Posts Tagged With: winter preparation

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.

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

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.

Categories: Choosing Equipment, Featured Products | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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