How To Look After Your Artificial Grass During Winter

Maintenance Tips For Your Synthetic Grass

What you need to do to keep your lawn looking healthy when snow or frost hits this winter.

Artificial grass is perfect for the winter months. If you have pets or children hurtling around outside, then you won’t need to worry about your lawn becoming trampled or damaged if you’re using synthetic grass. With an artificial lawn, it’s no problem if someone falls over trying to kick a football, and there won’t be any muddy footprints at the backdoor or across your kitchen. Artificial grass stays clean and mostly dry no matter how harsh the weather conditions are. But you will need to carry out some basic maintenance tasks throughout the winter season.

Frost and Snow

Let’s get straight to the coldest part of winter, when snow, frost or ice hits the UK, often at the beginning of the year. Snow should not have a significant effect on the quality of your lawn; however, problems can occur if it’s cold enough that it freezes over. Not only is this potentially dangerous for anyone who walks on top of it, but the weight of walking across frozen synthetic grass can also cause some of the fibres to snap off, which is something you’ll definitely want to avoid.

When it comes to snow or ice, the best practice is to leave it to melt away. Your artificial lawn will be designed with an inbuilt drainage system, which allows rain or meltwater to seep through holes in the base of the synthetic lawn and into the ground beneath. Your artificial lawn will be able to handle the impact of snow and ice so long as you leave it to drain away naturally. However, for situations where you do need to remove a layer of snow from your lawn, it’s best to use a plastic shovel to do the job. Plastic is considered the safest material to use, as metal is more likely to damage the fibres of your grass during the process of shovelling. Don’t be tempted to use your hands either, as this is also considered riskier than using a simple, plastic shovel.

Leaf Clearing Maintenance

Artificial grass is reasonably low maintenance, but winter conditions do mean that you’ll need to have a sweep up every couple of weeks or so. This approach will ensure that by the time spring arrives, your lawn looks clean, clear and luscious. Leaves, twigs and other natural debris can encourage weed growth, so it’s important that you keep on top of this task. You can either use a leaf blower which is the easiest way to clear leaves, or else you can use a stiff synthetic broom or a plastic rake – always avoid metal rakes on your lawn.

Use a technique called cross-brushing, which basically requires you to brush against the pile of the fibres, to ensure that they’re plumped up and standing upright once again.

Quality artificial grass is built to withstand the harshest of conditions – from rain, to wind to snow, so long as you’re willing to put in a small amount of effort, you and your family will be able to enjoy your lawn throughout the long winter months!

Why Skip Hire Is Always A Good Idea

Save time and ensure you dispose of waste properly with skip hire

If you have a lot of waste to clear – perhaps a major garden revamp or a house clearance – then hiring a skip makes a lot of sense.

You’re ensuring waste is removed properly and in an environmentally friendly fashion, you’re saving considerable time in multiple visits to the recycling centre, and you’ll find skip hire is very good value for money.

Skip hire options

A skip hire company will deliver a skip to a place of your choosing whether your home or business premises and then collect it once you’re finished filling it – or even if you don’t fully fill it up.

In certain cases, if you have higher volumes of waste ‘ready to go’ you can arrange a wait an go service where the skip is delivered, filled up immediately, and then taken away straight afterwards.

Skips come in various sizes and most companies, such as these Chelmsford skip hire professionals, offer commercial and domestic services.

There are good reasons to hire a skip:

Convenient

As mentioned above, the skip will be delivered and positioned exactly where you’d like it and removed once you’re finished with it. The usual term is two weeks but many firms will negotiate a longer hire if required.

If a permit from the local authority is required to position the skip on a piece of public land then the skip hire company can usually arrange this.

Saves time

Compared to repeated trips to the local recycling centre skip hire saves considerable time.

There’s also the question of the limitations of a recycling centre:

  • When it’s closed – some have a weekday when they’re shut; highly frustrating if that’s the day you’d like to do some waste disposal
  • Hold ups – you may have to queue to get in during busy periods and maybe there’s a hold up; for example, when they’re changing one of the containers
  • Segregating waste – one you’re in and unloading the car or van, you then have to be sure to put the waste in the relevant container so as to recycle properly; a time consuming process

The skip overcomes all of the above; you simply put the waste in it and that’s it.

That said, there are certain restrictions regarding disposal of items in a skip (but no more than at your local recycling centre) so check with your skip hire company. It’s usually items classed as hazardous such as:

  • Liquids
  • Asbestos
  • Tyres
  • Tins of paint
  • Gas cylinders
  • Batteries
  • Pressurised containers

Wear on your vehicle

You may not think a series of trips to the recycling centre in your car can harm anything, but heavy loads transported by a passenger car may cause problems in two ways:

Damage to the car – heavy loads can damage your car’s suspension; if the heavy load lowers the vehicle’s ride height you may damage the exhaust system or other components underneath on speed bumps.

Breaking the law – a load inappropriately secured or unsuitable for the vehicle transporting it can fall foul of the law; you don’t want to be stopped by the police on your way to the recycling centre so be aware of the basic requirements.

Environmentally safe

It’s easy to unwittingly contravene environmental law and general good practices when disposing of waste yourself, but a skip hire ensures waste is disposed of appropriately.

When your filled up skip is removed, the skip hire company ensure the items are disposed of properly.

No job too big or small

While skip hire comes into its own when undertaking major projects where much waste – and bulky waste at that – is produced, there’s no reason why smaller domestic situations might not benefit.

One way to make the most of a skip hire is to combine perhaps a major house decluttering with a large scale garden clearcut or revamp. Another option is to club together with neighbours; for example, if a handful of you are clearing your gardens, then why not chip in and hire a skip rather than have several cars head for the recycling centre?

Intruder Alarms: How To Install Them Effectively

Safeguard Your Property With Innovative Detection Technology

Burglar alarms are an important means of deterring criminals from targeting your property and are most effective when installed using these tips. 

A burglary takes place every 40 seconds in the UK, according to Crime Stoppers. Those who have been on the receiving end of this type of crime will suffer the inconvenience of replacing valuables and dealing with their insurance company to facilitate a payout. But more importantly, the experience of being a victim of robbery is incredibly traumatic, particularly if you’ve been home during the burglary.

Intruder alarms, also known as burglar alarms, are an effective means of protecting your property. In fact, 60% of convicted burglars acknowledged that they would be deterred if a home has an intruder alarm system installed. However, to get the most from your system, it’s important that you know how it should be installed.  

Using Multiple Detection Devices

The best way to prevent burglars from entering your property is to protect it on multiple fronts. As burglars will usually break in through the door or window, you should consider adding glass-break sensors to your windows and the glass on any doors. You might also incorporate Passive Infrared and microwave technologies as a dual system to work against intrusion. This relies on the placement of sensors around your home, which will sound the alarm if the microwaves are interrupted by a moving object in the room, or if the temperature changes due to a new presence.

Best Places For Motion Sensors

There’s a certain art to working out the best placement for your motion sensors; an intruder alarms Essex team explains that you’ll want to position a sensor at each of your main entry points, as well as in hallways, stairways and usually at least one in each room of the house. You might want an extra sensor in blind spots which are obscured from sight by trees, or a neighbouring fence for example, as these may create a tempting break-in prospect for thieves – remember, this won’t always be a ground-floor access point as burglars may use a ladder to gain entrance if they can rely on not being spotted by a member of the public.

Remember with your PIR sensors, that they’re susceptible to false alarms if a temperature change causes them to trigger, so with this in mind, keep the sensors out of the way of an air vent which can affect their operation.

Testing The Sensors

Once the sensors are in position, comprehensive testing will need to take place to ensure that the entire setup works as planned. For this, a walkthrough should occur, making sure that each sensor point is triggered by any activity that could relate to a break-in. If a single sensor isn’t activated then this will leave your entire intrusion detection vulnerable, particularly if the sensor is pointing at one of your main entry points.

It may be tempting to install a home DIY intrusion detection system, but the reality is that when it comes to home security, you need to use a professional installation team to make sure there are no flaws in your setup. Once your intruder alarm is installed, you’ll have maximum peace of mind that your property is protected, and you can even save money on home insurance too.

What Makes A Good Building Surveyor?

How to build a successful career in building surveying

Good communications skills, an analytical mind, IT proficiency and the right qualifications are all essential to forging a successful career as a building surveyor.

Building surveyors play an important role in the construction industry. Simply speaking, a building surveyor is responsible for assessing the quality of a building, examining its condition and providing expert advice on how to preserve or improve its condition. However, in reality there is lot more to surveying than this, and it offers a stimulating and rewarding career for the right person.

But what do you need to forge a career in building surveying? We spoke to surveying firm Pridmore Cox to find out what makes a good building surveyor.

The right qualifications

The first thing you need to become a good building surveyor is the right qualifications.

Building surveying is open to all graduates, but a degree in building surveying or other related subject such as urban and land studies or geography, combined with technical knowledge, will improve your prospects. Ideally you should try and study one of the RICS (Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors) accredited property or construction-related degrees as this will enable you to take the required training to progress to the status of chartered surveyor, which will increase the career opportunities available to you. You can also choose to get qualified on the job with a RICS apprenticeship.

Surveying is a constantly-moving industry so, once you are working as a surveyor, you will need to show a commitment to continued professional development in order to remain at the forefront of your field.

However, while qualifications are undoubtedly important, there are other things you need in order to succeed in a building surveying career.

Good communication skills

As a building surveyor you will be expected to deal with lots of different people – from advising clients on projects and planning applications, to instructing architects, and even acting as an expert witness in court – so good communication abilities and strong interpersonal skills are a must. Your written communication skills also need to be up to scratch as a large part of the role will involve preparing detailed presentations and reports.

An analytical mind

Building surveying is all about assessing situations and coming up with solutions to problems, so any good building surveyor will need to have an analytical mindset. As you will be working on several projects at once it is also essential that you have excellent organisational skills and can multi-task effectively – as any mistakes or oversights could potentially prove very costly to your clients.

IT skills

A large part of building surveying involves preparing scheme designs for projects and plans, and for this you will need to be competent in technical programmes such as computer-aided design (CAD). More generally, it is also important to have a good level of IT proficiency, especially in popular programmes such as Microsoft Office.

Commerical awareness

Building surveyors provide advice and guidance in a number of different areas, and a good building surveyor will be able to display a sound level of business instinct and commercial awareness, as well as possessing some knowledge on certain aspects of law and economics. Basically, surveyors need to know a little bit about everything!

Passion

Last but certainly not least, the best building surveyors have an interest in and passion for the industry. While building surveying is an interesting, varied and mentally stimulating job, at the same time it can also be incredibly demanding and, at times, rather stressful – but having a genuine love for the job can help to see you through any difficult times.