What you Need to Know about Ladders

The holidays are here and so is the time of the year when most homeowners are likely to be using their ladders more often – hanging Christmas lights or decorating a tall tree, cleaning gutters and cutting dead tree limbs. So, your first thought should be: Do I need a buy or rent a ladder for this job?

The reason for renting a ladder is to get the proper ladder for the job a hand. Old guys like me just can’t do some of the things we used to do, especially while balancing on a ladder. Therefore, you don’t want to use a five foot ladder for a job that would require you to reach over ten feet high. I recommend that you go to your local Rental Stop location to find the exact ladder or lift for your project. I almost ran out of luck a couple of times and now use a taller one because I figured my luck was running out! Don’t test your luck. Renting ladders are cheaper and less painful than a trip to the emergency room.

Any time you are using a ladder it is smart to have another person with you. They can steady the ladder, put it back up if it falls while you’re on the roof or call 911 in an emergency. A “ladder buddy” is always a good idea on even the simplest projects.

Another comment on hanging lights with a six-foot ladder if it is aluminum. Not smart! Metal ladders conduct electricity (I hang my lights lit to check for loose connections, blown fuses and dead bulbs.). Rent a fiberglass ladder, like I now do, when hanging lights or doing other electrical work around your home. We’ve all done projects without having the proper equipment but don’t stretch your luck with ladders like I did. If it’s a one-time job, rent the right equipment and if it’s a recurring project you want to do (like your Christmas lights) invest in proper safe equipment and tools.

Q & A:

How do I know the height of the ladder that I need for my job? Most folks have only two kinds of ladders around the home – step and extension. The highest permitted standing level for an extension ladder is four rungs from the top and for a step ladder is two rungs from the top.

Is there anything other than height to consider when buying my ladder?  First, ladders are rated by weight they will support (the Duty Rating). Heavy folks like me will need a higher rated ladder. Keep in mind this rating isn’t just what you weigh on the scales after your shower! The weight should include clothing and tools & equipment that will be on the ladder with you. Also, rent the right ladder material for your project. As we mentioned, use non-conducting ladders if you are doing electrical work.

Your local Rental Stop will have the correct ladder for your specific need. Call or visit their award winning web site http://www.rentalstops.com.

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How to install a Lawn Irrigation System

After you plan your underground lawn irrigation system and purchase all your materials and equipment, you’re ready to start installation. I would suggest that you rent a trenching machine for the job. Plan to rent as many of  these tools and have them on hand when you start the project.

Roll up your sleeves and get out that elbow grease. Following is a step-by-step look at how you can install the sprinkler system.

  1. Lay the pipe out in your planned configuration.After you have all your pipe, fittings, and everything else on hand, double-check that you have everything you need from your design and parts list by laying the pipe out in the yard.
  2. Dig the pipe canals.The trenches that the pipe is going to lie in must be 3 to 4 inches wide and 8 to 10 inches deep. Digging the trenches can be hard work, especially if you’re not used to it. You may be better off hiring someone to do this for you or renting a trench-digging machine. If you’re doing the work yourself, then you need to stake out the trench area. Run string from stake to stake. This helps keep your trench lines straight.
  3. If you want to save your sod, rent a sod cutter from your local Rental Stop store to cut the turf  about 2 to 3 inches deep along the outlines of the trenches.If you’re installing a system in an existing lawn, you can remove and save the grass on top of the trenches for replanting later.Cut the sod pieces into comfortable size lengths (2 to 3 feet is usually about right). Pick up the pieces of sod (roll them up, root side out, if you can) and put them in a shady, out-of-the-way place. Water the pieces of sod lightly and occasionally so that they don’t dry out. You may want to rent a lawn roller while replacing the sod to make the installation look as best as possible.
  4. If you have to dig under a sidewalk or some other surface impediment, make sure that you flush the area underneath with water to loosen the soil.
  5. Drive a 1-inch-thick piece of galvanized pipe under the sidewalk and through the area where you want your PVC pipe to run. Pull the galvanized pipe out, tape one end of the PVC to keep out dirt, and run the PVC through the tunnel that you just created.
  6. Lay out and fit together all your pipe in the trenches without gluing the ends, to make sure that everything fits.
  7. Measure the length of pipe carefully and using a hacksaw or pipe cutter, cut the pipe to the correct lengths.
  8. Scrape off any rough edges with a utility knife. Carefully clean the two ends of pipe you’re going to fit together.
  9. When you’re sure everything measures out right, brush primer on the outside of the standard pipe and on the inside of the flared end. Brush the adhesive solvent over the primed areas and fit the pipes together.

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What to do to get your pool ready for swimming?

Having a pool is great, but do you know what it takes to maintain a pool, and keep it clean and healthy for your family?

Maintenance of a pool is a fairly simple thing, but it is a routine that must be followed religiously if you want to get the utmost benefit out of your pool. The best thing to remember in owning a pool is to take care of any problem before it happens, and not after the fact. Repairing a cracked or corroded pool is high dollar, and besides, you don’t want to be without the benefit of the pool during the summer months! Therefore, you may need to rent some equipment to repair or maintain your pool.
Guidelines for Regular Pool Maintenance
Pools are much like hot tubs or spas in that they require filter changes, routine cleaning, and a careful check of the pH water balance during the swimming season. If proper water balance is maintained, and you insure that the circulation system in your new pool is adequate and always working properly, then two thirds of the battle is done. A lot of the chemical considerations are determined by the amount of usage the pool gets during the summer months.

Sanitizing your pool is a must to insure the health of pool users. You may need to drain your pool to make cleaning and repairs easier and more permanent. Your local Rental Stop store will have a rentable pump to make the draining much quicker for you. I would suggest that you rent a pressure washer and clean the entire pool area.

Typically, chlorine is added to the pool on a weekly basis. Chorine works in the water to kill bacteria and contaminants. This can be accomplished by several methods. A chlorine feeder is available from your local pool dealership. You can also mix the chlorine, which always come in a granular form, with water, and apply it yourself. Always be careful in the process and not dump it all in quickly, but add only a little at a time. Any chemical is caustic, and safety is a must.

After the water has been sanitized, it is then “shocked” approximately every two weeks before adding chlorine again. Because chlorine loses its effectiveness after a period of interacting with pool waste and contaminants, the shocker is used to clean out all of the leftover debris from the chlorine interaction in the water. The process, called oxidization, cleans the swimmer waste from the pool, such as skin cells, suntan lotions, cosmetics, and even urine, and rids the pool of old chlorine. If you notice the pool has a strong chlorine smell, or is cloudy, it’s probably because the pool is not being maintained properly. Shocking the pool will quickly cure this ailment. The pool will then be re-chlorinated.

It is always a good idea to take a sample of your pool water to your local pool dealership for testing on a monthly basis to insure that the water is correctly balanced. This will also help to foresee any problems that may be arising in your pool. Be sure to circulate the water in your pool for at least 8 to 12 hours continuously during the day.

On a weekly basis, vacuum and skim your pool to remove any debris. Doing so helps control pool contamination. It is also effective in discouraging algae growth in your pool.

Other regular maintenance includes the changing of filters on a regular basis as recommended by your pool dealership, and making sure that all O rings in the system are greased and void of cracks or abrasions. Check electrical connections on a regular basis to insure there is no frayed or cracked wiring. Keep skimmer baskets free of debris, and keep the pool area free of vegetation and leaves to insure there is no contamination of the pool. If you have trees around your pool it would be a good idea to rent a pruning saw so that leaves and twigs would not fall into the pool.

Pool maintenance should always include checking things such as diving boards, handrails, and ladders to insure there are no loose or rusted bolts. Inspect your diving board for any cracks or stressed areas, and replace if you find these problems. Doing so will insure the safety of all pool users.

Closing and Opening the Swimming Pool
At season’s end, the procedure for closing the pool is very important. First, drain the water to below the line marked for freezing on your pool, and drain all water lines. Add the recommended amount of anti-freeze to the lines to avoid cracking of pipes and lines during cold winter months. Cover the pool with a heavy duty pool cover, designed for your pool, to keep leaves and debris out of the pool during the closed months. Using a cover that is designed for your pool helps to keep debris out of the filter and circulation system during the time of the year when the pool is not used.

Opening the pool in the warm months is simply a matter of removing the pool cover, and cleaning it for storage during the summer months. If you need to remove any anti-freeze from the lines don’t forget to rent your pumps from your local Rental Stop store. Then refill the pool with water. Sanitize properly, and check to insure all filtration systems and circulation systems are functioning properly. You are then ready to enjoy the pool for another season of summer fun.
Owing a pool requires a regular regimen of maintenance and care. Although caring for a pool sounds like a lot of work, by doing so you save yourself a lot of grief further down the road. Remember the old adage “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” and you will have a sparkling clean pool, and a happy family in the bargain!

For all your cleaning and maintenance work around your pool, make one call to Rental Stop to rent the items you need to make the job as easy as possible. You can go to our award winning website to find just the right piece of equipment at www.RentalStops.com

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Why it is better to rent a tent?


The decision to buy or rent a tent has many variables. If the tent will be used for 3 or 4 times each year, it is probably better to rent the tent. The Rental Stop experts in your area will be better prepared with the necessary training and expertise to safely install the tent. The Rental Stop professionals also have the tools, washing facilities, and storage areas to maintain the tent when it is not in use. Your local Rental Stop professional often has long-standing relationships with the fire marshal, code enforcement officials, and other regulatory officials, which can make renting the preferred choice. Renting will also allow you to vary the size of tent according to your specific need. 

Many people rent tents for all kind of occasions. You might need to rent a tent for a wedding, an anniversary gathering, a birthday or even a graduation party. Rental Stop has been renting tents for  many of your favorite charities and  hospitals fund-raising events. Even churches and corporations will rent tents for special ceremonies such as ground breakings and grand openings.

A person must first determine tent usage. If a tent is being rented for dining purposes and round tables are being used allow 10-12 square feet per person. If banquet style rental tables are being used allow 8-10 square feet per person. If cathedral type seating is being used and there are rows of rental chairs, allow 6 square feet per person. If aisles and a speaker area are also needed allow 8 square feet per person. If renting the tent is for cocktail service allow five to six square feet per person. 

You will always get top quality rental products and great service from your neighborhood Rental Stop location. Be sure and call (972) 336-0059 or go online to www.rentalstops.com. They will be your Partner in the Planning.

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Tips for mulching and composting fresh wood chips.

If you have to remove a tree and have its stump ground up, you you will probably need to rent a stump grinder. After you finished with the stump, you may be left wondering what to do with all the leftover limbs and trunk. The Rental Stop in your area will have all the tools needed to make this tree removal a quick and efficient chore. You can rent a chain saw to cut the tree up and a log splitter to make it easier to put the residue into the rented chipper.  After the tree has been reduced to wood chips, the last thing you want to do is use this stuff directly in the garden as mulch.

That’s because as the wood chips decay, they absorb vast amounts of nitrogen from the soil. As a result, there’s little or no nitrogen left for the surrounding plants, and nitrogen is the most important element or nutrient required for plant growth.

So if you’ve got an out-of-the-way spot that’s at least four feet away from any plants in your yard, you can create a makeshift compost pile and just let the stuff sit for as long as you like — at least six months or so. I would suggest you rent a material mover such as a bobcat or wheel barrow to move the wood chips to the proper location. To speed up the process, add a few pounds of blood meal (which is essentially pure nitrogen) or add fresh grass clippings each time you mow.

You can put some wood chips in an existing compost pile, but do so sparingly. Ideally, it should make up no more than a quarter of the pile. It’s a good idea to blend some sort of nitrogen-based-material into the pile, whether in the form of grass clippings, kitchen scraps or plant refuse from the garden. What you want to keep in mind is the carbon-to-nitrogen ratio, or the ratio of brown stuff to green stuff. Brown stuff is carbon, while green stuff is nitrogen. The ratio of the two should be relatively close to 50-50.

Keep the material slightly moist and well aerated. After all, the more often you turn the pile with your rented pitchfork or rake, and provided you supply the right moisture content — slightly damp, but not moist — the faster you get finished compost.

Another great spot to use the “green” wood chips is in pathways or other areas where you don’t plan on planting anything. In this situation, it serves a twofold purpose: it’s a great mulching material for starters, and because plants can’t grow in the mix, it serves as an herbicide of sorts, preventing weeds from sprouting.

Remember the Rental Stop has all of your lawn and garden equipment rental items to make your job much easier, and don’t forget they can help with your party and event rental planning. Call one of their rental experts for advice and availability of products for your project.

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What to do for spring lawn care?

The temperatures are warming and the grass is taking on a light green hue–spring is arriving. It will be a while yet before you have to begin mowing, but there are three things you can do in the early spring for your lawn: dethatch, aerate and sow new seed by renting the precise equipment for the tasks.

Dethatch

Thatch are thick crunchy  patches of grass. It is a tightly intermingled organic layer of dead and  living shoots, stems and roots that accumulate just above the soil surface. Thatch can keep nutrients and water from reaching the soil and grass’ roots.

Dethatching should be done in the early spring for most grasses including Bermuda and fine fescue. Summer is when zoysia should be dethatched. Texas A&M University stated that thatch usually is not a problem with tall fescue or rye. You can rent the right tool from your neighborhood Rental Stop to make this job much easier.

Renting a tool used to remove thatch depends on how thick it is. Thatch that is 1/2 inch thick can be removed with a heavy-duty garden rake. Sometimes, renting a sod cutter might be required for thicker thatch. You might find that dethatching requires that the lawn be re-seeded. Again, Rental Stop will have all the lawn and garden equipment rentals you might require to do the job right.

Aerate

Heavy lawn traffic can cause the grass to become compacted. Like thatch, compacting can prevent rain and nutrients–as well as air–from reaching the grass’ root system.   Aeration can relieve this problem.

Aerating removes clogs of soil and pokes holes in the dirt. This can be done with a push-type aerator that has a roll of spikes on a cylinder attached to a long handle. You can also rent a core aerator from Rental Stop. Aerator cleats that are attached to the bottom of the shoe or aerators that are similar to a straight pitchfork do not do the complete job. While they do poke holes in the dirt, they do not remove clogs of soil.

Aerating is done at the same time as dethatching; if you have zoysia in your lawn, you will need to wait for summer to aerate it. Renting these items together will save you time and money.

Sow Seeds

Grass seed is sown in the early spring after dethatching and aerating. One way to ensure a beautiful, healthy lawn is to select grass seed that grows well in your region. Imagine a line drawn from the middle of California across the country to just below Pennsylvania; this divides the country into warm and cool season areas. Cool-season grass includes Kentucky bluegrass, rye and tall fescue. Warm-season includes zoysia, St. Augustine or Bermuda. Whatever the area, a mix of grasses offers the best results. If you have limited time for lawn care, consider planting slow-growing grasses, such as      buffalo grass for warm-season areas and mixed fescue for cool-season areas. Renting a spreader will make this task a breeze. Call the Rental Stop location nearest you for any additional information. They can make your yard work much easier and you will have more time to enjoy it by renting your lawn equipment from Rental Stop.

Remember all of your rental needs can be found at Rental Stop. Check out our website www.rentalstops.com for pricing and call to check on availability. You may need to reserve it for the time you need it most. Rental Stop services the entire Metroplex with outstanding rental products and superior service.

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Power for all Occassions-Generators

Generator Rentals

RENTAL STOP can solve your power generation challenges with our generator rentals – whether you are facing an emergency outage, a planned project, or a temporary surge in demand.

Our generators range in size from 2kW to 60kW. We have the rental power you need to get the job done and to keep your electricity flowing. If you need power for a home project to run the extra tools and lights, we have the right generator to get the job done. If you are having an outdoor event that will need electricity for the audio/video  rental equipment, we have you covered. We can also provide the heating or air conditioning rentals that you might need for your seasonal events.

Storms happen here, so renting a generator can save you a lot of money when you consider the loss of all the food stuffs in your refrigerator and freezer. If this happens in the summer when temperatures can rise to 100+ degrees in DFW, your generator and cooling rentals in the Dallas and Ft. Worth area are available at RENTAL STOP’s two convenient locations.

RENTAL STOP is the only place you need to call for all of your generator, equipment or party rental needs even in an emergency. Call us at (972 or 817) 336-0059 or go to our website, www.rentalstops,com.

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