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Concreting Ballast or Separate Pebbles and Sand?

 

 

Many of us enjoy the challenge of completing DIY tasks around our homes and gardens. Our favourites, or at least the most common, are laying paths, building garden walls and installing fence posts. Even building porches and conservatories sneak into the list. As with so many of these amateur projects, we have minimal knowledge of building materials and the tricks of the trade in using them. We know we will need concrete at some stage but what’s best – concreting ballast or a mixture of sand and pebbles?

 

 

 

An Ancient Recipe

 

 

Mixing the right formula for concrete is vitally important for the success of your project. The Ancient Romans created the world’s first successful concrete using ingredients that are strikingly similar to today except that they used volcanic ash instead of Portland cement. Their rock solid compound is still very much in evidence in various constructions including the old, but incredibly sturdy Portchester Castle in Hampshire. Look through modern recipes and they will all suggest slightly different quantities of cement, gravel and sand with much of it depending on the eventual use of the concrete.

 

 

 

The Right Mix

 

 

At the heart of every good concrete lies Portland cement, a delicious concoction of clinker and gypsum that’s ground to the finest of grey powders. Mixed with water it forms the glue that binds the other ingredients together. Then it’s simply a case of adding sand and a gritty substance such as pebbles. But that’s where some mixes begin to flounder. No end of problems are caused through adding the wrong amounts. Add excessive amounts of builder’s sand and the concrete will become flimsy and weak. On the other hand adding too many pebbles will make it too thick to use. You can adjust the amounts as you go by adding more of one ingredient or another although you could end up with much more than you need. And remember that for best results it needs to be used in less than an hour.

 

 

 

The Best Recipe

 

 

Concreting ballast is a specially formulated mix of the most basic ingredients needed to make your concrete the most perfect you’ll ever come across. Together in one bag you’ll find pebbles in a variety of shapes and sizes that will provide ideal spaces for the cement to cling to. Quantities of gravel are included to bridge the gap between the large pebbles and fine sand helping to create the perfect consistency. It’s ready to use and takes all the guesswork out of how much you need to have of each item except the cement and water. It creates an ideal general purpose concrete which can be used for fence posts, walls, hard landscaping and a host of other necessary tasks. Concreting ballast is so easy to use you’ll be searching for new projects just for the pleasure of using it. Contacting … Read More..

Ingenious Way to Get Rid of Ants in Your Home

Ingenious Way to Get Rid of Ants in Your Home

Have you ever walked into the kitchen in the morning to go rinse off some dishes and spotted ants? Or maybe you’ve been showering and noticed those pesky guys down around the drain? Whatever the case, you are usually not very excited to know that your home has acquired some new friends. The question remains, how to get rid of these guys? The answer is actually much more simple than you think.

Before we straight into the method that you need to be using let’s first discuss things that you are probably trying or have tried and they did not work. Most people see ants, they immediately run to the big box store, grab the biggest can of Ant Killer Spray they can find, bring it home and they turn into a pest control specialist. Unfortunately the ants are only temporarily slowed down, as hours later a whole new crew of worker ants are coming back into your home. But why? It’s because you aren’t going to the source of the issue. In order to get rid of ants completely you must kill the queen. How do we kill the queen? You definitely don’t kill the queen by spraying her worker ants with Raid or whatever else you think works. In order to kill the entire army you have to send those worker ants back into the ant hill with poison for the queen, and that is what we are here to talk about today.

Most common ants that will be coming into your home will be attracted to something sweet, like sugar. But sugar itself is not poisonous, however the ants will take sugar back to the queen for her to eat, so the question becomes how do we lace the sugar with poison? You do this with a laundry detergent booster, otherwise known as Borax. When consumed by ants, Borax expands inside the body killing them. When the ants take the sugar laced with Borax back to the queen, she has her delicious sugary meal, and the next day you no longer have an ant issue. Once the queen is dead, the workers no longer come back into your home which means you can get back to enjoying your lovely home, ant free. So here is exactly how we handle the situation.

You will need maple syrup, powdered sugar, borax, and mixing bowls. You will want one bowl for the maple syrup and borax mixture, and another bowl for the powdered sugar and borax mixture. WIth both mixtures you will want to mix them at a 2:1 ratio, meaning 2 parts sugar, 1 part borax. 3:1 is the highest you’ll want to go. Once you have your mixtures combined now you will want to spread them along entry points outside the house where you think they might be coming in. Around window sills, doorways, along the brick on the outside, and you will also want a paper plate to place next to your bathroom or kitchen sink, whichever … Read More..