Posts filed under: Advice

How Important is it to Complete the Burn Test before cleaning Carpets and Rugs?

Advice

Many of you have never heard of the Burn Test, however this is why It is beneficial to book a Professional Cleaning company like ourselves http://premiumclean.co.uk/carpet-cleaning-london/ , We are fully Qualified and Registered giving you peace of mind knowing that we know exactly what we’re doing. The Burn Test is very important to us and we will complete this test before we begin to clean your Carpets. This test is carried out by our Fully Trained and Skilled carpet cleaners, they know all the safety checks and how to complete them to ensure that the correct cleaning materials and cleaning products are used to clean safely, and not cause any damage to the surface area. To remove carpet stains and so on sometimes it requires the use of our professional cleaning products and some of these products are just simply not suitable for certain carpet types. We believe that it isn’t worth the risk of just guessing so this is why we need to know what kind of carpets you have in the property.

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For the test we will need to cut a piece of your carpet loose, don’t worry we will take it from a inconspicuous place such as a closet, behind a pipe, usually toward the edge where it will go unnoticed. We will then burn the fibre that we have removed to watch and see what reaction we get with the flame. We have helpfully listed the types of reaction to expect from all the different types of carpets available.

So the results to expect are as follows, we have begun with some of the more common types of fibres that are found in your homes:

Polyester Carpets: The flame on polyester carpets will burn rapidly and will also melt. you will get a orange flame that will sputter and the smoke given off will be black and it will leave a hard black bead that is round and shiny once it has been put out.

Cotton Carpets:This will produce a smell like burning paper and will create a orange/yellow flame, it will create grey ash and will crumble when touched easily.

Nylon Carpet: This fibre will melt and eventually extinguish itself, it gives off a scent that resembles sealing wax. It will also produce a brightly coloured orange tipped flame with a blue base.

Acrylic Carpet: The smoke that this fibre will give off will be black and it will give off an odour that smells of burning meat. The flame itself will give a splutter as it burns down and the ash will be black and more solid than the other fibres. The flame will be white/orange.

Wool Carpet: This fibre gives off no smoke at all, it will burn considerable slower than the others and it will not melt. The ash it leaves will be black and will crumble easily. It will give off a strong smell of burning hair.

The following fibres are rarer but can still be found in some carpets:

Silk Carpets:This one will also give off an odour similar to burning hair but unlike the wool carpet will leave little or even no ash at all, the flame will be steady.

Olefin Carpet:This fibre will burn rapidly and give off a strong scent of asphalt or tar, it will melt as it burns and leave behind a smooth beady ash. The flame will be orange tipped with a blue base.

Rayon Carpet: This fibre will also like the Olefin carpet burn very rapidly but it won’t leave any ash and will smell more like burning paper

After completing these burn tests we will be able to tell exactly what carpets that you have in your property. This means we know exactly what cleaning products can be used and not cause any further damage to the carpets. We want to come and improve your carpets not make them worse.

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Written by

Kiril Natov (Premium Clean Ltd. Director)

http://premiumclean.co.uk

Checkatrade customer feedback

Tel: 02030040643

How To Clean Gum and Rust From Your Carpet Efficiently

Advice

carpet-cleaning

It’s terrible for any homeowner to see their carpet stained. First comes the panic, then mixed feelings of anger and helplessness.

In most cases, you’ll grab the first product you see and start to bitterly scrub the area. Sometimes this has an effect…. sometimes, even when you try your best, not quite. 

When traces of chewing gum or rust appear, you might think that everything is lost because we think there’s no way to tackle them. 
That’s where you’re wrong!

gum

There are different ways to handle these problems and you can learn these from Cleaner Cleaner’s carpet cleaning specialists. Anyone can do it with our easy methods and you won’t require any special products or preparation.

Chewing gum is the substance which can cause the most damage on the carpet, especially if you try to remove it the wrong way. Even if you are unable to remove any sticky particles, it is very easy to get lint from the carpet together with the gum and break the integrity of the rug.
There is also a risk that the stain will remain. Therefore, specially for you, we have selected the most efficient methods for dealing with it.

Cleaning by freezing

You will need a few ice cubes, a plastic bag and a spoon or knife with which to scrape the gum from the carpet. Put the ice cubes in the plastic bag and place it on the contaminated area. Wait a few minutes until the gum has solidified then take the spoon and carefully remove it. If necessary, repeat several times to complete removal of the stain from the carpet.

ice-cubes

Cleaning with a hairdryer

This method is the exact reverse of freezing the gum. Using the warm setting on a hair dryer, heat the gum. Be careful not to overheat the carpet surface and to avoid damage to the fibers. After the gum is soft and smooth enough,  pull it out of the carpet. Use nylon or rubber gloves so your hands stay clean. Remove as much as possible of the gum.
To help remove the remaining residue, check our advice below. 

Cleaning of chewing gum residue on the carpet

Even though it sounds strange, residue can be removed with peanut butter or muscle pain relief cream. Both have lubricating properties and that’s just what you need. Apply the cream on the affected area and rub it in with your fingers. With the help of a soft cloth, remove any residue of chewing gum from the fibers of the carpet. It may be necessary to use your nails.
Then it will be necessary to remove the traces of the selected cleaner. However be careful and match the product with the particularities of your carpet.

You can also use a DIY product. For it, you will need to make a solution of water and dishwashing product. Apply it on the area and rub with a moist cloth.
The rinsing can be done by absorbing with a clean cloth. If you want it to dry faster,use a very dry cloth to remove any remaining water. 

Tip:

The spots of the chewing gum on the carpet may be removed with the aid of warm vinegar. Heat a small quantity of it and apply it on the desired area. Let it act for about 15 minutes and then remove the gum with a cloth. It is best to use white vinegar, especially if the color of the carpet is light. Don’t worry about the strong smell – it will ease when the liquid has evaporated.

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Cleaning Rust

Cleaning the stains from rust may prove to be a difficult task. They are stubborn and annoying and emerge from the various metal items that are present in the interior of your home.

At first glance, this contamination on a carpet appears to be hopeless for stain removal. The spots of rust are a true challenge, but there is a remedy for them. Although it‘s difficult, their removal is not impossible and there are methods with which to solve this problem.

cleaning

Lemon

Put the carpet on suitable surface. Soak the stain with lemon juice directly put on the affected area. Do not wet the carpet in advance to achieve the desired effect.

Let the acid stand for 24 hours then wash the spot and there won’t be a trace of the stain. 

Tip:

Before you start to treat your carpet with lemon juice, test to see how will the fabric react to it on a spare or harder to see piece of carpet. This will prevent possible fading of colors.
The DIY carpet cleaning method with lemon juice can be more succes    sful if you add baking soda. The catch here is that the soda has very strong bleach action, so only use this option for bright carpets.

Author: http://cleanercleaner.co.uk

Get Your Home In-Law Ready This Christmas!

Advice, Inspiration

With those chilly mornings and evenings drawing in, it can mean only one thing – the countdown to Christmas is on!

While the festive season is a great time to get together with friends and family, it can also be a stressful time. With so much to think about in terms of planning and preparation, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed.

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Add to this, guests staying at your home for a couple of days and you have the recipe for a potentially stressful situation!

The key, of course, to a successful festive break is to get organised in plenty of time. While I can’t help you decide what to get your Great Aunt Alice this year, I can share some of my top tips for getting your home guest-ready.

If you do have guests coming to visit, the most important thing to consider is where they will sleep. Ideally this will be a room of their own. Not only will this give them a space of their own to escape to for some quiet time but will also be the perfect place to store all their luggage and gifts.

If your spare room is looking a little neglected, don’t panic! There is still plenty of time to get it ship-shape and in-law ready!

Of course in an ideal world, getting your home ready for guests would require little more than a clean and tidy. However many of you may be faced with a much larger project.

Firstly, if your spare room is a dumping ground then spend an afternoon sorting it out and store what you can in the loft space. Invest in some basic storage solutions such as lidded plastic boxes to neatly store and stack everything else away.

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Once the space is tidy, you can see what you are working with. Firstly check the walls – are they in good repair? If the walls are papered and seen better days, you will need to strip them.
From here, assess the quality of the plaster. While it may seem like a big job, giving the walls a light skim will leave them looking smooth and fresh and offer the perfect base for painting.

Re-plastering the walls will require the skills of a professional plasterer, visit www.checkatrade.com to find a trusted and approved plasterer in your area.

Whether your walls need plastering or not, if the room has been left untouched for a while it will most likely require an update of the décor.
The easiest way to achieve this is with a coat of paint, while this is something a competent DIYer can do themselves. For those short on time or unwilling to tackle the project, a professional decorator can be called upon to paint walls, ceilings and woodwork to a high standard.

With the décor refreshed, you should next consider storage for the room. Not only will this make your guests stay more comfortable but it will be useful all-year round.
If your room is especially small or unusual in shape, consider inviting a joiner to design bespoke storage for the space.

With over 23,000 vetted tradespeople including plumbers, decorators and electricians, Checkatrade.com is the perfect place to start when it comes to getting your home ready in time for Christmas!

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By Craig Phillips
Checkatrade Ambassador

Cyber Crime Prevention Tips from Dorset Police Cyber Crime Unit

Advice, News

dorset

Dorset Police Cyber Crime Unit have kindly put together their top tips for this ever growing problem.

Cyber Crime Prevention Top Tips

  • Backup your files and data to external hard drives, the cloud and don’t forget to back up your phone regularly.
  • Check that a websites address is genuine by looking for misspellings.
  • Use 3G/4G for confidential browsing instead of free public WiFi.
  • Do not enter personal information on a website that has no padlock in the browser or https:// at the beginning of the web address.
  • Always ensure you are running the latest version of your chosen browser.
  • Ensure you have effective and updated Anti-Virus software and firewall running before you go online. Do not install 2 Anti-Virus programs as they will conflict.
  • Be aware of USBs containing malware that can run without your knowledge.
  • Use strong and random passwords/passphrases i.e. use at least 10 characters, include numbers and letters, both upper and lower case.
  • Different site – different password.
  • Use a password manager to remember all your passwords.
  • Use multi factor authentication.
  • Delete and block spam/junk emails. Be careful when opening attachments or using internet downloads and don’t click on links in emails from unknown senders.
  • Change your default WiFi passwords
  • Especially if you run a business, make sure you double check who is sending you invoices and where they want the money sent.
  • Make sure your internet browser and any plug-ins are updated (e.g. Flash, Java, Silverlight).
  • Use reputable companies when shopping online.
  • Use secure payment methods, such as PayPal or credit cards for online purchases.
  • Be aware of scams: criminal gangs operate scams and use the internet to defraud people and businesses, i.e. asking for money to pay for travel, finance a sick relative, or winning the lottery.
  • Protect your identity online and beware of social engineering. Remember if you share any pictures or information with anyone online you will lose control of it and could be used in attacks such as trying to guess your passwords.
  • Take 5 minutes to think when about to send a large amount of money online. Is everything adding up as it should?
  • Report any suspicious activity to Action Fraud

If you have any specific questions relating to this subject please email [email protected]

NEW CAMPAIGN TO TACKLE CRIMINAL SCAMS LAUNCHED

Advice, News
  • Scams cause between £5bn and £10bn worth of consumer detriment every year
  • Campaign to help people identify, change perceptions and prevent people falling victim to scams

A new campaign has launched today to raise awareness of scams and encourage people to take a stand against them. Scams often target people in vulnerable situations – the Friends Against Scams campaign aims to protect and prevent these people from becoming victims of scams by empowering communities to ‘Take a Stand Against Scams’.

Each year scams cause between £5bn and £10bn worth of detriment to UK consumers. In addition to the financial impact, scams can have a severe emotional and psychological impact on victims.

The Friends Against Scams campaign, launched by the National Trading Standards Scams Team, is open to anyone who wants to protect themselves, their neighbours or their loved ones against scams. Free training and awareness sessions – available online and in person at local awareness sessions – are being rolled out, which will provide people with the confidence and skills they need to identify and prevent scams. Those who participate in the training will become a Friend Against Scams and will be encouraged to put their knowledge to use in their local communities.

The Friends Against Scams campaign aims to:

  • Highlight the scale of the issue by encouraging communities and the nation to talk about scams
  • Change the perceptions of why people become scam victims
  • Prevent people from becoming or continuing to be a scam victim by providing better support
  • Recruit individuals and communities to join the fight against scams to make this a scam-free nation

In addition to empowering members of the public the campaign will also partner with a range of organisations who will help promote awareness of scams and take steps to help tackle scams. Founding partners of the campaign include NatWest, Bournemouth University and the Chartered Trading Standards Institute.

Louise Baxter, Team Manager at the National Trading Standards Scams Team, said:

“Scams do huge damage to our society and we have launched this campaign to protect our communities, particularly people in vulnerable situations who are deliberately targeted by criminals. Scams defraud people and – in addition to the financial damage – many victims are left feeling socially isolated, often too uncomfortable to tell their friends and family what has happened.

“It is time that we took a stand against scams. Friends Against Scams aims to tackle the lack of scams awareness by providing information to enable communities and organisations to understand scams, talk about scams and convey messages throughout communities about scam prevention and protection. I’d encourage anyone interested in stopping scams to visit the Friends Against Scams website – http://www.friendsagainstscams.org.uk/ – and sign-up.”

Lord Toby Harris, Chair of National Trading Standards, said: 

“I strongly believe this campaign can play an important role in helping stop scams. Criminals often prey on victims who find themselves in vulnerable situations and we can all play a part to protect ourselves, family members, friends and neighbours from falling victim to scams, which is why I welcome this campaign and encourage people to get involved.

“Anyone who is worried they may be being scammed or who is concerned about someone who they fear may be a victim should report it to the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 03454 04 05 06.”

Getting The House Insulated for Winter!

Advice

By Craig Phillips, Checkatrade Ambassador

We are waving goodbye to the summer and unfortunately having to welcome in the colder seasons. We all know that the winter brings with it; bitter winds, snow and ice and much of the time people forget that these conditions can cause detrimental problems for their homes.

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So this month, I am going to talk you through a few of the best forms of insulation for your roof, ceiling and walls that will help keep you and your family cosy this winter.

Firstly the most well known and most in-expensive type of insulation is Rockwool which can be rolled between the loft joists. This can be done easily without the need for a professional but be careful where you are standing in the loft space! If your space isn’t boarded out, the insulation should go between the rafters and ceiling joists.
While working in the loft, it would be a great opportunity to board out the loft which is not only another effective way of trapping the heat in the building but it will also give you a lot more storage space – perfect for when it comes to hiding Christmas presents from the kids!

Other more expensive but great performance insulation is a liquid spray call Lapolla which can go in between the rafters and the ceiling joists.
This option not only insulates the house by sealing underneath the tiles but also contributes towards sound proofing. Depending on the age of the house, it can also add to the structure of the building. If you live in an old cottage and the roof tiles have been on for hundreds of years, it is likely that there are lots of gaps so this is an ideal way to ensure that no heat escapes.

Wool insulation is one of the most effective forms of insulation and can be installed in three different ways:

  1. Insulated Plasterboards: This causes quite a bit of disruption to the inside of the house but if you are renovating or re-plastering anyway, this process is certainly worth it in the end. Insert thermal insulated plasterboards to the inside walls before re-skimming and plastering on the outer skin of the building.
    Insulated plasterboards are extremely effective and substantially decreases the U Values and also helps with sound proofing.
  2. Expansion Foam: This form of insulation is dependent on the structure of your house. If you have cavity walls (an outer block and an internal block with a cavity gap in between them), an expansion foam can be injected both from the inside or the outside by drilling small 10mm masonry holes through the brick or blockwork.
    A specialised company will be needed for this process and will spray either an expansion foam or a loose fit woollen foam inside the holes. I have used both methods in some of my properties and both varieties of foam work extremely well.
  3. Polystyrene Boarding: A polystyrene board can be bolted to the external walls and re-rendered with a lightweight silicone render – I am using this on one of my properties at the moment! This process causes no internal disruption and can all be done from the outside, however it is weather dependent as January and February would be too cold so now is the perfect opportunity to do it.
    Polystyrene Boarding is also a maintenance free render and the render comes with a vast array of coloured pigments so there is not much painting to do afterwards. In some areas the council have grant money that contribute to external insulation and silicone render so it is certainly worth looking into and finding out if you are in one of these areas.

Nothing is worse than cold feet in the winter and if you are in the process of, or planning to rip up the carpet or laminate flooring then what better opportunity to apply under floor insulation and heating? ~
This is a great way of keeping the energy bills down and keeping the house warm if your central heating isn’t up to scratch.

There is a rigid insulation available which can be found from a number of suppliers including British Gypsum, Kingspan or Celotex. Not only is it cost effective, it is also a great DIY job. Just place or interlock the insulation on the floor and then apply the plywood and carpet/laminate flooring back on top of it.

A great company called Flexel provide innovative and inexpensive electric underfloor heating which again you can install yourself but you will need to get an electrician to make the final connection.

Some other ways to ensure heat can’t escape from your home this winter:

  • Cap off your unused chimney breast
  • Check for gaps in all external pipes and use an expanding foam to fill them
  • Ensure all doors and windows are closing properly and all have draft excluding strips (you can buy these from your local DIY store very cheap)

We hope you find these tips useful, let us know if you give any of them a go!

By Craig Phillips, Checkatrade Ambassador

craig

 

It’s Time to Get Your House Ready For The Colder Months

Advice

As you bask in the heatwave of another British summer – well, we can dream! – the last thing you will be thinking about is the coming autumn and winter. But remember when the government used to talk about fixing the roof when the sun was shining? Well this time we should take the politicians seriously because that’s precisely what we have to do.

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves by talking about roofs, let’s start on the ground floor and work our way up.

It certainly pays to be prepared and perhaps the most important thing to consider now is what happens when you turn your heating back on after all those weeks and months when the system has been switched off and you’ve been saving on your bills!

Gas Boiler (Low)

Gas safety is absolutely essential and so before you fire up the boiler you really need to get it checked by a qualified and registered engineer. Firstly, you need to make sure that it will work when you need it – nobody wants to be replacing their boiler in the winter! – but also you need to be checking if any carbon monoxide is being released.

As we know, carbon monoxide (otherwise known as CO) is a silent and odourless killer and just a few simple steps can keep you and your family safe. Firstly, get a CO detector in your house and make sure that it’s working. Then if you haven’t had your gas appliances and flues checked for a while, now’s the time to do it.

And while you’re checking flues you might want to look at any air vents or even your chimney (if you have one) to make sure nothing has grown over and is causing a blockage. Finally, when you are happy with everything and you come to fire up your boiler, make sure that the gas flame burns blue. If it doesn’t, shut the boiler down immediately and call that engineer. Of course, your heating system’s efficiency is not just about the boiler so take time out to check all your radiators – do they leak, do they have air in them and so need bleeding, do the controls still work or have they seized up?

Another way of preparing your home for those colder months is to minimise the risk of having any floods or water damage when the downpours come or when the snow falls. Gutters and drains are always susceptible to getting blocked by leaves or other debris and if you get a spell of heavy rain or lengthy periods of snow you could be in big trouble. Also, make sure that no downpipe connections have come loose because that could lead to water pouring down an outside wall which you really need to avoid. One more thought: is all your guttering strong enough to take the weight of snow sitting there for days or even weeks on end? Does it need replacing?

Roofer (Low)

Now let’s look at that roof. You need to make sure that all the tiles are in place, that lead flashings around your chimney (again, if you have one) are in good condition and that there are no gaps anywhere that could either let in water or allow the wind to get underneath and cause havoc and even potential danger. On the subject of chimneys, it’s always good practice to have it swept before you start up a fire since there can be debris, old birds’ nests and all sorts of things causing an unsafe blockage.

Of course, you should always get an experienced roofer to climb up and check your tiles – never think you’ll just nip up there yourself! – but one job you can do is go into your loft and check the roof from the inside. Assuming your loft is boarded and you have a light in there, get yourself into a safe position away from the loft entrance then turn out the light and look for daylight coming in. This only works if you do it during the day, of course, and bear in mind that there will always be some chinks of light coming in but you are looking for major tears or yawning gaps. Hopefully, there will be no bird or squirrel damage. Whatever you do, make sure you turn the light back on before you move away from your secure position!

By the way, if you haven’t g  ot your loft insulated and boarded, now is the time to think about doing it and also about insulating elsewhere in your home. Insulation has been shown to make a big difference to the size of energy bills, with some people reporting savings of over £200 a year!

Speaking of bills, with it starting to get dark at around four in the afternoon and still being dark when you go to work in the morning, you will obviously be using your lights for long periods of the day. So why not go around now and check your lightbulbs? Do you still have the old-style energy sapping versions? Fitting energy-saving bulbs can also make a major difference to your electricity bill while at the same time helping you to play your part in saving the planet.

Coming back down to earth, while you may have welcomed a bit of a breeze coursing through your home in the warm months, when the cold sets in you will want to get rid of any drafts that drift into your home through leaky door seals or windows. Most people now have double-glazing but you’d be surprised where those bone-chilling gusts of wind can come from. No house is fully sealed and everywhere that there is a void in its structure – including letterboxes, anywhere that holes have been created for passing pipes or cables through, and even cat flaps – there is the potential for a draft that you will almost certainly feel down the back of your neck as you watch TV. Even inner doors can be a problem so, even though it may seem a tad old-fashioned, the humble draft excluder across the bottom of a door can make all the difference!

Home Security (Low)

Before we finish, let’s go back to the subject of home insurance. It’s something that you hope you never have to call on, of course, but it is worth spending a little time double-checking that it covers you for weather-related damage. Many people get a rude awakening when they find out that they cannot claim for any of the thousands of pounds worth of rain or wind damage that has wrecked their home. It’s a double whammy that you really need to avoid.

Follow these tips and you will be well prepared for the colder months. In the meantime, let’s hope that they are not here for some time to come and that the only problem we have to worry about is having to keep ourselves cool!

Of course, if you can’t manage any of these jobs yourself, just check out Checkatrade and find a tradesperson that you can trust to do the work for you.

Craig Phillips is an official brand ambassador for Checkatrade.

For more information please visit www.checkatrade.com

Paper Hanging Tips by Multiple Award Winning Painter & Decorator Wayne de Wet

Advice, Members

As with all decorating  projects, the secret to a good finish is to do your home work! By that I mean to; prepare yourself, prepare the room/area and the surfaces being decorated and make time!
A very helpful way to learn the basics of wallpaper hanging can be reading books and ‘How To’ articles on line and of course watching YouTube videos as they also let you know about which tools to buy.

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My advice is to get the best tool kit that you can afford. This will make the whole project much easier, as using quality tools that are made well will always be better than using cheap and cheerful tools.

  • Start off with a small project until your confidence builds.
  • Always prepare the surfaces that are to be wallpapered, time spent preparing the surfaces to be wallpapered is time  well spent!
  • Wash old paste off the area to be wallpapered and rinse well, this is to prevent mould growing through the new wallpaper.
  • After washing the walls – fill, sand and line.
  • Make sure you buy enough wallpaper and some spare (it’s also very important to check the batch and colour codes are the same.)
  • Have all the tools that are needed before you start.

My wall paper tool kit has evolved over 38 years but even now I still add to it whenever something catched my eye!
However, the basic kit always remains the same…

IMG-20160810-WA0004


Wallpapering Kit

To hang wall paper. the following tools are a must;

‘Paste the Wall’ wallpaper

‘Paste the wall’ wallpaper is becoming the standard now. It basically means what it says, you paste the wall instead of pasting the wallpaper. This makes the process much faster.
The main plus of using this type of wall paper is that you don’t need to wait for the paste to soak in and you can hang straight from the roll…..with a bit of practice!

For the novice, the first thing you should do is check the pattern match.
This could be a straight match, where the pattern is straight across the wall or a reverse hang, where every other length is hung upside down. It could also be a drop pattern where every other length the pattern is seen to drop.
This and the other information can be found on the hanging instructions so make sure you read them as every wallpaper will have its own unique instructions.
You also need to make sure you buy enough wallpaper plus at least one spare roll.

It’s worth checking if the ceiling line or coving is straight. You can do this by drawing a straight line around the room with a spirit level and pencil then measure from that line to the ceiling/coving.

When setting out, position the pattern so its pleasing to the eye.
On the paste table; measure, match & cut each length allowing an extra 50mm to the top and bottom then mark the back of the paper at the top/bottom on the left, right and in the middle.
You do this so if you trim part off a length to fit some where else, you may cut this mark off.

A good habit is to gently reverse roll all the lengths of paper at both ends. This helps to stop the paper curling up when you have it on the table.

You will need to set our your room or feature wall by centering any patterns on say a chimney breast (remembering that the pattern on the paper is not necessarily on the edge of the paper).
Once you have done this, create a straight faint line using a Plumb Bob & Pencil, check it with a spirit level and then hang the first drop using the line as your guide.
Using a small roller pole, a roller/tray with a medium pile sleeve and a 50mm brush, paste an area of wall that’s just a little wider than the width of the wallpaper. This is so you never have to paste up to the length on the wall.
My trade tip is to position the pattern at the top of the paper so that its  pleasing to your eye, then simply let the wallpaper make contact but not stick to the wall then smoothing the paper from left to right and up and down as you go. You can then align the pattern to the plumb line or pattern if you have got more than one length up.

A key tip is to keep the face of the wallpaper clean at all times.

Traditional ‘Paste to Paper’

Paste to paper is the traditional method and it also has its good and bad points.

Pasting a sheet of wallpaper and keeping the face clean is very important.
This is made easy by keeping the wallpaper in line with the edge of the paste table then pasting down the centre of the paper gently working your way to the edge. You must make sure you are always spreading the paste on the outward stroke.

The good points in this method is the paper becomes softer to handle and fold, creases less and can be stretched a little with skill and experience but it can only be pasted on the paste table and is then cut off the roll.
I always number every length, making sure to mark what is the top & bottom. When marking, do this on the left, middle and right as if you need to trim the paper you may cut off the markings.

The negative points are it has to be allowed to soak for the right amount of time and cut to a length that can be trimmed when on the wall.
I generally cut the whole room or feature wall on the paste table allowing for a pattern match, add an extra 50mm top & bottom for trimming but that comes with a life time of experience.

Make sure you always always read the hanging instructions label and follow the manufacturers recommendation on adhesives.
Vinyls and sponge-able wallpapers will require a fungicide adhesive.

Where I can, I always use a ready mixed trade quality adhesive as this has a thicker consistency but can be sometimes thinned to suit the various wallpapers like heavy duty hessian, vinyl’s, and  embossed papers as well as flocks.

You should always use the same wallpaper adhesive to hang the lining paper and wallpaper.

Sachet or packet paste is still used and the secret to using this adhesive is to mix it to the right strength, and make sure it is lump free. Some powder adhesives are instant mix, which means its very hard to get lumps when mixing. When mixing your paste, always use clean cold water and clean tools.
My trade paste mixing tip is to get the water moving fast in a circular motion and whilst it’s being stirred gently pour the powder in, a little at a time.
Allow the mixed  adhesive to “stand” for about 5 mins then give a final stir, it’s now ready.

Count how many rolls you’re going to hang then the wallpaper adhesive packet will have a chart giving helpful tips on how much water you need to add depending on the type & quantity of wallpaper you’re using.
When you’re overlapping any wallpaper in corners, around windows or hanging boarder;, use a strong border & overlap adhesive and always keep the paper clean by rinsing with warm water.

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Trimming

Hanging wallpaper around sockets and switches is easy once you know how but caution should be had when this is being carried out and you must always turn off the electricity when hanging wallpaper.

Cut a cross to each corner and trim the excess off or for the best results,  ask an electrician to remove them.
To trim at the ceiling and skirting lines, gently crease the wallpaper into the crevice then push the paper in with a thin bladed spatula and holding your scalpel at an angle, trim the paper to the desired shape.
The spatula protects the wallpaper as the blade cuts it so always cut above the spatula.
Repeat this where ever you need to trim and also make sure the blade is fresh and sharp.

Papering around windows is easy once you know how too. It is, however, only possible to wrap the wallpaper into one side of the reveal, so its always best to wrap the sides.
To do this; hang a length straight, visualise your cuts as at some point their will be a little overlap and/or cut & splice.
Match a new piece to go on the face above the reveal and under into the window and splice though the two on the face. Take your time as patience makes for a job well done.

Corners

In many properties, both internal and external, corners can be out of level. It is so important that you understand this, and even more important to know that the wall paper must always be hung straight.

Cut a line right on the corner where the paper meets the skirting corner and also where it meets the coving corner which will allow for the paper to be smoothed round the external corner.
Check it is straight with a spirit level and once it’s right, carry on!
If it’s not straight, you will have to trim the returning paper about 15mm to 20mm then match a new length after trimming off the same section that is on the wall.
Depending on the type of wallpaper and pattern match, it can be overlapped by keeping it a few mm back from the edge and using over lap and border adhesive, but a much better finish can be achieved if it is spliced.
This process uses a straight edge and a very sharp snap blade knife. You cut gently through both papers and peel the underside off, roll with your seam roller and wipe with a damp cloth.
Never wrap wallpaper in and out of an internal corner – always trim about 3mm to 5 mm onto the unpapered wall.

Use overlap  paste and plumb a straight new length out of the corner after matching it.

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Good Practices

Always clean any adhesive paste off the ceiling or coving, skirting, windows and frames.
Change you water regularly.
Wash and rinse the cloths or sponges often.

Checktrade.com/WaynedeWet
Twitter; @Decorum28
Instagram; @Decorum28

Capture

Marxman and Dragons Den Deborah Meaden

Advice, Members, News

Marxman leaves a lasting impression and sees all Dragons vie to invest

Jenny, 50, a special abilities school assistant and Martin Chard, 50, a self-employed building maintenance man, are a typical couple bringing their four children, two Labradors and rabbit up in the picturesque county of Hertfordshire. But last night they found themselves in the enviable, and rare, position of having 5 of the UK’s biggest and most respected business people vie to invest in their business as all dragons made them an offer in the den.

Each of the dragons immediately saw potential in Martin’s invention and were keen to get on board.

Jenny and Martin were delighted to choose Deborah Meaden to be their partner and mentor given her vast experience and previous success with similar brands in the past. They gladly accepted her £50k investment for 30% of the business even though this wasn’t the top offer they received.

Jenny commented, “We had our sight set on Deborah from the very beginning.  She’s a fantastic businesswoman with a huge amount of knowledge and experience in this sector that will really help us develop our offering and expand our network.”

Marxman is a new tool addressing the common problem of being unable to clearly mark a drilling hole, something regularly encountered by professionals and DIY enthusiasts alike. With one push the Marxman delivers a burst of brightly coloured chalk that marks any surface ready for drilling or fixing, even at a distance from the wall.*

Deborah Meaden commented, “The best inventions come from people solving a problem that lots of us experience but don’t do anything about. Martin is exceptional in that not only did he recognise and solve the problem through his invention, but he did so in a simple, elegant and affordable way. I can see widespread use of the Marxman with it becoming an essential part of all home and professional tool kits.”

 

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Martin Chard came up with the idea for Marxman six years ago while trying to fit a sink. He couldn’t mark the drilling position on the wall and see the marks clearly so after a few time wasting attempts he reached for a can of black spray paint in desperation and marked it with that. After several other frustrating incidents like this and lots of wasted trips up and down ladders with broken pencils and felt tips not doing the job he started the process of developing Marxman so other workers could benefit.

Once a search of the patent office came back clear in 2009, Marxman began to take shape in 2010 as the first early stage prototype was developed.  The first product was sold in 2014 and in March this year the duo secured a contract with trade retailer Wickes.

It was Jenny’s son Oren who came up with the name Marxman and up until recently the family have been manufacturing every unit themselves in order to achieve the level of perfection they wanted to ensure Marxman does the job.

Jenny commented, “Being on Dragons’ Den was extremely daunting and we were very nervous, we definitely got flustered when being grilled on the numbers – that’s not our forte!

“We are the first to admit that we have very little business experience and we know we need a lot of help.  We’ve been able to get this far thanks to the extraordinary support we’ve had from friends, family and the various businesses big and small we’ve asked advice from along the way. We are extremely grateful to everyone that has believed in Marxman and played a part in our journey so far.”

Jenny and Martin plan to use Deborah’s investment to increase manufacture and grow the awareness of such a useful tool.

 

PRESS IT! MARK IT! DRILL IT!

Find out more:

Marxman Product Information

  • Marxman is available from www.marxmanpen.co.uk and www.wickes.co.uk
  • It retails at £9.95 and dispenses 250 doses
  • Both Standard and Deep Hole Marxman can be used to mark a reference point directly onto any surface. From tiles and pebble dash to wood and metal, whatever the surface the mark will show clearly
  • The Standard Marxman can mark clearly through depths of 45 mm and under
  • The Deep Hole Marxman can mark clearly through depths of 45mm and over
  • Marxman is a British made product which uses non-toxic ingredients and has very low global warming potential

 

See how Marxman works – https://youtu.be/HGbtUdJgCjY

 

Website – Marxmanpen.co.uk

Facebook – marxmanpen

Twitter – @marxmanpen

It’s time to take a fence – and give it a facelift – by Craig Phillips.

Advice, Inspiration, News

This is a great time of the year to be getting outside and enjoying the garden, but what if your fences and garden shed are looking old and worn? You are not going to be able to settle and enjoy your time out there.

Truth is, you are going to be looking at your fences and thinking “If I don’t get them maintained and treated soon then it’s not going to be long before I’ll be having to replace them!!” The problem is, you’re also going to be asking yourself if you can afford to replace them. Fencing isn’t cheap and neither are sheds so what are the best ways to keep them in reasonable condition?

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There are some really quick, easy and inexpensive ways to maintain both your garden fences and your sheds. If we use these, we will not only be making them look great but most importantly we’ll be making them last longer. Also, let’s not forget that well-kept fences and a good-looking shed can play a key role in keeping or even adding value to your home!

If you are planning on doing any maintenance work yourself, here are some helpful tips that you can follow:

  • start off by scraping off any old debris and moss that will have developed over the years by using a hard brush or a wire brush. On real stubborn areas you can even use a jet spray to pressure wash off any unwanted bits
  • wait for the surfaces to dry fully and then you can start treating the timber
  • there are loads of great colours available now for these kind of surfaces; most of them are water-based and won’t harm your plants or animals, but please do double-check when you buy them
  • there are two ways you can apply the treatments – one is with a paint brush and roller but the other smarter and more professional way to getter a better finish in a quicker time would be to apply your treatment with a paint-spraying system
  • you may find that fence panels are a rougher sawn timber than the shed materials and will be a lot more porous and will require more paint. It’s okay to apply two or three coats if you want to treat them really well
  • when it comes to the smoother timber on your shed you would be better off doing to two or three very fine coats of treatments, leaving each coat to dry and with a very gentle sanding between coats using a soft wire wool; this will help the coats to bond better and reduce the chance of the solutions running

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Of course, if the task is a large one and you don’t have the time or tools to complete the work – or you simply don’t want to attempt to do the work yourself – you can always hire a professional. Reputable, fully-vetted tradesman capable of doing the work for you can be found via Checkatrade.com.

Either way, please don’t put off treating your fences or your shed. When it comes to maintenance, the more often you do it the easier and cheaper it becomes. Prevention is always better than cure when it comes to wooden materials that are exposed all-year round to the elements that the British weather serves us!

Good luck and let’s hope you get the chance to get out there and enjoy your garden.

Surely, summer must be just around the corner!!
Guest blog by Checkatrade ambassador Craig Phillips