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Fall Lawn Care

September 20, 2015

Take advantage of cool fall weather to fertilize, control weeds, and improve the health and appearance of your yard. Read on for more!

Adjust Your Mowing HeightWhere to find MOWER, SELF PROPELLED W BAG in Seattle
If you raised the height of your lawn mower in summer to reduce heat stress to your lawn, return the mower deck to its normal mowing height (about 2 inches tall is best for most grasses) in fall. Cutting your lawn slightly shorter in autumn helps prevent the grass from matting down under leaves and snow. Avoid cutting the grass too short, however. Tightly clipped turf has fewer roots and allows weeds to get a foothold.

Water on Schedule
Most lawns need water whenever it’s dry — no matter the season. If drought persists into autumn, water once or twice per week long enough to soak the soil several inches deep. Early morning is the best time of day to irrigate because winds are usually lighter so you’ll waste less water to evaporation. Avoid watering in the evening because that encourages fungal diseases.

Where to find OVERSEEDER, LAWN in SeattleOverseed
Overseed warm-season lawns with ryegrass each autumn. This type of grass provides a lush, green carpet through the cool winter months. Prepare the lawn for overseeding by mowing it 1/2 inch shorter than usual and removing the clippings. Sow grass seed over the mowed area, making two passes at right angles to each other.

In the North, overseed thin lawns or large dead areas. Keep the newly seeded sections moist while seeds sprout. Frequent light sprinklings are best at first. Gradually increase the interval between waterings to encourage the roots to grow deeper into the soil.

FertilizeWhere to find SPREADER, DROP SMALL in Seattle
Fall is the best time to fertilize your lawn if you live in the North. Cool-season grasses, such as bluegrass, fescue, and ryegrass, respond well to feeding in early September and again in late fall (late October or November). It helps them green up earlier and look better in spring. Fertilizer spreader options.

Avoid fertilizing dormant warm-season grasses in the South unless they have been overseeded with winter ryegrass.

AerateWhere to find AERATOR, LAWN GAS in Seattle
Aeration reduces thatch, improves drainage, and loosens soil. Make sure that the aerator you use pulls plugs of soil from the turf rather than simply punching holes in the ground, which actually increases compaction over time. Aerate cool-season grasses in early fall and warm-season grasses in spring.

 

Aurora Rents
Shoreline   –  206.368.7368
Greenlake  –  206.729.7368
Lake City   –  206.362.7368
AuroraRents.com

* Article courtesy of the Better Homes & Gardens.

Top Ten Power Tool Maintenance Tips for Spring*

March 31, 2015
Ten Spring Maintenance Tips

It’s time to awaken your STIHL equipment from its winter slumber. Before you pull your tools out of storage and put them to work, make sure you’ve prepared them for your spring workload. This checklist of proper maintenance tips will help get your equipment out of hibernation and ready to run.NOTE: For a comprehensive list of maintenance and repair instructions, refer to your product’s instruction manual.

  • Check the condition of your spark plugs and replace if necessary.
  • Check air filters for dirt and damage to determine if any need cleaning or replacement. Clean debris from blowers and trimmers as well.
  • Inspect your equipment for broken parts, and replace any that are broken or damaged.
  • Check screws and nuts, and retighten them if necessary.
  • Now is a good time to sharpen or change saw chains, as well as replace trimmer line.
  • Lubricate parts where friction will occur.
  • Check power cords on electric tools for damage or wear.
  • When mixing fuel, use fresh fuel (stored for less than 2 months) and new 2-cycle engine oil.
  • Use STIHL MotoMix® Premixed Fuel in your fuel tanks. STIHL MotoMix® is a highly stable blend that will help to ensure great performance.
  • Don’t put your power tool to work immediately-after a season of storage, let it warm up for a few minutes before use.

For all these and other Stihl products, visit AuroraRents.

 

Aurora Rents
Shoreline   –  206.368.7368
Greenlake  –  206.729.7368
Lake City   –  206.362.7368
AuroraRents.com

Just remember Aurora Rents for all your Stihl needs!

* Article courtesy of the Stihl.

Addicted to Pressure Washing?

March 24, 2015

Well the one good thing about the rain, its a good day to pressure wash (you are already wet!)  The one thing I have learned about pressure washing…be careful its very addictive.  How can pressure washing be addictive you ask?  Try and stop at just the patio….the patio looks so good, now you move onto the walkway, can’t have a clean walkway next to that deck,  well might as well do the driveway….next thing you know you are pressure washing the street and the neighbors sidewalk!!  See what I mean.

When it comes to pressure washers, there are a few different ones to choose from.  You first have to determine what you want to clean and how fast you want to get the job done.  Think of it this way…the higher the pressure, the larger area you can clean in one pass.  With a 1500 psi (pounds per square inch) pressure washer you might be happy with the result you get cleaning 3″ at a pass.  You can get the same “clean” with a 3500 psi washer but clean 6″ to 8″ at a pass. Get the picture?  It also depends on what type of surface you will be cleaning.  For wood fences or decks you can get away with a smaller washer than would be required for a sidewalk or driveway.  Pressure washers can be found from 1000 psi all the way up to 5000 psi. My favorite washer is a 2500 psi.  It is fairly small in physical size (about the size and weight of a gas lawnmower), it has the pressure to do driveways and not so much pressure that it damages wood.  As a caution:  Any pressure washer can damage a surface if the nozzle is placed to close (yes even concrete!), the secret is find that sweet spot that gives the clean you are looking for without leaving marks or damage.  All pressure washers come with a variety of tips as well, these tips vary the fan width from 0 degree (basically a pin point) to 40 degree.  Besides pressure or psi there are other options for pressure washers as well.  They are available in gas powered (These are the mos popular due to the psi they can produce) or electric powered (These are usually the smaller units that are not nearly as effective as the gas models but are very compact).  They are also available in hot water, these are usually used to clean oil or grease such as engine compartments or even commercial restaurant equipment.

There are also a few attachment available that can help you out with specific jobs.  Rotary surface cleaners are very popular for large flat areas such as sports courts or large driveways.  They basically look like a water powered lawnmower with jets spinning underneath cleaning the surface.  (For these we recommend a 3500 psi washer as they require more pressure due to the multiple jets underneath)  There are also extension wands available to reach those high places without having to resort to a ladder.  Lastly there is the bad boy of the attachments, the rotating nozzle.  This nozzle actually has a steady stream of water that rotates quickly over a small area.  You have to be careful with this one, but nothing works better for those really hard to clean items like paint or graffiti off of concrete.

Now that you know a little more about pressure washers, get out and CLEAN!!  Just remember I warned you about it being addictive.

Aurora Rents
Shoreline   –  206.368.7368
Greenlake  –  206.729.7368
Lake City   –  206.362.7368
AuroraRents.com

Time to think about THE LAWN

March 24, 2015

Every year about this time, as spring gets closer we all start to look at that ugly winter lawn and yearn for greener pastures.  Yeah I said that.  So the phone starts ringing and asking for tillers, sod cutters, aerators and thatchers.  We all want that green lawn to showcase our front yard, and if it happens to look a little better than the neighbors…well even better yet!  So a quick search through the internets gives plenty of different opinions and suggestions.  We can help with the equipment you will need to handle this seemingly large task and make it a little easier.

As you do your research the terms dethathing and aerating come up quite frequently and are probably the most popular items that we rent for lawn care.  Thatch is the grass, moss etc. that blocks out the water to the roots. A rake could be used to pull up this mess….or you could rent a thatcher!. Anytime you can use a power tool instead of doing it by hand sounds good to me.  This process is best done when the lawn is fairly dry and prepare for a big mess.  Some customers rake up this mess by hand others simply run it over with a lawn mower to bag it up.  The next step is typically the aerator. The aerator or plugger pulls “plugs” from the lawn usually they are 1 1/2″ to 2″ plugs of dirt, this allows nutrients and water to reach deep down into the roots of compacted lawns.  These “plugs” are left all over your lawn at this point and again you have options.  You can simply leave them and they will dissolve in a few days after a good watering or rain, or if you want you can rake these up.

Aurora Rents
Shoreline   –  206.368.7368
Greenlake  –  206.729.7368
Lake City   –  206.362.7368
AuroraRents.com

Party!!!

March 24, 2015

It’s summertime, finally!  Sounds like a good excuse for a party.   There are plenty of items available to spice up that summer shindig you have been wanting to throw.  We have mentioned the outdoor movie idea before, but you are looking for something a little more festive.  We can start with a karaoke machine…what your guest won’t get up and sing!  New idea, lets start with a margarita machine.  I guess a better term would be frozen beverage machine, you don”t have to make alcohol infused margaritas, in fact we would not recommend adding alcohol to the machine for a couple of reasons. First is, alcohol does not freeze real well so it takes the machine forever and a day to get to that frozen slushy state we all love so much, and second if there are any kiddos around they are going want a taste of there own.  A better idea is to actually keep the alcohol nearby, when a “margarita” is dispensed simply pour in a shot of alcohol before dispensing any slush into the cup., it will mix as it is poured in.  Simple and tasty!  Ready to sing yet?  Not quite, well a little dancing is always good but bringing out your kids ipod full of Justin Bieber’s latest probably isn’t going to be a big hit.   I guess we did forget one thing…unless we are going to drag your surround sound system from underneath the tv and drag it outside (this is an outside party if I forgot to tell you) we are going to need a sound system.  Easy, a Liberty sound system gets you 2 speakers, 2 stands an a microphone (2 turntables not included).  Now we have a party…but now your guest are getting hungry.  How are you going to feed 50 of your closest friends, plus some weird guy and his dog that just showed up.  Think BBQ….think BIG BBQ.  A 48″ propane BBQ should do the trick, you can throw enough burgers and dogs on to feed your hungry crew.  Too many burgers over the 4th…I understand.  Lets do something a little different and make this party one to remember.  Lets roast a pig! For this you have to plan ahead a bit, but it will be worth it!  A 5′ charcoal BBQ and a rotisserie that can handle a 100 lb pig, now that sounds more like it! (How to cook a pig)  Sounds like its going to be a great party, just let me know when and where!  Have fun and stay safe this summer!

PS….if it looks like rain check these out!

Aurora Rents
Shoreline   –  206.368.7368
Greenlake  –  206.729.7368
Lake City   –  206.362.7368
AuroraRents.com

Just remember Aurora Rents for all your party needs!

I Have Water In My Basement!!!

January 20, 2015

Unfortunately we hear this phrase all too often.  Believe it is not just the rain around here that causes this wonderful discovery, but it definitely doesn’t help.  Failed water heaters and backed up drains have ruined more than one afternoon around here, so what to do if this happens.  To start, nothing can replace a professional that is trained in water damage restoration but sometimes we need to tackle these problems on our own.

When you find that you have a water problem no matter what the cause, the first step is always to get rid of as much of the standing water as possible.  If you have inches (or feet!!) of water you obviously have a big mess,  but pumps become your friend.  The most common pump we rent out for these applications are submersible electric pumps.  They do a good job of getting rid of most of the water down to a more manageable depth.  Especially the pump we call a puddle sucker which pumps almost down to ground level.

Now we get to play with vacuums, specifically a wet/dry vac.  There are a couple of different options here to help in the drying process.  First the vacuum themselves a standard wet/dry vac works great but only holds about 10 gallons of water, which might be fine for smaller jobs but if things have gone from bad to worse you may need something larger.  The most impressive vac we have for this application is called a de-watering vac.  Sounds cool right!  Well it actually is, it has a pump built into it so it actually pumps out water as you vacuum, so you don’t have to keep emptying the unit.  Now for another cool tool, the water claw!  This is a unit that hooks up to the vacuum, you actually stand on it to help compress the pad under the carpet and get more water out.  You can also use a standard extraction wand to help get that water out of the carpet and the pad.

Now that you are sick of using a vacuum we move onto the drying phase.  To start you are most likely going to either pull all your carpet up to dry it or pull up a section so that a carpet fan can be placed underneath to help lift the carpet and dry the pad.  The pad is the hardest to dry and usually sees the most moisture so drying that pad is very important to preventing mold.  You may have glue down carpet, in which case you may be OK going through the drying process without completely removing it.  Hardwood floors or “floating floors” can be dried, but unfortunately take special drying equipment that we do not carry.  You want to make sure the room is at least 70 degrees or better, if heat is needed I would recommend an indirect diesel heater (heater sits out side and pumps in fresh hot hair while exhaust remains outside)

Time to dry, now we need to bring in plenty of airmovers and dehumidifiers.  One way to look at fans (airmovers) is that they are the muscle behind the operation and the dehumidifiers are great helpers. When you blow air across a wet surface it pulls moisture from that surface and puts it into the air, the dehumidifiers then pull moisture from the air and remove it.  It sounds simple but the mistake most people make is to skimp on the fans.  As I said before, they are the muscle and you can never have too much muscle!  We even offer a discount on fans when you get them in a kit with a dehumidifier (1 dehumidifier and 2  fans).  Also with every dehumidifier and or fan rental we will send you with a free moisture probe rental to help you determine if things are dry enough so that you know when its time to bring back the equipment.  We even offer more advanced moisture meters if specific moisture level readings are needed.

During the drying process it also recommended that an air-scrubber be used, an air scrubber is basically a large HEPA air filter that “scrubs” the air clean.  With all these fans blowing stuff around it can send microscopic particles through the air that may pose as a health risk to the people in the area.  The

This was just a quick overview of the drying process, for more information check out a DriEaz Products, we carry their equipment and they are a local company up in Burlington, Wa.

Give us a call or stop by, we are here to help you.

Aurora Rents
Shoreline   –  206.368.7368
Greenlake  –  206.729.7368
Lake City   –  206.362.7368
AuroraRents.com

No matter what the project Aurora Rents has the tools you need!

Winter Landscaping Tips

January 16, 2015

Winter Landscaping Guide – Brought to you by STIHL

For most of the country, the winter season means the time for lawn mowing and leaf blowing has passed. While some STIHL owners simply store their equipment during these months, others stay busy with landscaping and winter storm preparation.

Whether you spend this time of year cutting firewood, pruning trees, or clearing snow, STIHL has some helpful tips on how to handle winter projects. And if you’re just storing your equipment and calling it a year, we’ve got a few tips for you as well. Check out our full Winter Landscaping Guide and make it STIHL season.

Winter Stihl