Posts Tagged With: Construction and Maintenance

How to Efficiently and Easily Insulate Your Attic

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

Attic Insulation Installation

A few things to consider…

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

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

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

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

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

Bundle up and get to work

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

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

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

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

About the Author

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

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

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

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

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

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

Repairing Your Roof

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Preparing Your Windows

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

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

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

About the Author

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

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

7 Steps to Cutting Concrete Like a Pro

Repairing and renovating homes very often involves cutting concrete with precision. Removing or resizing kitchen slabs, making holes in ceilings and reshaping driveways are a few instances when it becomes imperative to cut concrete.

Tools Required:

  • Concrete Saw: A good option is the Bosch 12″ Electric Concrete Saw that has AC/DC capacity and features a reversible handle for added convenience and versatility. It also has a large footplate that improves stability and cuts at a greater depth.
  • Electric cut off tool (optional)
  • Pneumatic Chisel (optional)
  • Jackhammer (optional)

Process:STIHL Concrete Saw

  1. Layout: Use chalk to mark the area to be cut. A concrete saw cuts in straight lines.
  2. Prepare the saw: Fit the concrete saw with a diamond or abrasive blade. Set the blade at the required depth, which may be 50.8 mm (2 inches) to 152.4 mm (6 inches). Most house slabs, driveways and retainer walls fall within this range.
  3. Cut: Start cutting from the edge of the concrete, slowly following the line drawn in chalk.
  4. Pour water: Keep the blade cool by pouring water over it as the cut progresses. This also helps to reduce dust.
  5. Progress slowly: Proceed slowly, with minimum RPM as this helps to keep the saw in line, prevents overheating and prevents the tossing up of shrapnel into the air when the cutting is in progress.
  6. Remove the concrete: If the concrete is thicker than what the saw would cut, a jackhammer may have to be deployed to pound the excess concrete away. An alternative is to use heavy-duty concrete saws that cut up to 18 inches deep.
  7. Chip off the edges: If clean corners are required, score off the corners using a 4-inch diameter electric cut off tool and chip away the rest of the concrete using a small pneumatic chisel.

Make sure to take appropriate safety precautions. The process generates high levels of noise and dust. Ear plugs and goggles are a must, as are other safety precautions when cutting large chunks of concrete. Keep in mind that the majority of concrete cutting problems (and injuries) can be solved by using the appropriate tools for the job. Still have questions? Talk to an expert 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: How-To's, Restore and Renovate | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 6 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

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.

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How to Deep Clean Your Tile Floor

Deep cleaning tile floor

Tile floors may be dirt-resistant and seem impervious to deterioration, but they do require deep cleaning by scrubbing, over and above the regular sweeping and vacuuming, to keep them pristine and stain-free.

Tools Required

Tile Floor Cleaning Process

The method to deep clean tile floors with a view to remove stains and clean grout is as follows:

  • Clean the floor: Steam clean the tiles using a floor scrubber with either a nylon or brass brush, depending on the durability of the tile. Connect the steam hose, nozzle and extension tubes as per instructions, fill the reservoir with water, and turn it on. The dual counter rotating brushes facilitate variable cleaning pressure. Cover the floor section by section. Steam cleaning may not be sufficient to eradicate stains or remove grout, the two major pains of tile floors, especially where there is a lot of traffic on the floor.
  • Remove stains: The manual method of removing stains is to prepare a 50:50 mixture of scouring powder and warm water, rubbing the paste atop the stain, scrubbing it in after five to ten minutes, and then washing it away with warm water. Here, simply run the scrubber over the solution rather than manually wash it away.
  • Oxygen bleach treatment: To remove tougher stains repeat the process, but with a 75:25 mixture of oxygen bleach and water, instead of scouring powder and water. Hydrogen peroxide and soda ash comprise oxygen bleach. The oxygen ions in the bleach attach to stain molecules and break them down into small pieces, making it easy to wipe clean.
  • Chlorine bleach treatment: For even tougher stains, replace oxygen bleach with chlorine bleach.
  • Clean the grout: Use a walk-behind grout hog to clean grout. The rotating brush of the grout hog cleans the dirt from the grout lines and also performs an additional level of cleaning on the tile surface.

Tile floor scrubbing machines and grout hog make cleaning tiled floors very easy and effortless. The real secret to a great-looking tile floor is clean grout. Grout is porous and absorbs grease and other stains.

About the Author

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

Categories: How-To's, Restore and Renovate | Tags: , , , , , , | 5 Comments

The 7 Step Process to Restore Your Cracked and Eroded Driveways

Cracked DrivewayMany homeowners spend a lot of time, and money, on landscaping and home improvements to give their home that “curb appeal.” But often, the first thing people notice when they come to your home is the condition of the driveway.

How Do Driveways Wither Over Time?

  • Erosion – Wind and rain can cause cracks on the surface of driveways
  • Sun Rays – The harsh effect of the sun weakens the concrete and causes expansion joints on concrete driveways.
  • Water – Annual freezing and thawing cycles as water permeates through the cracks in the concrete to settle at the base, weakening the foundation.
  • Gas, Spills and Grass – Gas and oil spills, and the growth of grass through the cracks break down the driveway even more.

Repairing the Damage

One however need not spend a fortune relaying damaged driveways. It is possible to restore driveways using driveway sealants and driveway expansion joint fillers.

Restoring your Driveway

Tools needed to restore the driveway:

The Restoring Process

  1. Fill the cracks – If the cracks are small, which is less than half an inch deep, rubberized crack fillers available in small tubes may suffice. For medium sized cracks, joint fillers are required. Squeeze the patch filler into the cracks, until it reaches the level of the driveway. Use a trowel to spread the joint filler and ensure a level surface.
  2. Repair crevices – When large cracks, gaps between the concrete blocks that constitute the driveway or crevices in the driveway are present, it is better to use grout instead. Use cement-based grout, which is a mixture of cement, fine gravel and water. Use a grout hand pump to mix the grout and make the task easy.
  3. Wait for grout to dry – Allow the grout to dry for a day or so before you proceed.
  4. Clean the driveway – Next, use a push broom to remove any dirt or debris, and wet the driveway with a garden hose lightly.
  5. Water and solvent-based sealants – Water-based sealants are environment friendly, but solvent-based sealers are more durable and better suited for heavily used driveways.
  6. Apply the sealant – Mix the water based or solvent based grout sealer, as per the manufacturer’s instructions, and apply the sealant over the driveway in thin coats. This helps the driveway resist water, oil and other contaminants. Use the push broom to spread the sealant evenly.
  7. Wait for sealant to set – Do not use the driveway until the sealant has completely set in, which may take as much as 48 hours.

If you want your driveway to have the bright look all the time, you can seal it annually. Most good seals will last two or three years, depending on the type of winter you have and how much stress is put on the asphalt from plowing or snow blowing during the winter.

About the Author

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

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

What Everyone Ought to Know About Boom Lifts

Boom LiftsBoom lifts, also known as cherry pickers, help you reach heights easily. It’s articulating boom arms and extendable baskets allow a person to access normally out of reach work areas and also work in safety and comfort with their entire range of tools on hand.

Boom lifts are common equipment that serve multiple purposes. Below are some examples of how our customers use them:

  • Lifting workers to pick fruits from tall trees
  • Building maintenance workers use boom lifts for painting, cleaning windows and carrying out façade work in higher floors
  • Utility workers use boom lifts to service and repair telephones and electrical cables
  • Miners and workers in underground locations use boom lifts to descend to the ground and work in potentially unsafe locations
  • Boom lifts are in many places the only way to access high-standing billboards
  • Boom lifts are the best option to transport materials to elevated places from a distance

Most boom lifts are battery powered by hydraulic mechanism. The operator has the controls to move and adjust the height of the telescoping arm, as required. The operator in the bucket can control to adjust the position of the bucket. Automatic safety controls prevent tipping over.

Boom lifts makes for a more versatile alternative to scissor lifts for many jobs. Unlike the latter, it is possible to maneuver it both horizontally and vertically, in a wide range. Using the boom lift, workers operating from a restricted base can reach out to elevated positions a distance away from the base as well. Boom lifts also have strong stabilizer legs, making them more stable. When you expect to have to scale heights or drop down several feet, make sure you have a boom lift ready for use, so you can accomplish your task easily and efficiently.

Renting a boom lift offers significant cost-savings. You pay only for what you use. You do not have to use a significant amount of your capital on machinery. You are spared the hassle of storing and maintaining and also get to select the latest and the most relevant machine, rather than having to make do with a single machine that may not suit your purpose.

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: , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

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