Thursday, May 7, 2020

Home Improvements: When Should You Do It Yourself?


With everyone stuck at home thinking of ways to keep busy home improvement projects can be a great productive way to spend your free time. A do-it-yourself project can be an empowering way to save money and keep productive while we stay at home, provided you know what you're doing. But making even one simple mistake could put a strain on your back or your bank account. Often, it's best to put safety first by planning ahead, taking extra precautions, or when needed save the job for a professional.

Here are a few types of home improvement projects that are best left to the experts.


1. Plumbing or electrical projects
 
There's a reason these are skilled trades. Both systems are complex, no matter how straightforward a repair may initially appear. Even small leaks can cause serious water damage, and faulty electrical wiring can lead to a house fire. Don't risk flooding or electric shock. Leave these types of improvements to a plumber or an electrician to make sure these jobs are done right the first time.


2. Renovations with possible code violations

Structural changes require a licensed contractor. Not only can shoddy craftsmanship severely affect your home's value, but it can also put your family in danger. Accidentally removing a load-bearing wall, for example, could cause an entire room to collapse. Why take the risk?


3. Repairs involving high heights

More than 130,000 ladder-related injuries are treated in emergency rooms each year. Whether you're looking at a roof repair or trimming a tree, consider calling a professional before attempting to complete the job yourself.



Remember, just because a DIY project looks simple doesn't necessarily mean it's safe. When in doubt err on the side of caution, plan ahead, and when needed leave it for a professional.

Want to find a home improvement project that is truly DIY friendly? Try one of these wallet-friendly and easy DIY projects for a new look, added home value, or just the sprucing up you've been looking for.

Here are some types of do it yourself home improvement projects that can be done safely with a little planning and knowledge.  

 

1. Save the popcorn for the movies

What's on your ceiling? Few structural elements date a house more than popcorn ceilings. So dedicate some time to ditching the dated look and adding dollar signs to the value of your home. This is a project you can tackle yourself. EZ Strip Popcorn Ceiling Remover is the number one DIY friendly remover for painted drywall textures on our list find it here http://www.ezstrip.ca/buy-ez-strip/ then simply scrape the popcorn away. Removing a popcorn ceiling may not seem like a big change but one of the keys for adding value to your home is to repair, replace or remove anything that could turn buyers away.

Here's a quick how to remove painted textures with EZ Strip! 



2. Refinish your flooring 

Installing a new hardwood floor can be a big expensive project and require a professional. So refinish existing hardwood for a less time/cost-consuming project. No matter whether you decide to strip or sand your floors refinishing will always be more DIY friendly over replacing! Larger floor sanders can be rented from your local hardware store or if you chose to strip off that old tired finish be sure to use a safe stripper the number one DIY friendly remover on our list is EZ Strip Paint & Varnish Remover find it here http://www.ezstrip.ca/buy-ez-strip/ once your old finish is off pick a new fresh color to give your home a high value upgrade!

Here's a quick how to refinish stairs with EZ Strip! 


3. Cleanliness counts

Make the interior of you home shine from the moment someone walks through the door. Sometimes a top-to-bottom scrubbing is all your home really needs to change the look and feel of any room. Even if you clean your home regularly, there are nooks and crannies that you may miss or overlook. Do a room by room scan and tackle tough removal jobs like dried paint drips/permanent marker mistakes/stickers or tape glue residues/and more with safe cleaners that pack a punch, top on our DIY friendly remover list is EZ Strip All Purpose Remover to really make your home sparkle. Find it here http://www.ezstrip.ca/buy-ez-strip/

Here's a quick removal how to with EZ Strip!



4. Paint, paint, paint

One of the simplest, most cost-effective DIY home improvements of all is paint! Freshly painted rooms look clean and updated — and that spells value. When selecting paint colors, the world is your oyster get that fresh new look with a DIY friendly paint project! On average, a gallon of paint costs around $25, leaving you plenty of money to buy rollers, painter's tape, drop cloths and brushes. So buy a few gallons and get busy!


Easy DIY fixes can dramatically change the look or value of your home with a lot less cost but always plan ahead to make sure the project you take on is safe and truly DIY friendly! For more DIY friendly removal project ideas visit https://www.ezstrip.ca/ Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Bored? Fill the time with some home improvement projects!


A lot of us have oodles of free time while we self isolate at home. So why not use all that free time to complete some home improvement projects? Keep busy and get that feeling of accomplishment to keep up our spirits! Here are some great project ideas to pass the time.

Oven Cleaning

When was the last time you really looked inside your oven 😬 life is usually so busy areas like this get missed and now is seems like a daunting task. A lot oven cleaning products are caustic and can burn your skin and lungs. I would recommend a low VOC skin safe option to tackle this sticky mess. EZ Strip All Purpose Remover is just that and the EZ Strip website has some great detailed removal tips for your oven.


Refinish Window Sills

Widows need a make over? It can seem like too big of project. But just take one window at a time to get a fresh new look in every room! Most paint and varnish strippers can be harsh on you and the environment. I would recommend a EZ Strip option that is biodegradable, cleans up with just water, and has the low VOC skin safe perks to boot. EZ Strip Paint & Varnish Stripper can safely strip paint or varnish from your wood window frames so you can apply that fresh coating for a long lasting new look. 😍


Popcorn Ceiling Removal

No  one wants that impossible to clean bumpy lumpy ceiling anymore but it seems like too big a job to remove. 😖 EZ Strip Popcorn Ceiling Remover is specifically designed to be a dust free DIY friendly removal option for painted popcorn ceiling textures. It works on textured walls and all other kinds of painted drywall textures too. 


Remove Graffiti

How about that eye sore out back you've been meaning to clean? Regular cleaners are not strong enough and you don't want to use something toxic so try EZ Strip Graffiti Remover yeah they have safe formulas for graffiti and permanent marker removal too! 😀

Sticker Removal

I'm sure the kids have been bored too! Want remove stickers from glass and other hard surfaces? EZ Strip Adhesive & Glue Remover can take care of it safely so you don't have to worry about fumes with your kids in house. It also works great on tape residue! 😉



Refinish Old Furniture

 Want to play with some 2 tone stains or a new chic look? 😎 EZ Strip Paint & Varnish Stripper helps you strip off those old tired stains and peeling paints so you can get your home decor on! EZ Strip lets you safely strip coatings from furniture inside your home with out the worry of harsh fumes or environmental impact.



I commend all the people that are still going to work everyday in essential service industries doing there best to keep the world turning in this crisis! For those of us that have to stay home all day and rattle around waiting for our days to get back to normal it just the best thing to do for now. If we can keep our selves from going crazy with a few to do projects in and around the home we can all sleep a little easier at night. For more how to projects visit ezstrip.ca today and thanks for reading!

Friday, March 27, 2020

Coronavirus COVID-19 Self Isolation Boredom Cures


Stuck in your house because of self isolation, watched all your can on the TV and internet, now the boredom sets in! Here is a few ideas you can do to keep you busy and inside while we wait for the world to turn back on. All these projects I've done with non-toxic removal products by EZ Strip. It's the only brand I would recommend for tough inside removal jobs. If you want to see full videos of these projects and more visit my You Tube Channel at EZ Strip

Removing Stickers 





I had this garage sales find mirror covered in stickers I've been meaning to clean up and use as a decoration in my mud room for a while. I used a non-toxic all purpose remover called EZ Strip All Purpose Remover so I could do it right in my living room! It was easy just sprayed on and let sit for about 15 minutes. Then scraped them off and wiped clean with water.


It works great on all kinds of tough and sticky removal jobs I've completed so many projects that I had been meaning to do forever. Like clean my oven, the BBQ, oil spills on concrete, remove permanent marker, and a lot more. You can see the how to videos on YouTube

Tape Residue Removal


Duct tape residue in my doorway after I peeled off some old weather stripping. It had been on there a long time so I let it sit for about 20 minutes and it came right off! This has been an eyesore for so long and I was worried of the mess when I peeled off the old to replace but EZ Strip Adhesive & Glue Remover did the trick. Here's a link to the how to video on YouTube


The next project I wanted to share is one I did with a non-toxic paint and varnish stripper from EZ Strip. I love a great garage sale find and you would be surprised at what you can find under all the wow that was an interesting color choice for your furniture finds!

Furniture Refinishing 



I had planned to refinish this chest in warmer weather until I tried EZ Strip Paint & Varnish Stripper you can safely use it inside, it's environmentally friendly, and cleans up with just water! EZ Strip made this refinish project way easier than I thought it was going to be. This one I let sit for about an hour because I wasn't sure what kind of paint was on there or how old it was. I just knew there was a beautiful old chest under there and for $10 bucks and an hour of my time it was totally worth it.

I have done this to an old table, another mirror with a wood frame I found at the dump, my desk, my stairs and some more things around the house. You can see the how to videos on YouTube


Wall Washing



This one is really great because you get the power of a magic eraser in a spray bottle! EZ Strip Painters Prep is great for prepping surfaces for painting or refinishing but you can also just use it to brighten all kinds of hard surfaces with an easy clean. Just spray and wipe clean with water. For really dirty or stubborn marks let it sit for a few minutes before wiping.

Here a link to this project from start to finish on YouTube I repainted my mud room. The prep to paint this room was so easy to do with EZ Strip!


I hope this blog post gives you some great ideas on how to keep busy when your stuck in your home! So many of us are just rattling round in our homes counting the days till things are back to normal. You can buy EZ Strip removal products online here https://www.ezstrip.ca/buy-ez-strip/ Stay safe out there everyone!

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Renovation Hazards: Does Your Home Contain Lead-Based Paint?


Lead-based paint is a dangerous source of lead. Absorption of even very low levels of lead into the blood may have harmful health effects on the intellectual and behavioral development of infants and young children. Removing, repairing or disturbing lead paint through normal wear-and-tear such as paint on doors, windows, stairs and railings can expose you and your family to health risks.

Precautions can be taken to reduce exposure. Before you begin renovations, consider the following information in order to minimize the health risks to you and your family.

Does my home contain lead-based paint?

Lead-based paint was commonly used in homes built before 1960. Both exterior and interior paint produced between 1960 and 1990 may also contain lead in smaller amounts. All post-1992 consumer paint produced in Canada or the United States for indoor use is virtually lead-free.

How can I test my home?

You can check painted surfaces for lead by using a home lead test kit or sending a paint chip sample to a certified laboratory. A licensed contractor, who has the proper x-ray equipment to detect lead on painted surfaces, can also tell you if your house has leaded paint. Contact your local health authority environmental health officer for more information.

Should lead-based paint be removed?

Sometimes leaving lead-based paint alone is safer than removing it, as long as it is not chipping or within the reach of children. Whenever you disturb surfaces with lead paint, you risk creating hazardous lead dust even if the lead paint is covered with new paint. To reduce the chance of exposure to lead-based paint, surfaces in good condition can be covered with non-lead paint, vinyl wallpaper, wallboard or paneling.

How do I safely remove lead-based paint?

Certain precautions can help minimize the risk. Follow these safety tips when removing lead-based paint from walls, ceilings and other structures, or when sanding or knocking down a wall. These tips will help protect you and your family’s health during renovations. Depending on the difficulty of the work involved, it might be a good idea to hire a trained professional.

Protect your family

Children are more sensitive to the effects of lead than adults. Children and women who are pregnant or trying to become pregnant should avoid exposure to lead. If there is a chance your home will be contaminated with lead dust during renovations, move toddlers, preschool children, and pregnant women elsewhere until the work is done.

Protect yourself

Wear appropriate protective clothing such as coveralls, goggles, gloves, and most importantly, a U.S. National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) approved respirator for dust, mist, and fumes to reduce the possible intake of lead. Consult your local safety equipment dealer. Do not eat, drink, or smoke in an area where paint is being removed.

Prepare the area

To prevent spreading paint chips and dust to other parts of the house, remove children and pets and seal the area and all heating vents.

Protect the entrance to the working area with plastic to contain dust. Remove all drapes, rugs, furniture, and household items from the area. Cover objects that cannot be moved, including the floor, with heavy plastic, and seal with tape. Fill a spray bottle with water and a small amount of detergent to wet all surfaces and to contain any dust during renovations or clean-up.

If working outdoors, use drop sheets to catch any paint scrapings, avoid windy days and cover windows and doors with plastic to keep scrapings and dust out of the house.

Use safe stripping techniques

Use techniques that do not spread lead dust or fumes. Chemical stripping produces the least amount of lead dust. As most chemical stripping agents also contain potentially harmful substances, they must be used with care. Use this link for safe alternatives for chemical stripping http://www.ezstrip.ca/ Mechanical removal through sanding or grinding produces more lead dust.

Do not spread the dust around

Turn off forced air heating and air conditioning systems and cover vents with taped plastic sheeting. Remove protective clothing and footwear whenever you leave the work area. Wash work clothes separately from other laundry or discard them when you are finished.

Do a daily clean-up

At the end of each day, wetting the dust and wet-wiping will help clean up and prevent dust from spreading. Put all waste into a secure container or sealed plastic bag. Mark the bag as hazardous waste. Vacuum with a HEPA vacuum cleaner. Wash your hands, face, tools and your personal protective equipment once your work is done and before you enter a clean area.

Do a final clean-up

Wait at least 1 day after completing work to let any dust settle and then do a final clean-up. Wet wipe all surfaces and put the plastic used to contain the area in a sealed plastic bag for disposal.

For more information about lead in your home, read Steps to Lead Safe Renovations, Repair and Painting developed by the United States Environmental Protection Agency at https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2013-11/documents/steps_0.pdf

Monday, January 20, 2020

The EPA Ban On Retail Distribution Of Methylene Chloride To Consumers


The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is encouraging all consumers to stop using methylene chloride products that they may have already purchased for paint and coating removal before the ban was finalized at the end of November 2019. The EPA is also reminding all retailers that sales of these products to consumers is prohibited by EPA regulations under the authority of section 6 of the Toxic Substances Control Act.

EPA regulations prohibit the manufacture (including import), processing and distribution of methylene chloride in all paint removers for consumer use went into effect the end of November 2019. It is now unlawful for any person or retailer to sell or distribute paint removal products containing methylene chloride for consumer use, including
e-commerce sales.

EPA’s action keeps paint and coating removers that contain the chemical methylene chloride out of consumers’ hands. It is against the law to sell or distribute methylene chloride for paint and coating removal in the retail marketplace a step that will provide important public health protections for consumers.

Learn more about methylene chloride epa.gov/assessing-and-managing-chemicals-under-tsca/risk-management-methylene-chloride.

According to EPA, “there is a variety of effective, less harmful substitutes readily available for paint removal.”  EPA notes that it “is continuing to work through the process outlined in TSCA to review the risks associated with other uses of methylene chloride.  This process is designed to thoroughly evaluate available science before taking action to manage the risk associated with the other uses of the chemical.”

One recognized safe alternative for paint and coating removal is
EZ Strip. Skin safe, low VOC, environmentally friendly formulas for paint removal that clean up with just water. EZ Strip uses water soluble solvents that are 100% biodegradable and 100% effective at stripping most paints, varnishes and stains as well as assist in the removal of most types of glues, adhesives, tape residue, graffiti, tree sap, stickers and decals, permanent marker, and much more. Visit EZ Strip today for how to remove info, great removal project ideas, and where to buy at
http://www.ezstrip.ca/

Here's is some reviews on EZ Strip products:









Friday, November 15, 2019

Methylene Chloride Carries Unreasonable Risks


Methylene chloride, one of the most dangerous solvents ever developed, is the subject of a recently released EPA draft risk evaluation. Here are just a few summary points discovered:


  • Four out of 16 recycling and disposal facilities had releases of methylene chloride to surface water that indicate risk to aquatic organisms. 
  • For acute inhalation exposures there are medium and high intensity risks for consumers and bystanders.
  • Acute toxic effects (i.e., central nervous system (CNS) depression) may persist for hours after exposure because of continued metabolism of methylene chloride released from tissue storage.
  • Methylene chloride has been detected in human breast milk thus, infants may be exposed to methylene chloride through maternal exposures. 


The draft identifies 70 uses of methylene chloride, both commercial and consumer, and assigns a risk to each. For the large majority of identified uses, the Agency indicated an unreasonable risk.



Evaluation Process

The draft risk evaluation is not a final agency action. Instead, it represents the EPA’s initial review of the scientific data on methylene chloride and will be peer reviewed by independent scientific experts as well as open to at least one round of public comment.


The EPA says it will use feedback received from the peer review and public comments to inform the final risk evaluation and will provide updates on this process. If the EPA’s final risk evaluation finds there are adverse health risks associated with methylene chloride under any of the specific conditions of use, the Agency will propose actions to address those risks. Actions could include proposing regulations to prohibit or limit the manufacture, processing, distribution in the marketplace, use, or disposal of the chemical.


Ban on Consumer Strippers

In March 2019, the EPA issued a final rule that banned the manufacture, processing, and distribution in commerce of methylene chloride for consumer paint and coating removal. The prohibition included the distribution of methylene chloride to and by retailers.

The EPA was under considerable pressure to ban the use of methylene chloride in paint and coating stripper products given an alarming number of deaths resulting from noncommercial applications as well as commercial uses.  The rule specifies: “After November 22, 2019, all persons are prohibited from manufacturing, processing and distributing in commerce methylene chloride for consumer paint and coating removal.”


The EPA will accept comments on the methylene chloride draft risk evaluation until December 30, 2019.



Safe Alternative Strippers

With the ban on consumer strippers quickly approaching retailers have already preemptively removed methylene chloride based strippers from their shelves. The number one recommended safe alternative for paint and coating stripping is EZ Strip. EZ Strip removal products beat the competition in price, performance and most importantly innovative formulations. 

EZ Strip formulas are water based and 100% biodegradable. They do not absorb through the skin and have a low VOC rating with no need to ventilate during indoor use. Here are few benefits to using EZ Strip:



  • Environmentally stable
  • Gentile on your skin
  • Easy to use, and it works
  • Responsibly sourced 
  • No ventilation needed
  • Cleans up with just water
  • Safe to dispose in regular household garbage
  • Safe to use on most substrates
  • Competitively priced 

For more info on EZ Strip products, detailed removal info, and where to buy visit EZstrip.ca today! 

Monday, October 21, 2019

Health Department Recommendations For Disposing Of Paint Thinners


Health officials are advising to safely dispose of certain paint and coating removers (paint strippers) determined to be too dangerous to use. That’s because some of these products contain Methylene Chloride.

Methylene Chloride can affect the nervous system and increase a person's chance of getting cancer, and can damage the liver, kidney and heart. Exposure to a buildup of Methylene Chloride fumes in a small space can be fatal. People who have concerns about past exposure should discuss this with their health care provider.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency issued a final rule in March to prohibit the manufacturer, importation, processing and distribution of Methylene Chloride in all paint removers for consumer use. The restrictions go into effect on November 22. U.S. and Canadian retailers have already taken a stance against this health concern for consumers by banning paint strippers containing Methylene Chloride from their shelves.

Anyone who has paint and coating removers that contain Methylene Chloride, is urged to contact their local solid waste district for when and where hazardous waste collection is available. Methylene Chloride is typically listed as an ingredient on the container. Do not dispose of these products in your drain, trash or anywhere in the environment.

Businesses and consumers that use Methylene Chloride products can replace these products with safer yet still effective and environmentally friendly removal products now available in the paint stripping market. 

EZ Strip is our top recommended brand for safe paint and coating removal products. EZ Strip removal formulas provide low VOC skin safe strippers that are water soluble and biodegradable in the environment. Visit EZstrip.ca today for purchase options, detailed removal instructions, and great removal project ideas!