Steam Cleaning Machines With a New Twist

The vapor steam cleaner is the latest debut into the environment cleaning scene, and is the latest addition to the family of steam cleaning machines currently available in the market. While these vapour models are very popular in Europe, they are only recently introduced into the U.S. and hence many home keepers might not be very familiar with them just yet. They are in actuality, a different breed of steam cleaning machines which uses vapour technology rather than steam to clean and disinfect the surfaces.

You can literally use your vapor steam cleaner on almost any surface except on plastic and heat sensitive areas. You should not use it on soft fabric like silk and wall paper. Apart from being used as tools for cleaning and disinfecting, the versatility of vapour models goes beyond. Used creatively, there are endless ways to use them. You could use them to help defrost freezers, frozen pipes, polishing jewellery and many more non cleaning applications. The use of vapor models generally enhances the interior air quality as the cleaning process do not require the use of chemical, using only high heat steam and dry vapour, thereby eradicating chemical residuals and killing airborne bacteria and germs effortlessly.

There is a wide range of vapor models available in the market currently. And most of those which you will find in your friendly neighbourhood hardware stores or departmental stores are mainly for home use. Consumers are spoilt for choice, especially when vapour models are fast rising in popularity due to their environmentally friendly nature.

Commercial businesses like the hospitality services, hospice services, supermarkets, shopping malls, fast food chains, schools and public amenities facilities often use them for cleaning to prevent germs and bacteria, and eliminate the problem of chemical induced respiratory problems. The popularity of the vapor steam cleaner has taken off in the commercial sector largely due to the fact that cost of building maintenance and cleaning costs have greatly reduced as less chemical agents are used and business equipment last longer without the harsh corrosion of the chemicals.

Amazing Greenhouses

The Victorian greenhouse is a haven for consistent, reliable, fresh organic produce. And while it is undoubtedly the perfect environment for cultivating safe favorites such as lettuce, cucumber and carrots, there is nothing to stop the enthusiast from turning his or her hand to the more exotic and lesser known varieties. With a little research even the most intimidating plants and vegetables can be tamed.

Color and Vitality

The loveliest greenhouse plants, emboldened with impressive colors and stunning forms, give off a striking, enigmatic presence. Their stunning image and complex scientific names suggests an equally advanced knowledge-base must be obtained before attempting to grow them. But, like anything, a greenhouse owner only learns by his mistakes. To avoid growing these fantastic plants and flowers is to miss out on an entirely satisfying past-time. Of course, there will be mistakes along the way, but this is to be expected. Indeed, there is no reason for the enthusiast to panic or be put off. With the wealth of information now available concerning even the trickiest horticultural elements, many of these mistakes can easily be overcome.

Orchids and Roses

In the public eye, few words suggest rarity, mystique, and splendor as much as the word ‘Orchid’. But the idea that only the most gifted gardener should attempt growing this wonderful flower is fast becoming an out-dated one. While it certainly deserves its hallowed reputation, adorning hill-sides in certain places as a protected species, there are a number of types of Orchids which any greenhouse grower should be able to easily accommodate.

Likewise, pink Roses are a true classic. Timeless and romantic, tradition has defined them as the Queen of all flowers-something out of the scope of the humble greenhouse owner starting out. In theory, as well as being surprisingly easy to grow, provided the correct care is taken, roses are quite manageable. Not only this but they come in a range of colors to suit almost any taste.

Also noteworthy is the Korean Lilac. An expensive plant to acquire when fully grown, planting seeds and growing them yourself is both affordable and inspires confidence for future endeavors.

Sugar Cane

Suitably exotic and fabulously tall (the tropical grass sometimes growing as high as four meters), Sugar Cane is remarkable. For years it has been a staple part of the South Asia diet, mainly sold as a street food-not for eating but for chewing.

Like any great plant, it requires a certain amount of patience to grow Sugar Cane successfully. And there are other draw-backs, such as its razor sharp leaves which should be avoided at all costs. That said, providing the greenhouse owner is careful to respect the plant, there is no reason why a harmonious growing relationship cannot be established.

Venus Fly Trap

In terms of carnivorous plants, nothing is considered more fearsome than the legendary Venus Fly Trap. Some of the largest and most adept plants, existing deep in the jungle, have even been known to trap small mammals and birds.

As with many things steeped in centuries of myth and legend, the reality of the greenhouse grown Venus Fly Trap is wholly less impressive than the reputation of its vicious jungle counterpart. Even so, it is an exciting and invaluable addition to any Victorian greenhouse. Absorbing its nutrition from its prey, the Fly Trap can also exist in poorer soil than most plants and is remarkably resilient.

Vapor Steam Cleaner the Right Choice for Maintaining Hard Surfaces

When it comes to maintaining hard surfaces, vapor steam cleaner machines offer one of the best options. Today, steam cleaners are used to clean hard surfaces ranging from sealed wood floors to porcelain to plastics to tile and grout. Here is a look at some of these hard surface cleaning applications.

Gum Removal from Concrete Surfaces

Vapor steam cleaning equipment available from reputable suppliers now features excellent gum removal capabilities. While high steam temperatures of up to 369°F soften chewing gum wads, pressure levels of 125 psi help clean off gum residues quickly and efficiently. The special gum cleaning solutions and gum removal accessories available with these steam cleaning machines help clean off gum wads from concrete walls, floors, driveways, and parking lots.

Floor Maintenance

With proper care and maintenance, commercial and residential floors can remain as good as new for years. These low-moisture steam machines provide a viable option to traditional cleaning techniques like hand scrubbing and mopping. Vapor steam cleaning systems are ideal for maintaining almost all kinds of floors, such as hardwood, vinyl, tiles or linoleum.

Dry steam generated by steam cleaning machines dissolves tough stains, grime, and dirt on floors. Since hot steam also disinfects, you may need not use large amounts of chemical sanitizers. The self-cleaning capability of boilers included in the latest vapor steam cleaning machines helps prevent the buildup of scaly deposits within the boiler. This ensures proper performance of the boiler and extends the lifespan of the steam cleaner as well.

Toilet Maintenance

Cleaning and disinfecting toilets is not an easy job. The tough stains on urinals or toilet seats, and the soap scum on faucets can make your bathroom look dull and unhygienic. To effectively maintain toilet surfaces with minimal effort, it is best to use steam vacuum cleaners. The best steam cleaning machines feature solid construction, top-quality components, and stainless steel, heavy-duty boilers. Portable steam cleaner machines now come with advanced anti-bacterial functions that can eliminate more than 99 percent of harmful bacteria and germs generally found in damp environments like toilets.

Auto Detailing Inside the Vehicle

Car detailing professionals choose the best steam cleaner equipment for cleaning hard surfaces inside vehicles. The surfaces include door jams, dash boards, vents and other surfaces made from plastics or sealed wood. To ensure durability, reliability and efficiency, choose low moisture steam vacuum cleaners from leading distributors. While high steam temperatures of up to 356ºF and pressure levels of 105 psi help dissolve stubborn dirt deposits on vehicle interiors.

So as you can see, portable steam cleaning machines are great for maintaining a wide range of hard surfaces. Instead of purchasing your vapor steam cleaner from the local hardware or appliance store, check out the online stores of leading distributors. You will find a better selection to fit your needs.

How to Install an Artificial Grass Lawn

Once you have completed the preparation stage which includes measuring how much artificial grass you need, installing appropriate drainage (if necessary) and removing the natural grass layer, you will be ready to install your artificial grass lawn. This article outlines the steps you should follow to help you to get the job done right, from laying the base, connecting joints and preventing weed growth.

Lay Gravel Base followed by Sharp Sand

If required, use treated timber/timber stakes to put in an area frame. We recommend 4 X 2 inches of tantalised treated timber for heavy clay soil areas and poorly draining areas and 2 X 2 inches of tantalised timber for good draining areas. Screw these timbers to the stakes leaving the stakes on the inside of the perimeter. Should the Artificial Grass meet a concrete path, wall or decking, position the timber flush with the surface height and by using 10mm temporary fillet, pack the timber close to the wall leaving the space to enable you to tuck the Artificial Grass between the timber and the adjoining material at a later stage.

Position the stakes against the inner perimeter timber edging and hammer in to the ground ensuring the stakes are slightly lower than the timber edging. Next screw the timber stake to the timber edging.

With heavy clay soils we recommend laying a crushed stone surface of up to 3 inches. This will not be necessary for the majority of areas and only required if you have a high water table where the ground holds water for a long period of time after it rains. Next compact the ground using a vibrating plate that can be hired from an equipment hire company. Ensure the perimeter is compacted and below the timber edging by 1 inch. Infill the perimeter with sharp sand and level using a rake. Ensure the sand is level to the top of the timber edging and compact again.

For good drainage areas spread a layer of sharp sand to blind over the soil. Next compact the ground using a vibrating plate that can be hired from an equipment hire company. Ensure the perimeter is compacted and level with the timber edging.

If you put more work in at this stage, your Artificial Grass Lawn will look better as a result.

Weed Control Layer

Apply the weed control geo textile membrane and cut as necessary. Tack using small 1 inch galvanised clout nails to the timber edging. This weed control geo textile membrane prevents any chance of weed growth through the artificial grass drainage holes.

Roll out Artificial Grass

Lay the Artificial Grass in the desired direction working on the carpet and not on the levelled base. Ensure the carpet is positioned to minimise cuts, joints and waste overlaying the timber edging by a minimum of 4 inches. If the artificial lawn meets a path or edge, and if you have laid the timber edging correctly as previously described, then the artificial grass can be wedged between. If joining, please ensure that the artificial grass is laid with the pile running in the same direction on each piece. Lay the carpet on top of the sand as opposed to dragging it across the base material. To help stop wrinkles or creasing it is advisable to allow 2 to 3 hours to settle before continuing with jointing and adhesive. Cut grass to shape using a sharp Dolphin or Stanley knife or scissors.

Jointing

When jointing your outdoor carpet together, ensure the pile runs in the same direction. Cut off manufacturer’s edge strip (if present) and butt two edges together ensuring there are no gaps greater than 1mm between the two carpet edges. The accuracy of this will determine how visible the join is after the completion. Fold back edges and position jointing tape (smooth side down) so that the edges of the carpet meet the tape when joined.

Adhesive

a) Apply the cartridge adhesive in a zig zag motion onto the rougher side of the tape allowing one cartridge for every 3 linear metres. Turn down carpet and press both edges into the wet adhesive, ensuring each piece marries up and has no overlap. As you are doing this with your fingers, mix the fibres together to conceal the join. Once the whole length is in place and you are happy with its appearance it is necessary to walk along the join several times to activate the glue and bond the grass to the tape. Weigh down the seam to ensure good contact with the glue until it cures. The more care taken with the operation the neater and tidier the joint will be.

or

b) If using the 2-component multi-purpose adhesive, ensure thorough mixing of the two components before use. Apply adhesive to the rough side of the tape and spread evenly across a width of at least 20cm using if possible a notched trowel. Sufficient adhesive should be applied so that when the artificial grass carpet is pressed into the adhesive, a transfer over the carpet backing is complete. Turn down carpet and press both edges into the wet adhesive, ensuring each piece marries up and has no overlap. Make sure the carpet does not crest at the seam and is holding flat over the bonded area. Once the whole length is in place and you are happy with its appearance it is necessary to walk along the join several times to activate the glue and bond the grass to the tape. Weight the seam to ensure good contact with the glue until it cures. The more care taken with the operation the neater and tidier the joint will be.

While you should endeavour not to put adhesive onto the carpet small amounts of glue can be removed from the artificial grass fibre using White Spirit and a small off cut of the artificial grass. Small amounts of cured glue can usually be removed. To avoid this situation and the possibility of damage to the artificial grass, care and precautions should be taken to avoid contact with the fibres at all times.

When the artificial grass has been jointed and glued and you are happy with the levels screw the grass to the timber perimeter framework using galvanised screws at a minimum of 12 inch intervals.

Spread Sand (Optional, depending on Grass Selected)

When the artificial grass has been laid use silica sand, which is kiln dried and brush into carpet as you go. Each product could have sand infill but this is only used to stabilise the carpet and at no time should the sand be visible. You must obtain an even spread over the surface using a brush to build up the depth in layers. Do not apply the sand in one application. Brush sand into pile immediately after laying while the artificial grass is dry and while weather is good. Brush vigorously against the fibres of the carpet pile to encourage the tufts to stand upright. Putting the correct amount of sand in helps hold the artificial grass to bed down, protects the fibres and also keeps them standing to give it the look of real grass.

Once the hard work has been done, you can sit back and relax in the knowledge that your artificial grass lawn will look great and require minimal maintenance.

8 Tips for Growing in Greenhouses

There are more than one reasons as to why you should grow your plants in a greenhouse.

A greenhouse makes it possible for seeds to grow earlier in the season than planting them in the ground and to make the gardening season last that much longer.

Greenhouse gardening is not a difficult one, but it does need more attention compared to the normal gardens outside. It is entirely in your hands to make sure that the correct characteristics of nature are been upheld. This would require more attention on a more than regular basis in order for your plants and vegetation to grow fruitfully.
Here are a few tips in order to make sure that you keep it Green!

1. Make sure that you do not over crowd

Plan the layout of your greenhouse as you would the outside garden. Plants that are too close together will not blossom and would be easy prey to diseases.

2. Make sure that you always know the temperature

It would be very logical to use a thermometer or specialised heating system in your greenhouse and make sure that you check in on a regular basis. It is vital that you keep up a set temperature as it is likely to rise to damaging heights. One of the best ways to maintain the temperature would be to open the doors and or windows and if you can, install a ventilation system.

3. Make sure that you do not over water

As you are aware, the atmosphere inside the greenhouse is to a certain extent very humid.

As the inside plants do not have the pleasure of feeling the rain, you have to ensure that while you do not over water at the same time you should not let your plants get dry.

4. Keep an eye open for mold and mildew

While the warm environment is good for your plants, at the same time while your plants are growing so are the molds and mildew.

In order to prevent growth of these, you should keep the humidity down to at least 50% by means of ventilation.

5. Use rainwater

It is most preferred that you use rainwater to water the greenhouse plants; it will benefit you to get a rain barrel and gather rainwater in that.
If this is not possible to do, then make sure that you let tap water stand a bit to warm up before you water the plants.

6. Keep a clean roof at all times

It would be in your benefit to make sure that the roof of your greenhouse is kept clear at all times. If not, this would prevent the solar heat from getting in.

7. Pests

Plants are by no means the only living organism in your greenhouse.

You have to make sure to check every once in a while for burrows, and it would be a good thing to check live plants every once in a while for insects.

8. Patience

It would take a while for you to get used to the extra attention that you are required to pay to your greenhouse, but with perseverance and patience anything is possible.

Create A New Lawn From Grass Seed Or Turf

Throughout the world, a lawn is an ornamental and fundamental characteristic of residential, business and public landscapes. Within the landscaping world are many different types of grass laid from turf or seed, including: Bent, Bermuda, Centipede, Crab grass, Fine Fescue, Kentucky Blue, Ornamental, Pampas, Rye, St. Augustine, Tall Fescue and Zoysia. A thorough investigation of each type of turf or seed will ensure the proper choice by you for your landscaping needs. Some areas may require a blending of sorts because several environmental growing and maintenance conditions exist.

Turf Or Seed

Simply put, creating beautiful landscaping from seed costs much less, but takes more time and maintenance to grow than when you lay turf. Sod costs more; however, it comes mature and ready to lay but prior to that you must prepare the area properly, and that takes time and dedication. If you have never laid sod, find someone skilled in laying sod to avoid brown areas and having to unearth costly mistakes later. If you decide on seed, you should know that native grass seed is naturally resistant to a particular region’s soil and environmental conditions making it a friendlier choice. Organic grass seed is considered eco-friendly since it is grown without the use of fertilizers, herbicides or pesticides; however, expect to pay more for the friendliness.

Prepare Your Soil

Remove the large pieces of old turf, rocks and other plant life from both the soil’s surface and within the top few inches of earth by hand or machine. There should be no obstacles between your soil and your new lawn. One of the major challenges is the removal of all weeds without dropping their seedlings into your soil. Check with the manufacturer’s instructions if you decide to use a weed killer to make sure it is friendly to both seed and turf.

  • Do a thorough job of rotating the soil, then add a blend of organic material and coarse sand.
  • Make sure your soil is dry and then smooth out the soil using a rake or garden roller until it is even and flat.

Grass Type

These are some of the questions you should ask yourself whilst choosing the type of grass you want to have in your lawn. Some thought up front will give the right blend of thickness, durability, maintenance and luxury that will let you enjoy your garden and lawn year after year.

  • What is the purpose of the new lawn, to improve the appearance, for sporting events, a tranquil sitting area, etc.?
  • Do you require a hardier, more resistant grass in some areas?
  • What area are you looking to fill?
  • Determine the Zone, the physical location, and the season the grass will be sown.
  • What grass is successfully sown in your area?
  • What is your budget?
  • Are there particular problems (erosion or drought)?
  • What do you project the cost to be, as well as the cost of future maintenance, and is it within your budget?
  • Have you considered blending a variety of turf or seed and plants with ornamentation, as well as grass types?
  • If you prefer an organic grass, are you prepared for its upkeep?

Sowing Grass Seed

After preparing the soil, apply lawn fertilizer that works well with grass seed.

  • Using a rake, level and mix the soil and the fertilizer.
  • Mark off a walkable area with garden string and two spikes; make it a small even plot or manageable walking area.
  • Follow the sowing instructions that come with your grass seed package, or measure out an even amount of grass seed for each area and carefully toss the seed into the soil.
  • Gently rake the soil again to incorporate the soil, fertilizer, and seed.
  • Now, water your lawn thoroughly.

Laying Turf

Lay turf in moderate temperatures; early spring or autumn is a good time and make sure not to lay the turf in extremes of moisture or when there is a risk of frost or freezing temperatures.

  • Complete your soil preparation prior to ordering your turf.
  • Outline the area you will roll the turf on by using garden string and two spikes. Attach the string to the spikes. This is your guide line, so make it accurate. The carpenters maxim of measure twice, cut once should apply here.
  • Lay each turf so close together that they overlap each other by a ½ inch thus preventing a breach of growth between each roll of turf.
  • Alternate the configuration and alignment of the turf strips for a more natural look. 6) Walk carefully on the laid turf so you do not upset its placement.
  • Fill breaches with top dressing mix.
  • When you finish laying the turf, using the reverse side of a garden spade GENTLY tap the turf to insure contact with the soil.
  • Now hydrate your turf with water.

A comprehensive research of your landscaping needs pays off in a beautifully landscaped area that you can be proud of and enjoy, in many areas year-round. Regular cutting and wearing lawn aeration shoes whilst working can dramatically improve the condition of your lawn and in doing this, you increase the water and oxygen levels in the soil whilst simultaneously improving drainage and giving access to the grass roots for feed and other nutrients.

Docketing landscaping tasks on your calendar is an excellent way of keeping track of your maintenance schedule. Once you include landscaping maintenance into your daily or weekly schedule, you will reduce the time, cost and energy used to maintain your lawn’s appearance. Little and often works best as it is easier to keep your lawn in shape than to get your lawn in shape. If you smartly select the proper grass, correctly prepare the ground and follow proper maintenance instructions, you will have a beautiful lawn and looking outside will never be dull or dreary no matter the weather or season.

Choosing Your Aquarium Freshwater Fish

So, you have your aquarium setup and you need to decide what kind of freshwater fish you are going to keep. Choosing what sort of fish you want is an important step. Maybe you want some that are highly active, so they’re always moving and entertaining you. Perhaps you want fish from a specific region.

Your fish selections will be unique to you, and one thing is certain, you are going to need freshwater fish for your aquarium!

The fish breeds you end up with should take some effort on your part if it is to be done right, particularly if you will be mixing species. Making the effort to research now will prevent fish injury and even loss later.

Research: Not All That Complicated!

Beginning your research with a fish supply store in your general area is a fantastic idea! Informed staff will be able to respond to a lot of your questions and give you important tips on keeping your fish healthy and happy.

There are quite a few factors to account for when choosing your fish, here are just a few:

  • Does this fish like concealed places or open spaces?
  • The pH requirements are important for a mixed breed aquarium; the fish you choose need to thrive in the same range.
  • What is the temperament of this fish? Aggressive? Passive?
  • What are the feeding requirements for this fish?
  • Does it eat at the top of the tank, or the bottom?
  • How big will this fish grow? Is your tank going to be big enough!
  • Is the temperature range for this fish going to be compatible with the other fish you want to have?

Providing a happy “middle ground” can be challenging when choosing more than one breed for your aquarium. The more you know about your fishes needs, the better you can prepare and the happier your fish will be. Happy fish = healthy fish!

I could discuss various fish species with you but after all is said and done, our choices will come down to one thing… which fish will capture your heart. This is the exact reason that I’m suggesting a different direction.

Set aside an hour or so and browse the offerings at your local fish store. Gosh, go to several in your vicinity! Your primary purpose is to identify which fish catch you eye, then write down the species in a note pad. Talk to the store staff about any special needs and put that down also.

Take it all home, lay everything out and see which of your selections matches the best by cross referencing the information you collected. This truly is the best way to know which fish breed is for you.

Mix Up the Menu!

There’s one thing that some people just don’t thing about when buying multiple fish breeds, and this is food needs. Not all fish dine at the same water level – some are bottom dwellers, and others are surface eaters.

Try to avoid aggressive top feeders if you intend on having bottom dwellers; you can mix them but intervention on your part may be needed later if you discover someone is going hungry.

Matching dietary needs will encourage a community of fish that live in harmony. The happier your fish are, the more dynamic and colorful they will be in your aquarium.

And by the way, fish will eat each other! No, we’re not kidding. This is serious; do not underestimate your fish. Other serious risks include aggressive fish biting others, smaller fish who just can’t fend for themselves – fish who have long, flowing fins are almost always a target.

Match aggression levels in your fish and you’ll get a good mix. If everyone is evenly matched, the ruffians of the tank know when to back off, avoiding more serious injuries.

Combative Behavior in the Tank

In choosing your fish species, it is always a good idea to discover how to identify the males as they are more apt to be aggressive than females. In some species, Betta’s for example, males will not tolerate another male at all.

Some fish are even triggered by another of the same color! It really depends on the breed of fish, but a ratio of 2-3 females for each male ought to keep you out of harm’s way.

The Ultimate Offense

Too often a new fish owner will not do their research, choose whatever catches their eye and then wonder where all their fish went…

Claiming ignorance will not save the lives of your fish! Do your research and you will finish up with a outstanding community of fish that will entertain you for many years to come.