EquipSupply Blog

  • Safety and Sanitation – What You Need to Know about Shoveling Snow this Winter

    As frigid winter weather continues to pound some parts of the nation, safety concerns are important to consider. While seeking shelter in rain and shoveling snow may seem obvious, individuals must ensure they are doing everything possible to stay safe from extreme cold and winter accidents. As more snowfall blankets various regions, here are some guidelines for staying safe when it comes to shoveling snow.

    First, unless you live in an extremely busy part of town, do not rush out to start moving snow. AsShoveling Snow counterintuitive as it seems, take the time to stretch your muscles – your hamstrings, back, and shoulders. These areas will be hard at work and in order to prevent unwanted injuries, treat shoveling as any other physical exercise.

    Next, do not overdress. Wear a few layers that will enable you to stay warm initially, but resist multiple bulky sweaters, as you will start sweating after a few minutes. Wear loose-fitting layers that can be removed easily as you start warming up. Consider keeping a DeWALT kerosene heater powered on to minimize some of the shock to your body.

    Before picking up your shovel, determine where you are going to pile up the snow. Move the first shovelful farther away from where you are standing, and then dump the rest of the snow closer to where you are. This means you will move the last batch a short distance away.

    Clear around cars first by removing accumulation on all sides. Clean all windows until visibility is undeterred.

    Keep hydrated and rest regularly to prevent burnout. If possible, seek help from family members, neighbors, or even hire someone to assist you with shoveling. The more hands, the quicker you can get back inside.

    Once you are finished, stretch your muscles again to warm them down.

  • Tips for Finishing the Basement

    Basements add extra space to a home and may be utilized in many ways – as a bedroom, workshop, playroom, office, etc. Finishing a basement may be done over the course of a few weekends and advanced weekend warriors must be organized and thorough. Before starting work on the basement, keep the following tips in mind:

    Each area has specific codes so find out if any permits or approvals are needed from the local council. This is especially true if your work includes plumbing and electrical factors as the project may have to be inspected.

    Ensure the basement is completely dry. Check for water damage such as pools of water or drips coming in through the walls. Repair cracks in your foundation and any other water-related issues. You may begin work once you are certain there are no moisture problems in or around the basement. Add a vapor barrier to the walls and floors before starting to frame and finish off these surfaces.

    The majority of basement walls and floors are masonry, cement, block or brick. This means that regular screws and nails will not work when attaching framing. Get the right fasteners and anchors for your Handyman Finishing Basementwalls.

    Work safely. Ensure that all power tools are unplugged when not in use and out of the way. For basement projects in the winter, use a forced air kerosene heater to stay warm. For bigger jobs, the 175K BTU forced air kerosene heater provides warmth to a larger area.

    When looking at insulation options, choose one that includes a vapor barrier on both sides. Insulation will not only help control the temperature inside the basement, but it is wise to use it as another layer of moisture protection. Another insulation option is spray foam insulation – just be sure to check the code requirements.

    Drop ceilings are affordable and conceal electrical and plumbing lines, while offering easy access in the case of an emergency. While a suspended ceiling may not be the best option aesthetically, there are many attractive options on the market. Another factor to consider when it comes to the ceiling in the overhead space available.

    Keep the utility room that houses the HVAC unit and water heaters clear and open. There are specific code requirements for spacing and framing. While you may be tempted to enclose it or finish it along with the rest of the basement, keep it simple to avoid problems later.

  • Tips for Outdoor Entertaining During Winter

    When individuals think of entertaining guests during the winter, they usually plan indoor parties so that guests can be warm and comfortable. But entertaining outdoors during the winter can actually be a fun alternative to having everyone cramped indoors. Even if the air is brisk or there is light precipitation, providing warmth, shelter, and comfort outdoors can be achieved easily. Here are some ways to make winter entertaining a hit:

    First, let guests know ahead of time to bundle up. Then, invest in a stainless steel patio heater in the event of colder-than-normal temperatures. The patio heater does not require electricity, can last for 9-10 hours, and is easy to move as needed. Those looking for an alternative to stainless steel may consider the jet silver patio heater instead.

    Once considerations have been made to keep your guests warm, dress your outdoor space in an equally considerate way. For example, light candles of different shapes, sizes, and scents. Vanilla, cinnamon, and coffee flavors create a relaxed atmosphere. Use furniture that is comfortable, cozy, and made from warm Outdoor Entertaining During Wintermaterials such as wool or velvet. Throw fleece blankets over chairs so that individuals can use them as shawls or to cover their legs. Another fun element may be to create a bonfire where guests can gather around to socialize in smaller groups. It also sets the stage for an evening of fondue.

    Serve meals that are warm and filling. Stews, soups, or even grilling are great options. Keep warm drinks, such as hot chocolate and coffee, flowing throughout the party. For dessert, something hot and gooey will be a sure winner.

    Music is an important factor for outdoor entertaining. Create a song list that caters to the preferences of guests. Start slow and play more upbeat songs as the night goes on. A surefire ways for guests to stay warm is to dance the night away.

  • Weekend Warrior - Modern House Trends

    One of the easiest ways to increase property value on a home is to add a few luxurious touches. Doing so can turn an ordinary house into a dream house. Even if you are not planning to sell, updating aspects of the property such as landscaping, lighting, and outdoor setup may have you feeling like a celebrity. Weekend warriors may consider the following home design ideas to create modern and stylish accents at home.

    • Large windows and glass walls, folding or sliding glass doors, and glass partitions that connect rooms indoors with outdoor living spaces create a modern look but also add functionality to any space.
    • Nothing says luxury like a spa-inspired bathroom. Use natural views as the focal point to the bathroom by incorporating large windows. If your bathroom does not have a naturally beautiful view, create a mini-spa area and combine natural materials with chic décor.
    • Spacious walk-in closets and stylish dressing rooms are great additions for any home. They create smart storage spaces, make individuals feel opulent, and add value to the house. Consider wood for built-in shelves and cabinets, combined with contemporary lighting.Backyard Landscaping
    • Large outdoor living spaces that utilize a beautiful garden, yard decorations, creative artworks, and unique décor can be done simply or extravagantly, depending on your personal taste. A great example of unique décor is this bronze patio heater that allows you to stay warm while using the outdoor space during the winter.
    • A modern home theater creates the atmosphere of being at the movies, with the comfort of extra-plush seating, a customized screen, and the convenience of being at home. A home theater may be used to host parties for major events, such as the Super Bowl, the Academy Awards, etc.
    • The exterior of a property should give a great first impression. A beautiful driveway, manicured lawn, and bright outdoor lights will impress guests right away and sets the tone for the rest of the house. Lighting should be stylish, efficient, and subtle to make the house feel expensive.

    Child-friendly areas that have bookshelves, slides, and storage add creativity to the house. Having a dedicated area where kids and adults can play is valuable emotionally, and also prevents the entire home from being influenced by touches of disarray.

  • Arts & Crafts: Tips for Planning a Tented Wedding

    Hosting a tented wedding may be a necessity for couples tying the knot during winter, but it has also become something of a trend over the past few years. Creative DIY-enthusiasts have an advantage in their ability to create and coordinate the decorations without spending thousands of dollars on vendor fees. Challenges are sure to arise, however, and preparing ahead of time will make these roadblocks seem less intimidating. Here are tips for those who plan on throwing a tented wedding in the future:

    • Couples who do not mind unpredictable weather should come up with a back-up plan in the event of rain, show, sleet, hail, or high winds. While most tents can withstand weather, it may be best to invest in side curtains that can roll down, turning the tent into a water-tight outdoor space. Consider a heater such as L.B. White’s 80K BTU tent heater and rent enough units to warm the entire space.Tented Wedding
    • Tent location is extremely important. When choosing a location, consider how far guests will have to walk, if they may get their shoes dirty, where the caterers will prep and cook, and where the rentals will be loaded and unloaded. Each of these factors will play a role in the final cost of the event, as well as guest experience.
    • Communication with vendors is key. Tented weddings are unique and there is a chance that several vendors will not be familiar with the logistics. Additionally, tented weddings vary from event to event based on many factors. Be clear and honest with your vendors in terms of expectations and how much help is needed. It is always better to voice all requirements well ahead of time instead of at the last minute. Allow them access to the space and put them in touch with the right people to ensure your tented wedding is a success.

    Once the wedding location has been finalized, secure any necessary permits immediately. Depending on your location, check with the local council on rules pertaining to an outdoor wedding.

  • Weekend Warrior: Beginner Bathroom Makeover

    Transforming an outdated and ugly bathroom does not require unlimited time, or even an unlimited budget. The average range of a bathroom renovation is  $8,000 - $12,000. That being said, individuals can make cost effective minor changes to give an old bathroom a much-needed facelift. No need for ripping up tiles, doing demo work, or hiring a professional. Here are some ideas that can be done over the course of a weekend to help update any bathroom: Bathroom

    Switch out the mirror. Check out yard sales in the neighborhood or use a mirror from another room in the house. Add some flare by painting the borders or adding new molding.

    Replace the shower curtain. While focusing on the shower curtain, make sure to replace the liner. The liner can be used as a paint drop cloth in the future. Choosing a shower curtain is a big deal from a design perspective because it affects the look of the entire bathroom.  Based on the ultimate style that you are trying to achieve, shower curtains can range from minimalist to shabby chic.

    Add a coat of paint. Using the old liner mentioned above, prepare the bathroom walls for a fresh look. A new color can change the look of an entire bathroom. Cabinets can be painted to hide old marks or scratches. When choosing a color (or colors) for the bathroom, test out a few samples. Darker colors tend to make a room look smaller, while lighter colors create the illusion of a larger space.

    Scrub away mold from tiles and grout. You can use bleach, borax, vinegar, or ammonia to scrub away dirty mold and mildew from the tiles in and around your bathtub. Once clean, your bathroom will look even more pristine. When dealing with highly toxic cleaning liquids, just be sure to wear safety masks, which can be purchased at EquipSupply.com.

    Replace your bathmat. You can get so used to your bathroom mat that you don’t realize how dirty or worn out it has become. Consider implementing rag rugs and even small kitchen rugs for a new twist.

  • A Clean Slate: Restoring Dignity to your Garage

    Cleaning out your garage might seem like an impossible task. It's daunting to throw out all of the junk that has accumulated over the years. But, what if there are valuables hidden in your heaps of stuff? Don’t be a hoarder. It's time to clean the clutter and restore your garage to its former glory.

    A Clean Slate Infographic
  • Safety and Sanitation: Prevent Cross Contamination in the Kitchen

    Safety in the kitchen is not limited to securing sharp or hot objects. Cross contamination can result from foodborne illness and food poisoning. Cross contamination occurs when bacteria is transferred from one food to another. This transfer can occur while grocery shopping. It can also occur when transporting, storing, or preparing food. Items that are not stored or cooked properly can allow bacteria to grow in food, making individuals who eat the food susceptible to sickness. People who have a compromised immune system are especially at risk for foodborne illness. Kitchen

    One of the most common cross contamination scenarios is when bacteria from meat leaks onto produce that will be eaten uncooked, such as lettuce. In addition, bacteria can be commonly transferred from a cutting board, counter surface, or a person’s hand.

    To prevent cross contamination when shopping:

    • Separate meats, poultry, and seafood from other items in the grocery cart.
    • Place the above-mentioned foods in clear plastic bags to prevent their juices from dripping onto other foods.
    • Pass meats, poultry, and seafood on the checkout counter after all other items.

    When packing food in the refrigerator:

    • Keep eggs in their original carton and refrigerate as soon as possible.
    • Place raw meats, poultry, and seafood in containers or sealed plastic bags to prevent the juices from contaminating other foods.

    When cooking food:

    • Wash hands regularly. Use soap and hot water before and after handling the food. Always wash your hands after using the restroom, handling pets, and changing diapers.
    • Wash kitchen surfaces regularly. Use hot, soapy water to wipe kitchen surfaces and any spills that occur. If you use cloth wipes instead of paper towels, you should wash the cloths often in hot water.
    • Dishes, cutting boards, and counter tops should be washed with soapy water after preparing one item, before moving on to another item. Make sure to keep a stash of utility scrub brushes from EquipSupply.com handy for cleaning purposes.
    • If possible, keep a separate cutting board for fresh produce.
    • Rinse fresh fruits and vegetables in running tap water to remove visible dirt and grime.
    • Discard the outer leaves of lettuce and cabbage.

    When serving food:

    • Use clean dishes.
    • Do not place cooked food on a surface that previously held raw food.
  • Safety: Home Security for Seniors

    Aging is a natural part of life. It’s understandable that seniors may face challenges doing things around the house as they get older. More and more individuals are opting to remain in their homes instead of moving to assisted-living facilities, because they feel comfortable in a familiar environment. Fortunately, it is possible to make a home safe for seniors without a huge budget or time commitment. Here are factors to consider when getting started: Senior Citizen

    • Make sure all fire-escape routes are clearly marked, even if that means sticking neon-colored tape against the floors or walls. Alternatively, you could use bright paint to indicate a way out in case of an emergency.
    • Install smoke alarms on every floor, changing batteries regularly.
    • Install a video system that can be accessed from anywhere in the world. With this, seniors can monitor the house without having to walk to every room.
    • Add more lights to the house, especially near stairways, porches, and outside walkways. Purchase a portable lantern from EquipSupply.com that will allow seniors to feel more safe and confident as they move around the house.
    • Replace doorknobs and faucets with lever handles, so they can be turned with the entire hand instead of a few fingers.
    • Get rid of throw rugs and other clutter on the floor.
    • Remove raised doorway thresholds.
    • Place rubber tips on walkers and canes.
    • Add handrails to stairways.
    • Install grab handles in the bathroom.
    • Use nonskid mats inside and outside the tub, and near the toilet and sink.
    • Add a shower chair or bath bench.
    • Consider installing a curbless shower, which will eliminate the need to step up and over.
    • Raise the toilet a few inches.
    • Use the lower shelves in the kitchen to stock food and supplies.
    • Purchase a reaching device so items that are too high up can be accessed easily.
    • Rearrange furniture to allow seniors to move around freely and reduce the risk of falling. Discard unstable furniture such as chairs with broken legs.
    • Set up a communication system that will allow seniors to get help or trigger an alarm with the push of one button.
    • Throw away unused or expired medication. Label all new prescriptions in large, bold print that is easy to read.
    • Remove doors to facilitate use and movement of wheelchairs or walkers.
    • Install a ramp at the entrance of the house so that seniors can avoid climbing stairs.
  • Safety: Tips to Prevent Burglary

    A home burglary can mean the loss of thousands of dollars worth of electronics, jewelry, and other cherished items. It can also mean the loss of security and peace of mind in the home. While all individuals don’t require an expensive, high-tech alarm system for their properties, a few well-placed locks and security devices can go a long way. Reduce the risk of falling victim to a burglary by employing one, some, or all of the following tips:


    Locks Doors and Windows: While it may seem obvious, many individuals forget or simply neglect to lock doors and windows when leaving the house for short or extended periods of time. Even when at home, keeping doors locked can prevent home invasion situations. Almost 25% of break-ins occur through first-floor windows. There are a handful of wireless alarm kits on the market that will sound if a door or window is opened. Most of these kits cost around $25.

    Make The Landscape Work For You: Thorny rose bushes strategically placed under windows are not appealing for burglars. Robbers may think twice about choosing your home as a target. Ensure all bushes and hedges are trimmed regularly with shears from EquipSupply.com to eliminate a place where thieves can hide while scoping out the property. Utilizing gravel or loose stones around the house can alert you (or a dog) if someone is approaching the house. Motion-activated security lights near grade-level windows or entrances can also help to expose burglars.

    Do Not Put Valuables on Display: If passersby can see the 50-inch flat-screen TV from the sidewalk, rearrange your living room layout. Ensure that valuable items are hidden to reduce that chance of becoming a break-in victim. Invest in privacy curtains so that items in your house can be hidden during the workday. During holiday seasons, keep both wrapped and unwrapped gifts away from windows.

    Invest in Double Key Deadbolts: About 35% of thieves enter homes through the front door. Double key deadbolts require a key not only to enter, but to exit as well. Therefore if someone breaks in through the front door, they will have an extremely difficult time getting out. They would have to break the door down and cause negative attention.

    Make the House Appear Occupied: When going out of town, set up a timer for lights, the radio, and even the TV. As an alternative, ask trusted neighbors, friends, or family members to stop by at various times to pick up mail, flyers, and other boxes that may stack up outside the front door while you are away.

    Other Simple Tips:

    • Keep the garage door closed and locked when not in use.
    • Arrange for the lawn to be mowed if you are going away for an extended period of time.
    • Keep lawn mowers, barbeques, and bicycles out of sight.
    • If there is no security system for the house, stick a security sign in the front lawn to deter burglars.
    • If you have a security system, make a habit of using it.

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