Dealing with Winter’s Damage to Your Garage Floor
Feb14

Dealing with Winter’s Damage to Your Garage Floor

Winter can be brutal for garage floors. In particular, the road salt residue that drips from your car after you park it in your garage can be very damaging. Road salts aren’t composed of the type of salt that’s in the saltshaker sitting on your dining room table. Instead, road salt is composed of a chemical cocktail that typically includes ingredients such as calcium hydroxide, calcium magnesium acetate, and sodium acetate. And that chemical cocktail dripping onto your garage floor does very bad things. How Road Salt Residue Damages Your Garage Floor When residue from road salts drip from your car onto the bare concrete of your garage floor, here’s what happens… The briny mixture drips onto the surface of the concrete, but it doesn’t stay on the surface. Instead, it gradually seeps deep into the porous structure of the concrete. This mixture, of course, is no longer pure road salt. It has been mixed and diluted with the water remaining from the ice and snow that the salt helped to melt. So what drips onto your garage floor is a weakened, diluted version of road salt. That’s a bad thing, because this diluted briny mixture will freeze at a much higher temperature than pure road salt. And that’s exactly what happens. When the temperature drops in your garage, the road salt residue – which has now worked deep into the pores of your concrete floor – will refreeze. In the process of freezing, it expands. And when it expands, it damages the structural integrity of your garage floor’s concrete. The result can be a garage floor with a chipped and broken surface. It’s called spalling. Cleaning The Stains You can do something about the ugly stains left on the surface of your floor from the accumulated residues of road salt. If you’ve tried just rinsing those salt stains off with water, you know that that’s not terribly effective. Instead, mix up a solution that’s composed of: 1 gallon of warm water 1 cup of vinegar A squirt of liquid dish detergent Pour some of this solution on the salt-stained areas, and scrub with a stiff brush. After giving the stains a good scrubbing, use a mop or a wet vac to remove as much of the residue as possible. Then rinse with lots of clean water. For particularly tough salt stains, you might have to repeat the process a couple of times to get the best results. Good luck! P.S. One alternative to dealing with the damage and staining caused by road salt residue? TLC’s Polyaspartic Polyurea system. It’s like a magic shield that makes your garage floor...

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4 Top Tips for Organizing Your Garage Workspace
Apr17

4 Top Tips for Organizing Your Garage Workspace

For people that like to putter, the garage can be a wonderful place to while away the hours. It’s a place that’s custom made for puttering. The garage is isolated from the rest of the home, so if your puttering gets a bit noisy, you’re not likely to bother anyone else. And if your garage is clean, orderly, and well organized, there’s plenty of room for puttering. But that “well organized” part is where the train jumps the tracks for many people. That’s because many garages are junked-up places, so jam-packed with stuff that there’s hardly room to turn around. And there’s certainly not enough room to do any constructive puttering! One key to getting your garage putter-ready is to organize the area that you’ll designate as your workspace. Here are 4 top tools for organizing the puttering zone in your garage, all available from TLC Inc. #1: Shelf Workbench If you don’t have a bona fide workbench in your garage, here’s an idea that will work as either a temporary or long-term solution: Use a StoreWALL 15″ heavy-duty shelf as a workbench. Position it at just the right height (easy to do thanks to StoreWALL’s camloc system), and this rugged shelve can do double duty as both a workbench and a storage resource. #2: Magnetic Bar Tool Holder If you’re a putterer, you know that there’s nothing more annoying than not being able to find the tool you need, when you need it. So why not have your most-used hand tools mounted on the wall, right in front of your face? That’s easily done with StoreWALL’s Magnetic Bar. Position the bar to be within arm’s reach of your workbench, and slap your metallic hand tools right on the bar. It’s particularly easy to use because you don’t have to worry about poking tools into holes, or hanging them on hooks as with other types of tool holders. #3: Shallow Basket Tool Holder For tools that are too large for the Magnetic Bar, or that aren’t metallic, StoreWALL’s selection of shallow baskets might be the perfect solution. These shallow baskets are just deep enough to keep your tools in place, but without requiring you too reach in and rummage around to grab the tool you need. #4: Open Bin Tool Holders For big, heavy tools, StoreWALL’s heavy-duty storage bins could be the perfect storage solution. These rugged bins can be particularly great for storing power tools such as drills and jigsaws. The bins are mounted on 15″ wall brackets that attach anywhere on the wall using the camloc system. So you can position your storage bins at the ideal...

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7 Action Steps for Making Your Home More Earth-Friendly
Jan05

7 Action Steps for Making Your Home More Earth-Friendly

It seems that there’s a growing wave of concern over the earth’s environment and man’s impact upon it. It’s a topic that generates lots of energetic discussions because not everyone agrees about the extent to which mankind’s actions impact the environment. No one can argue, though, that we don’t have some degree of impact on the health of the planet. And similarly, no one can argue that minimizing that impact is a good thing. But what can one person do? If you’re a homeowner, it turns out that there’s quite a lot that you can do. The following action steps will get you started. And as a nice bonus, most of these steps will save you money, too. #1: Plant Trees Planting trees in your landscape helps in several ways. Trees, of course, consume carbon dioxide and generate oxygen – both good for the environment. But the trees you plant will also provide you with some more direct and immediate benefits. The trees will help to shade your home, and when strategically located, minimize the impact of winter winds. You’ll save money on heating and cooling bills as a result. #2: Go Native Redesign your lawn and landscape so that you’re using mostly native plants – plants that are naturally adapted to your local microclimate. Native plants, on balance, require far less inputs in the form of pesticides, fertilizers, and water. All of which helps to keep both the environment and your bank account healthier. #3: Go Low-Flow You can help to minimize your water usage by installing low-flow showerheads and toilets in your home. And in your landscape, you can dramatically lower water usage by converting your sprinkler system to a smart system, such as Hydrawise. #4: Go Solar Advancements in solar-fueled power generation have made solar power more and more viable for residential applications. It’s not right for every home, and for every homeowner. But for many it’s certainly worth considering. If you want to look into the possibilities of solar for your home, the U.S. Department of Energy’s solar website would be a good place to begin. #5: Go On Leak Patrol Is your home leaky? Drafty? Most homes are. But letting outside air leak in, and inside air leak out, increase both your energy bill and your environmental impact. So reducing your home’s leakage will be doubly beneficial. Beefing up caulking and weatherstripping where needed can make a big difference. #6: Reduce Appliance Electrical Consumption Upgrade your home’s appliances to more energy efficient models. It’s unlikely that you’ll want to discard older appliances that are working just fine. But when an appliance fails and must...

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