The Problem With Plasterboard

The plasterboard in many Australian homes harbours imperfections that can cause major problems for homeowners down the line. That’s why it’s so vital to have a professional inspect the premises before signing a contract to buy a home.

The Basics Of Plasterboard –

Plasterboard is used in a variety of buildings, including homes, shops, offices, factories, schools and many other places. During construction, it is used as a type of internal lining board to help create strong, smooth, uniform looking walls and ceilings. Generally builders prefer using plasterboards in houses as its surface can be easily decorated using either paint or wallpaper. Most houses use plasterboard to some degree; unfortunately, this material can also harbour many unpleasant problems. If you’re buying a new home and are unsure of whether or not plasterboard is involved – and whether or not the plasterboard that’s there is of sound quality – you need the experts to take a look.

The Problem With Plasterboard –

Cracks are one of the biggest problems that occur with plasterboard. When cracks appear in plasterboard, they typically occur wherever there is a change in direction; hallways and ceilings in particular are common areas for cracks in plasterboard. Gypsum wallboard is one of the most commonly used varieties of plasterboard, and changes in temperature and/or moisture can cause stress and movement within it. That stress and movement can cause cracks; over time, those cracks can create a major headache for homeowners and can precipitate massive repairs.

Preventing Cracking –

Control joints are the preferred method for preventing cracking in plasterboard and gypsum wallboard. When used properly – and spaced apart appropriately, at approximately 9 metres from floor to ceiling – control joints can prevent cracks and plasterboard doesn’t pose a major problem. However, many houses weren’t built properly in the first place; sometimes, do-it-yourselfers fail to use control joints the right way, and plasterboard is compromised. A skilled building inspector can look at the walls and ceilings in any house and determine whether they have been put together properly. In addition to looking for existing cracks, then, an experienced inspector can look for the warning signs of trouble down the road and can help you avoid major headaches and expense later.

Gypsum Products For Dental Casts

Gypsum is a naturally occurring, white powdery mineral with the chemical name calcium sulphate dihydrate (CaSQ4•2H2O). Gypsum products used in dentistry are based on calcium sulphate hemihydrate (CaSO42)2•H2O. Their main uses are for casts or models, dies and investments. Many dental restorations and appliances are constructed outside the patient’s mouth using models and dies which should be accurate replicas of the patient’s hard and soft tissues.

Requirements of dental cast materials

The main requirements of model and die materials are dimensional accuracy and adequate mechanical properties. The accuracy of fit of any restoration or appliance constructed outside the mouth depends inter alia on the dimensional accuracy of the replica on which it is constructed. Thus, the dimensional changes which occur during and after the setting of these model materials should, ideally, be minimal in order to produce an accurate model or die. The final fit of the appliance may depend upon a balancing of small expansions or contractions which occur at different stages in its construction and it would be unwise to consider, in isolation, dimensional changes occurring with the model and die materials.

The material should be compatible with all the other materials with which it comes into contact. For example, the set model should easily be removed from the impression without damage to its surface and fracture of teeth. It should give a good colour contrast with the various waxes which are often used to produce wax patterns.

Manipulation and setting characteristics

Plaster and stone powders are mixed with water to produce a workable mix. Hydration of the hemihydrate then occurs producing the gypsum model or die. In the case of the more dense material, dental stone, a ratio of about 0.3 is required to produce a workable mix, whereas for the more porous plaster a higher W/P ratio of 0.55 is required. Factors under the control of the operator are temperature, W/P ratio and mixing time. Surprisingly, temperature variation has little effect on the setting times of gypsum products. This is due to the fact that the setting involves dissolution of one sparingly soluble salt followed by crystallization of another. Increasing the temperature accelerates the solution process but retards the crystallization. Thus the two effects tend to cancel out. Increasing him W/P ratio retards setting by decreasing the concentration of crystallization nuclei. Increasing mixing time has the opposite effect. This accelerates setting by breaking up dihydrate crystals during the early stages of setting, thus producing more nuclei on which crystallization can be initiated.

Alterations in W/P ratio and mixing time have only a minimal effect on setting expansion.

Advantages and disadvantages

Gypsum model and die materials have the advantages of being inexpensive and easy to use. The accuracy and dimensional stability are good and they are able to reproduce fine detail from the impression, providing precautions are taken to prevent blow holes. The mechanical properties are not ideal and the brittle nature of gypsum occasionally leads to fracture – particularly through the teeth, which form the weakest part of any model. Problems occasionally arise when gypsum model and die materials are used in conjunction with alginate impression. The surface of the model may remain relatively soft due to an apparent retarding effect which hydrocolloids have on the setting of gypsum products. It is not certain whether the retarding effect is due to borax in the hydrocolloid or to the absorption of hydrocolloid onto the gypsum crystals which act as nuclei of crystallization. Despite these observations it cannot be said that gypsum products are incompatible with alginate impression materials since problems arise very infrequently.

Another treatment which has been suggested for improving the durability of gypsum is to partly saturate the set material in a polymerizable monomer such as methylmethacrylate or styrene. Polymerization of the monomer produces a polymer phase which occupies many of the porosities in the set gypsum and increases its strength and toughness. Despite these apparent advantages these techniques are rarely used in practice.

All About Old Plaster Walls

Up until the 1950s most homes in America did not have drywall. The walls of old homes were typically made of a much different product called plaster. Plaster walls are thicker and stronger than their successor, drywall, and though they have faded into history there are many old homes that still proudly display their plaster walls. Here’s some of the basics of plaster walls and how to care for them.


Plaster goes back thousands of years and has changed very little over the years. From colonial times plaster was installed as a wall covering. It was often mixed with things like horse hair to give it added strength. The mixture changed locally depending on the availability of certain materials, but generally the plaster was applied in a 3 coat process that provided extremely strong and durable walls. The plaster could be mixed with sand for a rougher texture or the plasterer could use brushes or other techniques to create a unique wall texture. Typically the plaster was a mix of lime or gypsum, aggregate (sand), and water

The Process

The first step in plastering a wall is installing a horizontal wood lath. This lath is a thin (1/4″ thick) by 1″ wide board that is attached to the framing studs and layered up the entire wall. Once the walls and ceiling were covered in lath the plasterer would apply the base coat or “scratch” coat of plaster about 3/8″ thick. The coat would be scored with a brush or comb to give it the rough texture and allow the next coat the adhere well. The second coat was again 3/8″ thick and called the “brown” coat. The brown coat was not scored because it was rough enough to give the final 1/8″ finish coat that was placed on top a sturdy base. The work required a skilled craftsman and was a combination of science and art. The plaster required 28 days to fully cure before it could be painted or altered in any way.

The Change

During the massive housing boom that followed WWII, plaster fell out of favor because it was too expensive and too slow of a process. The finer homes still had plaster for a decade or two, but increasingly drywall took over and plaster became somewhat of a lost art. For a while in the 1950s you’ll find a combination of plaster and drywall call “gyp-rock.” This was a process where the new drywall would be installed and then the finish coat of plaster would be applied on top. Hiding the cheaper option of drywall and making the house look just bit classier than it really was.

There is still a place for plaster in today’s homes. The fact still remains that plaster is a superior product to drywall. The cost may be more and the time required to install may be longer but plaster won’t be completely gone as long as there are still people who want the look and quality of a handmade wall in their home.

Safety Tips For Gas Welding

Storage and Handling

  • After finishing gas welding, Always keep gas and oxygen cylinders with minimum of 20 feet distance between them. Or, divide them with a right firewall.
  • As the cylinders can caught fire easily, keep the flammable and combustible materials away from cylinders.
  • Store cylinders away from physical injure, heat, and tampering.
  • Always maintain cylinders in an upright position. If possible, Chain them steadily to keep them from falling over.
  • Ensure that the cylinder valves has been closed or not before moving.
  • Defending caps or regulators should be kept in place.
  • Roll cylinders on bottom edges to move it from one place to another place. Do not pull it.
  • Try to reduce cylinder movement as much as possible, while transporting it.

General Gas Welding Safety Tips

  • To lift up gas cylinders, use the equipments that are designed for lifting it. Do not use any other tools for lifting it.
  • Check torches and clean only with the suitable tools.
  • Blow-back protection torches must be used while welding.
  • Always keep an eye on the equipments and ensure any leakages at all connections. This can be done by using an approved leak-test solution.
  • Inspect hoses for leaks and worn places.
  • Replace bad hoses at regular intervals.
  • Keep fire extinguishers easily reachable places, at the welding site.
  • Keep away hoses and cylinders from sparks, flames, and hot metal as the sparks create holes on it.
  • To fire the flame in welder, always use a flint lighter.
  • Stand to the side when opening cylinder valves.
  • Use two-stage regulators whenever feasible.
  • When using a single-stage regulator, open cylinder valves very slowly. This keeps rapid high pressures from exploding the regulators.
  • When using a single-stage regulator, only open the acetylene cylinder valve 1/4 to 3/4 turn.
  • Leave the wrench in place. By doing so, you can close the cylinder quickly in case of any emergency.
  • Open and light acetylene first. Then open and adjust oxygen to a neutral flame.
  • When shutting off the torch, first you have to close the acetylene torch valve You might hear a pop as the oxygen blows out the flame, but the flame will not burn up the acetylene line.

When you are done:

  • Close cylinder valves.
  • Bleed the lines to take pressure off regulators.
  • Carefully coil hoses.
  • Restore equipment.

Machine Screws, Nuts and Bolts – Basic Hardware Items to Power Your Industry


Well, literally so. Bolts, nuts and screws are basic hardware items used in every industry in need of fasteners. From furniture crafting and manufacturing to building and construction, every industrial application needs to use these seemingly small but significantly important tools just to hold everything in place.

Screws, nuts and bolts are fasteners used to mechanically connect things together. A fastener may be defined as a mechanical device that holds two or more bodies in definite position with respect to each other. Ever since seeing the result of fastening an axle to a wheel, humans have been using fasteners to make lives easier. Most fasteners have threads as part of their design as can be seen in screws, nuts and bolts. Fasteners are produced primarily from ferrous metals such as carbon and alloy steels. Today they are available in brass, stainless steel, copper and. The process of making them involves rods, bars or wires which are cut to length and threaded. The process is called cold-forming. The modern fastener industry is indebted to Industrial Revolution and its many technological revolutions which invented and improved fasteners to keep everything connected and moving.

After a long bumpy ride involving the quality of materials and irregular standards of size and shape, today we have reached a stage where a nut from one company and a bolt from another can fit perfectly together. Today they come in standard and Metric sizes for specific applications to fulfill wide industry needs. Stronger, lighter and easy-to-use are some of the challenges the fastener industry is facing and successfully managing today. Laptop computers use these screws, nuts and bolts. Self-locking and self-sealing screws, nuts, bolts and threaded inserts have also become common now. The latest challenge today of course is to produce environment friendly fasteners which do not use carcinogenic plating such as cadmium.

English Pronunciation – How Do You Say "Pecan"?

April is National Pecan Month, and in honor of this holiday, I decided to do a little research into the English pronunciation of this wonderful tasting nut.

Do you say “pu-KAHN”, “pee-KAHN”, or “PEE-can”? The latter reminds me of an emergency restroom substitute…but I digress.

Did you know that the pecan is the only nut tree native to North America? Or that the name pecan comes from an Algonquin word meaning “nuts requiring a stone to crack”? Or that eating pecans could improve your love life? No kidding – I learned all these wonderful facts and more from the National Pecan Sellers Association.

But what I did NOT learn was the official pronunciation of the word pecan.

Does it depend on which American accent you have? Some say the split between “pu-kahn” and “pee-can” falls on the Mason-Dixon line, but my research so far says not. Though many southerners say “pu-kahn” and many from the Northeast say “pee-can”, it isn’t consistent. One theory I read suggested that people from more rural areas, regardless of location, say “pee-can”, while those from larger cities say “pu-kahn”. Another said that the accepted pronunciation has changed over time. So, has it changed? Do you pronounce pecan differently from your parents or grandparents? And what about those who speak English as a second language? Does your pronunciation of it depend on where your English teacher grew up?

It’s a highly debated topic, and one that doesn’t appear to have a definitive answer. The major dictionaries list more than one pronunciation, though “pu-kahn” is listed first and seems to be the most widely accepted. That is how I pronounce it, and when I conducted an unofficial survey, the overwhelming majority of people replied that they pronounce it pu-kahn as well.

However you pronounce it, I hope you enjoy indulging in this wonderful food in honor of National Pecan Month.

GATE and FENCE Accidents and Injuries

Malfunctioning gates and fences can cause catastrophic and traumatic bodily injury and death.

There are as many ways to become injured by a gate as there are types of gates. Whether the gate was part of a residential or commercial property, hotel, hospital, themed attraction, or penal institution sally port, malfunctioning gates have been the reason for all types of personal injury and wrongful death claims.

Personal injury and wrongful death cases are sometimes caused by defectively operating products associated with a multitude of problems. Some are caused by damage created by outside forces such as vehicular impacts or adverse weather conditions. Others are due to improperly maintained sliding or swinging car barriers or overhead apartment complex garage portals. Many are directly related to unprofessional service providers failing to understand required equipment problems that were later the cause of a claim. Other claims have proven to be the fault of the person injured. Each claim has been completely different, yet share many of the same types of related common component issues.

The most important part of investigation into the injury is to be able to thoroughly evaluate the gate, related parts, and service provider involvement. Sometimes the gate and operators have been removed, destroyed, or lost. In those cases, photographs and videos of the incident are all that is left to be analyzed. In some claims, as a result of years of neglect, gates have become disconnected from their tracks, welds have broken, or the gates have fallen apart and on to someone. In other claims, the electric gate operators have imparted severe forces to turn an otherwise well maintained gate into a potentially fatal weapon. Deferred or improperly maintained gate operators missing critical safety devices have failed to protect users from impact injuries. Some injuries have occurred due to abuse of some kind by the party now making the claim.

Gates and their associated operators have the potential to become deadly.

In the case where a small child was crushed behind a moving gate, it was because the gate had an improperly operating closer. No safety devices were ever installed with this system, as the contractor that had provided the equipment had opted not to plug in a couple of required modules, due to his lack of understanding of what the modules did.

In another case, there was no adjacent on/off switch near the gate. In one case, a workman was trapped and ultimately crushed between a stone wall and the gate when the gate mechanism was activated from a remote location. Ironically, the worker was the son of the man that had installed the gate several years earlier. No disconnect switch was ever provided because the installer was not aware that a local disconnect switch was required.

Gate & Fence Service Providers

Having examined thousands of pages of deposition testimony related to gate injury and wrongful death claims, it is often discover that the local gate service provider is insufficiently qualified to perform the required evaluation or preventative maintenance and lacks the knowledge of the systems installed. The subject gate operator installation was merely an adjunct to his normal scope of business which is installing yard fencing materials or other landscape products.

Many gate injury cases have been brought against homeowners’ and condo associations that had service agreements with unqualified service providers. Repeatedly, testimony has shown that no formal training of any kind was ever given to the service provider. Often the reason for this lack of professionalism is due to what is commonly referred to as “watch one – do one – teach one” training. A new employee will “ride along” with a more experienced, although never properly trained employee or owner of a fence materials company. As this new employee is “taught” how to “service” the gate systems, wrong information or overall disjointed information is imparted as “how to service and maintain” these products. Eventually the new employee, often after only a couple of weeks of observation, is given his own truck and sent out to provide maintenance to products that he has only seen once or possibly helped test. Later, as need dictates, that same employee with whatever information and minimal experience he has acquired may be charged with training the next generation of gate service providers.

If an organization such as a homeowner’s condo association relies upon a “professional service provider”, and a full time ongoing maintenance contract is in place with that service provider, it is generally easy to make a direct connection between a defective condition and that service provider.

If there is no maintenance policy established with any service provider, and repairs are only made retroactively, there is less in the way of cause and effect that can be directly attributed to any service company. However, improper workmanship and wrong evaluations by a so called professional service provider may still attach that provider to an injury claim.

Gate Injury Accidents & Claims

Woman hits gate with car, then gates falls on her as she walks underneath it

A woman attempting to enter a high lift rolling gate system in a commercial high rise building struck the gate with her car. As she could not gain access to the parking area, she entered the building through an adjacent single pedestrian doorway. When the automatic lift mechanism was activated, the gate, having been damaged, fell apart and fell onto the woman. The event was recorded on video as it happened. In this case, the woman never admitted to driving her car into the closed gate and failed to inform anyone that she had done so. After the gate collapsed upon her, the security camera recording of the entrance showed that she had in fact hit the gate with significant force. The impact from her vehicle created several bent component parts in the rolling gate which created a condition that allowed the gate to become stuck and un-tensioned. The gate, became disconnected from the activation drum, over-rotated and spilled upon the woman that was standing underneath the opening. In this claim, the gate was regularly maintained by appropriate service providers, and the damage created by the impact with the car was the sole cause of this injury.

Forklift driver hits gate, delivery driver is buried by gate

A forklift struck a loading dock gate from within, and when the awaiting delivery truck driver began to enter the loading bay from the outside, the gate became dislodged and crushed him as he crossed under the damaged gate. Real time video recorded the incident. When the forklift driver hit the loading dock gate, he was unconcerned. The delivery driver attempting to access the opening was unaware that the gate had been broken by the forklift and upon raising the security gate he dislodged the now broken gate pieces and was unfortunately buried by the broken slats and fasteners.

Small child entered fenced pool area when the slat spacing was not up to current codes

A four year old child playing unattended in the backyard of an apartment complex was able to climb through a pool fence surround and fell into the common area swimming pool. The child was found struggling in the water and pulled to safety prior to drowning. The resident/parent of the child filed suit against the apartment management and ownership. A claim was made that the child should have never been left alone in the apartment yard by the management. Signs had been posted warning that there was no lifeguard on duty, and that the management made the tenants aware that they were using the pool at their own risk. The expert witness found, after examining the pool fencing system, that the spacing of the vertical and horizontal fence bars was inappropriate and did not meet any code requirements since the apartment had been built. The pool was apparently in place prior to the construction of the new apartment buildings and the gate and fence had not been changed or upgraded to meet current code compliance. The fact that the child was able to gain access to the pool by slipping his body sideways between the vertical bars was quickly recognized when the site inspection showed that an 8″ sphere would easily pass between the fencing. Building codes at the time of the apartment construction clearly stated that no more than a 4″ sphere should be allowed to pass between any fencing materials. During mediation of this claim a reasonable agreement was reached between the two parties, and the pool fence was reworked to comply with current standards of safety.

Overhead security gate falls on warehouse worker

A worker in a commercial warehouse had an overhead security gate fall on him when the reel detached from the gate brackets shortly after being serviced by an overhead door company. Partial video coverage was available. Service had been performed on the overhead gate the previous day. The service providers had failed to properly reattach the gate curtain to the operating drum. After the gate was opened and closed one or two times, the gate mesh separated from the overhead mechanism that was designed to operate the gate. The service providers failed to test the gate after the repair was made and left the gate in an unsafe condition that created the injury. There was enough video evidence that was observed that showed that the service providers were directly responsible for this injury.

Parking lot gate falls on pedestrian

A manual rolling parking lot gate system was hit by a truck as the truck attempted to enter the parking lot. An hour later, a pedestrian walking past the gate was hit when the gate fell over as the brackets attached to the cinder block wall had been pulled off of the block wall by the truck impact. When a truck ran into the rolling gate in this case, the force dislodged the aged hardware that was installed into voids in the cinder block wall system. The loose hardware lost its ability to connect the gate rail system and the gate was left precariously balancing on the now damaged tubular sliding system. Wind or vibrations from passing traffic created enough force to topple the now loose gate onto the pedestrian walking down the street.

Delivery truck damaged by gate

During a product delivery the truck driver using a powered pallet jack struck a rolling gate, moved it off of the steel track embedded in the concrete, and pulled the door away from the designed path of travel. The gate fell over and damaged the delivery truck. A truck driver making deliveries using a powered pallet jack was unaware that he had made contact with the parking gate fence as he was bringing the last pallet into a commercial warehouse. It was discovered that over a ton of materials were being moved by that pallet jack. Due to the fact that the pallet jack was powered, the truck driver never felt the impact with the gate as the pallet struck and pushed the gate off of the floor track. The gate bent away from the tube railing that it normally moved on and fell over onto the truck just as the pallet jack was being lifted up onto the rear tail gate lift of the truck. Fortunately for the driver, the truck was the only casualty in this claim.

Woman and infant struck by wrought iron gate

A small 4′ wide x 6′ high wrought iron pedestrian gate adjacent to a condominium complex entrance dropped off of its’ hinges. The gate had been continually sprayed with water from the irrigation system of the nearby planters. After approximately 20 years of this constant condition, the pivot hinges finally rusted away. A woman and her infant in a stroller were struck by the door as it fell from the pivots. No inspection or evaluation was ever made to the gate or pivots even though the paint was showing significant rust had developed. The owner of the adjacent condo, as well as the property management service, never paid any attention to the fence and rarely used it for entering the property.

Sliding gate strikes elderly woman

An elderly resident of an apartment complex was struck by a malfunctioning sliding gate when the gate operator suddenly sped up and came into contact with the woman as she was crossing the gate threshold. The automatic sliding gate used to close off a subterranean parking area in this apartment building was never serviced or maintained in any way. As a key card was used to access the parking area from the street side, the automatic timer of the gate operator was the only control to maintain the open position of the gate. The timer had finished the cycle and began to close the gate. The automatic sliding gate did not have any photo sensors or any other safety devices across the threshold, and the gate closed. During the travel of the gate the motor control suddenly sped up, and as the woman was about to cross the gate track on the threshold, she was struck by the leading edge of the moving gate. Measurements of force showed that when the woman made contact with the gate it was in excess of 500 pounds of force. As she went down from this impact, she broke her shoulder and hip.

Parking garage gate crushes down onto car

A tenant of a beach side apartment complex was leaving the subterranean parking area, his car approached the pedestrian sidewalk, and the driver stopped the car. While the car was still underneath the overhead gate, the pivot hinges that were mounted on both sides of the gate broke loose from the cinder block mounting plates. The overhead gate crashed down upon the car smashing the roof, trunk, rear window and windshield. It was determined that the salt air had corroded the hinges after many years without any lubrication or maintenance. Rust had developed that seized the bearings of the hinges. The rust had created a condition where the door movements had twisted the anchor bolts out of the wall since the hinges could no longer rotate. There was never any preventative service or maintenance to the motor controller, and the clutch mechanism that would have prevented this situation was found to have been disabled and in a failed condition. No cross threshold beams were installed, and the gate closed upon the occupied area due to the timer function of the gate operator.

Casino overhead security gate falls onto patron

A casino patron was standing adjacent to a loose link security gate. Suddenly the gate broke away from the drum that coiled the gate. The full weight of the gate and gate materials fell onto the patron, cracking his skull, imparting significant force to his neck and spine, and fracturing his lower leg. The casino had not had any service or maintenance performed to this security gate since it was installed 10 years prior. The gate was regularly opened and closed a couple of times a day.

Swinging gate reverses and smashes 2 cars

An automatic loop controlled swinging gate system suddenly reversed and smashed into two cars as the drivers were waiting to leave the parking lot. On a rain soaked day, a swinging automatic parking gate attempted to close while two vehicles were in the path of travel. The gate was supposed to have been monitored by in ground magnetic loops to guard against this situation. It was found that the loops were defective, and had been a known condition for several months prior to the incident. The service providers felt that the readings that were observed when tested were substandard, but failed to inform the property management. Both cars were hit by the un-sensored gate system.

Construction fencing gets blown onto pedestrian

A temporary gate and construction fence were lifted off of their support posts due to high winds in the area. An improperly anchored long term temporary construction fence became airborne when strong winds lifted it from the in-ground posts. A pedestrian was struck with the wind whipping fence, and was catapulted over 30 feet into the air when a subsequent gust lifted the gate and fence materials as he was attempting to cross the downed fence in his path. There were no appropriate connections made between the fence fabric and vertical posts. The gate and all of the fence posts were planted in sand only. At some point prior to the incident, privacy screen fabric was attached to this temporary fence and gate system. As the pedestrian attempted to cross over this now disconnected fence, a high gust of wind lifted him off of the ground and flung him into an adjacent street lamp post. It was determined that no engineering or calculations were ever made when the decision was made to place the screen fabric without further uplift hardware being installed. The original fence provider was never made aware of the changes made to his installation.

What went wrong?

If the gates were maintained, what went wrong? Was there an outside influence that was uncontrollable or acted upon the gate that led to the injury? Was the service provider competent to make appropriate repairs or maintenance?

If the gates were not maintained, the facilities either relied upon the owner or management to perform any repairs to these products that failed. The lack of inspection, maintenance and knowledge of the operators and gates are often due to a desire to decrease the costs to maintain the property. Some depositions have shown that owners felt that the reason that they have building insurance is to protect them from claims such as these. Failure to maintain is not to be offset by an insurance policy for coverage after an injury occurs.

Many gate related injuries have occurred because the automatic gate operator is not properly maintained. There are generally multiple types of safety devices that are part of these operators. Sensory loops that assist in obstacle detection with vehicular gates are generally buried adjacent to both sides of the threshold. These magnetic loops are often used to determine vehicle proximity to the path of travel of the gate. If these loops do not work as designed, they can create a condition where no zone coverage of protection exists.

Concrete or asphalt can cause reactions with the insulation of these loops and lead to direct grounding of the loop sensor. When the insulation of these loops has been compromised, water or other ground conditions can short out these sensor loops, yielding them ineffective. When a gate service provider works on a gate, it is essential to verify that all of the safety devices for that gate are functioning to their maximum potential. Threshold beams, magnetic loops, and auto reverse functions need to be checked regularly. Power outages can affect the motor controls, therefore back up batteries and charging systems all need routine maintenance verification. Control modules for various sensory and motive functions need to be checked for appropriate operations as well. The speed and force that the gate travels is a field adjustable condition. It is critical that these speed and force controls meet or exceed the manufacturer’s recommendations.

Crawlspace Moisture Threats – How to Identify Them

They’re known for spiders and crickets and snakes, for rodents and marsupials and fungi.  But under-house crawlspaces are my bread and butter.  As a home inspector, I know that some crawlspaces are just that, you have to crawl through them.  I love to inspect a tall crawlspace, but more than a few are squeeze spaces, wriggle spaces, or bump-head scrape-back spaces. 

The worst, though, are wet crawlspaces.  What causes a wet crawlspace?  Moisture can come from three sources:  Condensation from the air; Infiltration through the foundation walls;  Leaks from plumbing pipes.  Rarely moisture comes from sources under the house like a spring or seep, or from roof leaks. 

What’s so bad about moisture in crawlspaces?  Actually, a lot.  High crawlspace moisture allows destruction of wood by fungi, insects, and termites.  If the wood stays dry the wood destroying organisms have no interest in it.  Have you ever visited the cliff dwellings in the Southwest?  There are wood roof beams and ladders there that have survived almost a thousand years in the very dry climate. 

Even the so-called “dry rot” requires high moisture levels in the wood to be active.  Sometimes it can be completely invisible.  I once was inspecting a crawlspace where I noticed some plumbing leaks that had allowed a steady stream of water to flow across the ground.  All of the joists looked fine and I had no question about their integrity.  But then I reached up to steady myself, grabbed a joist, and it crumbled in my hand. 

Wood lumber bought at the lumber yard is kiln dried to below 19 percent moisture, and if the wood moisture stays at that level or lower no decay will occur.   It’s fortunate that most agents of wood decay, be they termites or fungus, are relatively slow moving.   It’s also fortunate that if the wood begins to deteriorate because the moisture level goes up, it will usually stop deteriorating once the moisture level goes back down below 19 percent.

Moisture in crawlspaces can lead to disaster, but most of the time it’s relatively cheap to keep moisture out. 

Let’s look at the three sources of moisture and how to prevent each one.

First is condensation. I live in North Carolina, where we have very humid summers.  We use air conditioning to cool the air, but air conditioning saves houses because it also removes humidity – moisture – from the air inside the house.  Often the ducts that carry the conditioned air through the house are located in the crawlspace.  The ducts, and in fact the whole crawlspace, is cooler than the outside air.  Now what happens when you expose a cool surface, like, say, a glass of iced tea or an air conditioner duct, to warm humid outside air?

Condensation!  Moisture from the humid air condenses on any surface that’s below the dew point.  In crawlspaces that’s every surface – floor joists, insulation, air conditioner ducts, the plastic vapor barrier on the floor.  In July and August I often emerge from a crawlspace with soaked coveralls.  All the wood in the crawlspace just soaks up that moisture like a sponge.  Condensation can also occur in the winter, when the crawlspace is warmer than the outside, and the condensation forms on the band joists, the outermost part of the floor framing.

What can you do about condensation?  First, keep the foundation vents closed in the summer if you live in the humid south.  Go under the house during a hot humid spell and feel the joists and ducts and insulation.  If they’re wet, you may need to install a dehumidifier in the crawlspace with a pipe to drain the water to the outside. 

The second moisture source is infiltration through the foundation walls.

Gutters are your first line of defense – often all you must do to control foundation wall moisture is just keep the gutters clean and functional.   Make certain that water from the downspouts is directed away from the house. Second is grading – the slopes around the house perimeter that allow water to run off, away from the crawlspace. If the soil touching the foundation wall becomes saturated, the moisture quickly seeps through the foundation wall.

Many foundation walls are “waterproofed”, and waterproofing certainly helps, but the term is misleading.  Many events can compromise foundation waterproofing – it’s best to just keep the water away from the foundation. On the best foundations there are underground drainage systems installed, so that water that does enter the ground near the house is drained away before it can reach the foundation.  These can be added after the house is built, but it is not an easy job.

Moisture that comes through the foundation walls finds its way into the soil under the crawlspace.  Sometimes water sources under the house can contribute to moisture here as well.   And that’s why all new houses are required to have a plastic vapor barrier covering the soil.  I highly recommend taking this inexpensive step to lower moisture levels in the crawlspace.  You may say, “But the soil in my crawlspace is dry!”  If you put down the vapor barrier you’re likely to see that it is dry because all the moisture is able to evaporate – into the air of the crawlspace. 

My own house began as a three-room cottage over a hundred years ago, two thirteen foot square rooms with a hallway between them.  Over the years there were several additions, and since the house is on a slope, earth had to be removed to keep the new floors on the same level as the original floors.  The unfortunate part of this story – the hillside is solid rock.  So the builder removed only as much rock as absolutely necessary to place the floor joists.  They did almost nothing to drain the foundation and the joists are on the ground. 

One side of the house had a roof that drained so that the water just ran under the floor.   It had termites to the top of the roof framing.  We had to completely remove that part of the house and rebuild.  But most of the house survived its poor design.  We dug trenches around the house with a jack hammer into the rock and made sure every side of the house has good drainage.  For eight years now we’ve had no crawlspace moisture problems. 

The third source of moisture is plumbing leaks.  

I recommend that at least once a year you check your toilets for movement.  No, I don’t mean that kind of movement.  Straddle the toilet and push left to right and back to front with your legs.  If there is any movement of the toilet it is poorly attached to the plumbing drain and is likely to be leaking.  Step firmly on the floor in front of the toilet and beside the bathtub or shower – are the floors soft in these areas?  You want to find bathroom leaks before someone falls through the rotted floor.

In the crawlspace you can temporarily pull away the floor insulation to look at the plumbing pipes where they penetrate the floor and determine if there are leaks that are saturating the sub-floor.  If you find loose toilets or plumbing leaks, have them repaired by a licensed plumbing contractor.   If the leaks have damaged the sub floor or joists, call a licensed general contractor for repair.

So, to sum up, Moisture in crawlspaces is bad.  It causes decay of the wood structure.  The three main sources of moisture: Condensation, Foundation wall transfer, and leaks.  Stopping the moisture is much cheaper and easier than repairing the structure.

Window Security Grill

A great way to add security to a home is with a window security grill. Security grills should not be confused with window security bars. Yes, security bars are effective, but they can be an ugly eyesore, as most people feel that they give a home the look of a prison. However, a window security grill (also known as a window security screen) can add effective security while not taking away any of the attractiveness of the home.

They are made out of a steel mesh that can not be pushed or pulled out of the frame and they are also resistant to cutting. Much like a security steel door, the steel mesh on them is permanently mounted in a heavy duty steel frame. The frame is welded on all four corners and installs over a window using tamper resistant bolts or screws. One side of the grill will be hinged so that it can be opened from the inside of the house. Building codes or fire codes in most cities throughout the Unites States require that no windows be permanently blocked. Because they are designed to keep intruders out, there is a quick release mechanism located on the inside of the security grill that will allow the grill to hinge open in the event of an emergency. This allows occupants to quickly evacuate the home through the window.

Now that the basics of a window security grill are understood, let’s cover the window security grills in a little more depth. With several manufacturers offering window grills, the options will vary from the different manufacturers. Window security grills are available from a basic design to more elaborate designs. The basic designs of security window grill will have a steel wire mesh with either a steel or aluminum frame. For the most part, the basic grills are only available in a natural steel finish or white. Some homeowners will opt to install the basic design of the security window grill over windows that are obscured from view. This provides a more economical way to secure a home. The more elaborate designs of a security grill are most often used in the front of the home or any visible window. The material as well as the workmanship of the window grills is what makes them more elaborate. These security grills use a heavy duty steel mesh that is tamper resistant and cant not be cut. The steel mesh is available in several different designs and styles. Besides the steel mesh, the frames are much more appealing as well. The frames are smooth and have an attractive finish. A homeowner can custom order a security window grill in a color that matches the home.

Installing them over vulnerable windows will deter any would be intruder. One look at the window security grills and the intruder will quickly move on to an easier target. These grills are a great way to protect your valuables and most importantly, they will protect your family.

Skylight Condensation – How to Correct Problem

Under certain conditions of high humidity and large temperature differentials, it is possible for condensation to occur on the metal and plastic surfaces of skylights. This is very common in acrylic glazed skylights industry wide and does not change the integrity or function of the skylight.

Condensation is not covered in your product warranty. So you’ll have to correct this problem yourself or pay someone else to do it. But, it’s not a tough process. Anyone can do it.

Double glazing will usually reduce the occurrence of condensation, but will not totally eliminate it. Under certain conditions, condensation will form between the layers of the plastic glazing, which will normally dissipate as the air space is heated by the sun.

If there is excessive moisture that does not dissipate, then the following procedure should be done to solve but not totally eliminate the problem.

Remove the dome retaining fasteners and remove the dome retaining frame and the top dome. Dry both domes with a cotton cloth and then replace dome, retainer and screws, but be sure not to compress the dome retainer too snugly to the base that it attaches to, so that the domes may allow for any future moisture to weep out from between the domes. Sometimes the frame can get compressed during shipping, handling, installation, etc.

If you want to clean your domes, DO NOT USE: any glass cleaners, window sprays, kitchen scouring compounds, alcohol, or solvents such as acetone, gasoline, benzene, carbon tetrachloride or lacquer thinner. These chemicals will destroy the plastic.

How To Build a Workbench For Your Garage – A Detailed Woodworking Plan For Your Woodworking Project

The workbench is the most important thing for any woodworker. A workbench makes a lot of things easier and helpful in many ways, and I will teach you how to make a workbench. You should build a workbench for your home so that everyone can create their own project. First, find your workstation before creating on your workbench designs and plans.

Workbench Designs

Before you start the project, you need to get the right workbench designs. Even if you don’t have any experience on building projects, there are strategies available on workbench designs with which you can build a workbench of your own. It must draw attention to everything that you will need to build a workbench. It should contain the exact measurements and standard size of your workbench. The workbench plan should have the dimensions, styles or designs of your project.

The style created in workbench design prefers the usage of your workbench in the garage. The most important thing you must do when you outline a workbench design is to work out all the things that you will be using to build a workbench. The workbench designs you create must suit your requirements.

Decide the wood before you start your work

The next step after completing your workbench designs is to decide the kind of wood that you should use. Many workbench designs offer a clear list of the kinds of wood to buy the materials to make workbench. You should select a wood that is strong and resilient, but at the same time smooth and simple to work. Hence, if you pay attention in making an outstanding bench, you should prefer beech wood. Beech wood is the familiar type of wood used for a long-lasting workbench.

Birch wood that is not as thick as beech wood, used for making a lighter workbench. This wood is durable and strong and hence used to make a portable bench.

Right tools and materials

One of the most important steps is you need to have the right tools and materials. They are circular saw, belt sander, eye protection, corner square, lumber, safety goggle sand other power tools for easy access.

The other common materials that are required to make a workbench are screws, screw driver, hammer, measuring tape, sand paper, drill, pencil, nuts, bolts, nails, wood glue and clamps.

How to make workbench

According to the design, you need to cut the wood to the right length for rails and legs of the bench. All four corners of the bench should have necessary holes to drill the screws into the legs. Then centre the top rails and lower rails on the wooden legs. Join the cut pieces of wood according to the design to create your bench. Paste the plywood on the surface of your workbench with the help of wood glue and use screws. Your workbench is ready to use.

How to Get Your Fine Art Into a Gallery

If you are an emerging fine artist, you may be agonizing over how to approach a gallery with your work. It can be intimidating to even the most outgoing person.

There are some general steps you should follow before approaching a gallery. They are:

  1. Have a solid body of finished work available in a similar theme or style.
  2. Prepare a portfolio complete with your Biography and your Artist Statement.
  3. Have your website up and running (gallerists want to see an updated, fresh website).
  4. Research galleries that would be the best fit for your artwork.
  5. Make a list of the galleries you wish to approach, based on your research. Then get familiar with the artists that are represented by those galleries. You want to be able to intelligently discuss the art that the gallery is showing when you do finally meet with them.
  6. Don’t cold call or just drop in on a gallery. Use snail mail, a non-intrusive form of contact, to send them postcards of your newest works, and printed newsletters if you have one, until you’ve built up their knowledge of your work. Attend their shows, take time to support what they are doing with other artists before you ask for a meeting to consider representing you. One artist I know built up a gallery’s familiarity with her by mailing postcards of new artwork she created every 2 months. Over the course of a year, the gallery knew her name and work and eventually brought her in.
  7. Understand that there are over 200,000 fine artists in the U.S. – and there are not enough galleries! You’ll have to be patient, take your time developing relationships, and not take rejection personally.
  8. After you’ve become familiar with a gallery and their artists, call and ask for an appointment to show your portfolio. You may get turned down – galleries get called on by artists every day – but don’t despair. Continue to send postcards of your work. Keep them on your mailing list. And move onto the next gallery.
  9. When you do get a meeting, be as professional as possible. Have your portfolio, website and business cards in tip top shape. Arrive to the meeting on time.
  10. Sometimes it takes a few years for a gallery to finally represent you. So when you are told “no, not right now” keep in mind that it doesn’t mean “no” forever. Keep the relationship cordial and friendly. And stay in touch.

Not all artists need galleries. Actually, most do not now that we have the internet. But there is some value to having your art represented; it gives you credibility, helps you reach new collectors, and allows you to have a professional location to show your work.

It takes time to find the right match in a gallery. Sometimes it can take a few years. But remember, truly successful art careers not only last a long time, they take a long time to get going. Be patient, keep creating new artwork, and you’ll find a good home for your art.

Skid Steer Bucket Types and Uses

A Skid Steer Bucket is something that can be used to attach to an industrial loader or any other piece of heavy equipment. Most of these buckets can do extreme duty in that they can hold a great deal of material. These buckets can handle all sorts of duty loads, from light to extremely heavy and are great attachments to have should a person be using an industrial loader or any other type of industrial equipment.

They are used for moving items from one place to another. These fit perfectly with other skid steer equipment and are versatile as well. One can check out various websites for prices on these buckets.

It might be useful to go the Skid Steer website and see what prices are like on that particular site. Comparing prices on the other sites are beneficial as well. These buckets are sold on a few different websites, as well as in industrial manufacturing stores.

These buckets come in different sizes, depending on what sort of job they are going to be used for. There are Skid Steer Buckets for snow removal as well as for small machinery. Some of these buckets come with teeth. Some of the buckets that are sold are for light duty. Snow removal would be an example of a light duty use for these types of buckets. There are also buckets for medium duty such as root removal.

Some engineers have precise classifications for these buckets and will let you know if your particular bucket is equal to the task you have in mind.

There are so many types of Skid Steer Buckets to choose from, there is no reason not to find the particular bucket that you need. There are buckets for just about every piece of equipment such as forklifts,industrial loaders,snowplows, tractors and the like. There are root buckets, stump buckets, steel grapple buckets and others.

Skid Steer Buckets come in a variety of price ranges, and as mentioned before, are available many places online as well the aforementioned manufacturing stores. One should be sure to discuss the use for the bucket with the store personnel to insure they are getting the proper bucket for their purposes. These buckets are great to have and to use, just insure you have the proper bucket and proper attachment for your job.

What’s New With the Caterpillar D9 Bulldozer?

It has been years since the first caterpillar d9 bulldozer came out on the market, but this still remains one of the most famous dozers ever made today. And there are more reasons to love the d9 now because of its highly innovative and improved modern versions. With its proven track record, the caterpillar d9 bulldozer is definitely worth the investment.

The d9 caterpillar bulldozer first made its appearance in the early 1950’s. It was built with a 286hp engine motor, which is enough to do sufficient amounts of bulldozing works. It weighed about 48,784 kilograms and featured a ripper and a front blade, which was attached to four hydraulic-powered lifting arms. The d9 bulldozer was widely used in many industrial and environmental applications like in quarry operations, forest clearing, and construction projects.

The cab – the portion of a bulldozer that houses the operator – is an important basis of buying a bulldozer. It should let the operator do his job with less trouble and utmost comfort. The older D9 models, however, were not specially blessed with climate-controlled cabs. But that was before their newer dozer models, like the D9T, came out. Now, Caterpillar’s machines are specifically equipped with climate-controlled cabs so that the operator stays comfortable and productive all the time.

The D9T dozer is the latest addition to the D9 Cat Track-Type Tractor Series. It features the latest technology and ergonomic designs, which maximize the machine’s performance and the operator’s productivity. It has a C18 engine with ACERT Technology that produces reduced carbon emissions while combusting the fuel effectively. The C18 is a 410hp engine with 1800rpm.

With the D9T bulldozer, the operator will specifically liked the fact that it features a heating and air conditioning system to ensure that he enjoys the right temperature inside during different weather conditions. The programmable electronic controls, which are strategically placed for easy access, are fully capable of providing perfect and firm support to the blade and ripper despite difficult conditions. The current selling price of a brand new D9T is expected to cost close to $1,000,000. But if you’re going to buy a used model, it would approximately cost $425,000 exclusive of tax.

A bulldozer is an important part of any infrastructure and industrial projects. It’s not really a cheap investment, but there are a lot of ways that you can explore to secure one for your business. It’s a good thing that the Caterpillar Company offers to help their consumers by giving them to the option of buying used CAT machines. They would even entertain any custom build requests. You could also try scouting online for sites that offer rental or used Caterpillar D9 bulldozer and other Caterpillar bulldozer models.

Using the SETT Model for a Child With ADHD

There are many accommodations that must be made in order to meet the needs of children with ADHD. The use of assistive technology, changes in classroom environment, and alterations in teaching style should all be considered. Also, general education teachers must collaborate with other members of their team such as special education teachers, consultants, and school psychologists in necessary. The SETT Model is an excellent way to outline a strategy that can be employed to assist a particular child with ADHD. Provided below is an example of how a teacher can use the SETT Model to his advantage.


What does the Student need to do?

The student has the ability to do well in school, but has trouble concentrating and sitting still in class. This student must pay attention in class, and stop distracting the other children and taking away from their learning.

What are the Student’s special needs?

The student needs an adjustment in the classroom environment and adjustments in the curriculum that will allow them to reamain calm and focused. The student also needs the teacher to make appropriate changes in teaching style that will facilitate learning and not allow the student to become bored. Also, the student must meet with a special education teacher once per week and have his progress evaluated.

What are the Student’s current abilities?

The student has abilities that equal to or even beyone the average student without a disability. The student has above average intelligence, a potentially good work ethic, and the will and ability to learn new material. The student is not physically disabled in any way.


What materials and equipment are currently available in the environment?

There is a wide variety of materials and equipment available to the teacher such as a computer, a movie projector, a stereo system, a calculator, and several different books to help educate the children. All of these can be used to the teachers advantage to educate a student with ADHD.

What is the physical arrangement? Are there special concerns?

The desks are currently arranged in 6 groups, each containing 4 children. This may cause some concerns because this type of arrangement may easily distract this student and cause him to disrupt the other children. There is too much activity directly in front of the child which makes if very difficult for him to remain focused on the task at hand.

What is the instructional arrangement? Are there likely to be changes?

Currently, the student is seated in the middle of the classroom. The student should be moved to the front of the room where there will be less distractions and the the teacher can keep a careful watch on the student throughout the day.

What supports are available to the student?

There are supports available to this student such as a special education teacher, a resource room, and a consultant if needed. There is also educational software with many visual displays, movies, and music to keep student’s interest and alleviate boredom.

What resources are available to the people supporting the student?

The people supporting the student also have access to computer programs, movies, and several educational board games and trivia games to educate the student in a more enjoyable way. These people also have athletic equipment available to them such as footballs, basketballs, softballs, and a softball bat to allow the student to participate in recess activities a couple of times a day.

How are the attitudes and expectations of the people in the environment likely to affect the student’s performance?

The teacher and everyone working with the student must keep a positive attitude and must remain supportive at all times. Everyone must use a calm, quiet tone of voice in order to not arouse the student and a sensible system of rewards and punishments should be developed. Punishments should be used infrequently and only when absolutely necessary and rewards and praise should be given as often as possible.


What activities take place in the environment?

There are several activities that take place such as reading, writing, math, science, social studies, group research and learning, and general teacher instruction.

What is everyone else doing?

All students are participating in the same activities as the ADHD student. The teacher is there to provide support for the student and guide him through any activities that may present him with difficulties.

What activities support the student’s curriculum?

There are science experiments, creative writing assignments, group projects, and reading assignments, spelling bees, worksheets, and several different math games that help support this student’s curriculum.

What are the critical elements of the activities?

The student must realize that he is to work together with the other students and he must concentrate in order to be competitive to win activities such as spelling bees or math games. The student must have a good sense of teamwork in order to succeed and excel in these activities. He must also know to not distract other students and be considerate to the needs of others.

How might the activities be modified to accommodate the student’s special needs?

There are a few modifications that can be made to accommodate this student’s special needs. For example, when working on a group project, this student can be in charge of all of the writing to keep him occupied. Writing assignments can be kept brief and the student can be given a longer amount of time to complete them. Instructional teaching can be mixed with showing movies and learning on the computer to mix up activities. Also, the student can be given a variety of books to read with many pictures to help keep his interest.

How might technology support the student’s active participation in those activities?

The student should be allowed to use a computer for typing up the writing assignments. The student can also use programs such as internet explorer to research appropriate topics and help find information for his group. The student can also have access to short movies to watch in order to make learning more interesting. Finally, perhaps the student can listen to music through headphones while he works so he will not be distracted by other noise in the classroom.


What strategies might be used to invite increased student performance? What no-tech, low-tech, and high-tech options should be considered when developing a system for a student with these needs and abilities doing these tasks in these environments?

There are several different strategies a teacher can use to increase student performance. The student can spend more time on the computer where he will be away from other students and other distractions. The student may be given permission to move around throughout the day and be given physical activities such as cleaning the blackboard. Assignments should be kept brief and the student should be given extra time to complete them. The student should be allowed to use a calculator to complete math assignments. Finally, the students should be given appropriate feedback and rewards based on his behavior.

How might these tools be tried out with the student in the customary environments in which they will be used?

Each one of these strategies must be presented to the student gradually and their effectiveness should be constatnly evaluated. For example, at first the student should be allowed to use the computer for no more than 20 minutes. If this proves to be and effective tool for learning, the time may be increased to 30 to 45 minutes. The student can also watch a short, 10 minute educational movie. If this is able to keep his attention the entire time, the movie time can be increased to 15 or 20 minutes.