories: Fall Checklist, Restore and Renovate | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Organize Your Garage with a Fool-Proof 5-Step Plan

When the weather outside is frightful, all dedicated do-it-yourselfers know what to do: take it inside. That’s right; it’s time to organize the garage. Call it what you will – the Man Cave, the Storage Room, the Personal Dumpster or even just the Garage – this open place is pretty important because it’s usually big enough to put anything and everything you accumulate over the years. The garage tends to be the catch all for what you may want or need or plan on keeping, but can’t fit into storage areas inside the living space of your home. Not to mention, using it for what it’s actually built to protect: your car.

In addition to storing your cars and your stuff, garages also house functional equipment like the water heater and furnace, so it really is a good idea to add maintenance steps into your garage cleaning process.

Clean Your Garage

1. Just get started. If you want the end result to be a clean, organized and presentable room, the best advice is to bite the bullet and dig in. Weather permitting, start by taking everything out and clean the space itself. Paint the walls, wash the floor, install shelves or cabinetry, as well as hardware that utilizes any vertical space. The trick is to get as much off the floor as possible, so don’t forget the ceiling space – it’s a great place to hang bicycles and seasonal items. Consider using a hoist pulley system that can be installed directly into ceiling joists.

Working with a clean space lets you decide where to put what – which areas of your garage are best suited for storage or for a workshop perhaps. Think of your garage as a room, take measurements and draw a floor plan just like you would with any other room in your house. If you can’t clear the room, this step can also be done by dividing it into quadrants, then clearing and cleaning one-by-one until you’re satisfied.

2. Change the furnace filter. Now is also a great time to check the furnace filter and either clean it or change it when it’s dirty. Typically, check filters on a monthly basis, which keeps the furnace running efficiently and saves on your utility bills.

Remove the filter, hold it up to the light and look through it. Filters are designed to protect the blower motor from dirt, so if it’s filled with particulate matter it’s doing a good job. It’s important to buy the right filter for your furnace, one that’s the correct size and type. Typically the filter part number is written on the access panel of the furnace. It’s also a good idea to have a few of them on hand for easy replacement. Or you may be able to purchase an electrostatic padding that fits into the filter casing and can be washed and replaced. These usually last longer, about five years. Wash it in soapy water about once a month during heating season and let it dry before replacing it.

Either way, install the new or washed filter in the same direction as the old one, because they’re made to work by filtering air in one direction. Okay, now that the space (and the furnace) is cleaned up the way you like it, turn your attention to your “stuff.” It’s time to decide what to keep, what to donate and what to throw away. And finally, how to organize what you keep.

3. Talk to yourself. Do I love it? Do I need it? Do I use it? Do I toss it? Do I donate it? These questions can help you categorize your stuff into piles that you can then act upon, whether it’s grouping them so they’re easy to find, how they’re used, if they take up huge amounts of space or if they’re nice enough to donate.

4. Label everything. Store like items in the same place, and label the place in the space! Labeling storage containers and shelves can be time-consuming and tedious, but it’s a good way to optimize storage options, big time. Using storage containers on shelving units keeps all your stuff clean. And keep in mind, if you use clear storage containers you’ll be able to see the contents, which can shave minutes off your search.

5. Remember safety. Place hazardous materials like fertilizers, pesticides, paint, sharp tools, guns and hunting equipment in locked boxes or areas where kids can’t get at them. Smaller storage sheds and containers are relatively inexpensive and can be assembled or installed outside, to increase your storage space and accommodate potentially dangerous stuff.

Organizing your garage can take the entire winter, but once it’s done, you’ll be proud to open the garage door!

About the Author

is the current Marketing Coordinator at Runyon Companies. She graduated from Butler University in the spring with a double major in International Business and Marketing, a minor in Spanish, departmental honors distinction and cum laude. She specializes in all things internet marketing, with an emphasis on content creation, website maintenance, blogging, social media, lead tracking and marketing strategy.

Categories: How-To's | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Seal and Stain Your Deck in 3 Easy Steps

This time of year is crunch time for those last-minute weekend DIY projects, before all the holiday craziness ensues. With that said, one of the last items on your fall checklist is “staining the deck,” an important task before the first big winter freeze. Staining and sealing your deck will guarantee that come spring its color and durability are maintained. Although you could wait until the cold weather ends to do this, by then your deck may show significant signs of wear and tear. Follow the steps below and you’ll be all set for patio cookouts when summer rolls around!

Prep Your Deck

Before you can start to clean or apply anything to the deck surface, you must first clear it of any furniture and remove caked-on dirt and grime. So simply said, remove your patio set, benches, plant pots, etc. so that you are only left with the deck itself. Once everything is out of the way, use a pressure washer to rinse the surface. The beauty of using a pressure washer is that it has enough power to remove otherwise tough-to-remove residue. You really want to clean the deck thoroughly before applying any stain or sealer, or else it may diminish the finish. You may also consider covering any close-by plants with plastic tarp so that they aren’t harmed by chemicals.

Apply the Stain Stain Your Deck

Once you’re all set to begin applying the stain, the real fun begins. A hand-held paint sprayer is a really good tool for this part of the process because it ensures consistent, uniform coverage and it is much quicker than using a paint brush or roller, heaven forbid! For more on paint sprayers, visit this blog post. Fill the sprayer with the stain and spray it evenly from one end of the deck to the other in a steady, vertical pattern. Be sure not to leave any gaps between sections by overlapping each row. And don’t worry, this method makes complete coverage an attainable goal. Keep in mind however, that more is not better in this instance – you want to avoid puddles and over-application.

The Finishing Touch

After applying stain to your entire deck surface, you may want to use sealer for maximum protection. If you are going to do this, wait two days for the stain to completely dry. Then apply sealer with a paint brush or paint roller, sorry the paint sprayer won’t work as well with sealer. And once your deck is dry, voila, you now have a beautiful, protected deck. Check your deck periodically (every spring and fall) by splashing water on the surface to see if it is repelled. If so, then you are safe to wait a while longer before reapplying stain and sealer, but if it absorbs, then you’ll know it’s time to get out your pressure washer and paint sprayer once again!

About the Author

Jack Runyon is the president of Runyon Equipment Rental. He has 21 years of rental experience, as the 3rd generation son to carry on the family tradition and his grandfather’s vision. He prides the company for its devotion to ethics, quality products and customer service. Jack is known for his passion and vast expertise.

Categories: Fall Checklist, Restore and Renovate | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Fall is the Perfect Time to Plant New Trees

Plant New TreesOne of the more gratifying items to check off your fall checklist is “planting new trees.” The natural beauty of trees growing on your property can be enjoyed by your family, friends and neighbors for years to come. The successful plan for having a yard full of lush, long-lasting trees requires just three essential elements, which give young trees a healthy start. Choose the right place for the type of tree you have and plant it with care.

Special Tools Help with Planting

And since it’s not every season you’re likely to plant a tree, the special tools you need to accomplish proper planting are probably not in your tool shed, but are available for rent. Since trees can be heavy and cumbersome to move, it’s a good idea to rent a tree spade or tree dolly to carry the tree to the planting area without damaging the roots or the tree itself. A post hole digger is made to break through the ground easily, making short work of digging a hole big enough for your new tree.

Landscaping with Trees

Consider the size of your lot when planning a landscape that features trees. They need to be planted at least 10 to 15 feet from the foundation of the house and at least five feet from decks, patios, driveways or sidewalks. Also, make sure to keep tree tops away from utility wires overhead, as well as underground.

  1. Trees need a good deal of sun to grow up strong, so choose a place where your new tree will receive ample sun exposure.
  2. Do you want a little privacy? Planting trees in rows can create a natural wall or fence against nosy neighbors or noisy streets.
  3. Does the wind whip around your home? Trees can also act as wind breaks when planted strategically.

Types of Trees

While you’re scoping out your land, think about tree sizes and shapes, which adds interest to the landscape. When visiting the nursery, learn all you can about specific trees by studying the information on the tags, or ask a nursery employee. In general:

  1. Evergreen trees are good to use for privacy walls and wind breaks because they keep their foliage throughout the year. Evergreens like to be planted on the north side of your home.
  2. Deciduous trees provide shade in the summer and let sun shine into windows in the winter, because they lose their leaves. They like to live on the south, east and west sides of your home. Deciduous trees also add fall color to the landscape.
  3. Trees that grow up to 25 feet tall can be planted under overhead utility lines.
  4. Trees that grow 25 to 45 feet tall are great for shading an entire single-story house or the sides and windows of a two-story home, and slender medium-sized trees can thrive when planted near fences.
  5. Trees that grow higher than 45 feet can shade large, hot areas, like driveways and patios, or large lawns.
  6. Flowering trees add color, attracting birds and other wildlife.
  7. Fruit trees can not only provide shade, but food and fragrance.
  8. Drought tolerant and low-water use trees can protect dry areas of your yard.

Privacy Trees

Planting Techniques for Healthy Trees

  1. Dig a hole twice as wide and slightly shorter than the tree’s roots, also known as the root ball, the area that begins where all the roots start from the trunk.
  2. Loosen the soil in the hole to make it easier for the roots to establish themselves.
  3. If the tree is in a container, remove it gently but firmly, then quickly separate the roots, uncurling, straightening or cutting a little, until they fall outward from the trunk. Take care to shade the roots from the sun while arranging the roots.
  4. Lift the tree by the root ball and place it in the hole, making sure it’s standing upright. You may need to tilt the root ball until the tree is straight. Now’s the time to move the tree around in the hole to make your favorite side of the tree viewable from a window, or have the branches placed where they will grow out unencumbered.  In sunny areas, place the tree so that the best-shaded side of the trunk faces southwest.
  5. Backfill firmly around the tree and cover only the roots with soil. Leave the trunk above the soil surface. Amend the soil with organic compost, if desirable. Pack down the soil to stabilize the tree.
  6. Water, water, water the tree, with at least 15 gallons of water, and then monitor its water requirements at least once a week for the first month.
  7. Stake the tree loosely for protection or support, if needed, taking care not to use wire, which can cut the trunk. Soft, pliable tree ties are best. Place stakes outside of the root ball and use them until the tree can stand tall on its own, in six to 12 months.
  8. Mulch the entire planting area with a three to four-inch layer, especially to prevent a hard crust from forming on the surface of the soil.

About the Author

Tempe Thompson is a sales and inventory expert at Runyon Equipment Rental. She has over 35 years of experience and has accumulated a tremendous amount of knowledge and expertise. She could talk for hours about how to use all of Runyon’s tools and equipment, in addition to suggesting which type corresponds to a certain application.

Categories: Choosing Equipment, Fall Checklist, Gardening and Lawn Care | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

INFOGRAPHIC: How Well Do You Know Your Lawn?

Proper lawn care and maintenance is a primary concern for many homeowners, so if you are among these, this infographic should shed light into the fundamentals of lawn care. Explore what type of grass you have, common issues, common weeds and what your yearly lawn care schedule should consist of based on the season. There are several suggestions for the final days of fall and the upcoming winter months, so get out your fall checklist and start marking off tasks this weekend!

How well do you know your lawn?

About the Author

Heidi Hudnall is the current Marketing Coordinator at Runyon Companies. She graduated from Butler University in the spring with a double major in International Business and Marketing, a minor in Spanish, departmental honors distinction and cum laude. She specializes in all things internet marketing, with an emphasis on content creation, website maintenance, blogging, social media, lead tracking and marketing strategy.

Categories: Fall Checklist, Gardening and Lawn Care, Infographics | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

The Airless Sprayer: A Hidden Gem for All Your Painting Applications

Airless Paint Spraying ApplicationThere are probably several rooms, pieces of furniture or outdoor fixtures at your house that could use a fresh coat of paint. Or, perhaps if you’re a contractor you may have several jobs that require you and your crew to do painting applications. Now, although using a roller or brush to paint may seem most cost effective, there is actually another alternative that is much easier and provides the desired results you’re looking for in regards to cost, quality, time and flexibility. And what is this other appealing option? The airless paint sprayer – a device that comes with a variety of features to provide you with a crisp, clean, painted finish.

What Does Airless Mean Exactly?

Airless spraying breaks paint into small droplets without needing compressed air. So in essence, airless paint sprayers are self-contained, eliminating the need of an air compressor. Using an airless paint sprayer to do all your around-the-house or worksite painting is incredibly simple and uncomplicated in this regard. All you do is plug in your machine and press the trigger – it really is that easy. Another characteristic of airless paint spraying is that is provides uniform coverage. Even despite the roughness or unevenness of a surface, airless spraying gives a consistent, quality finish.

Airless Advantages

However, not only is airless paint spraying easy, but it is economical, quick, quality and versatile. These four advantages account for professional contractors’ preference toward airless sprayers.

  1. Economical: airless paint spraying is more accurate than using a paint brush or roller, which means the job is done right the first time, thus saving you time and money
  2. Speed: airless spraying is up to 4 times faster than rolling or brushing, so you can complete jobs in less time, allowing for more to get done and less labor needed
  3. Quality: as previously mentioned, airless sprayers produce a consistent, even coat of paint on all surface types, which leaves a high quality finish
  4. Versatility: airless sprayers can be used for a wide array of coating materials, for both interior and exterior jobs, and they are easily transported

Impressive Results

In conjunction with the above advantages, airless paint spraying elicits desirable results. As per the promise that airless is preferred over brushing or rolling, here are the reasons why:

  • You can finish jobs more quickly – which is a benefit for weather restraints, and on a job site you can stay from start to finish i.e. saving set-up labor
  • It allows you to complete more jobs with less labor – saving you the headache of involving more people
  • Airless paint spraying provides a consistent mil build – thus coatings perform better
  • Lastly, an airless paint sprayer applies a smooth, quality finish – a final result you can be proud of for years to come

Getting to Know the Key Components of an Airless Sprayer

Graco Airless Paint Sprayers

Don’t be overwhelmed by all the details of each type of sprayer – they really are simple and easy-to-use. There are actually three primary types: mounted with wheels, mounted without wheels and handheld. In addition, you can get the mounted paint sprayers as either electric– or gas-powered. Typically homeowners prefer to rent the handheld sprayers because they are less fuss and just powerful enough for standard projects once or twice a year. The mounted sprayers however, are more typical for contractors who will use them on a very frequent basis, hence why they are more powerful and offer greater capabilities and functionality. In addition to the sprayers themselves, they attach to special tips – these help determine the material flow rate.

Airless paint sprayers are the new-fangled paint catalysts for both homeowners and contractors alike. They offer a wide variety of features and benefits, and are not as expensive as one might think. If you would like more information about renting or buying one, please contact us. To learn more about how to use a paint sprayer i.e. more specifics on painting applications, read this post about painting to perfection.

About the Author

Heidi Hudnall is the current Marketing Coordinator at Runyon Companies. She graduated from Butler University in the spring with a double major in International Business and Marketing, a minor in Spanish, departmental honors distinction and cum laude. She specializes in all things internet marketing, with an emphasis on content creation, website maintenance, blogging, social media, lead tracking and marketing strategy.

Categories: Choosing Equipment, Fall Checklist, Featured Products | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

Go Green: Create a Compost Collection Pile this Fall

Want to check even more items off your fall checklist? Find out how to start a compost pile in today’s post, then get to it!

Start your compost pileWhat is compost, exactly?

Compost is part noun, part verb and all energy! Eco-friendly advocates say it’s the unwanted food and yard waste filling up to 30 percent of our garbage bins these days, helping to bloat landfills and releasing greenhouse gases into the air. But compost is also about creating the perfect environment for organic waste to decompose into a rich, natural additive that nourishes the soil, helping to grow plants that are disease and pest-free. Compost also reduces the need for chemical fertilizers and lowers our carbon footprint.

Browns, greens, water and layers. The recipe for compost has three basic ingredients that combine into one simple technique. An equal amount of dead leaves, branches and twigs,otherwise known as browns, are layered on top of grass clippings, vegetable waste, fruit scraps and coffee grounds ( greens) to make a pile. Water is added to the alternate layers of browns and greens to assist the carbon and nitrogen they contain in breaking it all down to its essential organic goodness, speeding up the process of making compost.

When starting a compost pile, layer the material in uniform layers between 6-8 inches thick. For the first layer, use your newly gathered browns and greens, choosing the bulkier organics. For the second layer, consider using animal manures, fertilizers or starters to activate the heating process. The third layer is comprised of a good top soil or active compost, between 1-2 inches thick.

Once your pile starts decomposing to create humus, that rich garden elixir, there’s no need to continue the layering process. Materials can be added by burying them in the center and incorporating them when you turn the pile.

What NOT to compost. It’s a lot easier to identify the appropriate browns and greens in your garbage and yard waste bins than knowing what might not qualify for composting.

Good Browns and GreensGood browns and greens come from grass clippings, hay, straw and twigs, but not black walnut tree leaves or twigs. Why? Because when they decompose they can be harmful to other plants.

Fruits and veggies are good, but throw away meat or fish bones and scraps, because they smell and attract pests. Eggshells are a “yes,” but dairy products like eggs, butter, milk, sour cream and yogurt are a “no” because they too create odor. Leave stinky fats, grease, lard or oils for the dumpster.

Include yard trimmings, wood chips and cotton or wool rags that are not treated with chemical pesticides, as well as fireplace ashes, but not coal or charcoal ash, which can contain substances harmful to plants. Houseplants are good, diseased or insect-ridden plants of any kind are not, for obvious reasons. Surprisingly, compostable material includes dryer and vacuum cleaner lint, hair, fur and manure. However, forget any pet waste or soiled cat litter, which might contain parasites, bacteria, germs, pathogens and viruses that are harmful to humans. Other usual suspects include newspaper, cardboard products, nut shells, tea bags, coffee grounds and filters.

If you’re wondering what not to compost, check with your local composting or recycling center to see what organics are accepted at your curbside or drop-off waster removal programs.

Starting the pile. After you start collecting materials for your compost pile, decide where you’re going to build it. If you have a large enough yard, find a dry, shady spot and start the pile right on the ground. Homeowners who have limited space or want to keep things tidy may want to find a container for composting, placed in an equally convenient spot outside. In either case, choose a place that’s level with good drainage, where a water source is easily accessible.

Size and temperature matter. You want a compost pile large enough to maintain the heat needed to break down material efficiently, but small enough for the water to do its job, and for you to turn the pile easily. Some experts recommend a space no larger than 5 feet x 5 feet x 5 feet. To keep the neighbors happy, camouflaging your compost pile may be necessary; aim for plantings or trellises that help it to blend in with the environment.

In about two weeks, the compost pile will produce enough heat for rapid decomposition, between 110° to 160°F. However, it could take two months, or longer. If you notice the pile settling, then it’s probably working properly. As you add new material, turn the pile each time. Some compost containers are made to roll over end to end for just this purpose. If the temperature dips below 110°F, keep your pile as active as possible with a turn and a drink, adding enough water that the material feels damp to the touch.

Finally, after all that hard work, avoid letting your compost languish in a pile! Spread it on the lawn to make it more lush. Incorporate it into your garden patch to grow bigger, healthier vegetables. Feed your flower beds, your house and container plants too, and keep them pest-free.

Recommended Tools:

  • Compost bin or container (if desired)
  • Wheelbarrow and shovel
  • Pitch fork or landscape rake, for turning the pile
  • Garden hose or watering can
  • Pruners, machete or shredder, to cut up large pieces of organic waste
  • Compost thermometer, to monitor temperature. A practical solution to this is a metal pole inserted into the center of the pile. The metal can indicate heat level by touch.

About the Author

Tempe Thompson is a sales and inventory expert at Runyon Equipment Rental. She has over 35 years of experience and has accumulated a tremendous amount of knowledge and expertise. She could talk for hours about how to use all of Runyon’s tools and equipment, in addition to suggesting which type corresponds to a certain application.

Categories: Fall Checklist, Gardening and Lawn Care, How-To's | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Winterize and Maintain Your Outdoor Power Equipment in 6 Simple Steps

It is probably a no-brainer that with the chilly weather setting in maintaining your outdoor power equipment is crucial, but here is your checklist all the same! Not only does winter mean you have a few months off from using outdoor equipment, but winterizing, repairing and storing your equipment ensures efficient use come spring when you can dig it all out again. There are some simple measures you can take to accomplish the task, so read up and then get to work marking “winterizing outdoor equipment” off your to-do list this weekend.

Winterize Your Outdoor EquipmentTools Needed:

  • Fuel stabilizer – to winterize the engine
  • Engine oil – to refill oil tank if low
  • Sponge or other scrubber – to clean the equipment
  • Air pump – to air up tires
  • Wrench – to tighten bolts

1. One of the most important things you can do for any outdoor equipment is winterizing it. Fuel stabilizer is your best friend in this step. Pour it into your fuel tank, top it off and then run the engine until the fuel runs out.

2. While you’re checking liquids, also make sure you have enough oil in each machine. Add more if the dipstick is below the suggested line.

3. Then, clean any air filters and other caked-on dirt or grime. It will be harder to clean your equipment if the dirt freezes on, not to mention dirt can really muck up performance once you use the equipment again.

4. Other check-ups: make sure all your bolts are tightened, tires are inflated, cords are in tact (not frayed) and spark plugs are disconnected.

5. Another key element of outdoor equipment maintenance is sharpening blades and chains. This is not as easily done at home, so stop by our store and we will do it for you!

6. Lastly, hang or store all your equipment inside. Inevitably, anything left outside may be damaged by snow, wind, hail, etc. Trimmers for instance are best suited hanging on a wall hook, while lawn mowers just need to be parked inside your garage or shed.

Maintaining your outdoor equipment for the winter months is really not a difficult task to accomplish, and when done properly it is well worth the time spent. So get out your lawn mower, weed eater, tiller, trimmer, hedge shears, chainsaw, etc. and get to work – you’ll be done in no time! If during the process you have any questions, please feel free to contact us – we are more than happy to help. And if you’re feeling ambitious after finishing these six steps, and would like other project ideas, find our checklist here.

About the Author

Jack Runyon is the president of Runyon Equipment Rental. He has 21 years of rental experience, as the 3rd generation son to carry on the family tradition and his grandfather’s vision. He prides the company for its devotion to ethics, quality products and customer service. Jack is known for his passion and vast expertise.

Categories: Fall Checklist, How-To's, Restore and Renovate | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Master of the Grill: Clean and Repair Your Grill in 10 Easy Steps

In your world, you are “Master of the Grill.” All your friends say so. Your chef skills cannot be denied; you’re known for serving up tasty meals grilled to perfection. From gas to charcoal to electric, you choose each grill option as if it is the ultimate in rendering meats and vegetables roasted. Heck, you even know when the smoker is best.

And when the grilling season is over, you know just what to do – put on your gloves and get to work checking “clean and repair the grill” off your fall checklist. Here’s how you do it.

1. Gather the things you’ll need for an expert cleaning: Cleaning a grill

  • Cardboard or tarp
  • Grill brush, venturi tube brush or small brush
  • Cooking oil
  • Scraper, screwdriver, needle-nose pliers
  • Replacement parts, finishing nails
  • Sandpaper
  • High temperature paint, wood stain and finish
  • Paper towels or rags, steel wool pad, sponge

Note: Using a degreaser to clean grates and other parts of the grill is fast and easy. In one step, degreasers can strip grease, oil and resin deposits from surfaces, de-clogging and deodorizing in the process. Many degreasers are bio-degradable, too. Other cleaning options: using an oven or grill cleaner, or good old dish soap and hot water.

2. Make sure the work surface is protected by placing cardboard or a tarp down underneath and on the area surrounding the grill.

3. Prepare for cleaning by dumping charcoal and ash from charcoal grills, disconnecting the gas supply from gas grills and unplugging electric grills. Dials on all grills should be in the OFF position.

4. Use a grill brush. Clear debris from cooking grates and remove them, taking care to include the metal plates underneath, then you clean with a degreaser, or other cleaner, scrubbing them with a heavy sponge or steel wool, if necessary, or soak them. Once clean, you pat down with paper towels and let them air dry.

5. Remove and inspect the lava rocks for wear. Replace any that are over a year old or too greasy with new lava rocks or ceramic briquettes. You clean those in good condition with warm sudsy water, rinse and let them air dry.

6. Scrape the grill interior with a wire brush or paint scraper, including the sides, cook box and hood. After you brush or vacuum out any debris, wipe everything down with a paper towel or rag (gas grill interiors can be cleaned using an oven cleaner, taking care to remove all traces of the cleaner thoroughly).

7. Remove grill burners for cleaning – a tricky job with some grills. If you need help with this task, consider hiring a gas grill repair professional. Spiders like to nest in the venturi tubes, the part of the burner assembly that regulates the mixture of air and gas that is combusted by the burners. So, use a small brush to remove webs and debris from the inside of the tubes (there’s also a special venturi tube brush for this).

8. Don’t forget to clean the drip pan, which can be filled with liquid or grease, so be careful when removing it. The drip pan should be scrubbed with the grill brush or steel wool, then rinsed and set out to air dry.

9. Once you put back all the parts, fire up the grill on the highest heat setting for about 10-15 minutes to allow residual cleaning materials to burn off. After 15 minutes, turn off the grill, let it cool down, then preserve the cooking surface by wiping it with cooking oil on a paper towel.

10. Polish the outside of your grill by using a sponge and gentle cleaner. Then rinse and dry, sand any oxidation off the grill body with 220-grit sandpaper, and finally, touch up the heat-sensitive paint. Also, if the wood counter surfaces need restoration, sand them down with 100-grit sandpaper, then stain and seal with Danish oil or linseed oil.

A grill master already knows it’s a good idea to clean and check for wear and tear of your grill twice a year. The job usually takes about an hour to complete, time well spent when your reputation for mastering the best tasting food is at stake!

About the Author

is the current Marketing Coordinator at Runyon Companies. She graduated from Butler University in the spring with a double major in International Business and Marketing, a minor in Spanish, departmental honors distinction and cum laude. She specializes in all things internet marketing, with an emphasis on content creation, website maintenance, blogging, social media, lead tracking and marketing strategy.

Categories: Fall Checklist, How-To's | Tags: , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Repair and Prepare Your Shingles and Windows for Winter in 6 Easy Steps

When you’re faced with repairing or improving your roof or windows, what comes to mind?

“Big job” “Expensive” “I’m afraid of heights!” “Leave it to the professionals”
“Special orders” “Messy” “Dangerous” “Tedious” “I don’t have the tools”

Well there is no need to worry. Yes, many roof and window jobs require an expert, but industrious do-it-yourselfers can solve a few of the larger problems all on their own. From cleaning and repairing roof shingles to improving the look and functionality of windows, we’re here to help you say, “I’m ready for the challenge.” In continuing to check items off your fall checklist, conquer these two tasks with ease by following the outlined steps below.

Repairing Your Roof

Repairing a roof1. Get up on the roof: If you’re going to tackle a roof job, it’s important to follow a few safety rules to avoid free falling.

  • Choose a good-weather day. Wet and icy conditions make it difficult to see dark patches on shingles, increasing the chances of slipping.
  • Prevent any additional damage to the roof by stepping on it lightly, and as little as possible.
  • Use a high-quality extension ladder to climb up, secured to the house in at least two places.
  • When up there, protect yourself from falls with a safety harness or belt secured to something stable, like the base of a chimney.

For extensive roof repairs and maintenance, consider renting a ladder that includes a platform hoist lift. These nifty helpers are not only made for safety, but for efficiency. Not to mention, they feature a platform strong enough to lift materials and tools up to the skies with ease.

Ladder lifts operate by hand or mechanically, using electricity or gas. And even though gas-powered versions could be noisy, the power source needed for an electric hoist lift may be difficult to access or non-existent near the work area. Either way, a highly efficient hoist is more cost-effective than a crane, forklift or boom truck. If your roof is in good condition and you’re secure in your ability to work well in high places, then by all means, take the challenge.

2. Clean your roof well: Is moss growing on your roof? Have trees deposited too much sap and debris up there? You can hire a professional cleaning service, or you can rent a pressure washer and get ‘er done in short order.

3. Inspect for extensive damage: Do you see shingle damage from a storm or general wear and tear? Have you found evidence of a leak? Roof life lasts about 20 years, so if your roof is aging, it may be time for a replacement –a steep expense, but how much do you value a warm, dry, comfortable home?

To keep your existing roof sound through the teenage years, fix minor leaks and shingle damage yourself. Roofing experts are generally in awe of how a shingle system works. A typical three-tab shingle is made from asphalt and felt, or fiberglass, and covered by mineral granules. However, they are also made from wood or tile. When nailed to the roof deck, one shingle is placed on top of a shingle below, protecting the nails. The mastic tabs on top of each shingle help seal them together, improving wind resistance. When installed properly, water travels smoothly across the roof and down to the gutters.

4. Compile the necessary tools: Depending on the type of repair, you’ll need new shingles, shingle nails, roofing cement, aluminum flashing, a hammer and protection for your hands and face. A pry bar or shingle remover that’s lightweight, versatile and designed to reduce worker fatigue can also be your best helper.

5. Get to work: A shingle remover helps to loosen and pry away the damaged, worn material from the roof deck, without causing more damage. Using roofing cement together with flashing fixes leaks, without the need for a new shingle. Eventually, this fix will need to be replaced, and that’s where the new shingles and nails come in. Be sure to remove both the offending material and the nails (which may need to be cut with a hacksaw or utility knife). Fit and hammer a new shingle in place, and you’re golden.

Preparing Your Windows

Applying Window FilmTired of peeping toms peering in your windows? Is the fabric on your furniture fading? Want to seal up those drafty spots? Installing window film on your windows may be the quick and stylish answer. Window film continues to let light shine in while adding privacy to your home, and keeps uncomfortable temps out, whether hot or cold. A tinted film can protect furniture, rugs and artwork from sun damage, while a decorative window film adds freshness and style, just like new curtains can.

Window film products usually come with an installation kit and instructions, but in general, follow these steps:

  1. Make sure the windows are clean and dry.
  2. Cut the pieces of film to measure about 1/2″ larger than each window pane.
  3. Spray each pane with clear water, which makes it easier to position the film pieces on the window.
  4. Remove film backing and place it to the window.
  5. Burnish the film in place with a squeegee, pushing air bubbles to the edge and out.
  6. Trim the film edges with a sharp utility knife.

About the Author

is the current Marketing Coordinator at Runyon Companies. She graduated from Butler University in the spring with a double major in International Business and Marketing, a minor in Spanish, departmental honors distinction and cum laude. She specializes in all things internet marketing, with an emphasis on content creation, website maintenance, blogging, social media, lead tracking and marketing strategy.

Categories: Fall Checklist, How-To's | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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