Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Three Ways to Save Money by Winterizing Your Home

roof winterization

Autumn is a great season for tackling outdoor projects and preparing your home for the coming months. The cool weather will make working outside a pleasant change from scorching summer days, yet you’ll still have time to perform your last-minute winterizing tasks before more severe weather hits. If you’re looking to perform some smart, cost-savvy home makeovers to cut down on energy or prevent expensive problems, consider the following projects:

1. Assess Your Roof for Damage

The only thing worse than a damaged or leaky roof is discovering it the hard way. So before the storms hit, hop up on your roof and perform an exterior check. Red flags include torn or missing shingles, signs of rot or mold, loose material, or poorly-attached gutters. If you need to replace any shingles and you don’t have extra shingles from the last you worked on your roof, pick up a sheet at the construction store and use a cut-off saw to trim the sheet to size. Cut-off saws are perfect for working with abrasive building material like roof tiles, and we happen to sell all the cut-off saw supplies you’ll need.

2. Remove Damaged or Dangerous Trees

If you’re lucky enough to live in a wooded area – or even a back yard that boasts a tree or two – then perform a yearly check to make sure trees within falling distance of your house or a fence don’t show signs of becoming a costly problem. There’s a vast difference between the natural process of losing leaves for the winter and disease or damage, and the signs of a problem will be fairly obvious: soft spots on the trunk, oddly discolored leaves, multiple broken limbs, or large cracks on the tree bark. You can also perform the “twig test” and check to see whether a twig is green inside (a signal of good health) or brown (a sign that it’s dead) upon breaking it in half.

If a tree seems diseased but not dead, it’s okay to not give up on it just yet, as many species are quite resiliant. However, if the tree suffers from rot anywhere near or on the roots, it’s extremely likely to succumb to the wind and topple; as a rule, any root damage is a sign that it’s time for the tree to go. In that case, remove the tree pre-emptively in a safe, controlled way with a powerful chainsaw like one of the Stihl varieties. Keep your Stihl at its best with our Stihl replacement parts.

3. Winterize Your Basement and Attic 

 Once the outdoor work is out of the way, tackle your basement and attic to save money on heating and repairs. Use an indoor sealant like liquid rubber to patch up any cracks or holes you can find to prevent drafts and leaks in the walls and floor. Do the same for any windows with a window insulation kit or even just use a low-cost window insulation foam. If your attic is the type that uses pull-down stairs from a hole in the ceiling, then use some plywood and a chainsaw to make a DIY stair cover and prevent heat from escaping upstairs. Even the simplest insulation can save you hundreds of dollars on energy.

You’re done! So, get out your leaf blower and get ready to enjoy one of the best seasons of the year.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

October is Here!!

October is my favorite month. Here in Florida we finally get a break from the stifling heat and the daily thunderstorms which dump rain by the cup full instead of drops. These are usually accompanied by lightning and thunder and normally happen right when it's time to get off from work. But October is absolutely gorgeous weather here. It's in the 70s or low 80s for a high and low 70s is the low. It's also our favorite time of year because it's football season. College football is a religion in the south, and few places take it more seriously than in Florida. Tailgating at a Florida Gators, FSU Seminoles, or UCF Knights game here is about the best way to spend an October day. But if Football is not your thing there is Biketoberfest in Daytona, a week long party filled with motorcycles, loud music, alcohol and bikinis.

Another reason to love October is the rest of the country is going into Autumn. Autumn brings us not only the leaves changing colors, which many Floridians will take a road trip to go see since we rarely see it here, but also it is the busy season in the chain saw business. While it is still plenty warm here, it is getting a bit chilly where most of you live, and that means it's time to cut firewood. Many of you will find that your chainsaw is not running like it did before. That is where we come in. You can find your aftermarket parts with our distributors and save a ton of money over going to the dealer to buy original parts. The Hyway cylinder and piston kits are very comparable to the originals for a fraction of the cost. So get out there and cut some wood and get ready for winter. And if you get done in time, come down to sunny Florida for Biketoberfest or maybe some football. Either that or just hang out on the beach and get your "Jimmy Buffet" on. It's the perfect weather for it.

Go Kart Racing: Where the Stars Got Their Start

Whenever you see a story on a famous race car driver, when they talk about how he or she got started, kit is almost always in a go-kart at the age of four or five years old. Most of the time, these go karts run a Honda engine such as a GX160. These engines are often found in equipment such as pressure washers, generators, and lawn mowers but they are also found at nearly every go-kart track as well.
These GX160 go karts are perfect for getting young kids into racing. They can run around on the farm or on the local dirt track. They are rather inexpensive to build and maintain. Many of the parts can be replaced with aftermarket parts such as the ones we carry here at HLSupply.

 Here are a few videos of GX160 go-karts in action:

It’s nice to think that at HL Supply we will perhaps play a role in getting tomorrow’s Jimmie Johnson or Kevin Harvick or Tony Kanaan his start by supplying quality aftermarket Honda parts for his fist go-kart. We are big racing fans here in Daytona Beach, the World Center of racing, playing our part.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Motor Repair Go-To Resources

As fall comes rolling through and quickly changes to winter, many of us will find ourselves scrambling to get our projects done in the home and in the yard before it becomes too cold. When that is the case, there is no worse feeling than turning on your chainsaw or power tool and discovering a broken motor. Instead of running to the repair shop, take a look through our collection of favorite resources to troubleshoot and correct the issue on your own.

Tips for successful motor troubleshooting:

  • Consider all of the symptoms individually and carefully. Do not just focus on one or jump to conclusions
  • Don’t waste time on quick fixes that will need to be addressed again in short amounts of time. Look for the actual cause of the problem, and solve it at its root.
  • Assemble all of the information you can about the problem. For example, did the motor peter out when it was running at top speed, or during regular use? Did the motor fail to start up? Arming yourself with information will help you find the right solution for your problem, instead of wasting time on irrelevant remedies.

  • Briggs and Stratton Engine Performance Solutions
    Briggs and Stratton, the world’s largest manufacturer of gasoline engines for outdoor power equipment, has an expertly arranged guide with potential solutions to common motor ailments, easily making it one of our go-to resources. Easily navigate the guide to find the exact problem with your machine. For example, if your engine is smoking, Briggs and Stratton will ask a series of questions, including “is the engine emitting white or black smoke?” and “is the air filter blocked?” From there, if that problem is applicable to you, they offer links for corrective solutions, such as how to adjust the carburetor or how to clean or replace the air cleaner. Briggs and Stratton’s guide for engine problem solving tips is another handy guide to bookmark.

    If you are looking for assistance that is specific to your chainsaw or other power tool, Repair Clinic is a great online tool. They offer easy-to-understand solutions to such commonly heard questions as “chainsaw chain does not turn” or “chainsaw does not cut properly.” Additionally, they allow the user to look up the specific model number of their machine, and even offers videos on how to repair the problems.

    When in doubt, check YouTube. Whether you are simply looking to repair an engine, or you want help with a complete engine rebuild, there are tons of videos to guide us visual-learners. One of our favorite users is DonyBoy73, the self-appointed “Small Engine Doctor.” He has a vast video series on how to use, clean and repair all kinds of outdoor tools that you are curious about.

    We are pleased to offer you tips like these here on the HL Supply blog. Be sure to visit some of our older posts for more ideas on repair resources, such as this one from last summer specifically on repairing your chainsaw.