EquipSupply Blog

  • 7 Ways to Get Your Home Ready for Winter

    Temperatures around the country have started cooling down and it won’t be long before many areas experience the precipitation that comes along with winter. There is plenty you can do to ensure the next few months at home are as comfortable as possible. Now is the time for weekend warriors to prepare the home for winter if it hasn’t been done already. Not only will these tips keep your family warm and cozy, they may also end up saving you money on the utility bill during the course of the winter.

    1. Change ceiling fans to rotate in a clockwise direction. Doing so can warm up the spaces of a home because hot air rises and when the blades are moving clockwise, they force warm air down.
    2. Replace old and dirty furnace filters because they put a burden on the entire system. The furnace has to work much harder to warm up the house and you’ll likely see an increase in your bill. New filters cost about $10 each and will allow your furnace to work at an optimal level of efficiency.
    3. Look for gaps around windows and door frames. If you notice spaces that are bigger than the diameter of a nickel, reapply exterior caulk. Consider the use of silicone caulk for exterior use because it will not shrink and can withstand the various elements of winter.Man Cleaning His Gutters
    4. Clear your gutters of leaves, branches, and dirt buildup. Clogged gutters may cause water backup against the house, leading to damage of the roof and siding. While examining the gutters, check for missing boards or damage so you can repair them as soon as possible.
    5. While some areas of the country are immune from frigid temperatures, heavy rainfall and snow accumulation can still cause major issues during winter months. Add extensions to the downspouts so that water can run more than three feet away from the foundation.
    6. Ducts are out of sight so many people forget how much of an impact they have on the heating of a home. Properly seal and insulate ducts that may be hidden away in the attic or basement. Homeowners may reduce the annual cost of their energy bill by more than $100 when ducts are tightly sealed and insulated.
    7. Use insulation to wrap the water pipes that are located in the basement or crawl spaces. Plastic and copper pipes can easily freeze with poor insulation. Frozen pipes may crack or burst, and even a small slice and release up to 250 gallons a day.

    Find all the parts and accessories you need to heat your home for winter at EquipSupply.com

  • Ways to Childproof Your Home During the Holidays

    The holiday season is quickly approaching which means travels, toys, visitors, and decorations all around the house for many families. Although it is one of the happiest times of the year for little ones, the holiday season can pose hazards that are not a threat during the rest of the year. Extra safety measures and precautions can be made around the house to keep children out of harm’s way. It’s also wise to keep a first aid kit from EquipSupply.com readily available. Here are ways you can childproof your home during the holidays.

    • If you are putting up a tree, avoid tip-over by securing it to the wall with an eyehook or twine. Another option it to completely block it off with a safety gate to ensure that babies won’t crawl near the base and accidentally tip it over on top of themselves.
    • Keep candles, lights, and other heavy decorations well out of reach. Colorful and sparkly decorations are sure to catch the attention of children so ensure they can’t get a hold of it. Use lightweight and portable options for decorations that go on the floor or within reach of kids.
    • Cover your electrical cords with a rug or run them along the length of a wall and tape them securely. Test lights for loose connections and replace them with new bulbs.
    • Candles create a cozy and charming atmosphere at holiday parties and dinners, but they are an accident waiting to happen if there are numerous children running around the house. Consider the use of artificial candles that are battery operated or electric. They are a great alternative and give you one less thing to worry about.Baby Gate in Front of Stairs
    • The kitchen should be off-limits for young children unless supervised by an adult. Burns and scalds are a common holiday hazard so refrain from asking children to help you move hot foods/liquids from one room to another.
    • Batteries are common during the holidays. They are in everything from small electronic toys to greeting cards. But they are also very tempting to young children. Swallowing these shiny objects can lead to serious intestinal damage. Keep them safely inside electronics by placing a piece of tape on top of battery covers.
    • Fire safety is important year-round, but be extra diligent during the holidays. Test the smoke and carbon monoxide detectors you already have installed. Replace batteries or units as necessary.
  • DIY Limitations – Home Projects That Require the Help of a Pro

    DIY projects give renters and homeowners an outlet to create a home that best fits their individual tastes. From applying creative stencils and wallpapers to landscaping, these projects increase the skill of DIY enthusiasts over time. Doing work around the house without the help of a pro can also save a fair amount of money in the long run.

    But there are some home projects that may be unsafe, even for advanced DIYers. Safety should be a top priority for any home project. Here are some DIY projects that may best be tackled with the help of a pro, or done entirely by experts:

    • Branch and tree removal – Whether you are trying to clear your landscape, safeguard your home from storms, or required to remove a tree/branches due to county regulations – consult a pro. Because this home project requires climbing and the use of dangerous tools from a high distance off the ground, it’s best not to try it alone.
    • Structural changes – Breaking down walls might seem easy enough, but there could be electrical wiring, gas pipes, and plumbing that cause major safety hazards if damaged. There’s also the chance of accidentally destroying a load-bearing wall, which is sure to lead to problems for the foundation of the house.Man Doing Electrical Work
    • Electrical work – Taking on electrical work puts DIYers in danger of getting shocked or unknowingly changing the position of wires. Both mistakes may lead to major safety issues for individuals and the home.
    • Replacing home siding – This job typically requires tools and equipment the average DIYer will not have on hand such as scaffolding and commercial ladders, which can be found at EquipSupply.com. Using normal ladders and makeshift equipment for this job can lead to personal injury or a final look that appears unprofessional.
    • Roof repairs – Clearing gutters is doable for most DIY handymen. But when it comes to replacing tiles or structural roof projects, it’s best to call in a pro. One can easily lose their footing and slip, or even install tiles/materials incorrectly.
    • Building an outdoor kitchen – Building an outdoor kitchen is great for parties, entertaining, and the overall value of a home. But they require specialized knowledge and skill in various areas of home improvement. They are also a big investment, so while advanced DIY handymen can work on many aspects of the project, it may be worth it to consult a contractor to ensure the project gets done with 100% accuracy.
  • Ideas for Reinventing Your Dull Doors

    Doors play an important role in the home. They separate the function of one room from another, provide a physical barrier between hosts and guests, and during different seasons they either contain warmth and coziness or allow for a light and airy atmosphere. Many renters and homeowners tend to view doors as just a functional element of a space, but they may also be used to add an element of style and design to a home. If you’re looking for an indoor handyman project that won’t break the bank, consider reinventing your dull doors in some of the following ways:

    • Add mirrors – Whether you choose full-length or partial, adding mirrors to a door adds practicality and an element of surprise. It brightens up a room to give the illusion of more space; it provides additional ways to check your look and attire; and it reflects art and design elements you already have in the room.Grey Front Doors
    • Cover it with wallpaper – There are many unique wallpaper options on the market that can enhance the look of your home. If you don’t like the idea of covering full walls, revamping a dull door into a funky focal point is the perfect solution. Within your wallpaper selection, options range from self-adhesive to removable so there’s no need to stress out if you have to go through multiple designs before finding the right look.
    • Paint it – This is one of the easiest ways to reinvent a dull door. A fresh dash of paint that pops is a fun family project. Use a contrasting color or consider including stencil designs to make the doors more artistically appealing.
    • Make it a chalkboard – Perfect for a child’s bedroom door, the use of black or white chalkboard paint is a great way to liven up a door. Allow the young ones to pick the color and help them divide different sections of the door for various purposes such as games, schedules, drawings, artwork, and pictures.
    • Change the door handle – Sometimes that’s all it takes to give a dull door a bit of a facelift. There are limitless styles of doorknobs and handles that can add personality or a particular theme to a room. You can even change them out based on holidays or season. For example, install a skeleton hand piece during the Halloween season and switch it out for a snowflake-inspired look during winter. The possibilities are endless.

    And remember to purchase all the tools you need for your door transformation at EquipSupply.com.

  • Steps for Bleeding a Radiator This Winter

    Bleeding a radiator is a normal routine for many homeowners and renters during winter. You’ll know it’s time to bleed the radiator if the bottom feels warm but the top feels cool. If there is a lot of air trapped inside, the radiator will feel cold all over. Bleeding a radiator is an easy maintenance job that any handyman can do. It also improves the efficiency of your entire heating system – both in terms of heating and monetary savings.

    The one item you will need for this process is a radiator key. A flat-head screwdriver from EqiupSupply.com can also work with many radiators if you don’t have the key. The first step for bleeding a radiator is to turn on the heat and wait for all units to get fully hot. Next, determine which radiators need bleeding by checking them one by one to see if all the parts are warming up normally. Be cautious when checking the temperature at this stage to prevent accidental burns. Once you have found all the units with cool spots proceed to bleed them.Radiator

    Switch off the heat to prevent more air from entering the system. Doing so will also minimize the risk of burns and a soaked floor. Remember to count how many turns it takes you to turn off each radiator valve. Attach the radiator key to the valve located at the top end of the radiator. If you are using a screwdriver, place it into the groove. Position a cloth below each valve to catch any moisture. It is also a good idea to wrap a cloth around your hand as a protective shield in case water that escapes from the radiator drips on you.

    Slowly turn the radiator key counter clockwise. Don’t be alarmed when you hear a hissing sound as it signals that gas is escaping. When water starts to drip out of the valve, you’ll know that all the air has been removed from the radiator. Tighten the valve quickly back to it’s original position.

    Finally, be sure to check the pressure by taking a look at the gauge on your boiler. If the pressure is too low top it up by using level on top of the boiler. Switch the heating back on once this entire process is complete. After a few hours make sure that each radiator you have worked on has a uniform temperature throughout the entire surface and there is no water leaking from the bleed valve.

  • Organizational Tips to Clean out Garage

    There’s a good chance you know people who have so much stuff piled up and stored in their garage that they can’t even fit their vehicles inside. Or maybe, you are that person? Garages tend to be a drop zone for items people don’t have space for inside of their homes – suitcases, sports equipment, old books, etc. If you missed National Clean Out Your Garage Day (the Saturday after Labor Day), you can still clean out your garage before winter hits. Set aside one weekend and enlist the help of family members - your garage will be clutter-free in no time.

    The first step is to take everything out of your garage. While this may seem like a tedious task, seeing your garage as an empty canvas will give you the motivation to keep things organized and functional in the future.

    Man cleaning his garageAs you are clearing items out of the garage, set up three zones: one for items you want to keep, one for items to be donated, and one for items that can be thrown away. You’ll realize as you go through the process that items you really want to keep for sentimental reasons will slowly start shifting to the donate or garbage pile. This is natural so don’t feel stressed that items you put in a particular pile have to stay there.

    Within your “keep” pile, group like items together so they can be organized in the same space for easy access. For example, a section for shoes/clothes makes it easier for anyone in the family to find a coat, hat, or pair of boots they are looking for if all these items are organized together. And remember, if you are cleaning the clutter in your garage on a cold weekend, use an electric heater to stay warm – especially if the kids are helping.

    Once it’s time to organize items in the garage, try to keep the floors clear if possible. Doing so will free up space for your vehicle. Purchase shelving units, cabinets, stackable bins, hooks, and racks to organize your items. Also save smaller food jars as they can hold small, miscellaneous items like screws, ribbon, and thread.

    A few tips:

    • Open shelves are better than closed cabinets because you can visually identify what you need without causing more clutter
    • Organize items vertically on a pegboard in order to maximize storage space
  • Decor Ideas for Outdoor Autumn Parties

    Every party requires a degree of planning around the space, setup, menu, and entertainment. But outdoor autumn parties may require more attention. Not only do you want guests to feel warm and cozy, you can also show that using the great outdoors to host a social gathering in cooler temperatures is actually a great idea!

    The main red flag for an outdoor autumn party is weather. Solve this issue by buying or renting a patio heater – you can even find one that matches with your outdoor furniture. Draw in the fall colors by arranging blankets and throw cushions in various seating areas. Not only will they add to your décor, but attendees can also use the items should they need additional warmth.Fall Place Setting

    Use fall leaves to create a path from the kitchen to your backyard. The kids can assist with this project by gathering the leaves. Use any extra leaves to create a welcome wreath for your front door.

    Combine food with design to seamlessly work with your outdoor theme. A fun and quirky idea is to use a pumpkin as a serving bowl. For example, use large hallowed-out pumpkins to hold chips or other party food. Or remove the inside of an apple to create a mini-cup that can be used to serve cider or hot chocolate. This is one instance when playing with your food is a good idea!

    For more formal parties that require the setting of a table, use a thin log slice under the dinner plates for a rustic autumn feel. Use small glass jars (or Mason jars) as candleholders by filling the vessel with water, placing a tea candle, and wrapping some twine around the mouth for some additional flair.

    As the evening proceeds and dessert is ready to be served, light a fire pit (if you already have one), or set up a portable one. Provide each guest with his or her very own s’more kit. This will get everyone gathered around the fire, and create an intimate setting on a chilly autumn night.

  • Build a Versatile Lemonade Stand for Multiple Uses

    Running a lemonade stand is a great way for kids to learn a many important life lessons. Not only do they develop financial and communications skills, but also build their self-confidence and harness the power of their imagination when it comes to their display. The advantages of operating a lemonade stand can even start during the building stage for Weekend Warriors who allow their kids to help with the building process.

    Contrary to popular belief, lemonade stands are not just useful during the summer months. While they may be shorter than average to accommodate a child’s height, you can always add-on some height with additional wooden crates for adult use, or as the kids grow up. Lemonade stands are versatile and strong enough to be utilized in a variety of ways, including:

    • A child-friendly dessert bar at your next party
    • A place to store and display holiday gifts
    • A “hot chocolate” stand during the winter months instead of lemonade
    • A stand for the kids to display their own items for sale at the next yard sale
    • A prop to use during a family photo shoot
    • A fresh flower displayChildren selling lemonade from their lemonade stand

    Using crates to build the base for the stand offers the option to increase the height of the stand in the future. Materials needed include: 2 unfinished wood crates, 2 long boards (may vary in size based on the height you are trying to achieve), 4 support boards, a rectangular wooden board that will act as the top display sign on the stand, nails, a hammer, paint, chalkboard spray paint, (green) spray paint, white frame (which will display a printable lemonade sign), paint brush, painter’s tape, outdoor tape, and a DeWalt propane heater to stay warm if you are building the stand outdoors in cold temperatures.

    First, attach the two crates together with nails, placing the support boards inside on the four front corners. Then nail the long boards to the sides of the lemonade stand, and nail the rectangular wooden board in front of the long boards. Use painter’s tape and trash bags to cover the top board in order to spray with the chalkboard spray paint. Once dry, remove the wrapping and paint the remaining stand white, or any color your youngster prefers. Then use the (green) spray paint to add color to the white frame and insert the printable lemonade sign. Attach to the stand using the outdoor tape. You can also use the top chalkboard to write a message for customers. At this point, your child can decorate the rest of the stand to his or her liking!

  • Identifying and Addressing Unpleasant Household Smells

    Foul smells at home can be a big nuisance. Your home is the one space where you can truly relax after a long day, and being bothered by off-putting odors is the last thing anyone wants to deal with. So how can you identify and address unpleasant household smells quickly for the safety and sanitation of the house? Here are some tips for figuring out what that mysterious smell is, and how to get rid of it:

    Mold – Some people are able to identify the dank smell of mold right away. But if you are unsure, look for visible leaks, wet patches, or flooding on floors, walls, or the ceiling. If you have difficulty finding the source of the moldy odor, call a mold remediation specialist who can assist with getting rid of the problem.

    Gas – If you smell or suspect a problem with your gas line, call your local gas company immediately. While faults in gas appliances are a very common cause of gas leaks, cigarette smoke and improper ventilation can also be a factor. Address gaseous odors by installing a CO detector and/or smoking outdoors.

    Methane-Sulfur – Homeowners who have an extra, unused bathroom in the house sometimes get a methane-sulfur odor from the sink or shower drain. Address this smell by running the water at least once a week.

    Isolated Sink odor – If an off-putting odor is isolated to one drain, the pipe under the sink could be blocked. The P-trap (bend in the pipe) can collect gel, toothpaste, food remnants, and other buildup. To fix the problem, remove the P-trap, clean it out, and replace. Alternatively, pour an enzyme-based cleaner down the drain everyday until the trapped waste dissolves.Cleaning the Fridge

    Fridge Fumes – Catch a whiff of something bad when you open the refrigerator? Open a box of baking soda and place it inside the fridge. If the odor persists, chances are you just need to remove everything and toss out old items. Spray the shelves with hydrogen peroxide, wipe off, and restock.

    Closet odors – Use a Telesteps ladder to check the upper shelves of your closet to ensure there are no visible signs of molding. Hang activated charcoal or potpourri in a mesh bag.

  • DIY: How to Stencil Your Walls

    One of the easiest ways for any DIYer to display their personality is through wall stenciling. This idea may be especially appealing to renters because stenciling involves paint alone, while applying wallpaper involves glue and may not be easy to remove once you are ready to move. Stenciling on the walls can also be repainted and redone to update the design if you get bored with it!

    If you are a first-timer, materials needed include: stencil, stencil brush, painter’s tape, pencil, main wall color paint, accent color paint, paper towels, level, and a Telesteps ladder for reaching higher sections of the wall.

    To begin, decide which wall you will be working on. This will be helpful to know when choosing the stencil design, wall color, and accent color because different parts of the house/apartment may require a different colors to set the correct mood.Alphabet Stencils

    Once you have painted your wall, figure out your design layout and use painter’s tape to attach the stencil at the starting point. Paint the design on the wall by dipping the tip of the stencil brush in paint and removing the excess by dabbing it on paper towel.

    Apply your paint by dabbing the brush against the stencil openings, a method known as stippling. Be careful not to completely cover the opening of the stencil design with the paint brush – this could lead to the paint running under the stencil, which will mess up the final look. To ensure your stencil design has sharp lines, apply pressure to the stencil around the openings while stippling.

    Mark registration points before moving the stencil so that you don’t miscalculate the placement of the next stencil point. Tape the stencil in place and repeat the process. Once you have completed the project, you will have a unique focal wall that you can be proud of!

    If you mess up at any point, remember that you can always start over by repainting the wall to the original color. Just wait until it is completely dry before you proceed.

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