Featured Products

Give Them What They Want – The Best Gifts for Your DIYer

Every Christmas, you struggle to figure out what to buy the DIYer in your family. Worry no more. Give them something you know they will use! We’ve come up with a few suggestions that can help you select the right present.

Gifts Your Gardener Will Dig

If you know someone who loves to work in the yard, give them a gift that will have them counting the days until Spring. These tools will lessen the toil and free up their time to actually stop and smell the roses.

Give Them What They Want – The Best Gifts for Your DIYer

Gifts That Make Home DIY Jobs Easier

Is your DIYer planning to do some work inside the house this winter? Gift them with tools that make the job easier. Even small items like paint brushes, roller refills and various sizes of sand paper will not go unused.

  • Cordless drills and screwdrivers
  • Compact flood lights
  • Voltage tester with flashlight
  • Cordless table saw
  • Hydraulic driver
  • Air inflator
  • Drill bit set

Gifts for Winter Outdoor Projects

Cleaning sidewalks and driveways during the winter is a tough job. Your DIYer will appreciate having the right equipment on hand during the next big storm.

Top Honda Christmas Gift Ideas

Gifts for Stuffing in DIYers’ Stockings

Already have your gift and need some stocking stuffer suggestions? Ask us about ordering these stuffers that so ingenious, you might want to order one for yourself!

  • Stanley 4-in-1 pocket screwdriver – The size of a Sharpie pen, this is a great tool to keep in the kitchen or the glove compartment of the car.
  • Portable knife sharpener – Find one that accommodates different types and sizes of blades (steel, ceramic). Most are compact and can be stashed away easily.
  • MagnoGrip magnetic wristband – Getting up on a ladder and realizing you left the nails elsewhere is the worst! This handy invention wraps around your wrist and holds nails, drill bits, or whatever you might need.
  • Sanding sticks – Crafters and DIYers will appreciate these handy pencil thin sanding sticks to work on those hard to reach areas.

DIYers Love Tools and Gadgets for Christmas

DIYers love practical gifts like tools and gadgets because it shows you understand what makes them happy. So, set your little handyman or woman loose in their workshops to play with their special toys. You can relax and picture how great your home will look once they get finished with their projects.

Expert Advice

From circular saws and miter saws to drills and air nailers, our expert staff is always on hand to help you find the right tool for your DIYer. Are you just starting out as a DIYer? Our blog, Plan Out Your DIY Projects with These 5 Essential Tools, explains the basic equipment that will help you tackle any job. As always, if you have any questions about pricing or how-to’s, don’t hesitate to contact us. Stop by our store — we’re open seven days a week.

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Protect Your Trees: Learn How & When to Prune

How and When to Prune Your TreesTrees add beauty, interest and much needed shade to your yard. Replacing trees is a big investment, which is why properly pruning and maintaining them is essential. Not sure what kind of trees you have?

Who You Gonna Call? An Arborist, Of Course

An arborist is professionally trained in identifying the species and determining the health of individual trees, in the name of safety -for the trees and for your family. They can diagnose diseases, insect problems and soil health. Consult an arborist to find out what trees are best for your landscape and where to plant them. Many are certified by the International Society of Arboriculture.

5 Reasons to Prune a Tree

  1. To remove dead or diseased branches
  2. To thin the crown, permit new growth and promote better air circulation
  3. To reduce tree height
  4. To remove obstructing lower branches
  5. To shape a tree for aesthetic purposes

There’s a Right Time to Prune Your Trees

Prune your trees during their dormant season (late fall, early winter) to minimize sap loss and stress to the tree. This will reduce the risk of fungus infection and insect infestation.

Helpful Tips on Pruning

  • Know what kind of trees you have – some flowering trees like to issue buds on old growth in the winter and then bloom in early spring. If you prune one of these trees in the winter, you may not have any blossoms come spring.
  • Avoid pruning a newly planted tree – give it time to establish.
  • Prune when the leaves have fallen – it makes it easier to see what needs to be cut.
  • Never cut more than 25% off of your tree at one time.
  • Don’t trim branches near electrical lines – call a professional or the power company.
  • Never cut the top off a tree – this can cause the tree to die. Thin branches out instead. If it is too tall, consider removing the tree completely.

Tree Surgery is … Surgery

Always use clean, sharp tools for pruning; you wouldn’t want anyone cutting on you with a dull blade, right? When removing diseased branches, wipe your cutters with disinfecting wipes between each cut. This will keep disease from spreading as you cut other branches. You can also use a solution of 1-part bleach to 9-parts water and dip the cutters in as you work.

Handy Tools for Pruning

  • Anvil hand pruners – for small branches up to a ½-inch in diameter.
  • Long-handled loppers – for medium sized branches up to 2.5 inches in diameter.
  • Pruning saw – for larger branches, use a pole extender to reach the higher branches.

Where to Cut and Why

If you would like a detailed how-to on pruning techniques, read our blog, Getting Ready for Fall Part 1: Tree Trimming a Seasonal Sport or visit the Arbor Day Foundation’s webpage for more information.

Let a Professional Handle the Tough Stuff

There are times when every DIY’er needs to step back and let a professional take over. If the limbs you want to cut down require the use of a chain saw and a ladder, then maybe this is one of those times. There’s no shame in playing it safe! 

Take Care of Your Trees

Trees are the crowning glory of any yard, so take care of them. At the end of a long day of pruning, sit down in the shade of your trees, relax and remember the words of John Muir (father of our National Parks): Allow nature’s peace to flow into you as sunshine flows into trees.

Congratulations! Another job well done. Now, go hug a tree!

Expert Advice

From tree pruners and chain saws to wood chippers and wheelbarrows our expert staff is always on hand to help with your next DIY gardening project. As always, if you have any questions about pricing or how-to’s, don’t hesitate to contact us. Stop by our store — we’re open seven days a week.

Categories: Fall Checklist, Featured Products, Gardening and Lawn Care, How-To's | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Runyon Rental – Your Place for Great Honda Power Equipment

eu2000i_lo_tailgate_lr_02-1With fall quickly approaching and forecasters predicting a cold, snowy winter, we thought now might be a good time to remind everyone of the great Honda Power Equipment we have available to rent or purchase. Runyon Rental is proud to be an authorized Honda dealer and service center.

Runyon Has the Honda Power Equipment You Need:

Ranked #1 by Consumers Year After Year – Honda Mowers Rule

Nothing beats a Honda mower for quality and reliability. Durable and fuel efficient, the twin blade design of Honda mowers offer a superior cut and produce finer clippings, which make better mulch. Smaller clippings mean less bagging and who doesn’t love that!

The Honda Self-Propelled Lawn Mower Has Features You Need:

  • Hydrostatic cruise control keeps a constant speed while mowing
  • Roto-stop blade stop system halts the blades without having to cut power to the engine
  • 4-in-1 Versamow system allows you to mulch, bag, discharge and chop leaves without additional tools or attachments.
  • Starts easily and quickly
  • Has a 21 inch cutting width, 7 mow height adjustments and a 2.5-bushel bag capacity.
  • A 5-year warranty

End of the Season Gardens Need Honda Tillers

Now that our gardens are beginning to wind down, it’s time to think about getting the soil ready for next year. With a Honda tiller you can make easy work of tilling up your plants and adding in mulch and compost to leave your soil properly set for the cold temperatures.

Tackle the Toughest Garden Projects

Made from quality materials, these tillers churn even the toughest dirt into rich loamy soil. They are easy to start and with intuitive controls, easy to use. The powerful 4 stroke engine does the work in one pass. Ergonomically designed, Honda tillers won’t wear you out while you tackle the toughest garden projects.

Honda’s Got You Covered with VersAttach

Tired of never having the right tool to use on your yard? Try Honda’s VersAttach System, which offers two powerhead options and six different attachments – edger, line trimmer, blower, hedge trimmer, pruner and cultivator for the ultimate in versatility.

Keep the Lights On with a Honda Generator

Whether it is a powerful thunderstorm or a strong Winter snow storm, being left in the dark is no fun. Be ready with a Honda generator. There is a perfect sized unit for whatever your power needs are.

Some of the features of a Honda generator are:

  • Super quiet – perfect for using next to your RV or camp site, too.
  • Compact & lightweight – less than 29 lbs.
  • Fuel efficient – can run up to 8.1 hrs. on 1 gallon of gas.
  • Inverter – supplies a stable source of power for computers and sensitive appliances.
  • 3 Year warranty
  • Oil Alert – shuts the engine off when oil is low.
  • Can be paralleled – multiple generators can be tethered to supply additional power.

Take on the White Stuff with a Honda Snow Blower

Preparing for Winter weather means getting ready to clear snow off your driveway and walkways. Nothing takes on the white stuff better than a Honda snow blower. The self-propelled auger drive can throw snow up to 33 ft. while clearing a path 20 inches wide. Get your blower just the way you want it – track driven or wheeled, electric start or recoil. With Honda’s reliability, this workhorse will be around for years to come.

Let Us Service Your Honda Equipment

Already own Honda equipment? Then bring your mower or snow blower in to be serviced by our certified Honda technicians. When you are ready, let us winterize your garden gear for you.

Expert Advice

From mowers and tillers to generators and snow blowers, our expert staff is always on hand to help with your equipment needs. Not sure what equipment you need for your Fall DIY to-do list? Check out the other popular pieces of equipment we offer in our blog, Top 10 Most Popular Runyon Equipment Rentals for Fall. As always, if you have any questions about pricing or how-to’s, don’t hesitate to contact us. Stop by our store — we’re open seven days a week.

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What to Remember When Refinishing Your Hardwoods

Refinishing Your Hardwood FloorsRefinishing your hardwoods is a DIY project you need to understand fully before undertaking.

The most important things to remember:

  • It takes time
  • It takes patience
  • It takes elbow grease

Prepare to Succeed

Refinishing your floors isn’t a quick DIY project. It usually takes longer than a weekend, so be prepared to live with dust and fumes for a few days longer. As with any home renovation, patience is key. Doing the right preparations beforehand will help things go smoothly. Using a floor sander (orbital or drum) is tough on the body, so tag team on the sanding.

Know Your Floors

Before sanding your floors, determine if they can be sanded. Because true hardwoods are solid wood, they withstand the loss of the top layer through sanding. Laminates will be ruined if sanded. It is better to just re-seal and buff engineered flooring.

The 4-Step Process

  1. Prepare. Make sure the floors are clean of all dirt and wax. Remove all furniture, seal off doors, vents, outlets and light switches. The object is to control dust from getting out of the room (and there will be a lot of it!).
  2. Sand. Start with 60 grit sandpaper and work your way up to 120 grit for the final sanding. Work in a straight path along a wall in a semi-circular motion. Always keep the sander moving to avoid creating uneven grooves.
  3. Clean Up. Learn to love the vacuum because your diligence in cleaning after each sanding determines if your finish is blemish free. Frequently check the vacuum filter for clogs. Damp mop floor thoroughly when done.
  4. Finish. Work with a brush when applying sealant around the perimeter and a lamb’s wool applicator for the rest of the floor. Overlap the application with the area worked with the brush. Allow 24 hours to dry. Buff and vacuum before applying second coat. Apply stain in the same manner as sealant. Finish with a couple of coats of polyurethane.

Choosing a Floor Sander – Orbital or Drum

One of the biggest decisions you have to make for this project is which type of sander to choose – orbital or drum. Orbital sanders take longer to do the job but are easier to use. Drum sanders are harder on the floors but they get the job done quickly. Both have a mind of their own, so know your skill level when attempting to operate them.

Tips for Successful Refinishing Projects

  • If working on other renovation projects, save refinishing the floors until last.
  • The finish takes longer to dry in humid and rainy weather. Wait for dry weather.
  • Remove adhesive from a previous flooring with glue remover, rather than sanding. It is tough to sand off and can stain wood.
  • Practice with your sander on a sheet of plywood to get consistent with your strokes.
  • Use an edging sander to smooth out sanding swirls around the walls. Hand sand tight spots like corners.
  • Use a hardwood floor attachment on your vacuum to avoid scratching.
  • Allow dust to settle in room before removing plastic sheeting and doing your final cleanup.
  • When using oil based sealant or stain, use a respirator.
  • Odors from polyurethane can linger for a couple of days so leave plastic up over doors if the fumes bother you.

Keep Off My New Hardwood Floors!

Let the floor dry completely before moving furniture back into the room. It’s a good idea to avoid shoes, bare feet and pets getting on them for the first 48 hours. Until then, don a pair of sunglasses, wear your socks and slide around your refinished floor like Tom Cruise in Risky Business. Clothing is entirely up to you!

Expert Advice

From orbital sanders and floor edgers to fans and shop vacuums, our expert staff is always on hand to help with your DIY hardwood refinishing. For even more helpful info to get you started, check out our blog, How to Re-Finish Your Hardwood Floors to Perfection. As always, if you have any questions about pricing or how-to’s, don’t hesitate to contact us. Stop by our store — we’re open seven days a week.

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Not Sure What DIY Project to Do Next? Ask a Professional

realtor tips for home improvementsTrying to decide which home improvement project to tackle next? When in doubt, ask people in the know. A professional realtor, interior designer or home inspector can steer you in the right direction on DIY projects that will add more value to your home.

How Professionals Show You the Way

Want to know how much money to spend on renovating your house? A realtor can help you decide on projects that will bring in buyers. An interior designer can advise you on the latest trends and colors to use while a home inspector will flag potential problems for you, like leaks, electrical issues, termite damage and building code violations. These professionals can help you separate what is an important improvement from a personal preference.

Focus Your Efforts on these 7 Areas:

  • Curb appeal – Sprucing up the landscape and front entry boosts the value of your home. Some of the ways you can do this are to:
    • clean up the grounds, edge and prune bushes
    • plant new flowers and shrubs for color
    • update lawn furniture, especially on porches
    • replace an old doormat
    • paint or re-stain the front door
  • Floors – Dirty old carpets are a turn off to buyers and are bothersome for allergy sufferers. Consider replacing it with engineered hardwoods or laminate. At the very least, have your carpets cleaned professionally.
  • Windows and Doors – Energy efficient windows and doors will help cut your power bills and provide a big selling point when you do decide to sell.
  • Paint – This is a great way to freshen up your entire house. Realtors will encourage you to use neutral colors to help buyers envision how their furniture and artwork will fit in the space.
  • Clean up – If you aren’t going to paint them, then scrub your walls. Make sure there are no dings or scuff marks. Don’t forget to clean the window blinds, baseboards and trim.
  • Cabinets – Even if you aren’t selling right now, declutter. It will save you time and effort, especially when it comes time to pack and move:
    • Add drawer and cabinet organizers
    • Fix loose drawers and hardware
    • Dust and clean out drawers and cabinets, especially in bathroom
    • Wipe down the outside of kitchen cabinets to remove grease from cooking
    • Paint or re-stain
  • Lighting – Like fashion, lighting fixtures go out of style. Update them and use new energy efficient bulbs. Natural light sells a house so consider installing a skylight or sun tube in dark, small rooms.

Small Fixes Bring Big Returns

You don’t have to take on a big renovation. Small do-it-yourself projects can make a big impact on the value of your home so don’t discount them. Just changing out an old vanity and the sink fixtures can revive the look of a bathroom. Focus your efforts on projects that will boost your home’s selling potential while adding to your family’s enjoyment. So ask a professional for their opinion, you’ll be glad you did.

Expert Advice

A fresh coat of paint is an inexpensive way to liven up any home – inside or out. Check out our blog, Paint Like a Pro – Tips for Painting Your Ceilings and Walls for the helpful hints you need to get started. From floor sanders and drills to paint sprayers and carpet cleaners, our expert staff is always on hand to help you get ready for your next home improvement job. As always, if you have any questions about pricing or how-to’s, don’t hesitate to contact us. Stop by our store — we’re open seven days a week.

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4 Steps to Renew an Aging Concrete Driveway

diy concrete driveway repairYou’ve been working really hard on your home’s curb appeal and there’s one thing that has you stumped – the driveway. Do you repair the cracks or bite the bullet and replace the whole driveway? It’s a quandary facing many homeowners today. Let’s look at your options.

Age Matters When It Comes to Concrete

A driveway puts up with a lot, from the weight of the family cars to harsh weather conditions. Unfortunately, age does matter when it comes to driveways. Concrete surfaces have a life span of 20-25 years before the materials just give out.

Take a Real Look at Your Driveway

Take a close look at the condition of your concrete. Cracks less than a quarter of an inch wide are usually signs of expansion and contraction due to weather. Cracks larger than a quarter inch may be due to tree roots or water erosion underneath. Potholes are normally a sign that the concrete is deteriorating to the point where it needs to be replaced.

What You Need to Repair Your Concrete Surfaces

  • Cement resurfacing mixture – A fast drying polymer based coating that covers cracks.
  • Long-handle squeegee – To apply resurfacing material and work into cracks.
  • Duct tape – Tape off expansion joints to avoid filling them in with resurfacing solution.
  • Chisel – To cut debris from cracks.
  • Wire brush – Helps dislodge broken concrete.
  • Concrete sealer – Fills and expands in small cracks.
  • Trowel – Works sealants into cracks and smooths surface.
  • Sand – To fill in deep cracks first before applying sealant.
  • Water sealer – Helps waterproof your concrete.

Power Wash Your Driveway

Once you determine the condition of the concrete, power wash your driveway. Use cleaners and scrub brushes to remove motor oil, dirt and stains. A clean surface allows sealants to adhere and fill in cracks fully. Let the concrete dry full before using sealants.

Repair Your Concrete Driveway in 4 Steps

Step 1 – Fill cracks and potholes. Use a trowel to compress concrete caulk or sealer into cracks.

Step 2 – Protect yourself. Many products have harsh chemicals and fumes, so wear gloves and a mask.

Step 3 – Let it cure. It may be 48 hours before you can park cars on it. Read your product instructions for recommendations.

Step 4 – Seal it. After your repairs have dried, protect your concrete with water sealant.

Renew by Resurfacing

Resurfacing is an economical way to renew your concrete at a fraction of the cost of replacing it. The liquid compound dries quickly (in about 30 minutes) so work fast with a squeegee to smooth it across the concrete. Tape off your expansion joints so they aren’t filled. For a non-skid surface, use an old broom to brush across the mixture, giving it texture.

So Many Choices

Resurfacing allows you to choose different finishes (glossy or dull), colors and patterns. Due to the quick drying time, test a small area until you get the look you want. This process is not a permanent fix and will need to be re-done every two to three years.

Improve Your Curb Appeal

If you are trying to sell your home, a cracked driveway is going to raise a red flag for buyers. Consider resurfacing prior to putting your house on the market. It is amazing what a fresh, new driveway can do for your curb appeal.

Keep Your Driveway Looking Good for Years

Replacing a driveway can be a big expense but thankfully one that you only have to do once every 20 years, give or take. Repairing cracks as you find them will help keep your drive looking good for years to come.

Expert Advice

From concrete mixers and trowel machines to pressure washers and grout pumps, our expert staff is always on hand to help you find the right equipment for your next DIY home improvement project. Want more information on repairing a driveway? Our blog, The 7 Step Process to Restore Your Cracked and Eroded Driveways will help. As always, if you have any questions about what to choose, pricing or how-to’s, don’t hesitate to contact us. Stop by our store — we’re open seven days a week.

Categories: Featured Products, How-To's, Restore and Renovate, spring checklist | 1 Comment

Refinishing – How to Breathe New Life into an Old Deck

Is your deck looking a little shabby? Is it in need of a makeover? Battling the elements can take a toll on your decking which is why regular maintenance is a must. Refinishing is an easy DIY project that will help extend the life of your outdoor space. After a good scrubbing and a fresh coat of stain, your deck will look like new.

Go Beyond Clean with a Pressure Washer

Remember, you aren’t just cleaning your deck but prepping it for a new coat of stain and protectant. You need to remove as much dirt, grime and old stains as possible. A pressure washer
with a fan nozzle works great for this. Use caution when trying to remove tough stains, the force of the water can gouge wood if focused in one spot too long. So keep it moving!

portland-pressure-washing.jpg

5 Tips for Cleaning Your Deck:

  • Cover your plants with plastic – This will help prevent chemicals from getting on them. Rinse the foliage off afterwards as an added measure.
  • Pressure wash – Use a cleanser that is specially formulated to clean decking materials. This keeps the wood from drying out. The most commonly used cleaners have TSP (Trisodium phosphate) in them but may be too harsh to use around plants.
  • Apply some elbow grease – Instead of trying to get tough stains up with the pressure washer, use a scrub brush.
  • Clean between boards – Use an old broom or brush to loosen debris from cracks and crevices.
  • Scrub railings and overhangs – All decking surfaces should be cleaned and refinished to protect them too.

Look for Needed Repairs

Now that you’ve finished washing the deck, allow it to dry for 24 hours. Use this time to inspect and replace any damaged boards. Look for popped nail heads and hammer them back in place.

Once your deck is completely dry, you can sand down rough spots and get ready for the stain.

There are four basic types of stain finishes:

  •  Clear – No tint or color but serves as a protectant for the wood.
  • Tinted – Wood colored tints allow for a uniform, natural appearance.
  • Semi-transparent – Gives some color but still allows for wood grain to show through.
  • Solid colors – Opaque paints hide the wood grain and provide ample color.

deck_refinish.jpg

Protect Your Deck from the Elements

Some new exterior paints/ stains can actually fill in small cracks and splits. Due to the thickness of these products, you will need a larger amount to cover your deck but multiple coats won’t be necessary. You can also find stains that contain skid resistant materials (like fine grit/sand) for added safety and still remain comfortable on bare feet.

Advice on applying stain to a deck:

  • Use a roller for larger areas – Paint brushes are great for railings and recesses.
  • Keep your color uniform – For a large area, mix all of your stain together to keep it consistent. Color may vary slightly from can to can.
  • Paint sprayers can clog – Read the label on the product you are using. Some stains are too thick for sprayers.
  • Avoid overlap marks – Work on a few deck boards at a time and paint lengthwise.
  • Let dry at least 24 hours – Test the surface before putting furniture back out. If it is tacky to the touch, give it more time to dry.

Give Your Deck a Makeover

If you’ve been thinking you need a new deck but can’t afford it, try refinishing first. A perfectly good entertainment space may be hidden beneath all that dirt and grime. All it needs is a little do-it-yourself TLC. Let’s face it, we can all use a little makeover from time to time.

refinished deck.jpeg

Expert Advice

From pressure washers and paint sprayers to sanders and nail guns, our expert staff is always on hand to help you find the right equipment for your next outdoor DIY project. Looking for additional information on maintaining your deck? Check out our previous blog “Seal and Stain Your Deck in 3 Easy Steps” for more helpful tips. As always, if you have any questions about what to choose, pricing or how-to’s, don’t hesitate to contact us. Stop by our store — we’re open seven days a week.

Categories: Choosing Equipment, DIY Projects, Featured Products, How-To's, Renovate, Restore and Renovate | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

8 Ways to Get Ready for Winter Snow Removal

Winter Snow RemovalBring on the snow! The official start of winter is almost upon us (the season starts in our area on Monday, December 21, 2015 at 11:49 PM EST). Do you have the proper snow removal equipment? Are you stocked up with de-icer and sand? Can your power equipment handle what winter storms deliver? We have some answers right here.

  1. Have a variety of tools to help remove snow: Keep shovels, scoops, scrapers and roof rakes on hand to help you tackle the white stuff and ice build-up. Every storm brings different conditions to your neighborhood, so having a variety of tools handy allows you to roll with the punches. You’ll want something to help melt the ice, like rock salt or de-icer, and something to provide traction on those slippery driveways and sidewalks.
  1. Find the right shovel for you: Looking for a new shovel this season? Find one that fits you. You don’t want one that causes you to bend down to use it. Steel shovels are the most durable and the heaviest. Plastic is lightweight and will likely make it through just one winter. Aluminum shovels are lightweight, somewhat durable and have a tendency to bend if they hit a hard chunk of ice. Pay attention to the handle. Look for one made of wood, aluminum or fiberglass and that fits your hand size.
  1. Try pushing the snow, not lifting it: When shoveling, think push not lift. “Bulldozing” the snow off is easier on your back. When you do have to toss snow, lift with your legs. Don’t try to pick up a large amount of snow in the spade. Walk over and deposit the snow where it needs to go rather than tossing it. Repetitive movements like throwing snow in one direction can cause injuries to the shoulders, arms and back. Mix up your techniques – push, deposit, toss.
  1. Prepare for outdoor chores: Dress in layers, hydrate and take frequent breaks while doing outdoor winter chores. Contrary to popular belief, it’s actually easier on your body to tackle light layers of snow a couple of times rather than one deep layer after all the snow has fallen. Stretch your muscles prior to and after shoveling. Most importantly, know your limit. It’s driveway snow not Mount Everest.
  1. Take stock of your equipment: Prefer a snow blower to shoveling? Just remember your power equipment has been sitting dormant for a while so crank it up prior to a big snowfall. Give it a good cleaning and tune up. If last winter was too much for old faithful, consider an upgrade. Keep in mind what kind of surfaces (driveways, walkways) you will be cleaning and how much snow your area typically gets. There are two types of snow blowers:
    1. Single stage: lightweight and easy to use, handles up to a foot of snow
    2. Two stage: can handle up to 18 inches of snow, many come with power driven wheels to help with steep inclines
  1. Use de-icer to help with icy surfaces – Keep a good de-icer on hand to help loosen up ice build-up on your surfaces. A de-icer is not meant to totally melt your driveway clean but it will make it easier for you to shovel off. Rock salt is a cheaper option but it can be harmful to pets and the runoff can change the PH balance of your landscape.
  1. Sand helps you get a grip: Once you have cleared the driveway, spread sand or birdseed, which provides better traction for foot traffic. Clay kitty litter is also an option but it can damage floors and carpets if tracked into the house.
  1. Humidifiers help with dry indoor air: After a long day of shoveling outside in the cold, wet snow, it’s great to come inside where it is warm and dry. Furnaces and fireplaces make interior air perhaps too dry, causing everything from sinus issues to cracked skin. Running a humidifier will add moisture to the air and help family members stay healthier and more comfortable.

Let it snow! Let it snow! Let it snow!

Don’t be left out in the cold this year. Preparing for winter weather now will help you manage whatever Mother Nature throws at you. So let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!

Expert Advice

From snow blowers and shovels to de-icers and humidifiers, our expert staff is always on hand to help you find the right equipment to manage the winter weather. Runyon Equipment Rental is a proud dealer of Honda snow blowers. To learn what to look for in a snow blower, read How to Choose a Snow Blower That’s Right for You. Another post, Cold Weather Basics – Your Guide to Snow Removal, offers additional info on how to safely remove snow.As always, if you have any questions about what to choose, pricing or how-to’s, don’t hesitate to contact us. Stop by our store — we’re open seven days a week.

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Winterizing Checklist for Garden Tools & Equipment

Winterizing Garden ToolsIf you’ve been working hard to get all your lawn equipment stored away for winter, have you been checking all those DIY to-do’s off the list, too? Just in case you’ve overlooked a step or something else, let’s review what’s recommended you do.

When Winterizing Lawn Equipment:

  • Remove fuel – Gas breaks down after 30 days and will clog fuel lines if you leave gas in your lawn mower, weed eater, leaf blower or any other gardening equipment.
  • Use a fuel stabilizer – If you’re not going to remove the gas, then add a fuel stabilizer. It will keep the gas usable for up to 12 months.
  • Change the oil – Removing old oil and replacing it will keep the engine components lubricated and corrosion free.
  • Do an overall inspection – Make sure that spark plugs, seals and filters are clean and ready for use next spring.
  • Clean – Don’t store your lawn mower with grass clippings still in the undercarriage. Use a pressure washer to remove debris and then wipe the metal down with oil or lubricating product.
  • Store properly – Keep your equipment inside out of the elements, if possible. If not, then make sure to cover them with a heavy-duty tarp to keep them dry and rust free.

Service Equipment Now

Winter is a good time to have your equipment serviced by a professional. Why wait for spring when there is likely a long line of people waiting to get their lawn mower blades sharpened? Replace any part that may be starting to crack or dry out. A professional will help you keep your equipment in top shape for next summer.

Garden Hand Tools Need TLC, Too

We often forget about our small garden hand tools. These need to be winterized as well. Clean and treat them with an oil or lubricant to keep them from rusting. If your tools are already showing signs of rust, create an abrasive paste from table salt and lemon juice to remove the corrosion. Rinse the paste off thoroughly and dry. Coat tools with oil before storing.

Keep Sharp Tools Sharp

Sharpening your tools is easy. All you need is a small file or whetstone. Run the file along the edge of blades at a 45-degree angle to remove any nicks or rough spots, so they will be ready for the next growing season. Remember, sharp tools need to be properly stored away from curious hands.

Disinfect Pruners Before Storing

Because you use your pruners to remove diseased growth from plants, they may be harboring bacteria. Wiping the blades down with alcohol or similar disinfectant will help avoid cross contaminating other plants come springtime. Do this before treating them with oil before storing.

Improve Storage Space

Now that it’s time to get your lawn equipment taken care of, we also see a DIY garage organizational project on your horizon. Install some peg boards along garage walls to hang your weed eater, blower and garden tools. Unused space in the rafters is great to store lawn furniture. With storage space at a premium (especially in a garage), think outside the box – literally. You’ll be surprised how storage-efficient your garage can be.

Expert Advice

From pressure washers to lubricating products like Lube-a-Boom Clear Spray, our expert staff is always on hand to help you find the right tools and equipment for your home projects. For more helpful tips on how to get ready for the cold weather, check our blog post – Winterize and Maintain Your Outdoor Power Equipment. We also service a wide variety of Honda Power Equipment including mowers and tillers. As always, if you have any questions about what to choose, pricing or how-to’s, don’t hesitate to contact us. Stop by our store — we’re open seven days a week.

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Top 10 Most Popular Runyon Equipment Rentals for Fall

Top 10 Fall Rentals from RunyonThe first day of fall is about a week away (September 23 this year), and it may seem like finishing all the things on your DIY-do list seems impossible. We’ve put together a list of our most popular equipment rentals for fall – “fan favorites” that’ll help you complete those projects in no time (in no particular order).

  1. Aerator/ Plugger – Fall is prime time for treating your lawn to a little TLC. By aerating, you help keep the soil from compacting and strangling the grass roots. Our blog on fall lawn care will show you why an aerator is a lawn’s best friend.
  2. Slice Seeder – If your lawn has thinned over the summer, then a slice seeder will help you bring it back to its “greener” self. As its name suggests, a slice seeder slices through the turf, creating furrows for seeds. The dirt that it kicks up buries the seeds, eliminating a need for straw or top soil. Learn more about this effective machine in our article, Improve Your Existing Turf with Slice Seeding.
  3. Tiller – Now that you are wrapping up your summer garden and flower beds, don’t forget to give back to your soil. Tilling helps to oxygenate the soil and mix in organic materials. Our post, Time to Till it Up, can help you decide if a tiller is in your future.
  4. Chainsaw – A chainsaw can make easy work of trimming trees or removing any that have died. We run through some handy tips on cutting down trees and using a chainsaw in this blog.
  5. Chipper – When removing a tree, what to do with the debris is always a consideration. We suggest using a chipper. You will eliminate the yard waste and get back mulch in return. We review different types of chippers in this article. Check it out.
  6. Log Splitter – While a chainsaw is handy for taking down a tree, a splitter will cut up the larger sections of a downed tree into usable pieces for your fireplace. Our blog post on repurposing yard debris for your fireplace may light a fire under you to rent one of these.
  7. Stump Cutter – Cutting a tree down and grinding up the debris is usually step one of the process. There is always a stump left to deal with. A stump cutter will break up the tree base and roots so that they are easier to remove. That’s why this piece of equipment is listed as one of the Essential Yard Tools for Your Fall Maintenance.
  8. Auger – Fall is an ideal season to plant trees and shrubs. In our post, Garden To-Dos Pt 3 – Planting Trees and Shrubs, we discuss how augers make digging holes for planting trees and other plants so much easier.
  9. Bobcat/ Dingo – Ever had to transport endless loads of dirt, gravel or mulch from your driveway to the back of your house with a wheelbarrow? You swore never again. What you need is a bobcat. From hauling to excavating, this is the “Swiss Army knife” of maintenance tools due to all the attachments available. We outlined how to use a Bobcat in our blog, How to Safely Operate and Maneuver a Bobcat.
  10. Boom Lift – For jobs that are too high or too dangerous for traditional ladders, the boom lift should be your choice. It will safely deliver you and your materials to the height you need. See how one of these can help on your projects in the article, Versatile Uses of Boom Lifts.

By selecting the right tools and equipment to do the job, your to-do lists don’t have to be so overwhelming – they can actually help you tackle your projects in record time. You may be able to add even more items to your list! On further reflection, taking one’s time while doing home improvements can also be seen as a virtuous endeavor. Food for thought, folks, food for thought.

Expert Advice

Our expert staff is always on hand to help you with all of your DIY home improvement projects. If you have any questions about what to choose, pricing or how-to’s, don’t hesitate to contact us. Stop by our store — we’re open seven days a week.

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Yard & Gardening To-Dos Part 1: Fertilize and Aerate

Gardening To-Dos: Fertilizing & Aerating

Now that DIY gardeners can actually see their gardens, flower beds and lawns, it’s time to prepare the soil and ground for the growing season.

Feed Me with Fertilizer!

After long winter months languishing under the snow and ice, your garden and lawn are crying, “Feed me!” Fertilizer can help you calm those grumbling yard features because it feeds them with a potent nutrient mix, which allows them to feel calm and satiated. While they’re recovering, fertilizer can also stimulate root development and ensure plants and grass green-up quickly in the spring sunshine and rain. In the garden, fertilizer, compost and manure will strengthen the soil, helping with that hardy harvest you’ve been dreaming about all winter long.

Other benefits of fertilizing your garden, trees, flower beds and lawn include:

  • Because many fertilizers are made with earth-friendly organics, no harm is done to the water table or the environment
  • Controls crabgrass
  • Keeps weedy grasses from infiltrating the lawn
  • Protects against broadleaf weeds early in their growth cycle
  • Slow-release, stabilized nitrogen feeds and grows roots
  • Amends phosphorus-deficient soils in lawn, gardens and flower beds
  • Encourages root strength
  • Lawn, trees and plants experience steady growth throughout the growing season
  • No need to plant new grass seed for weeks
  • Many fertilizers are safe for pets and children

Let Me Breathe Fresh Air!

Aerating your lawn does wonders for the soil, allowing the grass to breathe and grow even stronger. It contains and even gets rid of lawn thatch that can strangle new growth, preventing oxygen from reaching the grass roots. Aerating will also improve soil drainage, and provides much-needed oxygen to worms, herbs and shrubs, too.

The process of aeration is much easier when done with the use of an aerator/plugger machine, which combs large areas of lawn and landscape effectively. Before you start the job, consider these helpful tips:

  • Determine whether aerator uses a spike or a core model
    • Spike aerators use wedge-shaped spikes to dig holes in the earth
    • Core aerators use tines that pluck out plugs from the soil
  • Water the lawn a day before to make sure the soil is wet enough, so a plug can be pulled
  • Do not aerate during periods of drought or high temperatures
  • Locate sprinkler heads so that they are not damaged; pitch rocks and stones from the area
  • Begin at the longest side of the lawn and make overlapping runs side-to-side
  • Make a second pass at a 30- to 40-degree angle
  • Apply fertilizer immediately after aerating
  • Water all aerated areas of the lawn or landscape after applying fertilizer

Expert Advice

Our expert staff is always on hand to help you with your lawn and garden projects. From fertilizer and aerator/pluggers to landscaping tools, if you have any questions about what to choose, pricing or how-tos, don’t hesitate to contact us. Stop by our store — we’re open seven days a week. Right now, check out our helpful handy infographic, Your Guide to Lawn Aeration: The Basics for more information.

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Structural Home Fixes Part 3: How to Repair a Sump Pump

How to Repair a Sump Pump

In part three of our series that tackles structural home fixes, we explore how to repair a sump pump, what could arguably be called the most important piece of equipment in your home … especially if you have a ground water issue underneath the building.

What is a Sump Pump?

Usually installed in the lowest part of a house, such as a basement or crawlspace, a sump pump sits in a specially constructed hole called a sump pit. As water flows into the sump pit from the ground outside or even during a heavy rain storm, the sump pump is activated by the incoming water level, and starts to push the moisture out and away from under the building to the outside, which prevents flooding and keeps the basement or crawlspace dry. Without one, ground water could flood the area or your whole house.

Typically, keep a close eye on the function of a sump pump, because the best repair is consistent maintenance.

Types of Sump Pumps

Pedestal Pumps

  • One of the most common
  • The motor is mounted on a small pedestal
  • A hose or pipe extends down to the bottom of the pit
  • Activated by a float switch

Submersible Pumps

  • Smaller unit that sits in the bottom of your sump pit
  • Water is sucked up through the bottom of the pump by an impeller
  • Activated by a float or bubble switch

Ejector Pumps

  • Good for use in crawlspaces made with a pea gravel floor
  • Capable of ejecting small debris as well as water
  • Constructed of cast iron and a larger ejector port instead of the standard size

Easy Fixes and Repairs 

Drainage Pipe Freezeswhich causes flooding. To avoid freezing at the end of the pipe, dig a hole at least a foot deep around the end of the drainage pipe and fill it to the top with fine gravel. Water will move through it without freezing.

Sump Pumps Clogs which results in flooding. Clogging depends on the ground water; if it’s full of silt, clay or debris, it will eventually gunk up the intake screen. Schedule a good cleaning of the screen and the intake area to remove any clogging matter before a clog happens – every few months or so, if these conditions exist.

Loses Electricitywhich causes flooding because the sump pump stops running. Ensure it never loses power installing a battery-powered or water-pressure backup power source for the sump pump. Basically, the backup power source charges from the AC power during normal power. If that power goes out, the backup source will kick on and operate the sump pump.

Stops Working which results in, you guessed it, flooding. This can happen if the pump burns the motor out from overwork, due to a frozen drainage pipe or it’s overwhelmed by a big flood or the equipment is just old. You can call in a professional for help, but the best thing to do here is to replace it.

Expert Advice

Our expert staff is always on hand to help you with home fixes and repairs. From portable generators to dehumidifiers, ventilators and carpet fans, if you have any questions about what to choose, pricing or how-tos, don’t hesitate to contact us. Stop by our store — we’re open seven days a week.

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Structural Home Fixes Part 2: How to Repair the Gutters

How to Repair Your Gutters

Taking care of home improvement projects like structural fixes or replacement before they become emergencies is one of the ways homeowners are protecting their property as well as their financial investment. In part two of our series that tackles structural home fixes, we explore how to repair the gutters.

Not only do April showers bring May flowers, they give you first-hand knowledge of how your rain gutters and downspouts hold up to moisture. Not to mention, keeping your home, garage and basement dry. Your gutters could have holes, leaky corners or are sagging or have pulled away from the house –and all of these scenarios need to be taken care of, extending their life and efficiency.

Patching Holes

Whether rust eats into a gutter, or a falling branch punctures it or a well-meaning do-it-yourselfer drills one intentionally, holes need to be patched as soon as they’re spotted, so they don’t get any bigger. Roofing cement, a sheet metal-repair patch or other patch that matches the gutter material will do perfectly. Before applying any patch, clean the area around the hole with gloved hands and a stiff-bristle wire brush. Cut out any rust with aviation snips.

Fixing Leaky Joints

Standing water will eventually seep through gutter seams. After relieving the gutter of the water and letting it dry out, brush clean and apply silicone-rubber caulking compound along the once-leaking seams both inside and out. If the gutters are showing their age, however, replace them with new.

Un-Sagging Gutters

The same standing water causing leaks can cause gutters to sag. The weight of the water causes the hangers to loosen. Gutters should drop about 1/4 inch for every 10 feet of run toward the downspouts, so check the gutter slope using a level. Some gutters are held in place with large spikes in tubular sleeves, called ferrules. To fix a sag, either replace or re-seat the hangers. Use a hammer or screwdriver to drive the long spike or long screw into solid wood. To tighten clip-style gutter hangers, lift the roofing material along the eaves and refasten the hangers to the sheathing.

Stopping an Overflow

Gutters that overflow during a heavy rain storm could be too small to handle a large volume of runoff, or more likely they could be clogged with leaves and debris. If this is the case, by all means give the gutters a good cleaning. Learn more by reading our blog, See How Easily You Can Rid Your Gutters of Dirt and Grime.

Don’t Forget About the Downspouts

Gutter downspouts are important extension of the gutter system. They could loosen away from the gutter or between sections or become clogged with debris.

When you’re cleaning the gutters, clean the downspouts, too – taking the sections apart. Refasten them by pushing the sections together fastening them with two 3/8-inch #8 galvanized sheet metal screws. Drill pilot holes if needed. The downspout anchor straps should be secure to the wall.

Avoid Runoff Water Pools

If water pools at the bottom of the downspout, it will soak into the soil and make its way right into the foundation. Direct rainwater away from the house using a downspout diverter, which fits onto the bottom of the downspout and carries water several feet away.

The downspout can also run into a dry well that’s about two to four feet wide and three feet deep. Secure underground drainage pipes that slope to the dry well, keeping moisture away from the house’s foundation. You can also modify a 55-gallon drum that’s buried at the end of a downspout and punctured with holes. Before using any one of these solutions, check local building codes.

Expert Advice

Our expert staff is always on hand to help you with home fixes and repairs. From ladders to drills and other equipment, if you have any questions about what to choose, pricing or how-tos, don’t hesitate to contact us. Stop by our store — we’re open seven days a week.

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[Infographic] Your Guide to Lawn Aeration: The Basics

Spring, between March and May, is the perfect time to consider aerating your lawn. If your yard suffers from poor drainage, poor subsoil, or brown, worn grass, then it is definitely a good idea to consider renting an aerator for a day and giving your lawn fresh new life again. For steps on how to aerate, check out this blog post, and for other helpful tips, read What Everyone Ought to Know About Lawn Aeration. Hopefully this infographic gives you a good overview of the 101 basics involved in lawn aeration. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have other questions or would like advice on which aerator to use. We have a variety for rent here. Happy plugging away!

Lawn Aeration Basics Infographic

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How To Safely Operate a Backhoe Loader in 5 Simple Steps

Bobcat Skidsteer LoaderFor anyone working in construction, the versatile backhoe loader is one of the industry’s go-to machines, a popular choice that’s powerful enough to take on jobs where moving earth, loading and spreading materials, installing big equipment like septic tanks, and digging water, sewer and gas lines are what needs to get done.

1. Plan The Job Ahead of Time
Operating a backhoe loader safely using best practices starts with the person in the driver’s seat. Survey the job site well in advance of the work whistle, mapping out the safest routes for the backhoe in the least amount of time. Take a look at the condition of the ground around the dig site and decide what course of action to take.

If you’re the operator, the first thing you should do after you jump in and take your place is fasten the seat belt. A roll cage will only protect you in case of an overturn if you are buckled in. Make sure the parking brake is engaged, then get familiar with the controls. Make sure you can reach all of them easily while sitting in the seat and that they move freely. Below are a few more steps for operating a backhoe loader safely.

2. Take Control

Steady, even, level movement is the safest way to maintain control of a backhoe loader. Even though most of its weight is distributed towards the rear, some loads will change the center of gravity, affecting the machine’s stability. When in motion, keep the bucket low to the ground. Driving up sloped surfaces in reverse, i.e., with the backend first, can keep the front of the backhoe on the ground, especially if there’s no load in the bucket. Operating a backhoe on slopes is the most difficult to maintain stability. Keep the backhoe as level as possible when in motion, taking care when repositioning on a slope. Backhoe loaders are equipped with stabilizer legs. Spread them out to their full width, which will hold the machine in place while digging or lifting the bucket. If at any time the machine starts to feel unstable, stop everything to regain control.

3. Prepare for Excavation

Make sure to check the job site for any buried utilities such as telephone or natural gas lines and electrical transmission cables. Avoid cave-ins by knowing the soil conditions beforehand and placing excavated material at least three feet away from the dig site. The operator is responsible for the safety of all personnel around the dig site. Before moving the machine, sound the horn or the backup alarm to alert other workers. Before any heavy lifting, survey the area for people in the way and make sure the backhoe is as stable as possible.

4. Know Your Weight

It is the operator’s responsibility to know how much a load needs to weigh to pick it up safely at a given angle. This requires a study of the machine’s lifting capabilities; the heights and distances are found on its spec sheet. If in doubt, test the lift before any material is moved. Slow and steady wins the race here; transport excavated material with the bucket low to the ground, rather than too high in the air.

5. Shut Down for the Day Safely, Too
After work is finished for the day, park the backhoe on a level surface. Set the parking brake, lower the front and back attachments to the ground, put the engine in neutral gear and drop the hydraulic levers to release any pressure.

Expert Advice

Our expert staff is always on hand to help you with excavation projects. From backhoe loaders to bulldozers, if you have any questions about what to choose, pricing or how-tos, don’t hesitate to contact us. Stop by our store — we’re open seven days a week.

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Proper Techniques for Painting with a Paint Sprayer on Interior Projects

Handheld paint sprayers that use airless technology give do-it-yourself painters and painting contractors alike the ability to achieve a truly professional finish on both small jobs and touchup work with quick setup and easy cleanup. Operated by electric or battery power, handheld sprayers have a gun and pump built into the sprayer just like traditional models, with the added feature of portability.

Advantages of Airless Sprayers

Airless technology uses high pressure to force paint through a small nozzle or spray tip, creating a fast-moving, fine spray of liquid that atomizes or reacts with the outside air, breaking into small droplets that form a consistent spray pattern. The size of the spray tip determines the flow pressure and fan pattern. Designed for indoor and outdoor use, handheld airless paint sprayers are easy and economical, four times faster than brushing and at least two times faster than rolling. Paint, as well as a variety other coating materials from stains to heavy latex and acrylics, can be sprayed on all types of surfaces, resulting in a uniform, even finish.

About Paint Spray Guns

In addition to paint sprayers, paint spray guns also make quick work of painting. Some models of spray guns use innovative technology like intuitive spray gun controls, quick release fluid set, optimized air pressure and air flow, and different rotating positions to cover completely.

Proper Spray Techniques

  1. Achieve good spray pattern. Spray at the lowest pressure that completely atomizes the paint. Start at the lowest setting, adjusting slowly upward until the spray pattern shows no fingers or tails. Test the spray pattern on scraps of cardboard or other waste material. If the maximum sprayer pressure still isn’t enough, change out the spray tip for one with a smaller opening.
  1. Get a good aim. Position the paint sprayer about 12 inches from the surface and aim the spray straight at the surface. Move the paint sprayer across the surface with the wrist flexed, keeping the sprayer pointed straight at the surface. Avoid directly the paint spray at an angle, which will cause an uneven finish.
  1. Use a gentle trigger motion. Allow the paint sprayer to start moving in a stroking motion before triggering the paint stream during this lead stroke. Release the trigger before the end of the stroke, often called the lag stroke. Keep the paint sprayer moving throughout the paint spray to prevent too thick of a coating at the beginning and end of each stroke.
  1. Use an overlapping technique. Spray tips are designed for a 50% overlap of strokes to achieve a smooth, even amount of paint is sprayed on the surface with no visible lines in the finish. Spray the outside edges of ceilings or bare walls first before continuing to the middle of the surface.
  1. Painting corners. Aim the paint sprayer directly into the corner and spray along it rather than using a back and forth motion.

Beginner Mistakes

Two things beginner airless paint sprayers users should avoid are 1) Spraying at too high of a pressure and 2) Misfiring the trigger at the start and stop of each stroke

Expert Advice

Our expert staff is always on hand to help you with interior paint projects. We carry top-of-the-line Graco handheld airless paint sprayers. If you have any questions about what to choose, pricing or how-tos, don’t hesitate to contact us. Stop by our store — we’re open seven days a week. For more on paint sprayer techniques, read our blog, The Airless Sprayer: A Hidden Gem for All Your Painting Applications.

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When & How to Use a Shot Blaster for Surface Prep

Contec Shot BlasterShot blasting is a process used to remove built-up coatings, contaminants or impurities from surfaces by forcibly propelling an abrasive material against it to achieve a clean result. Often used to prepare a floor for further processing, such as the application of industrial flooring systems and epoxy coatings, shot blasters use the blasting material, or media, to smooth and shape a surface, as well as, roughen a smooth surface, depending on the size, shape and density of the media, the coverage of the blast and the angle of impact.

This type of abrasive blasting takes several forms, including bead blasting, soda blasting and sand blasting, and has seen effective use in industries like shipbuilding, automobile and metal manufacturing, foundry and welding, aviation and the production of tanks, silos, pipelines and chassis. A form of shot blasting is also used in the fashion industry, to roughen brand new denim for instance, giving it that well-worn patina.

The Difference Between Shot Blasting and Sand Blasting

Shot blasters use centrifugal force powered by a rotating wheel at high speed to shoot media made from steel, copper, nickel, glass, iron ore, even dry ice, ground walnut shells, or water, at the work surface. Whereas sand blasters use compressed air to shoot a high speed stream of abrasive sand at the work surface. Shot blasting does not generate dust like sand blasting, which has less impact on the environment, and can improve the fatigue strength of the surface. Sand blasting also improves the surface quality and mechanical performance.

Shot blasting is an ideal process for cleaning off thin coatings and paint from large spaces because it is dust-free and usually dry, the blasters provide an accurate blast pattern and a wide assortment of abrasive media is available and re-usable, all at a relatively moderate cost.

When using a shot blaster, protect yourself by wearing eye and ear protection, heavy boots, long pants and shirt. Turn the shot blaster on and adjust the pressure incrementally from the lowest setting, moving up to the highest speed as you test the area to be cleaned. Starting at the furthest corner of the work area, walk slowly with the machine in a linear motion across the surface, making several passes until the area is completely clean.

Expert Advice

Our expert staff is always on hand to help you with renting or buying sand blasters and shot blasters. If you have any questions about what to choose, pricing or how-tos, don’t hesitate to contact us. Stop by our store — we’re open seven days a week. For more information on shot blasting, read these two posts from our Runyon Service Prep blog: What Grinders, Scarifiers, Shot Blasters & Scabblers Can Do For You and Remove Residue Build-Up with 4 Proven Methods.

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How to Re-Finish Your Hardwood Floors to Perfection

Refinish Your Hardwood Floors to Perfection

Bringing a dull, scratched hardwood floor finish back to perfection used to mean sanding down to bare wood, but not always. A technique called screening takes off the worn top layer of coating, leaving the wood underneath ready for a new finish. It’s inexpensive, less risky and lets you do the work yourself without the hassle of hefty clean-up.

Screening is accomplished with the use of a floor polisher and clog-resistant sanding disks called screens. The weight of the polisher and its synthetic-wool pad hold the screen in place, but you don’t have to have a lot of strength or skill to use one. As long as the floor is not waxed and the wood underneath is not stained or damaged, the screens remove just the floor finish, such as
polyurethane. Then, you can re-finish the wood as you desire.

Steps for Screening

Step 1. Remove everything that collects dust from the room. Seal off doorways, duct registers and cabinet doors with plastic sheeting and masking tape. Open the windows if possible. Remove baseboard molding and put on a respirator.

Step 2. Prepare the screening disk by sanding it with a palm sander and 100-grit sandpaper. Use four screening grits, from rough to smooth (60-, 80-, 100- and 120-grit).

Step 3. Fit the floor polisher with the first screening pad and begin screening the floor, just like you would to sand it. Use the palm sander or sanding pad and sandpaper to get into corners and edges.

Step 4. When the screening is complete, wipe down walls and vacuum dust up from all surfaces. Use a tack cloth to pick up any remaining dust on the floor.

Tips for Sanding Floors

If the floor is waxed, stained or damaged, sand the floor down to the base wood using a drum sander and edger.

  • Keep the sander moving, so it doesn’t dig into the wood or leave a noticeable swale
  • Move at a steady, even pace, sanding away a uniform amount of top coat and wood
  • An edger will fit into many corners, but not all, so use the palm sander

Finish the Floor

The most popular and readily available floor finish is polyurethane, because it’s tough and resistant to constant foot traffic. Choose an oil-based or water-based polyurethane depending on the effect you want to achieve. Oil-based polyurethane dries slowly, is relatively smelly and turns a light amber color with age, while water-based dries quickly, emits no odor and remains clear. With both types of polyurethane, apply at least two coats along the grain of the wood. For the smoothest finish, use a pole sander to sand lightly between each coat using 100-grit sandpaper, leaving the last coat shiny, which will last for years. Polyurethane finished floors can also be waxed and buffed.

To add a different color to a floor rather than the natural wood color, use a penetrating hardwood floor stain before finishing with polyurethane. Apply the stain along the grain of the wood with a rag or paint roller directly to the screened or sanded floor as evenly as possible.

Allow the stain to dry before finishing with several coats of polyurethane – again, sanding lightly between coats.

Penetrating oils and sealers like linseed oil, soak into the wood and the floor will require a wax for protection. Apply directly to the screened or sanded wood surface. Occasionally, wax is used as the only floor finish. Make spot repairs on wax floors by rubbing lightly with steel wool, then applying more wax and buffing.

Expert Advice

Our expert staff is always on hand to help you with your floor refinishing projects. If you have any questions about how to choose floor polisher or floor sander, pricing or how-tos, don’t hesitate to contact us. Check our recent blog post, How To Sand & Finish Your Wood Floor in 3 Simple Steps, for more helpful information. Stop by our store — we’re open seven days a week.

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How to Safely Operate and Maneuver a Bobcat® Skid-Steer Loader

Bobcat Skid-Steer LoaderSkid-steer loaders made by Bobcat® enjoy a 50-year reputation for performance and reliability. The company manufactures more than 12 skid-steer loader models and over 70 attachments to accommodate a number of outdoor projects that require a digging machine:

  • Great for ongoing or one-time jobs
  • Quick-change attachments and maintenance-free chain case help make the most of the work day
  • Efficient, dependable performance for maximum digs, lifts and dumps
  • Reduce operating costs
  • Machine shutdown protection, pressurized cabs with all-around visibility, heat and air conditioning keep operators comfortable and safe

A compact machine used for digging, the skid-steer loader also pushes, pulls and lifts material. Popular for use in building, construction, landscaping and farm work, the skid-steer loader is a lighter machine that can maneuver better than a typical tractor front loader, making quicker work of manual labor jobs that would take more time and effort without equipment. They also have a number of attachments, including different types and sizes of buckets, backhoes, forks, hammers, brooms, and augers that help with the machine’s versatility and performance.

Training and Safety

To safely operate a Bobcat® skid-steer loader, the company offers operator training and service safety courses, which review best practices for safe operation through video presentations, classroom exercises and hands-on operation. Although the training courses available through Bobcat give trainees an overall knowledge of safe and efficient operation, they are not designed to license or certify operators as skilled or factory authorized operators. However, here are a few tips on Bobcat safety:

  • Always clear the work area
  • Stand away from the front of the buckets as it is raised
  • Warn other workers before moving or raising the bucket
  • Keep all safety structures, cages and screens in place for operator protection in case of rollover
  • In case of an emergency, remove hands and feet from the controls until the machine stops moving

Tips for Driving a Bobcat

Learning how to maneuver properly in a Bobcat starts with examining the terrain, checking the work area for hazards overhead, like power lines. The trick is to not get stuck or roll the machine over. Do not drive over too-rough ground or into soft, soggy soil, and avoid creeks, ravines and steep banks. Make no sudden stops, starts or turns, and move along at a speed that is appropriate for the existing conditions and visibility. Drive up and down slopes with the bucket lowered. Drive across slopes, and you could tip the skid-steer loader over. Dump material by driving around a fence rather than dumping over one to avoid operator injury.

Tips for Loading a Bobcat

  • Drive the Bobcat into a pile of material
  • Raising the bucket after the machine is in position
  • Tilt a loaded bucket upwards
  • Back away from the pile slowly
  • Once far enough from the pile, lower the loaded bucket and drive to the dumping area
  • Raise the bucket just before positioning it over the truck or pile and dump
  • Always be ready to lower the bucket quickly in case the equipment feels unstable
  • The machine’s weight can cause trenches to collapse, so take care when backfilling
  • Abide by the manufacturer’s recommended maximum loads
  • Overloading makes the Bobcat steering front-heavy, erratic and unstable

Tips for Bobcat Balance

Aim for keeping a Bobcat skid-steer loader in a balanced position. A Bobcat carries two-thirds of its weight on the rear axles when empty. A full load transfers that weight and the machines balance to the front wheels. Always move with the arms and bucket lowered for maximum stability. When negotiating slopes, keep the heaviest end of the Bobcat pointing uphill to reduce the risk of turning the Bobcat over.

Expert Advice

Our expert staff is always on hand to help you with moving projects. We rent the entire line of Bobcat® Skid-Steer Loaders and attachable buckets. If you have any questions about what to choose, pricing or how-tos, don’t hesitate to contact us. Stop by our store — we’re open seven days a week.

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How to Safely and Effectively Use a Trencher

Trenching EquipmentWant to dig a trench? There is special equipment for that!

In addition to a shovel and massive amounts of strength and sweat, the most effective tool to dig a trench is a machine called a trencher. If you want to lay cable or fiber optics, install a drainage system or place pipes underground, a trencher helps dig holes with consistent width and depth through a variety of surfaces to be cut, including soil, stone and pavement. Most include a mechanism to clear excavated material from the trench, too.

Trenchers range in configuration from walk-behind models, to attachments for a skid loader, to portable hand-held tools. They use different types of cutting elements, depending on the hardness of the cutting surface. Because they involve cutting with teeth, chain or blade, use trenchers with proper care.

Types of Trenchers

1. Rockwheel Trencher: uses a cutting wheel fitted with teeth to move soil. Teeth are made from industrial strength steel or cemented carbide and are changed out or adjusted easily by hand, allowing for multiple cutting widths and depths, as well as ground conditions. The wheel design lets the machine cut at a constant angle to the ground. Excavated materials are cleared from the trench through an ejector system.

  • Works hard or soft soils
  • Work homogeneous, compact rocks, silts and sands or heterogeneous, broken rock, alluvia and moraines
  • Less sensitive to blocks in soil
  • Cuts pavement for road and underground utilities maintenance
  • Cheaper to operate and maintain than chain trenchers

2. Micro Trencher: uses a cutting wheel specially designed to work in tighter spaces such as a city or other urban area. The teeth cut in smaller widths that range from about one to five inches and a depth of 20 inches or less. Excavated material is also less.

  • Works harder ground than chain trencher
  • Cutting through solid stone
  • Cuts trenches with no associated damage to the road
  • Used to minimize vehicle and pedestrian traffic congestion
  • Digs smaller trenches for optical fiber connections
  • Effective for sidewalks, narrow streets
  • Cuts pavement for road and underground utilities maintenance
  • Sometimes radio-controlled 

3. Chain Trencher: uses a chain or belt to cut through the ground. Like a chainsaw, the cutting element moves around a metal frame or boom, which is adjusted at a fixed angle to accommodate different cutting depths. Excavated materials can be removed by conveyor belt.

  • Works hard soils
  • Digs wider trenches for telecommunication, electricity, drainage, water, gas, sanitation
  • Can cut narrow, deep trenches
  • Good for work in rural areas
  • Used to excavate trenches in rock, along with hydraulic breakers or drill and blast

4. Portable Trencher: uses a chain or blade that rotates like a rotary lawn mower to dig trenches. Lightweight and easily maneuverable, these machines are sometimes used in conjunction with other types of equipment to finish landscaping and lawn care jobs.

  • Cuts trenches for landscape edging and irrigation lines
  • Used in combination with a drainage pipe or geotextile feeder and backfiller to lay drain or textile and fill trench in one pass

How to Operate a Trencher in 3 Steps

Step 1: Turn on the engine and warm up the machine. Put the transmission in neutral, make sure the hydraulic pump is off (if applicable), unlock the wheels and move the trencher in place.

Step 2: Once in position to start digging, make sure the wheels are positioned so they work together, start the cutting element spinning and lower it to its first depth, put the transmission in forward, engage the removal apparatus and start digging. Keep the power on full throttle, controlling speed by using the transmission.

Step 3: Once you dig all the down, put the machine in reverse to start moving backward. Most machines will trench in reverse.

Safety Tips

  • Wear protective clothing, eye and ear wear, utility gloves
  • Stand away from the machine when it’s operating (unless you’re the operator) to avoid getting hit by excavated material
  • Before you start digging, locate underground wires or pipes by calling your local utility company

Expert Advice

Our expert staff is always on hand to help you with excavating your property. We carry a full line of trenchers designed for many types of landscaping, lawn care or digging projects. If you have any questions about what to choose, pricing or how-tos, don’t hesitate to contact us. Stop by our store — we’re open seven days a week.

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How to Cut Tile for Do-It-Yourself Tiling Jobs

Perfecting the art of cutting tile is essential for any self-respecting do-it-yourselfer. You may want to tile a floor, a shower, a backsplash or an accent for any room in your home. Chances are, you’ll be cutting tile to fit around the room, to accommodate the faucet or cabinets and to customize a personal creation. We’ll discuss how to cut tile using a tile cutter and a tile saw.

Tools of the Trade: Tile Cutter versus Tile Saw

Tile Cutter vs. Tile Saw

Other tips:

  • A tile cutter needs to be wider than the tiles. Measure the size based on making a diagonal cut from corner to corner.
  • Make sure the tile cutter has a rotating guide for making cuts at different angles.
  • Always fill a tile saw reservoir with water before cutting

Cutting Tile

  1. Practice cuts using scrap tiles first.
  2. Buy enough tile to accommodate waste, whether you’re using a tile cutter or saw.
  3. Mark the glazed tile surface using a pencil, making a tick where a cut begins and ends. Adjust the guide on a tile saw for the correct measurement.
  4. Slide the lever on the tile cutter so the blade is closest to you. Place the tile glaze side up on the cutter or the saw, making sure the tile sits snug against the stop or guide.
  5. Score a tile by moving the cutter lever so the steel wheel is on the tick mark at the edge of the tile, then pushing down on the lever and dragging the wheel across the tile with even pressure. Then push down on the lever and apply pressure to both sides of the score line, and snap the tile in two.
  6. For a saw cut, turn the saw on, move the tile gently into the blade and let the blade to all the work cutting the tile.
  7. For L-shaped notches, use a tile cutter to score both sides of the tile, and tile nippers to snap along one of the lines and hope the piece breaks cleanly along the second line. If not, that’s why you’ll have more tile than you need, for mistakes.

Finishing the Cut

Use a sharpening stone to smooth out the cut edge of a tile, unless it will be hidden under molding.

To learn more about the aesthetics of installing tile, read our two blogs: Install a Tile Backsplash in Your Kitchen for a Fresh New Look and The 4 Secrets to Beautiful Tile Accents in Your Home.

Expert Advice

Our expert staff is always on hand to help you with renovating your bathroom or kitchen. From tile cutters to tile saws, if you have any questions about what to choose, pricing or how-tos, don’t hesitate to contact us. Stop by our store — we’re open seven days a week.

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4 Cold Weather Basics: Winter Storm Emergencies (Part 4)

Are you ready for winter’s next storm emergency? We’re here to help you navigate all the challenges of the season with part four of a special edition on our blog, outlining the basics of cold weather preparedness. Today, we’re talking about severe winter weather readiness.

Winter storms can make the flow of every life stop short, dumping snow on roads and sidewalks over a few hours, to producing blinding blizzard conditions that last for several days. No matter where you live, you can also experience dangerously low temperatures, strong winds, ice, sleet and freezing rain during a winter storm – strong enough to knock out heat, electricity and phone service to your home, school or place of business – for days.

Winter Storm EmergenciesHome Emergency Kit

When a winter storm hits, homeowners can alleviate some of this immobilization and inconvenience by being prepared for severe winter weather in advance. Equip your home with enough emergency supplies to last four days without power or help. Include enough food and water, a first aid kit, batteries, flashlightsextension cords, battery powered clock/radio, a cellular phone, etc. Personal items such as cold-weather clothing for every family member, as well as a four-day supply of prescription medicines, blankets, toiletries and food and water for pets are also essential.

Personal Heat Supply

Make sure you have enough heating fuel in case regular fuel sources are cut off. If you have a wood stove or fireplace, store a good supply of dry, seasoned wood. Buy or rent a power generator and know how to run it safely. Read “Your First Winter Must-Have: A Portable Generator” to learn more. Rent or buy space heaters that can run by generator or an alternate power supply such as gas or propane –to heat the air in your home as well as outside, if necessary. Review our infographic, “Portable Heaters: What You Need to Know.”

Add A Humidifier

Cold, dry winter air causes a variety of conditions in your home that can promote illness, as well as destroy property. Using a humidifier can raise low humidity levels 20 to 30 percent, helping to prevent colds and flu as well as bloody noses. Air moistened with a humidifier can help soothe the throat and bronchial tubes, reduce snoring, preserve the voice and moisturize skin. Humidified air protects wood floors and furnishings from splitting or cracking and keeps indoor plants healthier.

Using a humidifier will also make your home feel warmer. Experts say air with a temperature of 70 degrees Fahrenheit and 10 percent humidity will feel like 67 degrees, but with 50 percent humidity, it will feel like it is 69 degrees. It will also control static electricity, with the added benefit of protecting electronic equipment from getting damaged. Humidifiers also monitor moisture levels in your home, discouraging too much moisture, which can contribute to the growth of bad organisms such as dust mites.

Expert Advice

Our expert staff is always on hand to help you with the cold weather basics of winter emergency preparedness. For all other installments in this series, check out the post about snow removal, the post about insulating your home and the post about winterizing windows, doors and vents. If you have any questions about what to choose, pricing or how-tos, don’t hesitate to contact us. Stop by our store — we’re open seven days a week.

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[INFOGRAPHIC] 11 Popular Rental Items for Your Holiday Entertaining

It’s that time of year – endless Christmas and New Years parties, family get-togethers, gift exchanges, and all the fun festivities that the holidays bring. However, with all the planning and preparation that goes into such events, you may like a few tips on which equipment and around-the-house supplies may make it easier. Check out the infographic below for 11 rental items that are perfect for your winter-time entertaining.

Holiday Entertaining Infographic

1. Ladder | 2. Snow Blower | 3. Generator | 4. Extension Cords | 5. Vacuum | 6. Patio Heater | 7. Table and Chairs | 8. Lighting | 9. Grill | 10. Wet Dry Vacuum | 11. Carpet Cleaner

This isn’t an exhaustive list of equipment Runyon rents for events and parties, but it gives you a give taste of what there is available. Be sure to visit the website if you have additional inquiries, or contact us for more specific information. Happy Holidays!

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4 Cold Weather Basics: Insulating Your Home (Part 2)

Cold Weather Basics Part 2 - Home InsulationProtect your home from winter’s wrath! We’re here to help you navigate all the challenges of the season with the second of a four-part special edition on our blog, outlining the basics of cold weather preparedness. Today, we’re talking insulation.

Winterizing your home with insulation is one of the most economical – and efficient – ways to save energy, keeping you and your family warm and toasty. In addition to caulking, weather-stripping and installing storm windows and doors (or covering them with plastic), adding insulation to walls and attics (even floors, basements, garages, barns, sheds or any place that provides shelter for your family and pets, livestock and equipment) can make a difference keeping warm air in and cold air out.

1. Twelve to 15 inches of roll insulation in your attic is one of the easiest ways to achieve insulation protection. Do-it-yourself insulating is simplified when you use an insulation vacuum and blower, which blow insulating foam into the area.

For more information on how to insulate your attic, read this blog post.

2. Consider closing off the attic using a sheet of plywood to cover the opening. To cut down on cold air leaking into the living space, create an airtight seal by attaching foam insulation pads to the back of the attic door and applying foam weather stripping tape around it, just as you would any other door. You can also install an insulated attic tent that fits over the pull-down stairs (if applicable).

3. Insulate pipes to keep them from freezing. Insulating hot water pipes will help decrease the cost of hot water, too. Cut pre-slit high R-value pipe foam to size and fasten it in pace with duct tape. Take it up a notch by wrapping (or re-wrapping) your hot water tank, using an insulation blanket and securing it tightly around the tank (tankless water heaters do not need this precaution). Seal air ducts in your attic and basement using a roll of HVAC foil tape, available at home centers. Simply wrap the tape around joints and secure.

4. One place you may not think about is your light switches and outlets. These holes in the wall are usually covered with thin plastic covers that probably provide little protection against cold air leaking into the living space. Install pre-cut foam gaskets underneath your light switch and outlet covers, which will act like weather stripping in the smallest places. Hey, every little bit counts!

Expert Advice

Our expert staff is always on hand to help you with the cold weather basics of insulating your home. For the first installment in this series, check out the first post about snow removal. From insulation equipment, accessories and everything in-between, if you have any questions about what to choose, pricing or how-tos, don’t hesitate to contact us. Stop by our store — we’re open seven days a week.

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4 Cold Weather Basics: Your Guide to Snow Removal (Part 1)

Cold Weather Basics Part 1 - Snow RemovalHow prepared are you for winter this year? We’re here to help you navigate all the challenges of the season with the first of a four-part special edition of our blog, outlining the basics of cold weather preparedness. Today, we’re talking snow removal.

From clearing walkways to freeing your car of snow, sleet, freezing rain and ice, keep your family and guests safe by stocking up on a few products that help you remove cold weather precipitation with ease. In addition to checking the anti-freeze in your cars, make sure to have extra on hand in the garage. Keep at least one window scraper in each of your cars and one in the garage, for hard-to-lift ice that can blur your line of sight while driving. If the locks on your car, or on your front door, get frozen shut, a spray can of deicer can help tremendously. It can also help free windows from ice, allowing them to open as usual.

Heavy Snow Removal

Large amounts of snow can be removed using a snow blower. The deicer can also help clear the machine’s moving parts of ice and compacted snow, along with a wire brush and a spray can of lubricant. Make sure to test the snow blower before a storm and keep the necessary spare parts ready in case they’re needed.

Whether you use a snow blower or not, there is almost always a need to shovel snow. An ordinary snow shovel can be a homeowner’s best friend this winter, as predictions for Arctic blasts in eastern United States remain pretty high. Maintain a shovel like any other piece of equipment, hammering out areas of the metal that get crumpled with use, tightening loose handles or removing burrs from plastic.

Take care of yourself, too. Here are four tips for safe snow shoveling:

  1. Prepare physically for the task. As with any physical exercise, stretch legs, back and shoulders before you start. Dress warmly in loose-fitting layers that come off easily as you exert yourself, but can be added quickly during a rest. Pace yourself and rest frequently, keeping hydrated. And when you’re done, stretch tired muscles once more, to avoid tight, inflamed body parts.
  1. Have a snow removal plan. Decide where you will dump the snow. Start by brushing off the cars then clearing around them, moving the first shovelfuls to the farthest edge of the driveway, so the last shovelfuls are moved the shortest distance. This way, you won’t have to move the snow twice, if it’s piled in the way of more snow that needs to be removed. Work in thin layers and several passes, which is easier and safer than hefting one over-heavy shovelful.
  1. Use a healthy technique. Shoveling snow is hard work. Use your large leg muscles to lift shovelfuls and push snow out of way as much as possible. Use your knees to squat, holding the shovel as close to your upper body as possible, protecting your back. Hold the shovel with two hands (one close to the blade) for better leverage. Get your shoulder muscles into the throwing action, avoiding a twist in your upper body as much as possible.
  2. Let Mother Nature help the melting process. After removing heavy snow from driveways, sidewalks and other walkways around your house, keep them clear with ice melt. Check if the ice melt you buy can be used on concrete (especially new concrete) as certain formulas can cause new concrete to fail. Then, let the strong winter sun do the rest.

Expert Advice

Our expert staff is always on hand to help you with the cold weather basics of snow removal. From snow blowers to rent or buy, to shovels and everything in-between, if you have any questions about what to choose, pricing or how-tos, don’t hesitate to contact us. Stop by our store — we’re open seven days a week.

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Effectively Winterize Your Home With Lube-A-Boom®

Winterize Your Home With Lube-A-BoomMany homeowners are in the process of preparing their homes and yard equipment for winter. Winterizing not only protects their property from cold weather and storm damage, it helps to maintain it –extending the life of machine parts and blocking winter’s chill from entering living space, keeping families safer and investments more viable.

Indianapolis, IN-based LAB, LLC is the maker of Lube-A-Boom®, a line of lubricants that reduces friction and provides excellent corrosion and rust protection, which helps to give machine parts a longer life. Well-known in the lift industry for specialty lubricants used on cranes, forklifts, aerial lifts, telehandlers, telescoping booms, excavators, pins, bushings, bearings, wreckers and tow trucks, Lube-A-Boom products can also assist homeowners with residential winterizing – such as Lube-A-Boom® Clear.

Lube-A-Boom® Clear Heavy-Duty Silicone Lubricant is a multi-purpose aerosol spray that is safe to use on almost any kind of surface or component, helping them to slide, roll or rotate more easily and prevent squeaking. Once applied, it lubricates and penetrates, which extends the life of components and machinery. The lubricant leaves a clear, anti-corrosive film, which is impervious to water and prevents rust. Additional benefits include:

  • Multi-purpose
  • Safe on most surfaces
  • Reduces friction
  • Provides a clear film
  • Improves water resistance

Homeowners can use Lube-A-Boom Clear much like other silicone products, penetrating oil or water-displacing spray to let windows, doors and other house features move more smoothly or close tightly. It’s also great to use if you also want a clear, water-resistant layer left on the surface rather than a black, greasy residue.

Made in the USA. Founded in 2002 by Harley and Marilyn Wilson, the Lube-A-Boom company continues to be family-owned, manufacturing its products in the United States. The product line itself was conceived after Harley Wilson determined the industry simply needed a product that “was slicker, stayed on and lasted longer,” as well as produced according to his chemical specifications. After months of formulation, field and laboratory testing, Lube-A-Boom friction reducing lubricant had its first production run in July, 2003.

Now a staple in a number of equipment manufacturing operations as well as the U.S. Marine Corps, Lube-A-Boom performs beautifully in many different environments, including extreme heat in places like Iraq to extreme cold, in places like Iceland, and works exceptionally well in coastal regions all over the world because it has excellent water and salt water resistance.

Expert Advice:

Our expert staff is always on hand to help you with all your wintering projects. We are an authorized dealer for Lube-A-Boom products. If you have any questions about what to choose, pricing or how-tos, don’t hesitate to contact us. Stop by our store — we’re open seven days a week.

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How To Sand & Finish Your Wood Floor in 3 Simple Steps

How To Sand  Finish Your Hardwood Floors

When it comes to refurbishing your hardwood floors so they look new again, a sander is your best friend. Actually, you’ve got a few new friends in the sander isle at your local rental store, because to sand a wood floor to perfection before finishing, you’ll likely need to use more than one kind of sander. Depending upon the condition of the floor, you’ll use a variety of sanding techniques, too.

For instance, if the floor is flat or new, plan to sand it up and down, following the grain of the floor boards. However, if the floor is uneven, painted or varnished, plan to sand it across the grain at a 45-degree angle to remove unwanted finish and avoid damaging the wood.

Step 1. Prepare for the Messy Job

Sanding involves dust, noise and mess – and it’s best to be prepared for it. A few precautionary measures you should take before beginning any sanding:

  • Wear a respiratory mask, ear protectors and other protective clothing
  • Prevent dust from spreading to other areas of the house by covering doors, windows and even air grills for duct work
  • Work in a well-ventilated area, opening windows if necessary
  • Prep the room and the floor by removing all furniture, draperies, base shoe molding, any protruding splinters or screw heads, nailing down any loose floorboards and sweeping the surface clean of debris

Step 2. Choose the Right Sander/s for Your Floor

Types & Function of Sanders
All sanders use sandpaper specially made for each type. It’s best to change the sandpaper as soon as it’s spent. It’s also critical to progress through sandpaper grits, from coarse and up, to remove finishes, flatten the wood and polish off any scratches. In addition, sweep or vacuum the floor clean between grit changes. Here’s a rundown of the types of sanders and their function:

Drum Sander – uses a rotating drum wrapped in sandpaper, which can be replaced by unscrewing the retaining strip, feeding a fresh sheet of sandpaper around the drum, then re-securing it. Drum sanders do the heavy-duty work of removing old paint and varnish with a continual application of sanding grit, producing a smooth finish. Start be sanding diagonally in one direction across the floor, changing direction for the next set of diagonal runs followed by a final run in the direction of the wood grain.

Orbital or Rotary Sander – uses a rotating sanding disk that produces the same smooth finish regardless of the direction of the wood grain or sanding runs, leaving no swirl marks. Best used for the first sanding of the floor rather than between coats of finish or paint.

Edging Sander – uses a disk of sandpaper to sand areas of floor that are close to the walls or baseboards. Usually hand-held, this specialty equipment is mounted on a big motor and includes a bag for collecting dust.

Corner Sander – uses a vibrating sandpaper head in a triangular shape that fits nicely in corners and other small spaces like under a radiator.

Buffer – uses a rotating sandpaper disk to screen, which blends the edge-sanded perimeter with the drum or orbital-sanded area, polishing out sanding scratches. Buffers also give a sanded floor a final buff or polish before finishing.

Step 3. Apply the Finishing Touches

Once the floor is sanded, screened and buffed to the desired smoothness, sweep and vacuum to remove any remaining dust or debris. Touch up any rough places with hand sanding. Wipe with a damp sponge and let dry.

Choose your finish and apply. Two coats of water-based varnish can be applied in as little as one day, with light hand-sanding between coats.

If your wood floors are scratched on the surface, you can clean and remove the scratches without having to sand down to bare wood. Find out how by reading our blog, Spruce up Your Wood Floors in Time for Winter Entertaining.

Expert Advice

Our expert staff is always on hand to help you with your sanding projects. From drum sanders to rotary sanders and everything in-between, if you have any questions about what to choose, pricing or how-tos, don’t hesitate to contact us. Stop by our store — we’re open seven days a week.

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How & When to Properly Use a Lawn Vacuum

How-To Use A Lawn VacuumSavvy do-it-yourselfers are quickly catching on to the power of lawn vacuums for yard cleanup. Readily rentable and easy-to-use, lawn vacs are similar to vacuums for indoor use. They feature larger collection bags and more rugged construction that can handle mounds of leaves and sometimes even small yard debris. Typically they are designed to run quieter than leaf blowers, too.

How a Lawn Vacuum Works

Constructed like indoor vacuums, lawn vacs use high speed fans to create suction when air rushes up into an intake hose, taking leaves with it, depositing them in a waste compartment or collection bag designed to handle a large volume of waste that detaches for disposal.

How to Use a Lawn Vacuum

Common types of lawn vacs include push-mower varieties, handheld versions, backpacks, large riders, trailer attachments and small tractors. Decide what type of lawn vac you need based on the type of job:

  • Cleaning leaves between flower beds or hard-to-reach areas requires the flexibility of a backpack or handheld model – or first use a leaf blower to move debris out into an open area
  • Cleaning leaves from an entire open backyard requires something with wheels

Just like an indoor vacuum, all you need to do is push or ride it around the yard just like you would do when vacuuming a carpet. The suction does most of the work, until it’s time to empty the collection bag.

  • Wear appropriate industrial ear plugs to protect against any noise pollution
  • Make sure the vacuum path is clear of big debris, such as branches and rocks
  • Position the intake hose as close to the ground as possible for the greatest suction
  • Maneuver the machine around the yard slowly with straight or circular passes
  • Raise the intake hose when moving over bumpy terrain so it doesn’t bump against the ground
  • Emptying most collection bags is a two-person job, because they are likely too heavy for one person to lift and dump out; bags come with a door to scoop out debris manually
  • Avoid using a lawn vac in the rain or to pick up soaked leaves, which is more difficult
  • Use the appropriate nozzle or attachment, which are usually included with the machine to help to move into any tight spaces

Keep a Rake Handy

Even though lawn vacs make quick work of collecting and disposing of leaves, they do not help with lawn aeration. This is one of the reasons why you should keep a rake close-by. A rake can break up lawn thatch, which builds up and makes it difficult for your lawn to breathe and stay healthy. Rakes can also help remove leaves and debris from tight places, moving into open areas and ready for the lawn vac to suck up!

Expert Advice

Our expert staff is always on hand to help you with your lawn and garden projects. We offer a variety of lawn vacs made by Billy Goat, such as the new MV650H 27″ Lawn Vacuum, which is designed for a thorough clean-up; the Self-Propelled Vacuum, powered by a 6.5-HP Honda engine with a three-speed transmission; and a Leaf Vacuum Trailer, which moves more debris than most other truck loaders. From wheelbarrows to rakes and everything in-between, if you have any questions about what to choose, pricing or how-tos, don’t hesitate to contact us. Stop by our store — we’re open seven days a week.

*photos courtesy of Billy Goat Industries, Inc.

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Safely Operate Scissor & Boom Lifts in 5 Simple Steps

How-To Safely Operate A LiftNeed to climb to high heights and get a chore done on your property, or perhaps shoot a movie (it’s been known to happen)? Well, there’s a lift for that! Lifts are specialized machines that help you safely access work areas that are located high above ground level, and are hard to reach with a ladder. In the case of a movie shoot, a lift can put you and the camera up high for panoramic views of a set or outdoor vista.

A scissor lift uses a single crisscrossed metal arm mechanism that moves straight up by electricity or hydraulics, delivering a smooth ride to the elevated work area. A boom lift has articulated joints and extendable metal arms usually fixed to a 360-degree rotation turntable that swings them full circle for quick and flexible positioning, above obstacles or other areas that are not safe for a standard scissor lift.

Whether you rent a scissor lift or a boom lift, it’s important to follow standard safety procedures when operating either one.

Step 1. Inspect the equipment before operation. Check the platform floor, guardrails, toe boards, tires, wheels, basket, hydraulic hoses and fittings for fluid leaks. Test the ground controls, manual lowering controls, platform controls and emergency stops, making sure that every function of the lift works correctly, including steering and drive functions.

Step 2. Check the work site at ground level for uneven surfaces, drop-offs or holes, bumps, floor obstructions or debris and overhead hazards, making sure the lift is not parked on a slope that exceeds operator manual specifications. Make sure you’re not going to exceed the maximum lift capacity of the machine.

Step 3. Wear appropriate personal protective equipment, such as a safety harness and any protective equipment specific to the lift you’re using, such as a fall arrest lanyard with a boom lift. Load your equipment into the basket.

Step 4. Turn on the engine and run through all of the lift operations, including raising, lowering, extending, retracting and/or basket tilting. Move the lift forward and reverse, then move it into place. Make sure it is stable. Set any safety outriggers, if equipped.

Step 5. Lift the work basket or adjust the height and angle of each boom arm to reach your work area. After work is completed, take care to shut down the lift, leaving all arms in locked positions.

Expert Advice

JLG and Genie Scissor Lifts and Boom Lifts are available for rental. Most are appropriate for both indoor and outdoor applications and are reliable and energy-efficient, offering the maximum job productivity. Some run quieter and cleaner, while others fit through most standard doorways and tight aisles, perfect for areas with limited access and maneuvering in tight workspaces. If you have any questions about what to choose, pricing or how-tos, don’t hesitate to contact us. Our expert staff is always on hand to help you with surface preparation projects. Stop by our store — we’re open seven days a week.

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How to Use a Concrete Planer (Scarifier) Effectively

How-To Use A Concrete ScarifierAs a seasoned do-it-yourselfer, you’ll come across projects that require specialized equipment to get the job done right. Say you’re re-flooring a barn, workshop or warehouse building on your property, or you want to re-surface your long concrete driveway – these kinds of projects need tools that can accomplish surface preparation such as removing epoxies, elastomerics and masterplate for planing concrete and asphalt with ease. These are times when a concrete planer comes in handy.

What is a Concrete Planer?

A concrete planer is sometimes called a surface planer, milling machine or scarifier. Planers use multi-tipped cutter assemblies that rotate really fast, creating a pummeling action that chips away at a concrete surface and removes old coatings. The cutting wheels or flails are interchangeable, depending on how smooth a surface profile you need to achieve for any job.

The EDCO™ CPU12-38K Gasoline Self-Propelled Concrete Scarifier

This 800-lb concrete planer moves by itself, which cuts down on the work you’ll do to operate it, but makes cutting through and removing old concrete or asphalt quite efficient. The hydrostatic drive transmission moves the machine forward and backward while you control the speed, milling a 12-inch wide surface area with each pass to complete as much as 1,500 square feet in one hour. In addition, the hydraulic-powered drum lowers and raises itself with the touch of a lever, to a depth of up to ¼-inch into the surface.

The Edco CPU12-38K also has a cam-operated fifth wheel that allows you to reposition or change direction while the engine is still running. If you use the Standard Outrigger Axle Assembly, you can follow the contours of uneven surfaces more closely, which provides uniform surfaces removal.

Expert Advice

This 12” Gas Concrete Planer is available for rental. If you have any questions about what to choose, pricing or how-tos, don’t hesitate to contact us. Our expert staff is always on hand to help you with surface preparation projects. Stop by our store — we’re open seven days a week.

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Part 2. Essential Fall Tools for Your Lawn & Garden

In continuing our discussion of essential tools for the month of October – those pieces of yard equipment that help accomplish everything on your outdoor to-do list – we’re introducing five more. Whereas the previous five revolved around trees and their maintenance, the following five items have to do with your lawn and garden specifically. Continue reading for the second set of essential yard tools and why they’re important for your fall maintenance schedule.

5 Essential Tools for Your Lawn & Garden

1. Aerator

Aerating removes a patch of grass and soil from the lawn, called a plug. This method can achieve fantastic results with regard to soil compaction. In addition, aerating has several major benefits:

  • Aerating perforates the soil with small holes, helping to alleviate soil compaction
  • Aerating helps air and water to penetrate lawn thatch or built-up organic debris so it doesn’t starve the roots
  • Aerating breaks up soil layering, allowing water to reach the roots
  • Aerating allows vital nutrients to reach the soil beneath the grass
  • Aerating helps the roots grow deeply, producing a stronger, more vigorous lawn

2. Lawn Vac

This gas-powered device is used to help clean up leaves, as a practical alternative to painstakingly raking your leaves. Thus, it’s a huge time saver. Lawn vacuuming also helps with lawn maintenance. A high capacity leaf vacuum can do almost all the work in one pass, with additional benefits including:

  1. Ease of use: the tough, manual yard work is a lot easier on the body.
  2. Removes leaves from corners and tight spaces: eliminating the inconvenience of manually raking, gathering more leaves in less time.
  3. Creates ready-to-use mulch: leaf vacuums also have the ability to shred and bag fallen leaves, ultimately saving money.
  4. Gathers other debris in addition to leaves: rid your yard of litter, too.
  5. Relatively quiet: the noise won’t wake the neighbors.

3. Tiller

High performance tillers are perfect for breaking new ground and cultivating soft soil.  That said, tillers are particularly ideal for raising garden beds, tilling in tight spaces, tilling close to existing plants, not to mention they’re easily transported and stored. However, keep in mind that your tiller will perform best if you adjust it to match the soil conditions. To optimize your tilling, we recommend following Honda Power Equipment’s acronym ESTER:

  • Evaluate your soil conditions.  Is the ground hard, or are you working in loose soil?
  • Set the tiller according to the conditions.  Depending on your model of tiller, you can adjust the depth bar, the tine configuration, throttle, or gear selection.
  • Till the area briefly.
  • Evaluate the tiller’s performance.
  • Reset the depth bar or other controls as necessary, and continue tilling.

4. Slice Seeder

Slice seeders cut vertically through existing grass and thatch, into the soil, dropping seed in the rows cut behind. Slice seeding makes direct contact with the soil for the seed to germinate quickly. The technique literally slices into the soil, creating rows for the seed to fall into, all in one motion.

Especially if your lawn turf was planted years ago, re-planting with today’s improved grass varieties can help your mature lawn resist disease and insect damage, making it stronger and more adaptable to the changing conditions of your yard due to landscaping, sun and shade.

One of the best ways to make dramatic improvements to your lawn in short order is by slice or slit seeding. Conventional and over-seeding are great for helping to thicken an existing lawn. Use slice seeding to make direct contact with the soil for the seed to germinate quickly. The technique literally slices into the soil, creating rows for the seed to fall into, all in one motion.

5. Over-Seeder

An over-seeder’s design allows seed to be delivered directly to its curved-shaped discs. This helps place the seed directly into soil slits, allowing ultimate seed to soil contact and consequently, better germination. You can seed at a variety of rates for different grass varieties and applications. You control the seed flow rate right from the operator’s station. The flow stops automatically when you raise the reel, allowing for maximum control and precise operation.

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Part 1. Essential Yard Tools for Your Fall Maintenance Checklist

Fall is not surprisingly one of the biggest times of year to clean up your yard, which includes maintenance of trees and branches. With winter just around the corner, for those lucky enough to have a wood-burning fireplace, that means dead limbs make the perfect source of fuel, not to mention being ideal for fall mulching. That said, it seems to us that five fall maintenance tools tend to be most popular, and thus incredibly helpful. Read on to find out which and why.

5 Essential Fall Tools

1. Wood Chipper: Besides making mulch, wood chips can be used for several other purposes. A brilliant use of wood chips would be as fuel. It is a good source of biomass fuel, making it environment friendly, as well as energy efficient. If you are using it in your homes, you could use the chips in place of firewood. They can be lit up in much the same way and you can add bigger quantities of the chips to ensure your fire burns for a longer time.

Another interesting use of wood chips is for decoration. A large number of interior designers are now incorporating them into their designs to create wood chip paintings, murals and even furniture, which can be done by mixing other organic substances with it.

2. Stump Cutter: Now is also an ideal time to consider which rotten old trees to cut down, and with that, any old stumps from trees you’ve already cut. Stump cutters provide an easy and efficient method for shaving down old tree stumps – essentially grinding them down to dust. Getting rid of old tree stumps makes a huge difference on your lawn’s appearance and the overall health.

3. Log Splitter: Speaking of chopping down old, rotting, unwanted trees, once you yell timber, you’re left with some large tree trunks to clean up. And what better way of eliminating that mess, but to split them into firewood? Then you can start your winter stockpile. Log splitters may seem fairly hefty, but they are strong and reliable, so if you rented one you could finish all your log splitting in a day.

4. Post Hole Digger: In addition to chopping down trees, fall is also the perfect time to consider planting new trees, such as oaks and evergreens. However, you’ll want to get started on this sooner rather than later, meaning you’ll need a post hole digger to make room for your tree’s roots to grow down deep. Read this post to learn how to plant new trees.

A post hole digger is also the ideal tool for replacing old, rotten fence posts or deck/porch posts that need reinforced. You can rent a heavy-duty auger for either of these tasks, a post hole digger that attaches to a dingo or a simple handheld post hole digger.

5. Tree Pruner: Lastly, tree pruning is a popular to-do for this time of year. With all this arbor talk, it goes without saying that trees still alive and kicking probably need a good trim to prepare their healthy branches for the harsh winter weather fast approaching. For a few pruning tips, check out this post: How to Hedge and Trim Your Garden Greens.

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2 Fall Lawn Maintenance Tasks: Aerating/Plugging and Slice Seeding

Aerate & Slice Seed Your LawnYou have a beautiful, healthy lawn and you work hard to keep it that way — mowing, watering and fertilizing as part of a regular maintenance schedule. But lately, you notice that your lawn looks a little lack-luster. It was established back when your home was new, and it’s been a good number of years since then. Perhaps the homebuilder used sod, and now the soil is layered, which disrupts natural water drainage and leads to poor root development. Plus, your kids and pets are running around on it all the time, compacting the soil underneath the grass roots, and now it dries out quickly or feels sort of spongy. This indicates your lawn may have too much thatch that’s inhibiting the proper health of your beautiful lawn.

For all these reasons, aerating your lawn can help keep it beautiful. The best time for aeration is during the growing season in early fall, so grass can heal or fill in any open areas before it goes dormant in winter.

Aeration Accomplishes Several Important Things

  • Aerating perforates the soil with small holes, helping to alleviate soil compaction
  • Aerating helps air and water to penetrate lawn thatch or built-up organic debris so it doesn’t starve the roots
  • Aerating breaks up soil layering, allowing water to reach the roots
  • Aerating allows vital nutrients to reach the soil beneath the grass
  • Aerating helps the roots grow deeply, producing a stronger, more vigorous lawn

If you aerate your lawn and fertilize it at the same time, it can help the lawn breathe more easily. To learn more about this combination, read our blog post, Mark an Item Off Your Fall Checklist – Aerating and Fertilizing.

Types of Aerating Tools

Spike Aerator: pokes holes through the grass, thatch and roots and into the ground with a solid tine, or fork. This method is the least effective for soil compaction.

Aerator/Plugger: removes a patch of grass and soil from the lawn, called a plug. This method can achieve fantastic results with regard to soil compaction.

Slice Seeder: cuts vertically through existing grass and thatch, into the soil, dropping seed in the rows cut behind. Slice seeding makes direct contact with the soil for the seed to germinate quickly. The technique literally slices into the soil, creating rows for the seed to fall into, all in one motion. To learn more, read our blog post, Improve Your Existing Turf with Slice Seeding.

Tips for Aerating Your Yard

  • Aerate when the soil is moist, such as after a rain shower or a deep watering of the lawn
  • Run the aerator over the most compacted areas of your lawn several times, to make sure the compacted soil is completely treated
  • Dry excavated soil plugs and break them up, giving your lawn a uniform appearance
  • Research shows that aeration will not affect crabgrass control or weed prevention measures
  • After aerating, make sure to continue basic lawn care practices such as mowing, watering and proper fertilizing

Expert Advice

Our expert staff is always on hand to help you make aeration part of your yearly lawn care regime. From aerator/pluggers to slice seeders to fertilizer, if you have any questions about what to choose, pricing or how-tos, don’t hesitate to contact us. Stop by our store — we’re open seven days a week. Plus, your beautiful lawn will thank you for helping it breathe again!

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12 of Our Favorite Woodworking Tips and Tricks

12 woodworking tips & tricksWhen it comes to woodworking, there’s no greater relationship than that of a carpenter and his (or her) saw. After all, a woodworker relies most on cutting machines to create works of art out of wood — even if it’s just a window frame. Woodworkers are always ready to try new ways of working faster and smarter in the shop. Great advice, tips and tricks on sawing are readily available, too. Below are 12 important ones to keep in mind during your next wood project.

  1. To crosscut safely, clamp a one-inch block of wood to the fence of your table saw before the blade, then make the cut length by setting the fence scale one-inch greater than the desired length. This way, the end of the board is free of the fence during and after the cut — and you can avoid getting a board kicked back directly at you.
  1. Stair gauges are an inexpensive way to make your own crosscut guide for circular saws. Usually used to lay out stair jacks, stair gauges are available at hardware stores or home centers and can be clamped on the same tongue of a carpenter’s square and used as notch markers. Make sure to clamp the square in place so it won’t slide around while you’re cutting.
  1. Use a drafting square for measuring accurate 2- to 3-foot squares. Drywall squares can be inaccurate and carpenter squares can be especially cumbersome because they have to be hooked onto the edge of the work piece. Drafting squares are accurate, as well as, inexpensive and can be as useful as a tape measure in the shop.
  1. If you’re always trying to find a level workspace, put your saw on a mobile base so it’s easy to move around the shop. Then find a convenient place for sawing where the floor is level and free of obstruction. Mark wheel positions on the floor with duct tape in a bright color. Now you can roll the saw to the same flat spot every time you saw. 
  1. To avoid staining wood with oozing glue along joints, clamp the pieces together using tape instead of glue. Lay the tape down on the joint, then cut the tape along the joint with a sharp blade. Separate the tape pieces, apply the glue and clamp them together again, so the glue oozes onto the tape, not the wood. Peel off the tape before the glue dries.
  1. When you have to cut, shape, file, sand or finish something small, reach for your hot glue gun and glue the piece to a pedestal stick instead of fumbling with a clamp. When you’re finished, gently pop the piece loose with a putty knife. If this doesn’t work, try sticking the work piece into the freezer for an hour or so, freezing the glue, which will usually give way with little force. A third option is to try a hair dryer or heat gun to warm the piece slowly and soften the glue for removal without scorching the wood or damaging the finish.
  1. Install saw blades so the teeth face forward, because hacksaws are designed to cut with a forward stroke. When you do a lot of cutting, the blade will heat up and expand, so check and make sure the blade is tight in the saw, tightening when needed so it won’t bend.
  1. To use your shop space economically, raise the base for your saw about 3-1/8 inches higher than the bench top, so you can slip a short length of a 4×4 under each end of your work piece for support. This way, you won’t have to devote space to a long support table and you won’t have to clear the entire bench to make a cut.
  1. Whenever you raise and lower your saw blade, save wear and tear on your saw table by taping a wooden stop-block to the column of your radial-arm saw about 1/8-inch below the surface of the table. The block prevents the blade from digging deep into the table.
  1. Build a hold-down for your radial-arm saw like those available for table saws and router tables by attaching two screw eyes to the saw’s fence about 8 inches to the right and left of the blade. Make the hold-down out of 3/4 x 3-inch stock at a length that’s equal the width from the fence to the front edge of the saw table. Fasten on a handle. Position a roundhead screw in the end of the hold-down so it sits flush with the thickness of the wood you’re cutting. Make sure the fence is securely anchored so it doesn’t pull up when you push down on the hold-down.
  1. Make your own reusable sanding blocks from scrap 3/4-inch plywood. Cut 2-1/2 x 4-3/4-inch blocks for each sandpaper grit you commonly use, spraying adhesive on both a square of cork tile and each block. Stick a block to the cork and cut the cork flush with a utility knife. Spray the adhesive on a sheet of sandpaper and stick it on each block cork side down, cutting the sandpaper flush with the cork. Label each block. 
  1. Stack your table saw or circular saw blades for storage or transport using plastic coffee can lids as spacers instead of cutting them out of hardboard or plywood. Spacers help prevent the carbide teeth from chipping each other. The lids of three-pound cans work great; simply bore a hole the size of your saw’s arbor in the center and place them between your blades.

Expert Advice

Our expert staff is always on hand to help you plan your next woodworking project. From wood saws to clamps and blades, if you have any questions about what to choose, pricing or how-tos, don’t hesitate to contact us. Stop by our store — we’re open seven days a week.

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How to Pressure Wash Your Home Exterior Prior to Painting

Pressure Wash Your Home's ExteriorProperly preparing the outside of your house for paint is extremely important. All exposed painted surfaces develop a layer of electrolysis dirt film, and most cleaners cannot penetrate this film. This is where degreasers come in handy for removing film when used with a pressure washer. Shipp Cleaning Systems carries a product called CREST, which has surfactants that penetrate static films and all dirt without harming the surface. If the electrolysis film is not removed before painting your house, the paint will not bond to the surface, causing premature chipping. CREST cleans away all grime, dirt, and films.

Pressure Washing: as easy as 1, 2, 3

1. Most portable pressure washers have a chemical injector hose that goes directly into the CREST container. With the chemical tip on the wand, this will spray out at either a 1-10 ratio or 1-15 ratio depending on the machine. This dilution is good for medium-to-heavy dirt on a home. If the dirt is light, the CREST may be pre diluted by half in a bucket.

2. With the chemical tip on the wand and the injector hose in the CREST solution, you are ready to apply the cleaner on the surface from the bottom up. Apply from the bottom up to avoid clean streaks. Also apply to the dry surface, do not pre-wet with just water, letting the chemical be the first thing that touches the dry surface will do a much better job of cleaning. To avoid wasting cleaner, move quickly and evenly, applying a film of CREST over a section of about 30 running feet at a time. DO NOT LET THE SOLUTION DRY ON THE SURFACE! Change tips to a 15-degree, 20-degree, or 25-degree tip. Now pressure wash from the bottom up. This is the cleaning step. By cleaning from the bottom up the pressure washer water is the first thing to hit the chemical as it sits on the surface. If you clean from the top then down the water that cascades down will wash off the chemical cleaner before it is hit with pressure. Hold the tip of the wand approximately 18″ from the surface. This is the action that cuts and cleans. Take your time and spray evenly.

3. Finally, rinse the area from the top down. Make sure CREST is completely and thoroughly rinsed off ALL surfaces including windows and shrubbery. It will take approximately 1 gallon of CREST, at full strength, to clean a single story, 1500 sq. ft., house.

Helpful Hints:

  • Spraying: The chemical spray tip will spray cleaner out as a mist, not at pressure. After applying cleaner, the 50-foot hose will contain cleaner. By putting the 15-degree tip on the wand, you will get chemical at full pressure for about 8 to 10 seconds. Use this time to apply cleaner to eaves and hard-to-reach areas.
  • Protect your plants: Always spray down shrubs and plants with water before cleaning. This layer of water helps prevent “brown tipping” of leaves of plants by incidental cleaner contact. CREST is biodegradable.
  • Sprayer Tips: The tip of the wand should be held at 18” from the surface. The 15-degree tip has a smaller fan pattern that cuts hard-to-clean surfaces.
  • Spray Patterns: Always apply from bottom up to get a good, even cleaning. It will eliminate streaking and blotching the surface. Clean from the bottom up. Otherwise, cleaning from top down will dilute cutting ability as runoff water rinses cleaner away. Rinse from top down to insure all cleaner is removed.

About the Author:

Chuck Shipp is the president and founder of Shipp Chemical Co., Inc. His company has been in business for 35 years, and he has 40 years total experience with industrial and janitorial cleaning. Chuck writes and lectures on cleaning in the hardware and equipment rental industries.

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Gather These 5 Essential Tools to Make Your DIY Dreams a Reality

DIY Window Seat CoverWinter snowstorms giving you cabin fever? Don’t despair! They say winter is the season for imagination, and we’re inclined to agree. Continuing with our DIY theme this week, use your time stuck indoors as an opportunity to get creative and start a few of those DIY project ideas you’ve been pinning. Since we’re your go-to tool rental shop for do-it-yourself home decorating projects, we’re here to help you get to work, and we have five essential tools to help you make that happen.

For instance, if you want to add a little color and pizzazz to your living room, why not recover a window seat cushion? You can make quick work of it by using an air stapler. Air staplers are built for efficient stapling. A lightweight, compact model with comfortable handgrips makes it easy for you to move along a surface quickly, and stapling in a tight area is no chore at all. An easy-load air stapler typically holds more staples than a regular stapler and many are equipped to clear jams without a tool. Easy peasy! Plus, you can use the air stapler on other DIY pinning projects, like making a personalized headboard for your bedroom.

If brawny power tools are your thing, we can supply every tool you need to build a set of stylish corner shelves for any room in your home. Let’s take a look at the tool list:

  • Circular Saw: A circular saw is ideal for cutting lumber and plywood beautifully. Durable and strong, it has special guards that allow the saw to glide over a work area with ease, letting the blade do its work. Whether cordless or equipped with a cord management system, many electric models have a powerful blower to clear the dust from the cut line, allowing an unobstructed view of what you’re doing. Many also have a brake to stop the blade in seconds. You just need to decide how large a blade you need.
  • Miter Saw: Miter saws can be hand-held or electric and are best for cutting joints on all kinds of moldings and wood pieces that need to fit together tightly. In fact, a power miter saw can easily fine-tune a joint by trimming off a hair’s width. It’s important to do your measuring beforehand, mark your board with the saw, make your cut, test the fit, adjust the blade angle and cut again, if necessary.
  • Power Drill: Power drills are built to drill holes fast through many types of surfaces. Most drills run at variable speeds and are equipped with a reversing switch for greater control. Depending upon the drill bit used, you can also install screw anchors and screw in screws.
  • Air Nailer: No hitting your thumb with a hammer here! An air nailer makes quick work of pressing nails into your work surface and keeps on nailing until you’re ready to stop. A brad nailer and a finish/trim nailer are good for smaller projects like attaching molding or cabinet backing. They use air compressors to do the job, whereas a portable finish or framing nailer use an internal combustion engine, a gas cartridge and a battery.

When using power tools such as the ones mentioned above, make sure to follow manufacturer’s instructions and take safety precautions, such as wearing safety glasses and ear protection, and keeping fingers the proper distance away from saw blades, drill bits staplers and nailers.

Expert Advice

Our expert staff is always on hand to help you plan your next DIY project. If you have any questions about what to choose, pricing or how-tos, don’t hesitate to contact us. Stop by our store – we’re open seven days a week. We’d love to help you make your pinning ideas come to life… and help your cabin fever go away!

About the Author

Heidi Hudnall is the current Marketing Coordinator at Runyon Companies. A graduate of Butler University with a double major in International Business and Marketing, Heidi writes articles that outline seasonal projects and answer frequently asked questions, making your DIY lifestyle more fun and easier than ever before.

Categories: Choosing Equipment, DIY Projects, Featured Products, How-To's | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Keep Your Outdoor Pathways Safe and Slip-Free with Ice Melt

Salt SpreadingWith freezing temperatures, inevitably your sidewalks, porch and outdoor steps are bound to be slippery and icy. However, a simple and inexpensive solution for ensuring your outdoor walkways are safe comes in an easy-to-carry bag. Ice melt is an obvious choice for preventing slips and falls during this rough winter season. Read on to learn more about its advantages and how to best use it.

Our list of essentials will help every homeowner survive the season with success:

  1. Portable Power Generator
  2. Snow Blower
  3. Outdoor & Indoor Heaters
  4. Ice Melt

In this post, we’ll explore the benefits of using ice melt.

Ouch! Winter weather hazards such as icy, snowy steps, sidewalks and driveways can make it almost impossible to walk around outside without slips and falls. That’s where ice melt can help. Deicers attract offending moisture, forming a briny substance that melts faster than the surrounding ice and snow, thereby clearing potentially dangerous walking conditions with ease.

Traditional ice melts are made from rock salt, and start to melt ice at about 5°F. Many of the new-fangled ice melts actually blend rock salt with other chemicals, lowering melt temps to the max, and work even better than traditional rock salt in extreme conditions.

Tips for Using Ice Melt

CENTRAL SALT MEGAMELT ProSlicer1. Choose Effectively: Save time and money while reducing environmental impact by choosing the right ice melt for the job. Ice melts are made from a blend of materials such as calcium chloride, sodium chloride, potassium chloride, magnesium chloride and urea. Each works best in different temperatures. When temps drop below 5°F, ice melts that contain calcium chloride are best for clearing thick ice and snow quickly. In winter conditions above 5°F, choose a melt that contains an ingredient like urea or potassium, which get the job done effectively. Not to mention, they are safer for people, plants and pets. If you’re worried about the effects ice melt could have on your pets, choose one that is free of chlorides.

2. Apply Early: Before snow and ice accumulates, prevent them from bonding with the pavement, by making it easier to remove. Use ice melt for a major weather event, but also for light snowfalls, which can cause slippery conditions especially if the moisture re-freezes later in the day.

3. Use Wisely: Use ice melts only on properly formulated, cured, air-entrained concrete that is at least one year old. Brick and other materials are porous and should not be treated with ice melt. Less is usually more when it comes to applying ice melt, because using too much can burn the grass under the snow, or get tracked into the house, potentially damaging rugs and floors.  Follow manufacturer recommendations on quantities and application.

Once you know which ice melt to buy and how to use it, you’ll be all set for whatever this chilly winter has in store. For more information about the various types available, pricing, or any other questions, as always feel free to contact us or write a comment in the section below. Stay safe out there!

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.

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Stay Warm this Winter with Heaters Just Right for Your Home

Space HeaterWith the bone chilling temperatures this year, it isn’t a bad idea to think about investing in one, or even a few, portable heaters for indoor and outdoor use. If the power goes out, or with the wind chill well below freezing, an energy-saving and cost-effective way to ensure heat for you and your family is with portable heaters. Read on for more benefits of portable heaters and other essentials this winter season.

Here’s our short list of essentials every homeowner can use to survive the winter season with success:

  1. Portable Power Generator
  2. Snow Blower
  3. Outdoor and Indoor Heaters
  4. Ice Melt

In this post, we’ll explore the benefits of using portable heaters.

Maybe this is the year you’ll host that fabulous tailgate you’ve always wanted on Super Bowl Sunday – outside, right in the driveway! Or perhaps you really want to fix that old sports car you’ve got in the garage, only you think it’s too cold to work out there in winter. Either way, portable space heaters can keep you warm and comfortable, inside and out.

Inside, portable heaters can warm an un-heated room, one that’s not used often or a place where the main heating system needs extra help. In addition, you may save money on your energy bills with zone heating, an alternative to central heating. Instead of heating your whole house, heat only the rooms you spend time in. Space heaters are perfect for this type of heating because they’re portable, they’re generally efficient to run, they’re eco-friendly and they can keep you comfortable.

Patio HeaterOutside, there’s no reason to freeze your fingers and toes on a cold winter day. Portable heaters can be placed on a patio, a deck or a driveway to heat just that small area you’re using, like zone heating in a house. It’s a great way to get the party started!

Outdoor and indoor heaters run on electricity, propane, natural gas or kerosene, and work by circulating the air in a room (convection) or by using radiant heat, which warms things directly in its path. Newer models have all of the current safety features, including the Underwriter’s Laboratory (UL) label. Choosing a heater with a thermostat allows you to control the heat and avoid wasting energy. Some heaters come with a tip-over safety switch, which automatically shuts off the heater if the unit is tipped over.

First, determine the size of the space that needs to be heated and whether or not you want to warm a personal space or the entire area:

  • Radiant heaters are good choice to heat a room or space for a few hours, and you stay within sight of the heater.
  • Convection heaters that use a heat transfer liquid are ideal for warming a personal space or small room, under desks in the office or in a bedroom. They use no fan, so they’re relatively silent. They’re also easy to maintain because the liquid inside never needs to be replaced.
  • Ceramic heaters use fan-forced air, are compact and good for heating spaces up to 150 square feet, like living rooms or bedrooms.
  • Infrared heaters produce heat quickly, are also quiet and very efficient for warming personal spaces.

Then, once you’ve decided which heater/s you need for your home, you know just where to find them. We carry a wide variety with many of these specifications, find them here. Also, if you have any questions about what to choose, pricing, etc., don’t hesitate to contact us.

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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Be Sure You Have a Snow Blower this Winter – a True Must-Have Item

It’s been a strange winter thus far, with warm weather and exceedingly cold weather. Have you adjusted well to the changes, especially the snow? Besides considering a portable generator, a snow blower is another essential piece of winter equipment to have handy. So find out everything you need to know about the second item on your winter must-have list:

  1. Portable Generator
  2. Snow Blower
  3. Outdoor and Indoor Heaters
  4. Ice Melt

In this post, we’ll explore the benefits of the Snow Blower.

One of several DIY solutions for efficient snow removal, the snow blower, could be one of the most loved power tools in your garage! Why? If shoveling is physically impossible or you’re not going to hire someone else to shovel, using a snow blower can save you a lot of time and sweat equity.Use a snow blower

Choose the right snow blower for the job. First, you’ve got to identify your “snow removal profile” – how much snow you need to clear from how large an area. Then, take into consideration what the terrain is like and what kind of snow is falling, most of the time. Will you be pushing the snow blower up a slope, or running it right down the driveway in a straight, level line? Is the snow wet, icy, powder or in-between? All of these factors come into play while you’re pondering in the snow blower isle at the store.

Snow blowers come in three types: single-stage electric,  single-stage gas and two-stage gas. More than one of these types may be able to handle your typical snow-clearing job.

Single-Stage Snow Blowers

  • Lighter
  • Easier to handle
  • Best in light snowfalls of eight inches or less
  • Great for clearing small to medium-sized areas
  • Best for paved surfaces

Electric single-stage models tend to be lighter and more compact that gas units. They start with the push of a button and require an outdoor extension cord to operate. Larger gas-powered single-stage snow blowers on the other hand, are not tethered to a power cord, and typically can clear wider, higher areas.

Two-Stage Snow Blowers

  • A larger engine and intake area clears more snow faster
  • Best in medium to heavy snowfalls in excess of eight inches
  • Great for driveways over 60 feet
  • Two-stage operation prevents clogging in heavy, wet snow
  • Cut through hard-packed snow or ice

Some two-stage snow blowers have engine-driven wheels that can handle uneven or sloped terrain. The push-propelled models are best for level surfaces. You can also use tire chains with some models for more traction in all conditions. Chances are, you’ll still need to shovel around parked cars and for finishing work.

Don’t forget a gas can! Easy-to-use, spill-proof gas cans are ideal to keep on hand for fueling gas-powered tools like snow blowers.

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.

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Your First Winter Must-Have: A Portable Generator

To celebrate winter, which begins around noon EST on December 21, we’ve put together a short list of essentials every homeowner can use to survive the season with success:

  1. Portable generators
  2. Snow blower
  3. Outdoor and indoor heaters
  4. Ice melt

In this post, we’ll explore the benefits of the portable generator.

Portable GeneratorA generator’s primary function is to provide electrical energy. For homeowners, portable generators provide emergency power when the power to your house is interrupted, during ice storms, blizzards or an extreme natural disaster like a tornado, hurricane or flood. If you live at the end of the neighborhood power grid or in an area where the power is frequently intermittent, using a generator can help save your tech devices from any power surges, keep your pipes from freezing and food from spoiling – at least for short amount of time. People also use generators for recreational purposes, bringing one along while camping, RVing, tailgating or boating.

Generators can be engine-powered, meaning they burn gasoline, diesel or propane to generate electric power, or they can use an inverter that powers the generator from an automobile battery.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Generator

1. NOISE LEVEL. A running generator can make a lot of noise. It’s a good idea to check for any noise ordinances or restrictions in your area, especially at night. Most generators are labeled with a decibel rating. For every increase in 10 decibels, the noise level is 10 times more powerful. This means that a generator running at 70 decibels is 10 times as loud as a generator that runs at 60 decibels. However, some generators are built for quiet operation and are perfect for recreational use, so if you’re thinking about using a generator for tailgating, as well as, a source of emergency power, choose a quiet generator.

2. FUEL EFFICIENCY AND RUN TIME. Look for a generator that runs on the least amount of fuel for the longest amount of time.

3. QUALITY OF POWER. To avoid shut down or damage, consistent power output is much more preferable than any fluctuations in output, both for the generator and the appliances being powered. Inverter-type generators are ideal for sensitive electronics, such as computers. Also consider using a generator with voltage regulation that is automatic (AVR), digital (DAVR) or intelligent (iAVR). Runyon carries generators made by Honda with a patented CycloConverter technology that offers the benefits of an AVR-type generator, allowing cleaner power with less weight. Honda Super-Quiet EU generators use inverter technology.

4. SIZE AND EASE OF TRANSPORT. How do you plan on moving a generator and where will you store it? Many times, you’ll benefit from compact, lightweight generators that move easily on wheels.

Tips for Operation

  • Read the owner’s manual before operating your generator.
  • Always run your generator outside and keep house doors and windows closed.
  • Allow for plenty of space around the generator for proper ventilation. Do not enclose in a box or other casing. Operate the generator under an open, canopy-like structure instead.
  • Avoid using the generator in wet conditions, such as rain or snow, or near a pool or sprinkler system.
  • Place the generator on a firm, level, dry surface.
  • Never use stale or contaminated gasoline or an oil/gas mixture. Follow manufacturer recommendations.
  • Use heavy-duty extension cords that are specifically designed for outdoor use with the generator.
  • Do not plug the generator into a wall outlet, a practice known as “backfeeding.” This is extremely dangerous and presents an electrocution risk to utility workers and neighbors served by the same utility transformer.
  • Run your generator at least once a month, so it’s ready for use when the power goes out.
  • Be sure to refuel when the engine is off and the generator is in a well-ventilated area.
  • Allow the generator to cool for 15 minutes before transporting or storing it.
  • Store your generator upright in a well-ventilated area.

Safety Considerations

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission warns that portable generators can be very hazardous when installed or used improperly. Hazards may include damaged electrical systems, carbon monoxide poisoning, electrocution and fire. If you start to feel sick, dizzy or weak in your home while using a generator, get to fresh air immediately. Do not delay, because carbon monoxide from generators can kill you in minutes. Consider installing battery-operated CO alarms or plug-in CO alarms with battery back-up on every level of your home.

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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9 Holiday Gift Ideas for Your DIY-er or Tool Lover

Christmas is right around the corner, which means you probably have a few things left to buy on your gift list. And presuming you have a DIY-er or two, listed below are a few unique items that may be the perfect thing!

Holiday Gift Ideas

  1. Honda Generator: there are a variety of generators to choose from, ranging from larger, commercial generators, to those that are smaller and more portable – ideal for residential applications. Hence the image displayed above. This is a pricier gift though, so keep that in mind. However, it’s ideal for a wide array of useful applications, including as a backup when a snow-induced power outage occurs – just a thought!
  2. iQ 360 Dustless Masonry Table Saw: this is another large present, and an incredibly unique one at that! The iQ360 eliminates the need for a vacuum or dust/dirt clean-up because it is entirely self-contained. This saw is especially suited for cutting brick, stone, paver and tiles. It’s a heavy-duty renovation lover’s dream! For more details, visit this past blog post.
  3. Honda Snow Blower: perfectly fitting for the season and current weather conditions, there are also several snow blower models you could gift. Again, they range in size, performance, applications, etc. A snow blower is definitely worth the money, especially with a really snowy winter projected this year – if today is any indication!
  4. 148 pc. Tool Set: another ever-popular gift item is the exclusive 148-piece tool set. This set includes everything your DIY-er could need: sockets, wrenches, adapters, pliers, ratchets, screwdrivers, hex key set, bits and an incredibly durable case.
  5. Shoe Scrusher: another unique item is the shoe scrusher. You may wonder what this is…and well,  it’s really quite simple. This handy boot and shoe cleaner conveniently sits in your mud room or by your front door so you can scrape off any dirt, grime or snow as you walk indoors. This gift is reasonably priced and useful for everyone in the family.
  6. Cold Weather Gloves: another gift fit for the season, and a great stocking stuffer idea, is a pair of cold weather gloves. These gloves are perfect for working outdoors in the cold, hauling firewood, operating equipment, and really any other task you may have that requires heavy-duty, waterproof hand protection.
  7. 4 pc. Tie-Down Set: who doesn’t love tie downs? This four pack can be used for any vehicle to haul all your cargo loads. Tie-downs are practical and useful, so they’re sure to be well-received!
  8. Sheffield Utility Knife: another practical stocking stuffer gift is a quickchange lockback knife. This knife is perfect for around-the-house use, as well as, heavier-duty applications. It comes with 5 convenient compartments, and it’s really reasonably priced!
  9. SCRUBS Hand Cleaning Towels: the final gift idea for your tool lover/s is another useful item – a container of disposable hand towels. These cleaning cloths wipe grease, grime and dirt from your hands for a truly clean feel. They require no rinsing and come in an easy-to-carry container for your garage, truck, and anywhere else you go.

This is just a small taste of useful, yet desirable gift ideas for those on your Christmas list. Hopefully this can be a springboard for more! To find other retail items offered, visit our 100+ Jobsite Must-Haves page or stop by our location. We’re open seven days a week – perfect for last-minute shopping jaunts. Please comment below if you have any more gift ideas!

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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

Mark an Item Off Your Fall Checklist – Aerating and Fertilizing

Fall is the perfect time to aerate and fertilize your lawn in preparation for the cold winter months. And with the weather turning cold already, it is a good idea to do this sooner rather than later. The benefit of aerating in conjunction with fertilizing is that it helps the lawn breathe better, in essence by loosening thatch and reducing compaction that occurs when the ground gets hard and frozen. Not to mention, aerating and fertilizing assist in growth by increasing the amount of air and water in your lawn.

Lawn AerationAerating Your Lawn

Aeration machines make the actual process of aerating much simpler than it sounds. There are a few important steps to consider however, just to be sure you’re effectively combing the lawn. The following process is proven effective by The CISCO Company, an industry seed expert.

  1. Make sure the soil profile has had adequate moisture so a plug can be pulled
  2. Set the depth of the aerator at about 2″
  3. Begin at the longest side of the lawn and make runs back and forth, overlapping
  4. When the entire lawn is finished, begin a second pass at a 30 to 40 degree angle

[Note: Several trips may be beneficial]

Endure WinterizerApplying Fertilizer

Fertilizer is crucial for fall because it feeds your lawn with the proper mix of nutrients and allows it to recover from the sweltering summer months. Since it is already late in October, the suggested fertilizer is one that stimulates root development and ensures a quick green-up in the spring. Apply winter fertilizer (Winterizer) after the top growth is finished, but the ground is not frozen. This will ensure growth of the root mass. Some of the benefits of using a winter root builder:

  • Earth-friendly organics for natural slow release and iron
  • Iron for dark green grass
  • Nitrogen feeds and grows roots

Aerating and fertilizing really is not a complicated task on your fall checklist. However, it is one that will make a huge impact on your lawn, and one that is incredibly beneficial when done correctly. For more information about lawn aeration, find more posts here. Or, if you would like more information about the fertilizing process, please contact one of our experts.

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, Featured Products, Gardening and Lawn Care | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

How to Easily Maintain Your Equipment with LUBE-A-BOOM

Maintaining your equipment is necessary to ensure long-life and problem-free use. However, if not done with the proper products and application, there can be disastrous consequences. And with wear and tear from constant use, the elements and age, and no replenishment from lubrication, the likelihood of experiencing a negative result increases. LAB, LLC is a leading specialty lubricant company that provides products for the lift equipment industry, in order to combat this very issue. Its LUBE-A-BOOM product line is formulated to help extend lubrication intervals and make components last longer. For a visual representation of what these products aim to accomplish, watch the following video:

What is LUBE-A-BOOM?

  • LUBE-A-BOOMThe original product, LUBE-A-BOOM, is a grease that is packaged in cartridges, pails, kegs and drums and is also available in an aerosol. It is a synthetic lubricant that contains Teflon (a trademark of Dupont) that is applicable for telescoping booms, i.e. cranes, tele-handlers, aerial lifts, boom trucks and other types of equipment, as well as applications that have sliding surfaces.
  • LUBE-A-ROPE aerosol is for wire rope, cable and chains. It contains molybdenum (moly) and graphite. This is an excellent product that penetrates, as well as, providing a lubricating film for longer life.
  • LUBE-A-BOOM DRY FILM aerosol is a dry type lubricant that uses moly to provide lubrication for applications where a wet type product is not preferred. A lot of the time, it is used in dirty environments where dirt and other foreign elements exist. This product is ideal for extendible outriggers, extendible counterweights, boom applications, forklifts and various other machines. Also, it can be used on external teeth or rotating bearings when an open gear type lubricant is not applicable. It is important to note: when using any dry film product, be sure the surface is clean and dry so it adheres.
  • LUBE-A-GEAR aerosol is an asphaltic open gear lubricant for turntable bearing applications. This product provides a cushion between gears for protection.
  • LUBE-A-BOOM CLEAR aerosol is exactly what the name implies: a clear aerosol formulation that includes silicone for sliding surfaces, linkages, latches and multiple applications. It can also be used on many different rubber materials to help them keep their resiliency.
  • Gun1LUBE-A-PIN lubricant is a synthetic grease product that contains 5% moly. It is a heavy-duty product that can extend the life of pins, bushings and bearings. It is formulated to handle heavy loads and shock loads. This product comes in cartridges, pails, kegs and drums.
  • GUN1 spray tool is easy to use and attaches to most aerosol cans. It has a large trigger that allows the user to use it with gloves on. Its popularity stems from the fact that the user does not get any product on his or her finger(s) and does not tire from pressing down on the nozzle.

Maintaining Your Equipment

It is advisable that when changing brands of products, you remove or purge as much of the old grease as possible until the new product takes over. It is recommended that the greasing interval be reduced by 50% for the next lubricating schedule and then you can resort back to the OEM recommendation (hours or miles). Going forward you can establish your own interval pending results and performance of the new product.

Grease:

  • When using either the LUBE-A-BOOM or LUBE-A-PIN grease products it is a good practice to remove all dirt and grime from the zerk fittings to make sure you do not contaminate or plug the fitting. Pump enough grease into the joint, bearing or bushing until you see grease coming out. This way you are pushing out the old grease and any contaminants. Caution should be used on over greasing where rubber boots are used, as not to damage them.
  • Greasing a boom is normally done by brushing or rolling the grease on with a paint roller. Over greasing for this application will result in a waste of product and resulting mess since excess grease will fall off the boom when it is telescoped in. This can be a safety issue, especially if the lubricant falls on walk areas.
  • After applying the grease, the boom should be telescoped in and out to make sure the grease covers the full length of the boom sections. It is important that the inside wear pad areas be lubricated as well. Depending on the boom design, this can be difficult and may require some ingenuity to get into tight spaces.  The use of LUBE-A-BOOM AEROSOL is often used for this area and it is compatible with the LUBE-A-BOOM grease.

Aerosols:

  • Aerosols are formulated as mentioned above for different applications. Each aerosol has its own spray pattern, which is designed for most applications. It is recommended you try the product on a small area to see how it performs.LUBE-A-BOOM Aerosols
  • The amount of product used will vary based upon the application and environment.
  • All LAB aerosols are environmentally friendly, containing no heavy metals such as lead, antimony, etc. However, they are not food grade.

OEM Recommendations:

  • Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations regarding specifications and intervals.
  • When using other products such as LUBE-A-BOOM, it is not unusual that the interval can be extended. You can determine this by recording and monitoring each lubricant in your maintenance program.

Safety:

  • Wear proper protection when using any lubricants. Normally this includes safety glasses, proper clothing and a respirator, along with other safety items such as hard hats and steel toe shoes.
  • Do not use aerosols around electrical or open flames since they are flammable. Avoid contact with eyes and skin. For a medical emergency call the number on the label: 800-535-5053.

MSDS:

Maintaining your equipment and using the proper lubricants extends component life and maximizes equipment utilization that results in more profit and less money spent on repairs. Using friction-reducing lubricants aids in this process, and when used correctly can have long-lasting results. LAB, LLC is continually looking for new applications to better serve the construction and industrial equipment market, so visit the website or provide your email address for updates. And if you are interested in purchasing one of the LUBE-A-BOOM products, please visit the e-commerce department page or contact one of Runyon Equipment Rental’s sales reps here.

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: Featured Products, How-To's, Restore and Renovate | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

What Everyone Ought to Know About Lawn Aeration

An aerator is a machine used to aerate the soil in large lawns and turfs. A lawn aerator is available in two types, namely, spike and core. While the spike aerator makes use of wedge-shaped spikes to dig holes in the earth, core aerators are fitted with hollow tines that pluck out plugs from the soil.

Why Aerate the Soil? Know About Lawn Aeration

  • Better soil drainage: The main benefit of aerating the lawn is that it improves soil drainage, which in turn, is very helpful for the growth of new grass.
  • Gets rid of lawn thatch: Using a lawn aerator to aerate the soil will contain the growth of thatch. Thatch prevents oxygen from reaching the grass roots.
  • Aids growth of worms, fauna: Soil aeration helps the growth of worms, herbs and shrubs in the soil by providing them with the much-required oxygen.
  • Helps new lawns: Aerating the soil before planting a new lawn is proven to be beneficial for the growth of the lawn.

How to Work with a Lawn Aerator

  1. Water the lawn a day before: Before beginning soil aeration, water the lawn the night before as it makes the aerating process much easier.
  2. Flag items in the lawn: Flag important items like sprinkler heads in the lawn so that they are not damaged during aeration.
  3. Check weather conditions: Check if the weather conditions are suitable for aerating. It is not good to aerate during periods of drought or high temperatures.
  4. Run the aerator over the lawn: After flagging items, move the aerator over the lawn to cover all areas. Pay more attention to spaces like driveways and sidewalks where the weed growth is high and water access low.
  5. Apply fertilizer: Immediately after aerating, apply fertilizer on the soil so as to secure maximum possible benefit in the shortest time possible. Instant fertilizing after aerating helps the fertilizer reach the grass roots quickly.
  6. Use pre-emergent: After aerating the lawn, apply pre-emergent on the soil to prevent the growth of weeds.
  7. Water the soil: The last step in the aeration process is to water the soil, which helps break down the core of grass and soil in the lawn, and aids the growth of new roots.

Lawns that have soil with high clay composition and are subject to frequent thatching should be aerated at least twice a year. For lawns with sandy or loamy soils, a single aeration is enough to remove thatch and facilitate grass growth.

Still have questions? Talk to an expert at Runyon Equipment Rental to provide advice on your project.

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: Featured Products, Gardening and Lawn Care | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

How to Effectively Jackhammer Your Concrete Patios and Floors

Home renovations and repairs invariably require breaking through stubborn concrete floors. The hard nature of concrete puts off DIY enthusiasts from attempting to break concrete themselves. However, with the right tools,this task is not as difficult as you may think.

Use a Jackhammer to Break Down ConcreteTools Required:

  • Concrete jackhammer (breaker) with chisel point bit
  • Pry bar (5” to 6” long)
  • Reciprocating saw
  • Bolt cutter
  • Wheelbarrow

Process:

  1. Make an estimate: Assess the task on hand, to pace the work and also to ensure the proper disposal of debris.
  2. Position the jackhammer: Take the concrete breaking hammer and grasp it firmly using both hands, positioning it 6 to 12 inches away from the edge of the concrete. Hold the jackhammer vertically. Make sure to face away from windows or anything else that may be damaged by flying debris.
  3. Apply the jackhammer: Press the trigger of the jackhammer and drive it straight down into the concrete, 2 or 3 inches, and back up the same way. If the drill does not produce a crack, stop and try at another nearby spot.
  4. Apply again: Move away to another position and repeat the process, ensuring that cracks form in a way that the debris becomes manageable chunks: neither too large nor too small.
  5. Use a saw or bolt cutter: If there is wire or rebar reinforcement in the concrete, use a reciprocating saw to cut off such reinforcements at the cracks, to facilitate the removal of the concrete. If the reinforcement is wire mesh, a bolt cutter is more apt than a saw
  6. Use the pry bar: Use the pry bar on the cracks created by the jackhammer, to remove large swathes of concrete in one go.
  7. Cart away the debris: Cart away the debris to its designated location in a wheelbarrow. For large jobs, a heavy-duty wheelbarrow is appropriate.

Caution: Although a concrete breaking hammer makes the task easy, it still involves some hazards. It would therefore be wise to use safety gear, including: gloves, ear protection, eye protection and steel-toed shoes.

The jackhammer is considered to be one of the most widespread, robust tools utilized in removing concrete floors and patios. Jackhammer types and bits should be carefully selected according to the task and application. Talk to an expert at Runyon Equipment Rental to provide advice on your project.

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: Featured Products, How-To's, Restore and Renovate | Tags: , , , , | 3 Comments

Dethatchers Explained: How To Maintain Your Lawn

What is a dethatcher?

A dethatcher is a mechanical gardening device, used mainly to remove thatch from lawns. Often dead grass in the lawn leaves behind a layer of overgrown roots, tuber, bulb and crown. This layer is known as thatch and is very harmful to the growth of grass.

Why dethatch?

  • Makes grass healthier: Dethatching the lawn helps the grass become stronger and disease-resistant. Removal of thatch also keeps away pests.
  • Let in air/water: The dethatching process also allows more air, water and nutrients to reach the grass roots.

How does a dethatcher function?

  • Uses rotary blades: The dethatcher makes use of rotary blades/knives to remove the existing thatch from the grass or turf. Certain dethatchers also use tines and prongs.
  • Roll the dethatcher over the lawn: One may need to move the dethatcher twice or thrice over the lawn to cut out all the thatch in the area.

Things to remember before dethatching:http://www.runyonrental.com/Dehatchers.dept

Certain points must be kept in mind before beginning the dethatching process:

  • Know your dethatcher: Depending on their size, different lawns require different dethatchers. Certain lawns will require a power rake while others use a vertical mower or vertical slicer. It will always do the person good to have full knowledge about the type of dethatcher needed for the job.
  • Understand types of blades used: It always helps to know which type of blade is required to cut which type of grass. The person can choose from different blade types like flat steel, rotating or fixed knife-life.
  • Get advice on blade settings: It is very important to get advice on blade settings before using the dethatcher. One must have accurate knowledge about how far apart and deep the blades must be set. Tough grass and delicate grass both require different blade settings.

How dethatching works:

The dethatching mechanism is explained in the following steps:

  • Adjust the blades: Before getting started, one must adjust the blade settings of the dethatcher. The blades must be set up in such a manner that the thatch is removed without disturbing the soil beneath. The usual height of quarter-inch above the ground may vary for different grasses.
  • Highlight objects: Highlight objects in the lawn like irrigation heads so that they are visible and do not get damaged while using the dethatcher.
  • Mow the grass: The first step is to mow the grass at about half the usual height.
  • Run the dethatcher: Next, move the dethatcher over the lawn in such a way that the entire area is covered and all the thatch removed.
  • Rake up the thatch: After dethatching, use a powerful rake to remove all the thatch that has been loosened. While mostly the thatch is thrown away, in certain cases it is used as manure.
  • Water the lawn/add fertilizers: After cleaning up the lawn, one must water the area. Once dethatching is done, experts say this is the correct time to add fertilizers to the soil.

When is the correct time to dethatch?

The best time for carrying out the dethatching process is in late spring and early autumn as the grass recovers best from dethatching during these seasons. After dethatching, the grass usually needs 45 days to grow back properly.

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: Featured Products, Gardening and Lawn Care, How-To's | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Ozone Generators: Naturally Remove Odors and Purify the Air

In many construction and contractor environments, certain applications create offensive odors or emit unhealthy chemicals into the air. However, there is actually a handy machine that works to eliminate foul stenches and unsafe emissions. An ozone generator does just that – it converts odors into non-odorous substances naturally, without using unhealthy chemicals. In addition, an ozone machine deactivates and destroys mold, bacteria, viruses, fungus and mildew. Using such a device may seem like a no-brainer, when in reality its full capabilities may not be realized.

Total Zone Ozone GeneratorWhy Use an Ozone Generator?

In the case of contractors and homeowners, the ozone generator has many advantages. For example, painters can remove offensive paint odors more quickly, meaning customers will not complain. Additionally, carpet installers are able to get rid of smelly and unhealthy Volatile Organic Compounds put off by new carpeting. From a homeowner perspective, ozone generators keep a home fresh and clean smelling, as well as healthier. The machine also kills mold, mildew, spores, germs, etc. which purifies the environment for allergy sufferers.

Full Range of Odor Elimination

In addition to the advantages mentioned above, ozone generators also eliminate the following:

  • Cigar and cigarette odors
  • Pet odors
  • Mold and mildew odors
  • Cooking odors
  • Germs, bacteria and viruses
  • Painting odors
  • New carpet odors
  • Musty, stale odors
  • Garbage or dumpster odors
  • Bathroom odors

Again, this is not an all-inclusive list of odors that an ozone generator can eliminate, but it demonstrates a wide range for many applications. And for this very reason, the Total Zone Ozone Generation System is often referred to as “The Total Solution to Air Quality Problems In Your Home or Business.”

Before taking on your next renovation or construction project, hitting the job site or going into this allergy-prone fall season, consider buying or renting an ozone generator. Worker safety and a safe home are important considerations – health factors always are. And keep in mind, an ozone machine works more efficiently and on an advanced level in comparison to a standard air purifier or dehumidifier, because it not only prevents harmful substances from flourishing, but it also eliminates strong stenches. The Total Zone System naturally removes odors and effectively purifies the air with activated oxygen. To learn more about this product, please visit the product page here.

 

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: Featured Products | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Future of Masonry Cutting: the iQ360, a Dust Control, Silica-Free Solution

Masonry cutting is a necessary task on many construction job sites. However, with masonry cutting comes an inevitable amount of dust and dirt. Dust from these materials contains silica, a hot word in the industry lately, which is associated with many health-related issues. Now, you may know all this already, but one thing you may not know is that there is actually a dust control masonry saw in the market that eliminates this pesky problem entirely! The iQ360 from iQ Power Tools is revolutionary in the industry for its unique and innovative dust control design. And what better way to exhibit this than via a demo – check out the following videos from iQ Power Tools for a clearer picture:

So to delve a little deeper, let’s explore both dry and wet masonry cutting and the problems they cause.

Dry Cutting

In dry cutting applications dust potentially covers an entire site, which means daily maintenance. This gets to be costly and inefficient for you and your workers. And since the health and safety of your employees is vital, providing a safe environment is not really an option. With this said, the recent controversy over OSHA becoming more stringent with its standards on permissible silica and dust output has begun to change behavior and construction machinery choices. Exposure limits have to be below a certain level now, and not all masonry saws can boast the benefits that the iQ360 can.

Shameless plug, the iQ360 really is a phenomenal product, with virtually no dust cutting.

  • There is no clean-up
  • It meets new OSHA standards
  • It ensures the health and safety of workers and employees

Wet Cutting

iQ360

Wet cutting, although seemingly a better alternative in that it can eliminate some dust, creates another nightmare in the form of slurry. Slurry, in all its watery slop glory, only succeeds in producing an even bigger mess. Again, this liquid would need to be cleaned up and maintained after every work day. But again, the iQ360 completely negates the need for wet cutting application at all.

All-in-all, the iQ360 meets a current industry need for a convenient, mobile, dust control masonry saw. The numbers speak for themselves – 99.5% of dust is captured by the iQ360 during cutting applications both inside and outside. Additionally, this dust control masonry saw cuts through brick, stone, pavers and tile, and its design allows for the cutting of larger materials. These are only a few of the major benefits of the iQ360 – visit the product page to learn more. Or, if you are sold already, you can request a quote to rent or buy one here!

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: Featured Products | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

7 Easy Steps for Cleaning Your Floors with an Auto Scrubber

floor cleaningAn auto floor scrubber is one of the quickest and most efficient tools for cleaning a hard floor surface. It takes much less effort than going over the floor with a mop and bucket. Instead of moving the dirt around like a mop, an auto floor scrubber cleans and lifts the dirt off the floor, leaving the floor cleaner. The best way to get your floor cleaner faster is to use an auto floor scrubber. A 20” auto floor scrubber can clean up to 23,000 square feet per hour.

Floor Scrubber Preparation

  • Fully charge the floor scrubber – Most auto floor scrubbers will run between 2 ½ to 4 hours on a full charge. While that may sound like a short time, if you prepare the area to be cleaned, you should be able to clean between 50,000 to 70,000 sq. ft. with a single charge. It may take 6 to 8 hours to fully charge again for the next usage.
  • Connect all hoses – Also make sure that all of the hoses are connected to the device, as is the squeegee.
  • Check for leaks/damages – Get any leaks/damages repaired before you use your floor scrubber.
  • Follow instructions – Every floor scrubber model comes with a set of instructions on the right amount of chemical to be used. A neutral cleaning solution should be used on finished (waxed) floors and marble floors. A heavy-duty de-greaser can be used in industrial plants and warehouses with concrete floors.
  • Fill the tank – Fill in the solution tank with some clean water.
  • Using pad/brush – Choose the correct pad or brush that will suit your floor and mount this on the bottom portion of the deck. You would want to use a less aggressive pad, such as a white or red pad on high gloss floors, which would include finished (waxed) floors and marble floors. An aggressive pad such as a brown or black would be used on concrete floors. By rule of thumb, pads are for smooth surfaces and brushes for rougher, uneven floors with grout lines to clean.

The Process to Operate a Auto Floor Scrubber

  1. Prep your work area: Put up the caution board applicable to alert those around. Take away any obstructions such as furniture that can come in the way of a thorough job.
  2. Dust the area: Dust mop the area to get rid of any debris. If anything does remain on the floor you run a chance of ruining your machine. Trash can get trapped under the squeegee and leave water streaks.
  3. Start cleaning from the outer radius: Begin using the machine close to the wall, or the outer boundary of the space you are cleaning. Each pass you make should be a sweeping turn with a wide radius. This allows the squeegee to pull up all the solution that was laid out.
  4. Clean the room in halves: Work the room by dividing it in half, instead of going straight from one boundary to the other. Working in divisions allows you to make optimum use of your time.
  5. Repeat the process for grubby floors: If at this point you feel the floors could do with another round of scrubbing, especially since some floors can be extremely grubby, and then follow the same process by dividing the floor into portions, from one boundary to the next.
  6. Use a mop for inaccessible spots: If there are spots that you cannot reach, then you will have to get to it with a mop and a bucket.
  7. Arrange the room once dry: Make sure that the floor is dry before you get to remove the “wet floor” signs all over. Once done, gradually move back all the objects that you moved out of the way.

Once you are done with the process you need to take the auto scrubber to a floor drain or slop sink. In most cases a floor auto scrubber will have a dump hose that you can empty out. This is especially important if you have just recovered caustic or stripping agents. While the drain hose is open and draining, take a water hose and hose out the inside of the recovery tank until clean water is coming out the drain hose. Commercial auto floor scrubbers and the supplies that go with them can be found 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: Featured Products | Tags: , , , , | 5 Comments

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